ok, blog readers, just so you know, i honestly think i have some of the brightest, coolest, most interesting readers of any blog. no joke! i love reading your responses, and i love when i hit on something that you guys are interested in!

i realized late last night (got that sit up in bed and bang fist onto forehead thing) that i actually forgot how the whole thread originated yesterday.

i left a message for someone about tutoring my homeschooled daughter. when she called back, i was in the middle of doing a gun safety lesson with the kids. i had some handguns out and i had a few bullets that i was showing them. we were talking about the different shapes and sizes, and how they rotate in the bore, etc etc.

when she called, i needed a notebook from the other room. i obviously was not going to leave the kids in the room with the guns and bullets, and i didn’t have the time to pack them up, so i said something along the lines of, “ok everyone. we are all going in the other room now, and i don’t want any of you back near my room until i’m ready.” i realized that this sounded kind of weird to the lady on the phone, so i said, “oh, sorry. we were just doing a gun safety lesson.”

to which she replied, “a…what…a…?”

and i said (matter-of-factly, since for some reason i blanked on the fact that most people i meet consider handguns as equivalent to devil worship or crack pipes), “we were doing a gun safety lesson.”

to which she replied, “a? gun? safety lesson??? gun? gun safety?”

and i said, “yes, gun safety. so anyway, thank you for getting back to me about the tutoring. here’s what i was thinking…”

luckily she had heard about our family from a few of her friends, so she already had a baseline opinion of us that we were really nice and fairly normal people.

the issue of being me versus being my kids’ mom also came up recently in the issue of nose piercing. i used to have my nose pierced and i loved it. i loved the way it looked and what it represented to me (sorry, but it’s too personal to share here). when i was becoming more religious, i was told several different times and by several different well-meaning people, that a seriously religious person would not have her nose pierced.

whether that was true then or is true now is not the point of this discussion. the point is that, at the time, i took their guidance to heart and i took out the diamond stud.

fast forward to the last few years. i have been seriously considering getting my nose repierced. back in oak park, my boys were in a private religious school. they were worried- rightly so- that if i had a stud in my nose, they would get made fun of. i would have been the only person in our circle who had such a thing, and it would have been a source of discussion (to put it nicely). so, realizing that it was unfair in this case to put my wants ahead of my kids’, i shelved the idea of the piercing.

enter seattle. even the groovy people are more groovy here, and lots of conservative people have piercings and other assorted stuff. so, after meeting literally the fourth person in our religious circle who had her nose pierced, i started wondering if i was up for a new nose piercing.

now, let’s just get our cards on the table here. i may be too old now to pull it off. yes, i’m young-at-heart (whatever that means). yes, i look younger than i am. but seriously, guys, i don’t want to be like that 65 year old woman who makes you cringe because she is wearing a mini skirt and patterned tights. no, she doesn’t rock it. no, i don’t admire her for her youthful spirit. i’m embarrassed for her and her dangly skin and her varicose veins. i feel sad that she seems to want to recapture some idea of youth (real or imagined, i don’t know). but it just doesn’t fit with her. so, i’m a bad person for not celebrating her smashing of age-related stereotypes. whatever.

brass tacks here- i may have lost my window for body piercings. i may have delayed my gratification for the sake of my children not being embarrassed, and delayed it past the point of no return.

i’ll give you another whamee. i drive an SUV. before you get all judgy or nervous, let me remind you that i came here from MICHIGAN- land of the multi-foot snowfalls. i drove a sensible toyota for many years, then a sensible honda. they got good gas mileage and had good ratings on consumer reports. they were, ironically, both grey. very ho-hum and very responsible.  then i got married and had babies and graduated to a minivan. and drove a minivan for many many years. and wished i could have had a jeep. but still drove the minivan. and kept driving various minivans. easier for loading babies in and out. easier for toddlers to get strapped in. easier for carpools to climb around in. but my heart wasn’t in it. my heart was in a big ‘ole ‘get the heck outta my way’ SUV.  my heart wanted a gas-guzzling resource using monster who could drive down the street even in snow, and could carry luggage for my family without dragging on the ground in the back. i wanted to drive something that looked like i was wearing steel-toed combat boots inside, that sounded like a truck and felt like a truck and drove like a truck. i wanted a vehicle that didn’t beg for acceptance, but just put it on out there.

so, when at long last our previous minivan became unreliable to the point of being almost undrivable, i finally actually asked for what i wanted and got an SUV (yay, *H!!!). and now we are in politically correct seattle where people scoff and make ugly faces and weird noises when they see i have an SUV. when they see my michigan license plate, they seem a bit relieved, like, “oh thank goodness she is just visiting here. soon she’ll go back to where she came from and pollute their earth instead of ours…”. and i just smile. cuz i love me my SUV!

so, sometimes the Me wins, and sometimes the Mom wins. sometimes even the Wife wins (actually, she wins a LOT!).

obviously this past summer’s garden fiasco was about me standing up for me. the kids were proud, but i think they would have preferred to have no garden and an available mom.

i’ve said this before publicly, so it’s no secret, but i really asked the city before i planted the garden. because i didn’t want to be making a point. i didn’t strive to be taking a stand. i wasn’t some plant-your-own-food warrior, and i wouldn’t have signed up for the controversy.

now i am a firm believer that you play the hand you’re dealt. so you bet your sweet pumpkins that when the garden became a matter of principle, i treated it as such. and i do believe that it was great role modeling for my kids to stand up to tyranny (a strong word which i thought twice about using just now, but i really believe it to be true).

i guess what i’m trying to say is that i would not have chosen to embarrass my kids over the garden. i would have kept my desire for a garden to myself, just like i didn’t get chickens and didn’t get a goat. just like i didn’t paint my front door a wacky color (gotta defer to *h on some things!). just like i didn’t do lots of other things, big and small, that would have had blow-back onto my kids.

so, to tie it all together, i am always mindful of how the choices i make will impact my family. sometimes the pendulum swings in my favor, and sometimes protecting the family is just more important.

and that is the crux of the issue.

so, welcome to the inner closet of my sometimes wacky life. i’ll bring the cookies if you bring the raw milk. i’ll provide the frying pan if you’ll pony up the farm eggs. i’ll keep trying to puzzle it out if you keep reading it.