Friday, January 15, 2016

Pokemon 101

Who would've thought that Pokemon could bring a smile to my face? I have no clue how to even play Pokemon. I know it's a card game and I think it works with points. Each card has a number or a value and you play against other people to win their cards (I think). If this is what my 7-year-old wants to talk to me about, you bet I'm going to listen.
Every morning we get into the car and listen to the radio while we wait for the bus. Today was slightly different. I pulled into our usual carline spot and drank my coffee while my son flipped through his Pokemon binder. I was worried that he thought he was going to be able to take it with him to school and told him I'd prefer if it stayed with me until he got home. He started to tell me about the game and how the Legendary cards held the highest value. I found myself staring at his cute little hands and thinking about when he was a baby and how I used to rub that part on his wrist where the chub meets the hand. The part that looks like an elastic band is separating the hand from the arm. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's like Baby 101 cuteness. I was still listening to him but years and years of his life were flashing through my mind as he explained the value of different cards. I could tell he was really concentrating on what he was telling me and he hadn't even looked up once. I kept asking myself in my head how on earth we'd gotten to this point where he was old enough to be explaining a card game to me. Raising him has been hard but it was like all of a sudden I couldn't believe how fast these 7 years have gone by being his mom. At times, I feel like I've blinked and now he's this young boy who is teaching me things.
I'm an emotional person. That's just part of my makeup. So, I'll admit, I was starting to get a little teary-eyed when he looked up at me and said, "Mom, you should get your own pack of cards so that we can play together when I get home from school."
Ummm, yes, totally. Is it weird that I was really excited that my son had just asked me to play Pokemon with him? The game that he plays with his friends and has never talked to me about until now? You better believe that I have just added 'buying Pokemon cards' to my to-do list today. And I will definitely be Googling how to play this game just so I can hold my own. If this is how my son wants to bond with me than I'm going to give it my best try.
I did end up letting him take the binder to school. I figured it was a battle not worth fighting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What's My Platform?

I've been writing for a long time. Actually, when I was updating my bio for my website, I just about choked on my grapes when I did the math and realized it'd been 15 years since I started college. 15 years? That makes me feel old. My focus has changed since then, of course, since I have children now and my beat went from restaurant writing to "restaurant tips with kids". While my subject matter has changed quite a bit - my love for sharing what I know has not.
My platform (aka) what I think I know enough about to share with others and care enough about to spend time on, is helping other moms. Not just giving advice here and there, although, that is helpful, but really getting in the trenches with other moms and encouraging them one by one. When I see another mom hurting or crying or having a hard time with her child - I just want to hold her hand and tell her I understand. My first thought is to ask what's wrong and then see if I have any tools in my toolbox to help her through the situation.
Most of the time, moms are open to letting me share what I know. Sometimes they're a bit more private and that's okay, too. I just want to share what I know and what has helped me along the way in any way that I can - whether that's face-to-face or through my writing.
There are many things I like to research, talk about and write about, but when I whittled it down to what gets me excited about life and looking forward to my next assignment, well it would be parenting. Since there is no one-size-fits-all for being a mom, why not share what I know and help other moms in the process? It seems like a win-win to me.
I finished a manuscript this past October and I'm pretty excited about it. It will be a book about my parenting journey, what that looked like (and looks like now) and real-life tips that I hope will inspire you to take control of whatever it is that you might be facing as a mom right now.