Musings on Poker and Other Stuff
Heath's daughter came to our house for Thanksgiving. This has been a tradition ever since I met Heath. I am so fortunate. She is perfect. Every time we spend some time with her, it gets me thinking. For someone who has never a child of their own before, it is such a unique experience. I am a 28 year old woman who has never been married and has no children. However, I get the privilege of knowing in an deeply personal way, a 13 year old girl. It brought several things to the forefront of my mind.
First, I was trying to picture the families of most of the people I know, and I realized that most of my friends have step-parents. While, in some ways families are breaking apart, they are also growing in other ways. I am extremely grateful for my own set of step-parents. Both of whom have taught me things that my own parents just didn't have to share. They have loved me without hesitation. And both have made sacrifices for the benefit of someone else's spawn.
(My step mom dying my hair fire engine red.) I hope that I can be that for Katlyn. I hope that I can be aspects that her mom just shouldn't and won't ever be.
Which brings me to my next thought on my time spent with her, how bad of an influence am I? Having only been a dog mom as I mentioned above, I just don't really have ability to determine what is appropriate or not. Not being with her all the time I just don't know what is normal for her. Was it okay to watch Dateline NBC about a murder? Is shit an okay cuss word? How honest can I be about my life? Is it bizarre to give her my trashy gossip magazine? I suddenly was overwhelmed with how important every moment and action was with her. The older you get the easier life gets in some ways. You don't have to soak up every detail about the world from your tiny little world. Once you are grown you will see the world on your own and make your own opinions and memories. For her, everything she knows comes from her family. She made some adorable comment about the President and I could tell that she had no idea about politics or society in this contemporary environment. But that didn't stop her from listening to things her mom said and repeating them like truth. When that happened I immediately felt compelled to share with her every life lesson I've ever collected. Every tid bit of my experience that might shed some light on things maybe even her biological parents couldn't.
The thing is, she is 13. She will have to go make her own experiences and mistakes. I think people with children have a certain grace that comes from the patience of realizing that you have absolutely no control. The best way to lead is by example. And even that doesn't work with all our imperfections.
Then as we drove the 12 hours to drop her off in her small town in the middle of no where after only seeing her for two days I came to the conclusion that maybe family isn't there to teach you, as much as we there to support you. Maybe I am in her life not to shed some light on God and the Universe, but rather, to drive 12 hours to show her that she is loved. Maybe I am in her life to forgive her no matter what she does, and pick her up when she makes the inevitable mistakes we are all destined to make. To give her not a foundation in the political paradigms of the world, but to give her a foundation of support.
And finally let me just add that I could not be happier to growing older and I welcome the coming of each day. Being around a 13 year old girl and thinking of all the things she has to go through. Listening to the things she thinks about now. I could not be more grateful at being a grown up. And hopefully a grown up she can look up to.
Thanksgiving always falls on the last Thursday of November. This year it will be November 24th, 2011. Thanksgiving has changed as I've got older in terms of what I do, who I see and where I go. But one thing will always stay consistent, taking the time to remember what you are thankful for in this life. In honor of that most precious tradition I have made a list of 24 things I am grateful for in no particular order.
1. The Winx aka. the most precious pitbull ever to grace the planet
2. My mom, who taught me strength and compassion
3. My soul mate aka. The Texas Crazy Horse
4. My job, that pulls me out of any funk and brings me so much joy (and the people I've grown to <3 at work)
5. My brother, my partner for the first 15 years
6. My health
7. My daddy, who can sometimes get through to me when no one else can
8. My freedom
9. Jenn, one of the most loyal people I know
11. My grandpa, who taught me integrity
12. My grandma, who gave me so many of my favorite traits
13. Rainy days (which I don't get many of in Vegas)
14. Newman, a most pleasant surprise
15. Newt, who never lets me drift away
16. Ex's and old friends, they made me who I am today
17. Fine meals that lead to conversation
18. Funny movies
19. becoming close to my other grandma in the last few years
20. My step dad, I trust my mom in his hands.
21. My step mom, who ACTS how most people just talk
22. the internet
24. Kristy and Lynn, I had to! I'm so grateful for you girls.
An interesting exercise. I could go on forever. I love to make lists! Happy Thanksgiving!
I couldn't have been more excited to get the news that I would be the video hostess for the newest EPT stop in Loutraki, Greece. I have ALWAYS wanted to come to Greece. Of course I imagined island hopping and swimming the Mediterranean, which my trip has not been at all. But what I got is something even better. I just did the all-inclusive Mexico thing. This trip has been about coming back to the beginning of Western civilization.
Heath decided to come to make sure I didn't get caught up in some riot. And of course to play his first EPT. We arrived very early in the morning, dropped off our bags and headed straight for the Acropolis. Heath immediately hired a private guide, which I thought was a bit pricey, but it was his money, so I indulged the splurge. Boy was it worth it. She had so many treasures to share. Not just history, but deeply ingrained principles of Greek philosophy.
She explained that we all have monsters which is what makes us human, but that we have the capacity to be like the Gods, that in fact it is our duty to reach toward our better selves and away from the things that make us broken and human. Heath and I would soon have a lesson in that. I could barely keep my eyes open, but Heath brought me to a little bar to share some Greek drinks before the dinner he had arranged. We went to dinner where I broke plates, ate and danced like an American girl trying to be a true Greek. Then things got ugly. We decided to let the wine take us where it would...which of course was a strip club. We drank too much. Fought. And wasted an entire day in Athens the next day.
That night we ate at a restaurant over looking the Acropolis and chatted about what a waste that was. How gross we felt after the elation of such a beautiful first day. We decided to make a conscious choice to let Greece teach us how to be our better selves. And since that I feel amazing. I woke up this morning and felt so grateful for my job, grateful for my life and beautiful in my own skin. I won't let my degenerate nature become ME.
I even had a blast shooting the welcome video in the midst of a pseudo hurricane!!