Send the Script out to Sea

KiraUncategorized12 Comments

Rocco running to the oceanVacation at this point in my life is really just taking our crazy to a different location.  Yes, there’s less running around to do per se but my people still like to participate in daily and often hourly, passing of the baton, can’t keep it down whack-a-mole, beautiful disaster that apparently is our mixed bag lineage.

This year we took a trek out to the northwest along the Oregon coast.  It was unlike a family vacation we’d taken before.  More time to learn card games like Slamwich, fly kites and play made up games like “Mommy Trap” in the hills and valleys of the beach dunes.  Memories were being made despite a lack of fireworks, technology, amusement parks, character lunches and full schedules.

The last night of our trip by the ocean I got this great idea to cast a “wish” rock and a “worry” rock into the water. Imagine all 6 of us standing at the edge of the world heaving symbolism into the sea… TOGETHER.  Ah.  It was setting up perfectly.  The sun was completely in sync with me, carefully hanging in the sky to create the snapshot of a lifetime.  In my head, this was my Hallmark moment.  The pinnacle of a family vacation done well.  A forever memory.

I watched on as my boys went running towards the water with their one hope / one concern in hand.  My husband right behind them with our two year-old set atop his shoulders and I paused for just a moment to help Milana pick out the perfect rocks because a moment like this needs perfect rocks.  “This” I heard my inner voice saying… “This is what it’s all about.”

As Milana and I set off to join the boys – HOLD UP.  WAIT A MINUTE.  I looked down for a second, maybe two. WHAT the WHAT is HAPPENING???    I got kicked in the shin… the shin of my soul.  The men I love and the men I THOUGHT loved me were high tailing it back to stairs that led to our beach house.  My moment flattened… the blowfish air sucked right out of it.

I met my husband with a “What, Why, and How could you do this?”   He said “What do you mean… we did it.”   UMMMM…No.  WE did not do it!!!   “Yes, I swear, we did it.”  You buffoon… we is not half of us… we is all of us and WE need to do it again.  For reference: Nothing is more fun that forcing people to re-enact an already unnatural moment for your own self-satisfaction.  So needless to say… it was a flop.  But it was a flop because of my own doing.

Most, if not all, of my life’s frustrations, heartaches and kicks in the shin are because of unmet expectations.  And the frequency of them is solely because I have choreographed these perfect scenarios (code for really high expectations) and unfortunately the people can’t even hear the music…let alone get through the first eight count.

My husband totally missed the beat.  He didn’t get the rock throwing… he’s not wired that way.  My Lifetime movie moment didn’t register really high on his ‘this is cool’ list.  But he is wired in the way of cooking almost all the meals, coaching almost all the teams, demonstrating a life with purpose and partnering with his wife to create a really good life for our family.  And so gratefully and graciously hindsight lets him off the hook.  That and he accepts me for all my crazy. Too often I’m seeking this perfect moment, relationship, family picture, hair day (the struggle is real) and forget to see that what I already do have is really, really great and perfectly flawed.

Besides, I already had all the vacation moments I needed to remember – teaching the kids how to make a campfire and the secret to a perfect s’more, taking slow to be brave Blaize on a hike over some rocks, watching Rocco strip down to his skivvies and run with reckless abandon into the piercing cold water and my favorite, climbing as a family up the part sand part rock mountain and each person helping the other navigate the best path.  It was all there.  I didn’t need to script some moment for everyone that I really just felt I needed to do myself.  Send one wish and one worry out to sea.  I’d love to tell you about them but they are gone now.  I just have the real stuff to hold on to.  And besides sometimes the best moments are off script.  Don’t forget to see, feel and cha cha your way through those moments!

Hugs and Love,

~ Kira

My daughter serves a great humble pie!

KiraUncategorized4 Comments

Mommy and MilanaMilana asked me the other day if I liked being a mom to four kids. Screwballs. I closed my eyes and felt all the shame a mother could feel. You see, she asked me this question about ten minutes after I had a purge of frustration…with my four kids. That one question stopped me in my tracks and has been lingering with me like a winter’s cough.

It made me realize that I’m not really showing my kids how much I enjoy being their mom. Because, if I’m being honest, there are some moments I’m not sure I am. The “I can’t find my <<insert the thing I told them to put away 8 thousand times>> when we have to leave in two minutes, the “I’m hungry” after I just finished cleaning up from the second dinner, the “for all things holy… what happened here?” every day destroying of something, the lugging, drudging, heavy lifting grind … it will just WEAR. YOU. DOWN.  Also, do you know how many water bottles I have purchased? And how many I have in our possession? It’s staggering.

My favorite everything Maya Angelou said “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.” Every December while decorating, I try to remember this and show my amazingly patient grace. And because I’m so intentional at this time, it happens. But for a lot of the other moments, not so much. All grace is lost when my two year old smears jelly on the underbelly of our island and I don’t discover it until it’s basically cement and friends are due over any minute, or my six year-old’s blast in the bathtub is my near blow out my knee skid across the bathroom or the twins fighting and literally punching each other in the van… over the seat NOT next to the two year old so they DON’T get punched. The irony. I just lose it. I become the mom… the person I don’t want to be.

But life is not once a year ‘keep your cool’ decorating moments. So I need Milana. She has incredible social awareness. It’s something that makes her so important to our family and is a great skill for life… especially when she’s picking up on my “why are you little people trying to kill me” cues and quickly moves into helper mode.

As bad as I felt about the question, I’m glad she asked it. It caused a wave in my perception tank.  Because my idea of being a parent has so completely shifted from before I had kids. The blissful and pristine moments that I thought it was going to be are really unique and the ‘chaos is like the dawn is to the day’ commonplace. Milana helps me make that shift to embracing what is real…the pace, the imperfections and the holy Hallelujah that is this parenting gig. So thank you, I’ll take a second piece of that pie.

Hugs and LOVE!

~ Kira

Cue the Rocky theme song!

KiraBlog22 Comments

To read is to cover one’s face and to write is to show it.” – Alejandro Zambra

FullSizeRenderI’ve run 6 marathons, a dozen half marathons, a silly number of 5 and 10K’s and all the training runs required and yet I still do not consider myself a runner.  Running doesn’t come natural to me.  And as much as I have run and tried to “fake it till you make it”… I still just really really don’t like it.  And despite knowing it’s good for me, I never feel good doing it. It’s like wearing a tight bedazzled jacket when a comfy grey pullover hoodie is how you roll.

So even with all the experience, hours and sacrifice I put into running… I’m just NOT a runner. In fact, I have a really serious case of runner’s rage. It’s kind of dangerous. Ask my sister. Poor thing had to suffer abuse on the account that she dropped the camera trying to take the “happy” picture of me running a marathon…which I wasn’t at ALL happy about anyway. Or ask my super tolerant husband. I’m not sure he’s recovered from the emotional scarring after suggesting we “leg it out.” My response being like some kind of juiced up meathead giving a promo for a WWF Cagematch. “I AM LEGGING IT OUT DAMNIT!!!”

So gross. We shouldn’t do things that make us that ugly.

My beautiful friend Lori made me realize that I like the “idea” of being a runner. I want to be that person who effortlessly glides along the pavement all gazelle-y with head high and the upper hand against the elements. I want to be able to go for 6 miles on a whim. Do you know what has to happen for a 6 miler (and pretty much anything between 1-6) to occur? EVERY damn star needs to align. Perfect amount of sleep, perfect nutrition, perfect breathability clothes for the perfect running weather. It’s dumb. And even when perfection is achieved, loving (or even liking it) remains absent.

But here’s the thing – it’s not just in running. I like the “idea” of being a lot of things and sometimes I spend too much energy and internal rage trying to be them. Trendy. Put together. Naturally skinny. Super disciplined. Book devourer. Knower of anything home decor. Actually, knower of a dirty laundry list of things. And really, all I need to be the knower of… is thyself. That’s everything we all need to know.  What fills you? What gives you joy? Do that. Be that. Be you. Be your kind of beautiful. Wear the hoodie!

The only way I even remotely tolerate running is when it’s with someone (maybe except “people” who tell me to “leg it out”).  And there it is. Doing things we don’t like is redeemable if you mix in a little of what you do. That’s why I love writing.  It leaves me vulnerable but I know when I’m vulnerable, I’m growing. I’m learning and I’m legging it out at my inner core.

So this is why I’ve created this site. To share. To learn. To push forward with others trying to Hulk-a-mania leg it out too. Unlike running, I don’t have 6 books, a dozen half books and a bunch of 5 to 10 page short stories to fall back on. So snuggle bear with me.   Doing this leaves me SUPER vulnerable and nervous…and I’ve delayed it 100 years because of this.  BUT I know being vulnerable and nervous is where the Rocky Balboa moments are in this life. Writing in this way makes me want to uppercut and body blow hanging meat in a barn in Russia. Kidding. But it is super authentic to me. It’s comfy and even when its hard I want to do it again.

We hold onto these things we think we have to be or want to be because of the “idea” we think they represent.  But holding on to those ideas gets heavy.  And who wants to be heavy?  “Not I!” said the pig.

So let’s make a deal… I’m gonna be the pullover hoodie me and… On your mark… Get set… you be the “Eye of the Tiger” beautiful YOU… GO!

Hugs and LOVE!

~ Kira