Magic Night Cream, Magic Night Cream, Do Your Job, Do Your Job

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Last night, I put my five-year old Stella to bed.   Well, I snuck in and stole the best part from Rick, who had her in her jammies, teeth brushed and she was in her bed with book in hand, waiting for someone to read to her.  I crawled into her bed by her and read her a story.

I love, love, love doing this with Stella.  I regret not loving it with my older two, Carly and Lydia.  We should have separated them more during the bedtime routine so I could have had more of this one on one time with them.  But mostly we did it all together, which made it so much more exhausting and chaotic and filled with fighting and bickering.  By the end of the day I just didn’t have the energy to deal, much less enjoy bedtime.

But Stella gets the story alone.  And she is so squishy and fresh and funny, and I adore it.  She loves the ritual of the hour, and I do too.  I read to her, and then I say, “Stella….”  as if I am about to begin a great story or tell her a fantastic secret… and she will say, “I know what you are going to say!”  I act surprised.  “How can you possibly know?  You can’t know!”  And she giggles that giggle that makes the cells in my body reorganize themselves so they can be permanently attached to her warm belly and her staccato laugh.

“You are going to say, I ADORE you.”

“Whaaaaaat!?  How did you know?”

I usually smash my face into the side of her soft neck at this point.  I feel so full of the force of my love,I want to breathe her into my body again.

Then, we do magic night cream.

My girls hands, (especially in kindergarten),  become so dry in the winter they turn bright red and crack.  (I now realize  it is a hand-washing and drying issue.)  It’s awful.

I have a bottle of Aquaphor by her bed that I rub into her little hands, and we chant, “Magic night cream, magic night cream, do your job, do your job…” a few times.  Just massaging her squishy hands, still chubby with the vestiges of toddlerhood just greases up the magic of the nighttime ritual.  Last night, I bent to kiss her cheek and she grabs my hair with her lubed up fists and says, “I have one more thing to tell you, mom.”

“What’s that?”  I lean in, her lips right in my ear, bracing for another sweet declaration of her love for me, and she says,

“Boca gum staaaaaaaah… bock, bock, bock bote bote…”

This is what she believes is the first line of the song  “Gangnum Style.”

Which brings on the giggles, and my heart bursts like an over-filled water balloon and I leave feeling like tomorrow, I can do this whole parenting gig all over again, just for the magic night cream, and that laugh.

I am holding tight to this right now, as I am desperately trying to remind myself to be present.  To ignore the phone, burning a hole in the butt pocket of my yoga pants.  To stop checking off the time I am with my kids the same way I check off my chore list.  To quit longing for that glass of wine and a good book, or a moment of peace devoid of Meghan Trainor on repeat and constant bickering.  To just Be in my body.  Be alive.  In the moment.  RIGHT NOW.   There are sensations.  And feelings.  And breathing in and out.  And those things must be noticed, if I am to live a full and meaningful life.  I am trying to wake up and BE.

It’s fucking hard.

So I did some searching, and realized that Stella’s magic night cream is my life line.  My anchor.  My one moment I can count on, where I am fully in my body.

PRESENT.

Right then, I am out of my mind.  I am in my fingertips, smoothing her chapped hands, feeling the dimples still in her knuckles and the meaty part of her thumbs as they connect to her palm, and I don’t need to tell her that I adore her, she knows because my love is a vibrating energy that is coating her, thick and protective.  It’s better than the magic night cream.

It is the invitation to be here, and nowhere else.

Magic night cream, magic night cream, do your job, do your job.

BE My Tattoo

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I am 35 years old, and I need a tattoo.  I have been considering this desire for quite a few years.  When Rick and I walked out of our mormon faith, it was incredibly disorienting.  Like Dorothy, stepping out of a black and white world in Kansas and into full Technicolor, in a world where experiences and possibilities that I had labeled as impossible or evil now lay at my feet.  The list of forbidden fruit is long and deep in the world of a devout mormon.  There is a primary list of things you can not do if you want to  be able to participate in the temple, which is a must-do to earn eternal glory and salvation.

Then there is a secondary list of rules. These rules are driven by cultural expectations and are taught from the authorities, but without concrete consequences to fear.  You need only worry about the disappointment of Heavenly Father, chastisement of your peers, and the step that will lead you down the path to outer darkness.

Hell.

No big.

Tattoos are a big NO-NO in conservative mormon-land.  For the last few years I have been pinning tattoos on Pinterest, and giving serious thought to getting a tattoo…but I knew I would have to be certain I would want it.  Take my time.  Make it meaningful.

One week ago, my brother and I were discussing tattoos.  He already has a few and we were talking about his plans for more.  I told him that I had recently decided on my tattoo…and it was only a matter of making an appointment.

I wanted the word BE tattooed on my hand.  Something small and discreet, but visible to me.

I want it as a reminder to stay present and centered.  To ground myself when I am feeling weak and ungrounded. Lately, I have been feeling very scattered and disconnected.  Like a piece of taffy, being pulled in ten different directions at once.  It’s messy when I allow myself to scatter…the core of my being begins to disintegrate and disappear like that pulled taffy when I allow my energy to splinter off in a million directions.  And it can be very challenging to pull it all back in.  It’s during these times that I begin to feel frantic and panicky, anxious… and then experience a strong sense of failure.  Because without being grounded, I am not effective.

I need to pull myself together again.  Be whole.

On monday, I used Pam Grout’s book E-squared to ask for a clear, unmistakable gift or sign in my life within 48 hours.  This sign would be the first confirmation that I have access to infinite possibilities, and the ability to create my own reality.

It worked.

Monday night, a friend called.  This is a woman I have become friends with this year… I feel very drawn to her, very connected.  She pops into my mind throughout my everyday life, many times during the week.  When we speak or get together, I feel like I understand this woman, in ways that are not so common… it’s an unusual connection.  The thing is, she is nearly impossible to get a hold of.  She is very busy and not great at responding to communication like texts, emails, phone calls.

We all have people in our life like this, right?

Normally, especially in a newer friendship, I would cut ties with someone who is sending a clear message that they are not interested in connecting.  But this friend is an exception for me.  I simply know that it is not personal, and I am meant to reach out to her, to know her.  So I do.  I text her, or leave a message, or send her a little light and love with intention when she comes into my mind.

She called me on monday, and we talked for a couple of hours about what was going on in her life.  I must mention here that this woman is incredibly gifted.  She has been given some highly developed gifts in this life. I have never known someone personally with these finely tuned gifts…it is amazing.   She is psychic, and sensitive to a world that most do not understand or see.  At the end of our long conversation she thanked me for talking things out with her, and then offered up a little prayer of thanks for our friendship.

And then she told me, as she does every once in a while when we talk, that I have a lot of angels and guides that are with me.  When she gives me this kind of information, I imagine myself opening up, literally cracking open and allowing my mind and heart to expand to new possibilities. Because when someone starts talking about things that are unfamiliar, it is human nature to harden and shut down, instead of invite in the mystery.  I was silently doing this kind of visualization as she tried to articulate the message that my angels were sending me.  I was also pulling wet laundry from my washing machine and cramming it into the dryer… aware of how strangely congruous it felt to be doing such a benign task as she gave me this information.

I wondered if this experience could possibly be the E-equared sign I was looking for… it was certainly a gift to be talking to this lovely friend.

And then she said, “you know, your guides just keep showing me a word.  Just a simple word.  They are telling me that it is the answer that you are seeking right now.  I see this word… Be.  B-E.  Just be.  Does this make sense to you?”

Hmmmmm.

I’m thinking it does.

I have been able to gather up the stringy mess I had become, and bring it back to center.  I feel more grounded.  It’s the first assignment.  Always, the first part.

BE.

Gather yourself up.  Stop multitasking, splintering your SELF into pieces, leaving your energy scattered and your core weak.  There are things to do.  But they will do YOU if you do not stay whole.

Now, to find a good tattoo shop.