Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's Gettin' Kind of Hectic

I can't even list things. My mind is a little scattered and creating lists helps me to get it back together. It's all good, it's all growth potential but it's all over the place and I need to get my thoughts together.

  • I'm talking to multiple buyers and a couple of connected bloggers about the greeting card puzzles.
  • We're preparing a packet of things to send to small, but select, vending event down South where we will be sponsors and they will pitch us to gift basketeers.
  • I'm talking to a storeowner about our next puzzle and letting her help guide the design because she likes the concept and will buy it if the execution is just as good. She also knows toy reps and will connect us there later on.
  • Press releases are going out and we've done one newspaper interview so far. We're doing a podcast interview next Saturday.
  • More networking.
  • More writing.
  • More work!
I kept thinking about my kids. I've been busy all this time but this is different because I am fishing in a much larger pond these days, taking more risks, and I continue to believe we are closer than we realize. It's like exercising. If you do it every day, you may hate it but eventually you start to see results and things get better overall for you though it may never get any easier - just better. If you stop for too long, you go practically back to square one. So I keep pushing. And pushing. And thinking, "I have to make sure they are with me." You can never be too sure just how much your kids know or understand until you take the time to talk to them. It's astounding just how affected they can be by something that you thought was no big deal. Or just how easy it is for them to go with the flow when you think they should be devastated. Unpredictable and flexible. That's them.

So I'm thinking, "I have to talk to them. I have to be sure." People are always asking me where I get my energy from. They wonder how I can do as much as I do. And certainly I have to sacrifice in one area in order to succeed in another but it's not either/or. It's sacrifice on one hand today for success on the other. Tomorrow you may need to switch up. That, my friends, is balance. But sacrifice is always a part of it and, like it or not, the kids will sacrifice too. Maybe you can't do as much with them or for them as you'd like while getting things off the ground. Maybe you aren't as patient as you'd like to be. Maybe you aren't as attentive as you should be. Personally, I think it's better to be honest about these things and I have accepted the fact that some days I will get it all right and some days I won't. But I am thinking as long as I keep them in the loop, we should all come out of this OK.

I went to a dinner tonight to celebrate the latest group of grads from the business workshop I had done about 5 years ago. I had already come home about 9:30 last night because Bizzy Girl and I had to talk numbers for a potential buyer. But I had said I would go to the dinner and I wanted to because one woman to whom I had recommended the program was going to be among the grads. I had to support her. So two late nights in a row. Something I try not to do.

It started at 6 and I was determined to hustle out of there by 9 at the latest, and only that because the dinner was in the same town I live in so it wouldn't take forever to get home. "Gotta get home to the kids. Gotta get home to the kids. We have to talk. We have to talk!" At 9:05 the dinner was done but I had to talk to 2 of the grads who might be good connections for my business. I had to talk to my friend who graduated but she was busy talking to the guy who founded the program, as she should. So I talked to the people with her who also happen to own the store where our puzzles were (yes were. But it's not over. Later on that topic.) It's was about 9:30 when I finally made it out.

Someone, amazingly, had thought to leave the light on outside. Usually I'm the one who thinks like that. I am guessing the kids were just playing around with the lights and didn't realize the outside light had gone on. Before I could get all the way in the house Daughter bounds down the stairs. "Son was crying for you." Great. I am coming home to make sure we're all playing on the same team and he's crying for me. Can you spell GUILT? But he's never done that before. I've come home this same time many times prior. Why tonight?

"What do you mean he's crying? For what?"

"He was waiting and waiting for you but you didn't come home." Oh brother.

So I ask him. "Why were you crying for me? I've come home this time before."

"Usually you come home at 8:30."

"But last night I came home this time. Why cry?"

"Because I love you." Again - oh brother.

If you all haven't figured this out yet, let me clue you in on my personality. I may want to talk about something but if you ask me about it before I am ready, I will get annoyed. I may realize something needs to be fixed, but if you complain about it just the very second before I do something about it, I will get annoyed. I may know my kids are wishing they had more of me but if they tell me they had more of me before I tell THEM let's talk about it, I will get annoyed. This is me. I can't explain it any more than that.

"Let's talk. Mommy has always been busy but things are a little different right now and I may be even busier than before. I am trying not to have things so busy that you rarely see me. I am trying to balance it so I will do something one day and choose not to do something another day so I am here with you. But the fact is I am trying very hard to make something grow and I am doing it for you all as well as me. I am using the gifts God gave me. I love it all and I am happy. But I want to be sure you both know that this is for you too. I want you to see that God gave you gifts and you can choose to use them in a traditional way or a nontraditional way but just use them and be happy. That's what I want for you."

Daughter asks, "Why are you telling us this?" Son simply clings to my arm because that what he does. I stick my tongue out at her and keep going.

"So, what I want to know is, is there anything, as a mommy, you wish I would do or would NOT do?" I know I am setting myself up here for loads of guilt. Bring on the, "I wish you were home more often." and "I wish you'd read to us more." or maybe "I wish you would sit and play more often." I do all these things. But I think most parents feel they don't do it enough. What do the kids think?

"I wish you'd be rich," Daughter says. "I'm trying! Son?"

"Hmmm. I wish you would not be mean to us and take away our blankets and pillows and make us sleep on the floor."

"Excuse me? When have I ever done that?"

"You haven't, so I wish you never do."

"Ohhh kaaay. Well, that's not likely to happen anyway. So of the things I DO do, what would you like me to do differently?"

"I wish you could give us lots of money," Daughter pipes up again. This is not the deep, meaningful, heartfelt conversation I was looking for. "Yeah. I got that. I told you I'm working on it. Son?"

"I wish you'd let us help with your business." Finally. Something real.

"But I do. If I go vending and you go along, you help."

"Oh yeah. Ummmmm." He taps his chin with his finger, grinning in the air as he thinks of God knows what.

"You know, if you have to make stuff up, it can't be too bad huh?"

"I wish you could do magic!" Daughter has found a stray tangent to follow.

"I love you," Son responds to a question that I think only he heard in his head.

So maybe they aren't feeling like orphans after all. And maybe I'll do more to talk about my business to them to make them feel a part of things, which is all they really want from me anyway - to be included. Maybe they are doing just fine.

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