Apr 102012
 

 

Hi Precious Monks.

Tomorrow is going to be a BIG DAY for US. Tomorrow a press release will go out to the Wonderful World announcing our partnership with a ridiculously amazing publisher whose name I will finally be able to share with you. Our book, along with its title, release date, and peeks into the content will be in the press release. YOU will be in the release. The magic of YOU, the magic of this community is at the heart of the release and will be at the heart of our book.

I know we think we’ve already exploded, but I’m afraid not. You should get ready to see yourselves, The Monkees, all over the damn place, starting tomorrow.

Now. Here’s what I think we need to talk about pre-circus. While everything changes, nothing is going to change. We are going to be the same group of people telling each other the truth and trying very hard not to be jerks. Our group might get bigger and some people might not follow our rules, but we have had enough practice to handle that. We’ve got that. The timing is good. The people that don’t yet follow our rules are the people who desperately need us to keep following our rules.

 

Everyone is invited.

Treat others how you want to be treated.

Love and self-control can overcome differences.

Be truthful, gentle, and fearless.

 

Here’s another thing that is important for you to know. To my great distress, neither the book contract nor the media attention have changed me A BIT.

You know how when you’re little, you look at grown- ups and you can’t wait to “become” one? Like grown-upedness is something that one day just “happens” to you. As if one day you’re a confused kid and all of a sudden, maybe when you’re like twenty five or so – someone hands you the keys to adulthood and  bippety boppity boo!  You Cross Over to the Other Side. The Grown Up Side. Where you know everything and calm down and stop being so damn insecure and jealous and nervous all the time.  You are Now A Grown Up. Like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Complete metamorphosis. Done. Fly.

But in my experience there’s been no bippity boppity boo metamorphosis moment EVER. I never became a grown up, really. I just kept having birthdays and became an older version of my own self.  No magic box, no keys, no secrets. Just me. Five steps forward and four steps back. Trying, failing, trying again. Feeling like an imposter at parent teacher conferences and dental exams. Is this teacher talking to me? Am I seriously the MOTHER in this scenario? You’ve got to be kidding me. Still insecure, never calm. Maybe a little wiser each day? God, I hope so. Biggest changes I’ve noticed are a greater need for naps and botox.

Here’s where I’m going with this: I thought when I hit the big time with my writing – when I got a big book contract, when fancy people told me I was good, when I started getting recognized and talked about behind my back that I Would Be Different.  Bippity Boppity Boo!  Author.  BAM! That someone would place that Title upon my head like a Tiara and I would finally feel as if I had arrived. I would finally realize that All Was Well and I would find that elusive self-confidence and peace and PHEW. That with a little recognition and official validation, I would become a different person. Metamorphosis.  Long ago I would have told you that I knew that wasn’t true, St Anne  PROMISED me it wasn’t true in Bird by Bird . . . . but deep down I still thought it was. I thought THAT’s what I needed. All my other problems would melt away like Cinderella’s tattered clothes.

Grown Up. BAM. Mother BAM. Author BAM.

Listen. No BAMS. It’s not true. I am still the same damn person, full of insecurities (maybe more) and anxiety (definitely more) and tons of guilt and insanity. And love and joy.

I’ve been writing some pretty heavy (and funny) new stuff for the book and all of this going even deeper is hard on me and my marriage. It’s like intense therapy with no therapist there with me. It’s like opening Pandora’s box. Exactly like that. Dangerous. There is no end to it. And I think you have to open that box if you’re a writer, but if you are not a writer I really recommend just upping your meds and keeping Pandora’s box SHUT NICE AND TIGHT when it comes to your relationships and your own psyche. I have done both, for the record. Opened and Upped. And hired an individual therapist in addition to a marital one. It’s getting hot up in here.

And I’ve become a full-tile working mom. With a babysitter here with us all day. I need to think of a good title for Sarah because babysitter is NOT the right word, since she’s a professional and because she’s becoming part of our family. And I don’t like nanny because it feels fancy and we are not fancy. Sarah is a dream, and even so, it’s been a hard transition for us. My kids are confused, and they cry for me a lot. I am  every other mother who has transitioned back to work. Full of confusion, guilt, and sadness. And relief tinged with ecstasy.

When I was finishing my book proposal- both of my little girls had a viscous flu. My parents were here to help, but the girls wanted ME. And I was on a deadline. So the three of us stayed up in my bedroom all day, and I’d finish a sentence and run over to hold back Tish’s hair while she threw up. Then I’d run downstairs, clean out the pan, run back upstairs, finish another sentence, and run to Amma to hold back her hair while she puked. Then I’d rub her back while she cried and think . . . how long do I have to hold her? I need to get back to the computer. Is this long enough???  Glamorous and endearing stuff, working and momming.

And even when there IS glamour, there are problems. Sister and I spent a weekend in a very fancy hotel in New York City recently, meeting with ten of the biggest publishers in the biz. They all wanted our book. We met with amazing people, ate at incredible restaurants, spent a lot of time being told how wonderful we were, and had organic juice smoothies delivered to our hotel room each morning. It was time outside of time. After the first few hours, I became convinced that I was as wonderful as everyone was telling me I was. This is dangerous territory. You must never believe anyone who tells you that you  are AMAZINGLY PERFECT or you’re HORRIBLY TERRIBLE. We are all somewhere in the middle. But I forgot this rule, and  as we were leaving one swanky New York restaurant, the elegant host nodded and said “Congratulations and Good Luck, Ma’am.”  I smiled demurely and said , “Oh. Thank you. Yes.” When we stepped outside I tackled  Sister and said OH MY GOD! Even the WAITERS know about us!”  And sister said, “Glennon, he was talking to the pregnant lady behind you.”

Still. It was like that. I was kind of famous for a weekend, if only in my own head.

But when I got on the train to come home, I checked my phone and saw that I had several urgent texts from friends. My kids had missed three birthday parties that weekend. Craig and I had crossed wires, and I let down some good friends that weekend. We just didn’t show up for their kids. Because, you know, I was in New York being fancy. The whole way home from that life changing weekend I felt like crap. I carried that pit in my stomach- the one that says- you can’t do it all. You just can’t. Not all at once, at least.

And that’s okay. That’s okay. We don’t have to do it all at once. The head knows that, but the heart is a jerk and a half.

Anyway. I do have a couple points here.

My first point is that I am afraid there is no one thing For Which We Are Waiting That Is Going Make Things All Better. One day we will get that thing we thought would fix everything (we will get married, we will have that baby, we will land that job, lose those twenty pounds) and we will find that we are still ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are. Maddening. Here’s one of my favorite worksheets of Chase’s. I think he had this concept down in second grade.

 

“You should just enjoy your life the way it is, because it’s not gonna get any better.”

At first it’s kinda depressing. But then it’s freeing, really. Something about deciding to be happy NOW. THIS is the DAY, not one in the future. Something like that. Whatever. I’m going to yoga in an hour and this strange concept makes sense to me there.

My second point is that some amazing things are going to come our way soon. But really, to me, all the important things have already happened on this blog. This extra stuff is just icing on the cake.

And this blog will NOT become a chronicle of our rise to success. It will still be me, trying to make sense of things behind the scenes- trying to be a mom and a worker and a wife and a friend and a Monkee. And you, trying to do all the same or different things.

So, Anyway-

Dear G to the O to the D –

 Let the waves swell, let the storms come, let the rain pour and let our Monkee boat remain steady.

 

Love, G

 

Apr 092012
 

 

Here is a brutiful story about one of my favorite families.  I am honored to introduce you to Monkees Laura, Jaime, and Simon. I have learned so, so very much from them. I hope you do, too.

Please listen to Laura and Jaime from your heart.

Comments are closed here . . . if you’re interested, you can like the Devotion Project’s Facebook page  here or check out their website here.  Or/and leave a comment for Jaime and Laura on their beautiful blog. 

Love,

G

Apr 062012
 

 

Friends. I miss you.

Here is what is going on over here:

I’m writing to you from a new office this morning – Craig’s office, which used to be the “baby’s room.” Since no baby ever came, this room became Craig’s work-from-home-office, and I did all of my writing at a desk in our bedroom.

It soon became clear that we were going to need to trade offices. Because the thing is that when your desk is right next to your bed, your bed attacks you. Sort of like the Botox situation. So every time Craig came in to see “how my writing was going,” Theo and I were sound asleep in my bed. Soooooo coooozy. So this morning Craig moved all of my things into his office and made me sit in here. It’s nice and bright and I like it. New perspectives are always good. I’m still tired, though, and I’m not afraid to snuggle up on the floor. We’ll see.

So: Yesterday a Monkee asked me when and how to talk to kiddos about sex.

Oh, my goodness. I don’t know.  We haven’t really gone there yet. We’re easing into the tough stuff.

A few months ago, Chase starting mentioning “bad words” a lot. My guess is that some kiddos in the neighborhood or at school were talking about it and he was getting curious. Maybe obsessed would be a better word. What are the bad words, mom? Why are they bad? How can words be bad?  And my favorite- Mom, are bad words just misspelled words?

Craig and I decided to sit down one night and tell Chase every bad word we knew. It became important to us that Chase understood that there was no information “out there” that he couldn’t get straight from us. So we listed all the bad words we knew and we sat together in his bunk bed and we said them each aloud to him. Except for the F word.  Neither of us could bring ourselves to say the F word to our little man’s sweet face. So we told him there was another one that started with F, but we couldn’t say it. And unfortunately Chase said, “Ooooh. I think I know that one. Is it the one you say when you can’t get the front door open, mom?” And I avoided eye contact with Craig and said. Yeah. That one.

We explained to Chase that there was nothing inherently wrong with any of these words, because they were just letters strung together – and because “bad words” are different in every culture and time. We said that they do have power, though, because in our particular culture, these words, along with many, many others, can cause strong feelings in other people. Maybe not all people, but some. You never, ever know who will be affected by them and who won’t. Sometimes people will even act like certain words don’t hurt them, but they really do. And since we love people and want to be very, very careful with their feelings, we try not to use words that can hurt people.

We also told him that if he shared any of these words with his buddies he was dead meat.

He seemed satisfied.

But sex. IYIYIIIII. Not so simple, to me.

The sex talk scares me, for one simple reason. I don’t have sex figured out yet. I really don’t.

I know it’s not cool or maybe even reasonable to say, but I really do believe that it’s best to save sex for marriage. Because I have ALL KINDS of issues with sex, and I think some of them stem from the way that both Craig and I used sex with other people before we were married. Irresponsibly, lightly, recreationally, desperately. Not good. And there is residual damage for both of us.

But then again….how would I tell that to Chase? Sex before marriage is a mistake, Chase. I mean, sex before marriage also resulted in the most precious gift I’ve ever been given- Chase, himself.

Tricky.

And I know they say, stick with basics, right? Just talk about vaginas and penises and fertilization. But- that’s so not it. That’s like trying to teach a child about God by describing a church. Or explaining marriage by describing a wedding ceremony. It’s just not it, at all.

So anyway, I don’t know, is my answer. I have no idea how to talk to kiddos about sex. I don’t think I’m the right one to ask.  It’s like how scared I am to talk to my girls about body image and food and the like- because- ummm…I’ve never been an expert at walking that line.

So I was hoping you brilliant Monkees might have some sex talk ideas. Do you?  If so, help us please.

Maybe we can start here. I think this is a brilliant place to start.

 

And let us remember, there’s probably no “right way.” Probably just lots of good enough ways. We don’t want to be perfect, ladies.  If we are, our kids will have NO MATERIAL. That would suck.

 

 

Love you,

G