Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Dear John letter

Dear John,
Today I broke. I am so sorry. It was one of the long Saturdays when we don't break it up enough, when we expect too much from you, when I get overwhelmed and just want to want a minute. Truth be told, I don't want to play with you all the time. Don't get me wrong, I adore when we squirt each other with the hose, play and splash around in your pool, play trains and tractors, and of course, sing along with you as you belt out everything from Eminem to The Sound of Music.But sometimes on the 765th time of "backpack backpack", I become overwhelmed. I just want Pop to get you and drive you around, I want a break.
Admittedly, when you threw your IPAD in the pool, went to the bathroom on the floor, ate the frozen yogurt with your hands, knocked over the dog's water for the third time, put your open Gatorade bottle that was half full on my bed, pulled all of your sister's clothes out of the drawers, and took everything out of your brother's closet-I got angry. I grabbed your arm too hard, I yelled, I asked you questions you wouldn't or couldn't answer. What I did was lose control. I hate when I do that, when I am weak. I can imagine Mimo would say that weakness is unbecoming, and she'd be right. I fell apart. And the guilt is awful. You deserve better. You don't make eye contact often, but when you do, I sometimes feel you are looking through me, wondering how I don't get it by now. And I can't  help and think of what you'd say to me if you could. Help me, play with me, understand me, know me?  I want you do know I am trying.
 I felt like we had a good first part of the day. We played, took a walk, had your favorite foods, watched your shows, went outside. So I keep asking myself- what happened? I ask that question, knowing I may never have the answer.
I want you to know your curiosity, mischievousness, and "being a boy" are my very favorite things about you. Your perseverance to have whatever it is you want at that exact moment is not your fault, that is my blood running through your veins. I just hope you understand that I am doing the best I can, that I love you with all my heart and that I promise I will do better tomorrow.
This Dear John letter is a bit different, it is a commitment to you my dear Johnny, to your development, to your happiness. It has been and is going to be quite a ride, we both better hold on.......
A little light reading...............

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Loving yourself

"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within."- Maya Angelou

What would it be like to look in the mirror and smile every single time?  No judgement, no critical eye, just plain acceptance.  Or even better, if you looked in the mirror and actually liked what you saw. I am so happy that for Elizabeth, this is what it is like. What is it about her disability or possibly and probably more likely, her ability, to love the person she looks at in the mirror? She kisses herself, puts her hands in the air as if to say "look at me", and is genuinely proud.  I am in awe of it.
I don't know what the future will hold for her, what she will or won't be able to accomplish. Whether or not she will speak, grow taller, or do simple tasks on her own. But I do know this, she has mastered what most women I know (including myself), never will-appreciating herself for exactly who she is.
This particular morning, she was in the kitchen before school giving her "ta-da" pose and my husband was lucky enough to catch it. I had moved a mirror down from her room for a jewelry party for friends to take a look at their potential purchases on themselves before committing. As usual, I hadn't yet put the mirror back upstairs where it belonged so Elizabeth was able to watch herself eat, play, clap and sing.  
Besides treasuring this picture,  I am going to try and learn a lesson from sweet Elizabeth. I am going to make a concerted effort to trade hating my love handles, cellulite and dark circles for loving my spirit, my heart, and my innate abilities. I want to try, I hope you will too. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dear Potential Employer

It is time to start the dreaded job seeking process so I have been brainstorming some potential selling points about myself in my hiatus from the workplace. Let me know what you think.

To whom it may concern:

I recently read about your opening in the BS section of Job Postings on SomewhatConnected and I believe I am more than qualified. 
Below are a few examples of why you should not only consider hiring me, but why I am the best candidate for the position. 

Relevant skills:

Highly efficient:
I can walk into Kroger with a little cart at 2:25 and out by 2:45 with $136 in groceries (Admission: I still do not have a clue what my family will eat for dinner.)

Strong work ethic:
I am up very early and many times throughout the night and am able to somewhat successfully meet my children's needs  (Admission: I require midafternoon naps.)

I will wear make-up every day. (Admission: I sleep in it.)

Almost always, unless confronted with phrases such as  "at the end of the day", "all our ducks in a row" or "on the same page". (Admission: the aforementioned boardroom phrases cause horrific flashbacks and I will need to take to my bed for 72 hours or go on a bender-either way, I won't be at work)

I stayed in a job I despised for 8 years (Admission: I skated by for 6 of them) 

Extremely ambitious:
I once signed up for a 5K and finished it. 
(Admission: I walked.)

Ability to multi-task:
I am literally pulled by my children in different directions and have to figure out daily, sometimes minute by minute, how to make everyone happy or at least somewhat  satisfied  (It is still it easier to please two significantly disabled children than 90% of my former employers)
(Admission: I don't like to be told what to do)

Totally flexible
(Admission: Available 9:00 AM-2:30 PM most days. Note: I prefer to have Fridays off in case my friends are going to lunch. It doesn't happen often, but ideally would like to leave it open just in case. You understand, with your golf schedule and all, you won't miss me a bit.)

Salary Requirements:
(Admission: there is no basis for it, it is just a fact)

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Although, truth be told, it's best to contact me between 8:00 PM-9:15 PM (unless it's Monday, 24 is back!). 

No worries about this future employee "leaning in". Zoning out, maybe. 
Oh, just FYI-I won't sue for any reason, way too much paperwork.


MAB-Mary Claire Alexander Brass-AKA-
(Mediocre at Best)

Attachments: None. My resume, much like myself, is a "work in progress".

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Feeling overwhelmed with emotion and sadness for the Nigerian girls and their families.

As Mother's Day approaches, if your daughter is safe, be grateful. Do not let these girls leave your thoughts. I am trying to imagine them as safe and at home with their families and will support any efforts to get them there. 

I could not get in touch with my son for just two hours yesterday and was about to lose my mind (my 12 year-old) These 12 year-old daughters are at risk of being sold or worse. They are at risk for the unimaginable.

All I know to do is sign a petition at, so I did, and I have tweeted with the #BringBackOurGirls. I haven't called my Senator or Congressman, so I will do that today. And now I sit in my freedom and I pray for their strength, their resolve, their souls, their lives. These girls and their families do not have what we have-choices, education, opportunity. Is there a greater global crisis than this that is going seemingly unnoticed? 
How are we not doing more? 

If you know of other ways to help, could you share them?

Thank you.