The Extraordinary Way Hodor Is Every Mom’s Hero

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? My husband, Rick, and I are addicted. We’re still detoxing from the Season 6 finale. What keeps me watching is how quickly the sordid story line moves. What keeps me intrigued is how extraordinarily human the characters are. It’s easy to see yourself in Sansa as she grows a backbone while busting balls and taking names or relate to the loneliness of Jon… Oh, Jon. I can help you with that. Wait, what? I mean… Or Geoffry’s desire to torture and kill people who make him mad. No? Me either. I don’t ever think about that either.

Anyway, what I didn’t expect was the character that emotionally grabbed me during last season and permanently became my spirit animal with one scene. Hodor has always been in the background. His dedication and loyalty have always been admirable traits but traits easily overlooked and taken for granted. But then he was given a grand purpose bigger than himself and bigger than Bran. As I watched Hodor hold the door to give humanity a chance for survival I saw it.  I felt it.  His pain, his agony, his intentions that were so strong, willed by his unrelenting perseverance that only demons from the deepest depths of Hell could threaten to overwhelm.  As I watched Hodor “hold the door” I saw myself in him as a tear rolled from my eye, down my cheek.  A little bit of me died with him.  Feelings I had repressed for years were festering back to the surface. Let me back up.

Before I had kids I would look forward to my “me” time. Interpret that as you will. I interpret it as “a bath”. It was definitely the highlight of my day. I would get home from my second visit to the gym in a day (yes, I had enough free time to go to the gym TWO times a day. Lately I haven’t visited the gym in about 4 months. What? That’s not lately? You’re absolutely right.) I would squeeze my body into the small tub that is standard in non-luxury apartments, filled to the brim with hot water (since my water bill was included in my rent I had a personal rule that the water had to cover my boobs. Then and only then was the tub full enough. It’s a great rule of thumb.) I would dump into the water whatever Bath & Body Works shower gel was on sale during the last Semi Annual Sale and soak it all in. I’d lock the door. Not that anyone cared to come in. But it ensured that I was ALL ALONE. I’m an extrovert but I HAVE to decompress. Regroup and recharge myself. There’s something relaxing about allowing my mind to go blank. Totally blank. I didn’t have ANY thoughts in my head. I forgot what that’s like. Slight tangent alert: The other day I thought my dog, Lola, ran away. Turns out she was just hiding. I don’t even know where! Sometimes I think she’s a time traveler. Hell, she may not even be a dog.

Anyway, when I had my daughter I quickly realized that the “me” bath time was over. She wasn’t a sleeper or one of those babies that was happy being away from my body. She made that quite apparent from the beginning. It pretty much went down like this: I took her home and she sat me down on the couch and said, “Listen, ma. This sleep thing. Yeah, not fa me. I’m gonna need you to stop it with the ‘night time’ routine. It ain’t gonna help. Also, dis ‘you bein’ alone’ thing needs ta stop, too. It’s my time now. Get dat? My. Time.” Not sure why, in my mind, my newborn daughter sounds like Joe Pesci… Anyway. I would take a bath with her baby seat next to the tub or a shower with the curtain open so she could see me. If she couldn’t, well, she made it very clear that she was not happy with that situation. Things in the “alone time” department just got worse from there.

When my husband and I moved into our first house I was SO EXCITED! We had a HUGE tub. Oh the baths I could take in there! I purchased one of those things that sits across the tub with a book holder AND A WINE GLASS HOLDER! I couldn’t find one with a bottle holder so I had to settle but that’s ok. AND A BOOK?! I haven’t read a book since I was a flight attendant 13 years ago! I had visions of locking the world out again. Bath party of one? HERE! I’m right here! Please don’t give my table away!

Then I realized that there was no lock on the door to the master bathroom. And thus began a “discussion” between Rick and me that would plant the seed for my connection with Hodor, still years away from being realized. Me: We need a door on the bathroom that locks. Rick: But then I can’t get in if I need to. Me: We need a door on the bathroom that locks. Rick: Just lock the bedroom door. Me: There are times when I need to get into the bedroom but I can’t because you’ve locked the bedroom door to take a shower. We need a door on the bathroom that locks. Rick: Changes the subject.

But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. One day I had an epiphany. I pulled my ponytail holder from my hair and wrapped it around the two French door handles. Done. Now I can rest in peace. Now I can- Nope. My three-year-old son broke it. He broke the ponytail holder. Then he sauntered into the bathroom simultaneously breaking my dreams of quiet and hopes of dignity as he began to take HIS clothes off to join me. Uh- RIIIIIIIIICK!

kids breaking in

When we moved into our new new house I once again had big expectations for my bathtub. Ok, full disclosure. If I WANT to lock myself away in “A” bathroom now, I can. We have more than one bathroom. But I want MY tub. Mine. Not some spare bath tub that hasn’t been properly broken in with my bubbles and grime. It’s the equivalent of a dog pissing on its favorite tree. Locking my bedroom door doesn’t fix the problem. My kids will just sit outside the door knocking and crying and screaming my name until the dogs join in with their howling and the neighbors become concerned and the next thing you know the police are busting in the door while the hubs is asleep in the basement watching Game of Thrones on the big screen. Rick, this is a matter of saving humanity. MY humanity.

So fast forward, as I watched the Hodor hold the door I realized that he was humanity’s rubber band, only with more loyalty and determination. My theoretical door lock that tried so hard to protect me but in the end couldn’t hold them back.  I had a flashback to Roman flinging the door open with all of his might, so proud that he found my hiding place. It started with a “Mooooooom! Where are you?” Then the door jiggled as he rattled the handle. Next were his little fingers showing me beneath the scantily locked door that it was, in fact, him. As opposed to anyone else who sounds like a little bear cub that might be trying to breach my fortress of solitude. My ponytail holder yelled to the universe, “HODOR!” with a primal cry but, alas, there was nowhere to go.  The monster had one objective. He had me cornered and he knew it.  The hands that had once been so cute and sweet were now prying their way in and neither Hodor nor I couldn’t stop the invasion.  My rubber band snapped.  Hodor was overcome.  Yes, they found me.  My kids found my quiet place.  Now, I realized, there truly was no safe place. Just a little quiet. That’s all I want.

Please tell me you have secret ways to get some quiet time!  Any suggestions left inter comments are greatly appreciated!

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Me, Myself, and Aliens

IMG_0506It was a Saturday night. And for the first time in probably eight years, I was alone with nothing to do and it was GLORIOUS!

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me provide a benchmark for what a “normal” Saturday evening entails.

My husband, my 2 love-nuggets, and I spend our entire Saturday going to dance class, running errands, cleaning the house (ok, my husband is usually attacking that first then I feel guilty and do stuff, too), maybe I get to sneak out for an hour or so to work on my fitness, dinner, family movie night.

All day I’m with someone. And I love it. Until I need a “me” break.

“But, E, don’t you get that at the gym?”  You may ask…

Not the same. What I’m talking about when I refer to a “me” break is a string of hours (no, not just one) where I can have my house to myself. I can leave the house if I want. But I don’t HAVE to. I can stay if I want. And binge on Netflix. And no one is there to say, “first we need to…” or “Mommy, I need…” or, my personal favorite, “Mommy, there’s poo…”

As someone who needs alone time to recharge and not hate people, taking time for myself is a big part of caring for my mental health. Since you’re reading this post and have presumably some knowledge of my inner thoughts you are well aware that this doesn’t happen often.

{B.T.Dubs, to those of you who have said I need medication after reading my posts, you are absolutely correct. But I don’t care. Because I’m crazy. And I like it. All creative people are crazy. You’re welcome.}

So what did the night bring me you ask?

I’m about to tell you. But don’t be jealous.

I dropped Bella off at her friends’ for a sleep over at 4:30. By 4:45 I was at the gym. I got in a 5mile elliptical thing in…

{I don’t know, do I consider it a run if it’s on the elliptical? I’m convinced that treadmills are evil living beings that aim to kill us off and take over the world so I don’t use them. I envision myself flying off the back then my long ponytail gets caught in the motor and I get scalped or even worse, my pants leg gets caught and I’m naked from the waist down and then everyone will know why I wear shorts over my running tights. #cameltoe  Speaking of, I’ve heard there’s a surgical procedure for that… ewe.}

Anyway, then I went to Smoothie King convinced that a Lean1 smoothie would be my dinner, went home, let my doggies out, turned on Unsealed: Alien Files, just to see if I’m at risk of being abducted any time soon.

{Turns out, as long as I’m not on Catalina Island I’m safe from the Praying Mantis alien species}

Of course the smoothie didn’t last and I soon found myself hungry for REAL food. The options were endless, really. I mean, it was just me! So I did what any lazy person does… I opened my freezer, took out the Tyson nugget bag and plopped about 10 of those bad boys on a cookie sheet.

But let’s go back to the main event of the night. “Unsealed: Alien Files” deserves some discussion time. Anyone watched one of these “alien” shows before? They’re fanTASTIC.

Here’s the jist of all of these alien shows: aliens are the cause of everything. Why are we smart? Aliens. Why do people disappear? Dam aliens. Why is the government secretive? Effin aliens. Who created the world? Probably those effin aliens. Is God an alien? Mayans? They’re aliens. All of ‘em. Native Americans? Golden children of the aliens. Worm holes? Scientifically speaking, they are portals for aliens.

Why do I watch these shows? BECAUSE THE INTERVIEWS ARE AMAZING! These people are self-proclaimed “UFO experts” otherwise known as “ufologists”. How does one become a “ufologist”? I plan on accomplishing whatever training is required to obtain the rights to use that credential.

Furthermore, the narrator. Does he believe what he is saying? I lean towards “yes” because he speaks with such conviction.

{He’s like the Mariah Carey of narrators. I mean, you BELIEVE because he MAKES you believe. With his commanding voice. I need him to come over and tell my kids that they WANT to clean their rooms.}

But then again, he could just be really good at his job and all the while he’s thinking, “Are these people serious?” I guess we’ll never know. Unless HE gets interviewed… I may work on that. Maybe start a podcast. Have a segment called “interview the narrator of crazy shat”.

Anyway, I watched it for so long that I’ve had to hit “continue watching” 3 times. That’s Netflix’s passive-aggressive way of saying, “You are officially binge watching and we think you need to actively select a button to continue watching so we make sure you’re alive. If not, we won’t bother streaming anymore.” I bet the person who created that feature is southern. No one does passive-aggressive like we do.

Slight tangent alert:

You think Tiger Moms are bad? Y’all, please. They ain’t got nuthin’ on southern moms. Helicopter Moms? Southern moms are their mentors. Ever heard of Catholic guilt? Guess who they learned it from? But that’s a different topic for a different day.

Any who…

My welcomed solitude ended around 10:30. From 4:30 to 10:30 was perfect. Just enough time to realize I was incomplete without my fam but glad I had time to spend with me. Cuz I’m pretty awesome… and so are YOU!

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