Wednesday, March 02, 2011



noun \trə-ˈdi-shən\
a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)

Thanks again to the folks on my Facebook fan page who threw a heck of a lot of words my way when I asked for some writing inspiration. I was happily surprised only about half of them were insults and curses. You sure know how to treat a gal!

I just about died laughing when the word "traditional" was suggested. Not because it's a bad word, but because I consider myself anything but.

"Are you serious, Maven?" You ask loudly, nearly spilling your piping hot coffee all over the keyboard as you jump out of your seat. I get where you're coming from, readers. I'm a stay-at-home-mom to three kids in the suburbs. I do a ridiculous amount of baking and cook lots of lovely meals for my family. I married a boy I met when I was in high school. I drive a minivan and volunteer in the classroom. It doesn't get much more traditional than that, does it?

But you need to excavate just a little deeper than that, my dear sheeple. In the words of my idol, Glee's Sue Sylvester, let me break it down for you. Here are five things that will shatter the Holly Housewife impression of yours truly:

1. I moved out on my own at 16.
Not exactly typical for a Canadian teenager, but there you have it. I hope like crazy none of my kids are dumb enough to follow in my footsteps, but that's what I needed to do at the time. I couch-surfed for a little while, spent a couple of memorable nights in stairwells, a few months in halfway houses, and a short but terrifying stint at the downtown YM/YWCA. I did this all while still going to school and maintaining a decent average. It was the best and worst time of my life. I didn't always know where my next meal was going to come from, but I had a deep belief that it wouldn't always be like this. And it hasn't been, thankfully. A few months after moving out, I met the love of my life, and together we built this awesome little family.

2. I've been clean and sober since June 13, 1991.
This is the day I entered a six-month live-in treatment program and my life changed forever. This year will mark my 20th one sober. And yes, that would have made me fourteen. Can you really be an addict at fourteen? Um, yeah, dude. Trust me on that one. I now have a fourteen-year-old. This year it's really hit me just how young I was. To be so broken at that age is unbelievable. This non-traditional experience of mine means that when I say to him "And remember: I can smell alcohol from a mile away" I'm not kidding - and he knows it. Having been the teen my friends' parents hated, I know how being bad works. My poor gremlins are going to have a very difficult time hiding any kind of rebellion from me. I almost feel sorry for them. But it definitely makes me a very aware (and probably far too paranoid) mom.

3. I absolutely love Eminem and other naughty music.
Ever hear me rap along to Jay-Z? That's too bad; you're really missing out. My minivan regularly bumps mad beats as I drive to the school board for a Special Education Advisory Committee meeting. I sort of teeter on trashy, but I'm not quite there just yet. Thank goodness I'm well-spoken. And I refuse to sing/rap any verses with double negatives in them. Sorry, but The Maven has grammatical standards.

4. I'm an agnostic.
Raised Catholic, but now a highly non-commital adult. I don't believe in any religions, I celebrate Santa's birthday, and honestly don't feel my soul needs saving - but thank you very much for trying. My kids aren't baptized and don't go to church. I tried my hand at - and studied - many religions in my lifetime, but ultimately I can't find a single one that is a good fit for me. I believe in something greater than me, but that thing - that higher power - holds no judgement and makes no rules. I'm not quite sure it's even intelligent or has free thought. In the end, I think men and women are equal, gays can make excellent spouses and parents, and that you should be able to do whatever you damn well please as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. So I suppose I'm generically spiritual - not exactly the suburban mom norm. If anyone starts sending me religious pamphlets I promise to make them into pretty origami; just ask the Jehovah's Witnesses that kept coming by last year. Their newsletters make lovely swans.

5. I sit in my bed at 5:30PM and blog instead of making dinner.
Normally, Mommy Maven would be in the kitchen making something hot and nutritious for her children. But right now she doesn't feel like it. I took them out sledding today. I hosted a sleepover last night. They can have grilled cheese and carrots so I can finish my blog post. This is the price you pay for being the child of an in-demand blogger. All five of my readers are counting on me to provide them with quality content.

And there you have it. Things you might not know about me and probably didn't really care to know, anyway. Did I burst your bubble? Are you crushed that I'm not the sweet innocent mommy you thought I was?

Traditionally Yours,
The Heathen The Maven


  1. The more I read about you, the more I like you...and am impressed by you.

    Rock on Maven!

  2. Nicely done. I can definitely relate. Although I'm not sure I feel the same way about Eminem. Jay-Z? Meh. (Not to slam your posse, or anything like that.) Now, Bruno Mars I like.

  3. i'm more of an old-school hiphopper myself, but .... different strokes lady, different strokes... :) i can't type 'tradition' without doing fiddler on the roof, so so hard...


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