Monday, March 12, 2012

A Reminder from my Daughter

Some things that make me laugh are sometimes hard to put into words, but I will try.  When do our children turn into real people, ones that we MIGHT hang out with by choice, because they are funny or enjoyable?  
Sometimes people think my kids are funny because of what I post on facebook or the stories I tell, but those are different because I post most of those as coping mechanisms because thats just how they are. They aren't trying to be funny. 
This morning as we were passing the neighbors house, the for sale sign was lying on the ground. Sally thought this was very dramatic and a very big deal.  I said, "It's not that big of a deal.  It could have not been nailed down hard enough, or it could have loosened with the melting of the snow, or a car could have hit it, or the wind could have blown it down.  No big deal."  
And Chloe muttered, "Or it could have been the Big Bad Wolf coming around blowing it down."  And she gave me a look that, all at once said:  " I could have said this louder and made Sally scared but I am saying it under my breath because I think it's kind of funny and you might too.  And don't worry, Mom, as I enter these teen age years, even though I am not always available and sometimes crabby for no reason, I really love you and we will always be tight.  This stuff is normal, Mom. Don’t worry.  I Love you.”
Yep, I’m pretty sure thats what the look said. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Make it Shine

If a teacher told me to revise, I thought that meant my writing was a broken-down car that needed to go to the repair shop. I felt insulted. I didn't realize the teacher was saying, 'Make it shine. It's worth it.' Now I see revision as a beautiful word of hope. It's a new vision of something. It means you don't have to be perfect the first time. What a relief!

– Naomi Shihab Nye, writer

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coming Around Again

Lindsey recently wrote a post about our bodies and how to pass on healthy attitudes about our bodies to our children. A brave and very wise woman responded and shared how she gains weight when things aren’t going well and what to learn from that. 
The last two years have been fraught with changes for me - some external that you might be able to see or I could easily explain.  Most of them internal, some of them I can verbalize, but most of them I can’t. 
For the last few weeks, the stars aligned in a nasty way. I couldn’t shake a cold, I couldn’t finish anything, my husband was traveling a ton, and varied from being crabby and distant when he was home.  Everyone was annoying me and it scared me that I didn’t like anyone or anything anymore.  Everything became a weird dream in which everything was amplified.  My children would never get through needing help with their homework because of their disabilities, my house will never, ever be clean or organized until the kids moved out and then it would get clean and perfect and I would die of lonliness on the spot when I realized they would never be back for good. I could never possibly be a good wife, good mother, good daughter, good friend, and failed miserably at all of these. I was an overweight failure who couldn’t write, couldn’t finish anything, and had no friends and we would never have enough money to pay our bills. 
When I read this post about depression, I ceded that I might be depressed. And maybe I was, but I think it was more, and less than depression.  There were some things that I had been unintentionally stuffing deep down, and it came a time that there was no more room in there to keep it down.  And then I started to pay attention, and this stuffing was actually causing pressure; it became too much of an effort to keep it in.  I could literally feel the tears behind my eyes all the time, but they were stuck there behind my eyes, unable to break through. 
And then, of course, there came a point where it had to release.  I was very scared of the release, of who would be hurt now because I could no longer hold it. Trying to describe it, I keep coming up with gross images that I don’t want associated with this time and piece.  So I think I will go with a child losing a tooth.  At first, it is almost imperceptible, but something is changing.  Then you realize that there will be a change, and you are given time to grapple with it.  There is a huge build up, and  you simply can’t ignore it.  
And then the tooth comes out with lots of blood purging out and leaves an empty hole.  Then you realize that the bleeding has stopped, and there is a nice new open space, making room for new growth. 
And it’s really fun to rub around on that spot, wondering what will come.  Sometimes you may think about the old tooth, or think about the scary feelings associated with losing it.  Or the new space may feel a little vulnerable.  But mostly, it feels open and full of possibilities.