Monday, August 30, 2010

One of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days? Maybe two?

You know the kind.

You get out of bed to what seems like a normal morning. Everything is as it should be.

And then, without warning, out of the blue...it hits you.

All of a sudden you go from thinking about how good your life is, to thinking about everything that is wrong with it.

Maybe wrong, is a little strong of a word.

In fact, even while typing it, I thought to myself, "wrong?.?.?.....I wouldn't say that anything is wrong in my life....."

But, for the life of me, at this moment, I am unsure of how to better explain it.

Rather, I will give an example.

This morning, instead of being thankful for the fact that I am able to work part time, I find myself wallowing in the jealousy pool that I wasn't able to be a full-time stay at home mom the years prior to my kids starting school.

In my mind I have romanticized "play dates" and "mommy's day out". I have envisioned going to bed at night knowing that I didn't have to go anywhere the next day. One day of playing turning into another day of playing.

Normally I am perfectly content, and in fact, feel EXTREMELY blessed that I was able to be with my children as much as I was. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I would be working part time, have a wonderful husband, two beautiful kids and a warm, cozy place that I love to call home, but today, I am wrestling with the jealousy monster.

I am ashamed of this. I really am.

Normally, I tell Steven how thankful I am for our life. In fact I have told him before that I "want for nothing".

Now, do not mistake this as me saying "I have everything", because that is NOT the case. I do not. But I find that I am so content with what I have that it is almost alarming. Personality-wise, I think it would be safe to generally categorize me under the "I pick everything about myself apart" column. That is why my contentment with my life is so monumental.

Until today.

Today I am reading blogs and thinking "look at their house", or "she dresses up and stays home with her kids", "look how THEY take long walks at the park", or "they get to do this....."

I am jealous of people I don't know, houses I have never seen, and circumstances that might not even be as "picturesque" on the inside as they are on the outside. Even if they are....good for them!

Generally speaking, when I compare myself to others I see my shortcomings....but I am not jealous.

Today? Total jealousy.

So, excuse me now while I try to detox my mind, ask God for his direction and forgiveness, and thank Him for this wonderful life that He has provided me....... In the meantime? Well, I think that today I should stay away from everyone else's blog.

It will just be better this way. Otherwise I will quit my job (which won't help since my kids are now in school), want to finish my basement, redecorate the entire upstairs and try and weave together grapevines out of our woods to make baskets big enough to store all of this "PATHETIC" that I have lying around.....

Lets face it....I don't have that kind of energy today.

Hopefully I will be much more zen, and content, tomorrow.

Hopefully.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Everyone in town knows"

As you know, school started last week. Actually, a week ago today, to be exact.

I wasn't prepared when L started kindergarten two years ago and I remember the lump in my throat and the ache in my chest as if it were yesterday.

I also remember chastising myself because I never, never thought that I would be "one of those parents". Pitiful. Pathetic. Parents.

You know the type.




Parents who live through their children with seemingly no definition of self...or at least self sans kids.




Well, all I can say now is, "what did my 19 year old self know?"




Nothing. That's what.




*****************




I think that what has become ever so apparent to me over the last seven years is that, now that I have kids, and am a "pitiful, pathetic parent", my extreme sense of loss over my children starting school has nothing to do with having no "definition of self" but rather a more clear, precise and defined "definition" than I have EVER had before.




*****************


I am so often scolded for being "hard on myself" and "unhappy with myself". While both of these things are true.....there are SO many things that I would change....it is also true that I (I am actually going to 'say' it) like myself more since children, than I have ever liked myself before.




I loved being the mother of a baby.




I loved being the mother of a toddler.




I loved being the mother of a preschooler.




And, yes, I love being the mother of school age children.




However, I don't feel as if I am ready for my time to be up, as a mother of the "others".




*************************




Last Wednesday I woke up, walked into the dining room where Steven was figuring his bills, and went into the ugly cry.




The cry may, or may not, have been accompanied by me begging him to let me have another baby......and the words "I am not done", repeated fervently.




(I am not proud...but I am honest.)




He hugged me.




He held me.




He patted my back and wiped my tears.




He consoled me.




And he assured me that "we", were in fact, done.




Admitting defeat I returned to the bathroom, put on my make-up and fixed my hair, got dressed, and then went in and woke up L who was "excited" for her first day of 2nd (where have the years gone?) grade.




I then went in and looked at my baby lying on the bed fast asleep as he had so many times before.




I kissed his head and stroked his cheek.




I took a deep breath, picked him up and held him in my lap as I did when he was a baby, and whispered softly, "B....it's time to wake up...."




Then, without even opening his eyes, his face scrunched up and the tears started flowing as he turned his head into my chest and cried, "I am going to miss you SOOO much."




(It was about this time that I knew that I was going to need to reapply my make-up.)




One thing I can say about my B is that when he knows something is ahead of him, even if it is unpleasant, he doesn't try to get out of it, he wants to just go ahead and (in his words) "get it over with".




Once during breakfast, and once on the ride to school, I spotted him blinking his eyes quickly and looking upwards as if willing the tears to relocate and go anywhere but down his cheeks....each time saying "I am so nervous.".




We arrived at school and Steven, L, B and I walked towards the building. I stopped B, having him take a picture outside his new school. He showed none of the signs of nervousness that he had before.









Two of my friends, Amanda and Amy, were outside, having just taken their children in. I had pep talked myself the whole way there and had kept the tears at bay. I walked towards them, kids flanked by my sides, and smiled to them.




They then asked "How are you doing?".....and it was as if they had given the dam permission to burst.




There was no holding back the waterworks that followed.




B, however, remained steady, DESPITE his blubbering mother at his side. We walked L into class and took her proverbial 1st day pic.





I kissed her goodbye and never did the tears stop.




She seemed unfazed.




I walked, what seemed like 10 miles, down the hallway and turned the corner into his class. I sniffed and wiped and sniffed and wiped and had tears everywhere but on my face.




This was me being BRAVE, I tell you. Brave.




We put up his tote bag, found his seat and I took more pics.






He was smiling and seemed 'nervous' but steady. (Much more steady than his mother.)




I knelt on the floor next to his desk and gave him a pep talk. (Admittedly it was more to myself than it was to him.) I kissed him goodbye and told myself him that I would see him in only a few hours. Steven followed suit.




I walked a few steps and looked back to see him coloring away at his desk.




As I reached the door I heard his voice, wavering, holler "MOMMA!". (I am currently blinking away tears as I recount this.) I turned to find him running towards me and as I held my arms out to him he jumped into them, as he had a million times before, wrapped his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist, and said, "I'll miss you!".




There was no wiping the tears away at this point. They were freely falling.




I could hear his teacher, my friend, in the background, saying "B, tell your momma to have a good day..."




I bent over and started lowering him to the ground, praying silently that this departure wouldn't be any more difficult than it already had.




Once his feet hit the ground he pivoted, went back to his chair, and started coloring again.




I, however, found the nearest door, and my car, and left.




I looked at my phone and noticed that my sister had called.




I called her and blubbered incoherently. Another friend called and I tried to laugh about myself through the tears. Another friend called and I tried, unsuccessfully, to recap the morning without crying.




As I neared work (I work at a funeral home), I felt that God was gently reminding me that ANY one of the people that I would encounter at work today, would gladly, joyously, jubilantly, trade MY tears, for their tears of grief.




In comparison, I had NOTHING to mourn.




My son, and daughter, were healthy, happy children who had started school. Just as EVERY other healthy, happy child their age had.




For them to have NOT started school would have meant that our lives had taken a much different, less desirable, turn.




I should be celebrating my children.....not mourning.




***********************




I would like to tell you that my revelation was like a light through the clouds and that I skipped into work and never gave another passing thought to my aching heart, but that would be a lie.




In fact, it was after noon that day before I could even begin to speak about "it" without my throat closing up and my eyes tearing up.

In fact, when opening the "kindergarten mom survival kit" that my friends made, I still cried.

(Hey, it had a jar of hershey's kisses with a picture of B on it that was labeled "B's kisses", what do you expect?)


In fact, I cried upon picking them up from school that evening, noting how much it seemed they had grown in those short hours....and yet how small they STILL were.




In fact, I still hurt yesterday....almost a week later.




************************




Yesterday, while out with a couple of friends, we ran into another friend of ours who works at the High School. Her daughter had started kindergarten as well.




She said that her daughter was crying when she left her in her class that 1st morning, but that it didn't bother her (the mother), and she didn't cry because she knew that it (school) was necessary.




This mother is NO less of a mother than I. Just different. Probably better.




Definitely more stable.




My friends looked at me, and I laughingly said, "I didn't do that well".........to which she replied, "I know, Kim, I heard. Everyone in town knows! They were all talking about it."




So, today, I will stop crying tears for B, and start crying tears of embarrassment. Maybe even tears of embarrassment for B.




Tears of embarrassment for L, too, while I am at it.




Poor kids.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First day of school



This is all you are going to get until I can "talk" about it without getting a lump in my throat and teary eyes. It is, after all, hard to type when you can't see the screen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Party for one

I have been on vacation and return to work tomorrow. We have done so many fun things this summer...things I don't want to forget.....things I WANT to blog about.

However, tomorrow, my baby starts school. I have been in on-again, off-again tears for weeks. The lump in my throat is so large and is hurting most of the time now...not just nights.

I can't even imagine uploading pics of my babies, while they have this impending departure from my side...it would just hurt TOO much.

So...while I will post these things sometime, it won't be today, or tomorrow, maybe not even the next day.

I don't know how long before I can actually see clearly without tears clouding my vision.

Until that time, I will return to my regularly scheduled pity party already in progress.......

Monday, August 02, 2010

Blooming with love

So, last week we celebrated Steven's 37th birthday.

(cough, cough- he is SO much older than me)

Aunt Sissy and Uncle Jason came over and celebrated with us. Free. Food. Need I say more?

That morning I had to bring out the multi-tasking cape and play superwoman. You see, my steaks and chicken didn't thaw completely overnight in the fridge and I suspected that they wouldn't thaw completely during the day either. So, I loaded up my steaks and chicken and took them to work with me so that I could put them in the fridge once thawed.

OCD. It is a scary thing.

No. I will be honest. It doesn't stop there.

While baking a birthday cake at 5:30 a.m., I went ahead and rubbed down some baking potatoes with bacon grease and wrapped them in foil....ready to go to work with me as well....where I put them in the oven at work, and transported them in a cooler so that on the ride home they could continue to bake to their hearts -make that "my hearts" - content.

The OCD? It's a curse. It really is.

Anyway..........

That evening we enjoyed steak and chicken, twice baked potatoes, biscuts, green beans and chocolate cake and ice cream.

Steven dubbed it the "BEST BIRTHDAY EVER" for no other reason than that he was in a great mood as evident in the photo below.



Not that Steven isn't generally in a good mood. Because he is. However, this mood was a little "out there". It isn't everyday that he plays dress up with a do-rag and my Bon Jovi t-shirt.


***Also, please note that we bring out the good china for special occasions. The fact that the bowl resembles a plastic one from Tupperware is a mere coincidence, I tell ya.

********************************


The next evening Steven suggested that we go out to eat. Considering that I had exhausted all of my cooking mojo the night before, I was in.

B was excited.....as always.

L, after falling asleep during the ride there, was a little less enthusiastic.

However, once the waitress came along with markers for them to add their names, along with countless other names, to the floor, her enthusiasm picked up a notch.


Steven then suggested that I write "Steven -n- Kim" on the floor of the restaurant.





Seriously.





Who IS this guy? I mean, Steven is romantic, much more so than myself, but graffiti endearments?









So...I did what any mature married woman would do.



I got on my hands and knees and pulled out a sharpie.




(Did you doubt it for a minute?)




*********************
The heat and humidity outside was nothing less than oppressive this past weekend. Although we have a swimming pool, the kids never pass up on a trip to the river. In L's words, "it is NEVER too hot to go!"


Who would dream of taking an air-conditioned vehicle to the river? That would be just plain ole' absurd.



So Steven got out the ranger and the expected debate over who got to drive ensued.



L won. Her hair was proving to be somewhat of a problem as it whipped back and forth in the wind and so she asked her daddy to so kindly help.



He did.




ALL. THE. WAY. THERE.

Have I mentioned that he is the BEST daddy in the whole. wide. world?



We turned off the road and made our way towards the water.





It took the kids all of 2.4 seconds to launch themselves in the water. I, however, was on immediate snake patrol.



That is what watching Lonesome Dove will do to you. If you have seen it, you know what I am talking about.





While patrolling, I couldn't help but notice these wildflowers growing. In the rocks. In the blazing sun. And yet they were thriving.



Isn't it amazing?




It seems as if so much more would be needed to sustain it, yet it flourished. God had given this flower everything it needed.


The kids? They seemed to be flourishing as well.

Patience. Love. Guidance. Love. Faith. Love. Hope. Love. Attention.




(And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13)




These things help to keep kids afloat........ and their heads above "water". There are times when my patience seems to have run dry and I get caught up in the daily grind. (OCD, anyone?)


But there is LOVE.



Always, always love.





The kids, well....they kept busy.
Swimming.
Floating.
Conspiring.
Sharing stories.
Sharing secrets......AND dam building strategies.


And Steven?
He was at peace.
Very much at peace.



The guy who can't sit still for a minute...... who is driven to be "productive"..... took a nap.





(Steven? Nap? This is all but unheard of around here....)


So, I left him to rest, joined the kids and put Daisy on snake patrol.
And while Steven continued to nap.......



.....the kids shared their dam building strategies and we constructed a dam. A very sturdy and strong dam, if I do say so myself.




B gave it is seal of approval.


****************************
Daddy eventually woke and the kids worked their way back to the ranger. Before I knew what was going to happen, I was lovingly bestowed this gift:




Yeah. The flowers I had admired before? The ones that had prompted me to contemplate how had God provided for them.....and for us?



Yep. These were the same ones.


For me. (Sigh)



**********************


Since fair is fair, B got to drive home and this time it was me hanging onto my gift, trying to keep it from whipping in the wind.

And so, upon arriving at home, I planted the flowers in a pot that B had painted for me and I quietly "encouraged" the flowers.....and prayed for my kids.....to "bloom where they were planted".