Thursday, January 30, 2014

vicarious wedding

Erin asked for a class ring this year, which kind of surprised me.  She said she’d always wanted one, but just didn’t want to ask us to buy her one.  It was not an unreasonable request; maybe she is getting sentimental about leaving high school after all these years of hard work.  Her ring is on order and should be arriving any day.
I asked Emily if she also wanted a class ring.  It was sort of a “HELL NO” response from her.  She said, “I don’t wear rings.  I only want two rings in my life.”  She was implying, of course, an engagement and wedding ring.  That was a bit of a shock because she has always maintained that she had no intentions of marrying…unless it was somebody like Justin Bieber, who is now firmly erased from her list of potential candidates.  I said, “Oh, so now you’ve changed your mind?  Now you want a husband at some point in your life?”  She said, “Well, no.  What I really want is a wedding.  The groom is just something that comes with it.”  She is so funny!  

I like that my girls are dreaming of a wedding day, some day.  Not now!!  Well, Sarah is certainly welcome to take that next step whenever it may come.  She is well-settled into a career and is financially capable of supporting herself and any children that may come along.  Erin and Emily are much too young to be seriously considering anyone to marry, but sadly, some of their classmates are getting engaged.  When kids are 18, there’s not much a parent can do about it. 

As for me, I don’t recall dreaming about a wedding day or husband as a girl or teenager.  Having a family was not on my radar, so weddings were something other people did...not me.  I wanted to be like Jane Goodall, wander the jungle and research apes, or catalog exotic plant species, or get my hands dirty in a lab like a mad scientist. 

Anyway, these days I find myself watching shows on TV such as “I Found the Gown” and “Say Yes to the Dress” where women are searching for their perfect wedding dress.  When I went shopping for wedding dresses (both times), it was no more than just another chore.  I just don’t care about clothes or trying to look like a beautiful princess.  When and if my girls do get married, I hope to be with them when they try on and select their wedding dresses.  Maybe it will be something magical (like on TV).  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the show goes on and on

Old Man Winter has returned with a vengeance.  Snow, more snow, and near zero temperature.  BAH!!  But this morning, hours before the thermometer dipped to such miserable frigidity, I leisurely cleaned snow off my van and listened to the unusual quiet that happens when people stay in instead of going to work or school.  Perhaps other people are more organized and conscientious than me, and leave early so they are sure to get to work on time.  Scraping snow and ice from my car windows and lights, ever so meticulously, is no doubt a delay tactic that justifies my 15-minutes-late arrival on the job.
What do I remember most about this morning?  In case that question is burning in your brain, I’ll tell you.   Surely, it was the hawk that shrieked only one time from somewhere in the woods behind our house.  Hawks are just magnificent, one of my favorite birds.  It pleases me immensely to know one was hunting near me….well, I assume he was hunting.  He obviously wasn't sleeping, and do hawks do much besides hunt, eat, and sleep?  Probably not, especially this time of year.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote a post.  The less I write, the less I write.  It’s kind of how I am.

Work has been just ridiculous the past few weeks.  It sucks every last ounce of life right out of me.  Sometimes, I feel like one of those Chinese acrobat jugglers.  For five days a week, I stand on a platform and juggle a bowling ball, a long-ass razor-sharp Samurai sword, a blow-torch, a running chain-saw, a stick of soft butter, an axe, five tennis balls, and 5 peanuts.  That’s about all I can keep in the air at one time.  My trusty assistants intervene and make the platform I’m standing on spin, or tie a blindfold on me, or do something to make it all more tricky to keep up with.  Every day I leave work wondering how many things I dropped, when I will find out (maybe not tomorrow or even next week), and how bad the damage will be.  They just can’t pay me enough.
But enough of that.  This is my “off time”.  I’m off the clock, which is really kind of a silly thing to say when you are a salaried person.  I’m always off the clock.
Sarah is going to produce a new CD and even a vinyl record which is all kind of exciting for me…given that I am her mother.  She began singing even before she could say words.  There was never any doubt in my mind she had a passion for performing for an audience.  Our old coffee table was her favorite stage when she was just a toddler.  It was an old wooden oversized, low table, sturdy and already beat up - just perfect for her to dance on.  She would sing and dance on it for as long as anyone would watch her.  And yes, adoring mother that I am, I loved to watch her, but if my eyes strayed for even a moment, she would insist “Look at me, Mommy!  Watch me!!!!!”  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

turning the page

Birth – 2 years = unknown chaos

2 years – 18 years = dark ages

College years = free at last, party time

Career launch/marriage = pseudo adulthood…bad decisions, hard work, insanity

Baby/divorce = variable sunshine with severe thunderstorms

Marriage/twins = feet to the fire

Doctorate = life holocaust

Post-doctorate – rising from the ashes

The next chapter is starting to unfold.  The empty nest is coming in August.  Retirement and career change are in the works (dates unknown).  I want to believe things will be fabulous.  It just can’t be that after all that has happened, my life is meant to circle the drain and disappear unceremoniously.  Maybe it can be, but I won’t consider it.

How does a person ever make sense of it all?  It seems as though I’ve blundered through life with no cares and no plans for the future, but that is not true.   The truth is…I never expected to see the future.   My focus was on today, mostly.       

My life has given me two surprises.  One is that I’m still alive after all these years.  I never expected to live this long.  The other is that all my children are so amazing and talented.  How is it that an average, nobody sort of person can have children like mine?  My grandmother used to say that acorns don’t fall far from the tree, but she was wrong in this case.  The mighty oak may have dropped her acorns down around her roots, but something else grew up from them - something better and much more exotic.  It is good, and I am grateful.  


Sunday, January 5, 2014

canine morality

I went on a run to the grocery store…again…seems like we go so often, only because teen girls always “need” something.  I would and should go without them because to have either one of them go with me results in increased spending.  To have both with me simultaneously increases the grocery tab exponentially.  Nevertheless, both “needed” items that I didn't want to hunt for, so they both came along with me today.

So, it’s a wondrous thing to listen to teenage girls talk.  The variety of topics is astounding and sometimes entertaining.  The conversation today in the car went something like this…

Emily:  Gracie [our dog] is such a slut.  She’s all over C [Emily’s boyfriend] every time he walks in.

Erin:  That’s redonks (sic).  Maybe she just smells his dog on him.  Maybe she’s really gay.  We had her spayed, so now she’s for sure gay.

Emily:  Spaying doesn't make her gay.  Women who get hysterectomies don’t become gay, but it’s too bad we didn't wait to find out if she was gay before we had her spayed, because then we could have just saved the money.

Erin:  Duh, Emily.  What about rape?  Gracie could have been raped by Kyle [neighbor’s dog] or some other dog.

Emily:  Well, Gracie’s such a slut, she’d probably be having three-ways with Kyle and Cal [other neighbor dog].  We wouldn't know who the puppies belonged to. 

Let me assure the multitudes who read my blog,  Miss Gracie is most definitely not a promiscuous dog. Obviously Emily has no regard for her morality, but Gracie is not "that kind" of dog.  

good dog