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Archive for October, 2010

ivan

sometimes i feel that growing up is like the difference between participating in a yoga class for an hour versus living my yoga practice all day. have i lost you yet? i mean, sometimes i feel as though the more i attempt to grow into who i am the harder i work to sustain being who i want to be at all times. instead of checking out for chunks of time or setting aside an hour here or there to work on my “self” or my “spiritual path” i am constantly in motion, living life, wiping poopy bottoms and feeding little mouths, picking up toys, rewinding the yarn, vacuuming, making the bed, moving the laundry to the dryer, prepping dinner, sweeping up spilled snacks, nursing, feeding the dog, pulling ticks off the cats, calling the oil company, mailing in rebates, cutting up bacon quesadilla’s just so, pouring rice milks and filling water bottles, holding up the stairs and hugging through the tears and kissing away bangs, drawing up a bath and reading stories and rocking to sleep and then trying to get up early to go work out.

amidst this our cat ivan went missing. i was worried, then hopeful, then more worrying and guilt and this morning, when he was still not waiting at the front door, i began to look for acceptance. i know he is not upset with me or blaming me for whatever misfortune has taken him from us but i struggle not to blame myself. i know he is fine where he is but i struggle not to feel guilty that somehow i lost him, i let him down, he has passed out of our lives on my watch. i miss him. his giant cat feet making painful muffins on my legs at night when i watch tv after the kids go to sleep. his strange meow that always came out loud and part broken with a lot of r’s. “reee – rooooow.” the way he wanted to be fed four times a day. his willingness to train, play with, and sleep near castle james. his willingness to defer to sofia at all times. his love of the garage attic.

i took a few moments the other day to put away some of our standard decorations and set out a bit of fall flavor. a small collection of pumpkins from our own garden and a few local farms as well as some leaves we have gathered, or painted, and a few pinecones that the flower fairies left for the kids the other day. shifting the interior of the home quieted me some.

i keep up with the days work. i clean the dishes and make some lunch and refill drinks. i look at my favorite pumpkin and take a deep breath. i know, from experience, that it gets easier. i allow myself the day to feel sad and say good bye in the little moments that i can. the breathing between wiping, cleaning, serving, petting, dressing, changing, feeding, parenting and going going going. i let my heart hurt a little bit. i don’t have an hour to set aside for mourning so i bring it into my full day practice. letting go. breathing through it. finding my way to ok. saying goodbye to a friend. while living life.

all imperfect and guilt ridden.
exactly who i am meant to be today.



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returning

the other night i was up with a coughing bean and a sleep-interrupted pea for a few hours. while i was up with them i was thinking about the lovely yarn i had seen on the purl bee blog that day. later on, with flash taking care of bean and the pea asleep snuggled up in the “master” bed with me i was still up thinking, imagining, creating in my mind. when i finally drifted off the yarn followed me and wove its way into my dreams – allusive and longed for.

was it only a year ago that i pulled out my kids knitting book and cast on a few bean bags to get the feel of the needles again?
was it a whole year ago that i made each kid a wee hat, began my shawl, and knit up a cowl for my mom for christmas?

i have this ongoing fear in my life that i am wasteful. i hold onto this belief that i am a starter and not a finisher. i want to be someone who actually does things, not someone who just plans to do things.

i wished i had a knitting circle so i invited a few friends over a month ago for wine and knitting. never mind that only one of them (besides me) was interested in knitting. since then we have met weekly and two of the women have taken up knitting.

i wonder why, in this culture, we can’t just be kinder to our selves. maybe it is just me and i should keep my musings in the first person. i wonder why i am irritated with myself for dreaming about wool when the truth is i knit. i am a knitter. it is not something i started and didn’t finish. it is a hobby, a craft, a part of my life.

i wonder why i shrug off the congratulations from my aunt on finishing my masters degree. i have a masters degree in counseling psychology. it is not the degree i intended to get when i matriculated but it is a degree – a masters level degree and i did a lot of work and i learned a lot. i began the degree as a single woman with no children and finished it married with two young kids. why can’t i just frame it up on the wall and smile about it instead of shaking the title off because i am not “using it” in paid work?

i am not aiming for pridefulness or ways to make my ego enlarge beyond its rightful size but goodness even that sentence sounds so diminutive. i wonder what it would be like if we all walked around with permission to feel good about ourselves. with the idea that thinking you are wonderful would simply feed the amount of wonderful energy in the word. with the belief that being proud of yourself would not in some way take power away from someone else. why are we so afraid of feeling good about who we are?

this weekend i was talking to another mom at a birthday party we attended. her son, a bit younger than the bean, is the same kind of eater. just in case you don’t remember the bean survives on a few simple things: bacon, parmesan cheese, bacon and cheese omelette, bacon quesadilla (do you see a theme here), rice milk, veggie booty, and any chip i’ll buy. he does take his vitamins and occasionally eat a carrot but other than that he is his own man in the food department. he continues to grow and be just as healthy and happy as any other kids i know so i try not to get too upset about his limited diet. but, even with my trying to be ok sometimes i fall short. i worry, i press him, i try to convince him to eat other things, i turn it into a power struggle, and of course i feel that heavy weight of parental guilt. as though somehow i have created this situation and it is not ok.

so this mom tells me her son, “doesn’t eat a single fruit or vegetable and i have just decided not to care. so what? i am sure he is not the first or last picky eater to come along. he is growing and thriving so what can i do? i just gave up on worrying about it.”

oh.my.
it was a cold windy day and i wasn’t dressed for the weather but suddenly all the tension escaped my body. i felt light and free and giddy with okness.
i held onto it for a day or two. every snack or meal we ate i just felt ok about beans food instead of worrying and thinking, “i should do more.”
by late sunday i was beginning to lose the magic of okness.
on monday on the way to preschool pick up i saw this mom walking down the street and suddenly the lights went on again. literally i feel a palpable shift in my being. in the preschool parking lot i tried to tell her how much our conversation was freeing me. i just wanted to thank her, even though it was hard for me to step out of my shell like that. i needed to try to express to her the total weightlessness her words had created inside me. to try to explain that now when i feel the doubt sinking in or the little voices of guilt piping up around meal times i just remember the look of honesty on her face when she told me she was done feeling bad about it. the purity of her conviction touches me so deeply and it catches up within me like a fire and i believe.

i am done feeling bad about his food.
and yesterday he decided to eat three baby carrots.

imagine that.

i know this post is tripping all around without a thread of connection but in my word it is all sorting into this place of fitting. in my world the lessons are jumping together in a pattern of learning.

in my world i think i might go dare myself to actually buy some shelter. i am a knitter. with a masters degree. and, i am a good mom.

p.s. so are you.

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another wednesday

i am ashamed to admit that i yell at him at night when he is coughing.
that in the darkness i feel the room shrinking in around me with each noise he produces from his slightly congested lungs.
that i wish him silent and when the wishing doesn’t work i tell him, “shhh. stop coughing and go to sleep!”
then i put a pillow over my head and imagine how angry i will be if he wakes up the pea.
sleepless.
tense.
angry.
last night i was heading down this familiar path.
i had already used my angry whisper voice.
i could feel myself rising up to the meet the invitation to be irate and frustrated.
i could feel myself making a choice to be angry.
and i observed it.
look how i am feeling.
it is understandable.
it is hard not getting sleep. especially when flash is traveling.
you can be angry if you need to be.
although, it is not helping you sleep.
maybe you could try being relaxed instead?
maybe you could let go of the rising tide of irritation?
seek instead the downward shift of the rolling wave?
could you perhaps play with unconditionality?

i am ashamed to admit that i yell at him at night when he is coughing.
i wish i could shift the cycle sooner.
but i am trying. i am trying it out. i am learning.

i grow weary sometimes of the internet in which i feel there is either cynicism or perfectionism. i just want some reality. i just want real. so i retreat to life offline. and miss my blog.

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i had a really tough time keeping the numbers low on this category.  i think the bean specializes in modern still life photography.  seriously!





the next set i will post is the best. “under the playroom couch.” don’t miss it…

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mirrors

at the gym class this morning she holds herself back from the group.  she keeps her eyes down and climbs off the two person trampoline if another child comes near it.  she wants to sit in my lap.  she wants to watch.  she does not want a turn.

and i can tell you the color of all the floor mats.  i didn’t ask any of the other mother’s their name.  i smiled if i found myself near someone and i also made old assumptions.  i didn’t take a moment before hand to shift myself out of habitual behavior and so i acted habitually – shy and somewhat fearful.

she kept asking, “can we go home now?”

i think it was good for us to stay.  we did the things she wanted to do.  i let her sit on my lap and watch as much as she wanted.  i am not willing to force her to engage more and i didn’t want to go home and hide.  i just wanted to play it out today.  lets just sit over here on the edges and observe.

when i pick him up from preschool he is always off balance.  he whines at me and tugs me along in two different directions.  he bosses me about and demands things off me.  he flops on the couch like his bones have all melted right out of him.  “rice milk!” he yells at me, “bring me my fast cars!”

oh, i want to yell at him to just give me a minute.  i feel mauled and pressed and pushed at.  i want us to just sit next to each other and talk for a moment but that is not how it goes.

i just noticed the absolute pattern of it today.  how he always irritates me when i pick him up from school.  and then i thought, of course.  of course he does.  because school is so hard for him.  so yes, he comes home and lets his angst out.  he just oozes his stress and frustration all around the house, on the couch in his puddle, yelling it out on me.

saturday we stopped at a local park on the way home from doing some errands.  it turned out there was a large picnic going on there with a few families i knew and several i did not.  there were adults mingling and children running and screaming and playing in their own ways.  our kids sat in the sandbox, pressed up close to their daddy, one part playing and three parts watching the scene with saucer eyes and ducked heads.  i walked through the mayhem to say hello to a friend or two before we took off.  then in the car i snapped at the kids while moaning and fretting about dinner.

i told flash, “i need to decompress.”

he said, “six thirty,” which was the time we were heading out and leaving our kids with gran gran.

i said, “not from our kids – from that unexpected social chaos at the park.”

and two days later i wonder why he is writhing on the couch.

my little mirrors.

showing me all the ways i can struggle in this world.

and allowing me the chance to treat them with love and understanding.  letting that lead me to love and understanding for myself.  so that we all grow (up) together.

if i could stop fighting the process so hard i might love it.

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completion

sometimes it just feels good to finish something.

something beautiful.

something tangible.

something i made with my own two hands.

even if it has been in the works for quite awhile.

completed shawl:

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