Monday, July 27, 2009

Some things I love

Skipping stones.
Watching soccer games.
Great pens.
Interesting paper.
The English language.
Text as art.
Old-fashioned donuts.
Iced tea.
Fresh air.
The sky.
Good erasers.
Ladybug's Picnic, sung by Elizabeth Mitchell
Rubber stamps.
Sharp pencils.
Sea glass.
Beautiful studio/creative spaces.
Good craft magazines.
Corn on the cob.
Classic board games.
Keen sandals.
Going out for breakfast.
Pirates of the Caribbean/Curse of the Black Pearl
Music from an ice cream truck.

How about you?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Friday

A happy Friday to you.

Happy sunny day, end of the week, ready for adventure day. Happy make some plans, finish up some projects, get it done and start something new day. Happy take a break, review the week, and think about the weekend day.

We have, ahead of us, half a weekend that we 'just have to get through,' and then half a weekend to be home and relax and enjoy. Today I have a half-day of work, and some errands and chores to do, and I plan to make some time for some fun. It feels good, this morning.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Making the journey worthwhile

What I learned about myself between last night and this morning is that if there's a hint of chill in the air in the evening, when we go out to walk the dog after dinner at about 7:30 p.m., I MUST have a jacket on. Maybe even long pants. I cannot tolerate being even slightly cold at the end of the day. But in the morning, when I take the dog out at 7 a.m., I am delighted by the crisp promise that the chill morning air offers and I can't stand to take a jacket with me. It's entirely possible that it is colder in the morning than in the evening, and there I am with shorts and short sleeves and a smile.

I know that some measure of this is physiological; I am a morning person and my energy is all bright and burning in the morning. By the end of the day I am done. I actually don't mind one bit getting into bed before it's even fully dark out because I am tired and done and ready to sleep. So my biorhythms or whatever are set on 'high' in the morning and 'low' at night. And I guess there's no way to disconnect the psychology either. It's just funny to me to have realized it and to understand that the given temperature doesn't really predict how the temperature is going to feel to me (or to anybody else?).

(I just googled biorhythms and came away with the impression that there's a lot less science (none, maybe?) to them as I thought there was, but what I meant are the particular highs and lows of your own system throughout the course of a given day.)

For me the point of these kinds of seemingly pointless realizations is to build my tolerance of these same kinds of idiosyncrasies in those I love. If I can be so apparently irrationally impacted by the weather, then trying to insist that Dean put on a jacket because it's "cold" out really is not very fair at all. Like that. That the reality each of us experiences, even on a very micro level, is entirely personal, even when it seems that it shouldn't/couldn't be. That the 'truths' we are so sure of ourselves don't necessarily carry.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Chicago, April 2009

Today is perfect. It just is. It's a clear blue cloudless sky perfect, a 70 degrees with a light wind perfect. It's Friday perfect. It makes you feel as happy as you would feel being at Navy Pier today, eating ice cream and going on a boat ride and thinking about trying the Ferris wheel.

We all had it -- that giddy perfect Friday feeling -- this morning when I brought Dean and his friend to their last day of zoo camp. We had our traditional stop at Dunkin' Donuts for treats first, and may I just say that it's worth living in Massachusetts just to be able to walk into a place and order a 'large regular' and get in return a cup of coffee with milk and sugar? Regular here means just the way I like it, and that counts for something. A lot, actually.

Lincoln Park Zoo Conservatory, April 2009

So I've got the grocery shopping done, and the pizza dough is made for tonight, and laundry is in. We get to watch the finish of the CONFACAF Gold Cup match between the US and Honduras that we taped (don't tell me who won! US was up by 1 when we had to go to bed last night) while we have our summer pizza for dinner (sauteed onions, roasted red peppers, tons of cheese, no sauce). I've even got some crafting going on in the background here. I realize that I really should be outside, so I'm going to go make myself some lunch and eat it out on the deck.

Every day should be this good. I hope you have that marvelous summer Friday feeling going on, too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When did I become someone else? or Which me are you looking for?

Dean is growing up. He just is. That our children grow and change should come as absolutely no surprise, given that we grew up ourselves from the children we once were. We know this happens. But to be on the other side of the telescope, to be the one watching the growing, rather than the one actively moving out of childhood, is an overpowering and unbelievable thing. Well, different sides of the same coin, I suppose, but going through it yourself really does nothing to prepare you for watching your own child grow.

I've been truly struck by the whole idea of growth lately. I'm surrounded by it. I've had a chance to check in on some blogs I haven't visited for a while and BAM -- I'm faced with photos of children I think of as babies, and there they are getting all big and grown up and I think HOW is that happening so fast? And here we are on July 9 and we've already had over THREE INCHES of rain in our area and I've never seen so much lush, tropical, intense growth before. The pot of tomatoes on the back porch is so tall it is starting to challenge gravity AND there are green tomatoes already. Astonishing.

Then I've got this whole other part of growth to think about and it's a lot harder. It's my own struggle with me, and who I am growing in to, and what I am growing out of. I've been thinking about what a very different person I seem to the people who knew me in high school from the people who knew me as a pre-parent career person from the people who know me as a parent and soccer mom. The thing about Facebook is that all those lives, all those past connections, come right up in front of me and I parade this whole mysterious complicated silly person to an audience with very different visions of me.

Bringing this all together for me was a post by Andrea (it's the June 29, 2009 'our dance' one -- I can't target one entry directly on her site) who had an opportunity to remember her past young self as a performer (that was me, too!) and who wrote, "...I remembered, that she is still me."

She is still me.

It's all still in here somewhere. Loving soccer doesn't dissolve loving art galleries, laughing at Phineas and Ferb doesn't prevent me from shedding tears over Three Cups of Tea. Disney World didn't replace Paris, it just got added to the list of favorite destinations.


So then probably a good measure of my mourning Dean's past self, the childhood that he's rapidly rising out of, truly is foolish. He is still himself, still the sweet person he has always been. Just a lot taller. And ready to take on more by himself. Which should leave me ready to decide what I'd like to be doing while he's doing that. So that's the hard part, then.

I believe that an important aspect of being a parent is in being intentionally changed by that experience -- by being influenced in who you are as a person by the person your child is. Again thinking of a recent one of Andrea's posts, she wrote, "Attention is the most concrete expression of love." By paying attention to the things that are important to Dean, I've gained new knowledge and new interests; I've grown as my own person in response to him. That's a powerful antidote to the feeling of being consumed, of being made invisible by parenthood. "Where did I go?" can be a mournful question, about what seems lost, or it can be a joyful one about where you've landed -- about discovering that new place and discovering how you don't give up your true self in becoming a parent, you just grow into a new self.