Archive for September, 2009

Manufacturing Sunshine

While in general our new life is working out quite nicely, in specific this week has been very hard with the big tests and the death of sleep and the lovely head colds. I am sick, exhausted and, I will admit, slightly hormonal today. It is also raining and the house is cluttered and I want to do so many things but have the energy for… writing this post. 😉 In the spirit of positive thinking, I thought I would take a minute to dwell on the positives of our new schedule.

Positive #1: Starting our mornings off with hugs and good wishes from Grandpa Manny and Cousin Cleaner (and little cousin cleaner helpers)

Positive #2: Coming home to a clean house after a hectic Monday and finding a note on the counter that says, “Hope you had a great day! Love you!” from the Cousin Cleaner

Positive #3: Sometimes Grandpa Manny brings over special treats from Ye Olde Alma Mater, just for me

Positive #4: Friday Dance Party with Uncle Manny. Yes, this happens EVERY Friday. You wish you were that cool.

Positive #5: Having uninterrupted, adult conversations with my school peeps

Positive #6: Knowing that I am still as smart as I used to be, if a little more socially awkward

Positive #7: When I hit the wall (as happened this week) and just can’t take it anymore, Mr. K is stepping up to the plate in a serious way. This is not only good for me, but it’s awesome for BabyK and it is great to see them spending so much time together.

Positive #8: Apparently at some point this fresh pile of student loans and sleepless weeks will result in a new, prosperous and meaningful career doing something or other

Positive #9: People seem to know that this isn’t my first trip to college but they generally don’t guess my actual age (averaging 6 years younger!). This matters A LOT.

Positive #10: I no longer have to spend my time with BabyK trying to mop, disinfect and scrub. This makes a huge difference.

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Howdy, strangers

I started to write a big twisty post last week, and then got interrupted. Boy, are you lucky!! That post is not going to get resurrected. Perhaps because I have started school and am now much more concerned about psuedostratified columnar epithelial cells and lurking variables than with my daily dose of anxiety and angst, which seems like all good news for you.

So the short version goes like this:

August was a beautiful, beautiful month, despite the two week illness and frequent absence of Mr. K.

School has started and while it is definitely challenging I am, in fact, not an idiot. So far. And people are talking to me and sharing things with me and it is a little awkward and hesitant but so very nice.

I miss my baby. I think he misses me too. But I don’t miss him enough to be sad that he is now sleeping in his crib for naps and at least half the night. Crib sleeping! Napping! All from my child! Can you believe it??

I have finally, mostly let go of my first baby, a little non-profit art making endeavor that is now six years old. It is in the hands of the board and a truly fabulous new exec-direc who is also one of my dearest friends. It is kind of a little sad/awkward/giddy with freedom kind of time, but I watched the most recent show and actually, for half a minute, really felt very satisfied to say, this. This is my art. The whole shebang – the board members in the lobby in their tshirts, the choreographers sitting next to me, the beautiful, talented girls dancing their hearts out onstage… that was what I was really making. I was too close to see the whole picture before. Or maybe not just see it, but appreciate it. But it was time to go and they are going to grow and learn and flourish (and fail and disappoint and disagree, I’m sure) all on their own… which makes me feel like I did what I was supposed to do for them. Bittersweet and lovely and freeing.

This morning, I am like 90% sure that my twee son pointed his finger at me and said, ‘Sit Down!’ while I was encouraging him to do just that in his high chair. I have come to the conclusion that the little bugger is perfectly capable of talking but just doesn’t WANT to talk. He also occasionally signs ‘more’ when he is really hungry. He has given up on ‘all finished’ for some reason – probably because I can usually figure it out anyway.

Hopefully, in a few short weeks Mr. K’s awful project of doom will be reaching completion and he will be home at night. In the meantime, he is picking up the boy when I have school, and trying to make sure dinner happens those nights (leftovers tonight, but we’re starting small). This is tremendously reassuring and comforting and I think he is enjoying a little bit more time with his little man… or at least I hope.

It is quite possible to outsource many things. But of course, you have to be willing to manage a domestic staff. Our rather modest household now has a staff of three weekly or biweekly employees, not even counting the adopted grandparent who mannies for free. At what point we began living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, I have no idea. I do love the people who are helping us live a more calm and relaxed existence than we would otherwise have, people who are giving us time and energy to devote to each other and our work.

I hate to even admit this, but being at school for even a week has already made me a lighter, happier person. The shame in this admission comes entirely from my mommy shame, that I could even contemplate a happiness outside of his world, as all ‘good mommies’ must want nothing more than to delight in their children at least 22 hours of the day. My own truth is that I love him more than my life, and if he needs that much from me he will get it. However, he has a great time being cared for by people who genuinely love him while I am gone, and I have needs as a person that he can not meet, and can not be expected to meet. Perhaps the better mommies don’t have these needs or can meet them by themselves, but I was raised by a person who sometimes seemed like one giant gaping need that I could never ever meet and left me with a lifetime of shame for being such a ‘failure’. So I know exactly how a parents needs can twist and scar a child, and I will absolutely keep that from happening to him. I don’t need to be gone all day every day, and in fact, spent the entire day yesterday just chilling with him at home. I know it’s early in the semester to be making sweeping pronouncements, but our house feels so much closer to balance and I feel so much closer to… joy.

Which leads me to where the last post got all twisty and ranty and pro and anti feminist. So maybe I’ll stop right there and walk through my clean enough house and climb into my just empty enough bed and go to sleep.

Good night, everyone. Sleep tight.

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