Thursday, November 13, 2008

Locating your wherewithal

Maybe part of the reason I've had a hard time writing lately is because there's just so much psychic space bound up in all this stuff with my mom, and it feels especially hard to write about being a mom when all of that's going on. 

But here we are, at the day.  Tomorrow I get on the plane to head to Idaho, and to experience some new family dynamics.  Do I even need to write that I'm scared?  That part of me doesn't want to go?  That another part of me does, and knows I must?  You know the drill.

And still life goes on.  Addie is now 44 inches tall, but still only forty pounds, an absolute string bean, like her old man.  She is going through a completely snotty phase right now, one where she answers "I know!" exasperatedly to everything we say.  I didn't expect that at 4 1/2.  It helps that it's mixed in with moments of complete tenderness, and with watching her absolutely blossom--having rich friendships, expressing herself through extraordinary artwork.

Oh, and she's reading!  Full-fledged reading.  She takes a book to school everyday--usually of the Dr. Seuss variety, her favorites--and her teachers tell me she practices the book to herself a few times, smooths out the rough patches, and then organizes impromptu storytimes with her classmates.  Lord.

And Nolie--what's to say about Nolie?  She is roly-poly delicious.  She is huggy and kissy and full of "mama-I-love-you-SO-much" every other minute.  When she's not "I can do it myself," that is.  She is exuberant and smart and sassy and resilient, and still has just enough baby fat that we fool ourselves into thinking maybe, just maybe, she's not growing up too fast.

She's also having ear infections like Addie did, so next week when I get back, it's a call to the ENT for tubes.

I miss them.  I can't wait to come back and take some days off for the holidays.

That means the end is in sight with this crazy, loop-the-loop semester.  I got nominated "Outstanding Faculty" by some student group on campus--cool, huh?  And then I was also a teacher in a class that dive-bombed like the Hindenberg.  What can you do?  You win some, you lose some.  They love you, they hate you.  Some days you're on, some you're not.  Still you get up in the morning, take your big deep breath, suck down the coffee, and off you go again.

Or maybe not.  Maybe you take some time to look at the light reflecting off the gray branches of the trees out your window, wiggle your toes.  You breathe in and out a few more times, sat-nam, sat-nam, and you remember that there is something to you other than what you do and look like and say and accomplish.  Some days you find the wherewithal to do that instead.

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