Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm not just crazy.

I'm a mom too! I haven't really spent much of my blogging time really talking about the beautiful bits of sunshine that grace my days with new language and funny stories. I usually have at least one kid story every single day. Sometimes, they're short and just silly. Other times, there's so much context in the stories, they're almost impossible to share unless you know all the back story. I can't be alone in this.

The mini-mann has a way with words. Seriously! Sometimes, I'm sure he's kidding. His newest saying is, "One uponce a time..." Without hesitating, he drops this phrase at the beginning of an imaginary story of his design. Other times, he'll say things like, "Which color would you prefer?" A couple of days ago, he told me he NEEDED Dad's combustible pants. Um, combustible pants? I had to think about it for a bit, but in the end it was camoflauge. Silly!

Middle Mann is silly too! He doesn't really talk 'out loud' about what he's thinking. Instead, he does this funny little thing where he puts in hand over his face and reacts in a high pitched quiet voice. Sometimes, he's having conversations with other people in the room, but he does all the voices. He always does all the voices. Other times, he'll just narrate races with the amazing Wesley Gordon (that's him) behind the wheel of the winning car. He does after race interviews this way. He is both the interviewer and the interviewee. When he's in trouble, he'll go into his high pitched place and tell me what he really thinks about what he's just been told. It's really funny unless you actually listen to some of it. When you really listen, it's very heart telling.

My sweetie? She's been really struggling with word finding lately. Words are coming out with all different kinds of consanants in all different kinds of orders. Arfidicial? Oh, you mean artificial!

Needless to say, there are so many little -ism's in this house, it's a wonder we can communicate at all! Good thing we all love each other so much. It keeps life interesting.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Trying to stream...

It's feeling a bit like a trickle right now. But alas, I shall continue trying.

I just read my daughter's most recent blog post. She bravely wrote this wonderful little slice of her heart on the 11th. She's been telling me about her post and I've spent the better part of a week not paying that much attention to it. Tonight, she cornered me.

She'd just come home from a friend's house and I was sending an email to my friend in Malta. I wanted to share my silliness in describing to her, in very short order, the last 6 months or so of life in this crazy house of ours. After I finished sharing, Cass begged me to log into MySpace and check out her blog.

She said she wanted to watch me read it. Of course, there's NO PRESSURE when the sweetest thing in your life wants to Watch you Read their Work. Well, she's amazing. I think that goes without saying more and more everyday. Totally had me bawling as she recalled some of her memories of my sister's life and subsequent death.

She remembers what she was wearing. She remembers the weather. She remembers everything. I do too, but it was heartbreaking to see her memories and her recollection in her own words. Her pain is real and she expresses it in ways different than I do.

We are different. I don't pretend to think we're not, but sometimes I'm especially impressed with our differences. The way she remembers things. She makes me want to remember things her way.

It makes me want to not remember the 30 minutes that I watched Michelle struggle to hang onto every last breath. It makes me want to forget the way her jaw sat crooked on her face. To forget how long she held the last breath she took here. Hearing my brother say to the silence that filled the room as she exhaled, "Welcome Home." To forget taking her bracelets off her cold, stiff wrist, wishing all the while that I would have taken them off in the days before she was gone.

In the midst of my wanting to remember things differently, I am drawn to my own memories of her. I wish and wish that the memories I have are less about the frustrations of having a sister like Michelle. She was always right. She was always the older sister. She always struggled with her weight. She always leaned on me and expected me to learn from her. She paraded me around her college campus and used me to draw boys to her. There were times when I loved the attention and times when I felt so out of place I wanted to scream and run away. I remember the car accident she got us into on our way home from the campus one snowy weekend. I remember that dang Chevette of hers. Pushing it about 10 miles trying desperately to get the clutch to work so we could get home. The secrets she told me that I will take to my grave. The gifts she would give me that always seemed to sappy and sister-y.

Among these memories, I've learned (since not having her here) to filter in enormous amounts of guilt on myself. I can heap it on by the pound. I wish that I had taken the time to learn more from her. To notice her gradual decline. To be more considerate. I wish I had appreciated her half as much as she appreciated me. I wish she was here for me to buy sister-y gifts for. I wish she was here to dress me up in clothes she was "gonna buy when I (she) get skinny." I wish I had been a better sister to her.

I wish I didn't feel so bad about "talking to her". It seems weird to me to talk to a dead person. Like it's against the rules. I don't want to pray to her, but that's kind of how it feels when I think about talking to her. I want to tell her that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that she was so sick and I couldn't make it stop. I'm sorry that I was frustrated with her. With the responsibility of her. I'm sorry that her last conscious words were, "Did I do good enough?" I wish that there was something I could have to done in all that time that I had to let her know that she was. To convince her that she was and so much more. I ache so deeply about that. Did I do good enough? How horrible to go into a coma that you knew was coming and you knew you weren't going to wake up from wondering that?

I'm sitting here drowning in my own snot and tears. I miss her so much. My heart breaks inside every single minute that I let myself think about it. So, I don't very often. I try to plug along. I try to make myself believe that I don't think about her that often. But if I'm honest, the cold undercurrent of every minute of my day is sadness. And probably anger.

There are those who think I should really talk about that anger. Try writing about it, they say. Um, no thanks. Certainly not in a place where anyone could ever even accidentally wander upon it. My fear and my anger sit painfully close to each other in my very guarded heart. Fear that I'll find something in my anger that I don't want to find. Fear that I'll have to really know what all the anger is. Anger at my fear. Fear that no one will love me if they know. The Real Me. The really angry Me. The Me that I don't want to really know.

Why do I always get so dark when I start spilling? Dark in my heart and wet on my cheeks, nose, chin, and shirt?

Today's challenge

I've been reading throughout this fine blogland over the last week. I must say that I've been feeling pretty challenged by some of the posts I've been reading. There's a nagging ache in me to write more about what makes me tick. I don't know why I struggle so much with this. I don't want to struggle with sharing my insides. The deepest recesses of my crazy brain. I might actually be afraid of what I'll find there.

One thing that I find rather humorous about myself is that when I'm really struggling to come up with something (like 2 posts ago), I end up writing about something so random like my average length of stay in a residence. What if I just allow a stream of consciousness take over? Would I end up with post upon post upon post? What might I say? Who might think something awful of me? What awful might I think of myself? EEKS!

I sort of want to run away from this burning desire inside of me. This desire to just let my thoughts flow. It is really silly, however. After all, there were months of contemplation about blogging. It wasn't until the NaBloPoMo challenge that I felt compelled to go ahead and open up.

Maybe I just need to go back to counseling for a while?! 8-)

Monday, January 15, 2007

I can't believe I forgot to mention this!

I totally passed both of my tests!! AND! I overheard my boss talking to the HR Manager today about my raise! Hee hee hee! My reimbursement check should be cut tomorrow. That's right! Full reimbursement for my professional development and all the testing too!

$1075.00 Can you believe it!?!?

I'm not sure if you can tell, but I'm actually excited about this. Honestly, I can't believe that it took me almost a week to talk about it here. It must have been squashed underneath the crappy freezing snowy weather and snow days. And the first anniversary of Michelle's death. I'm still working on a post about that. It's not in draft mode yet, it's still swimming in my head.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

trying desperately to think of something to say...

That's what I am, just sitting here. I'm wishing that I could pull one group of thoughts out of my head that would mean something to anyone. Anything at all.

Unfortunately, there's really nothing of substance to say. In the last couple of weeks some biggish things have been going on. I'm pretty sure there's nothing that my one reader probably doesn't know already.

We're moving. Not far, just cheaper every month. About $250 less a month. That's about how much short we were for rent this month, so hopefully, we'll be able to hang on to this place for a whole year. I really hate moving, so maybe we'll really like the new place and we'll stay for a couple of years, like we did at this place.

Growing up, my family moved around so much. By the time my daughter was 1, I think my average length of stay in one place was about 2 years. In those days, we moved from time zone to time zone, so that's a lot different than this kind of move. Since I've lived in Washington the last 14 years, I've lived in 7 places. That's weird, my average hasn't changed since having a family. I guess 6 places is more accurate, since I lived in one of the places twice, but there was still moving involved. With all of that experience, you'd think I'd be better at it. You'd think I'd live in a more not-gonna-live-here-for-long manner, but I always forget that there's a move probably just around the corner.

I'm thinking about making a list of things to get done in order to prepare for moving. Last time we moved, my eldest had chickenpox and my sister was with us. There were so many people that helped us move, it was almost comical. I doubt that we'll have as much help this time. Having Michelle around made us much more lovable and in need of help. For as prepared as I thought I was for that move, apparently, I wasn't. I had packed up SO much in advance of the big day and I was certain that we were ready! It was going to be slick like buttah!

NOT! We were still pulling stuff out of the property 2 and 3 days later. Even after the sale had closed. It was really silly trying to "steal" stuff off our old property. We threw things into our neighbor's yard so that we could get it later.

This time, it's all about liquidation. Craig's List is our friend these days. Too bad it's the dead of winter! We could have a pretty kicking moving sale. In fact, if it can not snow next weekend, I just might do that on Saturday. Have a sale...eww! Cold, wet, and forced into such action by emptiness in the bank account. I can't wait!

I have a turtle shaped sandbox with a lid and a planter box/bench that I won't have room for. I'm sure there's stuff in the garage that we don't need. I know you can just see me jumping for joy at the opportunity to go through it all.

This project totally makes me want to run away to a warm island far, far away where all I need is the clothes on my back, my iPod, and an internet connection. I don't mind running water, but that's where I'll draw the line. Oh, and maybe some alcohol or at least the natural resources to make my own.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

The song stuck in my head.

I was running through the blogs that I read earlier this afternoon when I realized something. The way I thought it would feel to be a grown up isn't at all how it ends up being.

After reading earlier, I was washing dishes and this crazy song jumped into my brain radio. Where Have All The Cowboys Gone? except I was singing, "Where have all the perfect mom's gone?" Okay, yes. There is some creative timing involved in making those lyrics work with that melody. It was while I was making up new words to that horribly random song, that my realization occured.

There are certain things that I'm not good at. I generally feel unusual in the Grown-Up-Mother-Of-Three club. I don't like crafty things. I don't prefer caring deeply about many things or people. My hope runs a bit shallow. Those I do care about, I care about more deeply than people have usually cared back. I yell at my kids, okay, just the smallest. I swear from time to time. I drink too much when given the opportunity. I'm pretty much a really bad example of morality in my dreams. I procrastinate worse than the finest male example I know. For these reasons and many many more, I've built up little walls around myself that I use to try to keep people from liking me.

Blogging, scary as it was at first, seems to show itself as this mechanism to see other women that feel like I do. Other women who would not fit into the club that I imagine people to expect me to join. Apparently, this club doesn't really exist. Well, it might, but even the women in that club probably aren't perfect. And, they probably have a harder time pooping than I do, since they are so uptight. Busy keeping the world from seeing the reality of grossness that's in their bathrooms. The piles of medication they can't admit to using.

So, I guess I really like the reality of blogging. Sometimes, I find it scary or intimidating. Sometimes it's just plain funny. There's a slight addiction available here. But mostly, it's really nice to see that I'm not alone in the Not-So-Perfect-Grown-Up-Mother-Of-Three club.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

a new year...a fresh start??

Why is it that we make all these resolutions at the beginning of a new year and we kick it off with too much alcohol and a kicking hangover? But hey! Fun is fun! Especially when it's with awesome friends!! Friends who love you even though you can't remember everything that happened...