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Archive for December, 2007

I love mothers

I really do! Yes, there was a time during my worst days of depression when I looked at mothers bitterly, as a “they”, and was sure that they looked at me with disdain, or overlooked me completely. But there’s no getting around it, I’m surrounded by mothers, and I’m thankful for each of them because they teach me so much about myself and womanhood.

Not only that, but sometimes, their motherliness shloshes over the brim of their cup and spills a little onto me. And who doesn’t want a little extra mothering? Take for example, my friend Emilie’s comment on yesterday’s post. Hm……which sounds more productive to me – going to see a doctor who will just tell me that there’s something going around, or having Emilie come and fix me matzah-ball soup? [She’s not Jewish, but man, can she make matzah-ball soup!] I know which would make me feel better, faster, and it ain’t Doc Broc.

But, hey, it’s not always about me. [And you’ll never know how much it pains this Aries to say that…] There are moms in this world that I love who are kind enough to let me see their world. To share in their triumphs as moms, as women, as humans. When moms share their lives like that, it makes me feel as though they aren’t saying, “you wouldn’t understand – you’re not a mom”, but rather, “I want you to understand; you’re my friend and my sister, and I need you to understand me.”

Emilie’s post today was like that. Yeah, I confess, I’m the friend who suggested Neosporin. [It made sense to me, since I sometimes use it as lip balm.] But I enjoyed that glimpse into her daily concerns and her pride in finding a solution. I’m proud for her. She’s a great mom! And while I can’t understand what it must be like to see your infant daughter with a painful and out-of-control case of baby acne, I can understand what a relief it is to be able to bring comfort to someone you love.

Another mother I enjoy following is Ree, the Pioneer Woman. Today, she posted about her joys of homeschooling her children. I particularly enjoyed this post because I had wanted to homeschool my children, before infertility whisked them away from me. In fact, I went to school to study education in order to understand the learning process and be the most effective homeschooler I could be. Being able to read her post today allowed me to imagine for a moment that those were the expressions I might have seen on my children’s faces. The homeschooling world, the mom world, the family core of hearth and home, are so often private worlds, alternate realities that I can only imagine.

Unless moms occasionally open the door for me and invite me in.

Thanks, Moms!

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Holy smokes, make my head stop hurting!  I’ve had a headache for four days, which means it’s probably the annual “End of the Fall Semester Sinus Infection”.  Sigh.  It happens the same way every year.  The Fall semester is long, tedious, and exhausting, and I eagerly look forward to the end of it so that I can recover and get my house (and my life) back in order.   But the late nights writing papers and studying for final exams take their toll, and rather than feeling freed to enjoy the break, I end up with a sinus infection and a cranky disposition. 

Speaking of cranky, I’m -way- behind on my knitting for Christmas gifts.  I’m either going to have to come up with an alternative plan, or go shopping for knitted things, cut the tags off, and try to pass them off as my own work.  The first idea conflicts with my own internal locus of control, the second one with my qualms about lying.  Maybe what I’ll do is send a yarn sample and a photocopy of the pattern to everyone I’m knitting for, and tell them to look for their gift sometime in March or April…

Just what everyone wants: Warm, knitted things just in time for Spring thaw….

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I suppose that phrase should conjure up fear in my heart, but since I don’t actually have much money to spend on Christmas gifts, it looks like another homemade/handmade giftstravaganza. 

Which really means I have only 20 knitting, canning, cooking, decorating, and otherwise crafting days till Christmas. 

Yikes.  That’s even scarier…

I enjoy all the artsy-craftsy stuff, and I like the process of thinking about the people who are going to receive the gifts while I’m in the process of making them.  But I can’t help but think that it would be so much easier to be able to go out and buy gifts for everyone I love. 

This morning, I started thinking about what I would get my friends and family if I were going shopping for them.  Not crazy, “If I won the lottery” kind of gifts, just ordinary gifts.  So, here’s my Gifting Wish-List for this year:

Mom:  a monthly appointment with a massage therapist.  And some of those heat-in-the-microwave fleece booties for her cold feet.

Dad: a really cool flight simulator program, so he could tell me all the ways the program has it wrong and how that airplane doesn’t really sound like that…

Favorite Nephew Carter:  a beginner’s electronic drumkit!  Yeah, buddy!  Everyone should have the joy of living with a drummer!

Carter’s Mom (SIL): Excedrin.  And earplugs.  And maybe even some margarita mix. 

Carter’s Dad (My Brother): More of the same.  Oh, and a kazoo, so he could play along with Carter. 

Grandpa: a replacement set of guages for the 1953 Ford tractor.  And maybe some headlights to go with them.  Oh, and brakes, too.  [okay, so anyone who reads my blog knows that’s really gifting to myself!  But hey, I let Grandpa drive the tractor, too!]

Emilie:  A photo printer, and photo paper of every size, and lots of it.  She takes the most beautiful pictures of her little girls that I would love to be able to let her print out as many as she wanted.  Oh, and monthly pedicures.  She deserves them.

Evan:  Hm, that’s a tough one.  I would probably get him gift certificates for his three favorite things….books, music, and books.  Oh, and maybe a mini-trumpet, or a regular trumpet.  Or a kazoo, so he can play in the Carter band.

Ah, yes, and my beloved Tony.  What on earth would I get Tony for Christmas….? 

Heh!  I ain’t posting it here!  For one thing, there are wordpress guidelines against certain types of postings….for another, he just might get it, anyway!  ;- )

So, I hope all my friends and family enjoy their “virtual gifts”.  You can think about them while you admire your home-made gifts. 

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Here’s something new…

Okay, I’m strange, and maybe a bit conflicted. I admit it.

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you realize that sometimes, I talk about gardening. Sometimes, I talk about the rest of my life. And sometimes, I talk about infertility. This is kind of a problem for me, because I don’t want to define myself by my infertility, I don’t want my life to be about infertility, and yet it’s always there. And I have a lot of friends who, frankly, don’t want to read about my infertility. They have lived through the worst of it with me, and they are ready to move on.

And not only do I not want my life to be about infertility, I don’t want my blog to be all about infertility either. See that tag cloud to the right of the page? I’ve worked really hard to try to get the other tags to be larger than “infertility” and yet I can’t seem to manage it.

But when I do post about my dealings with infertility, I get a lot of responses from readers, sometimes very personal, and always very anguished, comments from other women who are going through their own struggles. And because infertility is very isolating, I really do feel that we need each other. Infertile women are the only people who really understand what it’s like to be an infertile woman and all that entails.

So I did the only thing I could think to do. I started a new blog, just for discussing infertility issues. For discussing life issues. For discussing hope issues.

blessedarethebarren.wordpress.com

It’s a strange name. It’s a strange thing to even consider that, as infertile women, we can feel blessed. Stranger still, we can be blessed. It’s the hope I cling to, that there’s meaning in my suffering, and blessings for my life.

You’re welcome to visit, to stop in, to converse if you want to. Occassionally I will still post something here about my feelings as they relate to infertility. Afterall, it’s still a part of my life. Sometimes I’ll cross-post, because although I don’t want my life to be about infertility, infertility can’t be pigeonholed into just one area of my life.

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[I apologize for being so long between posts, but the honest truth is that a) the end of the semester is here, which means extra work and papers for my two classes, and b) because I’m either locked up in the language lab doing extra work or chained to my computer at home writing papers for my two classes, nothing very interesting is happening in my life right now. I’ve been meaning to get this one out for the past four days!  In fact, the very fact that I haven’t been able to write this post is further evidence of just how much I –needed– to write this post.]

What many people may not understand is how incredibly -luxurious- it can be to live in the country.  What we may lack in terms of convenient coffee-shops and ready-made entertainment is more than compensated for by the abundance of peace and the space for reflection.  As my professional life speeds ahead and I get caught up in the urgencies of the end of the semester, I must take account of the many luxuries my life affords me, if for no other reason to be sure that I don’t forget to take advantage of them.  Here are but a few:

Davis RoadQuiet.  It’s so very quiet in the country.  When I step out of my door into the night, I don’t hear cars or trucks, but only rarely the distant sound of a train whistle.  The incessant clatter of the network printer that haunts my workday is far, far away, and the repeated interruptions by students and faculty alike are replaced by undemanding calls of owls and the social-networking of coyotes.  I could take a bath in quiet.  I can feel quiet run down my head and face, filling my ears with the quiet-ness of it, washing away noise and clamour and machines until they run off my fingertips in pools at my feet.  Quiet is a luxury.

Green.  Even in the late fall, green is a luxury.  Moss glows brightly green against the clay of the earth, and with the loss of the hardwood leaves, the green of the pines stands out in stark contrast to the grey of the wood’s skeletons and the sweeping grey of a wintery sky.  In the city where I work, the token trees have also lost their leaves and the unrelieved grey of concrete and asphalt reach upwards into the grey of the clouds, but at home, in the country, green needles tickle the sky on the breeze and remind me that winter is but a pause.

Air.  The air in the country is crisp and cool and clean, and it transforms the mundane of breathing in and out, in and out, to a luxurious act of living purposefully.  The air is so fresh that you can smell the smoke from a winter hearth far off in the distance and imagine the warmth. 

Reflection.  Time slows once I get home to my place here in the woods, and with it, my heart can slow, and my thoughts can slow so that I can turn one thought over and over until it is smooth like a river stone, the sharp edges ground away and polished into reflection.  And with reflection comes humility, in which I can see my life as a small thread in the vast fabric of the universe, and thankfulness, so that I can be thankful for things that might have passed unnoticed.  Like a gravel road that’s just been graded, like a rainfall that washed away the dust of the drought, like a quiet country night, when the air is still, and the stars are bright, and the coyote pups sing me to sleep.

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