Saturday, May 23, 2009

She brings light, she is like the sun

"For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out."~James Baldwin

The saddest part of today was when I was sitting way up in the civic center stadium while the class of 2009 marched in and I couldn't find my daughter among the sea of 1000 green caps and gowns.

I stood there looking for someone I knew so I could approximate in the alphabet where she would be and I couldn't pick out even one face that I recognized from so far up. I panicked then, just for a little bit, because I thought--who sends their kid to a high school with a graduating class of 1000? And I could feel tears pooling in my eyes with the ridiculousness of it all--but then I found her--decked out with her honors collar and ropes (cords) and medals and pins and my heart filled with joy. She never found me in the crowd, but I found her. She has done everything right and I hope our country doesn't get too screwed up before she gets to really shine because that would be a damn shame. She brings light, she is like the sun.

On the way over to the graduation ceremony, stuck in traffic, my husband sighed and asked me if our daughter just couldn't have skipped the ceremony and picked up her diploma at the school sometime next week. I've gotten good at taking this sort of remark and not exploding on the spot anymore. What I do is I tell him I can't entertain his nonsense at the moment and to please act normal. Then I'll file the comment away in my head somewhere and take it out (like now) and think--whatever will I do with myself if I have to deal with this craziness for the rest of my life.

You might think that your youngest daughter graduating from high school with so many honors she barely has room around her neck for more would be an experience you'd want to dive into and enjoy forever. But no--it's an inconvenience for him--finding a parking spot and whatnot. I had to remind him that today was not about him and I truly think that I should NOT have to do that sort of thing at this point in my life, but for life to run smoothly, I suck up the things that make me want to scream. I think I am getting better at accepting that life will not always be the way I want it to be.

Then it's time to choose a place to eat and of course there's a battle between the graduate and my husband and he doesn't seem to get that it's HER day and that he should take her where she wants to go. Nope. An argument ensues and I sit there feeling myself shrinking and wishing I could disappear because no one will "just go along" except for me. What's so hard about doing something you don't want to do once in awhile? My father used to tell me it builds character.

Anyway, I thought I'd be very emotional today but between my husband's juvenile behavior and my son's griping about not "having a plan about where to sit," and the kid who sat next to me who hogged the armrest while my husband hogged the one on the other side leaving me scrunched up and claustrophobic, and my camera malfunctioning, and the 12 or 13 people who needed to get up and as a result I had to get up to let them go by so that I was pretty much a like a jack-in-the-box for most of the ceremony, and then the restaurant wars afterwards--well, I was too aggravated to feel sentimental and weepy. Mostly I just wanted to hit someone.

I'm really proud of my daughter and all she has accomplished. I'm happy to think I played a small part in all that greatness.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tic toc, tic toc

"If someone love you for what you can do then it's flattering, but why do they love you? If someone loves you for who you are then they have to know you, which means you have to know them."~Ann Patchett

At the beginning of the week my husband informed me that he was taking the entire next week off because he felt burnt out from work. I wish I could be the type of wife who, when I heard something like that, could find some semblance of joy in that news. But I'm the type of person who thinks..."GRRREEAATTT!!! Another person I'll have to pick up after, and another person who just takes and takes and takes from me as though I am a never ending well of giving."

These impromptu vacations of his always involve "lists of things to do" which would be great if he took that list and did those things himself, but that's not what happens. What happens is that there becomes this constant talk of "togetherness" which translates into me doing more than my share of the work because I do things quickly while he seems to take on a supervisor role handing out critiques on how I'm coming along with whatever job he's got lined up for me. Totally not fun. His vacations mean more work for me and I don't understand why he doesn't understand why this would not excite me. These are the times when the ticking inside my head gets progressively louder by the day and because no one can see or hear it, it always comes as a surprise to everyone when I explode from the frustration of it all.

I, too, know why the caged bird sings.

Today he calls me and says, "Hey, how about next week we go room to room and deep clean everything and throw away stuff we don't need."

So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to THAT!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Searching for something

To combat monotony in my life, I have taken to cooking new things. Every week I ask around the house for suggestions and someone always comes through with an idea and I make it. I've tried lots of different things and I've had more hits than misses, however I think this is mostly about having a challenge, of doing something different. My life has come to this: I cook for a little excitement, to say I've done something new.

My youngest has only 1 more day of high school left. I thought by now my heart would be breaking with sadness for all the time that has slipped by without me really noticing. I thought tears would constantly be at the ready to fall and fall some more. But here I am, not really all that wistful or sad. I cannot cry for what I am losing because I need to focus on everything good that is in front of her. There is a world out there with its arms open wide just waiting for her. I pray the world is gentle with her, with all of us she leaves behind.

I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend and if I must say so myself, it was not one of my brightest moments. I feel this ticking inside my head sometimes, like a bomb just waiting to go off at the smallest of provocations. I've learned to turn it off a good deal of the time, but there are moments when it gets the best of me and I lose control. Afterwards I feel like such a loser--like I will never be able to rise above the pettiness of life and people because inevitably, I engage in these despicable scenes where I don't know who I am anymore. And I could not even tell you what was really wrong, just that everything felt too much and one wrong word sent me over the edge. I resolve not to do it again until I do it again then feel rotten for my lack of self-control.

I'm still searching for the truth in religion, God, faith, church, life. I have this idea that the truth should be simple, clear, static. I think that the truth should not be subjective, depending on a particular agenda we might have inside our heads. It's like molding a truth to what you want it to be. That's not real. But I'll read something about church/God/religion and it will strike such a chord with me and I think that I have found the truth and then I'll read something else that makes more sense and completely leave the first truth to stand behind the second truth I've just found. So I think--what is it? What is the truth? Are there as many truths as there are people in this world, or is there one truth that I must dig and dig to find? And will that truth still be the same 10 years from now, because I want it to be the truth 10 years from now and not have to find out that I've had faith in something false. So is it that I'm afraid to be wrong--or wrong again? I think I am. It's not like I haven't been wrong a million times before. It's not such a big deal. If I'm wrong, life will go on and I'll just believe in a new truth. I should be happy that my heart is open to hearing everything and sifting through it all to try to find what I am looking for.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The ongoing list of things I don't want to do, but do anyway

Things I do this week that I don't want to do but do anyway because I LIVE IN REALITY AND REALITY REQUIRES IT OF ME.

This will be a list that I add to as the days go by. I asked my daughter to move her car up the driveway so that another car could fit in. Well, you might have thought I was asking her to drive to Alaska to get me some ice what with all the huffing and puffing that went along with her moving her damn car. It took all of about 3 minutes but I was disturbing her "movie watching." Boo hoo hoo. Life is SO rough! So here's my list starting Sunday night:

Folded and put away about 20 towels.
Just threw in another load of laundry at 10:00 PM.
Listening to my husband bitch about seeing a spider--OMG! Whatever will we do? (I walked over and stomped the life out it).
Sorted through a bunch of socks.