Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Boys and Their Books

   I have begun to notice a pattern when it comes to not just my own reading habits but in how they affect the reading habits of my son. You see, it is far easier for me to read, and get the most out of that reading, when he is asleep. BUT... on the days that I do read my own books in front of him his desire to be read to increases exponentially. The inverse of this appears to be true as well. And the effects seem to last for multiple days.

   Yesterday was one of those days. Being sick I knew that I wouldn't have the energy to focus on my reading after he had gone to bed for the night so I picked up my book and began to read as he played happily in the other room. All it took was one glance of Mommy with a book in her hand for him to come running to me with stacks and stacks of books pretty much ever since.

   This is obviously a good thing. Today we have read I Am A Bunny, Harry the Dirty Dog and Corduroy multiple times each. Bastian even pointed to the appropriate dog on a page full of pooches and said "Harry!" with great confidence! It was fantastic! But... being melancholy as I am, this reminds me of how intensely in tune our children are with not only what their parents say but what they do. It is a scary and at the same time glorious responsibility. To know that one day he will look back at his love of books and point to me. Just the same as his propensity for not changing out of his pajamas all day long... It is a double edged sword.

   While it is inherently impossible to prevent our children from picking up at least some of our bad traits, it is also impossible to stop them from inheriting some of our best as well. So long as we remember to do the things we love, the things we are the best at doing, in front of our children. My mother never waited for my sister and I to go to bed before she sat down at her sewing machine. She let us watch and later help. My dad never shied away from engaging in wonderful conversations with new people because my sister and I were along and at three and six years old  would find adult conversations dull. We both get much of our creativity and relational depth from the fact that our parents engaged their passions and talents in front of us.

   Do you value reading? Writing? Good movies? Great conversations? Do those things. Frequently. For yourself of course, but also for your kids. Do them in front of your kids. Your children, in all likelihood will follow suite.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feet Without Shoes

There is something about hands at a keyboard
whether connected to a computer or a typewriter
sometimes even a phone
hands with wrinkles big or small
veins protruding as fingers type
a womans hands clothed in mismatched rings
chipped nail polish
dark blue with a slight shimmer
against the black and white keys
messages to someone 
a story to tell the world or hide from it
and from the heart of the writer
those hands could be doing a thousand other things
washing dishes
holding a lit cigarette between drags
touching someone
hiding inside tight pockets
but something about that keyboard makes them seem
on their own
and yet they draw their power from tense palms and
tattooed forearms
from hunched shoulders and furrowed brows
they are not ever

There is something about hearts locked together
about feet without shoes

There is something 
something so very different
about you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Off to be On

   Tomorrow is my day off. This may sound like a normal statement. Something people say when they have a traditional job and have "days off"... meaning days that they do not work. It could include anything from recreational sports, to sleeping in to doing laundry all day long in front of the TV. For me however, I do not have "on days" in the same way that the majority of people do... I do not have a job. I work, yes. I am a mom and that is a LOT of work. I write and that is quite draining as well... but my responsibilities are entirely self defined.
   That being said, a lot of my responsibilities, despite being things that I happily chose for myself (and would choose again in a heartbeat) are the type that tend to define me if I don't fight against that current. This leads to large spans of time in which I become entirely overwhelmed.  Now being one of those times. These past few weeks have been filled with wonderful, amazing things. I am grateful for them but I must admit that I am drained and lost in their wake.
   Tomorrow the day is all mine. Free from my normal responsibilities. Bastian is in bed as I type and I can already feel the relaxation sinking in to my bones knowing that I have one whole day to do only the things that I never get around to. To hoop, and make hoops. To paint my toenails and watch Juno or maybe just more Buffy. To do my makeup in the morning whether or not I plan to leave the house. To bake something, then sit down to eat it while it's still fresh. I have a feeling pumpkin muffins will be on the menu. To read without having to look up and make sure nobody has their head stuck between the couches... because it's just too quiet. Or to do none of those things if I feel like it when the time comes.
   What do you do when you get a free pass for a whole day? What restores your soul?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Schizophrenic Style: Easter Edition

   Pastels are not my thing, just about everyone who knows me, knows that this is true. That being said... holidays absolutely are 100% my thing. Especially such incredibly joyful holidays as Easter! What better time for a personal transformation, in style or any other facet, than on the day we celebrate the transformation of the meaning of death? It is no longer a permanent thing... it no longer is the end of the book Merely a period at the end of a very short sentence.

   So while there are many more important messages to write about, meditate on and rejoice over... I wanted to share one little way in which I personally express my joy over this blessed news. Pastels. Lightness amidst the dark. A taste of the wonder and freshness that is spring.

   And, seeing as this is a day best celebrated with family, I have another amazing outfit to share with you... this is the sister of mine I spoke so highly of in my previous post. Is she not the most gorgeous young lady you have ever laid your eyes on?

    Last but not least... we have my little man in his sweater vest and matching tie. How can you not melt at a sight such as that?

   Now that you have had your fix of style and beauty, turn off that computer, put down your phone and spend some time with the ones you love.... and I will do the same!

Rejoice! He is Risen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Starting to Show

  Lack of sleep is not so much a problem when passions and excitement are high. Today is the day that we all gather to see the culmination of my sister's college career. She has blossomed in ways that surprised even those of us closest to her. We always knew she was smart, gifted and determined... but none of seem to have been aware of the vast artistic potential that had been lying dormant all those years. Being on her own has brought her to a place of personal discovery and awakening.... something that will be on display in just over an hour now, by way of her senior show. A gallery installation of her best works of the past four years.

   Four years.

   How have four years passed by so quickly? How is she about to graduate from college? How am I a wife and stay-at-home-mom/writer? Just yesterday we were both living under one roof together with our parents just itching to get out. And now we long for those few and far between moments we get to share together, This afternoon for example, will be especially sweet.

   So here I sit in my room at the visitors center typing away on my laptop as my toddler eats pasta next door with Grandma and Umpa... contemplating my fourth cup of coffee even though I know that without it my joy will carry me through the rest of the day on in to the evening. It's likely that I'll cave anyways and then succumb to the inevitable jitters. But then I will have something to blame my trembling on when outsiders look upon the overly excited look in my eyes as I struggle to not tear up. And something to point a finger at when my hands begin fidgeting ,because, you know, it's not socially acceptable to jump up and down, squealing like a little girl at a professional gallery showing.

  I woke up at 6 am and need coffee to calm myself... and that is alright by me.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tomorrows Nostalgia

   I really genuinely feel like writing tonight. I feel like drinking cup after cup of coffee... and honestly, I would love to magically have a pack of cigarettes appear right next to me even though logically I know that I would wind up puking after three... but, it just feels so literary to sit at a keyboard all hopped up on caffeine and nicotine.

   It actually sounds rather disgusting upon further thought.. but still, when I envision myself working on my great masterpiece it is in a dingy, messy, cluttered slate blue office, at an old, worn in but sturdy wooden desk in front of a window, that is apparently several stories up... with a mug that has been reused far too many times between cleanings and a cigarette lit, in hand. How I could type like that I have no clue. But this crappy Walmart particle board piece of garbage I'm sitting at right now, in a makeshift office that really is just a fake room that leads to other rooms... the family room, the bathroom, the laundry room... This office is a glorified entryway, and it just doesn't feel enough like a real writers working space. I don't feel enough like a real writer.

   But I know that looking back it will all seem far more romantic than it does now. That is how nostalgia works. Whether it is for something real or imagined. We all romanticize negative aspects of other people's lives, of their pasts and sometimes of our own pasts... but those same things, present tense in our lives become glaring distractions and are easily turned into excuses. If only I knew now that looking back this desk with it's water marks and my dusty generic keyboard and boring glass of good old H2O will seem so poetic.

   Ahh... but, I do. And still I hate them. Maybe that hate is what is required  in order to create that future love. The good old days aren't any fun to look back on if it weren't for the things that drove you crazy that no longer exist. Things from a time when you did what you loved despite those annoying little nuances. It's the things that stick out like sore thumbs that always stick forever to your happy memories. They meld and bind together with the love of the act until suddenly there is a love for the thing as well. The very thing you spent so much valuable time wishing away.

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