Tag Archives: life

Interuptions

18 Mar

From where I’m sitting I can see a tipped toy basket, hemorrhaging plastic replicas of machines and weapons.

I can see the dishwasher half-open, with the top rack pulled out and half empty.  The counter is piled first with dirty dishes, then with clean, and next with more toys.

Nearer to me is the cabinet by my desk, standing open and on the floor are pieces of a day-old tortilla now brittle and crumbling.

Chunks of cheese are cupped in an upturned Darth Vader helmet.

This is just what I can see from my desk, but around the corner is more, and more up the stairs, in the bathroom, down the hall, in the guest room, and everywhere else.

I assure you each night when I retire, every room is tidy.  The kitchen is clean and often the floors are swept.  All it takes is one solid bout of imaginary play from my four-year-old with the help of his younger brother who’s recently begun walking.  All it takes is one hour in which I attempt to tackle some significant task, like laundry or balancing our budget, for the two of them to entertain themselves into a frenzy of homemaking’s undoing.  Sometimes I think, “a play room would be great!  One room to contain the chaos.” But that’s fantasy parenting at its finest!

My children want to play near me, always near me.  They have a bedroom, and more toys in our guest-room, but they carry everything to wherever I am, and grace me with their enthusiastic pretend-play.  Today alone my son has discussed being the King Kong of ninjas, told me he doesn’t belong here because he belongs to the future, and explained how he works for a restaurant called “Charlie’s Pizza” that is all out of pistachios.  The reason my kitchen is half dirty and half clean is because of all this participation involved.

I know it only takes five minutes to empty the dishwasher!

But I haven’t enjoyed an uninterrupted five minutes unless my children are soundly sleeping. Often the HD will come home to a scatter of projects throughout the house: laundry in different stages of completion, a half-vacuumed room, a partially-prepped meal, and so on.  Someday they won’t be near me, I know, and I’ll have more complete thoughts and conversations with myself than will be healthy.  I know one day I’ll have to urge them to sit in the same room with me, at the same table with me, ride in the same car with me.  Right now the size-6 jeans are home to the largest lap my sons know, one big enough for the two of them.

Welp! This entry will be interrupted, too: I have to sprint my garbage can to the curb for pick up.

 

 

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Taking Time to Make the Time

28 Oct

We have resigned the Army.  We broke away and came (what feels in some ways like) full-circle.  In some ways it feels like completely uncharted territory — full-circle isn’t supposed to feel so unknown, is it?

When HD returned from Afghanistan I was overwhelmed with how similar the Army is to being in an abusive relationship, and like a bad boyfriend the Army made itself tough to leave.  My HD and I are practical planners, so as we searched the world for a new home and work, the Army kept whispering in our ear he’d make things so much easier if we’d just stay.  We wouldn’t have to try to figure out so many answers; the answers would all be given to us.  We wouldn’t have to figure out anything! Just relax and let him take care of it. ::insert creepy shoulder massage from behind so only an onlooker can see the wicked grin on his face::

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Most of the Talents Are Ones I Don’t Have

9 Oct

I have always wanted to play the piano. That’s not true — not always — but since being a teenager I have. I wanted to be at the bench, pounding away while singing into a microphone and making people want to dance (more Jerry Lee Lewis and less Tori Amos). Every time I hear Elton John, I see myself gingerly bringing “Honky Cat” to life. Exploiting all the jangly glory of those keys. On the softer side I hear Chopin and envision myself swaying passionately from side to side in a sweeping movement while being intertwined in the melody of “Fantasie Impromptu: Opus #66”. It’s closely related and only marginally tailed by my other dream of dancing. Without really thinking about it, my imagination’s eye starts rolling film of me — all bendy and powerful — dancing in the fashion of the 80’s “Fame” movie. It’s intense in my heart. Like the feeling you get when you start to really think about your favorite desert: it’s so good and so real you can almost taste it, but outside your power to create, or recreate.

My dancing career began and ended when I was six, though, on account of the high cost of lessons, and the work of taking me to a class (I also think my propensity for booty-shaking versus more ballet-type moves made my mother less motivated for me).

But the piano was always in the house. We always had our lovely, antique upright with a bench full of music. I spent a good deal of time playing around on it, and even had a lesson or two, but I backed slowly away. My sister was a masterful, self-trained pianist (still plays keys professionally), who could recreate Beethoven melodies on her own. In my elementary years I came under the impression that my instructor preferred teaching my sister (at this age I can’t recall if I “heard” her say that, or if I misinterpreted something else that was said), and I requested to no longer take lessons. I had such difficulty with my practice, that it seemed very plausible to me that I was equally difficult to teach. It seemed to disambiguate and simplify everyone’s life for me to definitively claim that I was not musically inclined, so I did, and so I’ve been.

It’s my nature to back away from other people’s passionate interests, or their lime-light. That’s not to say that I don’t eagerly leap into any unoccupied lime-light, but I find no pleasure in stealing another person’s thunder, as they say. I enjoy attention and recognition, but I don’t enjoy competition. The best way to avoid competition is to find my own — my very own — interests. Also, competing with my sister was paramount to competing with Beethoven himself, in my child’s mind: certain defeat.

As an adult, though, I just can’t deny that I love the piano. Maybe I’ll never get around to mastering that Chopin piece, but I believe I could learn enough to bring me satisfaction. I believe I could be good enough to sing along to. I’m not sure where to start…

With so many things I have this burning desire to “become…” but I just can’t see the first step. I’m tired of riding on the waves of life (like a flag tossed about by every wind), and only impulsively finding new adventures. I want to get There from Here, intentionally.

As for the dancing dream, I just need an empty warehouse and some awesome song blasting from the tape deck of my nearby VW.

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Skip This Post; I’m Just Exercising

7 Oct

The temperature became warmer as we traveled into the evening.  From the Cumberland Valley into the Shenandoah the temperature increased ten degrees, even though it was four hours later in the day, and into the evening.  The warmth seemed to beckon me and say, “welcome home; have a little extra summer”.  I drove in my VW with the baby, and the HD drove behind me with Young G.  The trip took two days (potty breaks and a nursing baby) until we ended up in Charleston.

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Civil War of Red and Blue

15 Sep

I wish politics weren’t so divisive in my generation.

There are some people I know (Facebook contacts, I guess) who are so against whichever party they oppose, that they revile anyone who supports them. Their thought process sounds something like: if you are against Candidate A you must therefore support Candidate B. Or even more frustrating, if you are supportive of Party A then you must necessarily support Candidate A. The latter assumption is the most prominent, and my greatest pet peeve (probably because I hate being labeled).

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Freedom Isn’t Free

10 Sep

By the time the HD finally returned home from Afghanistan, I felt defeated.  I was entirely overwrought.  For two weeks his flight schedule home fluctuated and changed.  Every day we heard something different from the day before about which flight he’d be on, what day he’d return, and at what time.  At last, twenty-four hours before his expected arrival, he called me to tell me he’d checked his bags for the final, 20 hour flight.  I received the phone call on the play ground, watching my Young G play with a friend, and did not expect my husband’s words, “I got kicked off my flight.”  At first I thought I was misunderstanding some guy-lingo, but when he repeated himself, it struck me how defeated he sounded.

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It’s Hard to NameThis Post without Quoting Hootie

30 Nov

My last post was written on Thanksgiving, using the iPad app, and I just realized it never posted. I think I sound pretty ungrateful in it! It’s pretty mind-numbing business being in limbo, and it is difficult to feel anything on a deep level, even gratitude. I sometimes miss the painful feelings of longing I once had at the beginning of this deployment, because even they have subsided and given way to this new-normal. My mind plays tricks on me all the time. It’s impossible to make sense. I crave simple things, and have come to question whether I deserve them or not.

Time has always interested me. It is an illusion, and does not exist in actuality. We like to talk about the “effects of time” when we see rusted vehicles and wrinkled faces. There are also “signs of the times” we mention when talking about violence in the news or hear political rock n’ roll. Sometimes we longingly reach back for “simpler times” as we embellish our pasts and become sentimental for romantic memories that are most often inaccurate. Because time is so illusory, we work so hard to measure it, mark its passage, weigh its value, and schedule within it. If you put five dollars in an envelope and forget to use it, then in twenty years you still have five dollars somewhere. If you put five minutes aside on your calendar and forget to use it, you’re screwed; it’s gone.

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