Thursday, June 09, 2011
Some long winded ramblings
When I was in high school I was a big fan of Deana Carter--a country singer I haven't heard tell of in years but who became popularized by her song--"Did I Shave My Legs for This?" I loved that song--even wrote my own version "Did I Waste Five Good Months For This?"about my first real romance which only lasted...you guessed it...Five Months, but in retrospect seemed like it dragged on for years.
Anyways, Deana's whole album was fantastic, especially "Strawberry Wine" (come to think of it maybe that one was her mainstreamer) and "We Danced Anyway." My best bud Bink and I went to her concert when she came, out in a dusty field in Murray on folding chairs. It was AWESOME. She played barefoot and we were in the front row or nearly front row. When she sang "Strawberry Wine" she had a line that went "Well I still remember, when 30 was old--" and I remember Bink snorting and saying "It is!" And at the time I thought "well how ridiculous, of course 30 is old. I'm 16 (or 17, somewhere in there) and I'm getting old myself!" Well I'm here to tell you something. 30 is old.
That may not mean much coming from a 30 year old who thought she was over the hill at 17, but I gotta tell ya...I'm old. Already I hear words on the television and I don't know what they mean, and I'm older than the Bachelorette and most of the Bachelors too, and every day I find myself more and more drawn to twangy country music. I make no apologies for my love of country music, but I used to at least preface my love with "But only MODERN, you know, not-twangy stuff." Nope. Love me some twang. And the stuff that was MODERN in 1995.
I got to thinking about all this today when I was convinced by my hair girl (31) and my friend Katie (30) that it was okay for me to have one of those feathers in my hair like I've seen on little 12 year olds lately who turn out to be 18. And I then I spent the rest of the afternoon keeping my head turned just so, so no one would notice it.
The other day my dad said something about it being difficult to just stop and appreciate the place you are in NOW, and not wish for yesteryear or dream about when the kids are a little older and you can take them to a movie, or better yet, LEAVE them and go to a movie, etc. I think I am appreciating where I am now, but it's only because of where I've been. I loved elementary school. I loved high school (mostly.) Man college was FUN and I didn't even know it. Being a newlywed with a full time job and all the time in the world to go to the gym and take weekend trips was awesome. And life with Charlotte was so RICH and precious and short. I knew it was going to be short. I knew one day I would be starting again at motherhood with kids who didn't go to the doctor every week and could crawl and walk and throw things in the toilet. When Ella came I knew those days were beginning and I was apprehensive. Then in a whirlwind, Charlotte was gone, Ava was here and I was expecting Lily. I really didn't know what would happen with Lily. I thought she might stay for a long time, and I really did hope she would. Because the stress level is so much lower with non-medically fragile kids, but I was so GOOD at special needs parenting. I felt like I was doing a great job with Charlotte, and I giving her all I could, and making her life as best it could be, and I knew she was happy. I wanted that again. Parenting Ella and Ava is absolutely delightful. They are so fun and smart and hilarious. But Ella runs away from me in Costco and smacks her sister and refuses to potty train, and I don't know what I'm doing. No one tells me I'm so strong or so brave when I'm counting to three as Ella streaks away from me in a parking lot with her pants falling down. And I see a black woman in a store and my heart just aches if she doesn't smile at Ava and I. I duck my head if Ava's hair isn't freshly done. I don't know what to say or do when a family glares at mine at a restaurant in Vegas, because, presumably, we are all painfully, shockingly white and Ava is black and should be heir to a rich, strong culture that I can't give her.
Charlotte left. Lily left. Without some major interventions from above (and don't get me wrong, there have been many of those) I will never be a special needs parent again. I'm a bumbling, old, white mom who can't control her toddler, corn row her baby's hair or respond like an appropriate mama bear when I should.
I will learn.
Someday I will look back and wish for my tiny tots who squawk and push and refuse to get dressed and roll away and pee before I can a diaper on. Someday I will whine at my kids and beg for a hug and a snuggle when all they want to do now is drool on me and fight for a spot on my lap. And someday I will smile at that 30 year old who was afraid, and old, and tired, and yes, very, very happy, but not yet grown up enough not to put a feather in her hair.