Testing out all this new-fangled technology by posting a Diptic photo arrangement via the WordPress app on my iPhone.
Why yes! I am easily amused!
just trying to fit it all in
I was 8 when my mom was pregnant with my brother and bought him this antique dresser. I promptly informed her that a baby would not be able to appreciate this fine dresser and claimed it as my own.
My love affair with antiques actually began long before age 8, when I would wander through my grandparent’s house, trying to commit its entire contents to my memory.
However, this did mark the start of my claiming my mother’s things as my own, and she was helpless to stop it. She’s even more helpless to stop Ellis from “shopping” in her fridge, laughing as Ellis pulls out leftovers and dropping it into a bag and saying in her sing-song voice, We need this. Aaaand we need this. Aaaand we need this.
I love this dresser as much today as I did at age 8. It held my first pair of white Guess jeans with the little zippers up the back. My bff Jerusalem and I used it to mix a batch of chocolate chip cookies late one night because we didn’t want to wake up my family by using the kitchen.
The marks of a penny, a hairclip, and a scissors are burned into the surface from carelessly leaving them underneath whatever decorative cloth I had draped over its top.
And now the dresser is in Ellis’ room, and even though I tell myself it’s still my dresser, I am totally prepared for the day when she claims it as her own. I will outwardly protest and tell her that just because it’s in her room, that does not make it hers. And on the inside, I’ll be thinking, this is just how it should be.
I wonder what sort of memories Ellis will have of her dresser 25 years from now, what fashions it will hold, what marks will be left behind.
She may not remember how she used to “lock” her dresser pulls by flipping them up (to keep the cat out, of course), but I will.
You know how you see a corner of your laundry room closet and you think, That’s really gross. I should probably clean that. And then you move the dryer and the funk is so much grosser than you could have imagined?
Since buying our house in August of 2006, we’ve written a few checks for appliance repairs. Realizing at 5pm on a Sunday an hour before you’re due to volunteer at a fundraising event that your hot water heater is broken is always fun. (Note: the only thing more white trash than having a busted hot water heater on your front deck is maybe the people with a toilet in their yard a few blocks over. Except our busted water heater was only on the deck for a couple days and their toilet appears to be “yard art” so we win).
Last summer we had an oil leak in the washing machine, and the day the repair guy was scheduled to come over, I realized the fridge was unseasonably warm, and wouldn’t you know? The fan sensor had crapped out. Also fun.
Most recently, our dryer, while technically not broken, doesn’t shut off when the clothes are dry. It will cost about $125 for the replacement part, and since I’d rather buy groceries and diapers than a part for the dryer that technically still works, I try to remember to check the dryer to make sure it’s not running long and jacking up the electricity bill and/or becoming a fire hazard. Yes, I’m sure over time, we’ll have spent over $125 in extra electricity charges. Shut up.
Fast forward to last Friday night. I check the laundry and realize it’s really moist in there. Way too moist. I call Adam over, he pulls the dryer out from the wall, and produces a dryer vent so mangled that even poor folk such as ourselves wouldn’t reattach it. Lucky for us, we happened to have an extra dryer vent in our garage. Doesn’t everybody keep extra dryer vents in their garage JUST IN CASE?
To properly attach the new vent, Adam says he needs to go under the house, which he can’t do because the crawl space opening is in Ellis’ room (yes, the hatch is safely secured from the 2 year old. duh). Friday night or no Friday night, if your dryer was pulled out, wouldn’t you take the opportunity to clean that which never sees the light of day?
Enter last summer’s washing machine oil leak. When the appliance repair guy fixed the washer, he cleaned underneath it, but the oil of course spread further than he was obligated to clean.
So I spent my Friday night wiping up oil soaked lint from 25 year old linoleum in my jammies.
It’s nothing but glamor around here, no?
But it’s okay because I made brownies.
Today I turned 35. Thirty-five. Thirrrtteeee-FIVE. And my mind still reels at how this could have happened. Most days, I still feel like I’m waiting to become an adult because that’s what my life had been: waiting to become something and looking forward to that next, big stage.
I was certain life started at 18. And then I realized, oh hey! Eighteen isn’t what I thought it would be! It must 21 that I’m waiting for. Yes! At 21, life begins!
Except at 21, I quickly realized the only thing that changed was my ability to drink legally. And since my boyfriend at the time sucked every bit of joy & happiness from my life, I didn’t even get to properly enjoy that until I broke up with him three years later, and then whoo boy, did I enjoy the hell out of being able to drink legally! I mean, a lot.
Somewhere between 24 and 27, I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be in life. I felt content. I didn’t feel like a misplaced and confused teenager. I wasn’t in college, living on pretzels and Diet Coke, worrying about the day I’d have to have an actual job in my actual field of study. I wasn’t in a break-up-every-other-month-dead-end relationship while all of my high school friends (it seemed) were getting married and having babies. I felt like I had arrived. I loved my job and I was engaged to be married. I had my whole life ahead of me and I was happy. Finally. I wasn’t waiting.
Or so I thought.
I had the husband. I had the house, complete with fence (brown, not white), and I had the dog to go inside the fence.
I had the pregnancy, the excruciatingly long and lady-part shredding labor, and I had the perfect daughter whom I loved more than I ever imagined I could love another human being. And yet? I didn’t feel like a grown up. I had met all the criteria for being an adult, but I still felt like a big fat fraud.
The past year has been… challenging, shall we say? I was pushed far beyond any emotional boundaries I would have thought possible to survive. And survive I did. For months, that was all I did. From the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to bed, it was all survival-mode, all the time. No planning for tomorrow, just getting through today. Even this very “grown-up” act of getting through “grown-up” life didn’t make me feel like an actual grown-up.
Now I have a two year old child, and after two years of changing diapers (are we pee-pee or poopie?!), I didn’t feel like a grown-up. For two years, I have fed her, rocked her, soothed her, played with her, taught her, and made sure her every need was met. (To be sure, Adam is a wonderful father, but does a mother’s mind really ever shut off when her child is concerned?). Despite the “grown-up” act parenting, I did not feel like a grown-up. A mother? Definitely yes, but I was still waiting to feel like a grown-up. I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever feel like I viewed my parents.
I’m not sure what happened this summer, but something did happen, and when I wasn’t looking, grown-up snuck up on me. One evening as I was doing the sprinkler dance & trying to avoid getting soaked, I was all, Huh. I kinda felt like a grown-up right there. How ‘bout that.
And then there was the morning I was making blueberry pancakes for Ellis. In that moment, making breakfast for my daughter felt like the most grown-up thing I could ever do and I caught myself in a smile.
The rest of the summer has been filled with a hundred little moments like those where I realize that I am, finally, a grown up.
I’m starting to realize that 35 is just a number and not one to get hung up on. I thought I was supposed to feel a certain way at 35. You know, like a GROWN UP. I know now that I can feel any way I want to at 35. My vision of 35 was Dan & Roseanne Connor yelling at Darlene because she didn’t call home when she was going to be late coming home from the concert. That wasn’t me. I was 35 and Tweeting from my bathroom this morning about HOW COULD I BE 35? instead of getting ready for work.
I’m starting to realize that 35 is simply a measure of time and nothing more. It doesn’t tell the story. Only I can do that. Every new line on my 35 year-old face tells my story. Every step I’ve taken in life has brought me to today. To being a wife, a mother, a grown-up, me.
Lavender is something I need to have around me. It just….makes me happy.
My laundry gets a spritz of lavender water before being tossed in the laundry for de-wrinkling, and Ellis’ room gets a spritz before bed. Her bath get a few drops of essential oil, and I sit on the toilet and breath in the warm, lavender infused air.
Is this not the finest piece of brocolli you’ve ever seen? I MADE that brocolli. And let me tell you, it was also the BEST piece of brocolli I have ever eaten. Adam doesn’t believe that the brocolli I picked from our garden, the brocolli that we grew ourselves, the brocolli that I watered by strategically positioning the sprinkler just-so for maximum garden coverage.
He thinks that this glorious piece of brocolli, tastes the same as grocery store brocolli.
He thinks that this brocolli tastes the same as grocery store brocolli that was grown who knows where, sprayed with who knows what, was picked who knows when, was packed into a wax coated carton, was tossed into a truck, and onto a conveyor belt, sat in the belly of a cargo plane, was tossed into another truck, sat in a warehouse, tossed into another truck, was manhandled by the produce department, manhandled by consumers, and sat in my fridge until I decided to use it?
In all fairness, Adam finally conceded that our brocolli did, he guess, taste better than grocery store brocolli. So there you have it. Our household has voted, and home grown brocolli does, in fact, taste better than mystery brocolli.
No real mystery there.
And if I may add, the salad was the only part of her that dinner Ellis ate.
Sometimes a girl just needs a change. AMIRIGHT? I was never wild about my last blog title. It wasn’t me at all. I am not simple and my life is far from blissful. There are many adjectives one could use to describe my life, but blissful would not be one of them.
Maybe I just need to alter my definition of blissful because my current picture of bliss exists only in the pages of magazines. Dreamy magazine spreads of a backyard cottage studio with a perfectly-aged stone patio, Adirondack chairs, and a lovely cutting garden that would serve to fill a bud vase for every room of my house. A little place where one is free to just relax and BE. I imagine a breeze carrying the sweet smell of blossoming trees through the air and wishing it would stay summer forever.
But that is not my life. My reality is far from blissful, and although it is pretty damn good in the grand scheme of things, most days I think, when will it get easier? Will I get it together before my daughter learns the truth that her mother is a basket case?
If I know me like I think I know me, I will always be a work in progress. I will always be trying to create the perfect version of me. And while I am a perfectionist and that notion often prevents me from trying new things in the first place, that is not what I mean here.
I want to be the kind of woman my daughter will be proud of, and I know I’m not there yet.
And just like redefining BLISS, I need to redefine PERFECT. I need to realize that things can be perfect just the way they are and stop searching for the well-styled magazine layout.
I hope you will come along for the ride.