Sometimes I still feel like my body is not my own. Not so much that I'm not in my body but I just don't recognize it all the time.
My feet seem to have aged. I always felt like I had delicate, little girl feet and now when I look down they are still small but they seem older. More stable maybe. The toes spread out a little further, the arches sit a little flatter. They're good feet and I've always been thankful for that.
Sometimes I still can't believe I gave birth to a baby. And that that baby is now 8 months old. I'm a momma.
I have a kid.
I think I need a beer.
I love being a mom, I feel very lucky getting to work at home and be with Ray all the time. Lately he's been very content to just have me near him while he plays. I lay on the floor next to him and he plays with his books and his poker chips. We read about T'choupi and how he doesn't want to go to bed. He has the coolest, big wooden fire truck with a real ladder and a hose and everything. He loves to take the top off of the cab part and then the ladder off of the back. Then he sits there and puts stuff in the truck bed, then takes it back out. When he's not looking I sneak the top back onto the cab part of the truck and he gets this funny little puckered up face when he sees it sitting there. So then he carefully takes it back off again. It's our little game. Eventually he gives up and rolls the entire truck over and starts chewing on the tires.
I live for these moments. Watching him explore and examine. I'm amazed by his attention to detail. He can sit with the most ordinary of objects and look them like they are the most fascinating things he's ever seen. The other morning he kept reaching for the tag hanging from my tea bag, so I pulled it off and gave it to him. He carried that little green tag around with him all day. He'd sit there and look at it and then flip it over with those clumsy little fingers of his and look at it some more. Then he'd drop it and forget about it only to find it again later and be mesmerized by it all over again.
I always knew the good stuff was in the small stuff.
One of my favorite memories growing up has to be helping my mom organize her closet. She would ask me to come sit with her and tell her which clothes I liked and which ones were 'like, so last season'. I'd sit there, on the floor in her closet, and I remember she could tell just by the look on my face whether something was worth keeping or not. After we'd gone through each piece of clothing we'd go back and mix and match them all together, coming up with enough outfits for the next month. My favorite part was (and still is) how her closet smelled. My mom has the most wonderful smelling perfumes and lotions and her closet smelled just like them with a nickel sized dollop of her shampoo thrown in.
I wish I had somebody to help me do that. Do you ever feel like you are trying to wear someone else's clothes? Do you know what I mean? Like your clothes are really meant for the person you wish you were, or simply even the person you used to be.
I realize I have no idea what looks good on me. I have no idea what's in style this season. I can look through the pages of anthropologie or toast (the british version of anthro) and it all looks great, but when I actually go to the store and try something on it always disappoints. I'm trying something new in my closet, I can't remember where I read about it, but you turn all of your hangers backwards (I guess that assumes that all of your hangers were facing the same way to start with.. but I digress) Then when you wear one of the pieces of clothing you flip the hanger back around. That way you can actually see what you wear and what you just think you wear. It's actually pretty cool. I started it at new years. I know, I'm pretty dorky like that.
Anyway. Here's my theory on the store Anthropologie:
(side note: I think it used to be way better before Gap bought it.)
Once upon a time, this past Christmas season, I finally made it to the new Anthropologie store in a nearby town and I was so excited because it had been years since I had physically stepped foot in the store. At first glance everything was wonderful. There were sweaters with hand stitched details and skirts with appliques. I saw pants that screamed "You will have a cute butt in me" and there was a general sense of happy embellishment about the place.
Then I saw the tees and the tees grounded me. They ripped me right off my happy felted, chainstich embroidered cloud.
I did a double take. "They're how much?" Plain old t-shirts that must be expensive just because they have a nice tag in them. The prices were starting to haunt me...
"Look smaller, look smaller" I told myself, "Surely you'll find something you can afford".
There were tiny stuffed ornaments to the left and glittery garlands to the right.
Then, in one artificially lit moment it dawned on me that none of this stuff was truly handmade. Ok, sure it was handmade by someone sitting in a factory, but that person was chucking out hundreds of these things every day. Where's the originality? Where's the love?
And that's when the store suddenly became very depressing. I wouldn't be buying something special, I'd be buying some thing.
I ventured back to the sale room (crazy, I know) and once safely tucked inside I heard the words that drove the final nail into my new wardrobe coffin. "I know, I really like it too, do you really think I should get it?" 'It' being a sweater. "You know I already have this one in blue and yellow..."
Aaaaaahhhhh! I left as quickly as I had come in.
And so, on that fateful day, my love affair with the slightly askew yet still perfectly staged, vintage-esque store had come to an end. I'll be honest, I still flirt with the catalog from time to time but I don't think we'll ever meet in person again.
I have a very big 'bad mood hangover' this morning. So bad, that I'm feeling guilty about how crabby I was with my husband last night. In retrospect he was doing everything he could think of to make me happy and I just wasn't having any of it.
I don't know what my problem is. I'm really not a very serious person but lately I find myself taking life and everything in my day-to-day existence as if it were a life or death decision.
I'm also finding myself getting upset when something [or someone] disrupts my seriousness. "How can you not take this seriously? There is a pile for the mail right here. It does not go over there!"
Ugh. what a bore.
I really need to lighten up.
I remember last summer when I heard Rahima Baldwin Dancy speak at our local sustainability fair, she is the author of the book "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" (a book I own and have still not read), she said that being a mother [and a wife] takes a lot out of you and you need to stop and take time to refill the well. She said that a happy mom is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. She went on to talk about how there is a specific type of energy that children zap from us and some of the best ways to replenish it are to do something creative or spend time in nature.
I think my well has run dry.
I keep making things and doing things in the name of being creative and giving myself some time, but I've been looking at all of those things as entries on my to-do list. Things that need to be completed and the sooner the better. I need to do something for the sake of, for the love of, for the art of doing it, not for the final product.
For me, that is so much easier said than done.
I never thought I'd type these words, but I think the stress over this crappy economy is sneaking in. It's making our tempers shorter and probably contributes to my overall seriousness. I guess I feel like I'm wasting my time if I'm not making something I can sell or doing something that will make me some money.
Jeez, I might as well work a desk job.
I have the greatest life. I get to hang out with my son everyday and watch him grow and learn, minute by minute. And meanwhile, I get to make things that people actually like and want to give me money for. If that's not enough I have the choice to spend my day doing whatever it is that I please.
I guess things aren't so bad when you look at it that way.