Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Little Girl

I have these kids who are just the light of my life. But, and there is always a but. I like it that they are growing up. I never cried at the first day of school, or got sad when they could dress themselves. None of their milestones ever bothered me. I celebrated each and every one as them being a step closer to the door.

That is until now. This little girl is different. I love her no more no less than her brothers but there is something soo sweet and loving about her, that I cannot handle the little things that indicate her growth. She was the independent sort from birth. She was here 1.7 hours after my first labor pain. She did not give me time to get the nice man to put that wonderful needle in my spine. (I was soo looking forward to it) I forgave her for it the minute she came out looking as long as a 3 month old with these little chicken legs and fingers longer than any baby should have. She knew I was tired so she cooed for a minute got herself some grub and went straight to sleep. She was my company in the height of the grief of losing my mother. I look at her now and I am so unprepared for the mix of emotions she brings. Every one of her birthdays is another year that I have spent without my mom. But she brings more joy that I could ever have hoped for. It makes my heart sad but my spirit joyous to listen to her tell me the story of her days in kindergarten. I am soo happy that she dresses herself yet utterly unprepared for the heaviness of my heart when she appears out of her room completely dressed shoes on the right feet and looking stunning. I wonder sometimes if this beautiful little girl is really the result of me the completely gawky, nerdy little kid with the off color hair. She is bubbly and giggly where I was sad and withdrawn. Yet here she is with my mom’s personality and her dad’s height and smile. I do not think I am ready for the big girl that is in my little girl. I want to always hear that wonderful giggle. But I know that all too soon she will be a teenager shutting me out and not wanting to snuggle with me. I am just not sure I can handle it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where Are You On The List

I was reading an article about Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama and there was a line that just got me. When Oprah asked her about getting up at 4:30am (YES, AM!!!!) to workout she said “Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I'd get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I'd get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it's suddenly, "Oh, I can't get up at 4:30." So I had to change that.” The last part of that has kept me up at night thinking about it. Why is it that when it comes to us we are always on the back burner? Everywhere I looked I saw evidence of that. At home my room looks barren and my covers are hand me down sorta matching things that I hate. My kids’ rooms are completely decorated with NEW matching covers, curtains and beautiful accessories. My closet is full of thrift store finds while my kids have a good mix of new and thrift. My dentist appointment got canceled because it was at the same time of the Kindergarten circus. My personal workspace is a mess while I spend a lot of time making sure our shared spaces are neat. I am always last on my list, that is, when I make it to the list. I see that not just in me but many other women, actually just about every woman I know. My sister who is a double amputee is looking for a second, yes, second job to pay for my niece’s sweet sixteen. My one friend always jokes about looking like her kids’ nanny because they are all clean and very well dressed while she may or may not have cheetos or oatmeal stuck to some part of her outfit which consists of the same 3 pairs of sweats and tees. My co-workers all come to work sick because we need to save our time off for when the kids or husband or whomever else besides us are sick. My other friend drives a 6 year old Camry while her daughter drives a 3 year old BMW. Every where we look there is someone telling us that we need to take care of ourselves but it seems to fall on deaf ears, or maybe we are too busy listening to the next thing we need to fix.

I must admit that I have my vices. I may scrounge on the dollar rack for my clothes but my undies cost insane amounts that cause me to cringe when I think of where that money could go. I spent my childhood in white utilitarian undies because my mom loved, loved Clorox. It was after all the ONLY thing that got undies clean and sanitary enough to wear again (yes, she had germ issues). I always have wine in my house. I love wine, I cook with wine and occasionally I put some in the food. I have a wine cooler on my counter that I got BEFORE the new refrigerator in my new place (well I found it on Craig’s list first). These things are mine! I will not give them up. But my Dr. appointment, hair appointment, my room that I have grand plans for are always last on the list. Sick? Who has time for illness or the rest needed to get over it I certainly don’t. Where are you on your list? What do you do to take care of you? Will you take Mrs. Obama’s advice and change how you prioritize yourself?