Thanks to the Wacky Nekkid Neighbors, I now have two full beds of strawberries plants rooting into the rich, crumbly dirt in my back yard.
I have been down. I get the blues, the mean reds, the woe is me tragic-tragics.
And there I am, trying to hold it together, snapping at my kids for no reason. Hating the park. Loathing, despising, fearful of the park, where my dad had a psychotic break. What do I tell my kids? "I wish I liked the park, but it reminds me of Grandpa's psychotic break. Honey-children, I hate the park. Can we play in the yard instead?"
It's all because I had to stop being a kid when I turned about eight, and it became clear with each institutionalization (seven or so total) that my dad would not get better, would never get better, would die soon. Did die soon, much too young. (When he was 31 and I was nine; my mom was 30, my sister was six. We were all four much, much too young.) I want my kids to be allowed to be kids, but I have a hard time with the boundaries -- they do need to learn some responsibilities -- how to do simple chores, how to be polite when someone fixes them food. They are not allowed to throw tantrums. They need to show respect. The quacking bunnies? I can deal with the quacking bunnies. But sometimes they need to go upstairs, with the teddy bears and Webkinz toys, and have a little break.
My kids need to be kids. They get to be kids. I'll keep trying to find some balances here.
I miss my dog. It's been a whole long year, and I miss him so much. When we were at the beach this weekend, I was longing for him (never mind how disgusting dogs are at the beach, pooping in the sand, rolling in dead porcupines, shaking water and sand all over you while you're trying to build a sand castle or read a book. Never mind all of that.) In my mind, it's just my dog chasing after a tennis ball over and over and over until he's exhausted, flopping on the sand, tongue hanging out of one side of his mouth, sleeping in front of the fire when we get back to the motel room.) My puppy.
Nothing to do here but ride it out. Pray. Light my candles. Talk with my friends. Lean on my husband. He is always a rock for me. I want to be as strong for him and the kids as they are for me.
The kids just got back from the Nekkid Neighbors -- they played for an hour. They love being on break. I love being on break, too, even with the topsy-turvy scheduling -- in town, out of town, no tap dance, no piano. Practice, practice for Wacky Girl -- she is such a talented piano player. She plays like an angel. It brings me so much joy to hear her. I planted the strawberries, I weeded, I dreamed about the summer. We can camp and swim and sleep in. I can hang laundry on the line and have the whole summer off work. (Thank you, school districts, for giving me the same schedule as my kids. This is a godsend.) My unpaid volunteer gig may turn into a paid gig, soon. We shall see.
In the meantime, I love my family, my friends, my blog community.
I love the students I work with. It is fulfilling work. It is satisfying work, keeping the lines of communication open, working on projects. I love doing things on a shoestring, I shine at that. You give me a shoestring budget, I will find fifty different things to do with it.
On my lunch hours, I've taught probably one hundred kids and staff how to knit. They're teaching each other, their siblings, their teachers. Kids who would never touch each other, never associate with each other, are talking. They're sitting together, touching hands, leaning in to each other. They're showing each other how to make scarves, how to "finger-knit" chokers and bracelets. That's pretty huge, isn't it? All these knitters and nice people who don't even know these kids have loaded us up with boxes and bags full of pretty yarns. Thank you again, Naked Sheep. Thanks for the rest of our lives. We love you guys.
I’m talking a rainbow of yarns, in cotton, mohair, angora, acrylic, everything under the sun. They’ve donated needles — straights and circular — patterns, half-finished projects, everything you could think of. Several knitters have stepped up to help.
Three other knitters want to start an afterschool club. To those of you (and you know who you are. And no, you probably aren’t even reading this blog) — to those of you who scoff and act like knitting doesn’t “count.” You’re wrong. It counts.
I’m starting to feel better already.