Family Photo

Family Photo
Growing Up

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

More In-Betweens

Camping gear has filled the living room, or what's left of it after Aden's college shopping has spilled out from the opposite wall. The air mattress sits adjacent to her wall mirror and sleeping pads roll up nicely next to her new gray-and-white-checked storage baskets. We appear to be readying ourselves either to host several new family members long-term, or to send them out into the world with an outline of the necessities.

My work space mirrors the craziness of our upside-down living room. The boys' back-to-school paperwork sits (mostly completed) next to permission trips for Daniel's third and final mission trip, Aden's move-in checklist partially obscures a list of part-time jobs that I'm considering in a desperate bid to keep busy and stop depression from descending after we move her up to Boulder. 

The part-time job search has been a dizzying process of determining what on earth I want to do, or can do, for four hours each day for an hourly several steps above minimum wage. Translating, teaching, typing, editing, etc.... how many times do I need to ask the question of what I want to do when I grow up? Plus, as every stay-at-home parent knows, I have a nearly full-time job coordinating the house, kids, and spouse. Even summer has presented itself with a dance card full of doctor's appointments, wisdom teeth removal, swim lessons, swim meets and grocery shopping. 

So we inhabit this crazy space between summer and school, Aden being here and Aden leaving, me stable, and me ????. Another liminal phase, another chance to breathe through it and try to enjoy the now. Practice makes perfect, or so I hear.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tear-ing It Up

I'm a regular font of salt water these days, despite the fact that I swim in chlorine. Tears threaten at odd times and in public places, like at the airport when Rob and I picked William up after his mission trip to Nogales, Mexico. Parents around me were grinning jovially and waving hello to their teens while I nearly burst into tears and had to refrain from running through baggage claim to embrace my son. Like a bad movie, it played in my head as I fought to restrain myself and wait for him to saunter over before delivering my stranglehold hug. The tears did not so much glisten as pool over my lower lids, to such an extent that William noticed. "Are you almost crying, Mom?" he asked with a grin.

My family seems partially horrified and partly resigned to the fact that I weep frequently and without regard to the status of teenagers. I try to hide it, casually looking to the side of the room after a So You Think You Can Dance audition that is particularly moving, yawning and raising one hand to stretch while the other discreetly wipes away unwanted moisture.  It reminds me of the move that our high school dates used to pull in movie theaters, yawning and stretching before cautiously draping one arm over the back of our seats and shoulders (this was particularly fraught for female swimmers, whose shoulders were often broader than their dates.')  My move, like the movie date sidearm, doesn't fool anyone, but it helps me to move on into the commercial break with some dignity.

Meanwhile, I'm grasping at straws to solve the problem. Unsure if it's hormones, perimenopause, emotional strain, fatigue, or just a character flaw, I keep waiting for the tide to turn (literally and metaphorically). After the last few months, I'm beginning to doubt that change will come, and trying to resign myself to presenting a wet face to the public. The kids (and husband) will just have to adjust - and bring Kleenex.