Sunday, December 30, 2007

duck: not a new year's resolution

OK, I've just check my "coolness factor" - I dipped the stick into the well, and came out severely deficient.
Dried up.
Uncool.
Middle-aged.
Mom.

Could it be the hours and hours, weeks upon weeks of children's music and videos - that ridiculous Elmo or Max & Ruby?
Could it be the endless diet of Mac & Cheese and all things bland and tasteless?
Could it be that I am becoming that elementary teacher that I so seriously have been trying to avoid - you know, the one who wears outfits that match the seasons?
Could it be that I have no grasp on pop culture as I don't see a movie until it's out in video?
Could it be that the hippest clothing I own somehow ends up with graham cracker smudges?

Yes. It could. It could be all of these things and more.

WHERE DID I GO?

I used to be a passionate artist type: a singer/actor/writer.
I was opinionated and bossy and driven and articulate.
I was a risk taker.
I was a flirt.

Now, I'm not so sure I want to hop in the suburban gold mini-van to drive downtown in a little bitty snow storm. You just never know what might happen... I'll send Daddyman. He'll drive into that den of danger and he'll. come. back. Our hero.

BLechhhh!

I am losing my grip on what's real and what's ridiculous. We have the turtle from the science room staying with us for the holidays. Yesterday, I called the turtle a DUCK. And I thought that was the right word. It was like the time I put the milk in the cupboard... Soon, I will be writing an incoherent blog from the mildly pleasant sun room of a home for the demented and infirm... When that happens, please, keep reading this blog. It might actually get interesting.

I used to talk about world issues and religion and politics and history and the future. Now, I talk about the merits of all-natural laundry detergents and organic grocery stores and school break.

I feel like the authentic, artistic me has been not-so-carefully wrapped in plastic and chucked down the back stairs, waiting for that time in life when someone has died and the poor widow/children/neighbors are cleaning out all of the crap - "can you believe how much stuff is in her basement? I am never going to let that happen to me!"

The tragedy? I am waiting for someone else to help me escape the sticky cling of this Saran-Wrap life that I've been making for myself.

When did I become a wait-er? I used to be a do-er! SHIT!

Why is it that everyone I know is content to sit and drink - coffee, beer, wine - and watch? I want to do. I want my kids to do.

I want to make chaos and be happy in it!

It's going to take more than learning to knit or joining a book club. I am seriously deprived of all things creative and wonderful. It's going to take more that season tickets to the opera or ballet or the theater. I need to DO not watch.

I know, I know. Start the game and others will join in. I just am too damned tired from cleaning up after the DUCK to be a flippin' cheerleader so others will think what I am doing is valid and then all of the cool kids will jump at the chance to come and play with me, thereby increasing my coolness factor.

I may be destined to become old and boring.
Not fat, though.
That's not going to happen.
I am going to become really thin in my old age.
A girl has to look forward to something in retirement.

14 comments:

flutter said...

would it at all make you feel better to know that I am a loud, artsy opinionated ballsy girl who will drive in a snow storm....but I'd rather be you with your kids and your small ass?

Patti said...

since boy is all grown up i can say with authority that your old self, the one that's cool beyond belief, will come back to you. she's waiting for you to be finished with the most important job you will ever attempt. she doesn't want to get in your way.

but when the time is right she's gonna hand you an appletini and a fresh set of clothes and off you'll go to make your kids say "what happened to mom?!"

Caroline said...

I agree with Patti. My own cool factor nose dived about 4 years ago; meanwhile, MY mom seems to be getting more and more fun...

Patti said...

awww, you hit the my thoughts exactly about the party i attended! and you are very welcome...and seriously, i'm not blowing sunshine. you'll come back to yourself, except you'll be a better version because you raised your kiddies.

i am here to give all mommies with itty bitties hope. you're stlll there, just taking notes for later.

and one more thing: enjoy every day with the kiddos. too soon they are off to lose their own coolness. too soon you are wondering where the time went. but on the bright side you can have appletinis for breakfast!

iguana banana said...

I am all for an apple-tini breakfast! It's fruit, right? teeheehee. Wahoo.

Thanks ladies, for helping me settle my concerns re:becoming uncool. I like the thought that I'll come back to myself, but a better version for having raised my kids.

Of course, I know down to the bottom of my toes that nothing compares to the time spent with the Littles. They are spectacular. This is what I hoped for when I dreamed of having a family. I am lucky beyond all possible belief. I cherish my girls and the family that my husband and I have created.

However, I also think that a "happy" mom is a "better" mom. I've got to balance my creative soul with my mom soul a little better. I know without a doubt that when my artistic soul is being fed, I am calmer and more patient and happier and frankly, just nicer to be around. Does that mean that I should revert to my pre-marriage, pre-baby self? No. Of course not. It's just amazing to see how quickly that woman disappears completely if I am not diligent about honoring the creative part in my self. It is strange to me how quickly I become afraid... I never have been a particularly cautious soul, and now - YIKES!
I also think that it's important to teach my girls that they are valuable as more than just a wife and mother.

(OK, now simmer down. I know that being a wife and a mother are both really wonderful, vital choices to make. I made those choices and I am so proud to be those things. They are just not the only choices I want to make as I define myself.)

My girls have many creative and wonderful and different parts of their souls that make them who they are. What kind of a role model would I be if I gave up a big chunk of the person that I am because I thought that's what I had to do to be a good mom and wife?

Maybe the crux of the whole post should have been this - I'm losing who I really am deep down because I am not paying attention to the special things that make me who I am - the wife and the mother and the artist and the fierce creative soul who jumps into life feet first...

Nichole said...

I knew it! After reading this post, methinks to meself "I recognize this soul sickness: She's GOT to be a scorpio!"
I just checked your profile, and sure enough.
I feel your pain. Unfortunately, the symptoms from which you suffer are persistent, chronic, and recurring. I'm still trying to find a cure for the common scorpio.
btw, you don't know me. I found you on Caroline's blog. If you want, you can find me at scorpionsojourn.blogspot.com

Rose said...

Loved your post; know how you feel. I miss all those moments when the girls were little but I get different types of moments now. Just like you miss who you were but you wouldn't go back to being her again. Cause you're really so much cooler now, just in a different way. BUT you do have to pay attention to what you need, cause you're right; a happy mom is a good mom. That's part of my struggle still. Thanks for sharing.

h. said...

I have a confession. I like to wear holey jeans when I walk my older girl to school, so that on the way home I can pretend to be the cool, holey jean wearing, black t-shirt wearing girl I was.. a million years ago. Oh, sure everyone just sees a stay at home, 30 something, rapidly thickening about the waist mom who obviously wasn't awake when she got dressed because she's wearing her grubby work-in-the-garden pants. But, in my mind, I am thirty five pounds lighter and have attitude. Delusional... well ya, probably, but... man! I miss that girl.

I really, really believe that good moms are like onions. They don't just make people cry.. they have layers. They aren't MOM all the way through. MOM is a layer, as is sexy jean girl, dirty joke telling maven, swear-like-a-sailor woman, and sensitive artist person. Ya gotta have more going on than just mothering... or you go mad. Sure Patti and Carolyn are right, the Woman Inside will come back once the kidlets are gone, but you have to keep her fed and groomed.
Take heart brave Mom, you are not alone and you can find that inner wild woman so that she can be let loose to run amok!

Bethany said...

Oh my. I am so feeling this post lately. A lot!

I am SO WITH all you ladies...Moms have layers...and under all those layers there's a core filled with weird stuff that sometimes really needs to come out and dance around!

by Johanna Brandvik said...

awww, c'mon, all-natural laundry detergent is cool.

Jill said...

Um........movies don't come out on video anymore, they are on DVDs. (my kids remind me of this daily)
Also, I think the mildly pleasant sunroom of a home for the demented and infirm sounds like a lovely place. They probably don't have any ducks there.
We ran out of milk tonight, and one of us needed to go to the store. It is really cold outside.
Tomorrow morning, the kids will have dry cereal.
Jill

Angela WD said...

Yay for you and your new resolutions! I too have been feeling like my original self has gone missing over the years.

BUT...dive into life, the water's fine! Just think what a fantastic example you'll be to your girls. What incentive do they have to grow up when it doesn't look exciting!

I'm with ya, girlfriend.

lisa {milkshake} said...

Oh, boy. I hear ya. Why is it so easy to lose oneself to being a mommy? Why doesn't anyone tell us?

hiccupp said...

oh my...all I can say is...I'm with ya. A lot.

I've been having this issue bigtime the last month or so, and I'm feeling a bit better, but still realizing that I need to balance out a bit more.

I think I'd put my creativity in a box. And man you nailed it with the being afraid thing...ugh.

allright, I'll move the self-therapy session somewhere else :)