Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday night ramblings

I should already have my bags packed. I leave town at 7:30 in the morning for a work weekend out of town, but procrastination has claimed me tonight. I love being tucked away in my home office with a couple of candles and some incense burning, all sounds other than computer hum gently muffled by the closed door. I honestly think I'm still in the slower pace my mental retreat demanded of me. I spent a couple of hours tonight leisurely reading and letting the cats climb on me until they found the just right comfortable spot. I've found that I can read comfortably with four kittens on me somewhere, but a fifth gets in the way of the book. At the computer, I can only manage two. With my large animal family, I couldn't declare a preference between cats and dogs, but when a cat loves you, it's a gift conferred.

It's been a deliciously cozy evening, splitting a delivery pizza with the husband and dogs while the daughter was out with friends. Like many wives, I could put my significant other out with the weekly garbage pickup sometimes. Tonight though, I'm just feeling grateful. We're just a few months shy of being married 20 years, and we share those overly long silences of many long term couples. Sometimes, he'll look at me like he did when we were first dating, and I'll feel just treasured. He makes a point of telling me that he loves me every day. Even with all the extra pounds and literal scars that the years have brought to me, he can still convincingly say that he thinks I'm beautiful. It may be husbandly BS, but when we do really talk, he tells me that I'm the most interesting woman he's ever known. (Even if it is BS, it's working.) I will never understand his passion for NASCAR or televised golf, but it delights me that out of the blue, he'll get hooked on something like the History Channel's shows on ancient Roman culture. I just don't get how anybody can read maybe one book in two or three years, but he'll listen while I rant on and on about what I'm reading. So, he attracts clutter like Peanuts' Pigpen did dirt, couldn't get his clothes into a laundry hamper if he were paid to do so, and still doesn't get why stripes and plaid don't go together (yes, I pick out his clothes), I can handle it.

Tomorrow, the womanchild competes in the regional Destination ImagiNation competition, an academic contest in which teams have both pre-selected and impromptu challenges that involve writing, performing and the practical application of math and science. Everything in the competition has to be done solely by the students with no parental help, and it must meet detailed specifications. I really don't completely understand the complete challenge the daughter's team is doing, but it does involve gypsies, cows, Flava Flav and Count Dracula. I hate that I have to miss the competition, but this time, it's unavoidable. Next week, the Drama Club at her school is putting on Guys and Dolls. She's an extra in several scenes and has worked a couple of hours four days a week after school for the last three months on the set crew. Her high school is known for their detailed sets and actually leases the student painted backdrops to other theater groups for their productions. I don't think she has any school clothes left that don't have paint on them. This week, she also did a reading at her school as a participant in the Beatnik Coffeehouse. The poetry reading was sponsored by the school librarian and partially inspired by C.'s request for more books by Beat generation writers and the ensuing conversation they had. (She thinks that she probably wouldn't have liked most of the Beat writers if she had known them, but she loves the writing.) You just have to love it when teachers and librarians take their students seriously and work to motivate them. Since I'm already bragging, I'll include that she was nominated for Who's Who Among American High School Students.

It's hard for me not to sound too motherly biased here, but she inspires me. If anyone reading this journal doesn't know this already, when I first started blogging about two years ago, she was losing the battle with anorexia and bulimia with close to a fifty pound weight loss when she wasn't that big at the beginning. I could count her ribs and vertebrae through her clothing if she ever wore anything that wasn't three sizes too big. About a year and a half ago, she survived two serious suicide attempts only by the grace of God/dess. She spent weeks in a hospital, months in outpatient group therapy to deal with both the eating disorder and the underlying issues that drove her to see death as a desirable option, and half of a school year in an alternative classroom under strict supervision. Now, I look at her and see her smile, her healthy body, her desire to make something wonderful with her life, her commitment to acting on that desire and finding what inspires her, and her discipline in staying mentally and physically healthy. I know how seductive depression and eating disorders can be in keeping a person trapped. I know how hard she's fought and how hard she still works to keep the monsters at bay. She gives me hope. Her mouth and her attitude may make my more old fashioned side cringe, but damn, the kid's got courage, guts and heart, and I'm just honored that she's in my life.

I get so overwhelmed sometimes with job pressures, money pressures, the pressure I put on myself about my writing (I don't know why just doing it and enjoying it myself isn't enough.), the health annoyances, the urge to keep my house as clean and well organized as every other woman in my family has managed to do, the desire to go back to graduate school and figuring out how to do that, the sense that time is running out and ... everything else. (Yes, I know that I'm way too hard on myself.) Tonight though, that all seems so far away. I'm looking around with my Frank Capra glasses on, and I know that I do indeed have a wonderful life.


Blogger V said...

Your Daughter sounds terrific!

March 04, 2006 3:59 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Awesome. Hurrah for the woman-child, and hurrah for you. These strories are so important--that it IS possible to come out on the other side of darkness, depression, suicide...oh, hurrah! Life is grand, truly. Not always easy by any means, but when you achieve balance, balance out all the dark and the light, well, anything is possible, isn't it? (Even grad school?!) Love ya!

March 04, 2006 8:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I'm so happy to see that C is thriving in school. She had a very hard time of it, and she seems to have come out of it on the other side a lovely, smart, complicated woman...a lot like her mother.

March 04, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Gannet Girl said...

What a great mom you are, Cynthia -- I love to read that you are "honored" to have your dd in your life. You are both fortunate to have each other. What a powerful testament to growth and love.

March 04, 2006 7:35 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Cynthia, what a gift it is to admire one's child. C has fought hard and you are justifiably proud. And remember what a significant part you played in her success. You are wonderful mother - you seem to know when to get thoroughly involved, and when to stand back and let her fly solo. Look what you have wrought. And I love to read of your warm and loving relationship with your husband. You paint a beautiful picture.

Let's hear it for Frank Capra - George Bailey lives!

Love, Vicky

March 05, 2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger beths front porch said...

Cynthia, thank you so much for this post. It went from funny--send husband out with garbage pick up--to poignant. I didn't know about so much of your journey and was glad to read about it. Your family is lucky to have you. ~ Beth

March 05, 2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Gabreael said...

My sons great too. What a blessing to have great kids in these days.



March 06, 2006 7:34 AM  

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