I was reading a poem over on “Ronin of the Spirit” that inspired me to dig through my stash of poems and look for one about love and relationships. I haven’t considered posting any of these before because most of them were written before I met Mark…which would of course mean they are not about him. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t decent poems (or crappy ones, however you want to critique them). So tonight I pulled out my old poem notebook and this one literally fell out. Here’s the back story on it: I was really awful to my high school boyfriend when we broke up and pretty much crushed him. He was way too good of a person to go through what I put him through and I have always (to this day) regretted it. We broke up the summer of 93 and the next three years was a huge karmic kick in my ass, b/c almost every guy I encountered after him treated me like crap. I wrote this poem when I finally reached my “I’ve had it” point. Interestingly enough I met a really nice guy within days of writing this (I actually put a date on this one) and we dated for 6 months. Then a month after breaking up with him, I met Mark.
Untitled (written 7-9-96)
I drove by his house tonight
It was lit up, just like before
When I was there
Just like in the dream
When she wasn’t
I thought it was safe
I wasn’t the voice anyone expected to hear
I used to be
I used to be the one
who ate dinner
and took care of him
or him of me
I don’t know which one
I used to feel so complete
Everything I desired or even needed
was in his eyes, smile, and touch
I know it’s not him I long for
I know because I would have stayed
But I didn’t
I just want to remember how it feels
To be complete
or completely satisfied
He once said he couldn’t live without me
I cried, but left anyway
He watched me sleep
Because he knew it was the last time
I wish I could watch him sleep
and know when I awoke
It would be real
I wonder why my life seems to be
running me in circles
ever since he left
I wish I would unwind
or the batteries would die
and I could remember how it feels
When I first found out I was pregnant with both Bella and Callee, I saved the home pregnancy tests. (I still have them floating around in a drawer somewhere and you can still see the 2 lines.) In the first few days after taking the tests with them, I left them on the counter and would walk by, look at them and smile every time I went into the bathroom. Yesterday I broke down and drove to the Dollar Tree and picked up a test. I came home, took it and quickly realized there was just 1 line, negative! It’s been sitting on the bathroom counter ever since and when I go in there, I look at it and smile. My “friend” finally showed up today and needless to say, I am relieved. I know some of you were hoping for the positive and if I’d gotten it, after the initial shock wore off, I would have been thrilled. But I am also thrilled with the negative because it has given me a clear picture of what I really want. I am going to the doctor on Monday so that Mark can no longer ask the standard question he asks every month during that magic window, “Do you want a baby boy?” I’m positive he doesn’t even want a baby boy, but he asks as some kind of test to see where I stand and how the release of eggs affects my brain.
So I guess another semi-dramatic moment has come to a close. This blog will not be turning into the diary of a mad pregnant lady, to the disappointment of some of you. After being a long-time fan of Celebrity Baby Blog, I could be a little disappointed myself. People really love them some pregnant ladies! OH WELL! Life can continue as normal. I don’t need to re-purchase all of the baby stuff I gave away when I decided, during Callee’s terrible two’s, that I was done having kids! And I can continue to enjoy the passion and spontaneity in my marriage that got me in this predicament (of being worried about an unplanned pregnancy) in the first place.
As I write this I am a lady in wait and I am imagining what my life will look like if what I am waiting for does not arrive. I know you are curious, so go ahead and ask. What will my life look like? It will look like the life of a mother of 3. I have always wanted children-as many of them as my life would allow. When I was 21-years-old I told my best friend that I would have 2 kids if I was poor, 4 if I was rich, and 1 if I was single.
When Callee (my 2nd) was born I started calculating when we could start trying for number 3 (since we fall somewhere in between rich and poor). I had decided it would be as soon as she was potty-trained. What I did not take into consideration was what kind of baby, toddler, and child Callee would be. Callee is beautiful, loving, and funny…but she is also a handful. Mark’s nickname for her is “demando box” if that tells you anything. I thought she was just this way around me, but apparently while we were in NC and my mom and sister were watching her, she threw a Titanic of a fit, eventually crying herself to sleep, because they did not watch the movie she picked out. I know these traits (knowing what you want and making damn sure you get it) will work in her favor when she is an adult, but the battles and struggles Mark and I have had with her have been enough to make me change my mind about growing our family.
I also realized since my second daughter was born that there were other reasons I wanted a 3rd child and they weren’t necessarily good ones. For starters, I wanted to extend my stay-at-home-mom status. I always said that I’d go back to work when the girls were in school, one more baby would buy me a few more years. I also desperately wanted another chance at the natural birth I tried so hard for with Callee, but ended up with a second c-section instead. I also know that starting at a young age, I put myself into a stereotypical box that defined what I thought I was capable of successfully doing. One of those roles was teaching little children and the other one was raising them. After failing at the teacher role, I was banking on the mom role. I should also add that the excitement, joy, and aliveness that comes with being pregnant and nursing your baby is enough to make you want more.
These days I am content with our family of four. I love that the girls are at ages where we can really communicate and learn together. I’m grateful to be done with diapers, high chairs, and pacifiers. After nursing for 3.5 years consecutively, I’m pleased to be reacquainted with the other use for my breasts. But all of that being said, I know that my life is being directed by something greater than myself. I believe that everything happens for a reason. If my “friend” doesn’t show up in the next couple of days, then I guess an even better friend will show up 9 months from now.
So far Bella seems to be a numbers girl and part of that might be due to her interest in money. Mark and I are both really careful with our money. We only buy things we can logically afford and have agreed that our money is best spent on things which benefit the health of our bodies, minds, and spirits. That being said, we don’t buy a lot of unnecessary stuff for ourselves or for the girls. Bella and Callee pretty much know that unless it’s their birthday or Christmas they shouldn’t bother asking because the answer will be “no.” Often when they do ask that “no” is followed by “we don’t have the money for that.” When Mark says it, he’s joking in his not so funny way. When I say it, it means I don’t have the cash for it and I won’t buy it with the card. Either way, Bella has become very interested in money, how much things cost, and whether we can afford them.
Since Bella is getting ready to start Kindergarten, I have been scoping out backpacks. I want to get her a good quality one but recently noticed that Jansports cost $40 at JCPenny’s. I was at a bit of a loss until the L.L. Bean catalogue arrived and I saw that the basic backpack that would be just right for Bella cost $27.95. I decided I’d order her one from them and gave her the catalogue so she could choose the color. Wouldn’t you know that she flipped past the page I had given her and found one she wanted more and wouldn’t you know it cost $40. When I insisted that we get the less expensive backpack, she insisted that she would pay for the more expensive one herself. (She has a piggy bank with at least $80 in it and she knows this because she has sat with her daddy and counted the money more than once.)
The compromise I have come to is that I will pay $30 and she will pay the rest. I am currently trying to figure out what lesson, if any, she is learning from this. By not agreeing to just pay for the more expensive one, I think I am teaching her a little responsibility and accountability. But, by making such a big deal out of it, am I teaching her to be miserly? And then what about my whole view on “material things,” what happens when the backpack becomes the shoes or the cell phone? I’d love your thoughts on this matter and any personal experiences you have. (Also, I totally get that I am over-analyzing something that’s really no big deal…but hey if you can’t do that on a blog where can you do it!)
So, I have been on this kick lately where I feel like I need to DO something. I’ve thought about editing my first novel and my second. I’ve thought about beginning a complete rewrite of both of them. The idea has crossed my mind that I could turn each of them into a book series which would make 2 books equal 5 or 6. I’ve also thought about burning them. I’ve considered applying to grad school or just applying for a part time job at Border’s. It has occurred to me that I could volunteer my time to a good cause. I’m also interested in learning HTML so that I can buy a real domain name and grow this blog (which I think I need to be a little more computer literate to do). I also ought to continue where I left off with the decluttering project, seeing as I only got as far as two closets. I’d love to spend like 5 more hours a week in the gym so that I can work on that ideal bod. These are all actions I could take, yet I don’t seem to have the incentive or passion to.
As I was going down the list of coulds and shoulds, I was reminded that I want to follow my heart and trust myself. Everytime I sit down to do something I should do, it feels wrong. I feel as if I am once again going against the current. My body always lets me know when I am making the wrong choice or pushing something that isn’t ready to budge just yet. Even thinking about those books gets my stomach flipping, yet my passion is still writing and the ideas swimming in my head make me feel alive. I think it is a matter of timing. When I first got the idea to write that second novel I told myself that I would write it when I couldn’t not write it. And that’s just what I did. One day I sat down and poof, out of nowhere, I outlined the entire story. A day or two later I began writing it. That’s how it works I think. You first must know that you can do it and trust that it will happen when the time is right.
So for now, I think the best action for me is no action at all. I have never in my life been in a position, like I am now, where I can just be. I can sit peacefully with a faithful knowing that the pieces will fall into place and I will be guided to DO when the time is right. When it is time for me to move…I WILL know it.
Today, I am going to BE at the pool and Starbucks with a pastry!
When I was in 12th grade, our senior song was “The River” by Garth Brooks. A friend of mine sang it at our graduation. In college I became a huge Garth Brooks fan. I went to one of his concerts with Kristin and Heather and he holds the number one spot on my list of best performers. But when I hear the song “The River,” I do not think of graduation day or even Garth Brooks, I think of Chris Lutz.
When I was in 10th grade, I joined a youth choir sponsored by a Presbyterian church called “The New Vibrations.” Chris was also in the group. Although he was one of the youngest members that first year, he was chosen to be a soloist. Nearly every Sunday for a year I listened to Chris Lutz sing “The River” before I even knew who Garth Brooks was. We were in that choir together for 3 years. The last time I saw Chris would have been the summer of 93 at our last New Vibes concert. In actuality, he was more of an aquaintance than anything. But what I remember about him is how much everyone loved him. Most of the girls in the group, even the ones 2 or 3 years older, would flirt with him. If I had been a little more confident and outgoing back then, I might have joined them. He was talented, charming, and handsome.
I didn’t keep up with him over the years until we recently reconnected on Facebook. We exchanged the standard “catching up” wall post. He was a new father and was the co-owner of a bar. Reading through his information page it was obvious that he had a full and happy life. I got the news yesterday that he passed away. I visited his page again and read post after post of messages from his loved ones. The most wonderful thing about what I read was that most of the people wrote the messages directly to Chris, as if he’d be logging in to check his wall. And if you ask my opinion, I’d say he definitely received all of those messages. I think he’s somewhere on the heavenly bank of the river watching over them peacefully. And although those dearest to him will have rough waters ahead, he will always be with them!
So in memory of Chris Lutz and in honor of all the people who loved him and whose lives were touched by him, I wanted to post “The River.” I only wish I had the version with Chris singing!
I asked my Facebook friends to share their favorite quotes. These are the replies I received…
Amanda W. – Start by doing what is necessary, then by doing what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible… – St. Francis of Assissi
Justin DLC – No character, however upright, is a match for constantly reiterated attacks, however false. -Alexander Hamilton
Stacia – Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. -Margaret Mead
Randy W.- Alcohol. The cause of, and the solution to, all of life’s problems. -Homer Simpson.
Chuck -In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.-Carl Sagan
Leigh – If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. – John Kenneth Galbraith
This week another classmate of mine passed away. I just got the news today. We sang in youth choir together in high school and had recently caught up on Facebook. I went to his page and found one of his favorite quotes to share as well. My sympathies go out to the friends and family of Chris Lutz….
Chris -Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled up in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. – Emerson