Friday, August 20, 2010

I ate at Ryan's tonight.

So tonight I had dinner at Ryan's. I love Ryan's. Not the food. In fact, I throw up a little in my mouth when I approach the buffet at which so many hands have loaded their plates. I love the atmosphere. I like being in a room full of people who have as many stains on their clothes as I do at six o'clock. They have unruly children and gluttonous eating habits.

A couple years ago, during a prolific writing kick, I sat in a Ryan's making notes of the bizarre human behavior going on all around me. There are some ripe characters in there. That day, I'm sure I was recognized by others as one of those bizarre characters myself. Those notes are still tucked away waiting for further inspiration to help them reach their potential.

There is an intangible "it" factor that we mega buffet patrons share. I hope I never lose it. Even if eventually I cease to be able to stomach the food, I never want to feel above taking my oversized family to commune with others living lives free of pretense, free to embrace who they are and eat in a public place in exactly the same manner I imagine they dine on their own living room furniture. I get people like that. I am people like that.

Caroline

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Little Directionless...

Have recently become aware that I have apparently, for a long time, been looking for some sort of creative outlet.

Super jealous of husband's conceptual and drawing abilities...but he's so sweet, he says I can draw, too, I just need practice...he says that to everyone, though. Kinda his job.

Lots of clothing design ideas that I need to build my sewing skills to match...

"Writing" in bed all the time when I should be sleeping; brain will not shut down and self-discipline too atrophied at the moment to actually get up or sit up in the bed and scribble down the bits I'm thinking of.


Meg White...I want a tambourine...and some maracas...and a drum kit....not really. Well, maybe a tambourine. (not seriously interested in becoming a percussionist, just think it's cool)


Currently have little respect for my scattered interests, but optimistic that I will eventually make something out of them...or one of them.

For the time being, I think I may only have time for the tambourine...if I had one...

Frustration, I can tell that we are gonna be friends...

Can you tell I'm watching The White Stripes as I type this?

Caroline

Monday, August 9, 2010

You know why I can't write?

Because school is starting and I vowed not to write about work. There are other things going on, don't get me wrong. Just not complete things. Things like...


this ruffly onesie waiting for its iron-on tranfer to go on the front...

And...


these fabric flowers waiting for rhinestones and buttons and pins on the back and a slide for an alligator clip or a headband...(this junky picture does not do those Asian print fabrics justice).

And then there's this:


an experiment with microfiche. Just an experiment. We'll see what happens here...I just could not bear to see them be thrown away.

But, unfortunately, it will probably be a couple weeks.

Caroline

Monday, August 2, 2010

When You Wish Upon a Star

Tonight after dinner I indulged Eden in one of her favorite activities: lying on the trampoline looking at stars. She likes to make wishes on them.

Eden:

"I wish my room would stay clean.

I wish Juliet wouldn't ever be mean to me.

I wish Penny Lane would stay a baby forever.

I wish my parents were responsible."

Me too, Eden, me too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Parenting Uphill

Yesterday Bobby and Juliet came home from their six week visit in North Carolina with their father and stepmother.



We've done this every summer now since Jim and I have been married. Before then, I was not required to share. Frankly, most of the time the existence of the other parents is irrelevant to our everyday lives. Phone calls are pathetically but conveniently infrequent and the distance between Louisiana and North Carolina make regular custody-sharing impossible. But every year, for either Thanksgiving or Christmas and for six weeks in the summer, Jim and I get reminded that there are other adults with their own agenda that the kids love (as they should) and that these adults have influence over them. 

You may think, unless you, too, are a divorced parent (then you know better), that the first days of the kids' homecoming are full of nothing but excitement and joy. While I am always excited to see them after such a long time, my initial overwhelming feelings are of relief and then dread of what the next few days will hold. Because next comes the week filled with brief recounts of what has been going on for the past six weeks. Much of it is benign and some of it even reassuring. But then there are those repeated comments that the kids have either not yet learned to keep to themselves, or even worse have realized that they stretch my capacity for humility, forgiveness, and maturity to its limit and they enjoy watching me squirm to retain lady-like composure against raging impulses to dig my fingernails into someone's tender parts late-night-bowling-alley-parking-lot-fight style. 

This is a test I'm determined to pass, and I've been holding it together well for a while now. I gave up yelling on the telephone and composing scathing emails years ago. It's not worth it, and it never changes anything, anyway.

Stupid haircuts, ridicule of our inside jokes, questioning of our decisions, criticisms of holiday traditions, complaints about clothes, personal insults...it's just another aspect of child-rearing for us "parents of divorce." And because I know it can work both ways, I try to be very mindful of what I say and how a 10 year old could repeat it when something comes up regarding the other parents. It takes a lot of creativity and self-control to come up with non-emotional responses, but I feel good afterwards.

And, for the record, their other parents aren't necessarily bad people...they're just not my kind of people. Certainly not who I would want if I were forced to choose a couple with whom to co-parent. At least not now...obviously I made a decision to parent with one of them at a period in the past. 

And to those of you who made the same kind of bad decisions that also ironically produced a great kid or two and are living this same song in a different verse, I feel your pain. And sometimes, every blue moon, I even feel it for Bobby and Juliet's other parents who have to deal with circumstances that provide such limited opportunities to spend time with the kids and cause them to miss out on so much...

Caroline