Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Mother's Day dichotomy

"I will sit and watch the river, make sure it don't get away."

Lately I've had some trouble doing the things I know I should do. Not all of them. I've been good about walking and have started going to the community fitness center and walking on the treadmill, now that the summer heat and mugginess has set in. I've made beads but even though I'm limiting my torch time, if I'm honest, that is just an excuse not to do some of the other things I should do.

I wrote the post below two weeks ago, the day after Mother's Day, but I didn't post it because I was waiting to get the photos off the camera and that was one of the things I was having trouble doing. And of course when I finally ran out of excuses, the battery in the camera was dead. Not that that prevented me from uploading the pictures on the memory card, but I had beads to shoot and wanted to do the upload all at once. OK, it was just another excuse to put it off again.

Since I wrote the post below a lot has happened. My brother and I met up in Florida for my mom's 90th birthday. I submitted my first article for Glass Bead Evolution, with some trepidation because my writing style is very different from the analogous feature article in the inaugural issue. The editor loved it. The hardest part was going through the photos sent by the artist I interviewed, more photo procrastination.

Come to think of it, I also procrastinated about sending on the photos I took at Blue Moon in Austin on May 4 for a future issue in the magazine that someone else is writing. I didn't have to edit them or even weed through them, I just had to flipping send them on. And of course when I finally did it took almost no time.

Other things I've been dragging my feet on include making a vet appointment for my cats. Zamboni will be a year old on June 6 and Loki has been yakking almost daily. This morning I swear he yakked up another entire cat. But just when I set my mind to do it, he goes a few days without hurling and I think, what's the rush. He had a checkup in October, including blood work and all his shots. So I figure I'll just take him when Zamboni goes for his one-year.

I have lots more to talk about, including these phenomenal bead totems made with my beads by my friend Pam who owns the shop, Glass Art and Beads, that carries my beads.

I love the way the cat is checking them out too.

And I've been experimenting with organic Dragon Scale beads inspired by Amber Van Meter of Naos Glass, which seem to be a people pleaser.

These sold right away. I have more in the kiln.

What I think I am going to do right now is to post my post-Mother's Day post, just as soon as I upload the pictures. And then we'll get back to our regularly scheduling rambling very soon.

Written on May 13:

I have my sad on today. My daughter and grandson spent the weekend here, from Friday until this morning, and I've got a bad case of missing those flirtatious baby smiles.

I'm not saying this because he's mine. OK, yes, I am, because if he wasn't this post would be about something completely different. Ry is an A number one bambino. Happy, good all the time, and in case you've forgotten, he's done a 180 from the inconsolable infant fussbudget that he was.

He's not quite walking, he's a champion crawler, he pulls up and cruises the furniture, he babbles without vocabulary, he knows his name and he understands no. And his mommy hung the sun and the moon, although he's happy to come to grandma, grandpa, and actually just about anyone who offers their arms.

I's new at this granny thing, eleven months in, and I don't know if this happens with all babies, but wherever we go, people get silly over him. Maybe it's the white blond hair and the enormous blue eyes, and of course he plays it, shining that heart-melting baby smile easily at perfect strangers. Grinning his killer grin behind that pacifier that he sucks on like a hard-core nicotine addict.

He loves his bath, he eats finger foods, he loves grilled cheese sandwiches, and bananas are his best friend.

And he's totally exhausting. I can't remember being as wiped out after a day at the zoo and a stop at Trader Joes. Just like his mama did, Ry takes a couple of 30 minute naps a day and he's good to go. And go. And go.

It's a tribute to my daughter that Ry is such a secure, trusting baby who expects nothing but love and kindness. His dad decided he didn't want to be married sometime during the very much planned pregnancy, and moved out the weekend Ry turned 5 months old. My daughter was so broken by it, but she did what she had to do, she bounced. She doesn't open up to me and I don't really know what she feels, except for the raw immediate aftermath when I told her over and over that she wasn't alone, she had me, that other people had done it, been single parents, and she would too.

I give her great credit for keeping it civil with her ex, and I completely agree that it's important for Ry to have both parents in his life. Even with his obvious shortcomings as a man and as a husband, her ex loves Ry and I think tries to be a good father. Although I did choke a bit on the bib Ry wore, saying "Like Father Like Son." God, I hope not. I hope Ryland always has good values and respect for women and the integrity to stand by any vows he makes. Or if he can't, that he at least works at it before tossing in the towel, and acts honestly and honorably and doesn't look for the easy way out.

I'm just glad my daughter was home with us yesterday. Being single on your first Mothers Day would have to suck when it was the last thing you ever wanted or expected. I slapped myself silly so I wouldn't say anything about the things that worry me and stuck to the many things that make me so proud of her. I did ask her if she's given any thought to dating again, and she said flatly, "I'm not ready." End of subject.

The thing that worries me most is her diet. I don't think she makes sensible food choices. We've been around the block on this one. I'm concerned that she is using food to make up for something missing in her life, and that's been true since long before her marriage broke down. I don't think she knows when she is hungry and I do know it can't be good to start your day with gummy bears or to forswear most fruits and vegetables. I'm over, or pretty much over, how her weight affects her appearance (and how it reflects on me, because it's all about me, not). I'm not over my anxiety about how it will affect her long-term health.

I'm not proud of my bias against weight excesses. In general I think our society is overly obsessed with an unrealistic ideal of slenderness, with our anorexic models and our teenage girls with eating disorders. I think a few extra pounds is a lot more appealing than skin and bones and under-eye shadows. But more than just a little extra weight makes me wonder about a person's self respect. Your body is a gift, a machine to keep well lubed and tuned up. Yeah, anyone can forget an inspection or miss an oil change now and then, but you don't want to amass a pile of non-moving violations either.

My daughter was petite as a little one, always one of the shortest in her class, and a gymnast and a dancer and a drill team member. Genetics were not on her side with hips and thighs, but dancing kept her fit and muscular. She played a lot of sand volleyball in college, and I don't remember weight being an issue until recent years. As her mom, it is hard for me to say nothing, but it really is her life, her business and she's a bright young woman. Saying anything won't change anything, I won't be telling her anything she doesn't know. And she is such a good person, isn't that what really matters? It is. Enough said.

Ry has always been on the small side, tiny like his mom was at his age, and I was curious about what he weighed. My big cat Loki weighs something like 12 lbs., and I would have sworn Ry was twice as heavy. I never get on a scale as a general rule. When I have my yearly checkup I close my eyes and ask the nurse not to say the number out loud. I can see how I look in the mirror and I know what size jeans I wear, and that's enough to know that I'd like to lose a little more weight. Walking has helped, I'm starting to feel more comfortable in my own skin, and I've controlled my sweet tooth to some degree.

But the only way to weigh Ry was to get on the scale, with him and without him, and do the math. The little acrobat only weighs 16.2 lbs. And that drives home just how much extra baggage you are carrying around when you have 16.2 lbs. you'd like to lose, which is about where I am now. I'm pretty sure I've knocked off the first few lbs. of my goal of 20. When my size 10 jeans fit again I'll know that I've dominated. It is so on.

So our little butter bean already is home and I'm rattling around my house, waiting for Neil to come home and go for walk. We're planning to go visit next month for Ry's first birthday. Where I'll get to see my daughter's ex and her ex in-laws and ex-grandparent in-laws. Oh goody.

No worries. I will behave. I will put my good on.

Because Ry is so worth it.

"Out on the porch, we listen to the lovely sound
Of the dogs and the children swimming and running around

I will sit and watch the river, make sure it don't get away
Since you cannot be too careful, I will sit and sit all day

Float around out on the water, walk down to the point I guess
Great blue heron in the marshes, baby osprey in the nest

Out on the porch all the little children said
They were not even tired and didn't want to go to bed

When the moon shines on the water with the twinkling distant suns
You would need a calculator just to count the lucky ones."

(Cheryl Wheeler, Sandgates)

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz