Friday, January 21, 2005

one hand on the keyboard. one arm under the baby. nursing, thinking, writing, multitasking. it's no wonder I haven't updated Chicken Blog in a while. upstairs the boys are fixing their breakfast. we'll start lessons soon...

That was yesterday, when I started writing about how busy I am and how difficult it has become to find time to write. I didn't get very far.

William is asleep. His teenage body craves sleep. Remember sleep? I remember the kind of long lasting, sleep late sleep that felt truly wonderful. Maybe I am letting him enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in; maybe I don't want to be the recipient of the major stink eye he will give the one that wakes him.

Alex is on a walk. He set out for the neighbor's house where the lemon tree is. The best lemons ever are growing on this neighbor's tree, and we have been commanded to please pick as many as possible. Last year we enjoyed lemonade, lemon chicken, lemon bars, lemon salad dressing... Alex gave me a citrus juicer for Christmas, so that we can make the most of our lemons this year.

Max finished putting away his toys. He has been admiring the game cabinet that he and Geoff organized last night. His best days include routine and order.

I started some laundry and collected trash. I put away the iron, sorted the mail, folded blankets and showered. Conflicting emotions have me feeling appreciative of my small accomplishments, and also longing to achieve something major. While completing the little bit I've done today, Maria either slept or was content in her swing. Now she is sleeping in the baby pack. It is a joy to sit and nurse her, to change her diaper, put her in a fresh outfit, smell the top of her head and share funny faces with her. Here comes the BUT: I am plagued by the disappointment of not being as great as all the images of motherhood in the books and magazines. Yes, I know I should probably get a reality grip, and read different magazines. I haven't returned to the gym, or enrolled in Baby and Me Super Workout Camp. I am not back to work, earning big money. The house is sanitary, mostly, but it is far from clean. I haven't framed baby pictures, updated my beauty regime, finished baby shower thank you cards, or starved myself back in to the jeans I wore in college. I don't feel pretty or competent. I don't feel secure or confident. It doesn't help to live in a community with a high ratio of over achievers; those magazine images are not a fantasy or an unrealistic ideal around here; they are the standard.

I know what I would tell a friend thinking the thoughts I think, but I can't seem to offer the same confident assurance to myself. Balance. I need to allow myself to not worry about doing everything perfectly. Right? Perfect? Am I kidding? I am not even achieving mid-level mediocre. Is it good to speak openly about your deep thoughts, or are suburban housewife tales of woe frightfully self-absorbed and dull? I'll add a picture to compensate for my pity party...

Here is Maria on her way to her first
birthday party.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Morning people.
Max and Maria are morning sunshines. I used to say of Max, when he was a baby, that he was born to announce the coming sun. Whatever grief or hardship transpired the night before would be erased in the morning. He would be instantly alert and receptive and when he grew older he would wake up with full sentences, announcements, declarations, plans, hopes and dreams streaming from his mouth. Not much has changed. He still wakes up with ideas to share, and an appetite that needs to be satisfied, so he can carry through his plans.

Today Max and Maria woke up the sun, and me too. They awoke with smiles and curiosity, appetites and plans.