Monday, July 16, 2007
Deep Thoughts and Other Randomness
He might be even less interested in driving than I was at his age, but he's learning anyway. Don't confuse lack of interest with lack of care. He studied diligently and with appropriate regard, and he earned his learning permit. Now he studies my driving, asks about braking distances and parking methods. During our road trip he read the driver's handbook aloud and so we all got lessons and refreshers on the rules of the road. He may be sporting a sly grin in this picture, but I am certain William will prove to be a good and responsible driver. Yesterday the whole family spent the evening in an empty lot, while William got his first behind the wheel experience. Do you know what passes quickly? The time between first toddler steps and the day your baby is in a mini van, driving parking lot laps.
We have one child learning how to operate heavy machinery and another relishing the joy of art. Maria, like her brothers, draws every day. I know this pattern well... the piles of papers, the dull pencils, the ink stained fingers. She sings while she draws, like Alex did when he was 2. She fills her pages, describing every figure and feature, like William did. She is methodical like Max. I love her faces, with eyes and noses. I love that she gives people shoes and broad smiles. And I love this pudgy nosed kitty that she made just the other day: "Kitty. Big-big eyes, Mommy. See?"
I must have been feeling just a touch of quilt pride to set up this shot. Me. Posing with the doll quilt before I sent it away for keeps. If the recipient ever posts about it, then my flood gates will open and I'll pour forth all the little details that have been spinning in my head. I think handmade crafts are always full of more than what can be seen, and since this particular project has had me writhing with self-doubt, I am eager to point out its merits. And in the midst of my minor pity party, I saw something unexpected...
Ah. Shouldn't I drop my worries, and just revel in the joy of this little one, and her 3 loving brothers? Uh-huh... I think so. I'm so glad she peeked her little face in this picture. She's such a precious source of happiness and amusement. She shows a lot of interest in my sewing. She watches me and holds fabric scraps together. She calls it making fabric... (In the interest of historic accuracy, I feel compelled to mention that she can't pronounce f-a-b-r-i-c. It comes out fagg0t. I always repeat the correct pronunciation and she always smiles and says with more emphasis, "Ya, fagg0t." She also has unique pronunciations for shirt, frog and fork. William and I hide our laughter. Alex is earnestly working on her elocution.) She was quite certain that the Mariposa quilt was going to her collection, and she would inquire about its progress, while I was quilting it. She asked, "It's pokey?" She's careful about the pins and needles. When it was finished she clapped her hands, then opened her arms to embrace the quilt and wrap her bear in it.
This is not our house, but I could live here.
I could live lots of places, which I think may be my coping method... coping with renting and feeling disconnected. This is not famine, war or global warming. I like to emphasize my gratitude and the good things going on, but it feels disingenuous to leave out the truth about how low I have been feeling. Despite evidence to the contrary, I am not fairing very well as a tenant. Lately it has left me rather despondent and pitiful. Oh, let's not mince words: I hate renting. I hate the columns that grace the foyer. I hate the wall paper in the bathrooms, and green faux marble face of the gaping mouth fireplace in our bedroom. I hate the algae green rag painted wall in the family room, and the world's shiniest, most slippery tiled floors in the kitchen, foyer and dining area. I hate that our landlord comes unannounced with excuses for going in the garage and working the yard. I hate that he over-waters his tropical plants and makes us pay for it. I hate that there's no room for me to garden.
Ehh... it all sounds so minor and whiney when I see the feelings and sentiments written down, but trust me it's defeating. After 4 years of renting 2 places, after 23 other moves and after making plans and setting goals and hoping... well, I feel defeated and frustrated and disconnected, and like I could just go wherever, which recently, I have begun to realize is what I do. Rather than unpack and settle in, I plan road trips. Rather than organize the garage, I join quilt swaps and make yo-yos. Rather than starting another filing system, I volunteered at the school. I keep finding excuses to turn away from this house and the work it needs to be a proud home.
We have fun. We see new places and discover wonderful corners to admire and pass time in.
Other places are so much nicer than home. Other blogs, and bookstores, campgrounds, quilt shops, playgrounds, museums... little escapes from reality. I don't know how much longer we'll live at Garage Mahal. I don't know where we'll go next. I do know that I need to find the resolve or will, or gumption or something to accept these walls and this life, the good and the frustrating, and to be a better person, mom, homemaker.
I could live here, in this wonderful loft bookstore, with the cozy, inviting reading corner. I love its rough wood floors and the high ceilings, the natural light that seeps in to the room and makes soft shadows amongst the shelves and tables. It is a place that projects care and warmth, effort and regard... I could live here.