Wordless Wednesday- The Climb

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My Motherhood Epiphany

*Yes, I promise that I’ll stop talking about my kids.  Hopefully soon.  But 3 months since having a baby, and 2 weeks since returning to work, kids are what’s on my mind*

I have an aquaintance who is all into childbirth.  She’s a doula.  She’s on birthing message boards.  She feels comfortable giving (sometimes unsolicited) advice to any pregnant woman who will listen.  And, to prove her devotion, she’s got a whole bunch of kids.  In the interest of this staying a LITTLE anonymous, I won’t say how many…but it’s a bunch…you’d need a special car.  And word on the street is that she’s pregnant again.  (I have no problem with people having a lot of kids.  Hell, there are people I work with who think *I* have a lot of kids.  If you can provide for them and love them, then go ahead and make babies!).  I don’t know her well, I see her MAYBE once a month, but sometimes I wonder if she’s more into the process of pregnancy and childbirth than she is actually being a parent.  It’s not a dig at her parenting, she could be a fantastic parent, but this is the image that I perceive.  Anyway, this post really isn’t about her.

I was recently browsing through a message board that I followed when I was pregnant, trying to catch up with my old board-mates, and I started reading posts by women who were just finding out they were pregnant.  In the past, I’d always had “belly-envy” right after I had a baby.  Extreme jealousy that I was finished with the journey and these women were just beginning.  It’s exciting to find out that you’re pregnant and have so many possibilities ahead of you.  But this time there was just….nothing.  I’m happy for these women, and I remember that time fondly, but I’m just sort of over it.  

At some point in the recent past, there was a shift in my psyche.  I’ve reached a place in my life where I’d rather be a mother to children on the outside of my body.  I really like being a mom to my kids.  My kids talk back and bounce off walls and try me every day with their emerging personalities….and I love it.  My job now is to guide them to become their own people.  I’m happy with my little tribe.

I liked being pregnant.  Actually, I LOVED being pregnant.  I felt good.  I had a maternity wardrobe with just enough funk.  I got a kick out of amusing people with how un-pregnant I acted.  Yes, I even enjoyed people rubbing my belly.  But, by the third time around, I didn’t need to talk about it.  My life didn’t revolve around childbirth.  Maybe that should have been my first clue that something was changing.  It would probably be different if I was a doula or a midwife of something else that involved birth.  My job has little to do with medicine or babies or reproduction (nothing, actually).  I’ve got other stuff going on in my life.  I’m just ready to move on.

I’m happy to no longer be a vessel.  From now on, I’ll be a touchstone.

The Bronze

Have you ever held an Olympic medal?  I haven’t….but my 5 year old daughter has.

Growing up in Vermont, there were a lot of Winter Olympians floating around.  The guy who was a fixture at the ski area, the girl who’d gone to private school in the area, your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin.  Everyone had a story about somebody who was either going, or had been, to the Olympics.  There was never a shortage of “Hometown Hero” stories on the local news.

Georgia, while full of summer Olympians, is pretty lean on winter athletes.  In fact, this year there was only one Georgian in the Vancouver Games.  And she’s from Douglasville.

Elana Meyers was well on her way to becoming an Olympic Softball player when….well…they announced that they were taking softball out of the Olympics.  In 2007, she made the move to pushing bobsled.  Three years later she had an Olympic Bronze Medal. 

Last weekend, Meyers made an appearance at our local mall.  Amelia was PSYCHED.  This year she was so into the Olympics and she probably would have been excited to meet any Olympian.  The fact that this woman was from her hometown was icing on the cake.

We got there early because we weren’t sure if there would be a crowd.  They were still setting up and it was actually really quiet.  After the photo ops and handshaking with local government officials and bigwigs, Meyers sat down and started greeting people.  After a few minutes of coaching not to be shy, Amelia walked up to the table and smiled.  Elana was very sweet and asked Amelia her name and where she went to school.  Then she asked Amelia if she wanted to see the medal.  During the Olympics, Amelia & I had talked about the medals and wondered how heavy they were, so I knew that she was thrilled to see one in real life.  After a few seconds of politely looking at the medal, Elana told Amelia that she could touch it if she wanted.  Amelia gingerly touched the medal with one finger.  I thought that it would be a neat moment to photograph.  After I took the picture, Elana leaned forward and asked “Do you want to hold it?  You can.”

We took a few more pictures and thanked Elana.  It was a quick meeting, but hopefully it will be a memory that Amelia carries for the rest of her life (until she wins her own Olympic medal hehehe). 

As we were walking away, Amelia looked up at me and said “That was really fun mommy.  Thank you for bringing me” (Awwwww).  Then she said “Mommy…I know that you didn’t get to hold the medal….but it was really heavy.”   *Smile*

Back to My Roots

Someday I’ll write about my love of Facebook.  Right now, just know that it’s brought a lot of people back into my life…and I’m glad.

I was at Amelia’s Kindergarten Open House this morning and a little girl with slightly messy hair walked in wearing a flowered dress over flowered pants, a leopard print jacket & sparkly shoes.  All I could think was “Wow, she’s Amelia’s soul-mate.”  I started thinking about how the kids in Amelia’s Kindergarten class could be her life-long best friends.  Then I got a little sad because, if it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t be in touch with ONE of my Kindergarten classmates.  Is that unusual?  I’m not sure.  I do know that it would make a lot more sense if my family had moved away at some point. 

I never moved, but I DID change schools in seventh grade.  It was the right choice, a much bigger school with more resources and more opportunity, but I lost touch with all of the people I’d known in elementary school.  They were the people I’d taken swimming lessons with, spent summer programs with, played softball with.  Why did we lose touch?  Who knows.  Maybe because I was the girl who thought she was too cool because she went to a bigger school.  Maybe we just didn’t know the same people anymore and had nothing to talk about.  Maybe being 12 is just a really awkward time.  Whatever the reason, it’s sad to think about it now.  Add to that going away to college and then moving to Atlanta and there was really never any hope.  Our paths had split.

Fortunately, we DO have things like Facebook so I can have some semblance of a reconnection with the people I used to know.  In a lot of cases, it’s just an accepted friend request.  But every so often I venture to comment on a photo or write on someone’s wall.  If nothing else, we know that the other person is there IF we want to get reacquainted.

So, believe it or not, this is what I was thinking about today when I got an instant message from a guy I knew when I was young.  Pat is the oldest brother of my friend Erica, who was one of my BFFs in late elementary school and early middle school.  I haven’t talked to her in years and years and I’d friended Pat a while back thinking that I could ask him for her contact info (which I never got around to doing).  I’d left a comment on his wall over the weekend and so he’d replied and messaged to say Hi.  We started chit-chatting and I randomly made a comment about the computer lab at Amelia’s future school and how I remember being in Kindergarten and the school having ONE computer that they wheeled around from class to class.  His response was “Yeah, I remember that.”  Well, of course he did…he was THERE…and he was older, so he remembered it even better.  I realized that this was the first time in a long time that I’d referenced something from my early years (to somebody other than my family) and the person I was talking to knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.  My friends from work or college or high school would probably have comparable experiences….but they don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.  They weren’t there.  Even my husband doesn’t have that exact point of reference.  It was a strange realization and it snuck up on me a bit.  Our conversation went on and there were a couple more references dropped….names I hadn’t thought about in years.  It was comforting, like walking into your old school and having it smell exactly the same.  I’m sure that Pat has no idea what a big deal it was to me, but I spent the rest of the day feeling like I’d been given a shot of home.  

It made me excited for Amelia to go to school and make life-long friends.  It made me excited to re-connect with my long-long swimming lessons friends.

And now I have to go e-mail Erica (because I finally got her e-mail address)……

Geek Rock

I am not a Geek.  Seriously.  I’m not. 

Sometimes I wish I was.  They’re the ones that know how to get the good pirated movies and computer stuff for free. 

I’ve tried to understand Dungeons & Dragons…a lot.  I still don’t get it.  I’ve tried to see the appeal of a Renaissance Festival.  Beyond the giant turkey legs (which actually do sound pretty cool), I just can’t do it.  I’ve tried so hard to enjoy anything written by J.R.R Tolkien.  Nope…I didn’t even like the movies. 

That all being said, some of my favorite people and some of the most important people in my life are complete geeks…and proud of it.  So, in celebration of somebody who may or may not have grown up across the meadow from near me and  all of the a few people I knew in college, I give you this:

CNN.com has a great list of the Top Ten Geek Anthems of All Time.  No matter who you are, this list will most definitely make you smile.  So go look at the list, listen to the song samples, look for the video on YouTube  & dance around the room (’cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance, they’re no friends of mine….).  

Go ahead, celebrate your past/current/inner/outer/cape-wearing geekdom.  You’re the ones who are ruling the world (….and fixing my computer).  Own it!

And while you’re at it, enjoy my addition.  I know that They Might Be Giants is already on the list, but it doesn’t get better than this….

Live Long and Prosper   (see, it doesn’t even look right when I type it…)

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Does anybody else think that this post makes me sound like the blonde girl on The Big Bang Theory?  Just me?  Okay.