This song has been stuck in my head tonight, mostly for this line: There’s just too much living going all around. Plus, it’s Lyle. I remember seeing him at Lincoln Center in College – my friend Jessica and I got the last-minute, cheapie student-priced tickets to see his big hat and large band live.
Anyway. I feel like I’ve been on the quiet side here on the blog. There’s been a lot of living going all around. A nasty cold, pms, kids sent home with a variety of ailments and complaints, frigid weather. A lot of early mornings spent writing and one very late night spent filling out the online application for – wait, lean in close as I am only going to share this in a whisper right now – grad school. Grad school! (I’m still whispering.) Again! This time in Counseling. I’m madly trying to get out of taking the GRE (my original scores, from 1996, have been purged from the planet, where they belong). But besides for that nit-picky detail, the application is in and we shall see. I would love to share here the short essay I wrote, but I’m not sure where that falls ethically. So sufficed to say I am ready to move forward in a new way with both my training and with making the work I do more sustainable in the long-term.
I’m excited about it. I will keep you posted as I know more.
Now, to go from a whisper to more of a shout. PARENTING IS INTENSE. I’ll quote my friend Jennifer here for something more illustrative:: “Being a parent is like being on a full-time retreat, with no time off for good behavior.” Not that you didn’t know that, but geeze louise. Lyle may have been a traveling man – don’t tie me down – but lord knows motherhood is one open road he’ll never sing about.
MB’s recent post on motherhood as practice was timely and moved me to tears, reminding me to be with my kids when I’m with my kids, at least some of the time. Karen Maezen Miller echoed this sentiment here, gently turning my face to see the obvious: my girls, unfolding, showing me, asking to be seen, right before my very eyes. My very eyes which are so often looking elsewhere, or inward, or simply closed altogether. These teachers’ words come to me in the even tones I sometimes find myself at a loss for, neither shours not whispers.
Aviva, on the other hand, often seems to be yelling at me, or at Pearl, who commensurately raises the volume right back her big sister. A few days ago, I remembered that old trick of whispering as a way of getting everyone’s attention and inviting, almost conspiratorially, a quiet society into the chaos. It totally worked, for a few minutes anyway. Then I burst into tears. An hour later we were laughing at a perfectly-timed burp. And around and around we go.
Practice. Constant. And tonight, all the living going all around landed us on the couch after “train wreck” for dinner (that’s when you take all of the mystery leftovers out of the fridge and freezer and eat them). We thumbed through old pictures of Aviva and Pearl as babies and toddlers, and then, to my surprise (I hadn’t noticed which albums the girls had pulled off the shelf in my office): pictures of me. Lots of them. Me at five, eleven, thirteen, fifteen. Me at twenty-eight. All of the moments I’m writing about offline. That China doll skin, that leather jacket, that new mother.
“You looked a lot better then,” Aviva said. Gotta love that girl. And the girl her mama was once, too.