About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Who’s My Favorite Seventeen-Year-Old?

Nobody, that I can think of. My baby turned 18 at 1:15 this morning. All five of my children are now adults. I am sitting at the computer at 5:32am, listening to the rain splash down outside the patio, with a steaming bowl of leftover soup at my left hand, a mug of milk at my right, and the last two slices of parmesan bread [sorry, LittleBit, you snooze, you lose!] in the toaster. It’s a distinctly weird day for me; it deserves a distinctly weird breakfast.

I unpacked a couple more boxes last night. Found my copies of Knitting Without Tears, Eat, Pray, Love, and miscellaneous church books. Also found a journal that I began in November 1994, around the time that my marriage to the children’s father began its long slow death spiral.

I’m re-reading it, a few pages at a time; I was haunting the public library in those days, consuming book after book in order not to feel my feelings, scrounging beds for the girls and fixing them up so they wouldn’t have to sleep on mattresses on the floor. I had just quit my part-time job that paid $8.00 with no benefits and was preparing to go back to school.

I was making two needlepoint pillows for a friend at church, in exchange for voice lessons for Firstborn and me. I was relentlessly busy from morning to night, so afraid that if I voiced my frustrations with the children’s father about his penchant for get-rich-quick schemes and his inability to keep a real job, he would stop loving me. Looking back after thirteen years, I can see that he already had, although both of us were carefully unaware of that fact.

I was probably the most prolifically productive depressed person in Texas in 1994 and 1995, and I would have given away every one of my considerable talents if it meant having my husband love me again.

Oh, what miracles great and small the Lord has worked in my life since those bleak days! I wish I could take the woman I was into a bear hug and let her know then what I know now. I wish I could show her how life would get better, both financially and emotionally, and that even though some of the worst days of her life were ahead, God would raise up friends to encourage and strengthen her. I would show her how unsuitable men would enter her life from time to time, and that she would compare what she knew to be true with what they offered, and tell them one after another, “No thank you.” And that she would learn to be peacefully single while never giving up the dream of successful remarriage in her lifetime.

Turning my attention to the well-washed day ahead of me, I have no idea what to do about a “cake” for LittleBit’s birthday. I need to get foofed up and head into work. She has something going, birthday-wise, with one of her friends later this morning. She is having dinner and a movie with another friend tonight. And of course there will be time with HerBoy. So I don’t expect to see much of her. Maybe I’ll pick up the makings of a cheesecake on my way home tonight, and she can have it for breakfast, or a late-night snack.

Having finished Brother Sushi’s tie, I *finally* stopped LittleBit in the hall last night to try the toe on her. “Yep, it feels like a sock,” is what she said. I am working on Firestarter again, and I am about to download Eleanora as my December sock of the month. I’ll wind the yarn and cast it on this weekend.


Tan said...

Happy birthday, LittleBit!

I guess the important thing we need to learn from things like your diary is that we should never give up (thanks, Mr. Churchill) because there is life on the other side.

Jerry said...

To look back on your life and see that you have moved towards a better place is in itself a healthy sign. Do you see your life in a new place, less time being a mother that is required to nurture your daughters in the last decade or do you see it as time to grow as a woman looking to embrace life’s new chapter one page at a time and teaching life’s lessons first hand? Without realizing it, you gave your Daughters more by coming through what you call your worst days as an empowered woman. You forged ahead and did your best to provide the best you could with the means you could obtain while maintaining your personal compass. This was just another marker in life that you helped your youngest get to without life hampering consequences. I applaud your daughter’s birthday as another success in your life.

Cambria said...

thank you for sharing that moment in your life. i, too have had them and i try to look back as sparsely as i can. your christmas sounded wonderful!