Thursday, October 28, 2010

My last 20 years represented on a dishcloth

I am still talking about the fire, but I have realized that as I return to a base that I don’t want the old one that I had. For 15 years, I had wanted to finish college, I wanted to get out and do something, almost anything, just as long as I could get out. I think my biggest problem was that I did not have a consistent outing to go on. This was not my husband’s fault, but just our life circumstances. My friends had left state and all I had was church and my children, and a poor husband who was worn out but needed to pay attention to his bright but dimmed wife, begging for conversation and telling him of the ridiculous aspects of her day. Every time I was about to get my tubes tied, my dad stupidly called the day before and in a nasally passive aggressive way would try to be funny and ask when I was getting fixed. I’d tell him that I didn’t appreciate that and instruct him to f-off. I love all of my children and don’t want to send any back, but if I could so it over again, I’d finish college, then have kids.

Going back to normal is a concept I don’t understand. I suppose that when I was having children constantly and I was one of three stages, either post partum, pre-partum, or partum for 12 years, me returning to college was normal for me. But in college, I had two young children and we got around Anchorage by bus! I still miss college, but it’s a lot to do. Right now with having kids in college, high school, junior high, and elementary school, it is everything I can do to keep dog paddling and getting through my day. What is normal? It has never existed. Right now I want peace and quiet and order to my day. If I manage to get the kids out to school with no one having lost shoes, misplaced coats or missing the bus and the ones who need rides get to school with 10 minutes to spare, I am over the moon with happiness!

I have been knitting and it is knitting that has made me aware of certain things. I have failed many classes in college because I just couldn’t put the time in. I didn’t know why formulas for statistics just didn’t stay in my head. The other day I went to see my knitting teacher and I was doing well on a new method and then her son decided to turn on retard-TV. It was a really lame show about two rich white kids doing stupid stuff. At the time I didn’t see a link, but I was losing my counts. I came home and was doing fine until the kids ran up stairs and started to bicker. I had to frog an entire base for something that I had been making. I switched to a dishcloth because I need to make a bunch and the same thing happened. Sequences of stitches are easy to memorize and if you look at your work, you can decide what you need to do with just a little foresight. I was losing it all and getting upset until it hit me that this has been my entire life for the last 20 years! People have tried to tell me but I wasn’t listening. I may sound like a bad mommy, but the kids went to bed early that night. ALL of them were in bed by 9 and I took Cloud’s cell phone so she would have to do something else!

The fire shook me up. It erased everything that I knew, and put me and my family in a hotel, then into a rental house for just under a year. I didn’t really think of college for that year as it seemed so unimportant.

A few weeks ago, Eldest Child called me and asked if I could “cook a pig on a spit” for her and her friends when she came up in January. I was annoyed because I don’t eat pork and whatever I cooked in that manner would cost upwards for $400 and I wasn’t throwing a wedding. Later, I read her FaceBook page and realized that she must have found it funny to say that as she had posted it to her friends. To me, it was more work, more money to spend.

Earlier this evening she called me and asked about a strange theme to family photos, and family pictures are not on my agenda. She has been gone for six months and I just don’t want to plunk the cash down or get new outfits for this occasion. She is also up here two months earlier than planned for a friend who is getting married. She wants to borrow a spare vehicle with has some issues and I don’t want her driving it. I am worn out and don’t want her here during the week. Call me terrible, but her timing during autumn flu season is terrible and I don’t want her here mid-week. I was happy to have her here right after Christmas break because I’d be winding down. Now I am still settling in and her being here gets all the kids going 90 miles an hour and they turn into hyper brats. She is a typical eldest child and we have two chiefs here.

I feel like I am getting old, but I think that next year at this time, change won’t terrify me. I had changes in plans and unannounced visitors annoy me. I want to get to what I am happy doing and then invite people in as I can handle it. I think I am mentally making a foundation for myself.

It is not that this is hard, but it is not easy, either.


Ropi said...

Well, every beginning is difficult but I guess you will get used to the new environment. However I am a bit afraid of moving out because I dislike changes.

* My parents lived in 1956. Once I asked my grandfather how he remembers to 1956 and he mentioned that his point of view it was like he didn't have to work and he could play football with his friends (he used to be a football player).

Tea N. Crumpet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tea N. Crumpet said...

Ropi, I hate change. I didn't realize that until I wrote this post. My family says I am a control freak, but I am absolutely sick of flying by the seat of my pants. If one of the kids came to me and asked for something and made it sound important, I flipped to get it done. Now I have gotten good at saying, "No."

I feel like me gaining control of things and being organized is like an alcoholic not drinking any more and getting functional. My family is resisting like crazy even though me getting things in order is a good thing: It is not controling of me to not want things on the stairs where people can fall over them and for the person who was assigned to vaccuum them to be assigned a extra chore. It is not unusual to have to ask three days ahead of time for a friend to stay over. I ask every night for homework to be done by a certain time. Me getting out causes conflicts with my family's organization so I don't go to the many things I used to do-- they wish I'd leave them alone more!

It's amazing how much more you can get done when you are on top of things.