This was a text I sent to Candice this morning after the second wave of kids got to school. (Still had one set of two to go.)
I was driving with (because Lucy was driving) the older girls to school and we’d had several discussions where they went from zero to sixty on the drama-meter in .002 seconds. I actually think it was a new record.
“There is absolutely NO WAY it can ever work out …”
“Wow, that is a pretty egotistical thing to say, Mom …” (referring to me calling myself all kinds of awesome after someone said I was sort of awesome and she was glad to have met me.)
When did my kids get so fatalistic?
When did they stop seeing the humor and the sarcasm in things?
When did they stop seeing the laughter in situations and start taking things so. darn. literal?
And then I begin to wonder … did I do this to them? Did I heap upon them so many responsibilities and adult situations with regards to child-rearing and cooking and laundry and college expectations and … whatever that they have ceased being the carefree, silly, wonderful and insightful kids that they are?
It can’t be true. I hear them with each other and they laugh and laugh and say silly things. It must just be me. I must inspire direness in them.
Next weekend, Lucy will be getting her Senior portraits taken. I wanted to capture something real, the true essence of Lucy who has grown up so fast my head is reeling, so I asked my brother to take them. 1. Because he’s a fabulous photographer and 2. Because I knew he would take us seriously in that we wanted pictures of Lucy as LUCY, not as someone posed next to a fence, or in a field, or somewhere where we won’t get the innate understanding of who she is. Not to knock the portraits I’ve seen, but … they get so … predictable.
Paying for such a photoshoot doesn’t come cheaply, even for the photographer’s sister. So, to cut down on costs, Jeff said that maybe a friend could come with us and hold the reflector thingy and I could be there to be the Gaffer, or the Grip or the Best Boy or whatever those people are called.
My immediate thought to Jeff’s suggestion was: Emma and Abby. Nobody, and I mean nobody makes Lucy laugh like they do. Real, bellyaching laughter. Eyes emotively bright. Dimples deep. Unashamed and unreserved. It is gorgeous to hear, and if you’ve ever heard it come from such an intellectual, reserved person, you know what I mean.
This is what I want a picture of.
Is it possible to get this person when so much of everyday is wrapped up in our tightly woven schedule of different threads going different directions? Knotted at the ends so there is no chance of raveling? A fabric so well-made it will never rip? No wonder she is so tightly strung, I’ve pulled her as taut as I could.
Candice wrote about (for lack of a better term, or in laymen’s terms, if you will) finding our happy place. It was actually much MORE than that, but I am dumbing it down a bit to serve my own purposes. We had a discussion about this on the phone this morning. My question to her was, what if I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t stressed out and compartmentalizing and happy, really happy about anything? After more probing questions on her part, we were finally able to unearth the last time I felt giddy about the day ahead of me. It happened to be a day where my entire afternoon was wiped clear of my obligations to anyone besides my family. Due to a series of circumstances, there was no swim practice, no carpool, no soccer, no accountability to anyone who didn’t have the last name Robertson.
I was happy, lighthearted, and optimistic. I knew I would be able to go to bed early (my absolute favorite thing to do), make a nice dinner that we would all eat at the same time, and I could read and write.
All was wonderful, and of course the next day, the schedule set back in, but I was rejuvenated. Reenergized. Able to take on laundry piles in a single bound (like Mary as Spider-Man, see Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary). Candice said that this told her that my inability to take time for myself will be my downfall. I see that, and I know it is true. I wonder if I am doing this to my kids?
What do you do to take time for yourself? How do you make this happen? I really want to know …
Dinner tonight (after dry land for swim) was take out. It is sometimes the only way husband and I get to hang out together. At the bar at the Mexican place drinking beer while we wait for our MAMMOTH take out order that I write on a piece of paper and just hand to the bartender.
Its easier that way.