Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ramblings of a Tired Mother

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don't mean a thing.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

Wow! I've been meaning to write another really witty post, but I've been too tired to think of anything. Just really drained, you know? But Amanda left a comment asking me not to stop, and I wasn't planning to, but I guess I'd best get back in the groove. (Thanks, Amanda!)

We don't have a television, so we listen to the radio a lot. Right now it's baseball season—and we're Mets fans—so we get to listen to them lose. A lot. Although they have been having what the announcer calls an awesome 500 season. They just won't quit. But the point was, there's a commercial on the radio where a guy sings "Ohhhhhhh, so tired." I'm not even sure what he's tired of, or what he's trying to sell, nor can I understand the rest of what he says, but I keep singing along with that part anyway.

Erica on the playground
Erica moved into her very own first apartment on Monday, August 1, which also happened to be her 27th birthday. And Annalee's boyfriend broke up with her, so she was feeling a bit vulnerable and needed sympathy. I think she's pretty much over it, and Erica is settling into her place nicely, so things are getting back to some kind of normal. If there ever was a normal around here. I'm hoping my exhaustion will go away now, too.

We traveled to Pennsylvania, Delaware, home to Long Island, then on up to Cape Cod and Connecticut in the 10 days before Erica moved. Annalee's now ex called her while we were in Massachusetts to break things off. At that point, we still had two more shows to do and I was really worried that she wouldn't be able to concentrate. The driving and performing all went wonderfully, though, and we had a good time otherwise. Our show in Delaware was particularly awesome. But after that whirlwind, we got home on Friday, and on Sunday had a party to celebrate Erica's birthday and new apartment. Erica had been stashing all sorts of things for her new apartment over the past two months: pots & pans, lamps, a vacuum, dishes, towels, curtains, toaster, can opener—everything she could possibly think of. Our house, which is small to begin with, was over crowded with boxes and boxes of things she would need in her new place. It got to the point where I couldn't really clean or put anything away because of all her stuff. So we had a LOT to move. As soon as everyone left Sunday evening, we loaded all our cars in anticipation of the big day. Rick and I ultimately made two trips with the minivan stuffed to bursting, and by 5:30 p.m. we had her totally unpacked and moved in. Her boyfriend, Chris, showed up with a box truck of his stuff as Rick and I were leaving. Annalee stayed to help with round #2, but we came home to tackle our house.

And I do mean tackle. Our tiny 900+ square foot house was loaded to the gills with four adults living in it. The first thing Rick and I did was go through all our books. We estimated we donated 250 books to the local library. You'd never know by looking at our bookshelves (we love books!), but we now have everything in categories and shelved vertically. No more books piled sideways across the tops of others. After that, we tackled old magazines and clothes and dishes. We made several trips to the local thrift store. We moved all of Annalee's stuff out from the rest of the house and into the bedroom that she had shared with Erica, but now has all to herself. We worked for days carting things up and down the stairs; moving a desk here, a shelf there, a dresser down, a vanity up, and staying awake until 2 and 3 a.m. The first time Erica came home she walked around and said, it looks the same. Well, we didn't paint or re-wallpaper or buy new furniture, so everything is familiar. But it feels lighter, more organized. I'd still like to get rid of, or donate, quite a bit more but this was a great first step. I feel like I can breathe.

I'm completely achy from all the moving, though. My arms are in agony, my knees are throbbing, and my ankles aren't bending all that well. I feel old!

Annalee attempting to play banjo
And underneath all of this is a slight sadness that I'm not sure words can explain. A sadness that my children are 27 and 23, not 7 and 3. There are still things I want to tell those young children that I forgot, pushed off for some other time, or that just dawned on me now. I see a book and think, gee, the kids would enjoy that if I read it out loud. I want to tell Erica how to efficiently run a house, how to shop smart, how to save, but that would be intrusive rather than instructive now. I want to tell Annalee she'll find someone who will really love her, or maybe she'll be fine alone, but it will all be okay and have that be the truth. Do I still have the power to kiss the boo boos and have the hurt go away? 

I have been cooking during all of this. I've put chicken drumsticks out in the solar oven coated in an amazing spice blend from Penzey's Spices. I've made beef stew, cold lentil salad, and fresh tomato sauce outside so I wouldn't have to worry about dinner while we sweated inside hauling around furniture or books. But it's also been raining a lot, so cooking moved inside often. I've made chili in a clay Pomaireware bean pot. I've made my own pasta and my own egg noodles, which I haven't done in years. I'm feeling good about my newly spacious house. I know the girls will be fine. I'll be fine. I guess I'll just go annoy Rick.

1 comment:

  1. I love that photo of Annalee! Tell her to be strong, the right guy will come along and she will know when it happens.