Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Holding hands with Riley

Every now and then, Riley and I have a "date." From the time Mallory was born, Riley has needed time with me alone. Sometimes, it is to go to a theatre production, or it might just be an hour but we are together by ourselves. Last week she and I were walking and Riley always reaches up and holds my hand. She is at an age where I don't worry that she will dart out in front of a car like with Mallory. Mallory, I do worry about. Mallory is slightly more independant even at three and a half but still not trustworthy. When I am leaving them with their father or a sitter, Mallory waves goodbye heartily and says have a good time. On the other hand, Riley at six and a half, might be holding on to my leg and begging me not to go, depending on her mood.
The last couple of times we have held hands on our date, I get overwhelmed with sweet, sweet emotion that this will not last forever. We are at a particular point in time that will only last for a season. That little hand in mine is so, so very precious. I don't know if it is more precious, for everything that I and my husband went through to have it. It was a very difficult journey to get pregnant and then afterwards, I went through devastating postpartum depression.
This is such a sweet, significant bond of which I could not have imagined. She loves me with an undying devotion and I her. Adolescence will meander in and I will become a thing of the past, a means to an end. I'm thinking it will break my heart and I have to prepare myself for it.
It is my job to give her wings to fly. In hindsight, my mother never gave me wings, she kept me tethered and I have to learn on my own how to give wings to my children. Right now at their age, I'm still tethered but realizing I have to slowly position them in the right way so that they will be able to venture out and I with confidence can let them go. In the meantime, I am savoring these moments of pure bliss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Death of An Actress

I watched closely the news reports of Natasha Richardson's skiing accident. When they used the words traumatic head injury and critical, I was still hoping for the best for this complete stranger. And then knew it was not hopeful especially as they flew her from Montreal to New York and you don't fly persons with brain swelling if they are recovering. For some reason, I just really liked her. She wasn't in many movies as I have discovered she was more of a theatre actress and more importantly to her, a mother. I had seen the movie "Nell" and then I loved her in "The Parent Trap." I have seen that movie many, many times and then was able to enjoy it with my oldest daughter who liked the twin aspect.
On screen, she just captured my attention, and now I understand why, as she was acting royalty with the chops to prove it. She was playing in this Disney movie and knocking it out of the park. The role is of a woman who when she decides to leave her husband, they choose to split the twins that she just gave birth to and never have any contact. I guess the plot could happen in real life, but as I mulled it over in one of my viewings, I thought it was really far fetched, but I loved it anyway. She played it SO well. She was beautiful, graceful and elegant even when she played tipsy.

I just had to write something because I feel saddened by this loss of a complete stranger. It seemed like she had a true love affair with her husband. And then they have two sons. I think about if something would happen to myself and how my children would cope without their mother. It would be devastating and especially for my eldest daughter. At six and a half, she has never wanted me to go anywhere without her, and this continues on even now. Ms. Richardson seemed like a devoted mother. You didn't really know much about their kids and that is something commendable in this day and age with the likes of Tom Cruise.
I think also the fact that she was 45, and it was a freak accident. I turned 40 last year and those numbers are oh so close. It made me stop and think of my own mortality and how it can happen when you least expect it. Forty seemed old when I was twenty but oh, not anymore.
Even though this was an actress who worked in New York and in some movies married to a more famous movie star, it gave me a wake up call and we get those from time to time from persons we don't even know. Even as the day is hectic, the list of things to do is long, the kids are energy zapping, enjoy those moments and people in your life as much as you can every day. This is a similar theme to a book I studied with a group at church called "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. It is a hard read but I found the message to be very useful to me and the essence of it is to be present in each moment of your life. That is what I'm trying. Peace and prayers to Natasha Richardson's family and friends.

Monday, March 16, 2009

These Socks Don't Match

You have to look closely but these two socks do not match. One has eyelet and one is plain ribbon ruffle. Last week, as I was dressing my darling younger daughter and we couldn't find two matching white socks, she says, "Mom, we never shake things up." So, we decided that she would wear the two different white ruffle socks so we could shake things up. You see, I am open to change. These words were so profoundly funny to me coming from a three and a half year old but the more I have mulled over them and used them with her and other family members since, they are beginning to resonate. And last night, I was at a book study at our church with our senior minister and his message relating to the book we were reading was basically the same.

Shaking things up. I can look at what I have been doing recently in my world as shaking things up. I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and into new places that I actually have begun to feel quite comfortable in. It's quite ironic how that happens. And I have had to try several things before I have found the right fit, and I have learned to not give up and keep trying. In the past, I would have had a bad experience and then stopped trying.

Take the previously mentioned book study, I felt like I should be in a different study, because all of the friends who were nearer to my age and sunday school class were in another one. The only problem was that I didn't want to study the topic of the study at all. I tried the study twice actually and I got some "nuggets' out of it the first time and not the second time. And then the pastor's study was reading a book that I really wanted to hear about. I went and it was THE PERFECT fit. I could have conversations with these people that I really didn't know at all, and they were fascinating and profound for me and I REALLY appreciated it. It was just a better fit, at that time. And then another major lesson that I learned was the first study group may appeal to me again at another time and I can switch over and do that one again. Shake it up. Change may be difficult, but it can be very good.

So I'm going to continue to think out of the box, shake things up even though the advice is coming from a three and a half year old. Although she cried buckets the last time we "shook things up" for her in her everyday routine, I will ignore that and roll with the idea that Mommy needs to shake things up.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Accepting Myself

This is going deep again. I keep having small epiphanies as I come to terms with food, weight and lastly, self-acceptance. I think self-acceptance is the key to this struggle with food and eating. Early on in my work with the nutritionist, I knew it was a profound moment when I couldn’t say that I loved myself as I was. I don’t love the extra weight that I have gained as part of the process. It just feels wrong on my body. I was ashamed when I couldn’t say it and I knew this was going to be a big roadblock, but the weight isn't the problem it is the side effect.
It just takes time, slow, painful time to gain these perspectives. It took years to get to this position and it’s going to take some time to change my way of thinking and address the issues that are uncomfortable enough for me to avoid feeling that result in me eating. Last week it hit me that perhaps I'm at this weight, so I can now really appreciate the weight I was at before. My body is meant to be at 1%& pounds and that's okay.
I’m at my highest weight ever, except for being pregnant. It makes me extremely sad and shameful. Shame, that word pops up again. Yet, I am accepting myself more and more. I have learned a lot about myself through therapy, reading different books, and most recently the Enneagram personality inventory, etc. and I’m learning to accept the parts of myself, my personality that I don’t find as appealing but are me. I'm not like everybody else, whoever that is. That is a huge hurdle to pass through. Also, I tend to focus on the negative. Women tend to do that a lot. Although I am at an undesirable weight, that isn't everything that life is made of.
I think a large issue of mine is STILL adjusting to being out of the work world and in the stay at home, and taking care of my beautiful charges world. I love them in a massively powerful way and am grateful that I can be here with them, yet I miss accomplishing things in an adult world, having adults to interact with and finishing tasks unrelated to our home.
I think one of my hindrances is that as a stay at home mom, I take care of my children extremely well and I thought I was taking care of myself, but I really had gotten lost in the shuffle. Young children can be oh so demanding and take up all of one’s time. I am learning to let them be more independent (and is easier the older they get) and then I get some needed ME time. My oldest daughter and I are extremely close, and she is what you would call a momma’s girl. I hadn't realized to what extent we were joined at the hip, in perhaps an unhealthy way. In the last 2 months, I have been able to get away by myself for 2 nights on two different occasions, and in previous years, I would have never felt like I could do this. We learned together that she can manage with her father on her own. Before this most recent time, I felt so weighted down in motherly obligation that I could never do anything without my children. My husband works extremely hard and has had extremely long hours and the children are my complete responsibility. It was a noose around my neck. I have learned the lesson that when I do things for myself, get away or take up a new hobby that takes time away from them, that I become a better mother, more relaxed and able to handle the demands. I just have to find the right persons to care for my children and ask for this time.
And the kicker is, if I can love myself at this weight, the possibilities are endless. I am sad about my weight but not ready to throw in the towel, not at all. I am going to succeed, one day at a time, one epiphany at a time.