Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I find sometimes it's easy to be myself... much to say.

This month has already been nutty. Just plain nutty. And that's no one's fault but my own. I have overbooked us, and it is insanity. So all of this month's craziness (and it's only the 16th), plus next month's trips to Oregon and Miami = Mommy is grounded for the rest of the month. Well, provisionally anyway.

The first week of this month was mentally taxing because of what we had going on at work. The second week was physically and mentally taxing because of how much I have scheduled for us and the realization of just how much more I have scheduled for us this fall. (Plus, there was Olivia's birthday party and the gas nozzle-to-the-toe incident. If you've not heard that story, oh, do please ask.) The third week (this week) has been emotionally taxing because I am me. And that's all.

Today was Olivia's last day at DS. She's been there since she was three months old. When I enrolled her, I was living and working in West Little Rock, so it just made sense. When I took the job downtown, I was still living out west, in fact, we had moved into a house less than 2 miles from the center, so it still made sense. But when we bought the house out here...well. I knew it didn't make sense, but I also didn't think it was fair to introduce that many changes to her all at once - bye bye to the Cove house, hello to a new house *and* hello to a new daycare? No. I just refused to do it. And I refused to even think about doing it. Until about a month ago when I was promoted and feeling the need to be at work at o-dark-thirty to start getting everything done, and I was fighting three interstates worth of traffic just to get there by eight. Plus, there's this spot...on 430...where she starts to cry and/or fuss, just about every day. Like clockwork. So I figured...maybe it's time to make a change. So I have. Tomorrow she'll stay with Aunt Rachel. Friday she's hanging out with Baba, who's going to take her for a visit to her new center, and then on Monday, she'll go in for her first real day. Naturally it will be a half day - I've arranged to be off that afternoon. I'm just trying to minimize separation anxiety on every level possible...and the critical voice in the back of my head says that I'm failing. Normally, I would analyze all of the different ways to do this and come to a complete and total stall - no decision, no progress, just stall. Good old PBA. But for some reason, where she is concerned, I find myself capable of making resolute decisions and sticking to them. Even if they scare the fool out of me. Maybe that's grace.

I brought home a folder full of server specs and system requirements and service contract quotes that I really need to be reviewing before tomorrow morning's meeting. And I will. When I get to work early because Aunt Rachel is coming here to watch Livi in the morning. Bliss! I started really looking at them on Tuesday - not ideal, since I was not even in the office - and it began this entire thought process on cost-benefit analysis that I cannot get out of my head. If I am not careful, I will begin to think in grids and spreadsheets and disconnected prose. Still, I just can't stop thinking about how blessed I am to be working where I am, with and for the people I am. Bad sentence, I know. Especially for someone who keys off of the relational aspect of the workplace as heavily as I do, this setup offers some pretty solid results. Qualitatively, too. That point must definitely be made.

So today when we got home, part of my garden had crashed. I have these raised beds in front of my house that have a slate rock curtain. The builder put in impatiens and these blueish bush thingies that I don't like, and I also planted some zinnias in there earlier this summer. Well, the slate rock curtain was d-o-w-n down in the front on the north side. My first thought was: blasted deer. So we parked the truck and I got out to look - no hoof prints. There should be hoof prints, right? I mean, you would think. But none. Instead, just this massive mound of dirt and I realized...all this rain. The drainage is poor, and the rain must have just overwhelmed the bed and busted the curtain. So I called my builder and arranged for him to come fix it up. Gotta love that warranty. By this point, though, I was done. Today was just a little on the iffy side, so I went ahead and let it swing all the way to the right. I rolled up my jeans, kicked off my satin ballet flats, stripped down to the tank top and sat on the porch with Olivia. She had milk and I had wine. At one point I think she tried to convince me that it was okay for her to poo in the backyard. Potty-training is not going that well, obviously. But she just ran around back there, got mud all over her jeans, and we just ignored everything but each other and the big ball-shaped things that are falling from my trees. I do not know what they are.

Today, a woman in my training class said something about me being happily married. It was odd. I thought, I don't wear a ring...I don't talk about my husband.... So I just smiled and told her that I'm single. She stammered and seemed a little confused, and I told her that I do have a daughter, and that it's just me and her. It really didn't bother me. I just thought it was interesting. There is another lady at work that seems to think that I'm divorced and just don't want to talk about it.

Shortly after discovering the leaning tower of impatiens in my front yard, I started checking on all of my zinnias. I have a tree ring near the driveway that is boasting one extraordinary giant African violet that was just getting ready to bloom. It bloomed alright. And promptly fell. No idea why. Maybe the rain. Maybe the giant deer who was escaping, hoof print-less, after barreling through my garden like the fricking demolition derby. No clue. But it was laid flat. I really wanted to cry. I love that zinnia, and I have been watching it literally every day since it started to bud. Thankfully, there was another plant nearby, so I was able to reinforce the roots a little and sturdy it up by leaning it on the zinnia next to it, and we'll see if that works or not. I have one other giant that's getting ready to bloom, so I went to look at it, and I got really close and was looking at the bud and the stem and soil and all that stuff. Well, Livi must have been watching me pretty closely, because she started running around and looking at all of our zinnias. She would bend down and really stare at them. So precious. I couldn't help but look at her and think - I am so happily daughtered.

This life is more than enough for us. I am lucky to have a life so full that it bursts at the seams - that the slate rock wall sometimes just can't hold everything we try to cram into it - all of the rich, earthy goodness and beauty - and even the cement holding the rocks together busts loose and everything spills onto the yard. It is such a beautiful mess. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

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