Friday, March 21, 2014

For My Daughter, by Sarah McMane

For My Daughter

By Sarah McMane

“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” – Clementine Paddleford

Never play the princess when you can
be the queen:
rule the kingdom, swing a scepter,
wear a crown of gold.
Don’t dance in glass slippers,
crystal carving up your toes --
be a barefoot Amazon instead,
for those shoes will surely shatter on your feet.
Never wear only pink
when you can strut in crimson red,
sweat in heather grey, and
shimmer in sky blue,
claim the golden sun upon your hair.
Colors are for everyone,
boys and girls, men and women --
be a verdant garden, the landscape of Versailles,
not a pale primrose blindly pushed aside.
Chase green dragons and one-eyed zombies,
fierce and fiery toothy monsters,
not merely lazy butterflies,
sweet and slow on summer days.
For you can tame the most brutish beasts
with your wily wits and charm,
and lizard scales feel just as smooth
as gossamer insect wings.
Tramp muddy through the house in
a purple tutu and cowboy boots.
Have a tea party in your overalls.
Build a fort of birch branches,
a zoo of Legos, a rocketship of
Queen Anne chairs and coverlets,
first stop on the moon.
Dream of dinosaurs and baby dolls,
bold brontosaurus and bookish Belle,
not Barbie on the runway or
Disney damsels in distress --
you are much too strong to play
the simpering waif.
Don a baseball cap, dance with Daddy,
paint your toenails, climb a cottonwood.
Learn to speak with both your mind and heart.
For the ground beneath will hold you, dear --
know that you are free.
And never grow a wishbone, daughter,
where your backbone ought to be.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mommy Daughter Night

Last night Caitlin and I had a Mommy-Daughter Night.   

I put my phone away.  I turned off the computer and the TV.  It felt weird to be so in the moment with no electronic distractions.  To me, that is something of a wake up call about my dependence on technology.  I have been slowly reducing my use of it, but the habit ("need") is still strong.  I will change this. 

We started with a game of Battleship, which I won by a narrow margin (I'm pretty sure she peeked at my side, the little stinker)

After Battleship, we busted out some art supplies and got to work.  I used crayons to color a picture of a giant crescent moon (with a very happy face, of course) in the night sky next to a unicorn.  I made her horn, mane and tail multicolored, and the moon blue.  Caitlin made a book with four pages:  the title page (I Love You, by Caitlin), I love my mommy, I love my daddy, and I love Gavin.  Illustrated, of course.  We listened to Pink Floyd "Animals" while we did our art.  I had forgotten the simple joy of doing something artistic and completely unstructured while listening to music.  It was freeing.  I imagined I could feel my brain cells moving in completely different ways than usual.  I loved it.

Then we played a game with these new, tiny little figures that she had picked up that day with Nana.  I don't know what they are called, but they came in tiny little balls.  Caitlin lined up the figures on the edge of a book, set another book in front of them as a "stage", and put on a show for them that consisted of bouncing the empty balls around on the stage.  One minute of our time equaled an hour for the tiny people and animals.

We then watched Kronk's New Groove, had popcorn and pumpkin bars, and snuggled on the couch.  After brushing our teeth, we snuggled in my bed, read a story (Bad Kitty and Poor Puppy), and went to sleep.  Not the best night of sleep I've ever had (she is a restless sleeper!), but it was nice to wake up with my little girl snuggled up next to me.  Daddy was kind enough to switch beds with her so that we could have our sleepover.

Once again, this amazing girl has opened my eyes to wonderful things I completely miss when left to my own devices.  She inspired me and reminded me of the beauty inherent in the simple things.  I am grateful to have such an amazing tiny teacher.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bike Riding

Caitlin learned how to ride her two-wheeler today without the training wheels!!  I was the one that taught her - not her dad - which I'm pretty excited about.  I'm proud of both of us!

Looking forward to some bike rides with my cutie pie six year old!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Adventure

I am beginning my new adventure as a full time stay-at-home-mom/student.... I am officially no longer employed (don't worry Mom- I checked with the manager and she told me I can come back whenever I need or want).  All I can say so far is..... this is AWESOME!!!!  Granted, I go back to school full time on the 22nd, so things will change a bit then, but right now I have so much free time!  My house is so clean!  I'm having so much fun with the kids!  I don't feel like I have to rush all the time!

I have started on my list of projects; the first two items on the list are to get my photo albums up to date (could it be that I am a year behind??) and finish Caity's quilt.  I am catching up on sleep, and have noticed a huge improvement in my mood and general demeanor.  I am making plans to actually hang out with friends again, and spending time just sitting and reading (what a luxury!).

Ryan is also much happier these days.  Esoterik Guitars is now his only job, and while he is working long hours, he is enjoying every minute of it.  Being able to focus on his business and having me supporting him at home has really reduced his stress level and increased his happiness. 

So right now, life is really good.  

I have also changed my major at school from Nutrition to Psychology with a focus on Marriage and Family Counseling.  I still plan to study Nutrition throughout my life, but my Bachelor's and Master's degrees will be in PsychologyBy the end of this year, I will have a Certificate of Specialization in Nutrition, so if I want to work in the field I can, as well as an AA in Family Studies.  My goal is to transfer to Cal Poly in January 2014 as a Junior, finish my Bachelors degree in two years, and my Masters two years after that.  Here's hoping we can afford it!  With the three degrees, the certificate, and my ongoing studies in nutrition, I will be able to combine all these areas of study if I decide to pursue my original plan of working with people with eating disorders.  I am very, very excited to continue school in this new direction.

2013 is shaping up to be a fantastic year!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Tooth Fairy Is Coming Back

Caitlin has lost her second tooth.... the bottom right one came out the day before Thanksgiving.  Her grown-up teeth look HUGE!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dreams and Such

Every night that I'm home to put Caitlin to bed we decide what we're going to dream about that night.  We've met up at the beach and gotten ice cream, we've gone flying (sans airplane) to Paris where we could eat any food we wanted and it would be healthy for us, and gone diving to the bottom of the ocean like mermaids.

Tonight she said we were going to go to a rainbow and find the pot of gold at the end.... and give the gold to poor people so they wouldn't be poor anymore.  I am madly in love with this child. 

We have this thing we do right now where one of us will squeeze the other ones hand three times saying "snuggle snuggle snuggle", and the other will do it back.  Our hands are snuggling.

I love how such little things can create such big happiness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Birthday & Stuff

My daughter turned five this past weekend.  She also started kindergarten two weeks ago.  It feels like she is officially no longer a baby.  She's still my baby of course, just not a baby.

I don't know how to feel.  I don't know how to feel about anything these days, actually.  My feelings are muddled, unclear and unclean.  I need to think, to breathe, to get away and reconnect.  I need a clean slate and a clean house.  I need less to do and more freedom.  I need someone to take care of me for a change.  I need less work and more joy.  I need space to breathe and to not be told what I should be doing or feeling or saying or not saying.  I need my husband to care about something other than his business and himself.  I need my stepsons mom to stop being such an unappreciative crazy bitch.  I need to not be a stepparent anymore.  I need to be able to not feel bad about things that are beyond my control. I need my knee to not hurt when I run so that I can try to hold on to at least a little bit of sanity. 

The truth is, I don't know what I need.  Just something.