Here I am again. I've been thinking about all sorts of things the last few days. Been feeling sick- I think from the antibiotic I was taking for my root canal abscess. I read about the possible side effects and decided to quit taking the stuff before I got sicker.
We went to the RV show at the Dulles Expo Center today. It was neat to see all the fancy RVs, but it was too crowded. Especially inside the RVs. I wasn't inspired to lust after any of them. I was pretty happy with the camping we did last summer at the KOA campgrounds all over the country.
I think about my kids all the time. Even when we don't talk or write for a while. I am still very connected somehow. I know the saying about having children is live having your heart on the outside of your body. I know what that means-it means that you have a vulnerability you never could dream of or imagine without having children. Really. These people, all of them adults, are mine. They will always be my children. For the rest of my life.
So much of my time and energy were sucked up when the kids were all living at home. I cannot say one period was harder than another. Although, I do think I am pretty good at mothering babies and knowing what to do and how and when. When I had a preemie, my charmed life came to a jolting stop and a new reality of how to mother a little one. And it worked out alright in the end, but I was so scared and worried that I was sure life would never be alright again. That is the real reason I didn't have any more babies. I would have loved having more babies, but at 36 and after getting my sick preemie well and healthy, I was afraid to push my luck any further.
And I have been lucky. Remarkably so.
And now, I help other moms learn the ropes of early mothering. Most of the moms I help, are working moms. they will be going back to work when their babies are just 12 weeks old. They will be alright and their babies will too. I sometimes wish I could be a nanny to all of the sweet babies I meet. I am really nuts!
I have been working on my family tree/ genealogy lately. Nick subscribed to Ancestry.com , so I have been looking up records and connecting my grandparents with their parents and so on. I found a copy of the document of my mother entering the US for the first time when she was just 6 weeks old. I have copies of the US census for any number of years showing addresses of grandparents and aunts and uncles. It makes the past so close and all of those real people even more real.
It also makes me miss people. Especially my mom. She could have told me so much. She did tell me a lot, but not enough. And both of my grandmothers told me about their families, but I didn't pay close enough attention and now all I have are scant memories and pictures of cemetery head stones with names and dates.
I also miss my mom just because. She was 77 when she died, and that's not old enough. She didn't get to live long enough and she really did want to live longer. She loved me, I know that. She used to sing to me when I was little, and give me butterfly kisses. It's not a new sentiment- wishing you could turn back time. But it is a real one.
I guess that is part of why I think about my kids so much. Not just because they are my kids, but I am their only mother. I know I am important to them, and I know that they won't realize how important until I am gone-which I hope won't be for a long time.
I wrote here on this blog recently about being a mother and how I would have been a whole, complete person even if I had not had children. That is true. But now, I am getting older and Nick is too. We are still going strong, but I don't want to buy into the perpetual denial our culture has "oh no, you aren't old". We are not "old" yet, but we are aging. We are past middle age. I have wanted to be a grandmother for some time. (no pressure kids, this is about me-really). Now, of course if I had never had kids, I would not feel the desire to have grandchildren.
Why do I want grandchildren? I guess it is the immortality thing. It is also the feeling that if I was a good enough mother/ parent, my children would see the value in what I did and would desire the same things. I hope I am not letting my self and my ego get in my way.
I have patience that I didn't have when I was a young mother. I have stories to tell and fun things to teach. Reading, playing cats cradle, making play dough. Finger painting and making a loom from a piece of cardboard. These are all things we did and I want to be able to share myself in the same way again. But I am afraid that we may not have the energy and good health to be able to be the kind of grandparents I would like my grandchildren to know if too many years pass before the grandkids come.
My Grandma Thompsen taught me how to crochet. She bought fruit and canned it when I was staying with her. She dug potatoes right out of the dirt in her back garden! I am so lucky to have been able to spend time with her and get to know her and see her and hear her with her strong Norwegian accent.
And my Grandma Rivers, well, she taught me how to make pie crust and how to knit. She had a clothes line and she grew tomatoes in her back yard. I planted the the first flowers I ever grew from seed right there by her back door. What a thrill that was for 10 year old me! My Grandpa Rivers was a carpenter. He had a shop in his basement and he was always building things. We all have spice racks he made. Whenever he came to visit he brought his tools and worked on whatever needed to be worked on. Yes, I remember him.
My mom had a stroke when my kids were pretty young. So they didn't get to know her as an active grandmother as I wish they had. She had an abrasive personality that was not always nice for my older kids. She got better in her last few years of life, but by then the older kids were grown up and too busy, and there wasn't much left that she could do with the younger kids. At least they knew her and loved her. And they knew she loved them too.
Well, that's it for tonight.