4.27.2012

keeping it real


pebbles in my shoes:

-just when I thought her sleep was finally getting much better...this week has proven me wrong
-it's been taking me hours to fall asleep as it is, unable to turn off the endless chatter in my mind
-feeling guilty about the fact that her new mattress is not organic and thus is not free of chemicals (and so it's been taking up a huge part of our screened porch for four weeks as I air it out as best I can)
-the setback with the bees has me nervously watching the hives and wondering how it will all pan out
-the recent freeze killed our fig trees (all the new growth for the year, anyway)
-struggling at times to keep it in perspective as our to-do list doesn't seem to get shorter but resources and energy to spend on it begin to fade


easy like Sunday morning:

-this week, as I worked on clearing my stuff out of the closet in her room I found a small stack of letters* that I'd forgotten about, ones from my parents (now divorced), written to me when I was in college.  Now, as a parent myself, I read the words in new light and new appreciation.
-a talk with my beloved grandma confirmed that she is indeed coming up to spend a week with us in June and I am already excitedly planning out our week together of leisure, good food, and talking
-upcoming (fingers crossed) Sunday afternoon lunch date with 2 lovely ladies, followed by dessert at the always wonderful chocolate lounge
-last night, as I got Claire ready for bed I asked her "do you know how much I love you?" and she said "yes".  I asked "how much?", she said "big", I asked "how big?", and she said "this SO" while stretching her arms out as far as she could. (and then I very promptly let go of any grumpiness I'd been holding onto regarding her sleep this week and put my face up against her head, trying to breathe in any of that baby smell that might still be lingering, so that I will never, ever forget it)
-lately feeling so, so thankful that he decided to let go of the tree work in order to be home with us more, and that we/he had the option to do so


*excerpt from one of the letters from my dad~


"Don't say I wasn't listening.. I was listening to you when I did something stupid to make you cry, I was listening to you when we drove you to the hospital when you were sick, I was listening when you came running into the living room when Marty broke your arm (that's my brother, and it was an accident), I was listening when I took you to school in the limousine (at one point, he drove a limo for extra money) and you made me drop you off a block away.  I was listening when you had all your friends over at night, I was listening when your friends died in the car accident... I listened to your pain.  I was listening when you said you met a good guy named Mike... and I was listening when you said you wanted to go around the country with him when you were just 17... (yep, same Mike) I was listening when you wrote me the card with the ball, the mountain, and the cow, and you told me how proud you were of me...
Don't say I wasn't listening... all the times you talked to me and I just stared at you and you said I didn't understand.... maybe I didn't understand, because when I listen to you I can't help but hear all you've ever done.  Don't ever say I wasn't listening to you pumpkin, I just may have been selfish in what I wanted to hear.  I love you, you're my baby girl... and you know what else?  I will always be listening."


Well, wow.  My dad and I are close but that letter is like nothing else I've ever gotten from him.  I am so glad that I kept it.  There is so much in those words, between the lines.  So much of our past together, the ups and downs... it wasn't always pretty and happy and great, but often it was.  Mostly, I see how even though I felt like he was being dismissive of my needs and feelings at times, he really wasn't.  He was taking it in.  As best he could.




linking up with ink + chai for 'keeping it real', and with momalom for "five for five" (although, I'm late in the game for five for five, having just discovered it yesterday, so I may be cheating here.....)

22 comments:

  1. The letter from your dad is beautiful. I wish they could all pour their hearts out like that.

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    1. it really was so nice to find it.... it surprised me, too- I'm not used to words like those spilling out of him~

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  2. thanks for stopping by my place. Your Daddy's letter made me cry, its so emotional when we see our parents as human beings, not just as their role. Hope you get your Sunday date

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    1. 'twas a pleasure! and yes, my perception of and appreciation of my parents have changed in so many ways as I've grown and since I've become a parent myself. amazing. (and I think it's gonna happen, the girls' date.... ahhhh)

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  3. God, you made me tear up when reading that letter from your dad. How it must have made you feel to read those words now, again, later, after life, perspective, choices.

    I know the hours to fall asleep thing, the attempt to shut off that seems futile the harder you try. I hope things calm down enough, get better w/your babe's sleeping so that you can get some rest.

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    1. it is something to go back and read things like that years later, with a better and somewhat wiser understanding of what all was behind them.

      thank you. things are fairly calm, really. I could certainly be doing more to ensure I get more sleep (turning off the computer, making it a point to wind down once she's asleep, etc....) always tricky to find that balance I suppose~

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  4. oh amanda. that letter from your dad is a treasure. how lucky you were to have him in your life, listening albeit selectively. he was there watching, listening, marveling. and now that i'm a parent i kind of understand that selective hearing ;-)

    also, love the pebbles in your shoes/easy like a sunday morning...fabulous.

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    1. I consider it a treasure, too. I need to show it to him next time we're together, I know he'd appreciate seeing it and that I kept it. We had our rough spots but are lucky to have each other, no doubt. I've read through a lot of your archives and know things were quite different for you, quite challenging... it amazes me to look back on my childhood and to talk with my parents now and piece things together a bit in terms of the hows and whys of where I am now. I'm sure we all do that to some degree as the years go by (ramble, ramble...)

      thanks~ I thought about it for a while and then decided they didn't have to go together, necessarily.

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  5. i'm so glad you kept it too! it's utterly priceless. and yes, as a parent we read such a thing so so differently don't we?

    glad you joined in! and here's to sleep for all of us this weekend. sigh
    :)

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    1. amen to that~ all of it, actually :)

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  6. That letter... Wow. I'm definitely NOT wiping away a few tears.. Absolutely not. :)

    Also, I'm with you on the breathing in the lingering baby smell. I feel like Liam is growing so fast. It sounds so cliche, but it's so darned true. I am trying to hold on to every sweet thing he does so I won't ever forget.

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    1. I know, right? Honestly, I was surprised by it since I'd forgotten about it and since that isn't exactly how he and I go around talking to each other. He's gotten a wee bit sensitive in his 'old' age, but reading that was something else. And trying to read it as it was initially intended... as a letter to a 19 year old daughter from her dad when we weren't having the easiest of times...... and now as a parent myself, well, I felt like the past me and the present me were reading it at the same time. Weird, powerful stuff- the trips down childhood and not-so-childhood memory lane.

      It IS true. Cliches become cliches because they're true, after all. Otherwise why would people feel the need to keep on saying the same thing over and over and over and over? Do you write down the crazy/wonderful things he says? I try to keep up with it, knowing I'll treasure it (and bawl over it) one day. I heard you met good friends of mine in Morning Garden- Sura and Lauren? Let's get these kiddos together soon! xo

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    1. thanks~ I felt a little naked hitting 'publish'.... I don't usually post things that are personal aside from the whole mothering reflections kind of thing. It's nice to branch out a little ;)

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  8. What a lovely letter from your dad, especially the part about hearing all you've ever done. Whoa...powerful.

    p.s. I hope your bees and fig trees are okay!

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    1. especially that, yes! I read it and it's so profound and I try to really really feel those words and what they mean and, now as a parent myself, I kinda get it. I guess I more than kinda get it, actually. It feels (insert word I can't quite find at the moment, but we'll just go with "big") to interpret that letter and at the same time see myself able to say that very same thing (about hearing it all, all she's ever said and done) to my daughter some day.

      and thank you~ the bees are a mystery but looking alright, and the figs..... today I noticed there are some tiny little buds on the branches so they may just leaf out again~

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  9. Wow, I know where you get some of your writing skills. And that lingering baby smell, I love it! Parents never seem to hear what they want from us and we never seem to feel understood or have them say the right things either. That's my experience anyway, the roles are set, until now you're a parent and it brings a whole new perspective to light. So interesting. Thank you for writing this, so enjoyable to read! Love to you and Claire!
    Amanda from down the street;)

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    1. mwah! you know you are one of the lovely ladies I hope to join for lunch and chocolate tomorrow, right?

      xoxoxo

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  10. Lovely lovely post. So happy I stopped by. And I have to agree with everyone else, what an amazing letter, and what an amazing relationship you must have with your dad. Mine passed in '98 and there was so much left unsaid. But the love that comes through to you in this letter from yours, has reminded me of all the love that my dad had for me, even though words like this were never shared. It's like you said, there is so much said in between the lines, in between the little actions, in between the memories. Thanks so much for sharing this...

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    1. Thank you~

      Our relationship is interesting. We disagree on a lot of things and he likes to push my buttons, I find myself getting very impatient with him often and then feeling guilty about it..... we are both homebodies in a lot of ways and so don't make as much of an effort to see each other as we probably should. The grandpa role has changed that a bit though, and it's a role that he loves. I'm sorry your dad passed and you were left with words unspoken and unheard. I haven't seen my dad since I found that letter.... I think it's going to change things a bit. Open my eyes a little.

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  11. SO glad you linked up! My dad died 13 years ago, and I most treasure the letters he wrote me -- especially those when I was in summer camp as a kid. There is no better word than CHERISH.

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    1. thanks for your kind words~ how wonderful that you have those letters, I know I intend to hold onto (and certainly, to cherish) these tightly!

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thanks for taking the time to read and comment~