I’ve been in a funk the last few days. I don’t exactly know why. The weather is gorgeous. We’ve had the most beautiful October. Ever. And we are all healthy. Maybe it’s because I joined the PTA. I stayed away as long as I could, until I couldn’t anymore. PTA moms are an altogether different species, and I just couldn’t see how to make myself fit in. I still can’t.
This is what I’ve observed so far: We, PTA moms, seem to have no other interests but to make copies, staple classroom information packets together, decorate for the auction, fundraise, and meet for lunch on Wednesdays. Where, I will add, bottle upon bottle of cheap white wine will be consumed and very little food will actually be eaten. And then when the weekend comes, we, PTA moms, can think of no better way to spend the time than to congregate on one field or another and cheer our kids on. We are so certain, that at least one of them, if not more, will be a professional soccer or football player. I mean, come on! Have you seen those kicks?
The entire social network of PTA moms seems to be made up of other moms with whom we discuss everything from how awesome our kids are - they are PERFECT and as such deserve only praise! - to whether milk is good or bad - it’s BAD, by the way. Very, very BAD! - to how often we have sex with our partners, - apparently we are all in our sexual prime because we have sex AT LEAST five times a week! When our husbands are home, that is. Because a lot of our husbands travel for business. - to how our single friends, or childless friends don’t understand us anymore -we feel betrayed. So it makes sense that with our husbands traveling and our other friends betraying us, we turn to other PTA moms for friendship.
Since we are so busy being PTA moms, we really have no time to read books. Unless it’s Shades of Grey, of course. Which we discuss quite a bit, giggling over some of the parts, and justifying how this book is a story about redeeming love - really! - and all of us can’t wait for the movie -NOT!!! If any mom suggests that we read something different next time, we immediately silence her with a look. I mean, doesn’t she already know that life is hard enough, and we are so busy, and our families and society as a whole, expect so much from us? If we read, we read for pleasure. We are such romantics! We are suckers for love stories! And reality TV.
If this is a harsh portrayal of my fellow PTA moms, I apologize. If I seem to arrive late for our meetings, and leave early, I apologize. If I yawn quite a bit when you all go on and on about one thing or another that is beyond boring to me, I apologize. Perhaps I’ll get around to your way of thinking one of these days. Until then, I’ll go and read Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland. That is sure to get me out of this funk.
Summer’s finally here. And it is HOT! In the Pacific Northwest we only get two, sometimes three months break from the relentless rain that hammers against us, our towns and our forests. When summer finally arrives we treasure it for about five minutes and then proceed with complaints about how unbearably hot it is.
Which just shows how ungrateful we are. Because really, what’s there to complain of? Hours of doing absolutely nothing other than sitting at an outdoor cafe with our kids or our friends? Picking raspberries, cherries or peaches at the multiple family farms surrounding Portland, which we’ll take home and turn into pies and cobblers? Biking and picnicking in the shade of a tree by the water’s edge? Meeting friends for happy hour and not having to rush home and get the kids to bed? Exploring new hiking trails?
There is really no reason to complain.
So hello, Summer. And welcome!
Well, hello friends! How has everyone been doing? I, for one, have had the busiest May ever! It was the yearly renewal of my business, and as always, I freaked out that something would go wrong. Nothing went wrong. Nothing ever does, but isn’t worrying so much fun, anyway?
Unfortunately, the only thing I wrote during May were medical notes and Facebook status updates, and the only things I read were medical notes and Facebook status updates. On June 1st I sat down to write but I couldn’t manage more than 70 words in 2 hours. Then I sat down to read. And fell asleep.
So I gave myself permission to take a break from writing and reading for two weeks, and instead watch all the movies I had meant to watch for the last two years.
And boy, was that fun! But movies get boring after a while. Too predictable. The one I have on pause now has been on pause for the last two days, and I’m thinking I just won’t watch the rest of it. I’ve had it with movies for the moment.
So, I’m getting ready to start on the books. Which one should be first?
The Advent season has begun, and this is my favorite time of the year. Our little family of four is big on rituals and festivals. This is a time of cozy fireside chats and rainy day board games, of starry evenings filled with music and lazy days of books, of intimate coffee dates with friends and parties into the wee hours of the morning, of sledding down snowy slopes and the making of homemade apple cider.
But this is also a time when the focus is inward. In the stillness of the house at midday when the children are in school, or in those early hours of the morning, when I’m the only one awake, this is the season when I peer into the deepest, most shadowy corners of my heart.
Wishing you all, my dear friends, a blessed Advent season. A time of joy, a time of peace, a time of love, a time of connecting to your true self, a time of allowing your light to shine into this dark and dreary world, a time for you to become the highest, best possible version of you. Happy Holidays!
I did the whole numbers in a hat thing, and Ms. Moon, the owner of comment number 8, is the lucky winner of Blackbird! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did, Ms. Moon. Please send an email with your address to: angiemuresan(at)gmail(dot)com, and the book will be on the way to you.
Thanks to all of you, my lovely friends, for the warm welcome back, and for participating in this giveaway. I’ll stop by for a visit soon, and also have a new post ready in the next week or so. Until then, I hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!
I haven’t been feeling all that great the last several weeks, dead tired by nine, fast asleep by ten, and wide awake at three. The world is quite different at three in the morning. Every sound magnified, every shadow lengthened. I make my rounds in the dark, check on sleepy heads, careful not to trip over blankets dragging on the floor. In the kitchen I turn on the lamp, settle myself in the big chair and reach for my journal or laptop. Journal usually wins. Because blogging at three in the morning isn’t always wise.
But right now, I feel like blogging, because after dinner last night I picked up Night by Elie Weisel, thinking I’d read a chapter before sleep, and an hour and a half later, I finished the book, tearful and exhausted. There was so much I wanted to say, and don’t know if I’ll remember it all, but all I could manage then was a good cry over all the suffering that goes on in the world. I was so tired, I fell asleep before I even wiped my tears away.
For the last five hours I’ve dreamt only of stifling hot cattle cars and of digging in the cellar for my family’s treasures, my mouth clamped shut over my gold-crowned teeth, afraid the evil dentist was somewhere in the darkness, ready to yank the gold out. It seemed so real! I awoke relieved it was a dream, and that I had no gold anywhere in my mouth.
When I was twelve and reading The Diary of Anne Frank, the pastor at my church - whose daughter was my age and probably reading the same book with her seventh grade class - said that the Holocaust was God punishing the Jews for crucifying Jesus. What shocks me now is that I wasn’t shocked then. I remember that Sunday, the slant of the sun coming in through the windows, the heads in the audience nodding in agreement. All those nodding heads, lacking their own method of reasoning, believing what they were told without question. Just like me, afraid to challenge what I heard lest I lose friends or I become confused.
When I see how strong the need is to be liked and popular and when I see how much effort it takes to think for oneself, I am not surprised how idly we stand by, how we distance ourselves from the suffering of those different than we are, and how quickly we find reasons to defend our apathy. It’s tragic and I hate it. And I realize that as a mother my role is to teach my children HOW to think, and not WHAT to think. Because there will be plenty of people to tell them that.
I’ve been awarded a lovely little award by a new blog friend, and although I’m ambivalent about awards, I don’t want to be rude and not acknowledge the giver, particularly when she has a beautiful blog that I just love to visit. So I’ll tell you a few things about myself you probably don’t know, and if you’d like, you’re welcome to grab the award for yourselves and participate.
1. I own a lot of books. And I keep buying books. And I have books that I’ve bought and haven’t yet read. And it’s been years since I’ve been waiting for the right mood to strike so I could open some of them.
2. Blueberries. I could live on them. Even when I get what feels like horrible indigestion that keeps me up at night, I keep eating them. Oh well.
3. I’m selfish. I’m constantly thinking of ways to hide that last bit of chocolate from everyone else in the house. It isn’t very nice. I know.
4. My husband is a better cook than I am. In fact, he is a better cook than 95% of people I know. Sometimes I experience a bit of envy when I see that he just throws things in a pot, without measuring, without consulting a recipe, and the end result is absolutely amazing.
5. I worry a lot. About every little thing. And some of those little things are important. But most are not.
6. Ah… Foreign films. I am addicted to them. I have so many favorites. What are yours? I like watching them in bed, propped up on pillows, with a box or two of tissues (or an old soft shirt of my husband’s) by my side.
Well, there you have it. Now go visit Snippets of Thyme. You won’t be disappointed. And if you feel like it, grab the award.
One of the best things about homeschooling is that we can have as many sick days as we want, and nobody is owed an explanation. Hubby had been plagued with a bad cough and runny nose since Monday, and the rest of us had tried to keep our distance so we wouldn’t catch his bug. The big thing this year is that H1N1 thing. I am sure you’ve all heard. Not sure if it’s a real threat yet, or just propaganda. I have a tendency to be skeptical. I am also a big believer in conspiracy theories, but that’s another post for another day. Either way, I do not want it around me.
This morning though, I woke myself up sneezing. Usually this happens if I fall asleep with my hair wet, but this time I couldn’t blame that. I had patiently dried it thoroughly, and turned up the heat before I dived under goose down covers for the night. Okay, so I know the majority of the old wives’ tales out there are just that, yet I personally can’t help but believe a few.
Soon after, my daughter woke up in a cranky mood. Although I usually attribute that to her being a female, and just a tiny bit dramatic, this time her little nose was runny and her baby cheeks were flushed. Poor baby had a horribly restless night.
After very little consideration, I decided that today we’ll pamper our little bodies by eating our favorite foods while in bed, and our minds by reading for pleasure all day long. Outside, the chilly wind has died, and while it hasn’t rained, there’s an autumn mist in the air.
There’s a stack of books by my bedside that I can’t wait to devour. Let the dishes and the laundry pile up. Tomorrow is another day. Now let’s see… which of these should I start reading first?