One consequence of my never figuring out how to get it all done is that I start blog posts with all good intentions, and then it dies in draft. Either the moment of inspiration passes or the current event is no longer current. Whatever it is, I have amassed a number of draft posts that languish. So in the spirit of Quick Takes, I thought I'd pull seven titles out of the draft folder and tell you what I meant to write about.
The Purge, Part 8
I cleaned out my bedroom closet! I laughed. I cried. I can walk to the back wall now. Well, I could before Christmas descended, but by next week it should be cleared out again. The pictures are glorious, I promise.
Return of the Sticks
A year ago, I pulled out the sticks to begin the chore routine with the three oldest children again. This time we were going to earn sticks rather than lose sticks. We lasted a whole month. I have tried to get chores going without sticks. It's hit or miss. The basic basics get done. The other basics don't.
You Aren't Supposed To Talk About It
Parenting children is hard. When you are struggling in a particular way with a particular child, you aren't supposed to write about it in any great detail on the Internet because that child will grow up and read it and get his feelings hurt so you suck it up. And it sucks, especially when there isn't anyone in real life who knows any of the details or people well enough to offer an outside perspective. Instead of advice and solidarity, there's gaping silence.
I started this post way back when Leah Libresco announced her engagement. I know! My wedding day wasn't very well planned. The guests had a good time, but I forgot that I had to eat. I was going to tell you about all the things I tried to cram into 24 hours, culminating with a flight scheduled to leave town 4 hours after the ceremony. What can I say? Sometimes I'm an idiot. The highlight of my wedding day, aside from the whole getting married part, was the waitress at the bar in Florida at 11pm, who was essentially serving me my first meal of the day--bar pizza--saying, "I don't know what you've done today, but..." We looked whipped.
Adventures in Driving
When I was seven months pregnant with Ella, I brought the four ex-utero children downtown for a priestly ordination at the Cathedral. This was a comedy of errors. I got there too late to park at the church and had to park on the street. I did not have change to feed the meter so had to beg strangers on the street for quarters. Imagine me in my billowy maternity dress and gigantic belly with four children in front of one of the oldest and fanciest restaurants in town begging for change. We were a sight. But of course, an ordination Mass lasts longer than a parking meter so I had to leave in the middle to go move the car. I dropped Marian in a pew with a lady she did not know, which did not please the 4yo. (No worries, I know the woman and she didn't mind at all) and whisper/explain why I was leaving. It was pouring down rain. I got soaked. All's well that ends well when the salesperson at the bookstore took pity and let me park for free in their lot.
A Piece of the Past
Everyone laments how it used to be in the past when kids roamed the neighborhood, and all the parents looked out for all the kids on the street, and how it's not like that anymore. But it is still like that here. We are so lucky to have a gaggle of kids on the street who play freely in and among the yards and houses, running all day long. But unlike the old days of stability, modern people move, and move frequently. We have had a good run of over a decade with the same families here, and our children feel like adopted members of this extended family. Now, though, the moving has begun. It won't be too many years before we are all gone, and with us, this golden piece of the past.
Mistress or Slave
I wanted to recount and process a conversation I had with dear Anne Kennedy right after I stopped working. In it she told me that when you become a mother and a new housewife, you are a slave to the baby and the crisis of the day, but gradually you gain mastery of your circumstances and learn to how to impose order on the chaos. You become the mistress of the household. She said my ascent up the mountain would be steeper because of my late start, but I would gain the skills faster. I think about this conversation almost every week even now. How has the difficult become easier? I think, three years out, I have gained so many skills, but the mountain is still pretty steep.
If you too have a pile of draft titles, join me and give us the cliff notes version.