February 24th, 2009

Family: SisLove

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No luck on the employment front yet. I've been sick all month, and every time I start to shake it, I catch it again. In between, I'm trying to get the house back in order. I really need to finish going through all mom's stuff and get it put away or out. It seems like every time I start to get the house in order, I catch sick again for 2-3 days, and then it falls apart. But we're working on it, and little by little, it's getting back in shape. I'm fluttering with the Flylady. Kids are helping, for the most part.

Eden's been really focused on reading, spelling, and math. She's making books a lot, both 3-D and on PBSkids.org. Then Ivy sat down yesterday and asked how to spell something, I can't even remember what it was now, and she actually wrote the letters! Eden had to show her what a "k" was. I wish I could find that paper, but I don't know what she's done with it. I'm pretty proud. With unschooling, we don't really sit down and try to push this stuff on the kids. We show them when they ask us how, and this is what they're both keen on learning right now. It's great.

Ivy has fallen in love with The Hobbit. I've had a poster for many, many years, and I put it in the kids' room when we fixed it up. Josh told them an abridged version as the bedtime story. I read the book, but I was ten and my memory isn't great. Josh saw the movie as a kid, and he has a photographic memory. So anyway, Josh asked me to see if I could find the old cartoon. I ordered it off of Amazon, and we showed the girls. Josh had already made them shields, but he made them each wooden swords after they saw the movie. Eden called Sting, but Ivy named hers Stinger. She's got a permanent quest for giant spiders now, and she's asked to start dressing like a Hobbit. I guess our pirating days are over. Oh well, we had a good run. I would actually make a fine hobbit.
Imagine

On Aging

I never felt old, before last year.

I found my first silver hair in August 2006. I remember this, because I was driving to Florida for ladysmith's birth and I found a beautiful shiny thread on the upper left of my head. I loved it. I always thought I would look great with salt-and-pepper – or even silver or grey! - hair.

My mom was one of those women who fear and hate aging. She never celebrated her birthdays, and I couldn't understand it. She cried when she turned forty. Actually, she may have cried at thirty, too. It always made me sad, and I said I'd never feel that way about getting older. I enjoy the thought of getting older, torn between the vision of aging gracefully like an infinitely wise crone and being the crazy lady who screams expletives and chases children past her yard with a potato launcher. Either way, I look forward to it.

That said, I didn't expect it to happen so darn quickly. I also remember the first time I actually felt old. It was May 9, 2008. My wedding day. I was dressing and putting on make-up in the hospital bathroom, a private one I had scoped out for just this occasion. It had that wonderful florescent lighting that let me see each and every crevice in my face. There were more crevices since I'd first arrived after mom's accident. By the time I was in the unforgiving bathroom, preparing for my marriage ceremony, we'd already made the decision to pull life support the next day. I took a deep breath and looked at myself, and it wasn't my normal face. Everyone always said I looked like mom with dark hair. When I took a breath and looked at myself that day, I looked like Grandma with dark hair.

Those grief-lines have abated a bit, or maybe I just wear them better. If you'll recall, my sisters and I went out for a salon day afterwards and got cut, colored, the works. They hadn't noticed, but I'd noticed that during that long week, my one silver hair had turned into a head full of grey. I recently cut my hair again, but I wanted to cut the color out, not touch it up. Some of my highlights are still there. My first bright silver hair is back. I stopped at Tina's house Friday after going to the laywer's, just to drop off some of her things I'd gotten from mom's. I only stayed a minute. As she hugged me goodbye, Tina gasped and her chin dropped. She reached out, grabbed it, and whispered, “You have a silver hair!” I totally saw her thoughts ripple across her face. First she was shocked to see it, then she looked at me and realized for the first time that I had aged, and then she realized that meant she had aged. (Her birthday is next week, only twenty-five. Still, I know I read it right.)

I laughed and said, “I had that one a while ago, remember? There are more, but I think they're still colored at the moment.” She just nodded and said quietly, “I remember. Sorry, I was just surprised.”

“I know.”

But today...oh God, today, I believe I went and threw my back out. I bent over and lifted one leg to put through my panties, and boy, that was IT. My lower back on my right side just spasmed uncontrollably and I had to grab the bathroom counter to catch myself. It reminded me of when I was in labor with Ivy. I couldn't stand back up. I managed to finish dressing and stumbled to fall on my bed. We had to go to the store, as we were nearly out of most things but especially toilet paper, so we went to Walmart and tried to stock up on some of the cheaper things. I thought walking a bit would help, and at first it did, but after I sat down to drive home, it was so excruciatingly worse when I got out of the car. Josh tried to get me to buy a freaking cane to help me in Walmart and I refused to do it, and now I'm wishing I had. Maybe I'd be House-sexy.

I am not an infinitely wise old crone yet, and with this pain, I'm certainly not up for chasing anyone with potato launchers. Right now I'm a twenty-seven year old girl who feels like an eighty year old woman. I hurt. And my crevices are coming back.