Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

26 years ago yesterday, my water broke in the check out line at Family Mart.  This was the old days, so the clerk had already had about 10 price checks (when the price tag isn't on it --- no bar code!) and was going for a world record.

It wasn't a big flood, just a trickle, and since I was wearing a dress and blue furry knee socks, it wasn't really noticeable.  I stepped aside and kind of contemplated... did my water break or did I pee myself?  Definitely water broke...

Bob wrote a check, glancing at me nervously.  I was 9 days over due, it was bound to happen sometime...

"I need to see two forms of ID," the clerk smacked through Bubblicious.  Bob searched, found them, gave them to her.

Finally, we are loading the car.

"My water broke."

"Let's go directly to the hospital."

"No, let's go home and put up these groceries while I call the doctor."

The next day, Robert was born.  He was beautiful.

He still is, of course.  Over the years, I have held him and talked to him or mostly listened to him.  I am constantly amazed at his insight, his loving heart, his strength. 

He is a father himself, now, and the insight, love, and strength serve him well.  I hope he finds his place soon, because I know it will be a great place.  It's hell being a late bloomer... I still don't know what my place is... but wherever Robert goes and whatever Robert does, he is a well-loved and blessed child.

Happy Birthday Robert, I love you.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Copernicus Called

... he said to tell you you're not the center of the universe.

Copernicus has to call a lot of people these days.  Brides to be, new parents, the Kardasians.  He's had me on speed-dial this holiday season, but it's not just me... see, I'm learning.

My son and his wife are lovely people, but they will not be on time.  If Bob and I were Noah and wife, our population would be down by a third.  Three hours later, knee deep in the big muddy, my son and his adorable family would be at the dock.

In my family, there are only three or four occasions a year that require precise timing.  Christmas is one of them.  This year, they finally showed up three hours late, after we were packing up and getting ready for the next stop on our Christmas tour.  It was great to have the babies there at all.

Yesterday, New Year's day, they were making the collards.  My son was two and a half hours late, and my husband had already gone to prepare for the Taize service at the church.  Everyone who was eating had already eaten.  There is a pot of collards going to waste somewhere.  Bob is angry.  I am angry.

But, we are also not without blame.  We have allowed our son and his wife to treat us like this for the last four years.  "They have to get the babies together.  They are sick.  They are under a lot of pressure." 

Let's think about this.  If I had "friends" who did this to me, would I continue to invite them to things?  Would I continue to count on them?  Of course not. 

The fact that this is my son and his wife; people I love and cherish, parents of my darling grandchildren --- that means that I'll put up with a little more.  It also means I need to take some responsibility here.

Retroactive parenting is a dangerous thing, especially if you are trying to parent other people's children as well as your own.  If you blew it the first time, you don't get a do-over.  However, teaching expectations in regard to yourself is essential for a responsible and maybe happy life.

And so, this is what Bob and I have to do.

  1. We have to tell our son and his wife we are angry.
  2. We have to tell them that if they don't want to do something with us to tell us, but don't back out at the last minute or be several hours late.
  3. We have to follow through & the next time they are that late, they will find an empty table with nothing but dishes to wash.
I'm sure this will make me miserable for a while.  Oh well, I can't feel too much worse than I do now.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I welcomed in the New Year on Icelandic Time and possible Greenland's time, but was well asleep before Eastern Standard Time's stroke of midnight.  The fireworks didn't wake me up then, although a barrage at about 1 am got me out of bed.

Happy New Year!

Amazingly, it is still the new year, even though I didn't see its birth.  It's a little chilly out there, but will be in the 70s today.

And then there is today.  Pretty much my last day of rest before tax seasons... at least the last day that doesn't involve unpleasant medical procedures. 

Today I will go to church and be with a small group of my St Michael & All Angels family.  Most will not be rising and shining, but they will be there in spirit.  Bob is in charge of the music today and he's very excited.  And since we're Episcopalians, we're still singing Christmas songs.  The recessional will be Go Tell it on the Mountain.  Is that a great song or what?

This afternoon, I'll cook a pork loin, collards, and hoppin' john at my sister's house.  These are the ingredients for luck, health, and wealth in the new year.  I'm not dead and I have a house, so I guess it works.

I'm doing something slightly different with the pork and hoppin' john this year.  I'm using a good bit of rosemary.  It's for remembrance and good taste, both of which we need.  I have white field peas and black eyed peas.  I'm using a mix of brown, basmati, and wild rice. 

The collards are sauteed... not as little as spinach but not cooked half past death.  Collards are hefty leaves... they do need some cooking, but if you cook them too much they look like what happens when the cat eats a lizard.

Perversely, even though I cook the pork, the collards and hoppin' john are vegan.  I use olive oil instead of pork fat.  I know it's sacrilege but I don't care.  I'll be eating this hoppin' john all week.

Tonight we will go to the Taize service at St. Michael's.  It is a contemplative service with quiet readings and quiet repetitive music, all in candle light.  I usually start crying a little, but it helps me work things out.

Tomorrow is a bowl game (go Cocks), work in the morning until my boss gets antsy and wants to go prepare for the game, and house cleaning.  Then the doors open on Tuesday to W-2s, e-verify, and soon... tax returns.