Friday, July 11, 2008

The Woman Behind the Curtain

There's no place like home, there's no place like home, click click click, there's no place like home.


It feels good to be here. The other places I go will start to feel like homes away from homes to me too, I'm sure, all in good time, my pretty. But I've felt oddly off kilter all week having spent so much time away from FriedOkra. I'm so excited, (and thank y'all for being so excited with me, by the way, really, really thank you), about the new gig at 5 Minutes for Parenting and I can't wait to get some a few posts up and meet some new people and start to get a groove going.

(Oh and by the way, my first post there should be up first thing this morning. If you're interested.)

(Teeth chattering.)

It's just that I realize when I go there to write and I open up that stiff new white Wordpress box how much Y'ALL mean to me - how much who YOU are has shaped who I've become, how I've - what - evolved? As a blogger and a person and even a Mama and wife since the first few weeks and months I opened up this now-familiar white Blogger box and struggled to fill it with my thoughts and stories and ideas, not knowing how or even if it'd be received. And I know I said this already but it bears repeating: Thank you. I am just grateful for your support and love and willingness to stick around and laugh and cry with me day after day and help me become a better me.

And if you've also read the Peanut blog and stuck around through the sickness and the depression and the doubts and fears, too, well then you get an extra serving of my gratitude, because WOW, that can not have been fun reading at all, people.

I have no real point here. I'm just kinda weary, but in a good way, and so glad to be home with my familiar gang, where I already know who I am and can just relax and be ME. Kinda like I used to feel after a business trip - fired up by the newness and excitement of the meeting or the event, but also just tickled to snuggle down into my own sofa and Pfffffffffffft.


Bean's had a great week this week - I feel like she's grown up about a year's worth over this first half of the summer. She had her second dance class Tuesday morning, which I'd been sorta dreading because the first one, while it didn't go horribly, did stress her out enough that by halfway through she was yankin' on her earlobe with one hand and sucking away like a Midwestern mosquito at dusk on the two little middle fingers of the other - a sure sign she's just had enough and needs some down time with Mama to feel safe and secure again.

Oh, she hung in there in her tiny leotard, tights and tap shoes, cuter'n I can even begin to describe here (but I will take a picture for you next time), and she tried to focus and do everything the teachers wanted her to do, but she was wiped out. I encouraged her a little from the sidelines, but I'm finally getting to know her well enough to recognize when encouragement just starts looking and feeling like pushing, and backed off to see what she'd do on her own. Sometimes it's nice to just give both of us permission to retreat.

Um. Where was I going with this?

Oh, yes! But this week's lesson saw a totally new Bean, perky and tuned-in and ready for action. She chose a spot right up front, right by the instructor, and she spoke up and raised her little hand and volunteered lots of information, I know not what information because I was on the outside of the studio looking in through a glass window, but the teacher nodded and smiled at Bean whenever she opened her little mouth, so it must've been good stuff.

And she danced and strutted around the whole 45-minute class, hanging right in there until the lesson ended and even scooting back into the studio one more time to say goodbye to Ms. Debbie before we made our departure. And you know that watching her just open up and embrace the experience with such gaiety and enthusiasm made Mama well up with tears and have to dummy-up some frantic diggin' in her bag for something so nobody would see her cry.

That's me, people. My own heart just rides around on that child's shoulder, for good or for bad, and breaks or soars in rolling peaks and valleys as she grows and changes and struggles and learns and becomes herself.

Motherhood ain't for the faint of heart, is it? Jiminy Cricket, people!

And we hit the pool this week for the first time since she graduated from her swimming lessons. We trotted into the club house and lo and behold there sat one of Bean's teachers. Well, you'd have thought that child was looking straight into the eyes of Santa Claus himself, such was the delighted and awestruck glow on her face.

She marched her little self right up to the counter, behind which sat said teacher, and she stood up on her tippytoes and reached her hand out as far as it could go toward her and crooned out "Hi-i-i-i-i! You're my teacher!" and that sweet girl responded with a huge beaming smile and called my baby by name and grabbed her hand and asked her "Did you come to swim? Are you ready to get out and play in the water?" and Bean said, "YES! I am! You wanna come wif me?" And my heart about leapt up and flew somewhere over the rainbow.


These are just really tiny things, I suppose, in the grand scheme of a child's life, but y'all, she just amazes me. This process - this blooming of another human being right before my eyes?

It's a miracle. It's THE miracle. Don't you think?


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  1. I totally understand how you feel. Gracie is getting so big. Snif snif. But I am so glad I have my blog so I can hang onto these moments for life

  2. I gasped when I saw your new blog! LOVELY! Wow. You sure are a special gal. Have a blessed day! My grandson, named Ian, has been nicknamed Beans by me. Gotta love beans.

  3. You are so right about Motherhood not being for the faint of heart. Some years ago, the girl who cut my hair was pregnant and said to me that she couldn't wait till this baby was born so she could stop worrying. I know she was worried about the pregnancy itself, but I told her there would never be an end to the worrying - once you're a Mom it goes with the territory!
    It's been a joy to follow your life with Bean and Peanut - thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. So proud of you and how your blogging windows are opening up! Very impressive.

  5. It surely is the miracle and isn't it wonderful when you appreciate it and notice it like you do?


  6. I remember Boo's first dance class, she was so nervous she didn't talk almost through the entire class, and that is just not her. Now, going into our 4th year, she sees her teacher and squeals. I love it. The growth is amazing some days.

    I am so excited to see all your posts all over the place!! It is great that you are putting yourself out there. I hope someday I can be in some sort of place like you.

  7. I can totally relate to your feelings watching Bean, what a joy they bring, and at the same time, what a rollercoaster of emotions! Love your bloggy makeover, it's beautiful!


  8. You must have had a great mom who taught you how to be such a great mom. The most important gift you can give your child is love but after that is showing them how to be a good parent, too. I have had some reinforcement in the last 2 1/2 years watching my daughter be a mom and it is amazing! Yesterday she brought little Clara into the world to join her big brother and I am watching her grow more as a mother all the time!

  9. Wow. This made me cry. Even though I'm not a mother, it made me think of my own mother. How she would drive 45 minutes each way more than once a week to take me to dance classes and gymnastics, how she drove 20 minutes each way for piano lessons once a week for about 10 years, how she let me enroll in karate, break-dancing {that's right. I said break-dancing}, swim lessons or anything that my heart desired. You see, she was pushing 40 when she had my in 1970. That was old back then. When I was going through those tough teenage years, I thought that I never wanted to be an "old" mom. Here I am pushing 40, and I'm still longing to be a mom. I realize now that she lived through me~ all of the fun stuff and all of the heartaches. It is exactly what I will do when I finally get to be a mom!!

  10. I fell in love with the porch and the swing! that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
    i enjoyed my visit with you as well. I hope that you are haveing a Grand Day!

  11. Love your new look . So soothing...

  12. Beautifully said. Peanut and Bean are two lucky kids.