Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Adventures

I realize I'm long overdue for a blog post, seeing as how it's March and my last post was right around New Years...

But before I get started, I have a confession to make. As much as I think I should write a blog about what I've been doing lately, I can't say that I actually want to. When I realized that I wasn't in the mood to blog anymore, it came as a surprise to me, because, wasn't that supposed to be my thing? I've only been writing in some capacity since the third grade--maybe even before that--and writing, and writing about my life, seemed like such a Brittany thing to do.

But that ship has sailed.

I don't mean for that to sound depressing, or morose, or final, or anything like that. Quite the contrary. I'm not blogging because I can honestly say I'm in what amounts to the happiest period of my life to date. I feel so incredibly lucky to be in this place.

For starters, my boys are finally at an age where they crave a little independence, and I am happy to give it to them. I never wanted to be a doting, hovering mother. Never in my wildest mothering fantasies did I ever want to spend my every waking moment with my children. When I imagined having children, they were older, adding color and vibrancy to the conversation of my life. And after a long, hard, poopy slog through their babyhood and toddler years, I'm finally able to say that I am--just now--getting to be the mom I always wanted to be. Don't get me wrong, I ended up loving the baby and toddler years more than I thought I would. But for me, it's so important to have a life outside of and beyond motherhood, and they're finally at an age where that's possible.

Joining thirty-one turned out to be the best decision I've ever made from a self-satisfaction standpoint. I live with three males, and my world had been reduced to one of trains, planes, and automobiles. I was craving "pretty" in my life, although I didn't realize it, and thirty-one provided that. It also gave me an excuse to go out with and interact with other woman, and that has turned out to be so much fun!
And around the same time thirty-one took off, my book club, that started out as a book club with a bunch of  strangers, turned out to be the nexus for what will quite possibly be long-sustained, decades-long friendships with some of the most wonderfully fun, inspiring women I've ever known. I couldn't be happier about that unexpected turn of events.

Please picture me doing the happy Snoopy dance here.

You really have no idea how blissed out of my mind I am. The years after college were long and lonely as I followed Tom from Asheville to Greenville to Cincinnati and back to Greenville and finally to New York. We were never anyplace long enough to make a ton of friends, since we were always rehabbing a house, or taking care of needy little people, and then on the move again. Finally, (finally!) I feel settled and, more than that even, a part of something bigger than my own introverted little Brittany-verse.

But nobody wants to read that in a blog post. I think about writing my happy little Yeah for my life! missives, but they all just sound so damn perky... think Sally Fields and the whole you-like-me-you-really-like-me debacle. I'm afraid that talking about it (or writing about it) will devalue it somehow, and so I keep my happiness to myself, because I am probably the only person in the world who can fully appreciate it.

But just this once, I will tell you all of the fabulous things going on in my life.

1) I found my half-brother on facebook. I've known about him my entire life, but I'm pretty sure he was unaware of my existence. He seems like a great guy (fortunately for us, we seem to have only gotten the best parts of our father's DNA), and he's a math teacher (oh, that I had inherited those genes). I can't say that I want to meet him or have anything beyond a status-liking relationship with him on facebook. I'm in my mid-thirties, he's in his mid-forties--we're a little old for the whole you're-my-lost-lost-sibling-kumbayah thing. It's enough for me to have found him, and for us to give each other a little wave from the other side--having both experienced our father's loss and disappointment in our lives--and knowing that we turned out okay anyway.

2) I drove the boys, by myself, down to NC over winter break and it was actually a lot of fun. Like I said, I enjoy hanging out with the boys now. We have interesting conversations, and they're at an age where they have the interest in, and the self-control for, going on adventures. Sam especially is very much a Daddy's boy, and it made me happy to have him all to myself for a while, so that I could introduce him to me-things that he might never experience since Tom-things are infinitely cooler to him. We also surprised my grandmother, completely and utterly, with our arrival, and it was one of the highlights of my life to see how thrilled she was to see us. I also took the time to visit cousins and friends that I hadn't seen since Sam was an infant, and it was so nice to see that these relationships never change in spite of time and distance.

3) Which I inadvertantly omitted the first go round and now I'm scrambling to think of something... Actually, I considered writing a blog post on this one, and then decided it was just too sappy, too emotional, too personal a topic to go into here. But what the heck, right? Growing up, I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I did not have a best friend that didn't already have another best friend until I was in 10th grade. I always felt vaguely adrift--never anchored to anyone--and probably made clique-hopping into an art form in high school. I hung out a little bit with everyone, and not a lot with anyone. Left to my own devices, I am the hermityist hermit crab there ever was. I could occupy myself for weeks at a time in the same four walls of my house. Not that I love the idea, but I was an only child, so I can. I have always had friends, some closer to me than others, some longer lasting than others, but because I spent a lot of time moving around from the age of 17 on, so usually my friends lived somewhere I didn't. I got used to it. It started feeling normal. And then we moved to NY and I resigned myself to becoming the uber square peg in a round hole, because if I was the odd duck around my own "people", I was going to be odder still north of the Mason-Dixon line. So what actually happened sort of made my brain explode a little bit. First I met Kira, in the most amazing, kismet-y kind of way. And then I met my neighbor Jen. And then I met the moms at preschool. And the girls in bookclub. And the other kindergarten moms. And the swim lesson moms. And the OM moms. And a funny thing happened. No one made me feel odd or untethered anymore. No one thought my dark, sarcastic sense of humor was off-putting, my world view unusually tenderhearted (or machiavellian, depending on the topic), or my natural reticence unusual. I came to realize that in NY I was a round peg in a round hole. I had found my people. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, my social life EXPLODED. I have so many friends (and I love and am grateful for every single one of you) that I am the living embodiment of the expression "When it rains, it pours." I'm coming to realize (and God, hasn't it taken me awhile?) that the story of me that I've been telling myself my whole life, just isn't true. I'm actually fun to be around, and a lot of people like me. (Even though I still feel a little unsure about writing down the words and uttering them in public...just in case I'm overstating the point.) It's another amazingly lovely realization I've come to recently. And another reason why I never blog anymore. I'm off having coffee, or at a Just Dance party, or not talking about our latest selection at Book Club. I don't have the time anymore because I'm too busy making up for lost time.
4) The Odyssey of the Mind regional tournament was this past weekend, and my Primary team competed for the first time. Anything involving 6 children with an average age of 6 is a dicey proposition. It could have been a trainwreck. But it was amazing! They worked together as a team, and stayed in character. Even when they forgot to set up our device, no one panicked. The device got set up and the whole skit was perfection. I was so proud of them!

That's probably all the happy news you can stand at this point, so I will close here. Until next time...

2 comments:

  1. What happened to number three? I love your description of book club. Emery has suddenly started talking/asking about John, so we'll have to do a playdate.

    I saw your OM team--they were totally amazing!

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  2. This sounds so wonderful! I'm glad you feel like you've finally found where you fit in. I haven't been blogging at my usual capacity lately either, but for rather the opposite reasons. Those things in life that I typically choose note to blog about have been the norm rather than the exception lately, so it's nice to see your happiness shining through! I've read a few of the books you mentioned in the post after this one too, and I too get sucked in and don't get enough sleep!

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