Showing posts from February, 2007


The thoughts, they are swirling in my head but lack coherent expression. They have to do with this , and this , and this . They have to do with the inherent vulnerability in femininity that is at once a strength and a great weakness. To be vulnerable, to live with it, to remain open to life in the face of constant fear requires deep inner strength. I know many women who have this kind of strength and I never cease to marvel at it. I spent a lot of life resenting that I had been born female because I saw mainly the weakness. We are never at any age safe from sexual violation from men. It seems to me that boys outgrow this vulnerability when they become men, except maybe in prison, but women never do. We are physically weaker and less able to protect ourselves, or our children. We are considered second class and subservient in most of the world, our role is to serve men, to satisfy their needs, to serve our children. We bear the physical consequences of childbirth, we are paid less if p

Small Joys Friday

Ever have those days when you are tempted to believe the worst of a person? When I’m depressed I give into them far to readily and assume immediately that whatever the other person did was on purpose to hurt me, it’s just the first place that my brain goes. I almost went there again this week with the GH. But I didn’t. I was able to keep from drawing bitter conclusions right away, I held my tongue and I was able to hope that something would change, and lo and behold, it did. I would have been completely wrong to jump to bitter conclusions and made he and myself miserable in the process. I’m so glad that I’m learning these things, however slowly, and a turn in a hopeful direction brings me much joy. My dad called this week, to talk about his last visit here and to try and understand why our relationship is so strained. For the first time I began to be honest with him about how I really feel. There is much more to say, but for the first time in years I didn’t feel frustrated, angry, or

I actually swooned

When I met the husband I was pretty much a full on hippy. At least he thought so. I wore long flowing skirts and dresses with flowers on them. I lived in community with 5 other girls sharing a mattress with two of them, sleeping on floors otherwise, and driving a big white van that had crocheted blankets lining the seats. Before living with those girls I was what we in Canada called a Granola. Most of the Canadians I know are. Granolas are people who like to be outside, we camp, we hike, we bike we canoe we eat granola bars and trail mix on our three day walks into the middle of nowhere so we can camp in a tiny tent next to a mountain lake where there are no other people, or on an isolated beach surrounded by rain forest. It’s easy to be a Granola in Canada, at least where I grew up. World-class hiking and camping areas are within two hours of the city I was born in. My first “date” with the Genius Husband involved sleeping outside in the dessert and hiking, we backpacked for our h

the elementary version of the birds and the bees

The Girl was in the bathroom today with me as I put a panty liner in my underwear. She wanted to know what it was for so I explained that it was to keep blood from getting all over my clothes and quickly reviewed what I have already told her about blood being a part of how babies are made. (I’m getting really tired of the post baby trickle by the way, and the smell.) She looked at my with big serious eyes, her blond hair sticking out all around her head in a frizzy sleep halo, too big blue pj’s that match her eyes hanging off of her tiny frame, and said, ”Mommy, when, when, when, I am bigger I would yike to have a baby and push it out between my legs someday. And then Beema could hold it, and you could hold it and daddy could hold it. I want to name my her Kristyana.” My 3-year-old daughter is talking about going through labor someday and looking adorable while doing it. It makes me want to hold her very tight because I know the day will probably come, but I’m so glad that it’s far a

2 months

You are now 2 months old baby girl. The big news is that you have eyelashes now, they just popped out of nowhere one day and now you have pretty long dark lashes just like your brother and sister did. Even bigger news is that you are smiling, a lot, and we think that you can see us now because you will sit for a long time just looking at things. Your biggest smile to date was for daddy when he was making his voice rumble around in his chest for your benefit. You looked straight at him and broke into a big wide grin and he was so excited he yelled for me to come and see. Keep it up and you’ll soon have him completely wrapped around your little finger, he will be like putty for you to mold you are so heart meltingly lovely. His voice changes when he talks to you, becomes gentle again and a bit silly. You like it when your brother and sister pay attention to you. When they are near you are wildly excited and start to move your whole body and kick and kick those little legs of yours tryin

what Shabbat means to me

It’s Friday, and life this week has been full of joy, and sorrow, and everything in between. My life is full right now. The Genius Husband’s grandmother passed away yesterday. As much as she will be missed it doesn’t seem tragic when one who has lived as long as her is finally laid to rest. I wanted to write about Shabbat this Friday and what it means to me and it’s not a bad segue to go from the death of an old woman who lived a full life to this celebration of life and God’s goodness. I’m not even Jewish, I was raised Christian which is why it actually makes total sense to me to keep Jewish traditions since they are commanded in the same Bible that I grew up reading. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy was right there before don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t covet, honor your parents, etc. (I will now refrain from going off on a theological tangent involving complicated metaphors about grafting olive trees and stuff.) But we never kept Shabbat when I was growing up. First of all we

But I got flowers

So my plan to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse/incentive/reminder to be nice to my husband had some interesting moments. Like my 18 year-old brother in law walking into my house while I was in the middle of cleaning and setting a pretty table, wordlessly taking over one of the bathrooms to shower and then settling himself on my living room floor to work on his Chinese homework. (He does this at least once a week, he and the Genius Husband work together often and he will stop at our house to shower and change after work if he has an evening class.) I forgot that he might be stopping by. During dinner, which the BIL stayed for, the Girl peed herself twice, once all over the floor under the table. It was very romantic to clean all of that up and keep jumping up from dinner during the various stages of clean up and redressing. That pretty much scrapped my vision of a nice quiet dinner together, though it was a good dinner. However, the GH walked in the front door with ROSES in hand and

Love without flowers

My husband is not the kind of guy who will come home with flowers, pretty much ever. I’ve gotten flowers from him 3 times in the entire time I’ve known him. Once he had a big bouquet of daisies wired to me for my birthday when we were in separate countries, before we were married. Once before we were engaged he screwed up bad and knew it and appeared with a hand picked bouquet, each flower symbolizing a different aspect of his apology and thoughts on the subject. Then there was the time we both forgot about our 4th anniversary. I remembered at about 9:30 pm while putting the kids to bed and thoroughly enjoyed greeting him at the door half an hour later and demanding to know where my flowers were. I let him sweat for about a minute as he said, “August…. Anniversary?” Then I let him know that I had only just remembered myself. He went out anyway and bought one of those miniature rose bushes that you can get at the grocery store and a big bar of dark chocolate. That’s it for flowers. I’m

You know you live in southern California when...

...There is a little sign on the door as you walk into the grocery store explaining to you that the floor may be wet due to rain. I don't know if this is because otherwise people would be wondering why there are dirty wet trails through the entrance area or if it's so that they are covered in case someone tries to sue them after they slip. Either way it's a southern CA thing. ...Your kids go running to the front door yelling, "Look mommy it's RAINING!! Can we go outside in it?" ...You've lived in an apartment for 5 months (Sept. through January) before noticing that there is absolutely no weather stripping under your front door and you finally figured it out because your bare feet were feeling cold one very windy night. ...When all the cars on the freeway start to crawl as soon as the rain hits the windshield because no one knows how to drive in rain. (Also because all of the oil deposits in the grooved concrete start to float up and make it slick but s

I love my kids

Wow it’s late and I should be sleeping. But instead I’m writing because I feel this mad need to capture all of the things about my children that I have enjoyed this week before they slip away and I forget. Like the way the Girl is enthused over her anatomically correct horses. She’s seen a few real horses and asked, “What is that?” when she sees the boy horses. Needless to say, now all of the plastic horse toys that we put on her birthday cake are assigned gender. She checks to see if they have a package or not between the legs, some do, and then gives me this constant running monologue. “See mommy, this one is a boy horse because he has a penis but this one isn’t a boy because it doesn’t have a penis, but this one is because it has a PENIS!”(Emphasis hers) I discovered the other day that the boy is a pretty good pinch hitter when it comes to baby holding. I sat him in the chair last week and let him hold her all by himself for the first time and he was radiant, and he held her even

What I miss about my workforce days.

I could get up and get ready before I started work. I could arrive showered and dressed and exercised, and have time to eat breakfast. My bosses didn’t barge in on me in the shower demanding I fix something now. No one followed me to the bathroom pulling on my skirt and screaming. I could eat my lunch in silence if I wanted and completely alone. No one demanded I get up and work again 10 seconds after I started to eat. My old bosses didn’t demand I get out of my bed in the middle of the night to wait on them hand and foot. There was a janitor who had to deal with spills and vomit and pee should it occur. If I had to work overtime I wasn’t scheduled to work again 3 hours after my shift had ended. I got scheduled shifts. I got time off. I slept in on Saturdays. I didn’t have 3 people screaming at me all at the same time while I was trying to deal with an important phone call and someone at the door and make lunch. Sleep. Grown up conversations. Pretty clothes: that were clea

Shit Happens

One minute she was driving home from the airport, making her way carefully through the ice and snow. In the next an out of control semi truck was slamming into her car sending it skittering across lanes of traffic. She had just chosen to exit the highway, thinking the slower speeds of the surface roads, and the lighted, sanded street would be a safer route to take home. Her careening car narrowly avoided slamming into another car occupied by two small boys and their father, and then the truck hit her again. Her first thought was something like, “I’m going to die now,” followed by, “Oh God help.” Then the truck with still more momentum than her little car slammed into her again, this time from the other side. Again she thought she was going to die, and then she thought, I can’t die today, that would ruin Carrien’s birthday forever. Six times in total the truck hit her car, knocking it further and further off of the road until they both came to rest in the ditch. Just that morning I had

It’s my birthday today. (well, yesterday now I didn't finish in time to post)

I am now 30 years old. Funny, I always thought that I would have my life figured out by now. It seemed that an entire decade after high school, and most of my postsecondary education as well would have been enough time to do so. Alas 30 has arrived and I don’t feel like I have anything figured out yet. I’ve made some significant decisions that have dramatically changed its course and are pretty irreversible. I chose marriage, to join my course with that of another, to even further narrow it down I chose motherhood, there are now 3 other people whose welfare I have in mind with every choice I make. Not to mention their father and his dislike of cold climates. If I wanted to move us all to a place where it snowed I would have to provide a very convincing argument. Say I decided to go to the snow, minus the Genius Husband because I stubbornly had to go for some reason and he stubbornly had to stay where it is warm. Theoretically I could leave with the children, but then I would have to wa


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