Wednesday, April 25, 2012

worthy logic

After a recent Kindergarten school field trip, my five-year old came home delighted.

"How was it bud?"
"Were you tired on the way home?"
"Did you fall asleep on the bus on the way home?"
"Then what is this a picture of?"
--Teacher had texted me a pic of him snoozing on the bus--
"That's me."
"What are you doing in the picture?"
"Not sleeping."

So. By that logic, I will say that currently, in the wake of the big move:

I am not grieving.
I am not scared.
I am not excited, as well.

Who can resist the logic of a Chinese cutie in a Fedora?

Who, btw, wrote this recently:

Is it just me, or does this say, "I play soccer, wtf, my bruises"


Monday, April 2, 2012

To be worthy, not respectable

The fourth line for the fourth month.

I like the first part of this line, but the latter scares me as much as the latter part of my own body does--the implications and truths are getting too big to handle.

I am ready to take my first step toward worthiness. I am finally going to admit who I truly am. I am so sick of hiding it--the time it takes, the societal pressure to conform, the longing to fit in, the desire to continue to live in denial... These naggers have all kept me from being who I was designed to be.

Here it is folks. I confess:

I am grey.

And. I've decided to let out my roots (which are 99.9% grey) and start a college fund for my boys with all the money I'll save on my colorist. I don't mind the look of it. Yet. The reactions I get from people are fascinating. Many react as if I've decided to get fat.

They won't admit judgment, but the disapproval and fear that registers on their faces is as unmistakable as a naked person running through a restaurant.

But. Grey is sometimes a sign of worthiness. My father always claimed that his white hair was "a crown of glory" as it says in Proverbs 16:31, or beautiful, also from Proverbs: "the beauty of old men is their grey hair" but wait, that seems to apply to men. Damn double standard again.

I do like this verse though: "Even to your greying years I will bear you; I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you" Isaiah 46:4.

Perhaps I can buy some wisdom by not dying my hair any longer. Perhaps people will think, "wow, that old woman must know some stuff" or "Damn, that hot grey-haired old lady must have some tough kids," another thing my father often blamed his white head on.

As if I can earn respectability by an appearance that defies the common.

Yet. No doubt I will lose the throng of 20-something-year-old boys that hit on me while I'm at the bar. Wait. That only happens about once a year when I actually attend a bar, which rarely occurs by choice. And it happens only when I'm out with other women my age and mistaken for a cougar. So I think I'll survive. Even though, honestly, it is a bit flattering.

And let me be completely honest: I've been overcompensating for my flaw-filled skin with my long mane. And allowing it to cover up my back acne (thank you, genes!) so that I could once again wear strapless dresses. The hair draws attention. And, I'm not going to lie: Sometimes I love said attention. That clearly does not make me worthy, it only makes me enviable, if only to women that have no hair... but it also makes me a ridiculous, narcissistic ego-maniac. And I don't want to be that. Or even remotely resemble it.

Picture: Month ONE. I know, you can barely notice the grey roots peaking around my temples. And my hairstylist's answer for a slightly less drastic transition period: make me even blonder. So yes, folks, you can witness right here: me going from blond to white in the next year. I promise to post a pic each month and tell you about the transition and new reality. I even promise to post the forthcoming comments. That is, if I can hack it.

Truly, this decision is in line with many other decisions I've made of late: To allow the natural be revealed, to be who I was designed to be, to cut the extras and the excess that all too often inhibit my true spiritual growth, to stop hiding behind a mask... Yet, to do all of this in a very real physical sense is as challenging as the unseen ways. In some ways more.

So. My new blog titles might even be chosen from the following:

Kimberly The White
Kim The Grey of Canada
Canada's Kimberly the White
The Chronicles of Kimberly The White of Canada

Any other suggestions?

Refine This.

Post-Spring-Break Blues.

I decided to do what every self-respecting English teacher does during the holidays: Bring home several files of essays to grade and then let them sit in the corner collecting dust, peanut butter, and a few Avengers stickers.

Instead of grading, I played 50 games of Settlers of Catan, did lots of cooking and lots of dishes, went hiking and hurt my back, cleaned rooms while wishing I had a servant in the house, and then traveled 100 miles away only to do the same thing but with a different view--the windows there revealed lots of trees instead of lots of neighbors. Which would have been boring (because I actually like most of my neighbors) except we had invited the two of our friends that are stupid enough to vacation with us. They have a 9-month old. Watching them tackle all the naps and feedings and 5 a.m. wake-up calls and diaper changes was kind of like doing a victory lap. And refraining from "naa naa na naa naaaaa" while listening to them recall the near disasters that have attacked their young family was a huge test of my patience and maturity, the things I pretend to have when we have friends around who are stupid enough to vacation with us.

The ugly tales: the ones every parent knows by heart. Those of misunderstandings that happen on 0-3 hours of sleep, the lists of obligations and responsibilities that get doled out (or not) and resented, the realizations that the guilt- and obligation-free personal time you once had is gone for at least 18 years, the digestion that your body is not your own, and the admission that parenting really sucks sometimes. And. How these beautiful tiny humans make marriage extra hard. Like trying to run a marathon, only without your legs. The only encouragement we could offer was that we somehow still have two living children. And we are still married. And we offered our friends lots of alcohol.

Parenting cannot be refined. Or shortened. Or rushed through. It must be endured. And at its best it is delightful, like when those cherub faces smile and snuggle in that special crook of the shoulder and tell us they love us, or every night when they fall asleep. And. Parenting at its worst tests of our very character, like when we discover that ounce of kindness to our spouse even after getting vomited on all night long, or when we cheer on our child's assist even though two hours ago he screamed that he hates us.

Parenting refines us. A marriage that can withstand it (and grow through it) will certainly be refined as well. Either that or it will kill us.