Friday, March 18, 2011

Sprinkles of Sunshine

This morning, my baby sister had a baby girl!

Lila Grace entered the world , adding to the love & chaos that is life in a big, blended, crazy extended family. I can't wait to meet her when I go home to visit this summer.

Just knowing she was due any day sparked a keen interest in making lots of cute, cuddly baby things for her! So out came the scraps of yarn I had saved over the years so that I could try all sorts of color combos & patterns.

I know her room has been decorated in lots of pinks, and usually I try to coordinate my baby offerings to blend right in. This time, I thought I would go with some soft lilacs, maybe some whites. Instead, after 3 days of playing around, I ended up with something I really love!

Tomorrow I am heading to the store to pick up the supplies to knit up a new blanket & love offering for Lila in a cheerful yellow & white combo! It such a happy project & I am looking forward to getting busy with those needles & creating this special gift for her. After this long winter, it feels/looks just like a burst of gentle spring sunshine.

I guess sometimes you really don't know what you want to do or what the right fit will be until you try out a whole bunch of "also rans". I think with this one, I got it right :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Magic Moments

When my kids were little, I used to make them green milk to drink on St Patrick's Day. I would have them come to the counter & watch me as I poured the white milk into the clear glasses & say "Kiss Me I'm Irish" as it magically turned green.

Oh how they loved that. I told them right from the start that the milk would only turn green once a year, on St Patrick's Day, and that ONLY mommies who had Irish sprinkled in their genes could do this kind of magic.

So every year I would razzle dazzle them with my skill. As time passed, the older one became quite certain that a trick was being played. By the time he was 7-8, he knew that food coloring was involved somehow, but he could never quite figure it out. The glass was clear, he never saw me w the coloring, and yet the milk still changed colors.

Even when he had long given up on the magic, he still showed up for the production & drank his glass with his little sister. That little sister is nothing if not a dreamer, so it came as no surprise that she still believed in the Kiss Me I'm Irish magic as the double digits drew near.

Last year, when I thought about one last round for old time's sake, I discovered that we were out of food coloring (only the green, that daughter had used it all for cupcakes at Christmas!) I realized our tradition had probably run its course. Afterall, my son was 15 & my daughter 13 then.

I did not rush out to buy more & try to cling so tightly to the tradition. That is what I would have done before so many other things had changed. I decided to just go with it & see what happened.

Instead, we talked about the fun we'd had with it, the secrets to the magic (put the drops into the glass the night before so they have time to dry...that way you can tip it over & it doesn't spill out & you don't get caught green-handed!!), memories from my childhood when we celebrated with a big Boiled dinner & went to the Parade in Southie. We talked about how most people in this part of the country do not even acknowledge this day. And that they both thought they might like to keep this little tradition with them into their futures.

Sitting here tonight, typing these words, I realize that those are the really magic moments, and that is the best kind of mommy magic there could ever be!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stage Fright

Yesterday I told some close friends that I had "started a blog." I had been thinking about it for quite some time & it just felt like a good day to start. So it was strange that I was not prepared for the way it made me feel. Exposed & vulnerable. Quiet & shy.

Very surprising since in most cases I am a chatterbox, a writer of long emails, and I max out text message characters on a regular basis. If anything, one of the main things I should probably be learning in this lifetime is how to listen more and speak less.

There were a few false starts (which I am keeping in draft form in case they reinspire me) but basically, I just could not think of anything anyone else would want to read. What could I possibly fill this cozy little space with that would be interesting? Maybe a little bit fun sometimes? Maybe let someone see something of themselves in these words?

And then I was encouraged to remember that I just need to be open to the opportunity for writing. To write as I would in an email to a friend. To not let the worry of not doing it perfectly stop me from doing it at all.

Figuring out how to do things even if they scare me. Trying new things even if I don't think I will be any good at them. Making mistakes & looking for the lessons in them. Those are the things I most want to fill my life & this blog with.

Here I am

Monday, February 28, 2011

Who's that pretty girl in that mirror there?

Each morning, as soon as I remember, I send a "thank you for this new day" out to the Universe. In the rush & hurry of daily life, it feels as if I have forgotten to be truly grateful for each & every new day. Another chance to do better. To get some things right. To learn a tough lesson or appreciate a simple beauty.

And quite honestly, there have been more than a few nights when I have been desperately grateful to be DONE with the day. The ones that feel too messy, too lonely, too overwhelming. So at those times, I try to remember that I am thankful for a safe place to curl up, close my eyes, and call it a day.

For the longest time, I did not notice any of those things. Sure, I felt "happy" when something good happened, or one of my kids was extra sweet or did something great at school, or when I got together with friends & we shared laughs & good times. But at some point, I had set my life on auto-pilot and disengaged.

That choice cost me my marriage, my sense of security & place in the world. It changed almost everything about life as I knew it. But it also brought me to this new place-where I haven't even begun to imagine all the things that might still be possible.

So here I am, neither at the beginning nor the end of things, but somewhere in all the glorious muck & muddle of the middle.

And I can't wait to get to know myself, because I have a feeling I'm going to love that woman in the mirror!