Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Glimpse of Grandma – Hood

A glimpse of grandma - hood

I’ve spent a lot of my summer cleaning out cupboards, closets, drawers, boxes and bins. I’m in my use it or lose it frame of mind, which doesn’t last long so I’m taking advantage of it. I want to simplify my home and make it more comfortable and less cluttered. Over the years, I’ve always given my unwanted stuff to charities. I trade it all in for a blue slip of paper that I give to my accountant with my taxes every year. This year my sister and I decided to do a garage sale at her house and it puts a new slant on cleaning out. It makes it easier to get rid of things when you might be getting green paper instead of blue. It’s also a great incentive to a 12-year-old girl to clean out her stash, too. Imagine, someone might pay for something that uselessly takes up valuable space.

I hang on to things that are sentimental, and I can make ANYthing sentimental. I can even go through my daughter’s stuffed animals she’s had for years and tell you who got it for her and whether it was for her birthday or Christmas or her actual BIRTH day. I even remember a lot of the names she gave them over the years, even though I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast today.

I semi-admire the women I know that can put anything and everything in the trash. How simple and clean their life must be. But I’m patting myself on the back because I am getting rid of so much stuff. I was parking it all behind my couch as I sorted through it all one weekend at a time but now with summer here, it made the pile rise up over the back of the couch forcing me to move it to a storage space. How good it feels to get a pile of unwanted stuff out of my home!

Going through everything means that I have to be very careful with my #BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome). When I come across the things that I know I’ll be keeping, I start going through them anyway. I don’t need to go through them but the sentimental magnet is strong.

I’ve saved some clothing from when my son, now 22-years-old, was young. Cowboy boots, a mini-Miami Dolphins jersey, shirts that he wore often and his outfit for his first professional photo shoot at JC Penney’s. As I was reliving some sweet memories, I came upon a lightweight jacket he wore often. Living in Florida, you don’t need jackets very often so one jacket can last through two winters. Between pee-wee sports and the playground and parks and walks and the backyard and the beach, he wore the jacket all winter long.

I came upon the red and white pullover a few days ago and it was almost as if I was lifting my sweet four-year-old son out of the bin. He was standing next to me, voice and all. I could hear him call my name while he was holding a plastic bat, I could hear him yelling after the dog as they ran around pretend baseball bases in the backyard. I could see him coming down the slide only to run back around and climb the ladder again. And I could see him running to me with his arms wide open happy to see me come outside to play.

If I would have given that jacket away years ago when he grew out of it, I never would have been flooded with those sweet memories, even though they made me miss that tiny, big-hearted boy. Tears of joy and memories gushed out my eyes.

I hugged the jacket to my chest until the urge to cry left me. Now I was going to have to find the strength to tuck it away once more with the sweet memories, and of course I’m keeping it.

PosterKids

I have sisters and friends all around me becoming grandmothers. They love being grandmothers and they tell me there’s nothing like it. No one tries to explain what it’s like, nor can they find the words to. They only say, just you wait and see.

After discovering that jacket, I don’t think I have to wait anymore.

Grandma’s…is it the fact that you almost feel like you’re holding your own children again? The ones that you lived a lifetime with when they were young and innocent and created so many memories with? Is it because you forgot what it feels like to hold your child in your arms, the only human being that you can feel that heart string being pulled with? Does it remind you that the time flew by too quickly and that you would love to have those days back, even if only for a short time? Does it remind you of the countless books you read to them and the million Crayola moments and the painting and the puddles and the cozy weekends in bed together and teeny-tiny ticklish toes?

My son is still the same boy to me. Bright and confident and giving with a huge heart. He’s not worried much about what people think but is always concerned with how they feel. He’s always been that same person. I’ve always liked him as much as I love him.

But there’s times when I reminisce and realize that there’s a little person that I raised and spilled my love and heart into that eventually just disappeared from my life.

Not when he grew up and learned to drive off with his friends. Not when he moved away to college. Not even when he gets a place of his own. Just by growing up and turning into an adult. It’s magic - he grew up overnight. I enjoyed every phase of his life as he grew. I always felt like I smuggled as much as I could from each age to take with me into my later years. We had so many good times together. But looking back, you are losing a child. Not in the disastrous, gut-wrenching way that some mom’s lose their little ones. But in a quiet, slow-moving, sneak-up-on-you kind of way. My daughter is only 12 and we laugh and love and have fun together, but I watch out of the corners of my eyes as she grows towards that sneak-up-on-you direction, too.

One day you look up from the couch when your son walks in the house from his trip home from college for the summer, and you see a man standing in front of you. (OhmyGodI’veMadeAMan)

His little laughs and giggles that came so easily, his excitement at Christmas time, his sleepy little face that found me for a snuggle in the mornings as I lay quietly in bed, are all only memories now.

That little boy is gone. But maybe, when my kids have kids, he’ll be back. And I can hug him until the urge to cry dissipates. And then I’ll pull out the crayons and stories and raincoats and I'll love my grandchildren as much as I love my own and enjoy them while they are close.

Katherine A. Rayne misses those two tiny kids from years ago, but is creating new memories and experiences with her 12-year old and 22-year old hearts.
“Once you have a child, your heart is forever outside your body.” unknown (YES, way!)

What’s Your Dangling Carrot?

I'm Not Going To Try Anymore

I’m so tired of trying. It’s a repetitive process that never moves me forward. It feels like doubt before I even leave the starting line. And that dangling carrot is always miles ahead of me. If I squint I can even see it smirking back at me. Imagine a smirking carrot. It’s not intimidating, it’s condescending. I want to sneak up behind it and bite off its root - its foundation.

But I know it’s smarter to concentrate on my own foundation and not some smirky carrot.

I dive into inspirational quotes with a sense of abandon. Inspire me! I say. And the quotes they come. I came across one recently that seems to resonate with my summer and me:

Think about who you want to be. And be her.

Oh. So easy, right? And I’m not being sarcastic. I want to be so many things and do so many things and it’s just a matter of a beginning. We begin things every day.

There shouldn’t be any hardship in beginning anything. For me, it’s the finishing that’s the hardship, although not always hard. And what will be won by finishing? Exactly what I wanted!

So then what’s the deal? I’m partly going to blame summer. As a teacher, I’m off for my summer and with that comes relaxing, quiet mornings and a slower pace with more time with my children and family and friends.

If I think about the amount of things that I’ve worked on and completed this summer, versus the amount of things that I do during the course of my day when I’m working, my working-me does so much more than my summer-me in a day. In my defense, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But it’s not wasted time. For instance, I’ve cleaned out cupboards and closets and pantries and rooms and disposed of a lot of “stuff.” I’ve gotten new furniture and sent old furniture on to charities and I have been editing a book that’s been in the works for a while. I did a girl’s weekend away with close friends and spent it next to the beach with people I adore. I’ve logged about 30 miles or so since summer began walking on the beach - which is how I keep my peaceful mind peaceful. I’m home more often so I’ve spent less money instead of rushing in and out of stores. In essence, my summer theme has been about out with the old and in with the new, but it’s all made me quite tired. And something is still missing.

What is my dangling carrot? I think it’s living in the moment.

Even my dangling carrot is enjoying the moment albeit with a sarcastic smile, but I seem to be putting everything on hold until I get this done and until I have that finished. I feel good after the changes I make, but then I’m already looking for my next to-do.

I think I’m more worried about running out of time to finish it all when instead I should be enjoying it all as it happens.

What does this mean for me? It means I’ll be resolving my issues in a way that I KNOW makes me feel better and accomplished. Daily. Because I can. Because that’s who I want to be.

No more trying, just doing.

I think my sudden feeling of dissatisfaction comes from realizing that we are already half way through 2015.

Life is a bowl full of cherries, but not if you keep them hidden inside of your pocket all squished and uneaten.

I had a dream last night that was way-weird. I was at my ex’s house and for some reason I was staying at his house using his guest bedroom. In the dream, I woke up in the morning and I went to use the bathroom, but the toilet was gone. So I went to another bathroom and found the toilet missing there, too. He has a house with lots of bathrooms so unfortunately I had to walk through his whole house searching for a toilet and if you’re anything like me you know what it’s like first thing in the morning when you really have to go. Each and every time, each bathroom was meticulous and spotless, but each toilet was gone. There were just sealed up holes in the floor where they had been. I finally searched for him and asked him where all of his toilets were.

He told me, “we really have to go.” I wanted to tell him that I really had to go, too, but dreams don’t always let you speak.

Because I'm a dilly-dallier, he has said those words to me a gazillion times over the course of our marriage. It seems he squeezed it in one more time even after our marriage, in my dream yet. Is his shadow in the corners of my home shaking his head as he watches me follow around one shiny-object-distraction after another? I make a path through my home that I'm sure I would not be proud of if I watched my day on rerun. Countless, aimless steps back and forth, to and fro.

My ex is always in a hurry. He won’t slow down his pace until his task is done so that he can then relax. I think he was in my dream because he and his nephews had kindly helped my son and me haul away my old furniture, and I was reminded of his hastiness as well as my dilly-dallying. I was also reminded that one of the benefits of being single is that I get to dilly-dally to my heart's content. Laaaaaa.

Then while still in my dream, my sister came up to me out of nowhere and asked me to have a sleepover with her, but I didn’t want a sleepover. I just wanted to pee.

That’s where I’d had enough and woke myself up. So I could pee, of course. Sitting there on the toilet, I was thinking, WTH? I put a lot of weight on my dreams. I always find an underlying reason for them when I take the time to question and dissect them.

The dream made me feel like I wasn’t able to go forward. I was being blocked from the things that I really needed to do.

So whatever it is that’s missing from my days lately, I need to find it. And I think I can do that by not trying anymore.

I will no longer try to plan special outings. I will do them. I won’t try for accomplishment every day. I will accomplish every day. I won’t try to exercise daily. I will exercise every day. I won’t try to have fun. I’ll just have fun. I will no longer try to eat healthier. I will eat healthier. And I’ll be munching on healthy (although ass-inine) carrots while I’m at it. (Evil grin)

Many, many, many bloggers love to ask final questions at the end of their articles. I don’t. I don’t know why. It’s like a thorn in my side. I feel like if I ask them a question, I’m dislodging the path of their thoughts that I've just put them on. I love to write. I write for me. But when I write, I like it to be a piece that makes people think. So whatever it is that I make them think of, I want them to continue thinking about it. If I ask them a question in the end, if they’re anything like me, their mind will change tracks and go in another direction.

Instead, I want to unearth a memory or a feeling or an inspiration in them. I want to dislodge something in them that’s stuck or not quite fixed. Or just make them chuckle at stupid carrots.

But this time I'm asking a question: What is your dangling carrot? Where are you headed and what do you want to reach? How do you do that? And will you? When I had that dream about my ex, I could easily compare him to me. He can’t relax until the work is done. I don’t rush like him; on the contrary I’m a tortoise that eats carrots (versus a hare, get it?). But I don’t always enjoy the process.

How will you enjoy your process?

Okay…so that was more than one question I’ve just asked you, but take heed, when you do something that you don’t normally do, or something that you don’t want to do, go big!

Go big AND go home!

Katherine Baron (me!) is a preschool teacher, author and blogger, and most importantly a Mom. You can find my work on Amazon.com under my pen name Katherine A. Rayne.