“Really big people are, above everything else,
courteous, considerate and generous–
not just to some people in some circumstances–
but to everyone all the time.”–Thomas J. Watson
It’s been almost a month since I’ve made a post, and I suppose that it’s time to tell you all why I disappeared. Life in the Fall is always interesting–school starts, and college football dominates the weekends. It’s a time of year that makes me want to contemplate, consider where my life is going, and to make changes. That’s exactly what happened to me this year. If you’ve read my About Me page, you’ll know that I’ve been trying to effect a career change. Due to health issues, I surrendered my CPA certificate to the State of Alabama in April. I’ve spent the last several months trying to decide where to go next? I love writing, and enjoy working on this blog, but I have to support myself and my daughter. Last month, I went back to school, and I’m working toward a certificate in Paralegal Studies. I hope that eventually leads me to a dream I have had…to go to law school.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been in school! It is so very different at the age of 52. My stamina, which I thought was good, isn’t. My brain, which I thought was long-lost, is still with me and working well. So far, so good. My only regret, other than the resulting student loan, is that I haven’t had enough time to spend with this blog. I miss it, and I miss all of you! I’ve tried to read along with your blogs as I can, but have fallen behind in keeping up with you. I’m sorry about that, and will be much better about it in the future.
The classes are going well. I enjoy my professors, love the subjects, and just enjoy the art of thinking, in general. Challenges excite me, and this one certainly does. I am so grateful to my family for their support and patience while I begin a new path for my life. I believe it will lead me to another professional career with full employment, intellectual challenge, and stability for myself and my daughter. Good things…
I’ve spent the last week with my daughter, Kate, and her son, Jack. You might remember Jack from his
love disdain for carrots. No carrots allowed during the visit, so he was a happy guy. At 7 months old, he is fascinating to watch. He’s just on the cusp of freedom; not quite crawling around, but so eager to explore the world around him. One of life’s mysteries is what goes on in a baby’s little head. It seems to shine through his eyes, and I would love to know what Jack thinks about his world. He is a happy boy, and it thrills me to see what a good mother my daughter is! I tried not to be a pushy, intrusive presence to her while she was here. I know that she has the tools that she needs within her, without my advice or baby stories. I feel confident that, when she needs my advice, she will ask for it 🙂
Jack likes to jump! He draws his little legs up and, with our help, jumps up and down in our laps. It’s the funniest sight, and I hope to post a video of his jumping someday. I noticed that he often wants to jump when he’s excited and happy. He literally jumps for joy! I just love that concept, and I adore that aspect of his personality. I’m looking forward to getting to know him as he grows older. It will be such fun for us both. All I have to do is to continue to be joyous about my life as I grow older. Jack will help me in this, I’m sure.
~The Disappearing C-Lea
Every Day Life
There are few things with which I greet each day with certainty.
My favorite is my relationship with my dog/dogs.
Lily, 14 pounds of aggressive Peekapoo, and
Flash, nearly 100 pounds of sweet Basset Hound.
They do not like, but have learned to tolerate, one another.
Stepdogs might be the best way to describe their relationship
Flash belongs to the love of my life, and Lily belongs to me
Their hesitant interaction has been a joy to watch over the years,
As they are about the same age and have grown together.
I begin and end the day with their affection,
The one constant in a hectic everyday life.
Two poles dug in for the day,
Left to their own devices
A pier off the Outer Banks
Near and Far
Intersect in the Sunshine.
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.
Of, pertaining to, or designating a city or town.
Living in a city.
Characteristic of or accustomed to cities;citified.
cloaked in subtle shades of gray
with a hint of lavender.
Proprietary and ubiquitous
a bit jaded
by Harry Behn
Trees are the kindest things I know,
They do no harm, they simply grow
And spread a shade for sleepy cows,
And gather birds among their bows.
They give us fruit in leaves above,
And wood to make our houses of,
And leaves to burn on Halloween
And in the Spring new buds of green.
They are first when day’s begun
To tough the beams of morning sun,
They are the last to hold the light
When evening changes into night.
And when a moon floats on the sky
They hum a drowsy lullaby
Of sleepy children long ago…
Trees are the kindest things I know.
This poem was one of the first I studied, and the first that I memorized. The poem, and the teacher who introduced it, are very special to me, introducing me to the poetry that unlocked so much of my life for me. It is this poem that began my deep respect for trees. It’s painful to me when they are cut down, even when it is necessary (in the case, for disease). The whole idea of cutting down a living thing, that is so difficult to replace, seems wrong.
Although she is my third, I have to say that I still do not understand the mind of a teenager. Try as I might, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the thought processes that I once owned myself. It’s so counterintuitive, isn’t it? As parents, we have once been a teenager, so it would follow that their logic would be transparent to us. It doesn’t really work that way, however.
I have had one goal for the summer for my daughter, who is 15. Before school begins, I want that room clean, neat, and clutter-free. She will be a sophomore this year, and I want her to begin school in an environment that will foster success. For me, that means organization, simplicity, and a bit of serenity. Simple, right?
School begins tomorrow for her; and as of yesterday, her room was chaos. The floor was covered in discarded clothes, books, unpacked bags from summer trips, and so much trash that I considered explaining the concept of a garbage can. I began to despair of ever meeting my goal for her, because I couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of it to her. I nagged on and off all during the summer break, continued to insist and demand, but there was always something more important, to her.
As I watched the days fly by on the calendar, and the mess grow deeper and deeper, I was discouraged. How do I help her to understand the importance of this in her life? I knew, as her mother, that the responsibility was mine. These ideas should have been instilled in her long ago; and knowing this just makes me feel a bit inadequate as a parent. She was the youngest of three, raised by a single mother. I read all the parenting manuals and websites touting the image of toddlers neatly picking up their toys, tweens who are highly organized, and teens who thrive on high achievement. As guilt-inducing as those were, I continued to read them, drawn to some utopian ideal of parenting that I just couldn’t implement.
I knew that it could be done, HAD to be done, and when the time was right, it would be done. I waited patiently for that time to arrive.
I am pleased to announce that the time arrived at 10 pm last night. The moment was right, the momentum was working for me, and we were ready. I was a bit daunted by the hour and the task ahead of us, but I could not hesitate once the moment was upon us. We began, slowly at first, until the momentum began to carry us along. We talked, laughed, and worked. As we talked, I think she felt the amount of caring that had been behind all of that nagging. The experience, although exhausting, was a bonding one for us! Who knew?
At 2 am this morning, we sat in a bedroom that looked serene, neat, and ready for a new school year. More importantly, there was so much love in that room that we didn’t want the night to end. We talked awhile about the coming year, our hopes for it, and ways in which we could build on our success of the night. It was an amazing experience for me, and I hope that it was for her, as well. Her pride in her accomplishment touched me, and made me all the more eager to help her be as successful as she can possibly be.
Having been a teenager, I should have known what would work for her, how to help her understand. What I have realized is that with each generation, being a teen is a unique experience unto itself. So much depends upon the time, the culture, the outside pressures, and the child as an individual. I think that is what makes parenting a teen so exciting and challenging.
As for me? I’m just thrilled that school is beginning tomorrow and my daughter will be off to a running start. I’m so proud of her; and I’m so proud of us both!
Happy New School Year,
What shall we do with this gem
This treasure we’ve found
Brilliant with the light
Of two souls, resonant in unison
Sparkling with the joy
Of recognition, of hope.
Shall we explore its facets
Admire its wonder
Celebrate its worth?
Or shall we leave it wasted
Tucked away on black velvet
In a fine layer of dust.