When the television announced that yet another winter storm was expected for today, I almost threw my book across the room at the screen. I probably would have, too, it the act hadn't demanded that I remove my arms from under the blanket, where I was snuggled deeply in search of warmth.
I am so, so sick of winter. I've got a son who hates the snow and the wind, too, so we're a miserable pair right now. He's got energy to spare, and the walls of our tiny apartment weren't meant to contain for this long the kind of power he generates. We've been to the stores, the greenhouse, the library, his friend's place; what he needs is a good run in the park, a bike ride in the woods, or a trek through the zoo. If we don't get some fresh air soon, we're both going to go stark raving mad.
So what's holding me together for now? Trust me when I tell you that it's a short list.
- My friend Alysia. We go to her store on a regular basis, giving us that precious contact with other human beings that we both need. Sam plays with her son Zach while we chat and enjoy each other's company. Sure, she thinks I'm a freak (she doesn't cook, so was shocked when I told her I was making a duck), but we generally fit together like peas in a pod.
- Monster's Inc. When Sam's bouncing off the walls and threatening to make my head explode, I can usually rely on this particular DVD to give me at least ten minutes of peace. Even if he only watches the opening credits, that's often all I need to allow me to recoup, breathe, and get hold of myself. Thank you, Scully, Mike, and Boo.
- My knitting needles. Push the yarn, loop it, and pull it through, over and over and over. Few surprises, there, and it allows me to get into a pattern that relaxes my shoulders and smoothes my brow. The finished projects are nice, too, but it's the process, not the goal, that I love most.
- Sam's bathtime. With the exception of hair washing, which he still hates, this is one of the most peaceful moments of my day. Until recently, we were only bathing him a few times a week; indoor play doesn't dirty a boy much, and I didn't want his skin to dry. On the other hand, I thought that maybe a regular soak in warm water might help his somewhat constipated bowels (another vent altogether), so we decided to let him play in the tub every night, even if we didn't use soap or shampoo. He loves to splash, push his boat around, and fill and dump cups of water; I sit on the toilet next to the tub and read or knit while he plays independently for long stretches of time.
- Baking. Bad Carrie, for doing so much baking with a diabetic husband (and don't get me started on those unappealing, unappetizing diabetic recipes that are full of Splenda and egg substitute), but even with the limits I've set for myself (one instance of dessert baking per month, usually geared around a holiday), I still have plenty of opportunity to knead loaves of homemade bread. Yesterday's loaf was Oatmeal Wheat bread, and it was delicious.
- Impatiens. A few drops let me cope with Sam's incessant demands to toss toys down the stairs, crumble his muffin into tiny pieces, or steal little pieces of pizza dough that I'm making for dinner. It helps me look past the little annoyances and appreciate the big picture - a rapidly developing boy who's exploring his environment and testing rules and boundaries. He's not deliberately trying to give me a headache, and the Impatiens helps me to see that.
One other thing keeps me sane, but it goes without saying. If I had to live without this journal, this creative and emotional outlet, I'd lose my mind completely. Thank you for reading, thank you for listening, and thank you for being here. I need you more than you'll ever know.
February's WordGoddess collaboration: "What keeps you sane."
one year ago:
But I'm sick. I sound like Barry White on quaaludes.
two years ago:
Ladies and gentlemen, my husband, the birth purist.
three years ago:
Oh, and whoever gave Jamie Lee Curtis the idea that she could write children's books should be hung by their big toenails for a few decades.
On the Stereo:|
On the Bookshelf:
Crossroads of Twilight