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02 June 2010

Now, what a surprise

I've hit the number 30!  (Readers, that is.  The age 30 is long past. . . isn't it funny how 30 seemed so old when i was 20, but it seems so young now?)  Anyway, for those who show up to read my rambling words, thank you.  :)  I'm only sorry when my readers don't have a blog i can show up at & visit. 


This is gonna be quite a day . . . i slept maybe 4 hours, so it will be a challenge.  


My favorite market (Mother's Market & Kitchen) moved yesterday.  For 31 years they were in the same spot (for almost 15 years i lived down the block from them).  They have moved to a bigger location.  While i'm thrilled, i have some reservations.  Their spot used to be a Border's Bookstore.  I am in that parking lot frequently as the place i go to have my nails done shares the parking.  I knew from previous Christmases when it was Border's, that parking there is a nightmare!  Well, the parking lot at the old market was, too.  This new location, while a huge gain for the store, won't be an improvement in parking.  


I had my nails done yesterday.  It was the first day open for the store.  The parking lot was a horror.  I wanted to go in the new store, but could see it was a madhouse.  They open at 8 this AM, i might go then.  


My niece E2 (two of my sister's kids names begin with "E") is coming for a visit!  :)  


Sis #2 lived in Florida for over 20 years.  That is about as far from California as you can get.  She came out to visit Sis #3 a couple of times, so i got to see her then, but otherwise we've had little contact.  I never even met 5 of her 6 kids until they came to our wedding (almost) 6 years ago.  (I saw the oldest child, E1, who is expecting her first child, twice when she was a baby.)  So i've had little contact with the children thru the years, beyond an occasional gift-thank you note, or phone call.  Frankly, i also have esteem issues ("Why would anyone want to know me?") & the lack of contact is largely my fault.  


Facebook has changed that.  Honestly, i'm not a big fan of FB.  FB now informs me i have over 100 "friends," but i don't feel i know most of them any better.  It does let me know what is happening with friends & family, but i don't find that i've made deeper connections.  Sometimes i find it very frustrating as people make cryptic remarks, but i never hear "the rest of the story."  


That said, FB has allowed me to know a bit more of my nieces & nephews as they post.  And one child, Sis #2's 4th, E2, will "chat" with me when she sees i'm on FB.  All the effort has been on her part.  Well, as with most adolescents, i find conversations with her somewhat forced.  "How are you doing?"  "Fine."  "Having good weather?"  "Yes."  etc.  But as time has gone by, it has gotten easier.  


My sis moved herself & 5 kids (the oldest is married) to Kentucky last year.  She is nearing the finale of her divorce.  Child #2 R, is in college, so she essentially has 4 left at home.  Anyway, i'd mentioned to E2 (who is 14-1/2) that it would be fun to have her come out.  She indicated an interest, but i wasn't sure if she really would like to, or it was a polite, academic interest.  I wasn't sure Sis #2 would let her, but i called yesterday & she was ok with it if E2 wanted to come.  She does!  


I bought the tickets yesterday.  E2 will actually fly into San Diego (on 30 June) & stay a few days with Sis #3 (who is an E also) & then they will drive to BB.  They'll both stay with us a couple of days, then Sis #3 will go home & we'll have E2 with us for about a week.  I'm very excited.  


You know what i find ironic?  Sis #2 has 6 children.  Neither Sis #3 nor i have any.  When i was growing up, all i wanted to be was a mama.  I babysat a lot & loved little children.  I was a nanny for a couple of years right out of high school.  Sis #2 never cared much about children.  She never thought about having them.  She did some babysitting, but only to make $$, never out of a love for kids.  


(Typical of life, huh?  When i was a child i actually had a Sunday School teacher say to us, "Don't ever tell God what you want, or what you will or will not do.  If you say to God, 'I will do anything for you but be a missionary in Africa.  Don't send me to Africa,' Africa is exactly where you will end up."  Over all, i have found this to be a sad but true comment on life.)


Anyway, my sis, mother of 6 children, expressed envy of me that i'll get to spend this time with her daughter.  Now, at one level i totally understand this.  My sis is going thru a very hard time right now.  She is highly stressed.  She is trying to build a new life for herself & her children.  She is homeschooling 4 children who have, to one degree or another, learning disabilities.  Money is tight & nearly-ex-husband isn't helping much.  Life isn't easy.  She doesn't get to spend much time with any one child.  The idea of getting to spend non-stressed, "quality time" with one of her children alone & without all her other obligations sounds delightful to her.  So, yes, i "get it."  But come on!  You have had 20+ years of being a mama; you have birthed, nursed & raised/are raising 6!  YOU get to be called "mama" (well, i think they use "mom.")  You are envious of me because i get to spend one week with your daughter???


Ah, life.  :P


You know, in reading this over, i'm tired of Sis #2, E2, etc.  I've done that because i hesitate to use real names for folks, unless they use the name themselves somewhere.  My friends David & Jessica have their own blogs & use their own names, so i do that here, too.  Well, lots of people i have come to know have blogs, & some use their own names.  But i knew both David & Jessica apart from their blogs.  (BTW, you should go see Jessica's post on purple blooms in So. Cal.  Her pics are so pretty.  Read the rest, too, she's so good at sharing stories.)  


I've always had a lot of fun choosing character names when writing a story.  I think i'll do the same here.  You know my name & Duane's, my sister's initials are L & E.  Sis #2's children are E1RPE2DA.  (E1 was named for Sis #3, but i find that confusing in real life, i'm not going to perpetuate it in the blog.)  


Hereafter, i name the folks.  Sis #2 becomes  Larkin.  Sis #3 becomes Elsa.  "Elsa's" friend/date/main squeeze becomes Frye.  E1 becomes Ellen.  Her husband becomes Tad.  R becomes  Rae.  P becomes  Perry.  E2 becomes  Eva.  D becomes Drew.  A becomes Angie. There!  That was fun.  (If you want me to name you too, just let me know.  "Dear friend Cindy" or "Dear friend Dawn" can change if you want me to do so.)  I'll now have to put this in my sidebar so I remember, however!


Okay!  I'm done.  


(This - rambling - is what happens when i wake up at 5AM.) 




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8 comments:

Stacey said...

The visit from your niece sounds like something fun to look forward to. We are having our nephews over for a week each in July (one at a time - they LOVE this idea and so do we! No fighting!) :)

I'm glad FB has helped to foster your relationship with them. Sometimes it can be fairly shallow but I like when it actually does help a relationship grow.

Amrita said...

Hi Kathryn, life is funny and the dealings of God sometimes confuse me but gotta accept them.

I like your candid and honest remarks.

Have a good visit with your niece.

Kathryn said...

Yes, Stacey, i'm rather excited. Also, of all the kids, she's a bit more like Elsa & i - more reserved & introverted. That could be hard, but i think it might make it easier as she enjoys alone time (i'm sure she doesn't get much) & won't - probably require a lot of "entertaining."

How nice for you to have your nephews separately. I can see how having them together could be a problem as each of them vie for your attention.

Thanks for continue to come see me. :) I'm so happy your pregnancy is going well.

Amrita - dear friend, i know that you understand more fully than i the disappointments in life & struggle to understand God. Thank you for continuing to come & comment, too. :)

I think the visit will go well. She's not coming for a month yet. Will try to do some planning & be ready for her.

Rosemary said...

Very interesting post, I think the E2 visit might be a lot of fun for you both. I don't get the envy issue, it's sounding like someone is trying to book a guilt trip for you. Just say no. lol

I don't even try to understand God's Plan for each of us, I'm just here for the wild ride it has been so far!

Rosemary said...

re: Facebook

I know what you mean about its usefulness. I am somewhat cryptic there just because I have friended work people (sort of had to) and so I can't always vent as I like. I also feel like sometimes old acquaintances get on there, comment, and then it's like okay, we've caught up, see you in another decade!

newenglandsnarrowroad said...

You wrote about so much in this one post... have fun with your niece...I dislike facebook, but it has helped me stay in touch with people I wouldn't have otherwise.
I agree - your cat Jazz is the opposite of my black one!

Land of shimp said...

I think we've discussed before why Facebook just isn't for me, Kathryn, so you can take that as read. But I do think it helps many people keep in touch with people they might otherwise lose from their lives. It has a purpose for many.

Heh, you know, I think I'll eventually do a blog post about this but yesterday I spent the entire day taking my son hither and yon...from the courthouse to three separate DMVs, Kathryn. He hadn't paid a ticket he had gotten in December and yesterday, that plan of action blew up in his face spectacularly...mom to the rescue.

Much of being a mom sucks, to put it as plainly as I know how. I'd have to be a fool to run around talking about how grateful I was for yesterday, and I'm no fool. But I also didn't kvetch my head off, because it goes with the territory, people learn most from their mistakes. At nineteen I also had my stumbling blocks, who didn't. So with as much good grace as I could muster -- which was a lot -- I bailed my son out of a problem of his own making, knowing he'd be much less likely to ever ignore a ticket again.

But it sucked. Oh yes, like a Hoover Dyson, Electrolux hybrid, my day both sucked and blew yesterday.

Six kids, six times more likely to have days like that...the kind of things that go with the territory. I get fully why your sister envies you a week of nice visiting. Of not being in charge of "Clean up your room, before things take root in that carpet." "Because I said so." "Yes, I do have to check your internet history. Yes, yes, I'm not "fair" ever. I always wanted to a tyrant, now I am." "Well, you can have privacy when your older, and pay for it, like the rest of us do."

That's life with a fourteen-year-old.

I know that not having children is a tremendous source of pain, Kathryn...but I get exactly what your sister is saying. You get to spend a week with a person who wants to see you, doesn't spend much of their time resenting you, hang out, go to a movie...and she'll think you're the best, funnest, most special Aunt in the world.

Of course she envies you, you actually get to have the fun. Sure, being called Mom is a privilege, a gift, and an honor. It's also a tremendous amount of work, for very little gratitude for much of your children's lives.

What's funny is that you and your sister are experiencing the exact same emotional impulse: It's easy to envy something when you don't know the intricacies of what the thing you are envying entails.

Your sister has no idea what it is like to have longed for a child, to think that your life would be so wonderful...if only. That's your very real pain.

And being a mom? Has lots of very real pain involved in it too.

It's easy to envy a week that looks like a vacation with your niece. It's easy to envy being a mom. Both come with their own very real heartbreaks, and irritations.

I hope you have a marvelous time with your niece, and I'm sure she'll be glad to say you. Just saying, I left large chunks of my sanity sprinkled throughout the DMVs of Colorado yesterday. I really get what your sister meant :-)

Kathryn said...

Actually, Rosemary, i can usually figure out your remarks at FB, or read about them on your blog occasionally. Duane's sister, however, tends to make remarks that i never know the back story, the final chapter, or even what the heck she was talking about!

I am excited about Eva coming. :) If the guilt trip of which you mention is regarding Larkin, i don't think so. I think she was just wistfully remarking that she wishes she could have a fun time with her daughter.

I'm not even sure i believe in "God's plan," tho i know it rather non-PC & non-Christian to say so.

NE's narrow road - yes, i wrote about a lot. My mind was rather scattered. I'm sure we'll have a blast with Eva. Even more so because she's rather quiet & enjoys alone time so that i won't feel i have to "entertain her" all the time.

While i don't really care much for FB, i am thankful for some of the opportunities we have been afforded.

Alane, i'm sorry you had such a hard time with your son yesterday. I overlooked a ticket once & had hell to pay for it with no one to bail me out, so i've an inkling of what you are speaking.

I agree that Larkin & i are envious of the lives the other holds. She has plenty in her life i'm NOT envious of, & i know there is a lot in my life (mostly past) that i wouldn't want anyone else to have to live thru.

I don't think Larkin is really even envious of me, tho that was the word she used. I see it more as wistful. She has all these kids who are wonderful kids & she deeply desires to spend time with them & get to know them better. But her role as mama & her limited time means that she doesn't get much of that. So yes, she's mama with wonderful kids, but she is wistfully feeling she is missing a lot as she doesn't have the time to enjoy it.

I do understand what you are saying, & i "get" that parenthood is work & not all rosy, cookie-baking fun stuff. And i will never know the depths of how difficult it really is.

Still, i have to say, it seems to me that a life with children is richer than a life without.

That said, i'm on the look-out for a child to "mentor" so that i have some such connection. I've found that finding such a relationship is not very easy. But i do hope it will come some day.