Sunday, May 24, 2009

Atta Girl!

See this horse? Beauty, isn't she? Well, one just like her pitched my daughter off during a horse riding lesson.

While I saw in an instant how our lives could have changed and had a vision of Christopher Reeve in my head, I sat quietly in the background and allowed her trainer to handle the situation. Erin was shaken up and bumped up, but her trainer handled it very well. Had her shake it off, talked her through it and immediately got her back on the horse. If I were Erin, I'm not sure wild horses could have gotten me back on that animal. But Erin is a tough cookie. I know that underneath the tantrums and mood swings and lashing out, there lives a tough broad. Enormously tougher than her mother or her brother.

I was so proud of her and I told her. She was still shaking a bit, but she walked her horse back to the barn and started to take off the saddle and bridle. As her next lesson was canceled because of the holiday, her teacher told me that if Erin wanted, we could work in a lesson during the week, or just wait the 2 weeks. I figured I would just ask her later. But while untacking her horse, Erin asked when her next lesson was. A part of me feared that she would want to stop riding because of the fall. But when I told her she could wait 2 weeks or we could see if her teacher could squeeze in a lesson another day next week, Erin wanted to ride and not miss a week.

Again, I was so proud of her.

And I was so proud of me. You have no idea how much I wanted to run out into that arena and pick Erin up. But I knew I couldn't. I wouldn't--unless the trainer asked me to come over.

I told Erin later that the worst part is over. She doesn't have to be afraid of falling off the horse ever again. She did it and she was fine...and I told her one of the most important thing about riding a horse is knowing how to fall off.

And my daughter did it like a champ.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Carry On My Wayward Son

Today I began the journey of pushing my son out of the nest. You may recall the horror of the last oh, 2 - 2-1/2 years. Depression, anxiety, anorexia, doctors, hospitalization, vicious mood swings, pot, speeding tickets, possession of cannabis. Sean never really withdrew from me or his friends completely---and maybe that's what kept him alive. There were times I couldn't get a hold of him and I was sure he was dead. A suicide. My dear sweet son. There are times still when I think that if anything happened to my kids, I wouldn't survive it.

But here we are today. Today Sean is on his way to Phoenix to work with 2 friends on a CD of original music, to jam, to play music all night, to enjoy, to work on setting up some band concerts over the summer and have fun. He will be staying with a friend and his mom. I haven't met the mom, but I trust Sean's instincts. Besides...he will be 19 in 5 days. He's got a credit card and a cell phone. He can get home if he needs to.

The plan is for him to stay out there about 2 weeks. As I sit here this morning just after waving goodbye to my young man, I realize that we have never been apart that long in our lives. Sure he was supposed to spend a couple of weeks over the summer with his dad---but THAT never happened. A long weekend yes....2 weeks? No. There was a 10 day trip to Florida with his friends last year, but this seems different somehow.

You may be saying to yourself....Dear God, how dysfunctional! But I think being so close became a double edged sword. Maybe it contributed to his hard time breaking away. But maybe it kept him alive too---all the times I sat up all night talking to him and going to work exhausted were well worth it.

Last Saturday, Sean and I went to lunch and to see the movie "Star Trek". Just him and me. It was a birthday present and a going away present. I think when my son comes back home, it will just be a pit stop on his way forward. The thought makes me cry and laugh at the same time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You're Skewed

I've had a whammy (that is an official "informal" substitute for epiphany). I have a closet full of beautiful clothes that I do not wear. Wool suits, lovely Laura Ashley dresses, sweaters of all colors and Pendelton skirts. I mean, really, really nice stuff. Coats. My mother's camel haired coat and an black lambswool that would keep you warm to -120 degrees.

May I mention shoes? I'm by no means a shoe-aholic, but I have nice higher heeled shoes in all colors. And purses? Please. Let's not go there.

So why are they in my closet?

I'll tell you.

But FIRST, why. Why now? Why look at this stuff today, as opposed to say, 2 weeks ago, and think about it completely differently?

I don't know. I do know that I had to empty a closet full of those clothes when a pipe broke in the back wall. And as I looked at them, they were beautiful reminders of my parents, of my youth, of shopping with my dad, of who I wanted to be, of who I was at 25 and a size 8.

When I looked up Laura Ashley and Pendelton online, I realized the clothes I held onto were not only 4 sizes too small, but were considered "nostalgic".

Yea. No kidding.

Those clothes remind me of my dad telling me to buy quality, not quantity; they reminded me of looking young and sharp, they reminded me of being a size 8, they reminded me of a time I wasn't worried about mortgages or kids or long term care insurance. They reminded me of a time I could drink all night and jump out of bed looking like I'd been to the spa.

Yessirree, they reminded me of a time that was long, long ago. But I held onto them not wanting to admit I aged, not wanting to admit that size 8 is something I'll never see again, not wanting to admit that I wasn't going to be a high powered executive who needed snappy suits to match her snappy comebacks.

There sure was alot of weight in that closet.

So I've decided to give some away and sell some and maybe keep an item or two (instead of 30 or 40). I haven't quite given up on seeing a size 8 again--hope springs eternal. However, should my scale ever go counterclockwise again, I have promised myself and my dad a brand new suit.