Ah but I can sing this song…

“Do you want to come to dinner with me and some friends? I just thought it would be fun for you… you know, to get out!”

Nice. This is what my friend said to me when she invited me over earlier. I’m surely being oversensitive, but it made me feel… ugh. I accepted the invitation, and then remembered that I was planning on going to my parents and so I ultimately backed out. When I did, I asked if it would be happening again soon, and she said “Oh yeah, we do this every Monday!” This, from a friend that I had plans with a little while ago to go for long walks every Monday evening. She even got upset with me just a little while ago for double booking and not treating it like a solid event. Now, we haven’t the past several Mondays- I thought because of vacations and life and whatever getting in the way… but apparently she’s got this new dinner ritual, and I’m feeling a tad mopey. I don’t feel upset about the fact that we aren’t going to be walking- I’ll walk regardless and with whoever. I was actually feeling looser about it than she was. But it’s the double standard that irks me. Had the roles been reversed… All of it sounds so nice, and is so nice. I’m glad she’s got this dinner thing, I’m glad I’m invited and I’m sure I’ll go next week or sometime soon. I think what really gets to me is this notion that I don’t ever get out. I get out all the time. It might not be to the bar or skydiving or across the country or anything, but I make a point to socialize. It bothers me that this friend seems to assume that I don’t. Seems like every time we get together now she runs through all the craziness that she’s been up to- partying and taking trips and everything (this friend just thrives on busyness). Then she turns to me with a furrowed brow and says “Oh, and what have you been up to?” So I tell her, and she says “Oh yeah? and what else?” And I wrack my brain for anything that might further her interest. This feeling is further compacted by the fact that she tends to say “No offense” to things I hadn’t even thought to take offense to. I always feel like I’m missing something. Fake-very-bad-example: “So we went to the midnight showing of that movie and went out and partied afterwards. No offense.”     Uh.

I don’t know, it’s not really that big of a deal. And it’s true, I don’t get out in the evening like I used to. My life may, in fact, not be that interesting to her. It used to be so much fun to go see Jeff’s band play or whatever, and it’s just not that likely that I’ll be able to find a sitter for 11 at night. But, on the other hand, I enjoy my life fantastic amounts. It’s strange for me to be cast into this “mommy” role, like I had a kid and now it’s nothing but baby and no fun. I admit, it’s a heck of a lot of baby, but it’s also good solid work and lots of self-fulfillment. My arms are not free like they used to be, but they are strong now. I guess it’s just that I see through those statements- I know that she’s got this preconceived notion about all the loss involved with having a baby- I used to think that way too. She’s one of those friends that isn’t totally sure she wants kids, and if she does it’ll be when she’s 35 or something. Even then, she’s talked about how she’s not “built” for staying home with babies. That’s great, I’m glad she knows herself, and I agree that she won’t be able to do all the things she is doing now were she to have a baby. I guess it’s just that my life has changed, but it’s not like I’ve lost anything. It’s just transformed. Just like my belly stretched and I opened and gave way for my baby physically, I think I also did that emotionally and spiritually. Now, I could very well look at my body now and think that I “lost” my pre-pregnancy figure- traded it in for something looser and less desireable. On my worse days, I do look at it that way. But most days I look at it and think about the wonder that it is, to have assisted in the miracle of life, to have witnessed it first hand… My miraculous, beautiful body that has merely changed its shape, but not what it was made of. If anything I see more what it’s made of than I did before. I certainly value it more. And so it goes with the shape of my life as well. I suppose it’s the stark contrast that makes me feel a little self-conscious. But, when I do pull away, I feel sure as ever that I am where I’m supposed to be.

I feel better just writing about it. I think it’s probably really natural to feel this distance develop between any two people in such drastically different places. I suppose all I really need to do in this situation is to do my best not to make things personal that aren’t. I mean, I’m one of the “first” to have a baby, and so I don’t really know what it’s like from the other end. Perhaps she didn’t get the chances that I did to stretch. I also don’t know what it’s like to have every visit involve a baby. I don’t really think about it, because I have her with me all the time. It’s just life. But it does seems to be more and more that the people I spend the most time with either love her like crazy, don’t care about it or are really used to it, or have kids themselves. It’ll be interesting to see what my community looks like in 10 years. I’m looking forward to it. 

August 15th:
My garden fairy. She lives with the basil and the tomatoes this year. I hope to collect lots of strange garden ornaments- not the butterflies on sticks that you see at art fairs everywhere- but you know, maybe a gnome or an oversized toad. I can’t help myself… I’m a kitschaholic.

August 16th:
Bad picture of it, but I made this chandelier for the back patio out of a viney wreath I found somewhere and some used string lights I found at the thrift store. Jeff said that he thought it would be bad, but then I did it and he liked it. I’ll take that as a compliment. Once before we got married we were on vacation up north and I saw a hat in a thrift store that I had to have. He said he thought it was really ugly. I looked at it, and then him, and said “Really?” Then I put it on and he said “No, now it’s cute.” I thought he was just joking with me, but he meant it. It’s as if he couldn’t see the big picture- the reality of it’s cuteness until it was put into action. What can I say, I’m a visionary. Anyway, we had some friends over and everyone seemed to like it. The chandelier, not the hat. πŸ˜‰

August 17th:
Lately I’ve been finding her like this. I’m in for it. So soooon. See that devilish grin she’s shooting my way? Yeah. I’m in for it.

August 18th:
Today’s beautiful harvest. The tomatillos are coming in full swing, so I’ve gotta get going on all the salsa verde. Also, see those beautiful reds and oranges? Oh yeah, tomatoes. The one in the middle is a cherokee purple that I’m extra excited about. Beautiful veggies. My beans are being eaten by those shiny orange beetles. I’ll be so annoyed if we don’t get beans this year. I know we can just get them from farmer’s market, but still. I wish I knew a way to get rid of those guys!

Quote of the day:
“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.” -Robert Louis Stevenson


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Comments (19)

  1. pearlstreetdiva

    I saw those beetles on our farmers bean plants. they were on ours too. i dont think it has helped a great deal but isiah was put them in soapy water. i dont think its really nice. and my farmer i asked what he did and he said nothing….good for him they were only attacking ONE bean plant….he would lose a whole harvest with that attitude. thers gotta be something safe you can do to manage them.

    i think im going berry picking with you two tomorrow. i am almost done with my work and am hoping to head up tonight to stay in some cottage with penelope. i wont miss you this time!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Really? That’s so great! I can’t wait to see you!

  2. unicorntapestry

    That girl is inches away from crawling it looks like.
    What you’re describing socially is the opposite for me–everyone around is married and has babies–I have to remind myself that I really love my life as it is, though I also want to be married and with babies in the future.

    I love you! I miss you!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Wow that’s so interesting! I mean, it makes sense, we all want to relate to those around us and feel a part of the group…

      We love you and miss you as well! I’m gonna have Jeff ship your poster this week. I hope someday we can make a trip out there to you!

  3. purerandomness

    You are totally in for some BIG trouble once that baby starts motoring around. At least she’s taking it easy on you right now… just smiling at you devilishly.

    Soon you’ll turn your back for one minute and the next find her knee-deep in some sort of trouble!

    She’s cute though, she’ll probably get away with anything without getting into too much trouble! ;-p

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I know man! It’s just crazy to see her rise up like that- I don’t know what I’ll do!!! At least I learned my lesson with Tuula and I won’t be leaving the toilet seat up!

  4. csgraham

    Today, I peed standing up.
    No offense though…

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I mean, that’s cool.

      I’m just gonna go do my postnatal pilates video now. No offense or anything.

      We on for tomorrow? What are we doin?

      1. csgraham

        So my plans were as follows;

        We could nab some take-out (chinese or pizza or whatever you please), and come back to my pad and enjoy a movie.
        I went and rented a Grace/Chris specialty movie yesterday. I don’t THINK you have seen it. Lars and the Real Girl.

        Anyhoo, I was thinking around lunchtime would be awesomeness. I’ll call you when I don’t fear waking up the fam.

        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Sounds great. I’ll be ready. (And I haven’t seen it! I don’t think…)

          1. unicorntapestry

            Oooh…was it a good movie? Sam recommended Lars and the Real Girl to me.

          2. Gracie (Post author)

            It was fabulous! I love love loved it! Chris is making me a copy. πŸ™‚ Watch it!

  5. poppleshatesyou

    I think that is as assumption a lot of people without children make though, that once you have kids your life changes so drastically that you never ever get to go anywhere or do anything fun, ever. Which is obviously totally untrue, unless the choices you make are to stay at home and twirl oneself into a tizzy and never leave. (and hey, i do that without having kids!! haha) Because while your life has changed dramatically, having kids does not equal no fun ever. Its just a different kind of fun and letting go of that selfish nature to where your life no longer revolves solely around you. ya know? Like for me, i know i’m not ready to be a mama (i could, but i don’t really want too,) i know i’m not ready to stop being selfish. Anyways, sorry your friend is making you feel like your life is not as interesting as hers though. That is really not fun, have you tried telling her that when she says things like “i got to go out and get wasted last night, no offense” really bothers you? Because you don’t find drinking or partying offensive or because you don’t find it offensive that her life is drastically different then yours because you are a mama and shes not? Sometimes all it takes is just voicing the issue to help people understand that while your lives may be going in different paths, its good to be different adn just because you are doing different things doesn’t make others more offensive. Maybe you guys could do something together, with vera, that shows you still have a common ground based on your friendship?

    I love the outdoor chandelier!!! and that grin on Vera’s face is adorable!!! I can’t wait to meet her!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, you make really good points. I think that it’s interesting in this case because I feel that, as sad as this may be, that we are actually losing our common ground. I like your suggestions though, and I think that I will try to be more candid with her the next time she says something like that. I could say something like “Why would you think that would offend me?” or something. Ah, yes, this is a good idea.
      Also, I think it’s great that you know what you want right now. I have trouble seeing your choice to hold off on kiddos as being a selfish one, though. I would think it’s just your journey and you’re being unselfish (as far as your future kids are concerned) by knowing what you can handle right now. That being said, whenever they do come, you’ll just have to stretch.

      πŸ™‚ It’ll be great to see you again. How long has it been? 5, 6 years?

      1. poppleshatesyou

        That is sad that you feel like you are losing your common ground, maybe opening up the dialog will make a much needed difference? Friends lives can be as different as night and day doesn’t mean they can’t still be friends.

        Oh i don’t think holding off on kids is selfish, i just think i personally am too selfish for kids. There are just too many things i don’t want to give up to be a mama. thats what i meant by being selfish. I’ll have to stretch in many many ways. πŸ™‚

        It’s been at least 5, 6 years!!

  6. pithy_epigrams

    I can see why that would bother you. Just rest assured you are experiencing something fulfilling and profound. Something a lot of women envy. I’m glad to read you see your body as something amazing (most of the time) because it seems like not enough mothers can feel that way. So, go you!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks! I’m working on it- it’s a constant process. I find that not just mamas, but most of the women I know don’t really see how beautiful they are. I hope that someday that changes.

  7. aamour

    gosh i’m glad we are lj friends! i love reading your journal.

    you had so many quality quotes in this one. things i want to remember for my own life. one of them was: My arms are not free like they used to be, but they are strong now.
    i don’t know why.. it just really hit me as being beautiful.

    as you know.. i think your life is spectacular!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You are so sweet! I’m glad we are lj friends too- I’m excited to read all about what you’re up to. So get to posting, lady! Oh also, I’ve been loving looking through your photos- it’s wild to see you and your sisters all grown up and beautiful.


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