Category Archives: Time for Me

Seven months later

Last spring–just seven months ago–I had made a list. Not your traditional to-do list, with its pay the electrical bill, buy cream of tartar, replace the light in the dining room. This list was a big one, full of huge unknowns as we prepared to make a cross-country move that summer. I didn’t know the answers and I didn’t know how we’d find them. The anxiety consumed me.

And yet at the same time, as I packed away our sweaters in anticipation of milder temperatures, I realized that I also needed to pack away my worries. For whether I fretted or not, all those pressing questions and fears for the future would be resolved by the time the weather turned cold again. In just seven short months, I would know the answers.

That was late March.

Now it’s November. Continue reading

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Oh, @#%^*

My name is Christina, and I have a problem. I am a compulsive editor.

I constantly edit everything I write. (I’m not a very efficient writer.) I silently edit everything I read. (I’m not a very efficient reader. I also have the bad habit of not finishing books, because there are days when I cannot stand one more “defiantly” used instead of “definitely”–or another misuse of the word “disinterested.” SERIOUSLY, it means unselfish/not having selfish or personal interests, NOT “uninterested”! AUGH! AUGH! AUGH!)

Er, sorry. Maybe I’m not so silent after all.

Anyways. When presented with an editing problem I can’t solve, I go crazy. The problem is that there are many, many editing problems that can’t be solved, exactly, because there are as many answers out there as there are editors.

One thing that’s particularly on my mind? Swearing. Continue reading

Weekly wrap-up, June 15

The wacky and wonderful of our world this week.

1.) The Maiden has been at cheerleading camp all week, which means that there is a lot of spirit echoing around the house. “5-6-7-8! Gooooooooooooooooo Cavs!” And I don’t just mean from her. It’s catchy, darn it!

2.) Today the camp ends with a little performance showcasing the kids’ routine. The Maiden was ecstatic because she was chosen to be one of the “stunt” girls who gets hoisted in the air. Continue reading

When I was three-and-thirty

Last night, the Maiden’s desk was a disaster. Paper, markers, stickers, dried-out gluesticks, a water bottle, a Polly Pocket, Molly’s glasses, crayon wrappers, half-finished stories, a Wendy’s kids’ meal toy, and the Amazing Squishy Brain had obscured the surface so completely that artistic pursuits could now only be accomplished on the floor.

Then I came into my own office and looked at the pile on the desk and the pile on the printer and the pile in the closet and the pile that I shoved to the floor because I didn’t want it staring at me while I tried to work. And I sighed.

Not because I had no right to tell her to keep her desk neater than mine. And not just because I wished I had more floor space to hold the other papers I don’t want to deal with, either. (Although I do, really.)

But because I completely understood where she was coming from.

Which also meant I understood very well where she was headed!

And so, in true writer fashion, instead of cleaning up, I decided to write about it.

When I was three-and-thirty

(with apologies to my beloved A.E. Housman)

When I was merely three years

I heard the voices say

Play dolls or blocks or mud-pies

But put your toys away

Leave not your playthings scattered

Keep space around you free

But I was merely three years old

No use to talk to me.

 

When I was three and ten years

I heard the voices say,

Don’t drop your books and clothing

There in the entry way;

I’d sigh and roll my eyes then

And still leave my things be

For I was three and ten years old

Please do not talk to me.

 

When I was three and twenty

I heard the voices tell

You have your own apartment

’Tis yours to keep it well

I’d push the papers to the side

The better to study

For I was three and twenty

No time to talk with me.

 

And throughout all the decades

I’d hear them say again

The things we do in childhood

May spare us future pain

But learn we not our lessons

Then chaos may ensue

And I am three and thirty

And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

 

I love you just the way you are

My heart is full as I make my way into the Maiden’s bedroom tonight. Over the past few weeks there have been countless articles suggesting that parents aren’t communicating with their kids anymore. What about us? Does she know I love her?

I enter her bedroom, where the evening light casts shadows on the pink walls she so craved. She glances up from her book.

“I love you just the way you are, baby,” I tell her. I look into her big, beautiful eyes and stroke her hair. She gazes back and for a full moment pauses. Maybe I’m getting through to herMaybe this is the moment. I wait for the revelation, the smile, the sweetness of understanding. Continue reading

I hope you dance

Once upon a time, a little girl wanted to be a beautiful ballerina. She twinkled. She twirled. She dreamed of fluffy tutus and wrapped shoes and feet all en pointe.

This story could be about the Maiden, but it isn’t.

Because that little girl lived in the mid-1980s. In a small town where there was no dance studio, in a town where ballerina dreams fluttered only across the starlit pillows of little girls deep in dreamland. Real life was gymnastics, and softball, and writing, and literature, and publishing. And with time the dream faded away, deep into the yellowing pages of memory.

Faded, but not forgotten. Continue reading