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Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
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2:33 p.m. - 2013-11-02
Tiny Chairs and Wide Horizons

Besides the evidence in the mirror you want to know how I know I need to lose some weight? My chair sinks. That's right, I'm so fat my personal gravity defeats hydraulics. There's probably some adjustment screw or 'heavy-duty' setting under my chair I could fiddle with, but having gotten my chair jammed into the narrow crevice between the built-in desk and the wall at my back it'd be no easy feat to get it out again to make adjustments (if there are any). Instead I deal with my sinking chair as I do most unpleasant things- I ignore the larger uglier implications and find the humor in the situation. To wit: The chair takes its time. It doesn't drop me like broken elevator, no, my chair is sneaky and subtle. Like clock hands there's no discernible movement but it does move. My monitor has a neck which allows me to tilt the screen and move it up and down. Which I do quite often. Mostly for movie watching (glare issues). And as I just realized this morning, I pull the screen lower as my chair sinks. An unconscious adjustment like tipping my head up to use the bifocal part of my glasses. Over the course of a day or two the chair gets lower and lower and instead of moving the chair up I pull the monitor down. It's only when I notice that the bottom of my screen is resting on the desk and I'm sitting with my knees up around my ears with my tushie scant inches from the floor that I understand my chair has done it again. Duh. I stand, reach beneath the chair, pull the lever and UP pops the chair seat like a leather-covered buoy. I sit back down and now the monitor is too low. I pull it back up too. And we begin again. The reason I finally put this all together was when I sat down this morning I had a peculiarly powerful sense memory. Something I hadn't felt in many years but recognized right away...kindergarten Parent-Teacher conference syndrome.

The little chairs, you see.

Perhaps this is how teachers of the youngest pupils extract their revenge on parents. Or maybe it's a subliminal message "Yeah that's right, buddy, while you're at your job sitting in a grown-up chair in your stupid cubicle I'm here all day with your stinky kid in a room full of miniature furniture. Fun, eh?" But regardless of the subtext the cramped awkward humiliation of having to fold my very large self onto one of those very little chairs bit me hard and deep. Frankly it was obnoxious to have to discuss my child's academic performance and pretend to be a competent parent and actual adult while sitting in Baby Bear's chair. At PTO meetings my sole issue and one I brought up every time during open discussion was why the district couldn't afford a couple of normal sized chairs for parent-teacher conferences in the elementary school. It always got a laugh and many nods of agreement, but nothing ever changed. My kids are almost 13 years apart so this means when Alex was a senior Wolf was in kindergarten. I was already in for 12 years of stumping for big chairs during PTO meetings and yet there I was in Wolf's kindergarten room in a tiny, tiny chair all crumpled like some badly folded origami and totally feeling like a fool.

This morning it struck again. Fortunately all I had to do was pull a lever and everything was fine. But for someone with size issues anyhow, I've spent my life feeling like Gulliver in Lilliput, that brief step back in Time was unsettling.

Though while I'm on the subject of awkward parenting moments- Wolf and I had a go 'round yesterday and while I did my thing as I should have it made me aware of just how tired I am of being Mom. Not 'a mom'. Having manufactured two brand new human beings from inside my bod is a miracle I never get tired of. I made people! Hey, I'm wowed when I grow tomatoes or finish crocheting an afghan, so that somehow I conjured two actual living sentient beings who've grown up to do cool shit like drive cars and fry eggs is simply mind-blowing.

But the day-to-day minding, tending, feeding, and molding of this second person I made...yeah, I'm mostly over that.

Please don't misunderstand. I love Wolf. He's terrific. Being his mother has pulled from me far more patience, wisdom, kindness, and determination than I ever imagined I possessed. And I work hard to do right by him every single minute of the day, I owe him that. All I'm saying is a lot of the zing has gone out of the mom thing. I've been on Mom duty since April 14, 1984 when the stick turned blue and I found out I was pregnant.

April 1984 - November 2013 is a long time. A really long time. And I'm tired.

So yesterday after my second son and I had our argument, hostile stand-off and tears, followed by the inevitable character building discussion I came in here and thought of the future. Namely June 25, 2015. On that day Wolf will be a high school graduate and turn 18. He'll be a legal adult. I know I don't get to spike the ball and do an end-zone dance and walk away from my kid, but the most active part of the momming gig will be over. Wolf will likely live with us for another decade and that's okay. But we're in the crunch time now. A couple more years to get in the life lessons and etiquette training and do goofy stuff like carnivals and petting zoos, then it's over. I turn the reins over to him and what he makes of his life is his own choice.

And what will I do then? That's what I thought about yesterday. What does LA the not-Mom want to do with herself? What did I want? This new person who's been turned loose from the moral and legal obligation to provide (hot dinners, secure roof, signed permission slips, diorama materials, moral guidance, band-aids, new underpants, advice on everything, driving lessons, etc, etc) and just be her own self for the first time in 32 years?

I thought on it and decided the first thing I wanted to do was go to Burning Man.

Yes, really.

I cannot imagine a place of more personal freedom. While Black Rock City is a shared community and the whole idea is for 68,000 diverse individuals to come together and make a celebratory sacred place in the harsh desert for a week, Burning Man is also about fun. Big fun. A release from the everyday and permission to do anything. At Burning Man it's okay to hug strangers, sing out loud, set stuff on fire, ride a bicycle shaped like a fish, yell, dance, walk around naked, share a pot of rice with anyone who comes by with a spoon, go a week without bathing, run out on the playa and lie on the ground and make a dust angel, stay up for three days and not care what time it is. At Burning Man any and every thing is possible.

And I want to go.

Beyond that I have no idea. Not a clue what else happens when I'm a mom but no longer The Mom.

But I'm kind of excited to find out.

The future beckons, ~LA

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