Monday, November 16, 2009

keeping up

I'm not sure what is happening, but Dora seems to have become a little girl overnight. All of a sudden she seems so grown up - wearing pigtails and carrying a purse, speaking in full sentences and making gestures like an adult. It's all I can do to keep up with her. Actually, I can't keep up with her - or my life in general - at all right now. I'm a full-time working wife and mother, trying to maintain some semblance of creativity and trying to pursue my own dreams, so it's no wonder I feel busy. Sometimes all this busy-ness just ends up making me feel woefully inadequate, like the jack of all trades who can't do anything very well.

If my life weren't so busy, perhaps I could be keeping up with this blog a little bit better. I would like to be posting something every other day, or so, and I have enough things to talk about and enough pictures taken to do just that. I just can't find the time, which is incredibly frustrating and sad to me. I would have enjoyed writing about last Wednesday, for example, when a couple of my good friends and I took advantage of the rare holiday when our offices are closed but our day care centers are open. We went out to lunch and then went to a matinee showing of Coco Before Chanel, featuring my absolute favorite actress Audrey Tautou - the lovely ingenue from Amelie. It was a beautiful movie, perfect for a rainy day, and just a great reminder of how important female friendship is.

I would have liked to write an entire blog entry about Thursday as well. On Thursday I had the opportunity to go see the David Dhoop band premiere at the Town Pump in Black Mountain. It's always fun to see local music, but when the local music includes your husband and several close friends, it's even better. And it's even better when, standing in the crowd with your friends, you get to watch people you love do something they love, realize something they have hoped for in a new way. It's not very often that one is brought to tears while completely sober, in a bar - but it does happen now and then, listening to your friend's husband lay it all out on the line with honesty and love, all set to some incredible music.

I would have enjoyed writing about Saturday night, when we went to dinner with our baby turned little girl. We went to Wasabi, our favorite sushi restaurant in Asheville, the first place we ever took Dora, when she was just two weeks old. The staff there has always been so incredibly sweet to us - fawning over Dora as a sleeping newborn, smiling kindly as she became a messy toddler, and obliging her now as an inquisitive and "helpful" little girl. Our waitress fashioned special "child's" chopsticks bound together with a rubber band, brought Dora extra treats, and let her help clean off the table. It appears that we may have rounded a bend in our ability to go out to dinner with Dora. The last two times at Wasabi, she has been a perfect angel - munching on edamame and rice, trying a sushi roll, and drinking water from a tiny sake cup. We both found ourselves pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was having dinner out with Dora, a feeling I think we both feared we would never have.

I know I'm fortunate to have a job, and to be so blessed with the prosperity that we enjoy that also means we are incredibly busy. I know that every day that I go to work is one step towards paying off our debts, sending our girl to college, hopefully doing some good for the world here and there. I know I should be happy to be using my education and my brain and my skills as I do, but right now I just wish I could slow things down. I wish I could stay home for a few days and catch up - even on the mundane things like laundry and cleaning. I wish I could be with Dora just a little more, so that when she suddenly starts carrying a purse and wearing pigtails I don't find myself wondering how she became a little girl instead of a baby. I think its a blessing for all of us that Brian gets to watch Dora every morning, but I'm jealous. I want to be the one who gets to pick out her clothes and pack her lunch. I want to be the one who takes her to Kindermusik every week.

I was talking to two different friends today who both mentioned how hard it is to live in the moment. As a planner, I get paid to not live in the moment. Most of the things I work on won't happen for at least 5 years. Some of what I do involves looking ahead 25 or 30 years into the future. I find it really hard to live in the moment, and I think being as busy as we are makes it even harder. I might wish I was the one who gets to be home with Dora more, but wishing it does not make it so. I might never get to be that person. So instead I have to find a way to make the time we do have together really great, even if sometimes its just cuddling while we watch a Muppets episode together, even if it means eating dinner at 9 pm after Dora goes to bed. I know its not always going to be great, but if I can just strive for that, and have an evening or a Saturday now and then that feels really spectacular, then maybe I can feel a bit less like a woefully inadequate wife and mother. Maybe I can feel a bit less shocked at how quickly Dora is growing, and feel a bit less cheated when it seems to fly by. Maybe I can do a little bit better at keeping up.


  1. Yes, aren't we often on the same wave length! Very different styles, same hymn. Hang in there. You're doing a great job! (And, happy belated birthday!!!)

    PS- Dora looks fantabulous in pig tails.

  2. I love the pigtail too...she does look so different! Things change so very much year to year....You may find yourself at home just before a blessing of course! You just never know. I think you're doing a great job too! You're one of those people I want to be like...don't you know!

  3. I totally know what you mean! Iris is experimenting with vocabulary. She was using the word "actually" in context a few months ago and I nearly fell over!
    I don't get to do mornings with the girls either. A mother that cares is never inadequate. I've had to learn that the hard way. Definitely focus on what you CAN do, not what you may miss. From what I see and read- sounds like you're doing a fantastic job!