14 October 2009

x2

I'm in the same position as lo so many bloggers before me: somehow I have gone from posting twice weekly to twice monthly, or so it's starting to feel.

It used to be that life unfolded as a series of blog posts for me. Even as events were happening, I was writing about them in my mind, as a way to get through them if they were uncomfortable or to celebrate them if they were wonderful. Now, more and more, I just experience them, and after they are over, I have a hard time recalling what made them so special or so wretched.

This past weekend, for instance, is a case in point. It was lovely. We had dinner at my mom and stepdad's house with some family friends, and we all ate and drank quite a lot and laughed as Maddie and Riley tried to juggle, and it was one of those evenings where my wine glass always seemed to be full and the kids were at their cutest. We spent the night at my mom and stepdad's, and in the morning, we went to a local nursery and the kids planted bulbs and got balloons and then we were good suburban, whitewashed Americans and we had lunch at McDonald's before heading home for naptime.

During naptime, my father arrived, and we spent the rest of the weekend enjoying his company. He put the kids to bed on Saturday night while I went out for a couple of hours with my best friend, then on Sunday morning we all went to the zoo. Bats eating broccoli! A really gigantic elephant! Sunday afternoon was spent cooking, then eating dinner with friends and family.

See, lovely, but as blog fodder, dull as can be. As I've pointed out before, it's quite boring to lead an unremarkable and happy life.

I was struck this weekend by two things: (1) how great it is to have these kinds of days, which are exactly the kinds of days I'd imagined and for which I moved home; the joy of it all regularly exceeds my expectations, and (2) it's so much easier to enjoy and manage my role as a parent when I have regular help. I had help all weekend this past weekend, and it's no coincidence that the weekend was so great. This is elementary, of course, but sometimes I think that I exaggerate how much logistically simpler life with an extra set of hands can be. But no, I do not exaggerate. It's infinitely simpler. It just is.

Work is busy and stressful. In many ways, I am happy to have a job that can be demanding of me. Work is more enjoyable for me when I'm really engaged in what I'm doing. But it's exhausting to do more than show up and sit in a chair, which is mostly what I did as my old job. I find that, as a result, I'm even more protective of my personal time than I used to be. I need to be, so that I can be on the ball at work.

Maddie and Riley are flourishing. All of a sudden, Maddie is really into coloring. She wants to color and do "projects" all the time. She cuts up tons of paper and then glues the bits together and attaches things with stickers and presents me with "coupons" and "tickets" and various kinds of animals and objects. Riley loves to tinker and fix things. Maddie has become a huge fan of taking showers and will linger under the water for twenty minutes or more, just spinning around, drinking from the "rain," and washing her little plastic turtle, known as Baby Glowy. Riley wants to be a recycle bin for Halloween; Maddie wants to be a panda bear. We read books, books and more and more books. Sometimes they prefer to play alone rather than to have me play with them, which is a welcome relief and a slap in the face. Riley informed me yesterday that I do not pick out good clothes for him, and it's true: his outfits are much more creative than mine. Maddie is obsessed with wearing tights. They like soup of all kinds. I fed them broccoli and cheddar quiche + salad one night this weekend for dinner and squash soup, bread, and salad another night to hearty appetites. That felt good.

That's where we are, that's what we do. We had a fire in our fireplace over the weekend, and Riley said, so earnestly and so joyfully, "Oh, Mama, let's read by the fire!" Somehow, that sweet little sentence was so triumphant to me. It made me feel like I was doing something right.

I feel so full, but words fail.

43 comments:

Crash Course Widow said...

I know I do the same thing too; I write less when things are going well or, for a blog centered around grief, when they're "normal." Partially I think it's a hallmark of life AND grief, as the kids get older and a little bit easier, as the grief is less prominent and more manageable, as we start being able to look farther long-term and less nose-pointed-at-our-shoes in the here and now. I'm glad to see another post from you--I was just about to ping you and see how all is going (I tend to be a worrywart when widow friends disappear, because it's so hard to tell when they're "quiet" for normal, good reasons or for bad, worrisome, grief reasons). And I'm so incredibly glad for you that this move back to Ptown has been all you hoped it would be.

And yes, regular help with the kids helps immensely. Plus, the Terrible Twos/Demonic Threes just stink. I was ecstatic when Anna magically woke up one day at exactly 3 1/2 and something finally just clicked, and she went back to the good, sweet, enjoyable little girl that she'd been up until 2ys4mos.

Enjoy the good moments!! And even if you only write twice a month, I'm always glad to read it! Hugs!

Samantha said...

I've read your blog for a long, long time, and as much as I miss your more frequent posts, it is just so great to see you in a happy place. You deserve it, and if less blogging is due to more contentment and joy, it's definitely a good trade.

Suzi said...

As one of your readers, I must say that this is a post that I would gladly read any day of the week. Hearing about the little things, or the "non-events" makes me happy because I know that your life is humming along-even if just for that weekend. :) Truly lovely post.

suzi from MN (and pinkvanillacupcakes.com)

caramama said...

I don't think your words failed at all. I think they were the perfect way to capture some wonderful moments. Sometimes, it's just nice to hear about the little things that make up day to day life, especially when things are going so well.

And I'm so glad you had such a nicee weekend!

Pixxiee said...

I've read you for years - sometimes I comment, mostly not. And sometimes I read and I have just hurt for you. So...yes, while life is good and you are contented it can be hard to blog about that - but what a good space you are in.

You know that grief recurs, that there is no finish line - so remember that over the years it has helped you to blog your pain and sadness and worries. But don't feel that when you are in a happy mode, that we aren't interested. We are!

Rachel said...

I'm so glad that you are getting the support you need, and that it's making everything a little easier. Love the Halloween ideas, esp. the recycle bin. What is it with the little girls and cutting/ coloring/ stickers? So cute. (Except for the teeny scraps of paper everywhere.)

beyond said...

i am so happy for you that things are going great. i will gladly read any post you put up, happy "dull" ones included.

carosgram said...

I so much more enjoy posts like this one than the ones I read just a couple of years ago on this blog. You deserve to be happy and content and I love reading its realization. Thinking of you and wishing you the best

Karyn said...

Oh, I'm so happy things are all that you'd hope they'd be in Oregon. I'm glad you are near family and friends, and that you have more consistent help. I find, too, that there is so much less to write when things are just GOOD. Enjoy it. You deserve it.

Tiffanie said...

That is so awesome!

tree town gal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lil'Sis said...

It all sounds wonderful to me! I write so little these days too, but I read everyone else and comment, that's got to count for something :)

Lots of love to you and the family!
-Lil'sis

Anonymous said...

Please don't think this is boring or dull. It's good stuff!!
Your readers are happy to hear about you getting to this point in your life and Maddie and Riley are cute story book characters that make us smile.

Haitian-American Family of Three said...

I love that line too! You are doing everything right and its so good to hear how well you all are settling into your new life. I love the costumes any my kid also suddenly got into coloring which is awesome.

mames said...

i think the fact that you are home, supported and no longer floating in that disconnect space that happens when your family is far...it serves to make life about living and less about needing to share it around other places.

i have always been a super sporadic poster in ways due to the sheer amount of people i have to process things through. glad home is just what you thought it would be....home. :)

Diane said...

Snick, are you guys vegetarian?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the beautiful update.

Anonymous said...

Delurking for the first time:
See, that's where you are totally wrong. Your words do not fail. Ever. Your boring day is still lovely when I read it and I'm so happy to imagine the joy that comes from "boring blog fodder."

Snickollet said...

Diane--

We are not vegetarian, although I rarely cook meat at home for reasons of cost and preference.

-snick

June said...

Aw, Ms. Snick: You are awesome. I love ANY post you might put up. I'm thrilled the move 'back home' has been one of great joy. Speaking from a grandparent's view--we love ALL our grandbabies so much--never too much time spent watching them grow. I'm impressed with the costume suggestions; shows real creativity in your special children. Makes me happy knowing YOU are happy & enjoying life--you deserve happiness. M & R spending time w/you reading to them shows they LOVE THEIR MOMMY spending time with them. All the very best wishes to you!

Pop and Ice said...

Be happy. Be thankful for your help. It's great to have family nearby that can help regardless of what the need may be. I'm so happy for you!

Sadia said...

Hurray for happy!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE HAPPY. You can write or not, but I don't expect you to be anything but what you must be.

X

Supa

Keen said...

SO GLAD that things are boring, and happy. I don't think it gets better than that!

Mary Ellen said...

Words may fall short, but your words don't fail. The sense of a life lived with substance and purpose shines through them. Whenever you write, it's always a pleasure to read, and I hope you still find some value in writing. (Because then you will keep showing up on the page.)

amyinbc said...

I am so happy to hear things are going so well for you and the kids. Bring on the 'boring' posts if it means you are all happy and thriving. So good to hear.

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. I actually got a lump in my throat at "let's read by the fire!" Those small moments make life worth living.

Being near your family is obviously so good for you.

Back when I used to keep a diary, I always wrote more when I was unhappy than when I was happy. I used to always write that, if someone read it someday, they should understand that I wasn't really a miserable person, but that I just didn't feel the need to write as much when things were going well.

Jean

Angela said...

So happy to read that you and the children have found a nice rhythm to your lives. And as always you are taking the time to enjoy the happy moments. I began reading your blog a few months before John died, thank you for sharing your life and your stories. Your journey to get to this place has been long and hard, you deserve every happiness and good time that life has to offer. Bravo!

Susan said...

I'm with Samanatha. I enjoy your posts but glad to hear how happy and content you are becoming. The move sounds like it was just what was needed. Your kids sound cuter than ever. I LOVE soup and so do my kids.

Amelie said...

Another reader glad to hear that you're doing well.
Riley is so sweet with the reading and the fire.

Bert Bell said...

What a lovely honest post. What may seem drab and "normal" to some is beauty in words to others. I think you had a wonderful weekend and posted just that...your thoughts and words about a wonderful weekend. May you have many more beautiful posts about lovely weekends and the joys of being a mother of two beautiful children. Hugs

django's mommy said...

I have kept a journal since J died, and it's the same thing for me- I hardly ever write anymore. Maybe now and then, but it just seems to be more about recounting events, rather than processing them and chewing them over and oh, the MULLING that had to be done! :)

So, yes, as I often say when I comment on your blog: me too!

So happy to hear you are happy in Portland. It's nice to have happiness be the norm amidst all the suckiness that is widowhood.

xo Lauren

Christine said...

On Facebook, I would put this as a post I like. :) I know what you mean. You express yourself so wonderfully. Keep telling it like it is, whatever "it" may be.

cindy w said...

I don't think words are failing you at all. This was absolutely delightful to read, because you SO deserve this happiness (and then some).

tousquireste said...

i also thought this post was lovely; whether you're posting often or very infrequently, i'm always happy to see a post from you pop up in my reader!

Amber said...

I'm almost glad I've been missing out on your blog for all this time because your posts are so interesting to me--I would hate to have gotten hooked and then had you cut back the frequency of posts! Now I've got all these great, new-to-me posts to go back and read. Again, it was so nice to meet you last night and I hope to be able to meet Madie & Riley sometime soon. Take good care!!

OTRgirl said...

I LOVE this post. It sounds full, rich, and content.

Aimee said...

Good stuff! Enjoy it. You deserve it.

parodie said...

Sounds like a wonderful life. It makes me feel happy just to read this post. Yay for you!

Widow in the Middle said...

I felt so much joy reading this post! But far more importantly, I felt hopeful. Hopeful that someday I too will experience days filled with such happiness again. Thank you so much for sharing your weekend.

Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

Delicious meals, great outfits, and lots of grandparent time... sounds pretty good to me too. Please post pictures of kids in their Halloween costumes. A recycle bin is the most creative idea I've heard of yet. (And, oh so very Portland...)

Fairlington Blade said...

I am reminded of my favorite column that I read when I lived in England. John Diamond wrote a popular column about the little bits of life--his work might remind you of Dave Barry. Then, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and his column turned to, well, making the most of it living. Some of it was hysterically funny (including getting hammered through his throat tube) and much was touching. He eventually wrote a book called C: Because Cowards Get Cancer Too.

In some sense, your writing is taking his story in reverse. Starting with tragedy and ending with comedy. Point being, the little bits of life are also worth sharing. And are interesting. Just go...

B

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

"I feel so full but words fail."

I totally know what you mean - I've been going through that myself with my blog.