I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
I spend a lot of my time musing about my life BC (before children), but I spend a larger amount of time examining, exploring, reminiscing and kvetching a bit about my life now with 4!!!! kids as opposed to my life, years ago, with just 1 - my oldest, quite a bit older than her sibs - the child who enjoyed all the one on one time with me and hubby - the kid who now tells us she longed for little brothers and sisters for years - then, in the next breath, tells us how much they annoy her ;-). It fascinates me - the difference in these two lives of mine. And ... trust me.... it is a world of difference - often, the "old" life seems further away than just shy of 6 years ago (when Enzo made his entrance into our lives - followed quickly by Milo and Lil).
These musings and memories often hit me out of nowhere. I have dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and I remember Olivia pulling a bowl of hot and sour soup onto my lap - back when my Dad was still alive and he and my Mom, having just moved back from Europe, were adjusting to their new US lives - frequenting this particular restaurant where they got to know the family who owned it - working in the yard of the house they'd just built, etc. Eventually, I moved from Virginia to Ohio to live, and my Dad had a huge swingset / treehouse built in that yard - we continued to get fabulous Chinese food at that restaurant, and we did so much more. Sometimes, it is a flood of memories.
When I write, I try to avoid cliched language and example. Some days, it is unavoidable - like today - it is definitely chilly with a hint of fall in the air and the light is so definitely dappled - leaves rustling - no way around it (I mean, geez.... someone was even burning leaves last night - how wonderful and cliched can you get? Truly the stuff of memories ;-). Anyway, I've been inspired lately by this "bigger picture" moments "movement" in which some valued and wonderful bloggers in my community have been engaging (see button lower on my page :-). I like how moments that can seem harried and terrible at the time - in retrospect, can seem so perfect and pure (remember late night feedings with babies - the ballet recital or Christmas pageant during which the camera broke and your kid didn't sing or smile the whole time? Priceless, right?). So... in that vein - that non-cliched, "here's an unusual / direct way to tell a story or make a point" way, I have posted some bittersweet snippets of my life - dinner alone with my little ones - not a true adult conversation in sight - for days sometimes! A block party that brings lovely memories of dear departed neighbors and kids who were not disinterested teenagers at the time but... instead... helpful, eager grade schoolers. I hope that I haven't lead anyone to believe that I am at all unhappy with any of these situations - these passages - indicators that life does not stay the same and routine is short-lived - childhood fleeting (and there's one of those unavoidable cliches ;-). They bring me huge amounts of joy - I am grateful for all of the contributors and collaborators to my life and my family - I am learning to embrace change, and I adapting my life to it. So... with that, I leave you with - first, a beautiful photo of that teenager in my life - that firstborn who enjoyed a chaos-free existence for a while - and, second, a recent video of the other three crazies (at a park yesterday) who have brought us such adventure and joy.
Today, I have a dinner and mass for my Dad and other members of his family who are no longer with us. Some passages, obviously, are more difficult than others.