“There’s a feeling here inside
That I cannot hide
And I know I’ve tried
But it’s turning me around
I’m not sure that I’m aware
If I’m up or down
Or here or there
I need both feet on the ground
Maybe I’m just going crazy..”
Highlighted in blue is the lead role. That role is Lizzie’s. I am not kidding (see the post about Leaping to know what a huge damn deal this is). I am going to kiss that music teacher’s feet . . . or maybe just a gift card to Starbucks (would be less gross).
I do not know what it must be like for Lizzie, surrounded by so many brothers all of the time. Needy, all attention consuming brothers. I remember my grandma Jean telling me, “I was a better mother to the boys. They were just easier. I was not as good with the girls.”
I kind of think that raising daughters is a little like throwing newborns into swimming pools. You just figure they are going to be okay. Lizzie is one of the most determined folks I know . . . competitive and headstrong and fiercely independent (I will say the nice thing about boy babies is that they are way better at cuddling; Quinn practically sits on my face when he sleeps). Lizzie? I could keep her in a cardboard box in the backyard and she’d figure out how to build a spaceship out of it and fly the hell away from here.
One of my favorite things in the entire world, is listening to Lizzie practice her ACT vocabulary words before school, mostly because Sean is in the room, and Lizzie tries and tries to get him to practice with her, but instead it goes something like this:
“Okay, Dad. First word. Furlough.”
“That is a mattress store.”
“Um, no. Second word. Salvo.”
“Dad! Next word. Exuberant.”
“That means a fancy color.”
“No it does not. Dad. Try harder. Palliative.”
“That means to be a ghost.”
“Lizzie! These are all just big, bullshit words that mean nothing.”
She manages to get one hundred percent on her vocabulary tests each week, and I am pretty sure it is just to prove that these are not just words. They matter. And I think this girl has a lot to prove.
I just listen to their spelling bee banter and proceed with making the daily peanut butter and banana sandwiches for lunch. Sean says I make the same evil face every day when I make lunches. It is probably true. I do hate making lunches and believe that it would solve all teen pregnancy rates if each teen were just forced to make school lunches every day for a month. No one would breed after that.
It is still raining here. Flooded the highways so that no one can drive into Illinois. Frankly, I’d be okay if it just kept raining and we all floated away on an ark.
It is not really like me to be this moody and depressed. I am not fond of the feeling. It makes me feel like my stomach is made of bread dough. Frumpy bread dough.
I know everyone is all excited talking about that Dove commercial that is going around where women blindly describe themselves to a sketch artist. I would totally freak that guy out because I would just describe myself as frumpy yeast. All I can hope for at this point is that those women from the show, “What Not To Wear,” don’t pounce on me at work and force me to stand in front of a three way mirror. Sheesh. Maybe the rain is getting to me.
Furlough. Salvo. Exuberant. Palliative. Unfathomable.
Where is the girl in me that always wanted one hundred percent? Where is the girl in me that wanted to be center stage and singing? I kind of think she is buried. Buried in motherhood and bills and cleaning toilets (which I never do, but should). Buried in so many frozen pizzas that if I am forced to smell another one, thrown in the oven after a long night of taxi-ing to and from practices, I might choke. Buried in guilt and pressure and the never ending need for health insurance. Buried in sore feet, fatness.
I am trying, really trying, to dig her out. To let that person exhale and run around the block and jump in puddles.
I cannot read one more parenting article about how to make potty training charts. I cannot sign another permission slip right now. I cannot wake up at six AM and wonder how soon bedtime will come.
“It would sure be nice to be back home
Where there’s love and affection
And just maybe I can convince time to slow up
Giving me enough time in my life to grow up
Time be my friend, let me start again
Suddenly my world has changed it’s face
But I still know where I’m going
I have had my mind spun around in space
And yet I’ve watched it growing
If you’re list’ning God
Please don’t make it hard to know
If we should believe in the things that we see
Tell us, should we run away
Should we try and stay
Or would it be better just to let things be?”
Maybe all of life really does get summed up in musicals. Maybe I just need to get season tickets to the Milwaukee Rep and everything will fix itself. At least there is some comfort in knowing that Dorothy did get back home, in both The Wiz and The Wizard of Oz, and that I scored a 27 on my ACT.
For now, I am just going to drink red wine and listen to Diana Ross sing to me on my iPod and imagine that finding home is possible. Ease on down, ease on down, ease on down the road.