The Space Between

“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” -Nancy Levin

This is where I am. The space between. I’m not sure when I got here. I am certain that I did not wake up one morning to find myself in a different place. This leaves me to believe that it was a gradual shift over time.

I have always been aware of different phases of my life. Childhood. Teen years. Young adult…… Married. And then subs appeared- children, new home owner….. and sub subs- young children, school age children, teen children and now adult children (both independent and straddling the fence independent) and grandchildren.

But this space I am in now. I don’t remember ever being in a place like this. I’ve always been in the middle of something or if one thing was ending, three others were in different stages…. until now.

I don’t recognize this space. I’ve been here awhile now. I know that it is not permanent. I also know that I’m not sure what it is. And the “not yet” referred to in the quote above is on the horizon. Just not here yet.

So, until it’s time to move on, I’m going to do my best to “honor the space between” – whatever this is!

-Kat

51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 25: The Rolling Stones- You Can’t Always Get What You Want

As I was reading Hugh’s post for 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past, I was trying to think of a song I listen to every morning but nothing came to mind. The one song that did keep running through my head this morning was the Rolling Stones 1968 hit “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. I have seven year old CJ to thank for this.

I might have mentioned that my father is responsible for nurturing a love of music in my life and that I hope that I was able to pass it on to my children.

“For every situation, there is a suitable line from a song.”

Growing up, if we said something that struck a chord with him, he would begin singing a song that he felt applied to the situation. This resulted in us all finding musical connections between everyday life and songs or maybe just song snippets that we knew. Although I continued the tradition with my children, I quickly realized that there were times when I knew a snippet, but not where it came from. This led me to dig a little deeper so when I was sharing a song, my poor kids were subjected to not only a song applying to whatever hapless comment they made but also an explanation of what the song was.

My oldest child, Michael, has carried this on with his children. It was evident the day CJ started singing “You always can’t get what you want” when his little brother protested when told no. Our first reaction was to look around at each other and ask, “Did he just sing that?” followed by “Did he say you always can’t instead of you can’t always?” Upon further investigation, we learned that his Daddy sings that song to him A LOT but the reversal of always and can’t were most likely CJ’s seven year old take on life. We have since adopted “You always can’t get what you want” as CJ’s tagline.  Oh, to be seven years old and so misunderstood!

51-weeks-51-songs-from-the-past

 

 

Two Time

readingDo you want to know what I’ve been up to for the past five days? Just a little summer reading. According to my calculations, I have read over 90 books* in a five day period.

Yes, I’ve been on two year old duty on and off for a good part of the week, including many sleepovers, which explains my absence here on the blog. But if you think we were just sitting around reading books the entire time, you would be mistaken. Little Beej remains the busiest two year old around.

In addition to reading endless books, he played with cars (big and small), trains (Thomas and others), play food, puzzle letters, xylophone, piano, figures, and as you can see from the photos above- he re-distributed the fluff that Ari removed from her stuffed animal after I gathered it into a handful and he assigned the Teletubbies their positions on the fire engine.

We spent a lot of time in the bathroom and we talked about going potty a lot. We made little to no progress in that area but it really does provide some memorable conversations. He knows all the right answers. He informs me when he has pooped. He is holding it when he’s sitting on the potty chair. He has peed next to the potty chair, on his blanket and socks, on the rug in the bathroom…. Yes, it’s been a bonding experience for us- as if we needed any more of that!

“A toddler believes that if you love a person, you stay with that person 100 percent of the time.”          -Lawrence Balter

Although the last week was unusual, at any given moment, I might find myself spending lots of  time with Beej. I don’t mind. I love this little guy more than anything and I think he feels the same. When his Daddy came to pick him up, I explained that he was going home. “To Daddy’s house,” he clarified to himself. I corrected, “To your house where you live with Daddy.” Beej threw his head back and wailed in pure two year fashion, “Noooooooo. It’s not my’se (the two year old word for “my”) house. It’s Daddy’s house. I want to stay here.”  This story has a happy ending. Beej is two (meaning his mood changes on a dime) and loves his Daddy and was happy to go home with him.

I know this time with Beej is precious and a gift and something I will always treasure. I also know it’s necessary and what’s best for Beej and I’m so grateful that I’m able to be here. Although it cuts into my writing time, it also gives me space, perspective and time to think while I’m enjoying this special little person that my son created (reminding me of a special little person I created so many years ago).

“Sometimes you need to talk to a 2 year old just so you can understand life again.”                       -Patricia Love

I’m working on finding a healthy balance. Writing and my blog is calling to me. I hope to get it right soon!

-Kat

*Here is a list of the books B and I read- Ten Apples Up On Top (3 times), ABC Drive (+5 times), Star Wars A to Z (1 time), A You’re Adorable (4 times), The Golden Egg Book (2 times), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (5+ times), Hooper Humperdink? Not Him! (5+ times), Where the Wild Things Are (3 times), Do Princess Wear Hiking Boots? (5 times), Jake Baked the Cake (2 times), Giggle, Giggle, Quack (5 times), Have You Seen My Potty? (3 times), Even Firefighters Go to the Potty (5+ times), Potty Time (2 times), Too Big For Diapers (2 times), I Can Go Potty (3 times), Your Personal Penguin (5+ times), Time For Bed (3 times), The Going to Bed  Book (3 times), Goodnight Moon (3 times), Click Clack, 1-2-3 (5 times), Pajama Time, The Bunny Rabbit Show, and I know I’m forgetting a few more titles.

 

 

 

Yesterday I Cried

It came in the mail the day before yesterday- an envelope addressed to Kris from the Secretary of State.

It holds Kris’s new license. New picture. Old gender marker.

Almost all of Kris’s ducks are in a row. All documentation is marked female. The only thing left to do is a legal name change- to Kris’s new chosen name. I’m not sure when that will happen. That doesn’t matter right now.

What does matter is that Kris’s gender marker is consistent everywhere.

I kept waiting to feel something. Anything. The last (nearly) six years have been quite a journey. Kris’s license change might not signal the end of the journey but it was still kind of big.

On the surface with the exception of Kris’s name, the last years could have not happened. And yet so much did- years of ups and down, self discovery and exploration, growth and acceptance. In our lives, all of this was HUGE. I can’t begin to count the times I was overcome with emotion through this time- when Kris came out, seeing Kris in a binder, calling Kris by a different name with male pronouns, losing people, watching Kris transform before my eyes, the first piece of mail with Kris’s new name on it, the pain when “Kerri” still showed up on mail, the first time Kris got a testosterone shot, the lower voice and shorter hair, shopping for girl clothes again, seeing Kris in a dress for the first time in years, and then the gradual emergence of Kris as they are today. All of these moments and countless others made me feel something- whether it was pain, heartache, joy, happiness, pride, anger, or determination- it was something.

So then Kris’s license came in the mail and—

nothing.

What was wrong with me? Was I just numb after all that had gone on? Was I too rundown to really let the emotions free? If this didn’t tug at my heart, why didn’t I at least feel happiness or peace? Was it because it didn’t really change anything except lowering our auto insurance a little? Was it because it didn’t give me a daughter and it didn’t take a son away from me? Was it because it did not clarify anything? Did I really feel nothing?

And then yesterday, I cried.

And I don’t know why.

ducks in a row

 

Time Out

My mom sent me to my room. I am over fifty years old and my mom sent me to my room. I’m not in trouble. (At least I’m pretty sure I’m not!)

We are away for the weekend- my husband, youngest son- Andy, my parents and the two little guys. Kris began a summer job this week so we won’t be seeing much of the middle kid. The little guys’ parents are working. I’ve been on two year old duty since Wednesday and I’m tired. I woke up at 6a.m. and realized at 1:00p.m. that I had not sat down a single time. I ate breakfast, taking bites as I passed the counter while getting the little kids ready. I ate lunch standing at the counter, walking back and forth between the counter and table and refrigerator…..

I’m tired.

And when seven year old C.J. asked me if I could sit and read with him, my mom sent me to my room. She’s a mom and I think she saw that if I had read with C.J. it would have been another 7 hours before I might get a chance to just plain sit.

I had noticed throughout the day, as I went from room to room and task to task, that everyone else was sitting down, reading or watching tv or playing. I glanced at my phone in passing but that was about it. I wanted to sit down and relax. I really did. But I have a difficult time doing that when there are things that could be done….and knowing that if I don’t do them right now, when I’m done sitting down, I will still have to do them. I guess that takes the relaxation part away from my potential sitting. Does that make sense?

And since I was sick for a month and spent that time also picking up, dropping off, picking up another and caring for little guys, I have had no time for myself. Being me, I need down time and quiet time and time when I have no human interaction. I know that this is something that I really need to work on- carving out this much needed time for myself. It’s not a luxury- although others might view it as such. It’s necessary for me.

And so I’m sitting here in my space- my quiet space that I’ve been working on for a few years now, trying to make it into a place where I can write, or read, or sit in silence.

I’m grateful to my mom for knowing what I needed, even if I didn’t. And I’m kind of proud of myself for actually listening to my mom. The truth is, my kids don’t always listen to me when I try to gently push them in the right direction and I’m sure I am still the same with my mom. Maybe I’ve grown up just a little bit more, huh?

So, I’m off to kick my shoes off, put my feet up and watch a little tv.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Y or Z

Here we are at the end of the alphabet! The letters for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge are Y and Z. These can be tough letters but when you have a 2 year old around it’s not as difficult as you think!

These blocks are always out when little Beej is here. He’s all about letters right now and incorporates them into everything he does. The zebra is actually an older photo from B’s younger days.

And just to round out the post, here are a few more Y and Z photos!

black-white-banner

Have a great day!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: W or X

Www, what begins with w?

Walk- Wheel- Windy

Www

And then there is the tale of four Woodies….Woodys….Woody’s? In order of appearance in our lives- Michael’s Woody, Andrew’s Woody, CJ’s Woody and Beej’s Woody. Michael’s Woody is an original from when Toy Story was first released. It still bears his name on the bottom of the boot. This guy has been “shelved” in my office, needing repair and not up to being subjected to little boys’ rough housing. Andrew’s Woody is slightly smaller than the others, looks brand new and holds a place of honor out of the little nephews’ reach. Woody #3 is CJ’s. His vest and hat have been missing for awhile and his belt has been repaired many times. It’s nice to know that he’s well played with and much loved. And then little Beej’s Woody is a secondhand edition, equivalent to training wheels. He loves his Woody but he really gives him a beating, too, so he will have to wait for his own new Woody.

bw four woodys
Woody, Woody, Woody, and Woody
bw xylophone
X is for Xylophone

These photos are in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: W or X.

Cee's BW Challenge

Have a great day!

-Kat