So today is the last day of NaBloPoMo, yay for me I made it. 🙂 I can’t believe we’re here at December already, this year is rushing to a close. Certainly the ending of this year is better than the beginning was for me, but I’m looking forward to an even better 2010.
It’s been weird to go through so many changes, but it’s for the better.
I was reading an interesting article in the NY Times about how food stamp use is soaring. Like Amazon.com, half the interest for me is the comment section. Wow, some of them are unbelievable. One of my long standing rants is that there are plenty of conservatives who are so against abortion, but once a baby is born, they couldn’t care less. Then that child is somebody’s else problem. That kind of philosophy is hypocritical. And the fact that a bunch of people could be against food stamps is just crazy to me.
My parents are conservative Christians in that they are against abortion, homosexuality, sex before marriage, and they believe people of other faiths (and some other Christian denominations) are going to hell. Yet they are not Republican either and brought up my brother and I more as liberal than anything else. I remember that when I went to college, I was shocked to see how much people were categorically against welfare at my conservative Christian college. It was mind-boggling that you could be Christian and against helping the poor. Their belief was that people who were poor were lazy and milking the system, and hard-working honest people were supporting a bunch of drunken drug addicts.
Life is rarely that simple, and one hope I have is that if a lot of new people are on food stamps, they will realize how many hard-working honest people need them. I find it so ironic that people like to throw around Jesus as the end-all for the right thing to do–well, his teachings were very simple, but not very easy. For example, as a country we have made a choice that when a person is on trial they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Why is that, when some guilty people may go free? Because a civilized society will err on the side of compassion–some of the guilty may get away with their crime, but less of the innocent will be unnecessarily punished.
And so many people are willing to judge “motives” of poverty–there are jobs, but they must not want them, they’re lazy, how come they’re overweight and need food stamps, they’re going to use money for alcohol/cigarettes/drugs, why do people breed them if they can’t feed them? How sad that in our country, which has so much, people can have so little empathy. A civilized and a moral society that cares about doing the right thing will err on the side of compassion, not judgment.
So tonight we had one of our friends over for dinner. I made sort of a disparate meal, cheddar-potato soup made from leftover mashed potatoes, and curried noodles with tofu. And then Leif and I had made pies, he made pumpkin and I made a ginger-apple pie. The food was good, and we sat and talked at the table for awhile, though Rowan had a hard time of it. She wanted to play with our guest, and instead we were being boring grown-ups and talking.
Rowan got some play time in (she showed him the games she knew on the computer) and after we put her to bed we watched a movie. And then after the movie, we sat around and talked some more. We stayed up way too late, but these are the nights I love. Seeing good friends, eating good food. I have always loved having people over, but it’s had more significance lately.
There’s been a shift within me. I left my 20s awhile ago, but now I really feel it. I’m not a girl anymore. I’m borrowing a book called “Summoning the Fates” by Z. Budapest, which talks about the three fates, Urdh, Verdandi, and Skuld (sort of like Maiden, Mother, and Crone). I feel like this year I have come under the domain of Verdandi.
I have more responsibilities than I ever used to have, yet I feel more capable than I ever used to be. It’s a good change, yet different. I’ve been getting together with more of my friends lately, and it’s odd to see how we’re all getting older. Sadly, “older” has a lot of negative connotations, but that’s not how I mean it. Just that we are transitioning into a different phase of our life. I don’t want to go back in time. But I do want lots of nights talking with friends.
It seems odd how my life is going to change so much in 7 weeks. What’s even more odd is that I already have a kid, I’ve done the baby thing and all that, so it’s not like I don’t have any experience. But just as Leif and I couldn’t imagine Rowan until she got here, I can say the same about this little girl. And I’m sure after she’s here, I won’t be able to imagine a world without her.
Rowan has been more clingy lately, I’m sure she feels the pressure of the upcoming birth. She never really became daddy’s little girl, at least not in the sense that she preferred him to me. I still seem to have some mystique to her. Which if funny, because she knows me so well. There have been times when I have been angry or annoyed with Leif and she will deliberately pick a fight with him, as though it is on my behalf. She hates it when I am annoyed or upset with her, and gets very emotional if she feels we aren’t right.
One thing I am proud of is that I try to never lie to her, to always tell her the truth and explain things as best as I can. It’s harder, because I don’t believe in a black and white world and perhaps she is not ready for more complexity. But one person I always admired was my grandmother, and she was always open to me. She talked about all the bad things that had happened in her life, even when I was young. In so many ways, I feel like I knew her far more as a person than my own parents.
Some people believe that as a parent, you can’t be your child’s friend. That’s not your role. Perhaps. I certainly don’t plan on taking the place of her peer group friends, but I want both my girls to know that I will be straight with them. And when they need me, I’ll be there for them. I hope that by being open and trusting with them, they will have the same attitude towards me.
So Thanksgiving went very well. I did cook a turkey, but for the second year in a row I abstained from eating it. I’m not 100% vegetarian (I still cheat) but I will get there at some point. We had some of Leif’s family and my brother, but it was pretty small and low key. Leif and I both watched our portions this year, so I didn’t overstuff myself.
But having heard horror stories of family tensions, I am pretty grateful that it’s never a big fear or issue in either of our families. I rarely see my parents on Thanksgiving, they prefer to visit at less stressful times, but I did call them. And when Leif’s mom comes over, she always helps to clean up afterward, bonus. Though we were pretty busy today, things went fairly smoothly.
I was reading in the NY Times that sadly, Brian Nelson has passed away. (I’m a NY Times junkie, wouldn’t you know?) He seemed like a very nice man, and had a great sense of humor about a disease that was killing him. But I started wondering about all the other people that get cancer. It’s almost like a mandate now, have a deadly disease but have a good attitude about it, or otherwise people will tune you out. I think I would be very angry, or at least, very depressed. I wonder what happens to all the natural feelings of grief.
Leif had a friend who recently passed away from cancer as well. Like Nelson, his face was incredibly puffy at the end as a side effect. He wore sunglasses all the time, as his eyes were extremely sensitive to light. He was also very positive–he had been give 3 or 6 months to live, but got another 5 years until he finally succumbed. He said he was writing a book–I wonder what became of it.
I just sort of wonder if there’s people out there with a deadly disease who write blogs along the line of “My life effing sucks because I’m going to die.” Or do all those get censored out from a collective consciousness that doesn’t want to deal with it?
So Rowan is going through this phase where she’s obsessed with my laughter. Either she wants to make me laugh, or she gets upset when something (or someone else) makes me laugh. She’s been kind of clingy anyway. Poor dad, by the time I come home she wants me to herself. But something about laughter, it seems like she’s curious about what I find funny and why. Sometimes she’ll deliberately act silly, and if I have the misfortune to not be paying attention, she’ll get very upset. Maybe she has aspirations to be a class clown.