Santa: And what would you like for Christmas this year?
Santa: And what would you like for Christmas this year?
Over at Forbes.com Meghan Casserly ran a series about the “Startup Girlfriend.” I was going to comment, and then decided that my comment was long enough that it was deserving of its own post. Because you see, I was once a Startup Girlfriend, and am now a Startup Wife. Which is nothing like a Stepford Wife, I promise. And as I’m about to wrap up my 14th year as a Startup Wife (Gah! How did THAT happen?!?), I wanted to let the women behind me know that there is hope for their relationship, if you are committed and able to forgo some of the more established traditions (like a honeymoon where you actually spend time with your new spouse). And so, I present my musings around the Startup Marriage (Love you M, I really do! You may not want to read this, however…).
Chichimama: “8-12 inches of snow!!!”
M: “I have no idea what you are talking about. I see no snow on my weather app.”
Chichimama: “Look! Right here!”
M: (Looking at forecast) “That is NOT at ALL what my Weather Channel says, see…oh. Hmm.”
M: “Ah, well, apparently my location is still set to Chicago. No snow there!”
Chichimama: “Well, there you go then.”
I just realized that it is mid-October and I have yet to start on my holiday knitting. Do you think this year’s batch of teachers would notice if they did not get a hand knit goodie? I mean, just because there are now several teachers wandering around in lovely knitted goods that magically appeared during the holiday season, and just because A volunteered me to teach knitting for Colonial Day, perhaps the other teachers won’t know who knit them. And really, how would they know, right?
Or should I go for the bulky knits this year? Maybe a felted something, potholders?
I am headed off to assess the stash and start in on the family knitting while I contemplate my ability to complete a sweater, and American Girl winter wardrobe, four stockings (prior to the holidays), a scarf, a hat, and now, three+ additional knits…
run a 5K/bake my way through The Bread Baker’s Apprentice/knit through my stash/find a signature cocktail/see the penguins, in Antarctica/dance at my children’s weddings/watch all the Harry Potter movies back to back/play in a golf tournament/spend a year living at the beach/organize our digital photographs/own a pair of really fabulous shoes/write a book/visit San Francisco/hike the Appalachian Trail/run a winery/plant a beautiful garden/sail through Glacier Bay/learn how to blow dry my hair like my stylist does/work at the Museum of Natural History/learn how to accept a compliment/make a difference in someone’s life/bake a pumpkin cheesecake/see the Grand Canyon/learn how to polish my own nails/organize my iPhone apps logically/create the ultimate Christmas playlist/get certified to teach Pilates/do a back bend and a split/renovate my kitchen/have a laundry room off the kitchen/
To be continued…
Today, someone in my house who is under the age of 10 needed to throw something out. At the exact moment that this person needed to discard his or her trash, I was taking out a full bag of garbage and had yet to replace the bag in the can. And, for the first time EVAH, someone under the age of ten reached under the sink, pulled out a new trash bag, and put it in the trash can BEFORE disposing of their trash. I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly happy I was to return to the kitchen and discover that my 40 billion lectures on proper trash disposal etiquette had finally paid off.
There may be hope for them yet.
While I am basically done with my job, less than a week after handing over the reins to my successor, my father was diagnosed with cancer and my mother drove off the road a mile from home and wrapped her car around a tree. She is thankfully fine, and I think my father will be as well. But it has been a rather stressful 48 hours, and my grand plans of resuming my blog writing have been put on hold temporarily.
So, in lieu of a real post, I give the following “overheard” conversation with C.
C (after waking up the morning after a sitter had been here for 6 hours the night before): “Did you get a good report from Favorite Sitter?”
Chichimama: “Um, not particularly. She said you were difficult.”
Chichimama: “Were you?”
C: “Well, that kind of depends on your definition of the word difficult I suppose.”
Chichimama: “Ah. Well, my definition in this instance is ‘Did Favorite Sitter have to yell at you?’”
C: “Well, if you are using THAT definition, then yes.”
Chichimama: “And which definition should I use if the answer were to be no?”
C: “I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”
I went back through my archives this evening looking for a specific post, and got totally sucked into both the memory of what my life used to be like, and the startling revelation that once upon a time, I used to write. Most of what I wrote, quite honestly, was navel-gazing drivel. But, in amongst those posts were a few of which I was proud.
For the last two years I have been immersed in my “old” world, the world of (non-family related) budget management, board management, personnel management, and crisis management. When I took on the job, I (rather stupidly, upon reflection) did not set up any consistent system for childcare or for “housecare.” As a result, I tried to be a full-time, stay-at-home parent and a full-time, totally engaged leader/manager. This system did not work very well for anyone. On the upside, my kids have learned to make their own breakfast (put some pancakes in the microwave, heat for 1 minute, try to sneak maple syrup while mom catches up on overnight email), my husband has learned to do his own laundry (buy new undergarments before a business trip, make liberal use of the hotel dry cleaning service), and my dog has learned, well, he hasn’t really learned anything because he is a dog, and not a particularly smart one at that. I stopped exercising, put on a significant number of pounds, and became a huge fan of internet shopping for EVERYTHING, including coffee and toilet paper.
I was lucky in that, for the most part, I could schedule my own hours and do the work that needed to get done via email at 6 am or midnight. I was able to schedule about 50% of the meetings I needed to have while the kids were at school, and another 25% were done via conference call once they were in bed (or, at least, watching their evening allotment of television). But, there were still at least a day or two a week that I was unable to be home for bedtime, or that the kids were forced to miss an after school activity to spend some quality time together doing homework underneath a conference table.
In less than six weeks, I will be (for the most part) done with this particular job. And, I have nothing lined up to take its place. I have contemplated taking a different job, and I have contemplated spending a year doing nothing beyond knitting and watching daytime TV. I have even contemplated becoming a gym rat and making a concerted, several hour a day commitment to losing weight.
Instead, I think I am going to spend a year writing. And, contemplating my navel. Do you think I should get it pierced?
My baby is nine today. Of course, as A points out, he is not really my baby, SHE is, and as C then retorted, SHE is almost 7 and not a baby either. Sniff. My baby is nine.
I went to find a picture of him to post, and realized that he wore the exact same shirt he is wearing today on his 8th birthday. And on Christmas this year. It didn’t surprise me at all, as he is a creature of habit and familiarity. But I am going to have to make him change so I can keep the years straight when I am old and confused.
Nine. I find that rather astounding.