MaMoMeMo
May is motherhood memoir month

Parenting

Of Rats & Bees (no mice,no men)

The bees seem to have settled into the hive. I can’t say for sure unless I open the hive and I’m not going to do that, so for now I cross the stream at the bottom of our backyard and gaze over at the log hive, which has a healthy amount of bees enjoying the sunshine and buzzing around it. I believe I can see them going in and out of the opening, a crack in the log. Meanwhile, Arielle, 13, is still vying for rats. To that end, she wrote a paper on rat responsibilities as she imagines them, given her research. Her first paper was a how-to written in the second person-all you need to know to care for a pet rat. She presented it to us last night. Part of our sequester entertainment and education is presenting ideas to each other. I found it informative, but lacking…

Ode to an Other Mother

Sons #2 & 3 just left to return home to Portland and Seattle. #3 was wearing a Timbers T-shirt. My hub commented that it was a pre-Alaska Airlines influenced logo (he works for AA now). Chase gave me this shirt the last time we were together, he said. And he told the story again that we love to hear, but are sad for too, for Chase is no longer with us. A few years ago Chase called Scott and said he’d be in Portland where Scott was living, interning with OPB, and could they catch a Timbers game together? I don’t have the money for that, said Scott, the starving student/intern. My treat, said Chase. And I’ve got nothing to wear. I’ve got that too. And Chase brought him the T-shirt. It was on loan. Never returned. Worn with a deep sense of nostalgia now. But it is the mother…

Growing Pains

Mothering is difficult. And then it gets better. Here’s poetic evidence for Mother’s Day: Yesterday I wrote about Daughter #2, the poet. At the Central Oregon Writer’s Guild this last year she read her award winning poem, and then she read this: Growing Pains Thank you for teaching me to fold things I am still not good at it when it comes to cloth but when it comes to feelings I can sort by color, texture, pattern, And put them to bed in the right drawers Sorted and named and placed All because of you And for dusting the blinds in my room I know you hated it (and so did I) but now I am so good at letting in the light growing towards its warmth even when I’m not sure how clean I am myself I am lighter because of you And for letting me ruin your horsehair…

Of Winning with Daughters

You might remember that daughter #2 won the Central Oregon Writers Guild poetry award last year at 17( http://www.lorilyngreenstone.com/marking-milestones/). She won it again at 18, and I won an award for non-fiction by wrapping a story around one of her poems. It started as a letter to her (see http://www.motivation.com/posts/48/the-power-of-the-journa There is a lot of power in reciting someone’s own words back to them sometimes, in the right spirit. Here is the story:                             Such Unkind Things The way your dark mascara dripped and blurred under your eyes when you peeked out from behind your pink blankie made me think of a Pierrot doll, and I asked if you were okay. Your whispered response turned into a sobbing storm, so I encircled you with outstretched arms, and I thought, how much are you willing to put up with? I see…

Whose Pants Are Those?

My friend thinks I wear the ‘pants’ in my family, but she says it’s okay since the man-of-the-family is not angry. But I see her trying to get at a bigger question, or underlying issue: Who’s in charge? So much comes down to that, the underpants. So I’m thinking about these pants and how they fit– what kind of ‘pants’ are they anyway? Are they Spanx, an undergarment so elastic they suck you svelte, but then slap you silly when peeled off? Or are they more like sweats– loose and accommodating, good for a Saturday stroll or Sunday lounging? Or are they work pants– chino style, somewhat serious, yet unassuming, in traditional khaki-tan so they don’t show spills? Personally, my style is more of a pedal pusher– you can dress them up or down, great in the garden or the classroom, very versatile. I like mine with some stretch to accommodate shape-shifting–…

Self-Regulating Children

Isn’t that the dream? Children who just do what they need to do when it needs doing, and we just get to enjoy them? We’re on child #6 and I have to say, this is as good as it gets. She turned 11 on May 1, and she’s fairly self-regulating, other than the fact that she hasn’t mastered picking up after herself. She makes up for this with a willing cheerfulness most of the time. And by #6, let’s just say we’ve gotten less picky. In fact, according to some of the children who came before, a whole lot less picky. I guess that’s what happens when you get the chance to learn from your mistakes over a 25 year period (#1 & #6 are separated by a quarter century, but same father…). We’ve run the gamut of parenting styles during the last 35 years, but one thing has emerged…

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