Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Sound of Silence

Actually, in my case silence sounds like Mickey Mouse the morning after a bender. I have a nasty cold and have lost my voice. I stubbornly continue to try to talk (squeak) and my family ignores me more than ever. I have resorted to clapping my hands and banging walls to get their attention. All I can say now is "Enjoy this little vacation. My voice won't be gone forever, folks."

Today was my school's carnival and of course I went to help out. Every time I opened my mouth to speak, people jumped back two feet. I needed a sign that said "It's not leprosy people, I just have no voice." The carnival was worth it to simply see Lily at the end: she was a carnival diva with face paint, nails done, tattoo, numerous little toys and candy, a purple balloon, two cakes and a bottle of pop. Next we went to the first birthday party for my friend's little boy. By the time she left there, she had icing and blue lollipop all over her face. If I'd taken a picture of her sleeping face on the drive home, it would have read "Childhood perfection." She has a birthday party to go to tomorrow as well. I wish I were five again.

I am currently in the middle of a silent pissing contest with my family. I am waiting to see who will notice that the trash can is over flowing and decide to change it. Periodically, I will engage in these little battles, but always loose. They have many forms, but only one outcome, I cave. Sometimes, it is the dramatic Scarlette O'Hara war, as in "As God as my witness, I will never pick up another dirty sock again!" Sometimes it is a life lesson. Case in point, the first month Rob and I lived together, he wouldn't fold or put his clothes away. In a fit a rage, I tipped the basket over and left the clothes in a heap in the middle of the room. For two weeks he picked his clothes out from the pile and I learned that he is more stubborn than me. I am more patient, though. Now I leave his clothes in the basket until it overflows and he gets so frustrated, he puts them away (really he's more grown up now and just does it). There's also the going on strike war. I stop doing what I usually do, the house falls apart and we lose something important like a bill or a project. Everyone ends up frustrated and pissed off.

I know that I'll take out the trash tomorrow. Tonight, though, I am just going to sit in silence.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Restlessly Creative

If you walk into Lily's room and look at it through the eyes of an exhausted mother, all you see is mess. If you look closer, you see a cake made from pillows with wash clothes as fondant and beads as trim. She'll explain how she's in a competition and the clock is running so she has to go. You'll see dozens of dolls tucked into wash cloth and towel beds. If you'd been just a few minutes earlier, you'd have heard the tender good night each doll got (good night darling, don't let the bed bugs bite), then you would have tried not to giggle as Lily rubbed her back and declared "It's hard being a mother."

We come from a creative family. Along with this, though, comes a certain level of chaos. My uncle coined it best as "a certain kind of restless creativity." My father was so talented (carpentry, sculpting, music, cooking, painting, bullshitting), but at the same time was a pack rat. With each phase of his life, came a new wardrobe, music, decor.... His mother was known for going from craft class to craft class. She taught me to cook, make crafts, paint, and never throw anything away because someday you might need it. Can you imagine trying to clean out her house after she passed away? I am creative in my own right. I am a story teller (shocking, I know). I am also the family historian (appointed by my dad) and have a crazy collection of momentos, pictures, and trinkets from various family members. I try to clear out, but it either breaks my heart of overwhelms me. Now that I moved our friend in (she has her own "restless creative vibe" herself), I need to make room.

Every Saturday I dutifully clean the house (this is another post in itself). By Saturday night, it looks like it exploded on itself. The are socks everywhere (why can't my family put socks in the hamper?), books stacked with gum wrappers as book marks, drying paintings, dolls, and doll accessories, scraps of paper with half composed sing lyrics, cups, dogs, blankets, unfinished puzzles, crayons, drum sticks ......

Just for one day, I would like a house where the rooms stay the same after I leave them. I want a model organized home. So many of my friends have said my house looks like a home, it looks like real people live her and it looks like they have a lot of fun. i hope that true. I'd prefer "creative is as creative does" as opposed to "disorganized is as disorganized does not."