May 7, 2015

Getting To Mom

I am leaving for just over 24 hours and have prepared meals for the next two days for the vegetarians and nons, the gluten-free and gluten-can-have-its in this house including the gluten-free chocolate-chip banana bread baking in the oven. My mom is flying here today and we're staying in Portland for the night to see Listen To Your Mother. She just texted me that she was up until midnight last night chopping veggies for my dad to have while she's away. So it's times like this, when I'm stocking up and preparing for my absence, trying to make myself look as un-absent as possible, that I feel the most like my mom. I actually come from a long line of women who make sure you have something to eat.

When I think about how my mom was a mom when I was growing up, I think about how crazy she was - but not as a mom, just as a person. It was who she was. How she fell through the attic while pregnant with my brother and was hanging through the ceiling in the garage. The time she super-glued her toe to the kitchen floor. All her wild friends... from the church youth group. When she fell asleep at the salon and the stylist gave her a buzz cut - and how she went on The Oprah Show to talk about it from the audience.

The things she'd get herself into didn't usually affect me as her kid except well there was that one time she sat me up on the kitchen counter and used pliers to try to pull out one of my loose teeth until my dad put a stop to it. And that time she believed what some people at church told her about my Cabbage Patch dolls having Chinese god names and we had to get rid of them.

She was always a working mom but I don't ever remember her not being there. I do remember how she had the summers off when we were little. We would spend our days at the beach or her friend's pool, or having yard sales. Or my favorite- at the library while she tutored other kids. I remember the first time I read my first Nancy Drew book on one of those days. And I remember when I moved out of the house just after high school, walking up the stairs one last time, she handed me a stack of towels and some money as she fought to hold back tears, it surprised and stung me, and I think it was then I saw her most clearly as my mom, at the very moment I was slipping away.

(I would move back within 6 months or so, no questions asked, at least from what I can recall.)

On the way home from school the other day my own kids began listing the things they think I am great at. Gray decided I was great at Three Things: 1. Being a good mom 2. Knitting  and 3. Wheel of Fortune.

Smart kid to go for #1. But it's true. I am a good mom. I am really good at Wheel of Fortune, too.  I could use a bit (okay a lot) more fun and crazy in my repertoire. I don't think I'm much fun at all. But I'm me, the person they love. I have no idea if my mom felt like a good mom when I was little. It was never on my mind. She was a presence who was there even when she wasn't. She was - and is - a great mom.

 Happy Mother's Day, mom. See you soon!

April 5, 2015

The things we do to feel like home.

Easter 2015
Easter greetings 2015, a time of a strange hair phase for the Precourt kids.

It's an interesting place to be in - far away from family and where you grew up - while living in a house you're selling and not knowing where the next one will be. I stepped outside this morning to look at the sun rising and then turned to see the blue ocean behind me. It's a dull ache, like I'm not allowed to love it enough because we are leaving. And at the same time I feel homesick for home far away.

We don't do the Easter bunny here. It's just something we never did, and I'm not sure why. I grew up with epic baskets on Easter morning and the house smelling like ham with pineapples.

After a week of thinking about all the things I grew up doing: Sunday School, Easter dresses and bonnets, baskets and how my kids don't know any of that... I came to the peaceful decision that they aren't missing out. We can't repeat everything. I had my childhood and they get to have theirs. If some things carry over, it will happen naturally.

So, totally unplanned, yesterday I suddenly found myself driving to the dollar store and the toy shop and the candy place to fill some Easter baskets. It was fun to set them out after the kids were asleep knowing they weren't expecting it at all. And if this means I will have to keep at this every year, well, it's nice to know you can start a tradition half way through a childhood.

And home can be just about anywhere if you let it.

March 15, 2015

And here, the Ides of March

Here's some things to write down: I didn't think it would be like this. This time I'm in, where I am, how I am handling it all. Not saying I am disappointed or not, it's just that I didn't think it would be like this.

Before we moved to Ohio I knew we were ready for a change, long overdue actually. So when we ended up finding out that we had to move again so soon from there I took it hard. Most people would say it was a good thing that I didn't lay down any roots but I saw it as missing out on even having the chance to plant something. I soon found that I would love it here- the ocean, the quiet, the far-awayness, the people. And it's time to leave again. I do think it is time, or eventually it will be. I'm glad to stay as long as we're allowed.

This mom thing... to four kids, to a kid struggling with illness, to teenagers, to making so many decisions for so many things and the constant river rushing in my head wondering if any of these are right. I didn't think it would be like this. The discovery that I'm more of a presence than a person. It's my duty to go unnoticed because they shouldn't have to even think about mom. I just am. And mostly that's a bittersweet relief.


In happier news, Asher and Ivy were together again for the first time since Ohio. Their visit came at the perfect time and I'm so glad we were able to show them this magical place while we're still here. It was very hard to say goodbye and a hard push back into reality after they were gone. We've had nothing but showings and play practice and doctor's visits and LTYM and Jeff gone more than he is here. I think I'm actually doing really well with all of that, and we have a good two weeks coming up where we'll all be together the whole time.


Things to look forward to: Carter & Ivy's play, another Seattle trip, spring break, finding our new house...
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