Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Papasan Chair

This morning I woke up fine. I showered and did all my boring morning crap. Including starting laundry. And for some reason, as the my to do list got lighter, the rest of me felt heavier. Heavier and sadder and sadder. Inexplicably sad.

Some mornings are just like that though. They come with a heaviness of immobility. A desire to just sit there. Inside the sadness. Let it engulf you and let the tears come.

But then I got up and saw a picture of a friend's baby in our papasan chair. And I thought of all the places that papasan has lived. I got it free from a boss I had when I moved into my first apartment. Something like 10 years ago. When we first got it, we had no cushion for it. So as we unpacked, it collected newspaper and tissues and other crap and that's what we sat on. Until a friend gave us a real cushion. Which years later got pretty much destroyed by a cat I had. And then it had no cushion again. Until we got one with a gift certificate when Rob and I got married.

As a minor, I used to pass out drunk and sleeping with my nearly 18 year old kitty in that chair. He's since died and 2 successive kitties have claimed it, no matter what we were using for a cushion at the time. I've taken pictures of at least 3 kiddos sleeping curled up with our grown up kitty in that chair. And I've watched the kids take the chair apart and put the basket on the floor and spin each other in it. Or make a line-up game of summer saulting onto the floor from the chair.

Its a papasan chair so it occasionally has been known to drop a person or two on the floor. Usually when they least expected it. Its like the ejection seat roundy rolly poley thing that drops you off when you were just being lulled into comfort. I've watched several grown folks fall get their yolks dropped on the floor. Funny every time. I mean peals-of-laughter-from-everyone kinda funny. Wholesome, full-belly laugh funny. Cheeks hurting, tears in the corners of your eyes funny. Funny that helps have your friends and family and friends' babies and families' babies all write themselves into the crumpled-up newspaper of a crappy chair funny.

I'm thankful for the things in my house that make me think of all the folks I've loved that have trouped through my house for meals and drinks and games and work and plans and tears and hopes and dreams and successes and failures. I'm thankful for my 12 year old, very used papasan chair. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Do you have captain-obvious realizations? You know, like when I realized I couldn't get out of being pregnant. Only this one was worse. I was reading a book and in it the main character talks about real parents. She says real parents are never as good of parents as they try to be.

And it hit me that I will not be as good at being a mom as I want to be. I'll try, but I'll end up screwing it up. I mean, I'll raise a competent man who can function in society. I'm not saying I'll screw up to the tune of a 45 year old living in my basement with a giant gut and no prospects who plays video games all day and means I never have company over again. I'm just saying, I have an image in my head of never yelling, always listening, reading constantly, teaching him to play the piano, and ski, and participating in his school, sending him to Swedish camp, and and and... I'll screw it up. A little.

Its like every other project I've started and failed at in my life.

Writing a book. Ok, I wrote one. I have sent exactly 3 letters to literary agents and been turned down for all 3. I stopped doing anything about it. Stopped editing, stopped writing. Fail.

Skiing. I did one competition and realized I'm not competitive with other people by nature. Except in playing cards. But I stopped pushing myself to get better after that and never did another comp.

Teaching. I never stayed anywhere long enough to refine lessons well enough to become really great. I'd get frustrated with the bullshit and leave. Except the one place I truly loved where I would have stayed, but we moved.

I never failed big at these things. I just didn't do them perfectly. And parenting's going to be like that.

I'm proud of the book I wrote. Its about a kid who lives in a treatment center for abused children and I think I did a pretty good job of capturing that experience. I think that's an interesting topic that we don't often read about. I would let just about anyone read my book and they'd probably give it a B-. But I know in my heart of hearts I have the capability of A work. I'm just too lazy.

Same with skiing and teaching. I passed but I failed, you know?

So I'm hoping for my best A work with Magnus. I'm hoping I spend quality time with him and check myself and my temper before responding to him. I'm hoping I take advice from the people around me about him, most importantly his father. But I'm sure I'll yell at him or handle a girlfriend I don't like poorly or get drunk one night and not feel like putting my all into parenting the next day. But still, I'm hoping for an A.

Monday, November 8, 2010

When life is touching...

I was having this beautiful moment with Magnus last night. I was rocking him to sleep, humming in his ear, and periodically kissing the fuzzy hairs that rub my chin when he relaxes against my chest. It was one of those moments that made me go "this is why people do this. its all worth it." The stitches, the new stitches, the stretch marks, the crying, the never sleeping all night again...all worth it.

Then I realized what I was humming was this:

Even when life is beautifully touching, its funny too.

P.S. I love being a mommy and humming and talking gibberish and making faces and singing off key and dancing it out in the living room. Its rad. Hope you're rad today too.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Let it Ride

My husband sings this song to the baby all the time with the modified lyric of "and would you cry, if I stole your pacifier?" You don't have to listen to the whole song, this is just to get you the right tune.

In other news, here's Magnus at Halloween. Ridiculous, how fun it is to dress up a baby for that holiday.

Sweet Pea 2010

This is what he wore underneath the pea pod

Baby Skeletor

It glowed in the dark, a fact I noticed in the middle of the night when I got up to feed him and saw that he'd gotten a glowing arm out of his swaddle.