Yesterday was a disaster. Well, to be honest, yesterday I was a disaster. I don't do well when sleep deprived. Nor do I do well when I am PMSing. I am also a night owl. When these three conditions coincide, watch out. Throw lots of stress, both physical and emotional and well, call out the men in the plain white coats.
I was up at the crack of dawn to get the girls to their first day of school. They're with their dad this week, so that meant getting to his house in time to do the annual First Day Walk. I stumbled (literally) out of bed and into the shower, arriving just on time at the ex's. I found the girls here in the backyard, jumping their "horses". They paused long enough for me to snap this (clickable, as all the photos in this post are) pic before cantering off to raise the bar on the jump.
Kaelyn started fourth grade. Here she is just before she met her new teacher, Mr. Ivey. She managed a smile - sort of - despite the fact that she was quaking in her shoes. You see, Kaelyn has been in a MultiAge class since she was in Kindergarten. She's never had a teacher other than Mrs. Certa. For more than a week before school she was fretting about the change. I dried her tears and did my best to comfort her. Fortunately Mr. Ivey's class is directly across from Mrs. Certa's. She and Karin can meet at recess and she can visit Mrs. C. often.
Here's Karin, shaking Mrs. Certa's hand, a morning ritual in Room 11. She moved up to the MultiAge class and took Kaelyn's slot. Siblings get priority in the MultiAge program and Karin was relieved to be going into a class where she already knew the teacher. She's a very tender-hearted, shy (until she knows you) child and has always been very attached to me. Her nickname was "Velcro Baby" because for the longest time she could hardly bear to be separated from me at all. Last year she cried most days that I dropped her off at school. I was anticipating more of the same, but although she was hesitant as the time came for me and her dad to go, she followed Mrs. Certa without tears.
I wasn't so lucky. As the ex and I turned to walk back to his house, my lip began to quiver and the familiar sting of tears was in my eyes. They passed quickly. Walking together, the ex told me about his son, my stepson who has hardly spoken to me in the two and a half years since his dad and I split up. He started college yesterday. I remembered vividly his first day of second grade, the first year that I lived with them. Now he's studying and practicing to become a fireman. I so miss that kid. My kid. And I wish I knew a way to be included in his life again, but he's so angry at me. Another pain that I bear daily.
By the time I got home after work I felt like I had been riding a roller coaster all day. I was exhausted and just barely keeping it together. Then I discovered evidence of more animal territorial wars and I imploded. Suddenly the overwhelm of loving and losing, weathering change and making adjustments engulfed me. I felt my ironclad exterior melt and I was just a weeping puddle. Poor Kevin must've thought I had gone completely mad. I'm sure he wanted to call the White Coats, but he was extraordinarily patient and present with me. He soothed and reassured me, but as he left for choir rehearsal I was in a panic. I so hate feeling small and needy and out of control. I said a tearful goodbye to him and then slid a movie into the DVD player (Moonlight Mile. If you haven't seen it, do, please) and got my hands busy. That's my solace: movies and handcrafts. Oh and chocolate. Fortunately I had a bar of Scharffenberger milk chocolate in the fridge. By the time Kevin came home I was much calmer. Still a little shaky, still a little needy, but definitely better.
While I watched the movie I worked on Alice's Caryl. The easy rhythm of the pattern was just the thing to temper my anxieties. It just spills over the needles; the play of the colors delights me. Yet again I apologize for the inaccuracy of the color produced by my digital camera. The tones range from earthy rust to burnt orange to brick to fuschia to umbered violet. I'm through 3 complete repeats now and looking forward to completing it by the end of the week. Since I've also been wanting to return to some of my cross stitch projects, I spent the remainder of the evening working on Nora Corbett's Sleeping Beauty. This was started before Karin was even born and has suffered ink stains (water soluable, thank goodness), washing and months of neglect. I don't even had a timeframe for finishing her, except that I would like it to be before Karin graduates high school. It felt good to stitch and I think I will be finding more time to do that in the coming weeks. The next few will be something. I'll need all the help I can get.
Today my equilibrium has returned. A good night's sleep was helpful. Kevin's solid warmth and unconditional love anchors me. As Susan Sarandon says in Moonlight Mile (at 1 hour 6 minutes or so), "You find your home and you hold on tight." I've found mine.
Finally, stepping off the roller coaster that is my personal life, here is Loree's completed Caryl, albeit unblocked. I have never much been a fan of garter stitch, so while I like it, the purl bumps bug me. Hence the alteration on Alice's version. I'm anxious to see how hard I can block it. Despite using a larger needle on the bind off, it's not as stretchy as I would like it to be.