Sunday, December 05, 2004

The moon isn't the only one with phases.

I was thinking tonight about a phase my kids went through. Not the one where they screamed whenever I flushed their poop down the toilet (No, mommy, it's MINE!) and not the one where they pretended the rectangle-shaped blocks were people and drew faces on them, and not the one where they napped inside cardboard boxes on the living room floor. Maybe it's because last night I wrote about clothes and mountains of laundry, but tonight I was remembering some really odd outfits my children had a love-thing for, and some of their origins.

My daughter, who today is a gorgeous fashion-plate and a walking definition of good taste, was, when she was a toddler, happiest in her "princess" clothes. Don't get any visions of long-skirted loveliness though; her idea of a princess dress was a short frilly slip and a boy's tan jacket. She removed this outfit only when it became so filthy even SHE noticed. A real princess does not go about the castle with kool-aid on her gown. When she started school, the princess dresses got fancier. They were masterpieces of lace, sequins, ruffles, tulle, rickrack, and whatever kind of sewing accessory I could find at Big Lots in the quarter bins. These were sewn onto a creation usually made from something of mine that I cut up for her.

Because, we were so poor that I used to cut up my clothes so she would not have to go to school naked. I was (am) not that good a seamstress, either. When I look at snapshots of the past, I cringe. But she was a little child and didn't know any better, so she went off to school in little dresses that, to her, were princess-ly delights. Sometimes I would cry as I tried to make something out of nothing for her to wear to school.

We have pictures of her in little dresses made from my old college clothes.

I did manage a few masterpieces, though. Some of the later dresses looked really pretty. Unfortunately, success with one pattern usually meant three or four more dresses in that same pattern. I guess I thought nobody would notice as long as the fabric was different. I was wrong. By that time, even SHE noticed but she was, even as a little child, too sweet-natured to tell me I was embarassing her with my repetitive dresses.

She also went through a phase of sashaying gracefully around the house and yard in her long nightie.

My son was a fan of the sweatsuit. He did not own a pair of Levis until he was in the fifth grade. He spent the summers in shorts made from remnants and old yard sale shirts. He also loved to wear jammies all day. I learned to make buttonholes on his jammies. You should have seen the first few pairs. You'd die laughing.

He, too, was too sweet-natured to complain, even when he got old enough to really notice his clothes.

By that time I was cruising yard sales and their clothes eventually got a little more normal-looking.

When we were finally able to shop in real stores, I hardly knew how. Nobody in either family knows, to this day, how hard we were having it. I don't THINK they know, anyway. I hope they don't know. We tried to bluff our way through those days, pretending we had enough money and enough time and enough patience and enough faith and enough, well, of everything our children needed.

My husband's shoes were falling apart. I don't even remember what kind of shoes I had. I think some kind of canvas monstrosity.

Once the kids were in upper elementary we were doing much better, financially. We were both teaching and things were stabilizing for us.

Around last spring, for the very first time, we marvelled at the fact that at long last, our lives were such that we didn't have constant nightmares about money. We weren't rich by a long shot, but the terrible nightmarish worries were over.

We marvelled too soon.

Due to a combination of bizarre circumstances, we are now back to, well, not quite square one again, but maybe square five, out of a possible ten squares. It's nothing we've done, but it is certainly something that was done to us.

We are struggling with forgiveness issues now; holding grudges helps no one and is a kind of suicide. We know this, but it's hard to think happy thoughts about certain people right now. We are usually able to find a silver lining, but so far we can't see one. When someone you trusted does you wrong, it's hard to shake that off and continue on as usual. It hurts. It hurts a lot.

But we've started looking ahead now, with our limited resources, and we're bound and determined not to let the 'bad people' win. We're going to be all right. It will just take some time.
In the long run, the decisions we made last summer will work out for us, and we will be all right.

I wish that same blog that pops up every time I click on '666' didn't constantly remind me of the past, and of people who like to hurt others just for the hell of it. The same blog. 666. Every. Single. Time. Coincidence? I don't THINK so. . . . .

(666. Hell of it. I swear, I'm hilarious even when I'm depressed. . . .)

Many kazillions of sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by, via Michele. I hope you all come by regularly now. I don't usually get all sad on here; most of the time I'm pretty upbeat. At least I try to be. Tonight is an aberration. Tomorrow I'll be my usual self again.

That phase of crying when I flushed their poop was actually pretty funny. It went away when I started telling them stories about Poopietown, and the inhabitants thereof. Tommy Turd, and Timmy Toilet Paper, and Penny PeePee, and Kenny Kleenex, and all their many adventures down under the front yard in the septic tank universe.

Yeah, we're normal here.

Oh, and my son dresses really well now. My husband looks good, too. Thank you for wondering.

I, on the other hand, will always look like a feedbag with a string around the middle. But even I like to vary the look. I usually leave off the string.

Timmy Toilet Paper was their favorite character.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:06 AM | |


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