Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Anti-Couch

I took dance classes as a little girl. I’m not sure how old I was but my parents were still together so I must have been 6 or 7. I have a picture of me in a hot pink sequined dance outfit complete with hat and tap shoes. My hair is all pinned up and my mom even let me wear make-up. I don’t remember much of my dancing days, except an incident when a girl made fun of how small my lips are. My memory tells me that her’s were, in fact, abnormally large. But I do remember getting my photo taken in that costume. I don’t even remember the recital, but I remember that costume. I remember feeling pretty.

My parents divorced soon after the photo was taken. Or at least I presume so, as there are no other pictures of me clad in neon and I know I quit after the divorce. I don’t know why I quit. Maybe my mom couldn’t afford the lessons anymore, or maybe I just lost interest. But I do know I haven’t done anything since. Except for a brief soccer career in 7th grade, but that’s where I learned I don’t like to run.

My brother took up karate at one point, and was actually quite good at it, but I never tried anything else. He went to tournaments and advanced in belts, but I resigned myself to the couch. Its like I just stopped trying.

I really love seeing people my age excel in something. Michelle Oudin captured our hearts at the U.S. Open this year because she was young and passionate, a combination we rarely see. The youngest person to compete in the Olympics was silver medal winner Dimitrios Loundros, age 10. I love it when people achieve a dream at such a young age because it gives them that much more room to achieve a lifetime of dreams.

While it would have been nice to discover something I could be passionate about at age four, when Tiger swung his first golf club, I don’t think 23 is too old. I’m not going to die tomorrow, so I have decided to do something in the meantime. After all, life doesn’t happen on a couch. (Thank you Donald.) I’ve decided to find out what I like. My life stalled after my parents divorced, for whatever reason. Its no one’s fault, its just what happened. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Here is a brief list of things I want to accomplish while I am living in Georgia. I’ll keep you posted.

• Get my certification as a doula.
• Take a figure drawing class.
• Write a blog entry at least once a week.
• Try volunteering with the homeless, at least once,
• Join a small group at a church.
• Watch one UGA game in a pub in Athens.
• Kiss a boy. (Why the hell not?)
• Buy an SLR camera.
• Learn to paint still lifes.

That’s all I’ve been able to come up with so far but I think it’s a good start.

Friday, 11 September 2009

God the Mother

I don’t know when it happened, but it happened. I fell in love. I thought I could prevent it, I thought I could hold it at arms length and never let it in. But it snaked its way up my arms and through my skin and into my heart. I’m talking, of course, about the babies. I didn’t think it would be possible to love kids that aren’t my own this way. I guess the best way to explain it is I want to do right by them. When they hurt, I want to fix it. And as tired as I am, I never doubt that they are worth it.

It first happened when I noticed how small they are. They are tiny and everything about them is tiny. Their hands don’t fit around my thumb. Their noses are so little. I can wrap both their feet in one hand when their toes get cold. And somehow it was their smallness that endeared them to me. It was the knowledge that, as they are lying there in my arms, I am entirely responsible for their life that broke me down. They are Future in my arms. They can’t do anything without me. They need me to feed them. They need me to change their diapers. They can’t even put themselves to sleep; they need me for that also.

Of course its God who made me this way. He turns my recognition of a child’s fragility into a deep and tender love. Seeing that a baby is small is not a feeling, it’s just an observation. And I could have one of two reactions to that observation. I could take their smallness as an opportunity for dominance and cruelty. A crime that sadly happens everyday. But that’s not the way we’re built because that’s not the way God’s built. God looks at us and sees how small we are and just loves us. He doesn’t rule over us, rather, He holds us in the palm of his hand. He sees us and He loves us and He gives Himself for us. And in a way, that’s what I want to do for them. Maybe God the Father sometimes has a mother’s instinct.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


I went to a new church today, my first in over three years. I hated it. The church was nice and the service was fine but I missed home so much I sat in the parking lot and cried for a full five minutes after service. I miss feeling comfortable somewhere. I miss being confident in my space. I miss being able to drive to the beach. I miss recognizing people. I miss people knowing me.

Saturday, 5 September 2009


I went to Athens today. It's a college town about 30 minutes east of where I live. UGA plays Oklahoma today and the campus is deserted. The streets mimic a centuries old western ghost town. The lights turn from green to red and back again without audience and I'm waiting for the tumbleweed to cross my path. But occasionally, when the wide receiver fumbles a pass, you hear a collective cry of despair pour out of ever open bar on College St. Two girls dressed in bulldog red pass me on the streets, their heads bent together over a portable tv following the game as they walk. I wander onto campus and pass fountains and trees and unoccupied benches. I stop at the President's Club garden, a semi-circle of wrought iron benches that share space with red and white perennials. I sat and finished Beider's revision of The Romance of Tristan & Iseult and in the final pages the church bells announced the bulldog's victory. On the walk back to my trusty Buick an inebriated man compliments my fringe boots. An afternoon well spent, I suppose.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Ready Now

Its Friday and the end of my first official week as a nanny of triplets in the illustrious state of Georgia. Soon I'll post pictures of the cutest babies you've ever seen and let you know all the interesting adventures I encounter, but my first words will be something a little more introspective and typically "Lydia." Enjoy!

The sun takes twice as long to set here. It hangs for an hour in the thick lazy air and turns everything it touches orange. The wind that comes into my car and flips my hair around smells sweet, like earth after it rains. The horizon gently dips and rises as the road plods forward and the constant drone of summer beetles is all the music I need.

Everything is different here but also strangely familiar. If you want groceries you go to Kroger. If you want a slushy you go to QT. If you want chicken strips you go to Zaxby’s. If you want iced tea you get sweet tea and you can’t buy a bottle of seltzer water. Highway 78 runs from Athens to Atlanta and everyone goes the speed limit.

Though the nostalgia of adventure hasn’t worn off yet part of me already miss home. I miss the smell of the shore, at least at high tide. I miss a Starbucks five miles in either direction. I miss anything five miles in either direction. I miss Duchess burgers. And I miss the people. I miss feeling like home. I’m nervous about a new church and new people and a new life really. I’ve never started over. I'm not sure I know how...