Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Oh, the Places We Will Go....

First confession: I am not a native New Englander. This confession is being made based on my feeling that I will be found out, as I'm pretty sure that kids in Massachusetts didn't play "The Oregon Trail Game" on a Comodor 64 cloistered in the back of their classroom, its green characters flashing and blipping on the screen.

In my fifth grade class, there was a definite pecking order established and it was based primarily on who lived and died on the Oregon Trail. I was nearly at the bottom of the barrel, saved only by the kids who didn't play the game at all (gasp). I lost the game almost every time due to having to throw the majority of my poorly chosen, and even more poorly packed, supplies over the edge, and subsequently dying from starvation or choosing the wrong trail and having nothing to barter (having left said supplies behind miles ago).

The reason that I tell this story is that the beginning of my quest to be the perfect at-home wife and mother began in Oregon, where I convinced my husband that we "needed" a large amount of our belongings to travel the 3000+ miles with us, and not in the moving van. This resulted in the unplanned purchase of the biggest Yakima Sky Box our car could hold; only after many tears and frustration over the realization that we could not fit what turned out to be about a quarter of our apartment into the back of our newly purchased XUV.

So we were off, like the modern-day Clampetts, with our trusty Freestyle packed to the gills and the aforementioned skybox perched on top. Before moving, it had already been decided that it was my turn to be provided for so that I could stay home with our toddler, my having been the breadwinner for the past four years. I wanted, and thought I was getting, a "break."

We got to Massachusetts, and it took only a few days of being home with my wildly energetic child before I was quickly racking my brain for all my employment options...what had I done? I have no idea how to entertain this child full-time! After the panic dissipated (notice I didn't say disappeared), I realized that I have this great kid, and that he makes me laugh a lot, and that I really do feel lucky to be home with him. He seems to learn some great new thing everyday, and I finally get to be the person who talks about it when my husband walks in, instead of hearing about it from the daycare center.

Back to Oregon; While packing, I carefully emptied out my storage closet full of the miscellaneous craft supplies that I had purchased over the last four years and quickly found that I had not only repeatedly bought the same things, but I had enough to keep myself busy for quite awhile.

Let me just interject here that I have a LOT of nervous energy...when I feel uncomfortable, I DO; I make pies, I knit scarves, I sew a new slipcover for my child's glider rocker. Not, mind you, that I had done the majority of these things before, but I was raised in the school of "good enough." I had the mom who just decided that she was going to make an outfit for us, and did...call it mania, call it "efficiency", whatever...we get the job done with that blind confidence that only those who have not yet performed the task can have.

Back to Massachusetts. As the title of this blog suggests, I watched all six seasons of Sex and the City (not for the first time) in my first few weeks here and knitted various projects at the same time...don't worry, you don't have to report me to children's services, he was napping or in bed for the night...this was, of course, before I hooked up with a mom's group that had planned activities.

Like my quest to be ultra-crafty, I strive to be a super hip mom, the kind that my child will look at someday and think "Wow...she's MY mom. How cool is that?" Pipe dream, you say? Well, we'll find out. I have the tools to be successful...my copy of Stitch-n-Bitch, which is already dog-eared and heavily relied upon, my grandmother's old sewing machine and "a head full of brains and shoes full of feet" (Dr. Seuss, for those who didn't get the reference...just so I'm not plagiarizing).

Join me on my journey as I learn all about the things that I can do, those that I can't, and the things I thought I couldn't but end up doing "good enough."

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