3.06.2010

Confession Saturday


I confess:

--In my unending quest to be a Good Enough Mother, I have once again turned to the adhesive cure-all commonly known as duct tape. AJ's backpack went through a much needed cycle in the washer, and came out worse for the wear with a hole near the top. I confess, I briefly considered trying to actually mend the backpack, but the duct tape was right there beckoning to me, You know I'll work. You know it will be easier. Come on, just do it. Done. AJ is not happy.

--When I took the Bean to the dentist on Friday, I brought along Denise Levertov's Selected Poems to read. I confess, instead, I read the Oprah magazine. Oprah magazine has always seemed such a contradiction to me. It's full of articles on self-esteem and "you're beautiful just the way you are," squeezed in amongst hundreds of slick advertisements for beauty products, clothing, and other must-haves. And how about Dr. Phil who has become a multi-millionaire by dispensing common sense advice? I'd have been better off with the Levertov, and such beautiful lines as these from her poem "A Map of the Western Part of the County of Essex in England," which describes her childhood in Essex and how our environs and our beginnings, literal and otherwise, can form us:

"...now I know how it was with you, an old
       map
made long before I was born shows ancient
rights of way where I walked when I was ten burning with
      desire
for the world's great splendors, a child who traced voyages
indelibly all over the atlas, who now in a far country
remembers the first river, the first
field, bricks and lumber dumped in it ready for building,
that new smell, and remembers
the walls of the garden, the first light."

I confess, when I first read the words who now in a far country/remembers the first river, my heart skipped a beat.

--I have always thought it ironic that in order to tell one's children "Don't talk while your mouth is full," one must inevitably talk while one's mouth is full.

--This week my Lenten focus on peace took a backseat to mere coping-with-the-moment. Husband was on the west coast all week beginning on Sunday, I had an inner ear infection that, conveniently, began on Monday morning (good: the only symptom was dizziness; not so good: I couldn't drive all week), and the children were downright naughty. Naughty as in "disobedient; badly behaved" (OED). Naughty is a word we don't use much anymore, but sometimes the shoe fits. Also, I confess: I yelled. I confess, I feel small and unskilled when just one week of single parenting practically does me in, and I have so much admiration for the single parents of this world who do it every day, every week, all the time, for years.

--I know I'll be a spiritual grown-up when I can remain peaceful amidst the chaos. Maybe next Lent.

--I confess I could not have made it through the week half so well without all the friends who helped me with driving, errands, and other mom-type jobs. Thank you for being my Village.

Reader, have a peaceful week, and when things go wrong don't forget the duct tape!

(Oops - I almost forgot: Read the whole poem here).

2 comments:

ljchicago said...

Looks like an L.L. Bean backpack. Lifetime guarantee!

CitricSugar said...

The only tragedy with duct tape is that they don't make it for the intangibles. :-)

The irony of those magazines is staggering, isn't it? The same with television shows that fix you on the outside so that you feel better inside. Like Billy Joel's song "I love you jut the way you are" which was written for his first wife, whom he left for a supermodel. As long as we continue to recognize these nuggets of insanity, I'm confident we'll be alright. (PS - Dr. Phil makes me crazy. I avoid him at all costs.)