I need to remind myself that I don't always have to post pictures in order to write on my blog. I tend to put it off because I can only do pics on Mark's computer and I hate going in his home office because the kids all follow me in there and tend to destroy things or try to play with the shredder or topple his stacks of who-knows-what's-actually-important papers all over the floor.
We haven't really been up to much of anything. Our family has had runny noses and coughing 'til you gag for what feels like weeks. Oh wait, it HAS been weeks. I finally gave up on Leslie ever getting better and started just sending her to school with a dose of Dayquil and pocketfuls of cough drops and gum. I hope her teacher doesn't hate me, but Leslie assures me that all of the kids in class are coughing. And maybe she is getting a teeny bit better every day, but I'm the only one who wakes up when she coughs in the night, so it seems like she's been sick forever. It was driving me crazy how she could cough and cough and cough without getting herself a drink of water or popping a new cough drop, but I've noticed lately when I creep into her room at night to help and to see why she isn't trying to calm herself, she has learned how to cough continuously while sound asleep. She always was a heavy sleeper. So I've taken to waking her up and handing her a water bottle. Too bad you aren't allowed to give them Nyquil until they're 12. Lucky for Mark and I, however, that we are legal age. We finally are feeling better and have stopped downing that stuff. For a few nights there, we were feeling like a couple of gentiles at happy hour.
So it was a real treat for Mother's Day for me to be able to go to church. The entire time. Mark stayed home with the remaining sickies so I could enjoy my day. I also consumed large amounts of chocolate and got to read and yak on the phone while someone else did the dishes, and got lots of hugs and cuddles. Perfect.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the people that came before us. I've been reading/studying a massive textbook called The Source about professional genealogy because I felt like I wanted to pick up some new researching skills and go beyond what I've ever done before. It's been extremely interesting in an embarrassingly nerdy way. Poor Mark. He must think I'm such an egghead when I start spouting off at the dinner table (in the lulls in conversation between the whining for more ketchup or refusals to eat vegetables) about the dusty subjects I'm picking up. Did he realize when we married that someday I'd be sprawled on the carpet of my baby's bedroom, alternately playing shape-blocks and peekaboo to the right and furiously taking notes to the left on a 50-page section called "Land and Tax Records" with such subtitles as "Public-Domain States", "Division of Common Lands", and "Drawing Plat Maps". FOR FUN!!!
My life staggers me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Anyway, beyond my crazy reading habits, I've been thinking about these forbears of mine. They were so very, well, Yankee. I bet they were tough as nails and worked their fingers to the bone. I'm reading another book right now (yes, in addition to my textbook) about Emma Hale Smith and how rough her life was, and I just got to wondering: what would these women would think of me? Of my friends? Of my culture, my people? Would they be ashamed that I only clean the toy room once a week (if it's lucky), and that I don't sweep the floor every morning even when it needs it? Would they be horrified that it's okay to be naked in the movies, especially if you're a blue alien on Pandora? (I'm guessing yes on that one. If I was, they would be too.) Would they run screaming from the room at the language and the ease in which so many people take the Lord's name, to the point that they can even abbreviate it on their text messaging? I wear pants! I wear makeup and frown at my wrinkles in the mirror too much! I read novels and eat chocolate, and at the same time! I know they would be glad at the modern conveniences, the medicine, the level of education that we've risen to, that we can shower every day, but those are all things that we have. What about the things that we are?
Seriously, I'm struggling to feel good about we as a people and a world, have changed. One thing I do know, though, is that I am as much of a mother as they were. I don't think they could possibly love their husbands or children more than I love mine. I think that never changes. I also need to remind myself that these women belong to me, and I belong to them. I know/knew both of my Grandmothers very well. They knew a different time than I live in now, and they still love me like crazy, even with our differences, which are actually very few. We really are great friends. I'm probably more like these strong, earlier women than I realize, and I need to forgive myself the differences and use these women as inspirations and examples.