Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the bell ringer

the-bell-ringer

well! i think it's time for winter vacation to end. we've had a lot of togetherness, and out of that togetherness has come many a good thing. but truth be told, my funnel for caregiving has plugged and backed up. this mama is ready for a lengthy, peaceful moment to create, to plan, to strategize, to THINK. it is time to slip into my own "creative noise", described by writer-mother jennifer new in her article "the sound of silence" as a process that is "akin to getting lost in order to find one’s way. and it’s really, really hard to do when someone needs you to wipe their behind or make mac and cheese."

now seven years into parenting, i know that break i desire is not quite so clean and easy. once they are back in school and my need for silence is satisfied, i will miss my bell ringers and wonder what all of my kvetching was about, especially because these incessant needs are becoming less and less so as they get older. my oldest no longer needs me to wipe her behind, and she can make her own macaroni and cheese. i am no longer feeding and changing around the clock. my three year old pretends that there's a lot she can't do, but left to her own devices, she'll eventually take care of business as long as she doesn't get sidetracked writing on the wall. knowing that they are learning how to take care of themselves means that i need less time to recharge, and on really good days, i feel their absence more intensely. jennifer's children are young like mine, and she recognizes the same shift of emotion. "already i fear the silence of their departure," she writes, "just as i once feared their noise."

but for now, deliver me please. for just a moment.

36 comments:

aimee said...

if you are a creative mama trying to feed your art and your children at the same time, check out all of jennifer's "mothers of invention" articles here:

www.divinecaroline.com/search?search_term=mothers+of+invention+%252B+jennifer+new

Vicki Holdwick said...

I'm afraid we all suffer that dichotomy - wanting them away, wanting them back.

I love your style of journaling. You are a pleasure to read, both for the content and the eye candy.

xoxo

cindy said...

i wish there were two frequencies for npr and the like. one for those of us who have already donated and one for those who haven't. it's not fair! i love your doodle. are we just not destined to be happy and content? if it's not one thing (leave me alone), it's another (never mind, give me a hug). roseanne roseannadanna was right ;). happy new year, aimee! xo, c

Coreopsis said...

Oh my! I just laughed and laughed over your doodle-piece. I SO know the feeling.

And I totally understand what you're saying about the incessant noise and needing/wanting/mama-ing. Back in those days, I could barely hold it together sometimes. Even now, my seventeen-year-old wants me to fix him breakfast. He'll even say, "I just want you to DO something for me," and with the nineteen year old gone and only home for these two weeks, I'm more than happy to oblige.

But that IS the nature of parenting. I miss my older boy something fierce, but at the same time am glad that he has grown up into a person who can really enjoy going off to college.

Annie Pazoo said...

I know, I KNOW! Perhaps we can send them back to school early? My 11-yr-old says she's bored. Bored?! She also refused (arms crossed, foot down) to change out of her pj's until 4pm today. I'm not mad, I'm just jealous that I didn't get to do the same :-0

BloggingQueen said...

OMG. Can I get re-publication rights to this doodle and put it on billboards from coast to coast?

And Cindy was so on with that "donors' frequency" and "non-donors' frequency" idea. I bet there's an app for that.

~Barb~ said...

Vickie said it best, reading your blog is a pleasure, for the fabulous art you share with us and for the content you share, as well.

As a mother of two grown girls, I can attest to the fact that the feelings you have now are never really outgrown. My girls are 21 & 23, still need Mama for so many things (and will drive me crazy after a while) but when they're gone for a bit, my heart aches to have them back again. I guess it's part of mothering. *sigh*

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Chopsticks and Spaghetti said...

I think it was right about this time of year when Mom would send us out to play in the streets. Now I'm starting to understand why!

Karen Blados said...

Oh, I totally agree. And could the husband please go back to work? It's like having three kids, only he should know how to do some of this stuff.

Thanks for giving a humorous, but realistic voice to the trials of motherhood.

Candied Fabrics said...

Oh God! You've said it in a NUTSHELL! I can also sort of relate with Karen...when my hubby is around I feel like HE feels obligated to work (in the yard, spackling holes, whatever...) if I am "working" - but the "work" I do for my little business is oh so much fun I don't need a break...but I feel a bit guilty because my hubby can't just RELAX (oh...and take care of all kids needs...) so I don't feel guilty making HIM feel guilty!

I don't know if that even made sense...LOL! But I LOVE your newest piece!

Inner Toddler said...

yes. it's as bad as the public radio pledge drive isn't it. boy, you nailed that one. and poof, they're teenagers and want to be alone in their rooms. so hard to live in the present. this doodle is out of control awesome, btw.

pixie said...

and HOW. i am feeling this under and on top of my skin today! doesn't it make you feel like you might crack up? i default to laughing maniacally and losing all ability to respond appropriately. i'm certain the kids think i've gone mad.
i love how you just SAY it. thank you!

kendalee said...

This, what you've described so wonderfully well, is the reason I think raising children and maintaining some long-term sanity is the most incredible achievement! I don't know that I could have done it and I so admire those who do. And those who turn it into beautiful art as well... awesome!

cactus petunia said...

Dear Aimee, I'm here to assure you, they DO leave...eventually. And you'll MISS them.

But then-THEY COME BACK!!!

Currently living with a 29 and 26 year old.

They can also make their own macaroni and cheese.

Erin Butson said...

The days are long. The eyars are short. yes, so hard to live in the present. your doodles always, always make me smile. especially this one.

Renee said...

Aimee I love it.

Jacquie and I use to say the kids were like ticks. Constant.

But how we loved them then and now.

It goes fast darling. Enjoy.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Kim Hambric said...

Perfectly said! Hope you are able to find your peace and quiet. Best for the New Year!

Anairam said...

Oh, I so laughed! Yes, I have an idea of what that feels like. (Although not quite the same.) I so admire your ability to turn out fantastic creative work while still raising kids and caring for a family. I felt drained most of the time!

soulbrush said...

my heart does a little flip when i read this, as it is 20 years since my eldest son left home and was all grown up, to go to university...wow that's like a whole generation of years ago, and still i remember that pain. sigh, who would want to be a mother??
happy and creative 2010 to you dear one.

Terri said...

great analogy, and thanks for the link! definitely "i may or may not be losing it" worthy. ;)

sowandsew said...

I love that. I love it and empathise with every word.

Asja said...

I don't have kids but I have a lot of respect for women who are both Mums and artist!

Joyce said...

Happy New Year my friend! xo

joanne said...

the grass, it seems, really is greener on the other side... ?

what i love about this doodle in particular is how deeply honest it is... that anything we love with all our hearts in our lives also has another side, (which doesn't diminish the love in any way), but is really true nonetheless ...

Christine said...

I find myself with matching thinking. Sometimes I already miss them. While shouting: BEEEE quiet!
:-) Have a festive, delightful New Year. And may all your wishes come true in 2010:)

Bella Sinclair said...

A ding a dong is right! It's enough to turn me into a dingaling. Yet from their constant ringing comes fabulous pieces of art like this that speak to so many.

Karen Blados said...

btw, you wouldn't happen to be putting this in your shop, would you? Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. ;-)

Christy said...

I know exactly how you feel. Once again, you put it perfectly into words. Happy New Year, friend.

Katrina said...

what a dear and honest post. your thoughts are always a pleasure to read. being a "mother of none" i mostly fear the noise, though i can certainly imagine also fearing the silence. happy new year to you sweet friend!

aimee said...

you all knew just what to say! thanks for the group support here. i needed it! and mercifully, more help is in sight. thank you all :))

6512andgrowing said...

Your art/blog is so fun!

Carmen said...

This is so perfect!

lemon said...

yes. thank you!

Nicky Linzey said...

I just love this Aimee. PS You haven't got a Jack Russell in the house too have you!!?!!

daisy janie said...

just read the article you linked to in-full. wow. i have never been able to work with noise of any kind and am secretly jealous of those who can. i think it's like multi-tasking b/c your brain has to segment...and i can't really do that either. my husband is always shocked at how quiet i am when i'm working. i can def relate to that need to steal a quiet break!! hope you're enjoying a bit of it now.

la ninja said...

oh, you little scone cheeks, you. I don't even have children but felt totally reflected there. how do you do that? ;)

incredible insight and self-reflection, as usual (I think those two are actually the same thing but the compliment still applies, hee hee.)