My friend Ann told me that her friend calls this time of year “death by a thousand tiny cuts.” She’s referring to the seemingly endless minutiae—assemblies, field trips, special events, field days—that are used to fill up, er, I mean celebrate the waning of the school year. It’s all great, of course, but kinda tricky when you’re also trying to hold down a job or…three. Which brings me to the belatedness of this here post. My mea culpa.
I usually post on Sundays, thinking it may be the one day most of us crazed multi-taskers can take a peek at our email, floss, vacuum up the dog hair, etc. This Sunday, however, I spent the morning driving around looking for a soccer tournament (bad, bad, google maps!) which we completely missed (bad, bad, Pokey Mama, late and lost as usual!).
This put me in a foul mood, complete with dashboard pounding and unmama-like language, for which my daughter had a creative solution. She suggested she take some pictures of my bad mood, and then delete them from her camera. Aside from the fact that I almost drove into a guardrail, this proved to be just the ticket. Voilà! Exorcism. And I was impressed that she came up with such a witchy, artistic solution.
Unfortunately, the next item on our list was to purchase a dress for her 6th grade graduation. Thankfully, no pictures survive from this excursion.
I know, it’s only 6th grade, right? Oh, but it has to be a dress and said dress must fit the impossible ideal held by said 6th grader. (See how early it starts!) Imagine if you will: five stores, five hours of: How about this? Ugh. This? No! This is cute. OMG Mom. It was so bad I considered spending more on a skirt for her than I spend on an entire outfit for me. Because she liked it. Because then maybe we could go home.
To make it all worse my red-diaper upbringing was ringing in my ears: This is such bourgeois nonsense! How privileged are we that we even get to do this? How privileged am I that I get to complain about it? (More about those voices in another post.)
Long story short, by the time we got home it was close to 6, and I could barely speak, much less think about anything other than getting my children into bed and following shortly thereafter. Tomorrow, I thought, tomorrow.
Well, it’s tomorrow and things are blowing up at my paying job and I don’t have time to write about what I wanted to write about, because Pokey Mama is a real-life, real-time human, not just something I concocted to amuse myself and a few friends (though that is a bonus).
Here at Pokey Mama, however, we try not to apologize because, really, we’re doing the best we can–and the idea is to accept that all of what happens in our Mother AND…lives is fuel. It might not feel like it at the time, it might feel more like burning at the stake or those aforementioned tiny cuts, but even so, it’s material, it’s what we have on hand. It’s what we’re going to make something with, and after we make that something we’re going to feel so much better about it. Because we’re artists.
The great irony here is that I’d planned to write more about synthesis, which is, natch, what I’ve been forced to enact right this very minute. Ah, resistance! So interesting how that works.
So, next time: synthesis, fertility, the body, art, paying attention. That’s the plan: let’s see what happens.
By the way, I put my kids to work making those 1,000 tiny cuts on my picture. I figured it was payback. Then I started to feel like it was way too creepy, but they loved it. They think it’s like a bunch of puzzle pieces, and I like how it looks as if I’m all stitched together. Let’s hope those stitches hold.
7 thoughts on “a thousand tiny cuts…”
Great stuuff, Amy. I can so relate. I laughed at the exasperation part, the “I can barely speak” part, as this happens to me on a regular basis…
I love what you say about not apologizing — sometimes it can seem like every fourth paragraph of life contains an “I’m sorry.”
i can totally relate to the 6th grade experience… this morning i had to discuss my 6th grade son’s wardrobe choices while trying to enjoy espresso on the porch… skinny jeans? boot cut jeans? ralph lauren chinos purchased by nonna at tjmaxx(not cool when you’re 12!) i seriously felt like i had dropped down the rabbit hole!! glad i’m not alone!!
And love the photo and Maddy’s solution. And thankful we don’t have 6th grade graduation (and unthankful that we don’t have it because our kids start middle school in 6th grade). And thankful I have time to read your posts, even this late at night.
Every week when I read your post I re-live moments. Moments of sheer madness and joy. Moments that I have strung together into a necklace that one minute drapes gracefully and then next is strangling me. Most of all I am glad to know that someone else feels like I have. Ditto what Ann said.
Oh, I just love to hear you say that–it’s the heart of what I’m trying to do here–connect!