Wednesday, December 29, 2010

16 and 6

It's been a wonderful holiday season so far. And, true to form, I got so busy that I forgot to blog about it! Here's one of the highlights:

My husband's 16-year-old son came to visit us for the first time. Even though I knew of D's existence, I never thought of myself as a stepmom. I wanted my husband to spend more time with his son, and I wanted our daughter to know her brother, but I hadn't factored myself into the equation. Plus, the drama behind it all had gone on for so long that I thought D would be an adult by the time we finally met.

So when the prospect of blending our family became a reality rather than a theory, I was a nervous wreck. "Just be yourself," Hubby said. "It'll be great!"

I tried to share Hubby's optimism, but I couldn't shake the underlying fear that I'd somehow turn out to be the Wicked Stepmother. Could I ask him to do dishes without appearing to be a power-crazed meanie?

Turns out, I needn't have worried. D is a great kid, and he has the same kind and optimistic demeanor as his dad. Plus, his little sister wrapped him around her baby finger. He was playing Barbies and promising to bake cookies within 10 minutes of his arrival. That girl's got skills, I must admit.

After prying my daughter off of D's leg and putting her to bed, I had a chance to talk with him alone. Hubby went to bed early, exhausted from working late hours. D was eating some baked chicken he found in the fridge. (Note: Teenage boys eat A LOT. Plan on doubling your grocery bill.)

"Do you have any rules I should know about?" he asked.

"Don't drink my club soda," I said. "I can't really think of anything else right now."

D nodded, and he then proceeded to tell me how he had been looking forward to this visit.

"It was really bothering me that I have a sister, and I don't know her," he said. "It's been bothering me for a while." He licked his fingers. "This is good chicken, by the way."

"Thanks," I said. "I'm glad you're here. You're welcome anytime."

And that was it. All the nervousness melted away.

A few days later, I gave Hubby a hug as he was watching the kids put together a puzzle.

"You've got two kids," I said. "How does it feel?"

"Feels good," he said. "You know, you've got two kids too."

I nodded. "Yeah, I guess I do."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reading and Crocheting

I've taken to listening to audiobooks on my way to and from work. I used to ride in silence; I thought it helped to clear my head. In reality, the silence put me more on edge. I spent the entire time white-knuckling the steering wheel and obsessing over the day's mishaps.

The audiobooks were a welcome distraction during my 30-minute commute. They almost worked too well. For a while, when I got to the thick of a plot and I just had to know what happened next, I ate lunch at my desk.

My latest obsessions, The Friday Night Knitting Club and Knit Two, had me engrossed for two weeks. The books were about a group of women who form an unlikely bond through the craft. It's also about love, forgiveness, and taking a chance.

What struck me most, though, was that these women KNITTED.

I know, weird, right? With all of the drama and plot twists, who cares about knitting?

The knitting was reminding me of something I had forgotten all about. Crocheting. My great-aunt taught me when I was four years old. I sat under her craft table twisting scraps of yarn around a fat green hook until they turned into potholders and scarves. As I got older, I crocheted less and less. I would return to it time to time, usually when someone was having a baby.

The last baby I crocheted for was my own. That was 6 years ago.

I found a half skein of blue yarn in the basement. The green hook from my childhood is long gone. I lost it in an airplane seat while making a blanket for a friend's newborn. The peach replacement doesn't feel quite the same.

But the yarn glides between my fingers as it always does. My hands work as if they have a mind of their own. It doesn't take long before I have a square of blue.

I'm not sure what it's going to be yet, but it was great to reconnect with an old friend.

- Posted using BlogPress for iPhone

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Few Words on Wednesday

I love Wordless Wednesday! I'm a writer, so you'd think I'd be against it, but the idea of a thoughtful post that's easy on the schedule is appealing.

I'm breaking the rules, I'm sure, with this intro, but my pic needs explanation. This is the basket of clean laundry I opted not to fold so that I could research publishing companies and literary agents.

I promise to have fewer words next time!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone