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sunday still life

Sunday Still Life is an evolving photography project; a weekly invitation to pause the busy of our days, to re-center and celebrate the beauty and depth of life. If you are inspired to join in, please leave a link in Erin’s comments.

I like pretty, content images. No doubt about it. I know some blog readers frown on that. They find it inauthentic. I don’t. I see no point in publishing and dwelling on the moments that are hard. Once I’ve reflected on them and had a chance to learn from them then maybe. But not in the moment. Because you know what- the hard moments, the ugly, angry, frustrating ones, they are no more important to me then the good ones. Why would I want to give them any more power than they already had in that moment? They aren’t the ones I want to dwell on and remember in the years to come. They aren’t want I want to look back over when I’m in my rocking chair sharing a childhood with a new child. Fact is, those angry moments pass. Just as quickly as “fleeting happiness” if you let it. It’s the choice to ruminate that makes it last all the longer in your life.

That said, no, it’s not all roses. This is the one picture from my birthday this year. I turned 39 on a weekday. My loving family, friends and co-workers remembered me and wished me well. I received wonderful, thoughtful gifts, flowers, a tasty dinner of roast and asparagus and cake. I know I’m a lucky girl.

See that little girl screaming over to the side of me? Yeah, well her sister had been sobbing minutes earlier. Lovey, had taken them to the bakery to pick up my cake that morning and she somehow took it to heart that the cake was to be a surprise for me. She had been disappointed earlier in the morning when I hadn’t jumped out of bed at 5:30 am to have N shaped pancakes and plow through my wrapped gifts. I knew it was sad for her. It was sad for me too. I had just failed my 1 hour glucose test and was scheduled to have my 3 hour that morning. I had oh, so carefully scheduled it for the morning of my birthday knowing full well that there was a chance I might not pass, but odds were I wouldn’t get the results before indulging in a slice of the yummy, chocolatey, fondanty, cake I knew was coming. I thought I was sooooo clever.

Two months earlier my high-risk OB had said I had jumped through all his hoops with flying colors and there was no real need for me to come back, but if it would reassure me we could do a growth scan in February. I scheduled that the day before my birthday because it was supposed to be a joyful, ordinary 3D ultrasound where Lovey and I could just sit back and enjoy Sugarplum’s miraculous in-utero image without worry. A birthday treat for myself if you will. And then came the regular OB appointment in January. Where both I and Sugarplum appeared to be growing about 3-5 weeks faster than anticipated and the worry returned. So even though my glucose tests weren’t back, the high-risk OB warned me to cut down carbs dramatically, that even if I “happened” to pass the 3 hour glucose test I was to eat like I was diabetic for the remainder of my pregnancy. The standards had changed in terms of what is considered gestationally diabetic and in review of my last two pregnancies, in hindsite, I most likely had GD during them. I cried a tear or two after that talk. There went my carefully planned cake.

The next day, when Zuzu heard Lovey utter the word “cake” in front of me after an ENTIRE day of her not having said anything about it she lost it. Birthday ruined. No pancakes, no grown-ups rushing to open gifts, no party hats, school and work as usual and now no surprise cake. Her upset tipped the apple cart of imagined calm amidst the chaos of our weekdays and the Quail lost it as well. She lost it to the point of no return and the need to be removed from the table to calm down, which unfortunately seemed to have the opposite effect of calming and seemed to convince her there was not going to be any cake for her either. Over the course of that day, I think I heard the refrain, ” It’s Mommie’s birthday, Mommie’s, you need to be nice to her and calm down.” dozens of times.

So no, life isn’t all roses. But there are some frosting roses to enjoy in there if you care to think back hard enough and look for them in the picture.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wipe up the pee-pee puddle the almost-3 year old left in the living room after one week of being completely dry at school, put away the pile of stuffed animals that the 5 year old pulled out for a third time after being told to put them away after she was done playng with them, find the Resolve to wash the stain of cat vomit off the hall carpet, try to stretch in a way that will hopefully convince Sugarplum to stop bouncing on my bladder and hopefully locate the pile of gifts I thoughtlessly left in the living room after I finally opened them late that night that seem to have disappeared.

And incidentally, the beautiful cake molded before I could get to it after receiving word that I did miraculously pass the 3 hour glucose test. But Lovey promised me a “push cake” once Sugarplum safely arrives. It’s the little things, no?

One thought on “sunday still life

  1. Can’t believe I am just “getting out to visit” and it is almost Sunday again – such a busy (but wonderful) week!

    I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a giant hug. What a long and stressful birthday for you. And I totally understand your point about not wanting to give the challenging moments any extra mental “air time” but I have to tell you this is some beautifully-real and oh-so-rich-rich writing and I for one really appreciated it! 🙂

    Great news about the 3-hour test. It won’t be long before you’ll be snuggling your Sugarplum — and eating “push cake.”

    ~erin

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