Posted: July 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: California, Little Rhody, Milestones, Moods, Paigey Waigey Wiggle Pop, Parenting, Summer, Travel | 7 Comments »

Greetings from Nowhere. Well, alright. I guess officially I’m in Oakland. But my psyche feels trapped somewhere between where I just was—my beloved, belittled home state of Rhode Island—and wherever it is l’ll be next.

Or maybe it’s just that where I am now ain’t where I want to be.

My pre-vacation freelance work dried up, at least temporarily. I’m utterly rusty at this stay-at-home mom thing. (But working hard at bringing the passion back into laundry.) And, unsurprisingly, I’m deep into my annual Post-Trip-Home Funk.

The relentlessly dismal, cold weather here is just the icing on the cake.

I always bill myself at being bad with change, but that’s maybe not entirely accurate. If I were to self-diagnose with a bit more precision, I might venture to say it’s not the new things that bother me as much as the down time preceding them.

And right now that seems to be squarely where I am. Nowhere. Swimming in limbo. Stuck between The Then—freelancing, sunny Rhode Island beaches, the world’s best 4th of July parade—and The Soon To Be—our summer pilgrimage to Minnesota, the start of the school year, and, well, hopefully something else. Hopefully some other compelling something-or-other will come into the mix.

But until those things happen, I’m just here. I’m like some Pong-like screen saver, gliding about, bouncing off the edges, then floating off in another unintentional direction.

Rinse. Repeat.

And it’s not only the craptastic weather that’s responsible. For starters, the neighborhood’s been nearly dismantled in the short time we were away. The fam across the street moved deeper into Suburbia. Our friends to the left are on their East Coast summer trip, poorly timed on the heels of ours. And whenever it is they return it’s only to unpack and repack for their Montana house. (Poor dears.) And to complete the circle of abandonment, the cute Ken ‘n Barbie neighbs behind us are in the final stages of job talks that’ll likely take them out of state.

I’m clearly at the vortex of somewhere no one wants to be.

To ground myself, I called my yoga studio last week to get on the list for a popular class. Whatever’s ailing me is certainly nothing that 90 minutes of Oming and Pranayama can’t fix. But it turned out that my favorite instructor is out of town. I can’t even strike a corpse pose right now.

And from what I can tell my whole family’s in limbo. Like a determined sherpa, Paige hauled her diaper-clad ass up onto a twin bed at my dad’s house, planted a flag, and renounced crib-sleeping forever. Well, at least until we got back to California, where we still haven’t managed to buy her a Big Girl Bed. I did get a new rug for her room, and a fluffy pink blanket for the much-anticipated BG Bed. But until we borrow a friend’s truck for an Ikea run, Paige is dejectedly relegated to crib-dom. At naps and night-time she wears me down with dramatic flourishes of dismay, looking over her shoulder with big hurt eyes, like I’m shoving her into a dog cage.

As for Kate, she’s winding down her days in preschool—only 8 to go—and is weeks away from the dazzling new realm of Kindergarten. (If a twin bed makes Paige a big girl, precocious Kate nearly wants to wear make-up to kindergarten.) On a daily basis Kate alternates between practicing her hippie “Rainbow of Friends” graduation song, despairing the loss of her preschool posse, and wondering which of her dresses the kindergarten boys will find the cutest.

Add to all this a veneer of jet lag. As if us McClusky gals aren’t out-of-whack enough, Mark’s fresh back from the Tour de France. Happily reunited with us—in body at least. He still wants to sleep half-way through the work day, and is hungry for breakfast in the middle of the night. All that, plus his body’s in shock from not having fois gras at every meal.

Before I know it, we’ll all push past this nebulous nether realm. I can almost smell the change in the air like the onset of rain. But it’s still just out of reach. And I just hope my patience can endure.

My inner child keeps asking, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” And my Mama self summons the automatic response, “Not yet, Kristen. But soon.”


7 Comments on “Limbo”

  1. 1 Chicken daddy said at 4:27 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    I’ve got a symbol of change for you:  pumpkins!  In fact, the ones I (err, we) planted in Kate’s garden patch!  They are growing like gangbusters and beckon the fast approaching Halloween… One of the best things about keeping a garden is that it’s always changing.

  2. 2 Megan said at 11:30 pm on July 30th, 2010:

    So far (in my almost 5 years of experience at this SAHM thing), I’ve learned two key components to success. One: Be Here Now. Enjoy the moment for what it is – listen, sit still, observe, engage, OR let them do their own thing, foster their ability at imaginative and independent play and take what time you can for yourself, business, laundry, etc. – I’ve become quite adept at the latter.
    Two: (This one comes from Moms of older kids and I have finally begun to listen and understand) This time will be over soon and you will never get it back and you will miss it deep in your gut – so soak up all of the gushy love and innocence and silly play and misinterpretations and chaos, because sooner than you know – real life creeps into your kid’s life and it’s just not the same.
    As for the Limbo – your time will come Bruno – you are wicked smart and these days will become fodder for your literary endeavors. As for the sun…hang tight – this is the Bay Area and Indian Summer is our time to shine – Please let that be true this year!

  3. 3 Mark said at 10:27 am on August 2nd, 2010:

    I’m torn by the loveliness of the writing, and the mood that inspired it — thankfully, I get to hug you at the end of the day and help try and get you out of the funk.

  4. 4 Ginny said at 8:12 pm on August 3rd, 2010:

    Well, I’M just happy that you are back at the blog. I selfishly hope you never get another job so you can devote all your time to writing and giving my unexpected laughter at the end of my lame days. Hope things cheer up, but even if they don’t -KEEP WRITING!

  5. 5 Carol said at 8:14 pm on August 3rd, 2010:

    Ok, not to be weird but you don’t know me -not sure how I stumbled on your blog but I have been following for a couple years now. I was getting worried about the lack of posts! Glad you are ok, although not “great”, you know what I mean -right? Don’t mean to sound like a stalker but I love your writing and am just glad you are BACK! You are back, right? :)

  6. 6 Sacha said at 4:05 pm on August 6th, 2010:

    I hear you about the summer funk. I have been feeling very blah and unexcited lately myself. I think it is because there is nothing like July and August in the East coast – it is the epitome of summer! Anyway, just know that you are only a month away from the best time of year – Fall – warmer weather, baking cookies and pies, the leaves changing color and Halloween – your favorite holiday!!

  7. 7 kristen said at 5:25 pm on August 6th, 2010:

    You’re so right, Sach. Thanks for the pep talk! And yes, Carol. I’m back.

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