Woman, sixty, and still trying to get it right. Stumbling the path toward the Divine. Discussing things like grandparenting, Waldorf education, child development, nature, human awareness, empty-nesting, breast cancer, and knitting luscious things once in awhile.
I cannot, for the life of me, believe that my eldest child, Brooke, is 42 today. My first born baby girl. My initiator. I remember slumber parties, surprise parties, roller skating parties, parties in San Francisco, parties with a magician. And I remember at least 42 family dinners in her honor.
Sunday was one of those days. It was what Brooke wanted: an afternoon filled with a feather painting project she wanted everyone to help with for her Thanksgiving decorations. It was a chilly afternoon with painting in the backyard, a toasty fire in the family room, football on the TV, Shepherd's Pie and buttermilk biscuits in the oven, wine and sparkling cider, and a very delicious chocolate cake.
There were about one hundred black goose feathers, that soon had every tip painted gold:
And then Little Miss Cinderella needed to do some scrubbing where the paint - left to her artistic wiles - overshot the cardboard a little!
Later inside, we made buttermilk biscuits and cut them out with autumn leaf and acon cookie cutters. Brooke had the most delicious Shepherd's Pie in the oven. Three huge ones to be exact.
And served them up with homegrown honey that was gifted to us by my boss who is also a beekeeper. Yum!
I just loved the family sitting around her dining room table enjoying an autumn meal and telling true life bear stories, each person's very own bear encounter of a life time! Bears. Autumn. My favorite animal. My favorite season.
My 59th birthday celebration was on Saturday night. My last year of being in my 50's and I'm good with that. I'm feeling healthy and vital and strong.
What I find myself reflecting on is how my life has always been an unplanned surprise. It has never, once, been what I envisioned for myself. Not my education, not my courtship and marriage, not my parenting, not my divorce...it has all manifested far out of the boundaries of my dreams.
And now, the big one for me is my grandparenting. I do my best, I know that. I love being Busha. But I always held this plan in my heart that I would be the grandmother half of grandparents. Kind of like my parents were. I would be retired and have time to make my home cozy and this very fun haven for the grandkids. I would have all the time in the world.
But as my life unfolded and I had my first child very young and I couldn't find the partner who wanted to stick around and be a couple and raise our children together, I found the need to be a full time working parent. I began teaching because 1: I love children and 2: I would have the same schedule as the family I was trying to raise. But I wouldn't sell out either. I chose to become a Waldorf teacher because it is a pedagogy I can believe in whole-heartedly. But that choice too came with its surprise ending that I did not foresee.
Because that job didn't come with a retirement plan in place for these days I'm living now. For these days where I want to be at home more to welcome the grandkids over, feed them, make glitter messes, camp out on the living room floor, laugh and be silly. For these days when I long for a home of my own. Crazy I no longer have that either. For these days when I want to travel to interesting places with my grandkids and be a student myself once again.
But alas, I still work, and will probably work until the day I die. Thank goodness I love my job and it is representative of what I want to be doing with my life. My one, unalterable stength and grace is working with children. And don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining or blaming anyone. I trust my destiny. I'm just marveling at how off base my plans and visions for my life have been all of these years.
I live these days one at a time, I navigate through the unforseen challenges that I wouldn't have chosen, and I trust that this is the plan and a purpose for me on this earth.
And funny thing, this whole kinda ranting blog post was fueled by quickly cleaning off my desk before leaving for work, and noticing a beautiful box of glitter that I have yet to share with Satchel and Temple, along with a Grand Busha Idea! (Thank gawd it wasn't a bomb or some such thing!)
I'm truly happy to be here is the midst of my Saturn return straightening myself out for the rest of my journey. I'm really grateful to even have a job in the current economy. I'm gateful for my health and for my friends and family. But you know what?
When Shannon was pregnant with Emil she had this vision of a little pod style bunting as a photo prop. Together we researched different pattern books and she decided on a couple that she liked. Then I began the seach for yarn, and in my usual (often rediculous, I know, but that's a whole other post in itself) fashion, chose a blend of some pretty spendy natural merino and alpaca. Blues and shades of tan/brown. I also had some hand spun, wildly artistic yarn in my stash from years ago (complete with long curly sheep tendrils) that I used for the border. And this is what we got:
But in real life, Shannon preferred the organic cotton pods that were more washable. This little spendy pod got very little use. But more importantly there was a project full of the softest yarn ever! So while I stayed with them last month I took the opportunity to frog the pod (that sounds like a dance move) and recycle the yarn into this little hat:
I knitted it from a free raverly download called The Aviatrix. The pattern was a bit confusing at the beginning, but once established it went fairly quickly.
Coziness, relived. It's a little big but should last the winter.