Wednesday, September 2, 2009

turns in the road

We are drowning, or at least swimming, in, excuse the grossness, snot. All six of us (still boggles my mind that the number is six) are either sick or recovering from being sick right at the moment. I think I might hit a world record on number of tissues used between me, Gemma, and Oona. My recent project of fall cleaning - deep cleaning the whole house, yikes - is on hold until I feel better and we're existing in a very messy room with a movie on the TV. Thus, I'm writing on my blog, which has been sorely neglected of late.

We have also had new beginnings here. Jack started high school - a freshman - this year. Patrick started middle school. Gemma got a new teacher at her preschool/daycare. Oona has completely weaned (mostly a really good feeling, a little nostalgic and missing it but not too much.) Eric officially began as Associate Professor (a promotion). And I, Gretchen, started my first class in my planned very long journey towards becoming a craniosacral-doing-mid-wife. It will most likely take about ten years to accomplish that goal which is okay because then the girls will be old enough to understand when I'm not home in the middle of the night. I do have some hesitation about that part of the job. That and the giving shots part and having fellow students learn how to give shots with me being the guinea pig. I'm a bit squeamish about getting shots. But that has mellowed a lot since I've had babies. Anybody else noticed how having babies changes your life?

I had my first day of class yesterday. I got there early as did a whole bunch of other students. Nobody looked at each other or spoke. Everybody stared towards the front of the classroom, notebooks out, pens at the ready. That was a strange experience making me wonder what age people learn to strike up conversations with people around them and I also had flashbacks to being that age and not feeling comfortable talking to strangers, even if they were my peers. Strange. I wore a recently purchased backpack which helped me blend in. I don't think I looked obviously old. Of course, when I gave my husband a kiss, I felt like I had to explain that he wasn't having an affair with an undergrad - he's just married to one... Something about having that backpack on made me look and feel fifteen. I look young for my age anyway but that backpack was a clincher. The department head of the History department, who we've had to dinner at our house, didn't even recognize me as I passed him in the hallway. All of this brings on a bit of an identity crisis with how to be an older student at a school with students mostly in their late teens and early twenties. I'm good at identity crises though, having had many, complete with the question of "What do I wear?" How many times have I had the recurring dream of going through my closet and not finding anything to wear. For some reason when I'm trying to figure out how I fit into a new role, this time being an undergrad again, I start with wondering what in the world should I wear? What kind of clothes will overlap being a wife, a mother, a massage therapist and an undergrad student and will still somehow reflect me?

Life really does seem like an endless stream of transitions. I, for one, haven't felt like I go in one direction long before there's a turn in the road. I wonder when the next turn will be...

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