Yesterday at church, our minister was talking about sports and spirituality (that woman can make anything, and I do mean anything, work) and partway through she said, "I think it’s time for a seventh-inning stretch!" So, we stood up, stretched, and sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Also, our awesome music guy played Centerfield on the piano, and not only was I not compelled to want to change the radio station, I, well, I actually sang along, and I thought really hard about clapping to those clappy bits. I decided not to in the end, but only because no one else did.
I was already wanting lately to go to a pro baseball game, now I really, really want to go to one. I’ve never even been to the new stadium in San Francisco.
Anyway, the kids thought that singing baseball songs was pretty fantastic, as did I. And, I especially LOVED that after the service she handed out boxes of Cracker Jacks, which – w00t- are both gluten and dairy free! I promise to never get preachy on you, but omg do I ever love my little church. If you’re so inclined, you can read more about UU here.
So, the whole concept of the seventh-inning stretch has been floating around there in the back of my head today, because I hardly ever stop to take one and I think that if a game as slow-paced and as long as baseball sees the need to take a break, then surely the fast paced activities that make up my day call for a break or two. Or eleven.
I’m also on a big kick to get rid of shit. A couple of times a year our trash service will take extra crap away for free. They do have some rules, but it’s pretty much the perfect time to clean out the garage, which is how we spent the latter half of Sunday. I even skipped yoga class. That doesn’t usually happen unless I am stuck in traffic, so this was a big Event. Not only did we stack that garbage up at the curb (five strollers. FIVE! four of them useless and one of them too dirty to donate, though it was scavenged before 10pm, which made me happy), there were two van loads of stuff to donate to Goodwill. I only cried once: when the covers-worn-off board book versions of Goodnight, Moon and The Big Red Barn went into the trash. That was hard. I miss those little chunky hands turning the pages and pointing. I miss the baby voices filling in the words to Goodnight, Moon. The kids are still fully capable of being sweet little things, but that’s no longer the automatic setting, you know?
I suppose they make up for some of that just by being funny. For some reason, whenever I ask them to Use good manners, please, they put on a British accent and stick out their pinky fingers. Some of them throw around words like dainty and proper and charmed, but Sophie just tacks a phrase onto the end of every sentence. She is wanting to say Tally-ho, but she says Charlie-ho. Last night she said, Charlie-ho, I go to the best school in the butt universe, Charlie-ho!
and when she says that, with her little pinky finger sticking up and with her British accent, you have to laugh because it is so deliciously weird. She was doing it again tonight, saying, Charlie-ho, let’s play the Wii Fit, shall we, Mother? The girl has learned how to make the folks around her unable to say no, and THAT is what I’m talking about when I say Life Skill.
While going through the stuff in the garage, I found some of my great-grandmother’s things. They were stored inside a duffel bag that I have had forever, one I used to bring back and forth to ballet class twenty years ago. There is one of her billfolds covered in superfly gold sequins, a couple of gorgeous beaded handbags, a coin purse or two, and the gloves. Oh my, those gloves. When I think of my Great-GrannyMomma, I think of her wearing gloves always, no matter what, and of cat-eye, thick rimmed glasses, and of the clear plastic headcover she popped on when it rained. I don’t know if I remember for real her fake pink Christmas tree, or if I have put together a memory of it from photos and family stories, which say that it was up every year from Thanksgiving until Easter. I seem to remember rose-scented and horribly waxy lipstick, and perfume that I can’t name but could identify in a heartbeat. The gloves were all in dry cleaner’s bags, and these were the best of the bunch:
(feeling silly, but this won’t rotate for me. oh well. just please tilt your head to the right or your monitor to the left. sorry!)
I have to admit that it’s unsettling to me that there will be people in my life, should I live to be an old woman, who will only know me as very old and who will never believe that I used to be able to turn cartwheels and run so fast. Not so different from how my almost-grown boys used to be these sweet smelling and cooing little babies, but that part of them is now pretty much unimaginable, especially to people who have only met them recently. I think I will always think of myself as a bit of a kid, at least physically, but someday that will be the last thing that anyone thinks of when they know me and are asked to describe me. It’s not bad, it’s just that thinking about it makes me stop for a second (a seventh-inning stretch!) and think. I can’t even express it properly, obviously, but I do know that when I think of my Great-Grandmother, I never even imagine her young. As if she never was. Photos of her as a younger woman don’t really look like her to me, but she probably didn’t much recognize the woman in the mirror by the time I was born. I wonder what things will remind my kids or grandkids or, if I am super lucky, my great-grandkids of me. And what would Great-GrannyMomma chose for us to remember her by? Did she think that her great-granddaughter would remember her mostly by gloves? Gloves that I suspect she wore to cover up age spots and lessen the impression that she’d grown into an old woman.