The Year is Complete!

Please feel free to look back through the 365 days of 2010 sunrises, but "a year of getting up to meet the day" is officially completed. There will be no more new posts.


Thank you so much for visiting.
A one year blog project in which I share a process of transitions: emptying of the nest, reacquainting with my rusty intellect, plowing onward with my first full length book, entering the second half of my first century, and generally reflecting on life.

(see Dec. 29th, 2009 entry for further explanation)

Friday, April 30, 2010

porcupines and parental meanderings

sunrise:  5:27

Here is our first hapless victim - now neutralized.  My dear husband, the porcupine hunter, is adding updates to our prickly predicaments in the comments section of previous posts.  He talked a tough line about eliminating the beasts, but T and I heard him chatting with the little guy in decidedly un-tough way as he loaded the trapped animal into the back of his pickup truck.

Which reminds me of a little family conversation we had a couple of nights ago.

Everybody talks a tough line now and then, or presents their opinions in a more dramatic form than their true feelings warrant.  Why do we do it?  Sometimes to drive home a point, especially in the face of opposition.  Sometimes to teach or instruct someone we consider in need of instruction.  Sometimes just because we're tired of pussy-footing around and being PC, and we just want to blurt our opinion with no holds barred.

Unfortunately, but understandably, we most often let down our guards when we're with family.  An all too common phenomenon in our household occurs when two of the above circumstances happen simultaneiously:  1.  T blurts out reports on the world, her teachers, her classmates in a mood of irritated abandon.  2.  J and I feel a need to instruct and make a point, in the face of her apparent lack of balanced perpective.

Too often we end in anger and tears, inadvertent hurt feelings and high frustration.

I think that there is a sub-conscious sense in J and me of T's imminent departure, so in some ways we may feel doubly compelled to get ALL of our wisdom out and make EVERY correction quickly while we still can, before she's off into the world.

Yes - our daughter still has growing to do, but you can't push process growth, like forcing a flower to bloom early.  It's not healthy.  If we've learned nothing else from raising our older three, we've learned that what they SAY and what they really THINK are two different things much of the time.  And if we're honest with ourselves, we'll realize we are the same way.  We often say what we think, or want to think, but after an impassioned argument we go over both sides in our heads.  We think about it - and so do our children.  They take in way more than they let on, if we just trust them to mull things over in their own time.

I have to try and be patient, just let my daughter be a 17 year old now and again.  It gets tiresome to be fine-tuned every time you say anything, and it's not any way to be in a relationship with someone.  But it's awfully hard when I see behaviors that I don't like.  Oh no!  thinks the mom,  I thought I had fixed that problem!  Must fix it now, quickly!

We are all kind people, but I think within our family we can be far less kind and forgiving because we hold such high expectations of each other.  "You should know what I really feel"  "You know I don't really mean it" "You of all people should know not to say that to me!" "I shouldn't have to be so careful around you; you're my family"

Heightened expectations, heightened sensitivities, and often less patience, understanding, and plain old common courtesy.  And then there are those inherent power struggles...   Family dynamics can be a bear...

...and the bear is related to the porcupine, whose story got left behind.  Enough delving into the family psyche, and back to business.

Trap number two is laid under the old dead pine tree - empty so far this morning.  But it's definitely out there.  The dogs almost pulled my arms out of their sockets last night when they caught the scent, and dragged me straight to the pine tree.  I do not like leashes.  I like quilled dogs and veterinarian bills even less.

A glorious morning, for humans and ducks.

And it was nice to see the moon again.  Between meteorological rotations, clouds, dogs and porcupines, it's been a long time since I've seen the moon.

An early spring sun-tipped morning -  reminiscent of autumn foliage in its wealth of color, but its spectrum is all its own.

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