Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Weekend

Weekends start on Friday afternoons, right? I stayed at school until 5:40 p.m. to finish my thirty-fifth and final parent/teacher conference as well as complete many assignments and make some attempt to prepare for Monday. I finally left with a stack of math tests to correct. Boy, I know how to PARTY!

I arrived home around six and proceeded to whip up a treat for Craft and Sewing Night. Do I craft? No. Do I sew? No. However, when The Park Ranger has a tour of duty, I do what I can to keep myself from sobbing in the dark. Besides, if I never bothered to go to Craft and Sewing Night, how on EARTH would I ever get my pants hemmed? W. does it FOR me! I can certainly muster up a little treat now and then in exchange for hemmed pants.

Who was the first guest to arrive at seven? Yep. It was me. The one who doesn't sew. I set the treats down, whipped out my pants saying, "Dark brown this time," and grabbed the bright pink pen for correcting. Hey, I can correct math and socialize at the same time--it's not like I was reading essays. Other women began to arrive. In pajamas, as the invitation indicated. I do not partake in pajama outings, but I am not opposed to those that do. I really didn't have time to change anyway.

Listening to the ladies chat taught me a few things about myself. Something whispered, "You're a stranger here." I wondered how and when these women were gifted with desires to decorate and create things with fabric. I racked my brain. Is it because we rent? Is it because I work full time outside of the home? More than full time, mind you. Is it because I care too much about my students? Is it because of the way I was raised? Is it because I was the only person there that did not carry the honored title of Mother? They all knocked on the door with sewing machines and sergers in hand, ready to get their craft on. I admired them aloud commenting that I couldn't believe everyone had a sewing machine. Some volunteered, "This was my mom's." "This belonged to my grandmother." Really. My mom and my grandma hunted moose in Alaska. I don't recall seeing any sewing machines.

I left without fanfare to have my nightly phone call with The Ranger. I told him I felt like such an outcast (not due to the way I was treated, mind you, those ladies are all darling). So entirely UN-domestic! The Ranger said, "Then don't go to those things!!!" There's male problem-solving for ya.

I woke up on Saturday morning and stepped on the scale. I decided I had better get to the temple, though I'm not sure those two things relate. I love going to the temple! I had the opportunity to do sealings and that was just what I needed. A reminder. I saw a couple of people there that I know--ALWAYS happens. The Ranger can't get over it.

It was a sunny day, so I went to the car wash. Such a great feeling--why don't I do that more often? I pulled into the self-serve vacuum area and realized it was a "skirt-alert" kind of day. As I was trying to hold my skirt down with one hand and manage the power vacuum with the other, sometimes accidentally allowing the vacuum to suck my skirt up into it, I was approached by a cold, starving college student who works for Techna-Glass, or some such entity. He asked how I was. I replied, "The wind is blowing my skirt up!" He didn't skip a beat, "Mind if I take a look at your windshield?" I had no issue with that and as it turns out, he couldn't find anything that needed repair. Once I got myself back in the car with my skirt properly situated, I headed for the grocery store and gas station. I bought all the supplies for making homemade pizza because The Ranger and I had a plan. I unloaded the groceries and then headed to a baby shower.

The shower was, in a word, Magnificent. Throngs of people! Magazine-worthy decorating! Designer cupcakes! The mother-to-be and her husband are expecting identical twin girls. They will adopt them just as soon as they are born. Matching baby quilts in The Chosen Colors. Matching twin carseats. I'm not particularly close to this new mother--just a casual acquaintance. I knew several of the women there. People are so kind and friendly and tolerant of me. I started to feel that same feeling, "You're a stranger here." I knew enough people to chat and visit and say hi. I can make small talk with anyone. However, once again, I felt like an outcast.

HOLD ON! Am I turning into a fifth grade drama queen? Am I whining about not having any friends? Scary, isn't it?

So, I hung around. I made the rounds. I told myself to remember that I fully understand I will never be a mother here on Earth and to get a grip. I kept thinking, "If I'm not going to learn all the 'normal' things that most women learn by being mothers, what else, or how else, will I learn??" You know, I wouldn't suggest asking yourself questions like that. So then I settled on this: I am honestly and truly happy for people that get to/got to have children. I don't mind going to Church on Mother's Day at all. God has blessed me with some kind of amazing Peace so that most of the time, I'm pretty okay with His Plan. There. That's better.

It was time to leave the shower. I thought I should say something to the Guest of Honor. I asked her about the framed sonogram. We made a little small talk. I had a real smile on my face--no kidding. I was totally fine again. And then this amazing thing happened. She threw her arms around me and whispered something in my ear to let me know she understood. She was aware of me. We both became slightly teary-eyed and I said, "It's okay. I went to the temple this morning and was reminded of The Blessings." And just like that, I didn't feel like such a stranger any longer. Who knew that the Mother-to-Be would be The One to help the Mother-to-Never-Be? Amazing.

I went home. It was so sunny outside, but I felt exhausted. I hadn't read the newspaper yet, so I crawled into bed with the front page in my hands and didn't know another thing until four hours had passed. I guess I was pretty tired. When I woke up, I felt bad about not making it back to my classroom on my day off (so much to do!). And then I remembered The Ranger would be home in TWO HOURS and that thought alone motivated me to get moving! I hustled. I bustled. I tidied up. I made chili. I kissed him like I missed him when he walked through the door. And how I missed him! I miss him every second.

Sunday morning was perfect. I was assigned to teach the lesson in Relief Society entitled, "Something Better." Now doesn't that have a ring to it? I put my finishing touches on it and tuned in to Music and the Spoken Word. The Ranger woke up and we talked for awhile. I took off for Church early to set up for my lesson. The Ranger walked over a bit later. I was assigned to attend a different meeting during Sunday School, so I actually didn't see The Ranger (or get to sit next to him) until Sacrament Meeting. Guess who decided to bear his testimony? A pleasant surprise. Love him.

After church, we made pizza. I created chicken alfredo on homemade crust with spinach, mushrooms, and tomato. The Ranger favored Pillsbury with traditional red sauce, lots of meat, along with a few vegetables he actually eats: mushroom, green pepper, and black olive. We taste-tested one another's pizza, but in the end, we each voted for our own. When he tucked me in that night, he thanked me for a really great day. I'm pretty sure he loves me, but all I would have to do is leave a box of Velveeta out on the counter for him to get all gushy and start talking about a great day.

Today is Monday. I got up early and went to school. I taught like crazy and said goodbye to my students feeling like I hadn't accomplished nearly enough. Our team made a presentation to the School Community Council to show them what we are doing to be the best we can be. It went late. I raced out the door and called The Ranger to find out our rendezvous spot this week. I was told to head East on I-80, etc., etc. We had a lovely dinner together, talked in my car for awhile, and kissed goodbye again.

And that, My Friends, was My Super Bowl Weekend. I suppose someone played football at some point, but I was busy with other things.

Guess I'll end with dessert!


  1. What an awesome post. I got a little teary there. You are great, Jody.

  2. Jody, thank you. You offer a rare, special perspective on life that I would truly miss if I didn't know you.

  3. I love your outlook! (And love the sewing machines vs. hunting moose ;) no wonder you are a park ranger! it's in your blood!)

  4. Jody, I'm going to not be ashamed and tell you I enjoy stalking your blog! This entry also made me cry. I just made my husband listen to me read it to him, and I told him that it feels like you're writing about my life. You are are so awesome and amazing! And so, so strong! Love you!