Standing in the Shadows

The Tuesday Three

This is week number three of the Tuesday Three and I am beginning to see a pattern, in that if it’s not a three-day weekend, I am kind of soaring from the thrill of leaving my house early on a Monday evening for my fabulous yoga flow class. Clarification: I heart-adore-love the class, but the thrill part is probably in the getting to go out, not for a meeting or a school presentation almost like a routine—my night for yoga. In fact, I looked at the primarily twentysomething crew last night and thought: oh, when you don’t have kids going to a 7:15 yoga flow class is not a giant happening. You might go the 7:15 class the next night, too. I used to do this, long ago, with aerobics. It’s fun.

Lucien eyes cheese at cheesmonger Matt Rubiner's store after interviewing Matt.

On the way home, I picked up some printed material for my eighth grader’s tri-fold display he was finishing ahead (barely, but beautifully) of today’s eighth grade project presentation. He studied the history of cheese. He made a fig and applesauce or compote thing that was a knockout and roasted maple rosemary nuts, both created to accompany cheese. I returned from yoga to a kitchen in major process. It was a mess in there. It smelled divine, though. But I digress: as I thanked my friend for the printing assist (they have a color printer; we don’t), I reminded her it takes a village to finish the eighth grade cheese project tri-fold. She threw in some extra, emergency glue to prove the point. I told her that unlike our noontime class, where as ladies into (I do mean far into) our forties, we were usual enough, this evening (and I do exaggerate a bit for effect), I was two decades senior to the mean of the class. Wow, I can go to a yoga class and be the old lady. I noted this. I also noted that I rock.

Although she’d be embarrassed that I write this, I am learning so much from this yoga teacher of mine and I feel grateful, like a student of yoga. I am (I hope) sopping up knowledge and deeply engaged in the thrall of learning.

So, my three good things are: this experience of feeling like a yoga student; the fact that I’ve gone through two flats of strawberries in the past six days and have made over 16 jars of strawberry jam, the last four strawberry-rhubarb jam; and the huge rigid plastics recycling day on Saturday that helped us get rid of plastics, plus hangers plus orphan socks and that’s just the start. It was truly a relief to offload without much guilt.

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To share three with you, I participated in the Run/Walk to Remember, a 5K that raised funds for The Garden (housed at the Y), a program to support families with children up into their early 20’s who have lost someone important, generally a parent. It’s not that every person I’ve known (way too many) to have an early loss like this change their family’s constellation has reached out to the Garden, but that a resource like this is important, if for no other reason than to bring the fact to light: some families (too many) have a very sad, confusing, more sad hole.

The run reflected none of that sadness, which was, like the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage, its beauty. On a brilliant Sunday morning, we just had a blast. And wanted to throw up during the last big hill, but then recovered on the final, blissful downhill.

After that wonderful run, I read a pretty stunning essay on the experience of sudden widowhood and the sisterhood of the grieving wives. It’s got a line in it that anyone going through a major life transition—or just life—could use.

Two: I really enjoyed this interview in Momfilter of Jenny Rosenstrach. Her book, Dinner: A Love Story is now out. If you enjoy her blog by the same name as I do, you’re excited to get the book, too.

Three: I took my time with Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required, because I began to prefer reading a page or two at a go when I had a minute to pick it up. While she wrote about grandparenthood and her grandson, she wrote (because her son was 19 when the grandson was born) about adolescents and the wish to see them fly, the incredible elation when they do, the itchy fix-it mama impulse to do for them when you can’t-shouldn’t-mustn’t.

Yeah, I related. I slowly let the message seep in about how parenting an adolescent is as much about learning to get out of the way as anything else. You step back with love, with incredible fear-and-hope (isn’t there one word for this Lizzie Skurnick, frope?). You step back with a silent prayer that all the fawning you did and all the nagging was enough to last a lifetime. The teens, they assure you the nagging will last longer than that.

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