Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Cut to it


A friend recently asked me if she should start a family and when she does, what can she expect--what will it BE LIKE. I gave her my honest response in between stuffing my face with chips and dips in an rare moment without any having to swat tiny hands away from my gaping mouth. Perhaps it was the guacamole talking, but I was positive and reassuring. I'm a big advocate of baby-making (that one's for you, Toph!), but I'm not big on sharing my deepest, innermost tender thoughts on my family and personal journey of motherhood in a loud party among mostly strangers while listening to my husband read palms. I should note here that he read palms for over two hours. That should be a significant part of the story. I'm not sure why, but it should be. Maybe to reiterate that I had some time on my hands seeing as the line to play Guitar Hero was too long. I mean, I want to be a rock star too, but not if I have to stand in line my friend.

So my grandma send me Ginzu knives this week. The real ones ya seen on the tv. She ordered them years ago and never opened them, so great for me. My grandma's clearing stuff out. She'll be 90 next month and she's been getting things in order for her death for years. She doesn't want us to have to go in and clean out a bunch of junk. It's the Valentine way. Why would you leave a mess? WHY?!? But back to the knives: they CUT! I cut my finger because I didn't know that with good knives (read: real), you can't cut fruit in your hand. And also, they make cuts in the linoleum countertops. Who knew? I guess that I was really more of bending my food than actually cutting it. I've seen a whole new world and it is magical.

There's no way I can explain what it is like to be a mother. It is so many things at the same time and most of them are inexplicable. At least for me. I'm sure there's some Family Circle cartoon or Chicken Soup for the MOTHER'S Soul that's really hit it on the head. Does it have anything to do with knives? Could there be a metaphor in my special knife experience? I think so, but I'm too busy BEING AWESOME IN 2006 to draw any conclusions for you. I'm sure you moms will understand.

33 comments:

petie said...

It just made me jealous that you were eating chips and dips and dispensing advice, and I wasn't there with you. Junk food and Lisa. . .nothin' better, my friends.

Motherhood is much like a mission. I mean, you'd never tell anyone NOT to go on one, because it really is the best experience of your life. . .but it's also the best-kept, most horrific lie out there. So you just have to tell the person to "go for it" and whimper a little bit for her.

Bek said...

BUT, if you have a great support network you can actually laugh every once in a while and enjoy it.

I love that I have friends that I can say these things to and know that they aren't going to gasp and think less of me. If there is a day that I have to tell my child at least 12 times that I am going to sell them to the gypsies, I know that I will get an "amen" from my girls. :-) For me, that is what makes it do-able.

Great mission analogy Petie.

Hailey said...

Last night I was having a conversation with two guy friends, one of them single. He expressed his overwhelming desire to have kids RIGHT now and I graciously offered to let him try out Ethan for a week. When I described him to my friend, he said, "He sounds awesome! I can't wait!" Of course I immediately responded, "Well the grass is always greener," because that's the kind of girl I am, but I thought to myself, "He IS awesome..." Where would I be without those little moments?

Oh, and Lisa, lest you forget, you're still my hero...

wendysue said...

When people ask me about having kids I just say sure, just do it, and I think it was you that said, and I quote "Kids are like potato chips. . .you can't have just one!" That goes perfectly with your story. . (swatting tiny hands away from my gaping mouth. . . how do you know my life?)

And Bek, not only the gypsies, I remind my children that I would never be convicted by a jury of my peers. Never.

oh, and you remember Natalie? She was always going to write a cookbook called, Sharp Knives and Real Mashed Potatoes. . .maybe you could do a testimonial for it?? "I BELIEVE!!"

~j. said...

Before you have kids, you know everything about how they work, how they should be, what your kids will NEVER do (bending the food with the old knives), and then you have your own and they make you bleed (real knives).

Anonymous said...

~j:
perfect!
ashley

Lorien said...

Before I had kids, I was always really critical of people who said anything negative about their kids. I remember someone referring to their kid as a little sh.... I thought that was so horrible and put it on my long list of all the things I was NEVER going to do/say and all the things I would be CERTAIN to do. Four kids and an abandoned list later, I've decided that term wasn't so bad--especially since half the time it's literal. I just make sure they're out of earshot or it's mouthed under my breath when I break down and say it. Traveling the journey is a whole lot different from peeking in on someone else periodically during their journey. And besides, I love my little sh...s more than anyone (including myself) could ever have imagined!

AzĂșcar said...

I'm sure I have no idea.

Then again, you're the one who suggested I have a baby in the first place (I guess you're going to say it's my fault I listened.)

lisa v. clark said...

Wendy: "convicted by a jury of my peers!" CLASSIC! Did I really say that about the potato chips? Cliche, but too true, too true. "I BELIEVE!"

Carina, don't ever listen to me (but I'm glad you did!)

Lorien and Hailey: I love what you wrote. They ARE great kids, but it is different when you're "peeking in on someone else periodically during their journey."

c jane said...

Lisa,
I don't know anything about any of this stuff you call motherhood, or nothin' but I do know this. (As long as Carina is linking it up...)
Did you get to play? And what song? And did you do a BAM! kick?

Bek said...

I have a certian childless brother in law and sister in law who LOVE to tell my how awful my kids are. They make messes. They don't sit still. They take away time and love from the grandparents. Their children will NEVER be like that (those exact words spoken to my face over a screaming, teething 18 month old who is covered in poo).

As I look at their barely veiled expressions of disgust at my children (who are actually pretty good kids) I just smile. Their time will come, oh yes, and Aunt Becca will be sending lots of obnoxious, loud, talking, flashing toys that don't have an off switch or volume button. LOTS OF THEM. :-)

Julie said...

All right, Bek! Make sure you get the toys that are loud enough to cause hearing loss.

I always thought it was interesting that Eve "was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgresssion we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil..." So...that means if we never have kids we'll never know evil? Hmmmm. Food for thought, along with those chips.

If you ever want an expert on having kids, I'll get you in touch with my aunt. She had 16--no multiples. (Yes, Lisa, I'm the one who mentioned this very woman to you the other night at the PACG meeting.)

lisa v. clark said...

I'm STILL thinking about your Aunt: 16! I love your insight on Eve.

Alas, Court, I never did play. But I've been thinking about how much my boys would love that game.

Bek, sometimes your family is extra special, no?

Valentine said...

I'M JUST NOT READY, OKAY? (my response to a sister, who will remain unnamed when she said, "Well, I mean, you're going to be 30 soon... you've got to have kids before you're 30..." when discussing my 25th birthday)
I'm scared.

lisa v. clark said...

Well you SHOULD be scared! A little fear is good for a preparing mother of six (that's the number I've chosen for you, "Valentine.")--it motivates you to prepare. But then again, you're scared to committ to a haircolor. (ouch! hey--I kid because I love--when have I committed to a hair color?!) You've got a lot to do in five years: get your website/shop open, get married. . . I'm just here to help with unsolicited advice. It's my way. What are you, brunette now?

Bek said...

Twenty five dollars.....for both???

Super special. This is a story that I fear I cannot tell on my blog. You should tell it on yours. :-) Please change the names and details so as to protect my privacy......

:-)

Valentine said...

oh dear sister, how ye ... know ...thee. er something. I AM brunette, and the webshop is UP! (ahem: amandavalentine.com - we accept pay pal)

Josh said...

The other sunday in my ward there was a new family speaking and the couple, who don't have children, decided to speak on how to be good parents. Kiss my what? I believe I had crossed arms and a raised eyebrow the whole meeting. One of the things he pointed out was how his sister's kids who watch a lot of TV have REALLY low self esteem. So ergo, we shouldn't let our kids watch TV.

Did it ever occur to him that maybe those kids have such low self esteem because they get teased about their uncle being such a bitch. (Can I say that word on Lisa's blog?

My rule: Don't judge other parents, unless you preface it by saying "Now, I try not to judge other parents, but..."

Josh, a tired father.

Hailey said...

Josh, you are the most awesome tired father ever!

OK, so this is somewhat off-topic, but since it relates to another discussion that was had at said party, I think I'm ok. Last night I dreamed that L'Oreal was selling eyeshadow/blush/lipstick combos for $5. It was a GREAT dream. I was pretty sad when I woke up and did not have my new lipsticks. Then I remembered our make-up conversation, Lisa, and I realized that I forgot which eyeliner you recommended and also which make-up company makes the color Taupestone?

Just wondering...

Anonymous said...

joshua,
ashley neves here.
i LOVED your story about the arrogant couple in sac mtg!!!!!!
i think advice on raising kids should be prefaced with, "I have x-amount of kids/no kids, and anything i say can go in one ear and right out the other, because NO ONE can tell you how to raise your own kids." Granted there are some morons out there, but child-rearing advice is only valuable if it's asked for.
$0.02 (my advice on parenting advice)

lisa v. clark said...

Hailey, thanks for asking my advice on makeup. I've been wearing make-up since I was 13, I own a fair amount of make-up (okay, a little obsessive on the lipstick side) and anything I say can go in one ear and out the other, because NO ONE can tell you how to wear make-up, BUT SINCE YOU ASKED. . .

Loreal makes Taupestone and it's a great neutralizer to any funky orange, red, or pink. And the Maybeline unstobbable eyeliner line is great (goes on smooth/fast but doesn't smudge).

Josh, you can say anything on my blog--as long as it's the truth (ohhhhh.)

Lorien said...

my sister just had her first--the fifth grandkid, which means the only one that's NOT mine. I'm waiting with a smug little smirk to see how this goes. Am I a bad sister if I secretly (okay, not so secretly) hope that the kid is a bit of a terror? And thank you, bek, for reminding me about those blinky flashy beepy buzzy music-y toys I should be giving my sweet little nephew.

lisa v. clark said...

When I was pregnant with my first and gained a TON of weight, and had a pinched nerve that shot down my back all the way down my leg, my sister asked me "Why are you waddling? Are you just doing that to get attention so everyone will know you're pregnant and everything?" Yeah. She and I understand each other MUCH better now that she has kids.

Bek said...

Amanda...cool website....you are very talented!

Josh, we have a few of those talks each year. They tend to have the worst kids. That is my second favorite talk, right behind the "no one tries to be my friend in this ward and you should all be ashamed talk" we get a few times a year. Good times.

Lorien...may I recommend the little round ball with a star on top that you press and it plays FIVE songs...really loud. If you accidentally look at it wrong it will play. I think it is by Fisher Price. The perfect revenge toy. :-)

Lorien said...

sweet pic, lisa.

and thank you very much for the recommendation, bek. What is the next legitimate gift-giving holiday? (so she won't suspect anything)

compulsive writer said...

Lorien, no better day than today (March 22), which is "As Young as You Feel Day," "National Common Courtesy Day," "International Day of the Seal," and "International Goof-off Day." Any one of these is the perfect occasion for gifting a loud obnoxious toy. Or, depending on your mood, a loud obnoxious child. I sum up my parenting experience the same way I summed up my mission. It is the hardest thing you'll ever do. But it is also the best thing you'll ever do.

One of the advantages of having older friends is that you get to walk beside them as they go through some of the milestones that lay ahead. It sort of prepares you for sending your own flesh and blood away to who knows where for 18 months to two years. Watching your daughter marry the man of her dreams. Or her worst nightmare. And much, much more. One of the things I've learned is that this is one job that is never over. Enjoy the ride.

nie nie said...

i love you lisa

The Dally Llama said...

Lo, if you need someone to defray the cost of any loud toys, just remember that Kaiyduhn (can't remember how they spelled it, so I figured I'd cover my bases) has an uncle with virtually unlimited borrowing potential right now, and who isn't afraid to use it.

P.S., Willus and I already have next year's Christmas present for your kids in the workings. We actually hatched the idea on Christmas Eve this year when it was too late to do anything about it.

Missing Judy said...

We know you're insanely, crazily busy...but maybe just a little something to satisfy our Oh Judy fix?

A wee bit?

Kate said...

Lisa,

I don't know how else to get in contact with you. I have to hear your thoughts on GG and The Office season finales!

I met Logan's (not real mom, TV mom, apparently they're different)mom at this event a month ago, but she didn't give me any spoilers.

Jim and Pam?!?

Kate

compulsive writer said...

Dear Lisa,

You don't know me, but we were talking about you the other day and decided that we--your loyal readers--are all so desperate for another post that we would offer to tend your children (you know, because your husband is out of the country and all) so you could pleasure us with another post.

Of course now your out of the country too (bon voyage) and you're probably too smart to put your children in the trust of perfect strangers. But desperate times do call for desperate measures...

Sincerely,

CW

compulsive writer said...

P.S. Happy Birthday!

La Yen said...

Dear Lisa,
Just caught up on your esposo's blogs, and was struck by this thought--He is so much jollier when you are with him. You are so freaking loved!