Sunday, January 20, 2008

Granny's Lullaby

Ho sheep, ho sheep, where's the lamb?
Way down yonder in the valley.
Butterfly, butterfly picking at its eye,
Poor little thing cried Mama!

Mama says when she goes away,
Take good care of her baby.
When she comes back, she'll bring a piece of pie.
Poor little thing cried Mama

I was rocking my baby and singing this lullaby to her a couple of days ago. I know it's a strange one, but my granny used to sing it to me and she sang it to my mama when she was a baby. I also remember Granny singing this to my sister on one of the few occasions that Erin would permit such things. So, this song has always had a place in some of my best memories. I guess that is partly because I remember lying soft in my granny's lap while she rocked and she would sing and it was really peaceful. The other reason is because she would usually change the next to last lyric to "bring a piece of pumpkin pie" (my favorite) and I always have been a big fan of food.

The other day though, I was singing this song to Cayton in the way that I've done so many times. She was snuggled up in her blanket and her eyelids were fluttering and, against my will, I slipped back to my childhood and I suddenly missed my granny so much. I don't think about her a lot because she's gone and I don't like to dwell on things I can't change. But, for a minute or two, I spent some time thinking about how I would have liked her to meet my baby and hold another generation on her ample, grandmotherly lap. It would have been nice to hear her take on whether or not Cayton is similar to me. Or, if she couldn't remember, it would have been quite a moment just to hear her sing this silly old song that I imagine she picked up in her own childhood.

As is common with these types of memories, it came and went in a second and I was left feeling a little sad really. Granny was a big part of my childhood since I grew up in a small town and she lived maybe a mile or two from my house. So, when I think of growing up, inevitably thoughts of my grandmother pop up and, nine times out of ten, I end up laughing about something she said or something she did. Often as not, I just get really hungry because she used to cook for me all the time and it was always something that I wouldn't eat now because of my ongoing efforts to avoid becoming, as she would say, "as big as the broad side of a barn".

I guess maybe when I was thinking about her, I realized that my granny really had quite a lasting impact on me. While this wasn't such a groundbreaking revelation, it was significant in that I could see that she gave me something that I can take with me. Not only do I have a healthy appreciation for salt pork and buttermilk biscuits with gravy that tastes so good you'll slap your mama, but she passed along that silly little song that ties past generations to this. So, while my girls won't know my granny in person, they will know who she was and how she touched my life. I think she'd be happy to know that her song lives on. That, and I can make some mean buttermilk biscuits...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fun Times at the Doerr House

If you could just imagine me sitting on the floor in front of Cayton begging her to pee-pee in the potty, you would have a great idea of what's been going on in our house for the past 4 or 5 days.  I think this whole potty training thing is the least fun I've had in my short parenting experience.  This is ridiculously frustrating and BORING.  I have about 35 seconds of down time in any given day and now I spend it sitting on the cold tile floor staring at a toilet and begging for divine intervention.  Not that I haven't been in this position before, but at least I had some good party memories to get me through AND I had an idea that the misery would end.  I have no idea when Cayton will get on board with this whole "going in the potty" deal.  She was fairly happy with the way things were. 

In other news, we did get out of the house today for a trip to the park.  It's rarely 70 degrees here in January, so we took advantage of the good weather.  Cayton got to ride her bike and visit the ducks at the pond.  Unfortunately, we didn't think to take bread for the ducks and she was pretty irritated since there were other kids there feeding the ducks.  But, ever the resourceful one, Cayton decided to feed them some sticks.  Yum...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sing it Merle...

Coming from a long line of country people who like to sit around philosophizing, I admit that I do my best thinking listening to either Jimmy Buffet or Merle Haggard  (a glass of scotch helps too).  Sometimes, I can even do a little ruminating with Pat Green, but as you can tell from my title, tonight my companion was Merle.  I downloaded his new album and on it was a great song called Learning to Live with Myself.  I guess it had really been a little too long since I spent some time just drifting in and out of my own head and maybe that's why this song really hit me just right.

Merle pointed out that "until he gives me my call, the hardest of all will be learning to live with myself".  I immediately identified with that statement because no matter how at ease I am with being me, I find at times that I can really get frustrated with some of my darker tendencies.  For instance, I really had to control myself at the grocery store over the holidays.  After the fifth old person had nearly run me down with her buggy trying to outrun me for the Ritz crackers, I really did have to call on the Good Lord to give me strength.  Seriously, pregnant or not, I was crazed.  Then, as I mentioned in the last post, there is just no way I can be patient with the nosy cashier people at the mall.  On top of all of that, I am getting crankier by the minute and should be really cantankerous by the time I'm, oh, say 40.  

But, being serious, I wonder how in the future I will like myself.  I'm sure that there will be regrets and mistakes that I will acquire and I can't help but think that it might be difficult to carry that around.  While I'm generally an easy going person, there is always that other voice that likes nothing better than to point out all my shortcomings and missed opportunities.  Of course, the flip side of that is that I will also acquire wisdom and some really great things will happen.  So maybe the good and bad even out.  It's hard to say at this point.  But, while I haven't totally learned to live peacefully with myself, I have learned that there isn't much that I know for certain.  So, I guess I'll just have to wait and see.  When I figure it out, I'll let you know.  Don't wait up...