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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
July 2007
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So I’m going through two things right now. One is that the search for spark for knitting has kinda… stopped. And actually, the weird thing is that I remember this happening last summer. But last night, I sat and watched the Closer and I did not knit. I did not spin. I sat. And then I watched some older episodes of Medium. I had laundry going. Bear was sleeping. I didn’t even have the urge to knit. I have the second of the red socks going. I have a lace swatch/scarf thing going. (I’m using the pattern for the center panel of the Wedding Ring Shawl. I’m getting familiar with the patterns so the Shawl isn’t too much of a shock.) But I haven’t touched either in about 24 hours. Weird huh? I’m thinking it’ll pass. It did last summer. I remember Bear thinking that finally the knitting phase had passed, and then autumn came and wham, I had a spinning wheel and I was working like crazy on his scarf again and he groaned.  But I’m not too worried about the whole thing. It’s just kinda odd. Maybe I’ll always be like this.

The other thing is that suddenly I’m not very content with my life. Which is fine, but becoming content again would mean drastic changes. I miss my family. I grew up in a house full of family. There were many different personalities and beliefs and hobbies and we were all so involved with each other. When I went looking at colleges and universities I felt an enormous urge to get away. To not have my whole family stuck up in my life and to not be stuck up in everyone else’s life. And now I’ve spent more than five years having everyone stuck up in my life and being stuck up in everyone else’s life over email and phone instead of in person and honestly, I like the in person version better. I think I just needed to move out of the family home. I think if I had moved across town it would have worked out. Or maybe I needed to move 3,000 miles to realize that in person works better. Whichever. I’m just ready for family again. This doesn’t mean I want to have kids. Bear and I aren’t ready. I think we will be one day, but not today. So Bear and I have been discussing. And I’ve been homesick.

Maybe that’s why I’m not knitting? I don’t know.

Oh, and for anyone who hasn’t known me for years and years and heard the stories, I really and truly do mean that my family is extremely tight knit. Sometimes we’ll invite someone for Christmas or Thanksgiving and there’s always this sense of awe. Sometimes the awe is accompanied by revulsion and sometimes by admiration, but I don’t think I’ve seen someone who hasn’t been amazed at how the members of my family find nothing too personal and nothing too trivial to not be important to other members of our family.

The raising of the children: eating habits, potty training, homework chasing, summer vacation coordination, constant clothes shopping and swapping, carseats, etc. (we have… 8? under 10 yrs. I think there’s 8.). The nuttiness of my mom’s brother and sisters (I don’t even bother to count. My mom has 9 brothers and sisters. In various states of existence.). Retirement funds, senility, health, stress, mortgages, etc. And then there’s the older grandchildren (five of us between 20 and 25). We are still being raised and we yet we are finding jobs, dealing with school, debt, housing, marriage, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  We fight and bicker and argue about each other’s problems and we talk about others choices and obvious lack of mental abilities (and while we may criticize and chastise and and punish, we never, ever, abandon). We pull together at deaths and losses. We present united fronts at problems. We are a network of expertise and experiences and contacts. We celebrate marriages and births and triumphs. We stifle and comfort and lean and support all at the same time. When my great grandmother became old (I know she was very old, but I don’t know how very old), there was no talk of nursing homes or assisted living or nurses, there were regular visits to and from doctors and round the clock sittings and later there were oxygen tanks and wheelchairs. The children who were too young to be expected to live quietly were shuffled in and out of the house to different adventures by whomever had the time and energy and wasn’t sitting with our abuela. We dealt with the grief in our own ways, but always together. It didn’t matter if you needed to hide in a corner, we were all there. When the grandchildren were born, everyone who could be there was, and if they couldn’t they were as soon as they could and we stayed. Hospital nurses must have hated us. We mobbed every single birth. Even those I’m too young to remember, I know we did. And when I say we were there for births, I mean, I was in the delivery room for one and I’m one of the grandchildren. We were THERE.

I have a million stories. Embarrassing stories. Happy stories. Sad stories. Mostly funny stories because my family loves humor. Old stories, new stories. We aren’t a dancing family; we aren’t a singing family; we are a story-telling, bullshit shooting family. We play dominoes and canasta and monopoly. We go to Mass together and the movies together (ohmygod, when I was a kid, either all of us went to the same movie or none of us went, and even when you got older and could drive and go with friends, if you left and went and saw a movie or went to the mall or did just about anything and didn’t tell the family you were going and where you were going, you heard about it when you got home. all of my friends knew my cousins and sib. because my cousins and sib. went to movies and dances and everything with me. thankfully for them, I’m one of the oldest, and it was much easier on them when they got to my age).

And I’m going to stop now, because really, this isn’t helping the homesickness. But it does make me grateful. I have one hell of a family.