Internal conflicts and resultant behaviors, dress, funeral, conversations with daughter

What a day. I started the day with two mutually incompatible desires/needs. That is, I had some logistics to take care of relative to the trip to the east coast I’m making tomorrow (rescheduling a bunch of lessons; figuring out if I could see my brother while I’m there – I can’t, as he’s in a conference all week; coordinating hotel and transportation with various friends, etc). I also wanted to spend most of the day playing with my kids, being emotionally and physically present prior to the bit-over 2-day absence I am going to have. Intentions are definitely not sufficient: planning is required too. I failed to fully form the former, and definitely failed to make the latter, and therefore wound up frustrated, pressured, and extremely cranky with my kids, about which I then felt guilty.

I didn’t start to feel better until I’d gotten the dishes done while the kids were napping. Sometimes doing something productive is what I need to change my mood. After that, it was easier to apologize to Hazel, and to spend some good, if brief time with her in the playground before her piano lesson.

I have been living in the Pacific Northwest for enough years that my wardrobe no longer contains anything remotely like a sundress. As the funeral is going to be outside with the sun and humidity and heat, I dashed up to the mall to pick up a light dress in between my last lesson and the kids’ bedtime. This is what I got. I realize that I never wear dresses, principally because a) I get stuck in body hatred, and b) it’s hard to find something that will fit me, given my narrow shoulders, big chest, bigger tummy gifted to me by the two pregnancies, and short stature. Finding something that looks and feels good is so nice. I don’t want to be distracted from the main event by feeling uncomfortable in what I’m wearing. Because it is B’s funeral I was inspired by memories of her kindness, warmth, and general loveliness to go for a dress instead of a pair of slacks and a blouse. She was one of the most encouraging women I have ever known, in a very grounded way.

I came back in time for bedtime. We have a book that’s a variation on the “Baa baa black sheep” song, and Emily has in the past few days been asking for it and saying, “Song?” So we’ve been singing it to her. I read/sang that book and another to the twins, and then they asked to nurse. They conked out pretty quickly. I will miss them so much while I’m gone. And, as usual when I’m contemplating solo travel, it will be nice to have a break, too. It’s hard to process challenging emotions while also trying to parent.

Tonight Hazel wanted to know about the funeral, and where B’s body is. I explained what would happen, and that she’s been cremated, and that we’re going to scatter her ashes, as she wanted. Hazel said she wished she could come with me. I told her, not this time, because it’s so far away. But I am glad we can speak openly about what is happening in our lives.


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