Last night, I couldn’t sleep. Much of it was my cough, dry and persistent with lots of pain. Odie bought some cough medicine, but he accidentally got the kind with alcohol in it, so I couldn’t take any. But I was also troubled by guilt. Even though Odie and I have nothing in our rental contract that specifies yard upkeep, we do let it get pretty out of control. One of the neighbors apparently mentioned it to the landlord, who emailed me a very diplomatic inquiry. I wish I could get out there with my yard tools and snip, clip, shovel and trim our yard into submission. But in the ninety degree heat, six and a half months pregnant, it seems like a bad call.

Our yard has two stages: dry, dead carnage and overgrown weeds. We live on a hillside, and the hillside truly needs a retaining wall built around it to keep the dirt and shrubbery off the road and sidewalk. Since it doesn’t have one, things can get a bit out of hand. It’s also quite a large parcel of land, so the job of keeping it looking nice requires a full-time gardener which we cannot afford.

So I sat in my chair watching “Law and Order: Los Angeles” late into the night and feeling bad about my yard. I’m proud to say that I resisted the urge to make and eat several grilled cheese sandwiches around midnight, and went to bed instead, where I lay restlessly for another hour.

I was thinking about Jack Nicholson, because I read on a gossip site earlier in the day that his daughter turned 21. Cynically, I thought about how her dad dates women about her age (or more likely “hires” women about her age). In a few years, his daughter’s friends will be too old for him.

Which led me to thoughts of Nicholson in “The Witches of Eastwick” and my “bloom” project/mission. (https://mrsodie2.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/the-bloom-project/) In the middle of a sleepless night, it occurred to me that when Nicholson as Daryl VanHorne tells Cher about his perfect woman, he was playing the Devil. This is LUCIFER describing the ideal woman. A woman ripe for the plucking by the temptations of Satan himself. And I had to chuckle.

Vanity. Narcissism. Sloth. Envy. Several of the seven deadly sins, all of which I am guilty. Although, not gluttony. See above where I did NOT make and eat grilled cheese sandwiches.

I rethought my Bloom Project. I don’t want to bloom. Blooming is temporary. A flower blooms for but a moment, then fades away and dies. I want to do more than bloom. I want to flourish. I want to burgeon, thrive, succeed, develop. I want to ARRIVE.

And, yes, I did look up “flourish” in a thesaurus.

As the daughter in my womb ripens, I put myself on hold in some ways. I have to avoid the retin-A products I would normally apply to combat the signs of aging. I cannot diet to lose weight. I must exercise carefully and moderately. On the inside, though, my thoughts of flourishing continue. This is my last year in my thirties. The last year of my twenties seems only months ago. Most women raise their children in their thirties and find themselves facing forty with an empty nest. I am a decade behind in this regard. I will turn forty with a three year-old and an infant. And a bikini body? Only time will tell.

Okay, not a “bikini” body. I have never been a bikini girl. I am too pale. It’s a commitment to sunscreen that I’m unwilling to make. A stylish one-piece suit and sarong body, with a wide-brimmed hat. That I can do.

This summer, I look forward to afternoons at our friends’ pool, watching the older kids do fearless, noisy cannonballs into the water while Odie supervises our two year-old in the shallow end. I will be doughy and postpartum pudgy in the shade, snuggling my sweaty infant and gossiping. Sipping chilled white wine in between breastfeeding sessions. Flourishing on the inside.

For now.


About Mrs Odie

Friendly Pedant; Humble Genius
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13 Responses to Flourish

  1. Rosie says:

    Hey – I’d buy your book.
    As for S.W.N.M.N.B.M, I’d spend an afternoon at Barnes & Noble turning HER books around on the shelf and putting other books in front of them. (I did that to Sarah Palin’s and Glenn Beck’s books, respectively.)
    Okay – I have a thought about K-Hizzle: If she’s so damn happy, why is happiness like the Holy Grail to her? Why is there such an overwhelming urge to search out happiness like she does? I mean, I’m a very happy person. I’ve found my happiness. Something tells me KH has got to be MISERABLE if happiness is such an issue with her, if ‘choosing’ to be happy is so noteworthy!
    I’m a vintage movie freak and one of my favorites is (not so old) Strictly Ballroom from the Touchstone folks in the 90’s. The dancing family of an up-and-coming ballroom star is devastated when their son decides to do “daring, crowd-pleasing” steps instead of following their dance-federation guidelines. The devastated dance mom is in tears – mascara runnning down her face in black streams, and she says through sobs, “I’ve got my happy face on!”
    See, everytime I think of that scene I think of KH, desperately trying to prove that she, too, has her happy face on!
    Well, I’m off. I have one of those – what are they called? They’re so amusing! Oh, yes – job!

  2. Marissa says:

    Oh please Rosie. Most people strive to be happy or find some kind of peace everyday. Happiness is the holy grail for many people (see all of the books on the subject by Gretchen Rubin, etc.). And by the way, do you have a child with special needs?

    I’ve really come to believe you women are all high on something. Saying that Kelle posting an adorble naked bath photo of her girls is pornographic? Is Anne Geddes’ work pornographic or meant to attract pedophiles? You all went too far with that one and you completely lost me. This is me signing off for good. It’s just gotten to be too much of a stretch and a lot of ugliness has come through in both your posts and your commenters’ posts.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      I didn’t see anyone call the photo pornographic. People were shocked to see full-frontal nudity. It was something that we would not do with photos of our own children. No one suggested that the pictures were MEANT to attract pedophiles, just that they might have that unintended consequence. I just looked at some Anne Geddes photos, and the children’s genital areas are not visible in any of the photos I saw, so I don’t think the comparison is apt. She poses the naked children so they are covered, and most of the time she has the babies in costumes.

      I am not going to post any more comments about KH on my blogs that are not about KH. I’m sick of her and I almost never say anything about her. Some readers have a bone to pick with her, so they comment here. I’m going to leave this post up for the next day or so, then I’m deleting it.

      If I wrote something about KH, then comment on it. But if my post has nothing to do with her, I’d appreciate it very much if my readers would confine their comments to the subject at hand.

      • Sarah says:

        Good for you. Your blog has so much more worthy fodder for thought, insight and humor! I come here for your take on life and parenthood and teaching and to that I can relate. I can totally feel summer vacation in the air as well. Our spring break was late and I thought, oh my if I’m ready for summer I can only imagine how ready the students are, and they were.

        I thought of you today on the issue of grammar and spelling. I copied a project assignment from a fellow teacher without proofing it. I got a scathing letter from a parent criticizing my mistakes (which were actually my coworker’s) and saying I wasn’t fit to teach. It hurt my feelings and made me feel insecure but I took the high road and sent her a thank you email for pointing out the errors.

    • She had to photoshop her child’s vagina. What is that called? I would like to know.

      I was horrified. There’s pictures you share and pictures that are just for you and your immediate family.

      There are boundary issues over there. I worry.


  3. Jill says:

    As they say…don’t let the door hit you in the ass Marissa.

  4. Annie says:

    Okay, so I found your blog by typing in ‘Kelle Hampton is annoying’…don’t shoot, just be glad I’m here. I’ve spent the last 2 hours ‘working’ and reading your blog. I love it! There were several posts I wanted to comment on, but I’m not technologically savvy and couldn’t figure out how. I just wanted to say that I’m glad I found this place. I nursed my baby to sleep for the first year of her life. I LOVE wine and am so glad it’s back in my life again. The first argument my husband and I had after our daughter was born was about sex. I would love to trade places and be the Daddy for a day too. And even though I like looking at Kelle Hamptons photos, I always leave that blog feeling inadequate as a human being. I’m glad I’ve found someone in cyberspace that makes me feel like I’m not the only Mommy who keeps it real! 🙂

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      Thank you! The reason you can’t comment on the older blogs is because I turned the comment feature off for blogs older than two weeks. But now it seems maybe I should turn them back on.

  5. I am very curious about the house renting/yard upkeep situation. My Hubs and I have rented homes with yards a couple of times in our marriage. The first time the landlord clearly agreed to a rate that if we mowed the lawn, that agreed-upon cost would come off the rent and that worked out because we lived there for 4 years. The second time we rented it was for only 6 months and there wasn’t much of a lawn to mow. I assume the landlord is responsible for a broken toilet and everything else s/he owns so why not the lawn/flora/fauna maintenance if there is not an agreement as to what you guys will do in the yard for the rental cost?
    I bet you can’t wait for summer! And 40 is not bad. Not bad at all. I wish I was 40 again. 40-45 was good. I think the body blooms forth….knowing that the estrogen will drop after age 46. That is how it worked out for me.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      Our landlord agreed to pay for the gardening. We had to get several gardeners’ estimates before we found a price everyone could agree upon. Now we’re in negotiations about the upkeep of the yard.

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