Becca Wilhite Blog

April 25, 2013

I Tried on a Dress.

Filed under: body image,emotion,Mom — becca @ 10:11 am

Not that trying on a dress is something all that unusual [1], but this thing happened to me when I did it this week.

see it at cabionline.com

 

Here’s the dress, above, photo courtesy of CAbi clothing. If you can’t see it, I’ll describe it to you in my high-fashion vocabulary [2]: it was green, and silky-ish (some kind of poly-something, I assume); a collared/button-down shirt-dress with a waist tie AND IT LOOKED LIKE A DRESS MY MOM WOULD HAVE LOVED. Except for the green. My mom avoided the green/yellow things in life, because her liver had issues and green and yellow things made her look jaundiced. So she said. I never actually noticed. But I was sixteen when she died, so “I never actually noticed” could be my theme song.

Anyway, the dress looked awful on me. That sassy, confident, leggy, honey-maned model? Not me. At all. It was, in every particular, wrong. But I sort of loved it anyway, because it looked so Mom-ish (in the “my mom” definition, not the “mom jeans” definition). And I stood there, in front of a very large mirror, staring at me in this wrong dress that felt so very right in its ability to conjure. Memories. Feelings. Smells and sounds of that laugh that my kids wouldn’t recognize. The small sweet memories that I hold on my palm like a butterfly that may, any second, fly away — but the ME that is now, this ME is willing to enjoy the seconds the memory flutters there. Maybe that’s the definition of the way I’ve grown up: That I can enjoy the fleeting while it occurs, instead of dreading the moment that it will be gone.

image via greenjeane.blogspot.com, or so google tells me

[1] Kind of it is.

[2] Please stop that laughing.

April 23, 2013

Recalculating

Filed under: goals — becca @ 10:14 am

I just read a lovely post by my virtual friend Annie (who writes lyrical and pointed prose and gives perfect recommendations on how to spend a couple of afternoons in New York City) about a podcast she recently listened to. Much loveliness there, but the thing that spoke to me most was this, in my non-poetic retelling: My GPS unit is a role model for me. She (my GPS is a lady) knows where she’s going and how she’d like to get there. But when I get it wrong, she doesn’t pitch a fit. She simply recalculates. (Is it only me, or does your GPS say “Recalculating” more often than anything else?) I would like to be like my GPS in the manner of patient, gentle recalculating. In the course of a day or a week or a month, there are ample (that’s me being gentle) occasions to recalculate when we get off course (usually when someone else is doing the driving), and how much happier would we all be if I were to simply say, in my elegant British accent, “Recalculating.”

Oh. You chose to sign up for that class? That wasn’t in my plan. Recalculating.

You’d like to play how many sports this summer? Recalculating.

The job I’d love is full time, not part time? Recalculating.

Wow. Look at your hair. Recalculating.

Did you just say those words in front of those people and expose me for all my idiocy and there’s no good place for me to hide? Recalculating.

My Plan is not The Plan? Recalculating.

—-

(On a side note, months ago Husband and I were joking about what it would be like if I were to be the program voice of the GPS. It went something like this: “Get ready to turn left. Left. It’s the one to THE LEFT. Seriously? Did you not hear me? I said TURN LEFT. Why do you ask if you aren’t going to listen to me? Forget about it. Find you own way to the bowling alley. Sheesh.” *muttering* “Some people…”)

April 21, 2013

Prospering

Filed under: emotion,gratitude — becca @ 7:54 pm

April wanes and life carries on. We watch The Incredibles on Sunday evening, eating Italian Popcorn and writing thank-you notes (which none of us are actually good at, but we try now and then). Kid 2 stretches her knee out of its brace, using my long-neglected exercise bands. We feel grateful for the things — for the safety, for the generosity, for the kindnesses from all over. We feel PROSPERED today. Do you feel it too?

I hope you do.

Prospering. It happens at the hands of a generous God, and it happens within the homes of grateful people. It means different things to different groups and in different situations, and sometimes we have the VERY same health and dollars and gladness and feel somehow less prospered. The prosperity isn’t changing. Only our willingness to find it so. I appreciate my ability to find it. And I feel the need, the urge, the responsibility to write it down when it happens. So I can look back at this moment and remember: Prosperity isn’t really about dollars. It’s about attitude and thankfulness.

 

April 19, 2013

Feeling All the Feeling

Filed under: anxiety,emotion — becca @ 8:40 am

Boston.

Texas.

More Boston.

And the things right here,
inside my tiny world.

When your heart is so full that it
nearly bursts,

How do you breathe? Where do you
put it all?

April 10, 2013

April is Poetry Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — becca @ 5:54 am

Laughter
[Such a strange looking word,
And why doesn’t it rhyme with
Daughter,
When they look like identical twins?]

Drumbeats of surprise,
Almost reflexive
Staccato explosions
Like hiccups in
Reverse

Tired chuckles
From bodies too exhausted
To support full lung movement
— even in amusement

Snickers,
Hidden, secret whispers
behind hands
Or under desks
or around corners

Cynical
Snorts
[Accompanied by rolling eyes]
Slip like scorn across a room

And the kind
That sneaks
Through the tears,
Undignified and
Somehow
Holy

Giggle,
Pure and Sincere,
Rises up from childlike throats
Ascending
Into the air like
Birdsong

Which kind will I
Inspire

Today?

April 9, 2013

Imma Tell You This One More Thing

Filed under: silliness — becca @ 10:01 am

I wanted to remember this: While Kid 2 and I were waiting in the “handicap access [1]” section of the lobby before Matilda started (this in on Broadway, remember? in New York? A few days ago? Remember?) we were watching people come pick up their tickets from will-call, and these two (let’s not sugar-coat this) completely gorgeous young men came in and got their tickets. Kid 2 and I shared an eyebrow raise, because, yes, I may have mentioned, they were extremely good looking. Both. [2]

So eventually the doors opened, and we (more eventually) made it to our seats. We had a section kind of off to the side, so I sat farthest out (you know, it’s the theatre equivalent of Mom eating the burnt piece of dinner food). Guess who sat in the two remaining seats to my other side? Yup. The twenty-something HandsomeSauce Brigade. (Can two be a Brigade?)

I said hello. They said it back. In accents. I asked them where they were from, and they are from Melbourne. (Possibly they got better looking simply by virtue of being Aussie. Yes. I am a person who thinks things like that.) We talked for a minute or ten about travel, about annual two-week trips to NYC, about growing up best friends, about Melbourne (I have a brother who lived there), about Utah (surprise — they’d never been!). Jeremy, the blonder one, started to ask a question, and then stopped. I told him he could ask whatever he wanted. He asked if I’d seen “The Book of Mormon Musical,” but said he felt foolish asking, assuming. I said, “Why?” and he looked at me blankly. Then I laughed and he laughed, too. “Are you a Mormon?” he asked, and I said that I am. (Because I tell the TRUTH, that’s why.) And he said, “So, have you seen it?” And I told him no. When he asked why, I shrugged and said, “We’re about to see Matilda. The show will be skewed to make us feel a certain way about certain characters, and that’s fine. The BOM Musical, from what I understand, is skewed to make audiences feel a certain way about a huge, diverse group of real, actual people, and it seems a little mean-spirited.” They agreed. Will, the more brunette one (who is also an anesthesiologist in Melbourne — does that make him more attractive again?) said he didn’t know any Mormons. I smiled and said, “Now you do. We’re pretty normal, right?” and I gestured to my 2 girls who were geeking out about the set, and the 3 boys beside them, who were laughing at them and counting light cannons and generally being happy to be where they were. They asked, “Is it true you don’t drink?” and I said, “Actually, we can. We don’t have to receive our fluids through IV or anything. We just choose to keep it alcohol-free.” And they laughed again. We talked a couple more minutes about that sort of thing, and they were gracious and kind.

And then I asked Jeremy if he still lived in Melbourne. And he told me this: (and gave me permission to use it in a story if I ever want to, which IS BRILLIANT) He lives in Manila (you know, the Philippines?) with his girlfriend (hello, my assumptions are flawed) who is the Australian ambassador to the Philippines or something. I could probably google that and see if my memory is correct, or if he was kidding me, or whatever, (and I did ask if he was kidding, because, hello?) but I prefer to imagine that a beautiful, near-thirty Aussie woman is keeping up diplomatic relations in the Philippines during the day and painting the town with my new friend at night. He also said these words, “So I live at my leisure” (which, natch, rhymes with Pleasure) which, natch, made me laugh out loud. He laughed too. He’s a KEPT MAN. I didn’t know those guys existed anymore. So maybe I need to write a story about the “him” in my mind, because the world needs more modern literature about Kept Men and the Diplomats who Love Them. Am I right?

Good times.

[1] This is a joke. There is no such thing. We stood behind a door, and when it opened, we went in. After which we asked for directions to the restroom. Which was down a long flight of rickety stairs. Carpeted, and probably not that rickety, but narrow and hard to climb in either direction with a newly-gimpy leg. Hey, broadway theaters? Want to get some great wheelchair access? I’m for it. FYI. Even though I’ve never been in a wheelchair except for fun (Aunt Ruth’s motorized Jazzy thing used to get a workout when I’d visit. With my 4 kids. I’m totally an adult.)

[2] This is the part where I assumed that they were gay, (which made me feel a little guilty, just for my ability to make assumptions about people), and then thought nothing stronger than, “Some people are,” (which made me feel like I’m growing up.)

April 6, 2013

Catch Up

Filed under: familyness,happiness — becca @ 1:56 pm

WHAAA? It’s totally April, amigos.

And I have been delinquent in a whole lot of my regular things. But I have such good reasons.

Good Reason #1: I went to New York with Kids 1 and 2 and 7 other cute high school kids and a bunch of adult chaperones for a week of theatre madness. It was fabulous in almost every way. Here are some of the wonderfulnesses of the week:

* 4 Broadway shows, in ascending order of awesomeness (Wicked, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies and Matilda). If you have a chance to see Matilda on Broadway, TAKE IT. Best. Show. Ever. It was the kids’ favorite, hands down. Sweet, funny, sassy, technically fabulous, desks rising out of the ground, lyrics that made me gasp in envy, stunning kid actors. (I hated Mrs. Wormwood, which was, I understand, the idea, but I still hated her and her songs, just so you know I’m being honest here — we could have left out her dance competition number completely. And lost nothing.) Bertie Carvel, you can be my Miss Trunchbull any time. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. LOVED. “Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.”

* Excellent food, including a huge dinner at Juniors, which I did not finish, and a slice of raspberry swirl cheesecake, which I did. I also attempted to eat a street-vendor hot dog. I made it half way. Hot dogs are just a little too bouncy-feeling for me.

* Kid 2 slipped her kneecap off to the side. It’s really best if I don’t describe the actual injury any further. It was nasty, I’m telling you. But guess who has 2 thumbs and is a tough guy? That’s right, my Kid 2. Chaperone Uncle Steve got her a knee brace and she feasted on Advil for the week, and it really didn’t slow her down at all. She didn’t miss any of the shows, the food, or the touristy-business. She even let me help her walk a bit (for a few hours) and let the cute boys who came with us help her a lot more.

* Canal Street. We bargained like the best of them. Came home with clothes and purses and jewels and NYC kitsch.

* Touristy fun business: We stayed in Times Square, which is pretty much the best touristy idea of them all. It never got dark until we pulled the curtains. Party All The Time. We went to Ground Zero memorial, lovely, and went to St. Paul’s church, where lots of 9/11 rescue efforts stemmed. We toured the American Cathedral (St. John’s), awesome. Natural History museum = great, Top of the Rock and NBC studio tours = equally great, Staten Island Ferry is still my favorite (and free) view of the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street with its architectural loveliness and bizarre bull sculpture, the slowly greening Central Park, and miles of subway.

* We had a dance workshop with one of the Newsies. His name is Adam Kaplan, and he was the loveliest guy – so modest and humble and the kids were stunned to be learning from A REAL BROADWAY ACTOR. He’s playing Morris Delancey, a bad guy, (and understudying Jack Kelly) but that didn’t stop us from loving him (some of us to a greater extent than others). He gave the kids loads of his time (especially considering that he performed 2 shows later that day), answered questions, and gave advice. His best words? Go to college. Finish your degree. And there’s no room for Divas. Be nice to everyone. He was terrific, and I hope we see his name all over the place. (He came out for a stage-door visit after the show, and he was so gracious to our kids, posing for photos and signing play books.)

Want to know what happened then? We came home. And did a great deal of laundry. And packed our suitcases back up for Spring Break in Disneyland. Were you there? Probably you were. Everyone else was.

IT WAS FABULOUS. Again. And we wore all of us out. Kid 2 continued to be a major champ despite her braced leg, and we had fun waiting in long lines (and avoiding other ones). First night we drove to Vegas, stayed in a hotel, and then toured Hoover Dam. It’s pretty dam cool, was the consensus. (I know.) Then we went to casa Jacobson, where the lovely Melanie and her family hosted us with gumbo and live music and all kinds of good company. We snuck out early, took our Utah Mormon kids to Starbucks (scandal!) for pastry breakfast, and hit the parks. Along with all of you, apparently. Three days later, we were glad about the following: Comfy hotel beds, the new Cars Land Racers ride (single rider line), World of Color water show, the fireworks, lots of fun rides, and that we all still liked each other. (True test of a good vacation.) Disneyland with big kids is easily as fun as Disneyland with small kids, with the added bonus of no tears, no diapers, and no need to wait in princess lines. (Although, I almost got in line just to check out Merida’s costume wig. SO AWESOME.)

So… how’s your April?

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