Monday, January 11, 2010

Half Empty

My cup is half empty this morning, and I’m giving myself permission to say so.

And it’s this cup….

This is the one that The Practical Daughter uses for her morning coffee. It’s from my set of everyday ware, and it is the only cup that she likes to use. The Practical One likes order. Drinking her coffee out of a quirky mug which has no place in the pattern of things?

Not her style.

And that’s why my cup’s half empty. The Practical One left yesterday to head back to school. When she leaves, my life is not balanced. And I'm a little blue.

If my daughters were caricaturized as Disney’s dwarfs, one would be Doc, and the other would be Happy. Now, that’s not to say that Doc is Grumpy and Happy is Dopey. Not in the least. It’s just that the sum total of their personality quirks names them thus. One is practical; the other is whimsical. And when they are both home, my life is a perfectly lovely balance of practical whimsy. And I love it. If I could box that combination and sell it, I’d be a millionaire.

When they were very little, about ages 6 and 3,
they decided to give me a little dance recital.

 The Practical One performed first,
 waltzing into the living room with precious grace
 to the strains of Lamb of God
and performing a little homemade ballet so well crafted
 I’m almost positive that somewhere.
 up in her room,
was a slip of paper with phonetically spelled out choreographic directions…
complete with dance positions a la Française.

And then the music changed.

In bounced Miss Whimsy, shaking her groove thing for all it was worth to the drum beat of some contemporary Christian rock...just making it up as she went along.

The Practical One and I laughed until I cried.
Perfect balance.

When each daughter turned 13, we went on an overnight adventure in Savannah. They were in charge of the plan as I tried to make memories in Mother/Daughter Land. The Practical One and I spent the day browsing stores like Pier One… just as she had planned…making mental lists of how we would like to decorate the dream rooms and dream homes in our minds. You see, The Practical One dreams too. She just does so in an orderly fashion... with lists... usually color coded.

 Miss Whimsy and I, on the other hand, had no particular plan. We just hit every coffee shop in the area, sipping venti after venti, until, by the time we came home, we were Mother/Daughter on speed. We tried to pierce her ears… They ended up lopsided and had to be redone. Perhaps grande would have been the better choice.

Miss Whimsy and I like to switch things up by taking back roads and byways. When she was little, we called them “adventure roads”. These days, they are generally referred to as “Mom took a wrong turn again”. No matter. Miss Whimsy and I know that eventually, we’ll get where we’re going.  A little meandering now and then doesn’t change the destination,  just the scenery.

But without The Practical One to tell me exactly where it was that I took that left turn, we waste a little more time than necessary trying to get back on course.

And that’s why I lack balance.
And why my cup is half empty.

I like it just fine that my girls are so different. I love each one just the way God made her and delight in the differences. I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Well, maybe that one unpleasant habit that they do share, that of growing up entirely too quickly.

And just in case you’re wondering how Miss Whimsy drinks her morning (noon and night) coffee, here it is:

Happy is just a little tiny bit Grumpy until her first cup of coffee...


Jennie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennie said...

I couldn't be happier that you invited me to read your blog! This is *awesome*, Mrs. Debbie! I relate to so many things: the dramatic, but complementary differences between your kids, the inability to be brief, and the general way you react to things! (I totally would have taken a picture of the van being towed off too.) This could be *BAD NEWS* for my productivity at work. ;) Please keep this up. You make me smile.

Much love, Jennie...the world's longest comment-leaver

P.S.- Had to delete my first comment & correct...I left out a word. Sorry!

Ann said...

I just read this to Hannah, and we both agreed, Lorri would be Miss Whimsey and Hannah Miss Practical.
Many times Lorri and I were on "adventure road" together. She has a fond memory of seeing St. Albans, a quaint little town outside London, which we would not have seen had I not taken a wrong turn trying to get back to Peterborough where we lived, from dropping off Yip at Heathrow airport.
Hannah and I do tend to be a bit more organized together, I think, in part, because I am older with her than I was with Lorri.
Debbie, you must keep this blog up and perhaps write a little book. You not only write "pictures in my mind" but you do it with love, sense and comedy ... ala Emma Bombeck (oh goodness! That doesn't look right but you know who I mean!).
I find this the most enjoyable read of my day!


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