It’s hard to believe today isn’t Saturday. It just feels like the weekend but tomorrow will probably be spent chilling out in the house or in our yard. We could go to Chateau Elan or out to the Lake Lanier but that would take getting there at about 9 am to get a decent spot and dealing with the sticky heat, no good place to potty, then not getting home until 2 am because traffic gets murdered on both 85 and 9-85 and every single road that is in between the two. Next year, we may have to save up some money to get a suite inside the Chateau hotel and just chill out there all day. On the other hand, we could stay at the resort at Lake Lanier Islands, but folks get a little crazy out near the lake. Apparently beer and boats and too much sunshine make regular people turn into idiots.
I need to go get a bath and do the grocery shopping today. I don’t feel too bad this morning, even though I didn’t sleep a lot last night. Alyssa slept in the bed with me because we’re trying out this co-sleeping to form relationships thing. It’s like a way to get used to each other in a very no stress fashion. We hadn’t been able to try it until they were adopted and I’m hoping it helps to repair this mutual animosity between the two of us. Watching her last night, I realized how much like me she is even in sleep. It’s hard seeing her as a little person who is not just “me at that age.” I see so much of myself in her that I forget she’s her own person with her own personality.
I’m realizing how hard it was and is on my dad to have two daughters who are so much like him and a son who is so much like his mom. He makes that comment a lot. “It’s strange that my daughters ended up like me and Bob takes after Kim.” He watches us in that detached sort of analytical way that I catch myself using on Alyssa.
I need to spend some time thinking on what I want for her and if that really has any effect on what she actually wants for herself. I want her to have the best education she can get to keep her crazy intelligence busy. I can provide that with the charter school nearby until she’s in middle school – after that, she’s going to have to use her own ambition to select the classes that will either challenge her or will just get her through.
I want her to grow into a woman who is practical with the real world, without being so hardened to it the way I was. With my generation, it’s hard to be an idealist when so much has happened to us as a culture. Much of our idealism had to come from denial of the world as it exists. I also don’t want her to be like the sheltered kids I knew in school and in church who never really understood the other side of the cultural equation.
I want her to be healthy and fit in body and mind. Here’s where I struggle. She’s definitely got the “fat gene” and I keep visualizing the only pic I have of her bio-mom… and it’s not pretty. It’s not even close to “fluffy” or “sturdy.” Right now, I’d say A is sturdy with some baby chunks. Her legs are crazy muscular but she carries her softness in the middle. The doctors have already scared the crap out of me about that: childhood diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems.
She’s a big girl and it’s easy to see that when she’s around her classmates. She’s taller, bigger boned, thicker. She’s also more athletic and her hair and fingernails are much healthier. I look at the other little fine-haired wormy looking kids and I have to admit I have that parental bias towards her. I also look at the pictures we have from when she first moved in and she’s a lot healthier now that she’s on the “athlete diet” my mom always had us on. It just works a lot better on her and E than it does me.
I keep picturing this girl I went to school with who was always so fat and her mom would send her to school with a plain salad with ranch dressing. It was like singling her out as “the kid on the diet.” I want Alyssa to know enough about nutrition and how to limit herself before she goes to school and gets exposed to all that crap. Food takes up so much of our time that it’s ridiculous. If she’s out of my sight, she’s begging people for extras. At one point, she had a pre-K teacher feeding her 3 lunches a day!
I remember my mom yelling at my aunt to not feed us crap on the sly. My aunt would yell back that kids needed sugar and fat in order to be kids. Now that I’m grown – and I’m serious – weight is still talked about all the flipping time and the grown ups around me are flat out nuts. My mom is 5′ 8″ and 135 lbs. She hates being over 130. She stands naked in the mirror and glares at her hips. I know she’s not as slender as she was in high school or in the Navy! She’s almost 50! In school and in the Navy, she was a champion swimmer and would spend hours a day in the pool. If she wasn’t in the pool, she was running track. No one can keep up that kind of training regimen and actually have a real life. Still, if you walk by and pat her on the butt, you’re liable to break your hand. She’s got the hardest, most muscled body I’ve ever seen on a woman her age.
My sister is exactly the same way: former athlete who now bitches about being 125. My aunt: same way. She was a swimmer and in the Army, but she at least doesn’t bitch until she hits 160.
And you know what, I’m the same way too. I’m much shorter than them and I’m built for comfort instead of speed (my mom says I’m “dainty”) but still when I hit 130, my heart goes nuts with nervousness. I was 129 at the doctor on Friday, but my mom informed me that since I still had a uterus that it was ok for this week to be about 5 lbs off.
I know after all these years of conditioning to eat a certain way and if the scale gets too high, to stress the fuck out, that I really have one mindset that bothers me: I don’t respect fat people. Why should they be allowed to not work as hard as I have? If I ate what they did, I’d be fat like them but I’m not. It’s not that hard, you just can’t eat that trash with all those toxins and fats. Try a glass of whole milk if you need some fat – at least it’s not processed into grease and you’ll get some of those complex dairy proteins. And yeah – let’s talk about the protein that you’re not going to find in a chicken nugget. Not that hard, people. How about some fruit? Pay attention to what you put in your pie hole. Seriously, now.
But is that better for me than actually being overweight? Does it really make a difference? When it comes down to it, I’m not on insulin but I am on 3 or 4 other prescription drugs. That little thought in my head that says “at least I didn’t do it to myself” really bugs me because really – I do feel like it’s a trade off. I could probably chill on the meds if I had this MVP diet down pat with no caffeine, plenty of water, and 60% organics or if I regularly took the omega-complex supplements, the CoQ10, the extra B, D, and E vitamins, and the extra magnesium and zinc like I’m supposed to. I really don’t take care of myself “like I’m supposed to.”
In all honesty, I could easily be a vegetarian. I just don’t like meat that much but my body gets to craving it because I have to have those extra meat proteins to keep the connective tissues that work the heart valves healthy. I’d love to eat summer veggies and jasmine rice, pasta, and couscous with fruit all the time but if I do, I end up in the hospital with doctors staring at me like I’m stupid because my heart went nuts and I passed out in public.
So we’ve established that I’m nuts in regards to myself. Is it any surprise I’m hard on Alyssa? Is she going to absorb it from the extended family anyways? If I do let up on her, will she hate herself for the way she looks? Can she actually overcome the cravings without becoming anal-retentive?
So I need to go grocery shopping. Yay.