a constant swivel & an empty nest

I’m writing a work of fiction about a middle-age woman, newly empty-nested and figuring out her next stage of life.  This week my husband, Jeff and I dropped off our twin daughters at college—Lucy at American University & Willa at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.  

It won’t take you too long to figure out who “Alice” is in my excerpt.

“Although, she didn’t have the feeling so many of her friends described of instant familiarity with their babies…some bullshit, mysterious, ancient connection.  She felt something else, far less magical, perhaps it was a twin thing. 

constant swivel lisa lillibridgeAlice remembers how immediately after holding Frankie and Pearl for the first time she had a feeling that she was ignoring one baby whenever she turned her head and looked at the other.  Im already screwing this up She couldn’t possibly have known in that moment that this feeling would never leave her.  Alice’s head and heart already on a constant swivel, less than an hour after giving birth to twins.”

As many of you already know, it’s quite an emotional roller coaster to send the last of your brood out into the world.  I’m only 16 hours in, so this is all still pretty raw for me.

I believe whenever my wholeheartedness is required,

the process just can’t be rushed. 

In the remarkably funny (and raunchy) Netflix series Big Mouth, the character of Jessie’s mother, Shannon has the best line to describe what I’m feeling right now. 

“Let’s finish basic training before we go to Fallujah.”

She was describing using a maxi pad, when her daughter asked about tampons.  A great line for lots of situations though.

BIG MOUTH was created by Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg, Nick Kroll and Mark Levin.  The voice of Jessie’s mother, Shannon is Jessica Chaffin. 

(PLEASE NOTE: Do not watch BIG MOUTH with young kids.)

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The Ideal Mother is a Terrible Parent

by Erin W

I stumbled upon this article recently, which helped knock back some of those ever present parenting “should haves”Thank you Erin W.

“Eventually I smothered the ideal mother. I killed her dead. I introduced myself to my kids and started practicing “organic parenting.” I yell, I curse, I kiss and I hug. I hold onto them and push them away. They hold onto me and push me away.  Together, we horrify and delight each other, all the time.”  (I love this line wholeheartedly.)

LINK:  https://sherecovers.co/the-ideal-mother-is-a-terrible-parent/

My solace will come from many sources.  I’m riding the unpredictable waves as they roll in and I’m trying to listen to my inner self .  I know she’ll guide this process far better than any outside sources ever could.  I have to be willing to actually listen though.

Hang in there fellow empty nesters.

empty nest

Finding Sidney

Last year at this time I purchased these photographs at REsource VT on Pine Street in Burlington, Vermont for $2.00 each.  Today I was cleaning out my desk and shelves and came across them again.  When I purchased theses images I was overcome with a certain amount of sadness because they had been discarded.  Thankfully they weren’t recycled.

I’ve personally had to get rid of some of my own paintings or children’s artwork before because I can’t keep everything. I know there are a million reasons why these ended up at REsource.  I’m really grateful that I stumbled upon them.

If anyone recognizes people in these photos or remembers being in a class with the photographer or any information really—please e-mail me. The first name is Sidney but I can’t make out the last name. I would love to know more.  This photographer has a remarkable sense of composition, light and emotion.  There’s a real bravery to this subject matter.

This photographer was willing to get intimate with their subjects.  For some reason it appears to me that they didn’t necessarily know the people they were shooting.  I’m not certain of that—it’s just my hunch.  I always admire that quality.  That willingness and risk can be really hard for me.  I love to shoot people, but I’m not very assertive in certain situations.  I’ve missed some great shots because of my hesitancy.  This photographer makes me feel braver and for that I’m grateful to you Sidney, whoever you are.

Please send me any information or even vague ideas about this photographs.

If you haven’t seen the documentary on NETFLIX “Finding Vivian Maier”.  It’s well worth your time.  It’s a great documentary. Vivian Maier had a really unique “eye” and her story is truly fascinating.

Here’s an excerpt of the film from the photo blog: PETAPIXEL by Michael Zhang.

“In case you haven’t been following the Vivian Maier saga, here’s a short summary: back in 2007, a 26-year-old real estate agent named John Maloof bought a box of 30,000 negatives from an estate sale for $400 (and later more photos that brought his collection to 100,000 images). Turns out it was the lifetime work of a then-unknown street photographer named Vivian Maier, whose eye for composition and brilliant shots captured the world’s attention.”

http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Finding-Vivian-Maier/70291615

 

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