Monday, January 21, 2013

Digging in

Both of my boys went to bed with a fever. We have mostly avoided any major flus this season, so my fingers are crossed that this is something quick to pass. Our weekend was full of much needed unscheduled time. I've been tackling my winter ravaged backyard, which is nothing short of back breaking work, complete with regular thorn stabbings, frequent nail breakings, and fraught with curse words and sighs-a-plenty. Strangely enough, working in my backyard always brings to mind a difficult time. Four days after receiving a pre-natal diagnosis that my baby had Down syndrome, I had a camera crew and staff from the HGTV show "Jaimie Durie's The Outdoor Room" come claim my home to begin a 3 day yard makeover. I was waking up every morning ready to cry & feeling like I was living a bad dream...wishing I could just check out of my life and come back when I felt like a human being again.  Instead, I had dozens of people traipsing through my house, while I pretended that everything was "normal" and tried to keep my son Christian on a regular schedule despite the chaos. Frankly, it was kind of hell. I wanted so much to enjoy the experience, and to be the excited homeowner..which I was... but it was all hitting me a little differently. I vacillated between gratitude that these people were doing such a nice thing for us amidst a crazy, awful time and extreme frustration, thinking, "Why NOW??!!"

The TV crew wanted to film a "surprise scene" with me. All I knew was that it was meant to be a "surprise" and nothing else. They asked for me and some of my workout friends (I was teaching Stroller Strides (A Mom and Baby Fitness program) at the time and the show LOVED that angle) to show up in my backyard for the scene. My friends who showed up for me that day knew what was going on with us and were also dealing with the emotions of supporting a friend in tough times.  We strolled our babies into the yard and laughed and talked, when all of a sudden behind me, a man began bashing a hole into the side of my house. He kept bashing and the hole began getting bigger and bigger. The sound was deafening and my mind whirred through the scenario: It's a YARD makeover, why is he breaking my bedroom wall? Is this part of the "surprise" or is this something else?? The host of the show stopped the work and came over to me to say that they had decided to add a little more to the budget and to give us brand new African Mahogany French Doors that would lead out to our new backyard!!! We were a makeover stereotype, as tears began filling my eyes...and the eyes of all of my friends. The show likely thought they had hit pay dirt with a bunch of push overs....but none of us were really welling up over the french doors.

In the end, the actual show doesn't have time for all of these outtakes, and maybe it FELT bigger than it looked. But, my yard is somehow tied into that time. It's not a bad thing, it just IS. I get out there and I try to tackle and tame a yard that requires more time and need than I have to give it. Even though I curse and I struggle, the work is always satisfying. I move a little closer to the yard I want to see again, and I move a little further away from a time that was painful. There is just something about digging my hands into the dirt that connects me to my soul...


And because I can't just throw down the words BACKYARD MAKEOVER without some kind of back up, here is a clip of the show I was able to find even though the full episode isn't currently running...

2 comments:

Becca said...

Holy cow, what an incredible roller coaster of emotions! Beautiful yard makeover, and I can completely understand how all of those feelings were /are tied into it. Thanks for sharing that.

P said...

You are a poet and didn't even KNOW IT! As we always used to say.

This story is a beautiful analogy of DS, love and polishing your lil treasures as best as you can. Your yard would be so so but much less work & "guilt" if no makeover was done. But it's a great but in ways bittersweet memory stirred in your backyard. You mostly feel it only during more grueling care & attention times.

Hmmm sounds like DS; we can do it smoothly. Until the extra CARE & details & research & wondering is it enough? Too much? How do we decide?

You've got the yard & YES to French doors. You will deal but recollecting & honoring that time with perspective keeps you grounded. And humanly connected deeply to folks new to DS....


I get out there and I try to tackle and tame a yard that requires more time and need than I have to give it. Even though I curse and I struggle, the work is always satisfying. I move a little closer to the yard I want to see again, and I move a little further away from a time that was painful. There is just something about digging my hands into the dirt that connects me to my soul...

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