Being Boswell

IT’S A GIRL!!!

I am not sure if that was the affirmation spoken at the moment of my birth…what with  mom being sedated and dad in the waiting room…I am not even sure that was the sentiment expressed when I was carried across our army issued threshold…except that I was the first girl born in seven generations of my fathers family. (Now if that doesn’t warrant It’s a Girl what does?)

The family story of my arrival goes like this…my brother did not want a sibling. He was 4 years old and quite satisfied with his place as an only child. But despite his protests and best attempts to head butt my mom’s pregnant belly, I was born. When my mom called him from her hospital room, Rob tearfully asked her if she had had a baby? My brand new mom told my brand new brother, “No.”

No surprise hearing “IT’S A GIRL”  (and that is good news)  is a dream of mine. SO, today is the day. My 55th birthday and the launch of being Boswell.

Conceptualizing, designing and manifesting this blog has been redolent of my pregnancies with my kids. Full of stretch marks, sleepless nights and can’t wait anticipation culminating in screaming…get it out of me…now!!!

Boswell is my birth name. I gave it up when I married at age 23. I raised the question of keeping my name but my husband to be felt strongly about my taking his surname. I conceded. That was just the beginning of many concessions I would make. Little did I know.

When we divorced 27 years later, I went to the prothonotaries office, filled out a one page form, handed them a $5.00 bill-they only took cash, and changed my name back to Boswell. That is all it took. So easy. I felt like an immigrant returning to her mother land. I would have knelt down and kissed the sidewalk as I reached the bottom of the courthouse steps, but it was filthy.

Returning to Boswell, however, meant my kids and I wouldn’t share a last name. (A phenomenon that will forever piss me off. I carried them. Birthed them. Nursed them. Raised them. They should be Boswell or at least hyphenated.) I was concerned Boswell was lost to them.

Recently my daughter told me of a late night conversation she and her brother had after an evening of celebrating his finance’s birthday. They were discussing the matters of their lives, describing their recent antics to one another when Landon said, “Well, we are just being Boswell.” 

Boswell is not lost to them, it is in them. It is in me.

Today I am being Boswell…Confident except when I am insecure. Assertive  when I am not a weenie. Honest save for a few white lies. Forthright when it is worth the investment, quiet when it is not. Smart, but I would like to know so much more. Thoughtful, mostly, unless I am hurt, mad, or exhausted. Articulate unless I am unable to find the word I am thinking of…it starts with a b….god it’s on the tip of my tongue. Funny. Serious. Excitable. A hard worker. Perseverant.

I am an agreeable contradiction. Aren’t we all?

I hope you see yourself in my stories. I invite you to subscribe so you will receive my Tuesday posts in your email box.

Welcome to being Boswell, a work in progress…

WITH MUCH LOVE,

 

Patricia Boswell

Random Acts of Kindness

Anyone that lives in Pittsburgh knows that going for a walk involves hills. It is the good news and the bad. I love that I have a treadmill right outside my door and hate that there is no such thing as a leisurely walk that doesn’t involve sweating.

 

So it was this morning. The spring weather has me ditching the gym and heading out over the hilly terrain of Pittsburgh to get my heart rate up and, hopefully soon, my butt in a favorite pair of summer slacks. On my last leg of my route is a very steep hill. As I looked up from the bottom, I prepared myself mentally and physically for the climb. I found a favorite song on my ipad, jacked up the volume, dropped my focus into my hips, made sure my feet were fully meeting the sidewalk, took a deep breath and started up the hill. Whew, half way up I decided there was no shame in stopping against a railing to rest. As I rested I noticed the neighborhood, smelled a cigar-couldn’t find the culprit-and noticed two cars drive past me going down the hill.

 

I started the second stretch. I was tired and not sure I wanted to, or could, do it. I remembered going into labor with Jena, my second child. When I got into the full throes of labor I said (well shouted) to my husband, “I changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.” I fully expected him to say okay and we would go home. We didn’t.

 

The also remembered was when I was leaving my marriage. I would go to the gym and run (I am not a runner) on the treadmill. I would think I was going to die. I would tell myself that if I could survive 5 more minutes of running than I wouldn’t die leaving my marriage. I ran those 5 minutes. I didn’t die. I felt more confident, so I ran 5 more telling myself, “If I can run 5 more minutes without dying…” I ran 30 minutes this way and successfully ended my marriage.

 

So it was with me and this hill. If I could do this hill I could survive anything. And, since every alternative route home also involved a steep incline, there was no backing out. Halfway up the second stretch a women in a Honda CRV pulled up next to me and rolled down her window. I wasn’t sure I could talk to give her the directions she must be stopping to ask me. Then it occurred to me, wasn’t she one of the cars that just passed me? I stopped walking and looked in through the open window.

 

“Do you need a ride?” she asked with concern.

 

I instantly had a visual of how tragic I must have looked plodding up this incline and felt ashamed. Gratefully, as quickly as my shame reared its disabling head, it was replaced by how touched I felt by her kindness. She had turned around to check on me.

 

“Bless your heart,” I said between gulps of air, “but I am going to do this!”

 

“You go girl!” she responded.

 

I did. I conquered that hill, with her encouragement and kindness inspiring me all the way.

 

Encouragement and kindness. I think that is all we need.

 

Thank you, woman in the CRV.

Patricia Boswell

IT’S A GIRL!!!

I am not sure if that was the affirmation spoken at the moment of my birth…what with  mom being sedated and dad in the waiting room…I am not even sure that was the sentiment expressed when I was carried across our army issued threshold…except that I was the first girl born in seven generations of my fathers family. (Now if that doesn’t warrant It’s a Girl what does?)

The family story of my arrival goes like this…my brother did not want a sibling. He was 4 years old and quite satisfied with his place as an only child. But despite his protests and best attempts to head butt my mom’s pregnant belly, I was born. When my mom called him from her hospital room, Rob tearfully asked her if she had had a baby? My brand new mom told my brand new brother, “No.”

No surprise hearing “IT’S A GIRL”  (and that is good news)  is a dream of mine. SO, today is the day. My 55th birthday and the launch of being Boswell.

Conceptualizing, designing and manifesting this blog has been redolent of my pregnancies with my kids. Full of stretch marks, sleepless nights and can’t wait anticipation culminating in screaming…get it out of me…now!!!

Boswell is my birth name. I gave it up when I married at age 23. I raised the question of keeping my name but my husband to be felt strongly about my taking his surname. I conceded. That was just the beginning of many concessions I would make. Little did I know.

When we divorced 27 years later, I went to the prothonotaries office, filled out a one page form, handed them a $5.00 bill-they only took cash, and changed my name back to Boswell. That is all it took. So easy. I felt like an immigrant returning to her mother land. I would have knelt down and kissed the sidewalk as I reached the bottom of the courthouse steps, but it was filthy.

Returning to Boswell, however, meant my kids and I wouldn’t share a last name. (A phenomenon that will forever piss me off. I carried them. Birthed them. Nursed them. Raised them. They should be Boswell or at least hyphenated.) I was concerned Boswell was lost to them.

Recently my daughter told me of a late night conversation she and her brother had after an evening of celebrating his finance’s birthday. They were discussing the matters of their lives, describing their recent antics to one another when Landon said, “Well, we are just being Boswell.” 

Boswell is not lost to them, it is in them. It is in me.

Today I am being Boswell…Confident except when I am insecure. Assertive  when I am not a weenie. Honest save for a few white lies. Forthright when it is worth the investment, quiet when it is not. Smart, but I would like to know so much more. Thoughtful, mostly, unless I am hurt, mad, or exhausted. Articulate unless I am unable to find the word I am thinking of…it starts with a b….god it’s on the tip of my tongue. Funny. Serious. Excitable. A hard worker. Perseverant.

I am an agreeable contradiction. Aren’t we all?

I hope you see yourself in my stories. I invite you to subscribe so you will receive my Tuesday posts in your email box.

Welcome to being Boswell, a work in progress…

WITH MUCH LOVE,

 

Patricia Boswell

Random Acts of Kindness

Anyone that lives in Pittsburgh knows that going for a walk involves hills. It is the good news and the bad. I love that I have a treadmill right outside my door and hate that there is no such thing as a leisurely walk that doesn’t involve sweating.

 

So it was this morning. The spring weather has me ditching the gym and heading out over the hilly terrain of Pittsburgh to get my heart rate up and, hopefully soon, my butt in a favorite pair of summer slacks. On my last leg of my route is a very steep hill. As I looked up from the bottom, I prepared myself mentally and physically for the climb. I found a favorite song on my ipad, jacked up the volume, dropped my focus into my hips, made sure my feet were fully meeting the sidewalk, took a deep breath and started up the hill. Whew, half way up I decided there was no shame in stopping against a railing to rest. As I rested I noticed the neighborhood, smelled a cigar-couldn’t find the culprit-and noticed two cars drive past me going down the hill.

 

I started the second stretch. I was tired and not sure I wanted to, or could, do it. I remembered going into labor with Jena, my second child. When I got into the full throes of labor I said (well shouted) to my husband, “I changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.” I fully expected him to say okay and we would go home. We didn’t.

 

The also remembered was when I was leaving my marriage. I would go to the gym and run (I am not a runner) on the treadmill. I would think I was going to die. I would tell myself that if I could survive 5 more minutes of running than I wouldn’t die leaving my marriage. I ran those 5 minutes. I didn’t die. I felt more confident, so I ran 5 more telling myself, “If I can run 5 more minutes without dying…” I ran 30 minutes this way and successfully ended my marriage.

 

So it was with me and this hill. If I could do this hill I could survive anything. And, since every alternative route home also involved a steep incline, there was no backing out. Halfway up the second stretch a women in a Honda CRV pulled up next to me and rolled down her window. I wasn’t sure I could talk to give her the directions she must be stopping to ask me. Then it occurred to me, wasn’t she one of the cars that just passed me? I stopped walking and looked in through the open window.

 

“Do you need a ride?” she asked with concern.

 

I instantly had a visual of how tragic I must have looked plodding up this incline and felt ashamed. Gratefully, as quickly as my shame reared its disabling head, it was replaced by how touched I felt by her kindness. She had turned around to check on me.

 

“Bless your heart,” I said between gulps of air, “but I am going to do this!”

 

“You go girl!” she responded.

 

I did. I conquered that hill, with her encouragement and kindness inspiring me all the way.

 

Encouragement and kindness. I think that is all we need.

 

Thank you, woman in the CRV.

Patricia Boswell