Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another day, another reunion

Growing up all over and moving every few years meant that I went to lots of schools.  Lots and lots of schools.  Eight before I went to college, to be precise.  And this appears to be the year of the international school all-class reunion.  July was for the India school, from which I graduated from high school.  This weekend is for the Israel school, which I attended from 6th through 9th grades.

As you all know, the India reunion was phenomenal.  Most likely because my experience in India was phenomenal -- a magical confluence of being in the right school in the right country at the right age with the right friends.

Israel was different.  I love the country, and I received a terrific education at the school and made good friends, but I don't feel the same nostalgia and longing for my time in Israel that I do for the India experience.  Maybe because I was at such a difficult age -- going through puberty with all of the horror that entails, including trying to figure out how to deal socially with my newly developed body and trying to feel comfortable in my own skin and not succeeding very often.  Being 12 and 13 years old and navigating the new world of leers and stares from older boys and men, and not knowing how to deal with it.  Being a freshman in a high school that was really small, so older kids and younger kids tended to hang out together more than they otherwise might have.  And feeling the pressure to grow up a little too fast as a result.

So I'm a little warier going into this one.  Probably for no reason -- I mean, for God's sake, it's been 26 years -- but I can't help it.

Still, I had some wonderful close friends with whom I have reconnected over the past few years via Facebook, and based upon the list of attendees, I will be seeing most of them.  Seriously, the turnout looks to be amazing.  It's going to be great fun.

But I'm nervous.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lesson learned

Shopping is one of the rare times I have to myself, like, ever.  So while I actually don't like shopping all that much, my trips to the grocery store or to Target are sources of great peace for me.

I was at Target tonight shopping for stuff for the house -- utility shelves for the laundry room, an in-sink drain rack, contact paper for the drawers, a shower curtain, that sort of thing.  And all was going well, except for a pervasive feeling that people were staring at me. 

I checked my teeth.  I checked my fly.  I smoothed my hair. 

Nothing seemed out of place.

But the feeling persisted.  Occasionally I would look up and notice someone start to approach me like they wanted to say something, but then would stop themselves, as if they were unsure.

I was in the lampshade aisle, comparing the square medium-sized shade with the larger round shade, when I heard someone say, "excuse me!  Ma'am?  Ma'am!"

I looked up and saw a woman approaching.  "Yes?" I said.

"I'm trying to find a swiffer, you know, one of those sweeper things?  Do you know where I might find one?"

"Uhhh...." I responded, with what had to be an extremely confused look on my face.

Then she stopped short and put her hand to her mouth.  "Oh, my goodness, I'm so sorry!"

She obviously thought I worked there, and had just realized her mistake.

"Oh, it's OK," I assured her.  "I think the brooms are over in the next aisle.  I would look there."

She thanked me and scurried off, apologizing and obviously embarrassed.

 Then it hit me, and I started to laugh.

Moral of the story:  don't wear a red t-shirt and khaki-colored pants to Target.  Unless you really want to mess with peoples' heads.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chaos. But in a good way.

It's such a cliche, but Jesus Christ, moving sucks.  As many times as I've done it, it never gets any easier.  At least with this one, it's a local move, so I can be slightly less organized and still get it done.  But then I'm disorganized.

And for reasons that I don't understand, we decided to throw a little barbecue for Josie's birthday the night before the movers were coming.  So instead of spending valuable time getting ready, we were trashing the house with balloons and cupcake pans and dirty mixing bowls streaked with batter.  

But it was good to hang out with friends.  And Josie had fun doing the requisite destroying-baked-goods ritual of the first birthday.

To the victor go the spoils
 The move itself went fine.  The movers were great and worked quickly and efficiently.  But now we're in that stage of moving when we're technically in the house, but it's like living in a war zone.  There's debris everywhere.  I have no idea where anything is.  I'm all disoriented and keep walking into the wrong room.  Every time I take a step I trip over something.

But still, I love the house.  We're so happy.  I can mince down the block to grab a dozen eggs at the local grocer, or across the street for coffee, or two doors down for nails at the hardware store.  It's such a great neighborhood.  And the house, for all of the work it needs, feels like home.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How sweet it is

It's very hard for me to believe that it's been a year since she was born.  The year feels like it has flown by.  It's been tough, with J working out of town most of the time, and me trying to get the hang of a new job while being a part-time single parent. I spend my weeks bearing down, grinding it out, trying to get through.

But Josie has been the easy part.  I am not exaggerating when I say that she is the easiest, mellowest, sweetest little monkey I've ever encountered.  Just a lump of sugar -- affectionate, funny, good tempered, beautiful.  She is a joy, and I feel blessed beyond measure to have her in my life.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010


My brain is pulled in too many different directions right now.

Moving day is Monday.  We're incredibly excited, but also getting stomachaches thinking about all the work that there is to be done, both in preparation for the move itself, and generally on the house.  We've knocked out the walls at the top and bottom of the stairs and are putting in new flooring.  We're putting in a closet under the stairs and reframing under the stairs to vault the hallway to match the line of the staircase.

The front entrance hall

That carpet and wallpaper are a crime against humanity.  Or at least against good taste.  And what the hell were we supposed to do with that space between the staircase and the wall?  Use it as a dedicated time out spot for Zeke and Josie??  Also, you can't see it in these pictures, but there was a wall and door at the top of the stairs that created the entrance to the upstairs apartment.

That brass fireplace hardware is heinous.  The fireplace doesn't work anyway, and there are so many restrictions against burning wood in Denver that it's not worth getting a mason out to rebrick it or whatever.  So we're going to eventually put in a gas fireplace that's black or grey metal.

Here's the progress so far:

That used to be a wall and a door.  It was visually and physically jarring to suddenly confront a wall at the top of the stairs, plus it completely chopped up the space.

That back ledge under the stairs will be taken out so that the entire hall into the back room vaults along the same diagonal as the front.

I will never understand why people put carpeting over beautiful wood floors.  But the wood is so old and trashed now -- all buckled and bowed and bent -- that we have to cover it up with new flooring anyway. That should be done today or tomorrow.

There are boxes to pack before the movers come, cleaning to do, a bed frame to order (J and Zeke trashed ours jumping up and down on it).

And yesterday I enrolled Zeke in preschool.

And tomorrow is Josie's first birthday.

And I've got a week left of Insanity, and then I go to another high school reunion (for my school in Israel).  I timed that one well, eh?

Everything's changing.  But I guess life is like a shark -- if you're not moving forward or changing, you're not really living, are you?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Looking for love in all the right places

I spent a lovely weekend reconnecting with old friends and meeting a new one.

Well, "meeting" in the sense that we had never actually met in person, because the truth is, we both felt like we already knew each other.  Back when I was a baby blogger and learning my way around the blogging community, I started reading Lisa's blog, PoliTits (at that time, she blogged under the moniker "DCup") which was linked on Lemon Gloria, my high school friend's blog.  I thought the name "PoliTits" was hilarious, and soon discovered that in addition to being of my political ilk (read:  a big ol' bleeding heart like me), DCup/Lisa was funny and warm and smart and a terrific writer.  And it wasn't just a political blog -- she wrote with heart and humor and raw honesty about her family.  I was a new mom at the time and whenever I experienced a crisis of confidence about my mothering skills, I appreciated her wry wisdom and advice, and her reasonable approach to dealing with children (she's a proponent of Benign Neglect, a refreshing antidote to the type of helicopter parenting that seems to be the prevailing approach among my peers).

So I mustered up the courage to leave her some comments on her blog, and she was always gracious in responding, and soon she started leaving me comments, and then we would email about various things from time to time, and then we were Facebook buddies, and before I knew it, I had a true friend, albeit one I had never actually laid eyes on.

She lives just outside of Atlanta, so when Kathleen and I planned our trip to Atlanta, I got in touch with Lisa to see about meeting for coffee.  We settled on a Starbucks halfway between us.  As I pulled into the parking lot Saturday morning, I noticed a woman walking up the sidewalk and recognized her immediately and she recognized me immediately and we waved and it was like meeting up with an old friend that I just hadn't seen in a long time, rather than one I had never met.

There was none of that initial awkwardness that might come from a first date.  We sat down and immediately started talking about her kids and my kids and writing and marriage and politics, and we knew each others' back stories (mostly).  And she's as cool as I thought she would be.  Easy to talk to, generous of spirit, intelligent.  It was similar to the experience I had meeting Anne last year -- just hanging out and catching up with an old friend.  There was no bullshit about it.

This crazy blogging community is a funny thing.  I get the sense that for many people, the ease of interacting online fosters a certain wariness about face-to-face interaction.  You can be anyone you want to be if you're limiting your contact with people to that which is made through the ether, when you are simply sitting in front of your computer, in the comfort and safety of your own home or office.

And so can everyone else.  Meaning that cyber-friendships can be, and often are, between people who have utterly misrepresented themselves, whether in their physical appearance or their life circumstances or whatever.

But nonetheless, my blogging friendships are very real and very important to me, and at least in my experience, the people I have befriended are exceedingly honest about who and what they are.  And I care about them.  When I see a Facebook status update by Moosie or Suz -- neither of whom I have ever met -- I am as interested as I am in those posted by my IRL friends.

Plus, as Lisa noted on her blog yesterday, life is to be lived.  Take chances.  Reach out and connect with people, regardless of the medium.  It's worth it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Time lost, time gained

The alarm goes off at 5:30, just as I've set it to.  I've actually been up for a half hour already, half dozing and half admiring Zeke's sleeping face.  J was out of town last night, so I let him cuddle up with me. 

Kathleen and I are going to Atlanta today to visit some of our old crew.  Our flight leaves at 10-something, so I've timed it so that I can get up, do an Insanity DVD, clean up the house a bit and get organized, and then get the kids up and off to school before I pick up Kathleen and head to the airport. 

I don't feel like I'll have time to exercise at any other point in the day, so I really, really want to get this workout in.  I'm 7 weeks into the 9 week program and I'm losing weight and inches and it's going great.  I know one day won't kill my progress, but I don't want to lose momentum.

I make the coffee, prepare my water bottle for the workout, put on my clothes and my heart rate monitor, and start the disc.  The workout is super-intense, but only 40 minutes or so, so I feel like I've timed it perfectly.  I start the jog, then the jumping jacks, then the high knees.  I check the heart rate monitor, and my rate is creeping up nicely.  I start to feel awake.

Exactly 3 minutes in, I hear Josie screaming her face off.  It's a solid 1 1/2 to 2 hours before she normally wakes up.


Maybe she's hungry.  I stop the disc, find a clean bottle and fill it with milk and head down to her room. 

"Hey, sweetie," I whisper.  She calms down and holds her arms up to me.

"Are you hungry?  Do you need a bottle?"

She makes a kind of "mmmmh" noise in assent, rubbing her eyes and still whimpering.  I sit down in the rocking chair and she settles in to my arms and drinks the bottle. 

Rock, rock, rock.  10 minutes go by.  She's very relaxed and happy now.

When the bottle is empty, she sits up and looks at me.  "Ba ba dee."


I know she's not ready to get up yet.  She sticks her middle and ring fingers into her mouth, leans forward, and curls up on me with her head resting on my shoulder.  I support her butt with one forearm and wrap the other arm around her, rubbing her back and whispering in her ear. 

As her breathing slows and becomes more regular, I just hold her.  From time to time, I pull her a little bit tighter to me as the surges of "oh my God I love this child so much" wash over me.

I wanted so much to get some exercise in, but I don't feel the slightest bit of annoyance or frustration with her.  Just contentment as I sit and rock and hold her and she falls back to sleep.

I've lost my window of time.

Maybe I can get a quick workout in before dinner tonight.  Or I can just do two of them tomorrow.

It doesn't matter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The cuteness is an evolutionary tool to keep them alive.

Yesterday I was talking to my brother Sam.  Just a general catch up type of call, hey how's it going, what's going on with you, I talked to Mom, she's on her way to from Bishkek to Delhi, we had dinner with the cousins, they said they saw you in New York last week, blah blah.  And of course, the talk turns to the kids.

The kids are doing many amusing things these days, so I always have a funny story or two to tell.  The one currently in rotation involves Zeke's irritation with J and me over our insistence that, from time to time, we get to watch what we want on the TV that we bought and paid for.  Last week, after Zeke had had his chance to watch at least one or two episodes of Diego and an episode of Elmo, we put on a football game.

"Mama, I want to watch Dora."

"No, honey, you already got to watch your shows.  Now Daddy and I are going to watch footy."*

"No, Mama, no!  I want to watch my show."

"You already watched your show.  Now it's our turn."

"No, Mama.  Don't say 'no' to me."

He continues in this vein.  J and I ignore him and watch the game.

He's quiet for a little while and plays with his trucks.  Then, in the kind of voice I usually reserve for the car, when I'm berating asshole drivers from the comfort and security of my own bucket seat, he says, "It's TIIIIME to SHAAAARE!  You need to SHAAAAARE with me!!!!"

J and I both have to bite our lips to keep from laughing.  We explain that we shared earlier, when he got to watch his shows, and now it's our turn.

He glowers, and periodically repeats his complaint in a classic Jewish-mother-nagging tone.  "You're not SHAARING!  Time to SHAAAARE the TV!"

We resist the urge to say, "everything about our entire fucking lives involves sharing with you, you little shit."

Sam and I laughed about this as I was recounting it, and he mentioned a Louis C.K. bit that he does about his four-year-old daughter; how he loves her like crazy, but she's an asshole.  Later he sent me a link.

It's a little jarring to hear someone talk about his or her kids this way, but when you think of it in terms of how you would react if an adult engaged in the kind of behaviors we tolerate in young children, it hits home.  They would be totally ostracized, if not homeless.  In any event, it's pretty damned funny.

(WARNING:  This clip is NSFW.  There is much gratuitous use of the word "fuck."  Even I, an unabashed fan of the word, was a bit taken aback.  Truth be told, I've never been a huge Louis C.K. fan because I find him unnecessarily vulgar and harsh.  But still, I defy you not to laugh, particularly if you have kids.)

*Yes, I have co-opted J's Aussie-ism for "football."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another in a long string of (unsuccessful) attempts to raise the discourse 'round these parts

J was in Vail last night, so I had the kids.  We went to the park after school and Josie crawled around and ate wood chips while I pushed Zeke on the swings.  She crawled around and ate grass while he sprinted across the playground pulling the wagon behind him.  Then it was time to go home.
Zeke managed not to bump into the curb too many times, thereby increasing the comfort level of the ride
At home I fed them dinner (corn dogs!  Mom of the Year Award is a lock!) and we watched some Backyardigans and then I decided that we had watched enough TV.  I took Josie into the play room and we played with some musical toys and I started reading to her.  Not being able to resist being in on the action, Zeke ran in to join us.

Of course, he was naked.  Because he's always naked.  He's going through that naked phase that all kids go through, and when he's in the house, I'll give at least 1 to 5 odds that he's not wearing any clothes.  He walks in the house and immediately strips down.

I'm kind of jealous, actually.  It seems comfortable.  And it's helped immeasurably with the potty training, because he will use the potty every time when he's naked, but the minute there is some piece of something covering his nether regions, be it a diaper or big boy pants, he's much more likely to completely zone out and wet himself (or worse).  He's making progress going to the bathroom when he's wearing clothes, but I don't mind the nakedness if it means I don't have to clean shit out of a pair of underwear.

So we're sitting in the playroom, and I'm mentally patting myself on the back for getting my children away from the idiot box and engaging them in reading and educational play.  Josie is enjoying Tickle the Pig as Zeke squats down and listens and occasionally points something out to her.  He's a really sweet big brother.  "Look, Josie, there's a caterpillar!  See?  See?"

I praise him for being such a good boy.  "Zekey, you're being so nice to Josie.  You're a really good big brother.  I appreciate it."

He looks at me and gives me a big smile.  I'm feeling the love.

"I put my thumb in my butt, Mama!"


Monday, September 13, 2010

A lesson for all of you out there who think that you'll never use what you learn in math class

We're getting really excited about the new house.  Friday night we started knocking down two walls to open some of the space up.  The previous owner had closed off the top of the stairs and a hallway under the stairs to create discrete upstairs and downstairs apartments, and it made the space all chopped up and awkward, so priority number one was to take the walls down before the new hardwood floors get put down next week.  J showed me how to use the sawzall and loaned me his work gloves and put me to work.  I pulled off door framing with the hammer and cut out squares of sheet rock and generally had a ball.  We did bits and pieces throughout the weekend, and finished up tonight.

With just two seemingly small-ish, insignificant walls gone, the space just flows so much better.  When the floors are installed, it's going to look beautiful. 

There's still much work to be done, though.  Both bathrooms are atrocious, and while functional, need to be redone.  And there are a couple of other walls that we want to either bring down or cut into, but they are load-bearing walls so we need to figure out exactly how it can be done without jeopardizing the structural integrity of the house.  While I am certainly handy with power tools and a paintbrush, that's as far as it goes.

This is where J impresses the shit out of me.  Because not only does he know how to do all of this stuff, he knows how to figure out how to do it.  If that makes any sense.

The narrative of our marriage, at least as far as he tells it, is that I'm this crazy-smart person full of book learning who is all brainy for a living, and he's the big lunk who is on the tools because his brain isn't worth a damn.  I reject this because it's simply not true.  He may not have the formal education I have, and my abstract reasoning skills may be better, but he is very intelligent and has an amazing ability to figure out complex problems of engineering that leave me baffled.* 

And let's face it, I had every opportunity.  I came from a loving, supportive home in which education was valued, my abilities were praised, and it was always assumed I would go on to college and some post-graduate degree.  J went from one abusive home to another, was discouraged from pursuing a career as a vet by people who told him he was too stupid, and finally escaped to go out on his own when he was 16 or so.  He had the discipline and resourcefulness to finish school and put himself through trade school so that he would always have a solid skill that would allow him to support himself.

As my dad always says, in our family of Deep Thinkers, J's the only one that actually knows how to do anything useful.

We were sitting tonight watching football and folding laundry after the kids were asleep, talking about the house.  He had been over there earlier in the evening to do some laundry (our washing machine in the rental house is on the fritz) and we were marveling at how great it's going to look with the space opened up.

"And baby, I was doing some calculations, and we can really do something with that wall between the dining room and the back hallway.  We could put a pillar here or cut it out like you were saying you wanted to....."

As he's talking he's gesturing with his hands and I am trying to follow but I can't visualize what he's describing.

".....and so if you put a stud there to support the floor joists and wah wah wah wah waaaaaah...."

I'm like Charlie Brown listening to the teacher.

"I don't understand,"  I say.  "How do you know it's possible to do what you're describing?  How do you know the upstairs structure can handle it?" 

"I told you, I did calculations." 

"I know, but how did you know how to do them?"

"Well, I had a calculator."  He huffs at me like I'm daft.  "I'll have to take you over there and show you."

"Dude.  I'm not talking about doing the actual math.  I know how to do math, too.  I finished two years of calculus before I was out of high school, ferchrissakes.  But which calculation?  How do you know what formula to use?  The Pythagorean theorem?  The quadratic equation?"

I give him my stern, confused look, and he looks back at me, and we both crack up.

"Should I be using SOHCAHTOA?" I demand.  We're wheezing now, tears squeaking out of our eyes because we're laughing so hard.

Finally he sighs and hangs his head as he shakes it.  Kind of a "don't worry your pretty little head" gesture.

Which is fine.  Everyone likes to feel smart and competent, and he's entitled to it in this situation.
*Not that I couldn't figure it out given the time and a decent math textbook, but it's just not what I do on a regular basis.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The moral of the story is, don't toss your cookies in a parking garage

So this is a random story.

Yesterday J called me from work and said that he might be coming home after work, depending on how he felt.  He had been home the night before, and he'll be home tonight, so I told him to do what he wanted, we'd be happy to see him, but if he wanted to stay up in Vail for the night, no worries.

At 3:15 in the afternoon, he calls me again.  He would be coming home, but he can't get to his car because it's in a parking deck that is surrounded by police and fire trucks because there's been a bomb scare.  Nobody seems particularly worried, but the authorities are out in full force, so it doesn't look like he can come home unless they open up the garage soon.

At 4:10, I get an email from Vonage indicating that I have a voicemail on my home phone.  It's got a sound attachment with the voicemail message, so I listen to it.  It's the Vail police, informing me that there's a bomb threat that may involve my car (all of our cars are registered in my name), and could I please contact them.

So I call the cops and they ask me if I own a white Honda.  I tell them I do.  They ask if it's parked in the garage in Vail.  I tell them that I assume so, but that my husband drives the car for work, and that I am in Denver.  They tell me there's a suspicious package next to the car that they are investigating, and ask me what J does for a living.  I tell them that he's working on a building in Vail Village.  I offer to get in touch with him and have him call them, and they ask for his cell number.

J calls me later.

"What the fuck is going on?" I ask him.

"It was the craziest thing.  They called me, so I met them at the garage.  They had like 7 or 8 people march me to the car, doing that thing where they 'guide' you by holding you under your armpits."


"Yeah.  So they asked me if it was my car, and I said it was.  Then they pointed to this little box and asked if it was mine.  I said it wasn't.  Then I walked over to it and picked it up and shook it.  You shoulda seen 'em, baby, it was hilarious.  They all dove for cover like they thought it would blow up on the spot.  They were telling me not to touch it, so I put it down, but I could see what was in it."


"Cookies.  Cookies and a sandwich."

"So what happened?"

"Well, they were all on their walkie-talkies, all serious, talking about a box of cookies.  Finally they gave the all clear and I was allowed to take my car and leave."

"Somebody seriously called in a bomb threat because they saw a little box on the ground?"

"I think they also saw a car idling nearby for a little while."

"Oh, for God's sake."

So, yeah.  My husband couldn't come home last night because some idiot in Vail dropped their lunch on their way to work, and another idiot apparently has seen the Bourne movies too many times.  Also, my husband is crazy.  But we knew that already.

Happy Friday, all.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

TMI Thursday: Naked in a room with strangers

I know Lilu isn't doing her TMI Thursday segment anymore, but I had this post swirling around in my head and it's Thursday, so why not?

I've been getting a lot of massages lately.

I've been doing Insanity since the beginning of August, and it's six days a week of crazy hard workouts.  It's intense and difficult and results in much soreness and exhaustion.  And around the time I started the program, I signed up for a couple of Groupon-type email services that send you coupons for different local services like restaurants and carpet cleaning and spa treatments.  Lots and lots of spa treatments.  Every week I get at least two offers for discounts on things like mani-pedis and facials and massages.  So I decided to try to use them to get a massage at least once a week.

It's been great.  It's relaxing and therapeutic and rejuvenates my muscles so that I can keep up with the workouts.

This week the workouts ramp up to a higher level of intensity.  As hard as I thought the first month was, month two is ridiculous.  The workouts are longer and everything is just more.  More jumping, more crazy combinations of push-ups and sprints and squats and punches, more time.  So I'm burning an assload of calories and my muscles are screaming and I'm sore and tired.

And did I mention the push-ups?  Jesus H.  Christ on a fucking breadstick.  Endless push-ups, and in more varieties than I thought possible.  Moving push-ups, side push-ups, push-up jacks, push-ups push-ups push-ups push-ups.

So even though it was only Wednesday, and my rest day isn't until Sunday, my pectoral muscles and arms were killing me and I knew I needed some relief.  A friend of mine owns a massage school and his son just finished his training and is looking to start up his business and build a clientele, so he's doing in-home massages for a great discount.  So I scheduled 90 minutes for last night.

Now, one of the things about massage that always strikes me is the level of trust involved.  Every week, I go to a strange place where I meet someone I've never met before, and I take off all of my clothes and this strange person puts on some music and rubs their hands all over my body for an hour or two.  Or a stranger comes to my house and I take off all my clothes and this strange person puts on some music and then rubs their hands all over my body for an hour or two.

Either way, it's a lot of nakedness and rubbing and strangers.

And the trust has to go both ways.  I trust that the therapist will respect boundaries and keep the sheet strategically placed and not be an axe murderer or a serial rapist.  And he or she has to trust that I will likewise respect boundaries and not make an inappropriate pass or request and not be an axe murderer or a rapist and that I will pay the right amount when the service is rendered.

Last night my friend's son did a phenomenal job.  He really paid attention to the areas that needed work, was very thorough and professional, and played great music.

As I lay there on the table, naked except for a thin sheet, with a young man with big, strong hands working me over, I felt the good pain of sore muscles stretching and relaxing and releasing lactic acid.  But then the relaxation brought on some gurgling in my belly.  A build-up of gas.

Oh dear god, I thought.  Please.  Please don't let me fart in the face of this cute young boy whose dad is my friend from high school and whom I see socially.  Please.

In the end, with much effort and difficulty, I didn't.


Monday, September 06, 2010

I'm a big old softie, apparently. Who knew?

I feel like I should save a post like this for her birthday, but whatever.  I am lately overwhelmed by my love for my daughter.  She's so funny and sweet and gorgeous and snugly and giggly and mellow and wonderful. 

I remember when I was first pregnant with Zeke, and the day we found out he was a boy.  I was mildly disappointed because I thought I really wanted a girl, but then he was born and he was so awesome and it didn't matter.  Then when I was pregnant with Josie, I was convinced that I was having another boy.  And I had myself convinced that another boy was what I wanted, and was a bit ambivalent when we found out it was a girl.  Because girls are difficult and emotional and manipulative.

I'm such a dumbshit.

Honestly, I can't even deal with how much I adore Josie.  And it's not just that I love her.  Of course I do, just as I'm crazy about Zeke.  But I look at her and I see her in 10 years and 20 years and 30 years, seeing her experiencing all of the things that growing up and getting out into the world entails.  It makes me ache with hope for her.

I was talking to her today, sitting with her in the rocking chair as she chilled out in my arms getting ready for a nap.  She was all relaxed, looking up at me, feeling comfortable and drowsy and trusting of her mama.  And I was telling her about all of the exciting things she could do when she grows up.  Become a scientist or a doctor or an explorer or a musician, traveling the world and having adventures and living richly.

She just smiled at me as I talked, happy to be lying there and listening to the sound of my voice.

Then later we were over at Kathleen and Rich's for a barbecue, and the song "See the World" came on.  That song is something of an anthem for Kathleen's family, and always brings up fond memories of a ski trip we took to North Carolina back when I was first pregnant with Zeke.  The song always seemed to be playing in the background, and Kathleen and Rich's daughters would dance and sing to it.  So the song feels like family and happiness to me.

Today when I heard the song again, I was holding Josie.  I looked at her and hugged her and said, "Josie, this song is what I want for you.  Go out and see the world.  Experience everything it has to offer.  Find great, passionate love.  Have your heart broken.  Do things that scare you.  Have adventures.  Push yourself to achieve greatness."

I held her close.  She smiled and said, "da da da da."

"And call me every day," I whispered.

Then I burst into tears.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Once upon a time

"Mama, I want to tell you a story."

"OK.  That sounds great.  I love stories."

"Once upon a time...uh..."


"...there was an elephant.  His name was Chak-chak."


"And he was climbing high up in a tree and he FALL DOWN!"  Wild gesticulation at this last bit.

"Oh, no!"

"Yeah!  And there was a rock!"

"Uh oh.  Did he hit his head on the rock?"


"So what happened?"

"He cried."

"Awww.  Did his mommy come and kiss it and make it better?"


"Well, that's good."

He walks over to me.  I think he's going to give me a hug, but he turns around and leans his butt on my leg.

"I toot on you, Mama!"

"Zeke!  Come on, now!"

"Hahahahaha!  The end."