34/35 – Remembering Again

17 Oct

This post is not going to write itself and that’s just the plain hard truth. A massive case of writer’s block, malaise and fall preserving insanity has taken hold and I find it harder and harder each day to find the time or the will to write. I also have so many months to cover that I fear this post will jump from topic to topic with few transitions. I wish that I could carry the computer around and write while we take our post-dinner bike ride around the neighborhood. I remember holding you as a tiny baby on the last warm days of October after we came home from the hospital and seeing the neighborhood kids riding their bikes around and thinking that that would be pretty cool when you could join in. Now many nights after you have taken three bites of your dinner if you don’t like it, or demolished three helpings of mac n’ cheese, you jump onto your little strider bike and we stroll around the neighborhood with the other parents and kids out enjoying these last lingering days of summer even though it is technically autumn. I soak in the sunshine and everything seems right with the world because the only disagreement we usually have is whether we are going to turn left or right and that’s pretty easy to deal with. You love being on your bike and I can see how much you are going to love the freedom of a two wheeler once you learn how to ride a real “big kid bike,” because it is that same thrill of freedom I felt when my parents allowed me to ride my bike more than one block away from our house.

You started preschool at the beginning of September after five long weeks of being home with me. I think you were pretty excited to start just because you were heartily sick of hanging out with me day after day. We went on lots of adventures – hikes, trips to Red Butte Gardens, the pool, your friends’ houses where your friends’ mothers and I would sigh and compare stories of how much our children were driving us nuts and just how many days it was again before school started. And then suddenly, it was the night before school started and I marked the occasion with a cupcake and we sat on the front step and talking about how your new teachers were going to teach you lots of things like how to “dance” and “make art with my hands.”
You have rough days during which you absolutely refuse to nap and “push a lot of boundaries,” according to your teachers, but you have somewhat settled into your school routine and usually love it. I am constantly amazed at how much you are learning. You come home singing a new song every day, but you usually reply to my queries about what you did that day by responding, “Nothing. I just sat there.” Did you play with your friends? “No, I just sat there.” This makes your dad and me laugh.

After months of bickering with you in the car about music, I stumbled into the strange realization that you love 70’s music. I randomly played Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” for you one day and you were hooked. We listened to it no fewer than fifty times in a week before I thought to punch in CCR to Pandora Radio and voila, music we can both listen to. The other morning American Pie came on the radio – a song that my sisters and friends and I would dance to endlessly when we were small, complete with a choreographed dance that our poor parents had to suffer through on many occasions. I am sure my father cursed the day he ever introduced us to that eight minute and thirty-two second song, because while it is awesome to listen to in the car, it was probably rather mind numbing to watch ten year olds stumble through a dance routine time after time after time. No matter, you finally love singing and dancing at school and when you danced in your car seat this morning to that classic song, I felt a little teary as I always do when you love things that I loved as a kid. I think that connection of my childhood to yours feels incredibly special and I don’t really know how to find the words to describe that.

Outside the leaves are changing in the mountains and small spots of yellow can be seen in some of the trees on the streets of our neighborhood. Winter ticks ever closer and I am holding onto the last golden days for as long as I can. I know, however, that when our lawn is covered in snow and the trees stand bare against a very dismal grey sky, I am going to think back to August and our trip to Squam Lake in New Hampshire. We had not been to the lake since I was nearly eight months pregnant with you and you instantly fell in love with it. You insisted on having the curtains on your bedroom windows open so you could see the lake during your nap and at bedtime. You spent day after day wading in up to your waist to throw hundreds of rocks into the water and learning to fish with your very first fishing rod. You learned how to cast pretty quickly and your dad and I had a hard time not crying over how proud we were. You loved going on boat rides, squealing when we went fast and pointing out every single “Slow No Wake” buoy when we had to slow down. We took you to the boy’s camp that fronts the lake because I have this crazy hope that you will want to go there six years from now when you are eight just like your uncles did when they were young. We walked around the camp and I could just begin to envision you there running around with this pack of boys. Your favorite thing was the tetherball and when you had a hard time pushing the ball, some much older boys came to your aid, showing you how to play. It was such a sweet and kind gesture and I hoped that when you were older that you could show such kindness to a younger kid.

I am finally finishing this post on flight to Massachusetts to attend a wedding of a dear friend from Smith. Whenever I mention Smith, you ask me how to spell it, just as you ask me how to spell most things these days. The other day I think I spelled cat, mighty machine, bulldozer, black, green, red, school, apple and truck all in the span of a minute. I was a terrible speller in school but this constant spelling bee may be a benefit to both of us. Luckily, you haven’t started asking me how to spell xylophone or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

This is the second trip I have taken without you and your dad. The absolute thrill of sitting on an airplane and reading three New Yorkers in succession instead of being interrupted by you harassing fellow passengers, arguing with you about not touching the window shade or hissing threats that for-the-last-goddamned-time-stop-kicking-the-chair-in-front-of-you feels as relaxing as a day spa. But this happiness is mitigated by the fact that I miss you and your dad horribly. What is it about sitting on a plane, train or any other form of public transportation, my earphones clapped my head as vintage REM plays that makes me instantly feel as if I am watching a movie of my life – removed from the everyday sameness, suddenly everything seems wondrous and precious and all senses are heightened. Somehow all the things that drive me insane about parenthood slip away and I am left with only a sweet home video playing through my head of you laughing as your dad says something funny or you hugging me tightly as you tell me you are going to miss me so much while I am gone. Where does that wonder go when I am in the thick of it with you? This same dreamy feeling of flying high above the earth, the music loud in my ears, makes me ache with love for you and I think again of checking on you last night before I left. There you were sprawled across the bed, your stuffed animal, Lion, tucked under your arm and so peaceful and so perfect in every possible way that I again immediately forgave all the flaws of the day and could only hope that you will forgive me mine.

34 Months

2 Sep

I took August off last year. I think I’ll do it again this year even though it is already September. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite posts from the last almost three (!) years.

Nine Oh Nine!

Fifteen

25 Months

29 is for giving thanks

33 months. Time Out.

3 Aug

A few weeks ago we made it 33 months into this joint venture of parenthood/childhood. You were sick with some sad little summer cold that made your voice quite hoarse and you ran screaming in the opposite direction if I so much as suggested that you might want to blow your nose. It sort of summed up the month nicely.

Here’s what you do these days. You loved the little poppers on the Fourth of July and threw them by the handful. You hated the bigger fireworks and watched them from the dining room window. At the park you climb the ladders and find rocks to roll down the slide. You slide down the slides without a moment’s hesitation, which is so different then even six months ago when you would stand at the top dithering and fretting over whether to come down or not. Now you drag trucks and cars to the top of the slides, send them roaring down and follow hot on their heels. You pick up more rocks and toss them at the slide looking at me out of the corner of your eye waiting for me to say no. When there aren’t any other kids at the park I let it go. It is very hard for me to let things go and I’m trying. Really trying hard. It’s not easy.

You negotiate all the time. I say, “please take your trains downstairs,” and you immediately counter with, “How about I leave them upstairs?” You actually use the phrase, “How about.” It floors me.

Your musical tastes are slowly evolving into something that I can live with and I had an incredibly proud moment the other day when you asked me for, “The train rolling down the track song. Johnny Cash.” We then listened to Folsom Prison Blues on repeat until I had to turn it off for fear you would make me dislike that classic. You danced like a crazy person at the Josh Riter show at Red Butte the other week, which was actually the last time we are ever going to take you to a Red Butte show because it was such a nightmare to keep track of you running through the dark at the outdoor show. It pains me because I loved taking you to shows in the past and some of my sweetest memories are of you and your dad at Red Butte but you make things so difficult that sometimes it is not worth it.

What an awful thing to say.

I don’t like to sugar coat things on this blog. I know this little forum has morphed from letters to you to broader reflections on parenthood and sometimes I write things here that I am not sure I want you reading until you are much older and able to understand that while I love you, you also drive me crazy. Really and truly crazy. So I’m just going to come right out and say this because it seems like it is such a terrible thing to say and a lot of parents don’t for fear they are going to be branded the worst parents in the world. Parenting is very hard work and you know what, sometimes I’m not all that fond of you. Sometimes I don’t like you very much. Sometimes you are like the awful employee at work that burns popcorn in the microwave so that everyone can smell the hideousness for days afterwards. You are willful and you hit things and you talk back to me and you throw yourself to the ground and freak out over the most minor of supposed infractions, like I didn’t hold you up the right way so that you can turn on the ceiling fan. Or I offered you milk first thing in the morning instead of turning on the light. Or I didn’t pour the exact right amount of juice into your cup. Perhaps these are the beginnings of some serious OCD tendencies or maybe you are just two going on three. Whatever it is, I can see already that the therapy bill is going to go through the roof in this next year. You make me insane and you know you make me insane and you relish that power.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that so often your mood mars what is supposed to be a fun outing for our family. (see: Red Butte concert mentioned above) I know you are two. I understand that and I guess I am supposed to also understand that you have little to no self control and therefore are a victim of your own two-ness and I am supposed to be okay with that. Only, I’m not. I don’t think it would kill you to show a little gratitude. I know, I’m being ridiculous but honestly, you make it so hard sometimes.

So there, I said it. I said the stuff you aren’t supposed to say. I said I don’t like you and you’ll read this someday and maybe you’ll head to your therapist but hopefully by that time you’ll have a kid or two of your own and maybe sometimes you won’t like them very much. But this doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I spend a lot of time telling you these days that even though I yell that I still love you no matter what and that I’ll always love you even when you have made me angry or frustrated. And you break my heart by prompting me to say, “Sorry I yelled.” And I apologize and then sometimes you do too. It’s hard. Things are tough for us right now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It must be difficult to live under such authoritarian rule all the time but sometimes I feel like I am living with a very small dictator of my own.

So, here is something to lighten the mood. Your dad and I nearly fell on the floor laughing. And no, you cannot watch this until much much later because you repeat everything I say these days and I don’t want you going to camp and repeating this montage.

Yesterday we went on a small hike around a lake up in the mountains with some friends. I took you on the same hike exactly a year ago and I couldn’t believe how much faster we made it around the lake this year; even with you stopping to throw rocks into mud puddles and to climb with no hesitation on the bigger rocks that lined the trail. You exclaimed over the ducks and I breathed in the warm piney air and marveled for the thousandth time that I live in a place so beautiful. You looked with fascination at the people fishing and declared that you also needed a fishing pole and your dad was quite happy when you told him that later in the day. Then we got back in the car and turned on the Wagon Wheel song, which you call the Train Wheel song even though there is no mention of trains. We rolled down the windows and headed back down through the most gorgeous canyon bordered on either side by towering mountains covered in pine trees and a massive creek running next to the road still flowing like a wild river from the winter snows. I sang softly to myself and you danced in your car seat and then declared that you love the mountains. My throat constricted and I replied simply, “I love you.”

32 – The Past is Present

30 Jun

I am trying so hard to make this month’s post work, which is probably why it is now more than a week overdue and I am still waiting for everything to coalese into something workable. The largest segments of these posts usually come when I am running around the gym track or lying in bed early in the morning unable to sleep because I know I need to write and then that month’s post just suddenly writes itself and I rush to the computer and type quickly to get it all down so I can start the editing process. Editing is so much more enjoyable when you have a nice long post to comb through. Why is this month so hard to write? I have had all these thoughts swirling in my head for weeks and yet I cannot seem to make them come out correctly on the screen. Perhaps it is because the pendulum between your emotions and mine seem to swing so wildly from hour to hour and day to day. The moment to sit down and write comes and goes too quickly for me to capture it into something pleasant to read instead of a screed against all toddlers and their insane and awful behavior. We are starting to see glimpses of you at three years old, even though it is still five months away, and I will just say that I am very very afraid. It’s ugly. It’s all the annoyances of two but stripped of any of the charm of two. I spend a lot of times these days apologizing for losing my temper and talking with you about how much better life would be if you just stopped and listened to me. Five minutes later you are ignoring me again and I am saying, “Luke, how many times do I have to ask you not to do this?” You always answer, “One.” Then I go off in a corner and scream.

Maybe you are acting crazier because your brain is going about ten thousand miles per hour all the time. In the last month you have shown a marked interest in letters and how to spell things, spurred on in large part by your newest love: the show Word World. You are so into it and I totally support your love because it is so much less annoying than Thomas. You are learning new words all the time and trying to spell them with your magnetic letters on the fridge. We help you spell the word DUCK and for some reason you always want to tack on the letter L to the front so it spells LDUCK. Very French of you.

However, your adoration of Thomas – while somewhat diminished when watching television – continues unabated in other parts of your life. We took you to see an actual real life sized Thomas engine up in Heber over Memorial Day weekend. The day was memorable in two respects. 1) We woke up to snow that morning and 2) it was truly the happiest I have ever seen you in your entire young life. You were so excited walking towards the Thomas engine that you practically levitated off the ground squealing, “Oh! Thomas! Oh! Thomas!” Your dad and I had tears in our eyes and could barely speak because it was so gratifying to see you that happy. Then we walked around the exhibits and you discovered a tent filled with four train tables complete with dozens and dozens of trains. Perfect happiness achieved for you and about 50 other kids crammed into the tent.

We drive around a lot these days and you often ask for the Train Song – i.e. the theme song from the Polar Express – which I generally deny on the grounds that Tom Hanks yelling a song at me can only do great damage to my fragile mental state. However, I always acquiesce immediately to your request for The Race Story – also known as Atalanta, the story of the girl who ties Young John From The Town (for that is how I see his name in my head and it always my sisters’ voices saying it in perfect imitation of a very young Alan Alda) in the race to determine her future. The story is, of course, from Free To Be You And Me, a record (how strange that you will have absolutely no idea what a record is) that I listened to approximately 58 billion times when I was young. The first time I played the title song from the album, now nicely downloaded onto my iphone, I broke down in tears. You did too because you were about nine months old and hated all new music. But you have grown – or maybe I have forced you – to love some of the stories and I absolutely love that when Alan Alda says, “And the runners…were OFF!” you cheer and immediately pretend to be running a race in your car seat. It is the only time I allow you to kick the back of the passenger seat because really, you have to have some way to show that you are running a race. It’s all very exciting but I always get a thrill when you love the same things I loved when I was a kid. I love that there is a place in your childhood for the same things that I played with when I was a child and that so many more things wait in the wings for you – Charlotte’s Web, Henry and Ribsy, jumping off the diving board at the pool, riding your bike around the block, sleepovers and camping trips, s’mores and staying up past your bedtime on New Year’s Eve and swinging all by yourself on the swing at the park.

A few weeks ago you finally started camp at the JCC and I had a huge lump in my throat as we walked in for the first time. I couldn’t believe we had reached this point already. I remember very clearly looking through the camp information when you were about nine months old and your dad said, “Camp? That’s years from now.” And it was, but in a heartbeat two years ticked by and now at last you get to be a camper. We joined the JCC when you were just about five months old just so I could leave you at the day care and sit by myself for an hour a day. I would look at all these big kids coming in and out and dream of the day that you would join their ranks but also not able to picture you that old at all. And now three days a week you race into the building shouting hellos to anyone who will listen to you.

Why do these things make me cry? Is it the passage of time? The fact that you are old enough to go to camp? The unbearable sweetness of you in your little shorts and tee shirt and Keens? The fact that you are joining this community of campers at the JCC that has been going for decades and are now a part of that great tide of children seems so amazing because you are slowly taking your place in this world? It is probably a combination of all these things along with a hazy vision of what I want your childhood summers to be: fun, carefree, perhaps an occasional disappointment like the library doesn’t have the book you want, popsicles from the ice cream truck, filled with friends and sprints through the sprinklers in the backyard. I want you to be part of this community that stretches back decades and will continue for decades. Your father and I both belonged to similar clubs, swam on similar swim teams, went to similar camps (OK, he went to Space Camp. I never did that) but we left all of those ties behind when we left our hometowns. Will you be different? Will you continue to return to Salt Lake City to your friends and family? Will your children swim in the same pool? Go to the same camp? Will you put down roots in your parents adopted home? I have a secret wish that you will but I suppose most parents have the same wish.

The first day of camp you were so excited that you kept telling me the names of your teachers and that they were going to say hello to you when you got there and within moments of walking onto the playground it was as if you had always been there. When I left you were sitting on a tricycle and you called back to me as you attempted to push the pedals, “have a good day Mama!” As I drove away that morning I could see the bigger kids cheering as their own first day of camp started and the cheers followed me up the hill and around the corner and just like that another piece of your childhood clicked into place.

31 Months – Dad is Awesome.

20 May

I started writing this post in my head yesterday afternoon because I thought it would be cathartic because you took a thirty minute nap and after that thirty minutes of blessed silence I walked into your room (you alerted me to being up by banging very loudly on your door) and found you had torn down your curtain and broken the curtain rod in the process. I tried counting to ten. I tried deep breaths but really, I was so angry. Angry that it was clear you had never gone to sleep. Angry that it was raining for the fourth morning in a row and I couldn’t get you outside so you could run around and burn off some energy because you are part dog. Angry that you would do something so destructive and then have the gall to laugh at me when I walked into the room. So I took the offending curtain and rod out of your room, told you to get on your bed and then said, “Timeout.” Even after those two minutes ticked by I was still so angry that I took the time to tell you how disappointed I was in you. You spent the rest of the afternoon telling me that I was very disappointed in you. That really made me feel better.

The rain stopped for approximately an hour so I took you up to Red Butte Gardens in the hopes of getting you to run around (see dog comment above) and we did get some fresh air but even a trip to Red Butte, which usually cheers me up immediately was punctuated by moments of wanting to scream at the top of my lungs as you pushed my every last button. Just when I thought I couldn’t take another second, you sidled up to me and said, “you are my best friend mama.” This is not a new or particularly original take on parenthood. Every parent knows that all too familiar feeling of wanting to walk away in a cloud of frustrated tears one moment and wanting to die of the cuteness the next. It is impossible to keep being angry when you are being so sweet but it is so hard not to get angry the next moment when you are disobeying me once again. Staying in the sweet moment is so difficult.

But somehow the Mothers’ Day commercials made me cry even more this year than usual. I realized as I surreptitiously wiped away tears when the commercials played on the television at the gym and tried to make an escaped sob sound like I was working out even harder that I am more of a mother this year than I was three years ago; so much more and I have so many more miles to go. I carry many more battle scars and have so many more stories from the frontlines than I used to. But I have also learned – and continue to learn and remind myself sometimes on a minute by minute basis – that no matter how many times I roll my eyes and curse the clock that it is five hours until bedtime I will make it through another day. The tantrum will pass, bedtime will come and I will get up the next day and the next and the next and much of it will all stay the same but so much has changed and will continue to change. You go to sleep on your own, you are starting to learn how to get yourself dressed and are ecstatic when you can get your shirt on without my help. You can “read” entire books to us and get upset when we try to read them to you. You are an amazing talker and can usually tell me what you do and do not want to do in no uncertain terms. You even swear sometimes in perfect context. If I am annoyed and say, “Are you kidding me?” you will sometimes supply a “Goddamn it,” delivered in a breathy tone. I try not to react and remind myself again that I must stop swearing around you. It is so hard.

Do I fall down on the job? Dial it in? Let you watch another episode of Thomas when I should sit down and play with you? Yes, absolutely. But do I wish I was working and feel unfulfilled in my role as your mother, guardian, teacher, kisser of hurts, dictator and enforcer of rules? No. You have allowed me to be a mother and without you I would not be the person I am today and I mostly like the mother I have become.

So, in spite of all the things you do to annoy me – surely not on purpose right? – I found myself sobbing on the way to the airport last week as I prepared to leave you and your dad for the first time since you were born. Your father was a nervous wreck and I was suddenly wondering why in heaven’s name I thought that leaving for five days was a good idea. But the trip was great for a variety of reasons, an excellent one being that you seemed to finally discover what a fantastic playmate your dad can be and you are head over heels in love with him. For the longest time I don’t think you counted him as someone to play with and now whenever I tell you that I cannot do something that very moment, you turn to your dad and say, “c’mon Dad! c’mon! Come downstairs with me!” And when you get up at some ungodly hour (it was 6.30 this morning) you come upstairs and ask, “Where’s Dad? Can we go see Dad?” I explain to you that your father is resting and deserves a good night’s sleep before having to deal with annoying lawyers all day and this pacifies you for awhile but you squeal with delight when he walks into the living room. You have a new best friend and it makes me so happy. And so while your dad held down the fort at home, I went to New York and to my 15 year college reunion at Smith where I wandered the campus in a bittersweet daze smiling at the graduates and their parents and being simultaneously grateful I had my life at home to return to and longing for the days when I was 18 and life was pretty damned easy. However, one of absolute best parts of the entire trip was talking on the phone with you, which is something I’ve never been able to do before because you recently learned how a phone works. You got on and the sound of your sweet voice saying, “Hi Mama! This is my train Mama! This is the toy bus Dad gave me Mama! I love you Mama! I miss you Mama,” just about killed me. I sat in that empty dorm room and realized that even if I could have the chance to go back to being 18 and young and carefree, I wouldn’t take it because my life is infinitely better with you and your dad and that realization was the best Mother’s Day gift I could receive.

30 Take Two

28 Apr

This is a late post but that seems appropriate since we are late to everything these days, which drives me nuts. I hate being late. I once yelled at one of my sisters when she fell off her bike on the way to school because her bleeding knee was making us late. Not my finest moment. But time has no meaning for you. You know that you are not supposed to get up until 7.00 but this does not stop you from calling for me from anywhere between 6.15 and 6.45 so I go downstairs and get into bed with you and the next 15 to 45 minutes go something like this.

You: Mama! I want to look in your ear. I want to be a doctor.

Me: Luke. Lie down and be quiet. It isn’t 7.00

Blessed silence for 15 seconds

You: Mama! I need some water!

Me: Your water is next to your bed on the floor.

You: Ohhh! Yes! I love water. Water. Water. Water. Mama, want some water?

Me: No, thank you.

You: Want some? Want some? Mama, wantsome?Wantsome?Wantsome?Wantsome?Wantsome?

Me: No, thank you Luke. Thank you for asking. I really don’t want any water. I want you to lie down and be quiet.

Repeat until 7.00

You: Oh! It’s seven zero zero! It’s time to get up! Mama! Yeaahhh! Mama! It’s time to get up. C’mon Mama. C’mon. Let’s go!

Me: OK, time to get up. Do you want to use the potty?

You: No thank you.

Exit stage left. Go upstairs. Start heated discussion over who will pour the milk out of the very heavy glass milk container.

In spite of your rush to get up in the morning, you seem to be in no hurry whatsoever to get out the door. There are many pitched battles over getting dressed, putting on your jacket, walking up the stairs, deciding which door we will actually use to exit the house, opening the driveway gate, getting down the driveway to the car and then the ordeal of getting into the car. You can now climb into your car seat by yourself, which is great because it is less strain on my back but it’s quite a process for you and if I try to hurry you, you insist on starting the entire ritual again from the beginning. I am sure our neighbors hate us for the number of times they have had to listen to you have a breakdown in the driveway. They may also hate us soon because we finally got chickens and the chickens will move outside in a month.

After talking about it for such a long time, we finally took the plunge and got five tiny baby chicks. Your friend Leta and Marlo’s (or as you refer to them: Yeeta and Marwoe) mother, whom you now always refer to as Mrs. Armstrong (which pleases me and cracks me up) documented it much better than I could. You can read about our first day with the chickens here. You didn’t end up naming any of the chickens because you still don’t get the concept of naming things even though I tried to explain it to you about five dozen times. The naming aside, you love the chickens and love to talk to them and hold them. Your favorite is Maisie and she is pretty tolerant of you yelling in her face, “She’s a little bit nervous Mama!”

My computer broke a few weeks ago. It was starting to get a little shaky with the screen flickering off and on for no apparent reason although I have my suspicions as to who the culprit might be of the “liquid damage,” that finally caused the computer screen to switch to grey permanently. In any case, I spent a few weeks fretting and trying not to freak out over the fact that I might have lost every last picture I had taken of you in the last two and half years. When my new computer arrived and we were able to transfer everything off of the external hard drive and all those pictures popped back up I cried I was so relieved. I might have cried because I was so tired from all the sleep I had lost worrying about the photos but I also cried because to lose all those would have been the absolute worst. Another added bonus was that my phone finally backed up properly and I was able to download all the video I have taken of you for the last year or so.

Looking through all these videos made me cry even more because there is nothing like watching a video of your child to make you momentarily forget all the things that make you want to pull your hair out. In the two and half years since you were born you have imprinted yourself on my heart like the way my wedding ring has imprinted my ring finger. You are so much a part of my life, of my every breath that I find it impossible to imagine life without you. If I am out driving around and I see a firetruck I wish that you were there to see it too. I cannot read stories or see shows depicting children being hurt without the story immediately becoming the story of you being hurt. I feel like I cannot breath imagining you in the same situation. I have dreams about you falling into water, dreams of you being eaten by alligators and I wake up terrified that something has happened to you. I don’t really live every moment in fear but the dreams come or the random thought drifts across my mind or I read a story of some terrible thing befalling some young child and I think, there but for the grace of God go I. At the end of the day when we are lying in bed before you go to sleep and you are telling me all the things you are going to dream about (triangles, whales, the ocean, steam engines, one car, two cars and mamas and dads) you sometimes spontaneously say, “you’re the best mama in the world,” and all the other unbearable stuff becomes bearable again.

So here is a snapshot of you and your life over the last year.

30 Take One

21 Apr

You are two and a half and I have some lovely ideas rolling around my head but I cannot seem to commit them to the page. I promise not to miss this month though because you say all sorts of hilarious things now like after I asked you about singing a song about Jesus you learned at school, you pointed to my wine and said, “Jesus is in the wine.” I replied that he might be but that you could figure that out for yourself in a few years. Oy vey. Time to get you to the JCC preschool.