Tuesday, November 22, 2011

one small step...

I doubt that Neil Armstrong's moon walk would have created more excitement in our house than the few, faltering steps we witnessed on Sunday night.  I mean, I realize his had more cultural significance and historical value, but whatever.  She walks!  Just a few steps, and there's a lot of sudden-butt-falling as a result, but it's true!

I am partly excited and partly terrified.  As a friend of mine posted on Fac.ebook about the news, "life as a series of near misses begins."

I think about that, sometimes: near misses.  How the world, which often seems enormous and inevitable and impossible to change, can shift entirely in just a moment, a breath.  I look at my daughter and, every once in awhile, without bidding or my permission, the photo of two tiny embryos floats into my head.  One of them is her.  I think about that microscopic bit of life, which is now tottering around on two unsteady feet - which will soon be running, giving herself the occasional black eye, walking into kindergarten, asking for the car keys.

I might be overreacting.  I mean, she took a few steps toward my husband and the first thing I thought of was, "now someday she will walk away from me," which is true, but going off to college is still a ways off.

For now, we're heading into a gratitude week with one more thing added to the list.

For this crazy, exhausting, sometimes tedious, sleep-deprived, early-waking, full life: thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

tiny first world problems

So, yesterday I went to Tar.get.  [As an aside, let me say that I truly adore Tar.get.  I mean, I try to resist rampant consumer materialism, but Ta.rget has such cute stuff and my only big problem is that I go there to buy one thing, spend $100, and then forget the one thing I came for.  Like yesterday: q-tips.  But I did get an awesome clearance-priced t-shirt for the baby girl.  $3.00!  Come on!]

But I digress.  I went to Tar.get and parked my car.  Now, let me say that I have a pretty ordinary-sized car - rhymes with Hubaru - one that should be amply provided for by a basic parking spot stall.  And the two cars next to me - also non-Hummer sized - were parked within their lines, as was I.  And yet, I could barely squeeze myself between the two cars to retrieve the child from her back-facing carseat and get her out without a.) ramming her head onto the top of the car or b.) scraping the crap out of the car door next to me.

HEY, TA.RGET PEOPLE: until we all start driving Smartcars, YOU NEED BIGGER PARKING STALLS.

I was all hot and bothered about this and used a lot of language that, fortunately, my child cannot (yet) emulate (I'm working on that) when, all of a sudden, this fantastic post from the brilliant women at Rants from Mommyland popped into my head. If you don't have time to click over there (trust me, come back to it later when you have time, it's worth it), I'll summarize: while we all need to rant from time to time, about very significant and life-altering things like the inadequacy of parking stall sizes at Targ.et, we also need to realize that those problems may be, occasionally, overstated. We need a little perspective. Or, a lot of perspective.

Such as: "This m$%^erf&*#ing stall is too bloody damn small; what is wrong with these idiots? What am I supposed to do, ride a freaking bicycle over here and strap my purchases to my head?" could be assisted by an additional internal monologue, like: "Boy, I sure am fortunate to have a car and enough money to put gas in it and go to Target in the middle of a Monday afternoon on my day off (because I am fortunate to have a job) (and a job that I like) to buy q-tips and six things from the clearance bin."

In other words: I spend a lot of my ranting time on tiny first world problems. So I am working on that. It is, however, helpful to get them out there. Just acknowledging them gives me a little perspective for the next time a HUGE GIGANTIC PROBLEM comes marching my way, like, say, when the drive-thru line at Star.bucks is too long.

In no particular order, then, here are my current tiny first world problems:

1. Seriously. Those stupid parking stalls. TOO DAMN SMALL.
2. My child has everything she needs so I can't figure out what to get her for Christmas. But getting her nothing seems kind of heartless.
3. I kid you not: every single road I could possibly use to get absolutely anywhere from my house is currently under construction and has been for the past six months. GAAAAAAAAAH.
4. My kid takes 2-3 hour naps at daycare every time she is there. Every. Time. At home? 45 minutes, tops.
5. I can't figure out where to put the stroller in the garage. Every conceivable spot somehow makes it impossible to get the child out of her carseat. I don't know how this is possible, but it is.
6. I still love breastfeeding, but I am really, really, really, really tired of pumping. Really.
7. After three months of waking up between the grand old hours of 4:30 and 5:00am, we had finally gotten our child to sleep until 6:00 (sometimes 6:30! WOO HOO!) and then daylight savings time hit and we're back to 4:f@#cking30. DAMN IT.
8. Some kids took the carved pumpkin off my porch on Halloween night and smashed it in the street and, over a week later, I am still resentful about it. I want to hunt them down and explain to them that I carved that pumpkin by myself during a day when my child took hardly any nap at all and that is a real feat, you bloody hooligans, and then threaten them with the future someday they are home by themselves with a baby and they look back at their wasted childhood of pumpkin mischief and weep about what they have done. But I do not think they will find this all that scary.
9. The email on my phone keeps shutting itself off randomly and then I have to start over again.
10. The other day I had to rush home to pump because I had forgotten it at home, and I only had 10 minutes to get it done because the house cleaner was coming over and a.) I didn't want her to catch me with my boobs attached to the milking machine, plus b.) I had to pick up the toys and the massive pile of clothes at the bottom of our bed so that she doesn't think we are complete slobs.

See?  Tiny problems.  Tiny, tiny.  Ridiculous, mostly.  And yet I spend a lot of time being very het up about stuff just like this.

Today's goal: perspective.

We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a birthday story

Once upon a time, there was a mommy and daddy.  They knew they were a mommy and daddy, but they had no baby.  That made them sad.

"Do you have our baby?" they asked the sun.  "No," said the sun, but it shone on them and warmed their skin and made them smile.

They asked the rain, "do you have our baby?"  "No," said the rain, but it watered the ground and made the green shoots poke out from the earth in the spring, and that gave them hope.

"Do you have our baby?" they asked the wind.  "No," said the wind, but it rushed and blew and made the fall leaves dance, and that made them laugh.

"Where is our baby?" they asked the mountains.  "We don't know," said the mountains, but they were great and tall and they made the mommy and daddy remember that the world is wide, and big, and full of beauty, even when they were sad.

"Do you have a baby for us?" they asked of the sea.  "No," said the sea, as it rushed in and out, onto the sands and back again.  The mommy and daddy walked on the sand and watched their feet make prints, and watched as the sea swallowed up their prints again.  The sea reminded them that all things change, and end, even very good things, and even very bad things.

"Would you give us a baby?" they asked God.  And there was a long silence.

A very long silence.

It seemed to last forever.  But, finally...

"That is a good idea," said God, "but we are going to need a lot of help with it."

So God sent them doctors, and nurses, and friends, and family, and people they didn't even know who listened to the stories they told in voices and written words.  God was right: it took a lot of people.

But, one day, the mommy woke up.

"The baby is coming," she said.

And then there were more people, all together, waiting for the baby to arrive.

The sun shone down, through the windows of the room where they were waiting.

The rain sent drops of water to tickle the windows of the room where they were waiting.

The fall leaves danced in front of the windows of the room where they were waiting.

The mountains hid in the clouds, not far from the room where they were waiting.

Far away, the waves rushed onto the sands and back again, far from the room where they were waiting.

All the people in the room held hands and helped and waited.

And God waited too.

And then...

"Hello," said the mommy and daddy to their baby.

A belated happy birthday to our baby, who gave us the best names we have ever had.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

where did that month go?

So I was all proud of myself for keeping my blog up-to-date and then, as I was reading other people's blogs last night, I realized that some of my favorites haven't written for awhile, and I thought, "what's wrong?  Are they okay?  What's going on that they can't update their blogs?  I mean, I need stuff to read!  COME ON, PEOPLE!" - and then looked at the date of my own last post.

Hello, black kettle.  Meet pot.

It's been a busy month, and I have posts bubbling up that I hope to get to in the next few weeks, but the big event in our house was The First Birthday last Sunday.  How does it happen that, one day you have a squeaky infant who's up every two hours of the night, and poof! - you're complaining about how she wakes up at 5:00am but you neglect to notice that she sleeps through the rest of the night?  (5:00am does suck, though.)  You know what makes that happen?  Evolution.  The ability to block out the pain of childbirth and the happy-yet-exhausted daze of those first months is what makes the human race keep going.

Anyway.  All is well over here, and I'll be back soon.