Wednesday, January 21, 2009
P.S.- I highly recommend listening to this song. Preferably in a dim room, maybe with a candle or two, definitely.
Almost unreal. Almost a fairytale created specifically for me.
Ah Sam Hughes- where the grass is ALWAYS greener.
But I digress.
We decided to head to the Childrens Museum so Jack could crawl around free and interact with other kids, stretch his limbs and flex his mind. These ideas are always better in my head, and I'll tell you why-In my head, when we take Jack to play, he has a great time, he meets new friends and he certainly DOES NOT get assaulted by a 1 year old. But then there's the real worlds version...
We made our way to the Wee Rainforest Room, a place specifically made for children under 4. We were all quite excited. Not more then 5 minutes there does a little boy wander up to Jack, who at this time has happily pulled himself up on a squishy cylinder type thing and is pounding it with all the electric fervor he has in his 10 month old arms. The kid catches Jacks eye and Jack starts smiling and scooting over to say hi.
"Look dude, a new friend!"
Immediatly the kid slaps Jack in the face.
But I figure its a one time thing. Maybe the kid didn't mean it like that. And then he slaps him again this time trying to gouge his fingernails into Jacks scalp.
"What the fuck!" I mutter under my breath.
As I grab Jack to rescue him the kid again swipes at him, hitting him in the face again one last time. I look at Greg who is obviously seeing red. If there is one person you don't mess with its Jack, and it took every ounce of willpower for Greg not to punt this little shit across the room.
Only after this kids attack does his mom come out of the corner and go "gentle, gentle".
Ummm "gentle"?! Really....really.
Your little Damien over there just hit my son and scratched him and you say "gentle!" Not even a 'sorry'. Not even an apologetic look! Had that been Jack I would have slapped his hand, scolded him, and apologized to both the kid and parent. Not left it at a fucking "gentle"!
I was livid.
It's parents like that, the ones that believe their kids are "perfect little angels" incapable of any wrongdoing that send the bullys to school. It's kids with parents like that who throw dirt in the faces of kids on the playground and think its perfectly okay. Its those kids I'm going to hear about when Jack comes home from school with a black eye.
We moved on to a different exhibit, promising to come back after the kid left. We did, and everything was great. He crawled around and laughed and babbled. Then, while he was climbing a step a little girl came around the corner. They locked eyes and she walked over to him. And then, this little girl, the little girl with the brunette bob and bangs, the little girl with saucer eyes, pressed her forehead to his and gave him a slight kiss, before running off and leaving Jack with a twitterpaited look on his face.
It was adorable, and I wish I had pictures to post.
By the time we got home I was a whole bag of emotions. I was still angry at that little boy and more so the vapidness of his parents, I was delighted that Jack got his 'first kiss' by such an adorable little girl, I was filled with listfullness at the fact that he's growing up so fast right under my nose. But more than anything I was proud of him.
Proud of him for being a stoic warrior in the face of conflict, not flinching or shedding a tear. For getting the girl. For being MY son.
And the day continued to be temperate and beautiful.
Some, I suppose, would call it melancholy, or a 'longing for days past'. I personally wouldn't call it either since I'm not quite sure what it is. I certainly don't wan't to 'go back'. I'm more content with who I am than I ever was, I have all these amazing people around me, I'm feeling fine.
There are times when I look at someone I knew in high school and read the expectant look on their face, and instead of wanting to extend my hand and pat their belly, feel their future, suddenly I think of being in high school again.
I think of what I wore, the feeling and textures of it all (lots of black and the texture of the canvas from the Converse on my feet), the weather and friends and the fair-weather friends. The smells and sounds (chips and the Pixies). The secrets and the thoughts (that could be a cool c.d. title). All these things I wish I had collected and put in a scrapbook to look at when the feeling struck. Just to laugh. Just to feel again.
I'd keep notes in the creases.
So should we jump this bitch and go downtown?
I'd keep the flowers we plucked when we explored washes after the inhilation of perfectly rolled joints.
I'd keep the pictures of our faces huddled together, smiling, thinking 'forever'.
Because forever, when you're young, is always possible.
Because you don't fight over finances with your high school boyfriend or sleep together every night. And you certainly don't have babies and in-laws with them (or maybe you do).
But you have the young love. The stealing of their boxers to wear when they can't be around. The songs serenaded or put on a mix. "This reminds me of you". Phone calls and waiting for buses together.
I'd put the poems I wrote. Just to laugh.
I'd spray the pages with my perfume I wore daily (actually a mens cologne called 'Jack'....concidence?).
I'd put a picture of my family all together for the last time.
When you grow up everything changes. You forget when you take on new responsibilities. New roles in life. Divorce happens and babies happen. Debt happens and marriage happens. You get angry for real reasons. You cry and fight and sometimes you curse the day you entered the real world.
But its all beautiful. Everything.
Even when the sheets are stolen from under you in your sleep and you wake up with cold feet.
I love my life right now, as it is. With my boy and my man. Our dynamic trio. My family (the more you say it the less scary it sounds). But sometimes I can't help but hear a song or smell that smell and then that feeling in my stomach explodes all over again and I smile or laugh or think.
I don't live in the past, but sometimes it certainly finds a way to come back, cover your eyes when your not looking and say "guess who?!"
I feel this every time my son pulls my ponytail and laughs.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Some of my fondest childhood memories include the things I read, watched and loved. There are days when I long for 'Eureka's Castle' or 'David the Gnome' to be on for Jacks viewing pleasure. Hell, I'll even take 'Gula Gula Island' (which was more of my little brother Mitchells time). I want to go back and read all the books in my 6 year old book shelf. Everything I can remember about the multimedia and literature I consumed fills me with glee followed by instant melancholy by the fact that they just don't show that kind of stuff anymore.
Today, as I was sitting on the living room floor, feeding Jack his baby cereal, a little show came on and Jack and I turned our heads in the direction of whatever this fun and exciting sound was.
It was 'Yo Gabba Gabba'.
Apparently Yo Gabba Gabba (which henceforth shall be known as 'YGG' on this blog) has been around for over a year, but since I have an aversion to overly cheesy childrens programing (the only 'kiddie' music I've let Jack listen to thus far has been Baby Einstein Classical music when he goes to bed, otherwise he's partial to the Stones and anything with power chords and high velocity drumming....we listen to Van Halen a lot in the car), I've only discovered it today. I can recall seeing character toys at Target a few times and being drawn to them, but never buying them since I'd never seen the show. I'm no posuer.
The 'Not Ready For Naptime Players'.
But today, today was a delightful introduction into the YGG world. We were greeted by DJ Lance Rock (who reminded me of the guitar player in 'The Life Aquatic' who sung Bowie songs in Portugese) and his broad of colorful monster friends. We were instantly hooked with his sweet beats and funky style. As the show unfolded we learned a new beat by guest star Biz Markie, enjoyed a energetic rock band for kids called 'Supernova', and learned a valuable lesson on how its not always good to throw things because you could hit somebody and hurt them. All of this set to music that sort of sounded as though Bloc Party dropped some acid and decided they should make a childrens show.
We laughed, we cried, we now have some sweet beat boxin' skills. Right now I'm laying out some cardboard and lacing up our Adidas' and we're going to work on our break dancing.
Thank you Nick Jr., for bringing us a show that I would've dug as a kid and a show that my son digs now. We can be down ass bitches again. Fo sho.
Today I took him in for his nine month check up, which was right in the nick of time as he had developed a pretty raspy and obvious cold. Every time he breathed in and coo'd his little lungs and throat rattled with phlem and made me want to break down.
"What's wrong? You seem quiet." Greg said on the way to his appointment.
"Nothing. Its just that every time I hear that cough I want to cry. Because he's so sweet and he doesn't deserve to be sick and I feel like a failure.....and I need coffee. I just need my coffee."
But all the caramel machiatos in the world weren't going to save myself from the mental lashing I was giving my confidence as a mother.
"I knew he'd get sick eventually. It's all because I didn't breastfeed him long enough! Six weeks isn't shit! Not when the National Board of Pediatrics recomends at LEAST six months to a year. Stupid boobs! My boobs have failed me! They have failed him. Incompitent boobs and your inability to produce more than three ounces every three hours. Fuck you. Fuck you both to hell. My body as failed me. It couldn't even birth him naturally! All the pushing in the world and they still had to cut him out of me! GARRRGGHHH! I'm a horrible mother!" And so on X infinity.
Every time I take him for his appointments I go through this mental grappling. Second guessing myself, even though I feel I'm doing everything right. Even though he's giggling and talking to his Curious George stuffed animal in the back seat, happy as a clam.
"Its just a cough. He'll be fine".
And with that Greg went to work and I drove the 1/4 of a mile from his work to the pediatrician. I took him out of the car and popped him in his stroller, when suddenly it dawned on me that I forgot his immunization records. As I searched the car and my bag in vain, I spilled half of my coffee all over the passanger seat of the car.
"AHHHH FUCK ME!!!"
I shook it off and carried on. Like a student waiting for their report card, I sat and waited for the appointment. The evaluation of my son and consequently my skills as a parent.
"Well, well, well its Mr. Jack!" said Dr. T. "He's looking good. How's things with him?"
(*thump*thump*thump*) "Good. He crawls now, and pulls himself up on everything and cruises and babbles. He says 'mama' and 'daaaaaaad' but not really directed to me or Greg half the time. He says "doodoo" when he sees the dog. He puts everything in his mouth still and I've really been thinking about getting a video on how to perform impromptu tracheotomies...you know..just in case........................oh...and uh, he has this cold going....and I'm not gonna lie doc, it scares the shit out of me."
"Oh, yeah. Totally common right now. Its a form of para-influenza, and its going around all over. Everyone I know caught it, it's really easy to get around this time of year. We call it "the croup". It sounds worse than it is, and it will get worse before it gets better, but he'll be fine. Some time spent in a steamy bathroom will help it. As will a humidifier. Lets go measure this big guy."
And so my paranoia had been squashed. Jack was measured and growing well and leaping over milestones like a world class sprinter.
"He's doing great. There's no need for shots today, unless you want to do the flu shot while we're here."
"I'll talk it over with the hubs and we'll come back." Because there was no way I was going to deal with watching my son cry at a shot I'd personally agreed to AND deal with 'the croup' today.
"Well, thats about it. You guys are doing great. We'll see you in three months. Have a happy holiday, and I'll leave Jack's growth chart for you at the front desk. Have a nice day."
And I did. Jack had passed his exam with flying colors and off the charts looks err...growth. I felt vindicated. I felt relieved. I felt like a nat-ur-eeel woooman. Whatever voices that previously mentally abused my brain about failing boobs and c-sections and the sure-to-be-demise-of-my-son-because-of-these-two-pointless-factors were deleted.
Its hard enough to be a young mother. I'm already trying to ixne the nay-sayers and dodge looks from the over-critical "oh really, I PLANNED my babies" 30plus year olds. To defy the odds set up for me by so called statistics and someones aunt who knew a girl who knew a girl whose....and so forth. To look at my roomates impeccably dressed, ready for a night out downtown and say "have a good time guys" instead of "who's drivin'?" The lack of sleep sometimes and the taking care of a sick baby when you yourself are already sick and "why can't I be babied!"
"You guys are doing great. He's turning out awesome".
Its all worth it. Every last ounce. If I could stop second guessing myself, which is INCREDIBLY common among first time mothers or mothers in general...fuck it .. ANY parent who just wants the world for their child, well then, I think maybe I could master this stuff.
And 'the croup' can kiss my ass.
* I'm dedicating this blog to Sebrina, who may be scared right now and unsure about the future thats suddenly found its way in her body and life, but whom I know will undoubtedly make it. You'll take names and kick ass at this motherhood business. Congratulations to you and Sean!*
I was amazed at how fast lyrics I hadn't sung along to in years suddenly found their way back to my memory. Listening to 'Cute Without the 'E'', I wondered just how many times I listened to said song back in high school, scribbling bad poetry, lovelorn and young. It was sort of a catharsis to jump around to music I thought was so 'me' 5 or so years ago. I sang for the 15 year old me. I danced for the 20 year old. After the show I got to meet Adam Lazzara.
In a soft and sweet voice, he thanked us for coming out. I thanked him for his music and told him I had been listening since high school.
"Now I just feel old", he said.
"Oh, come on, how old are you now?"
"27"."Pffffft. Thats not old. My fiance is 26....wait...now I just feel like a weirdo."
We all had small talk, took a pic, said goodbye, and went home. As I walked through the door, still buzzing from a great show and meeting a singer whom had sung me the tune of my adolescence years ago, I was quickly greeted by the wails of my upset son. I made him a bottle, fed him and put him back to bed.
I looked at his face and was in awe at how fast time goes by and sometimes how slow. At how so much has changed and yet stayed the same.
I'm sure Adam may have felt old talking to me, the idea made all too much sense as I cradled my 8 month old son. It was a funny, grounding sort of feeling. I wondered if one day some girl would listen to Taking Back Sunday and identify with the lyrics as she thought of Jack. I wondered if Jack would be like those boys, those 'dime a dozen' boys. I promised myself I would try my best to raise him otherwise.
I hope it works out. I owe it to the 15 year old me, and the future ones whose hearts deserve to be unbroken.
I have come to realize that I must accept all people. Accept them of their flaws, embrace them for their better attributes. But its not easy. Good lawdy it's not easy.
I'm not much of a 'people person' as it is. I'm more of a misanthrope than an optimist of the evolved ape. I expect the worst, hope to be delightfully surprised, and usually end up crying in my zinfindale. Like last night for instance. I was once again disappointed by the ways and reasons of people. Angry and shaken I took up chain smoking and wine in a cup for the night (it was no time for finer stemware so a glass cup was more fitting).
And I thought.
Perhaps it's because I was forced to grow up fast. By my senior year of high school I had a divorce, death, break-up and a new full time job all within the same month. I worked and saved up for my own car and bought it in full by myself. I helped my jobless at the time father raise my two little brothers after my mother moved out to go live with her old high school boyfriend. And five months after my 19th birthday I found out I would become a parent, and so I was, one week after my 20th birthday. I have moved about six times in less than a year, and watched my childhood home be foreclosed. Yes, the last two years have been tiresome, relentless and at times enlightening.
I'm not saying enduring any of this makes me better than anyone else. People have certainly endured worse. But it has altered me. Built character and perseverance.
Yet when I look around at my generation, I can't help but feel lost in a sea of people who constantly search for the easy way out, feel entitled to everything, and complain when it isn't to their standards. They refuse to see the bigger picture. They close their eyes and talk, get sucked up in petty college/high school/work/life politics, read the fear in the newspapers and watch it on the news, and at the end of the day after all the bombardment of social garbage they absorb, they feel like shit and want nothing more than to spew it onto the next person. Infect them so they're not alone. If you get trapped into it, the vicious circle continues.
Last night I let anger and pettiness writhe its way in my body and destroy my outlook on people once again. Silently thinking of terrible things I could say or write or do. Talking to myself and saying "you knew it all along didn't ya?! People ARE really seedy little fucktards! HA!" As my brain raged my heart sank and a little voice in it (perhaps my conscience or soul) told me not to give up.
Not again. Not now. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.
I'm still trying to let it go. To be kind without feeling like a doormat. To be assertive without being a bitch. To do things for others without expecting even the slightest gratitude, and when that happens, killing the urge to completely write them off. I'm still trying to accept. I'm still trying to hope.I'm not making much progress with it just yet, but I feel I will one day.
And when I do something will finally feel sacred.
"One day I am gonna grow wings/ A chemical reaction/hysterical and useless."
Currently I am in the process of importing a few blogs from my other haunts on the interwebs (Facebook y Myspace), just to get things rolling, put some meat on those bones. So bear with me on the past tenses, I'll be posting new musings shortly.
Peace, Love and Strawberry Fields Forever,