Friday, September 14, 2012

a letter to the absent Chip


Dear Chip,

In the week that you've been gone, your son:
-Broke the cord to our internet wifi hotspot thingie by ripping it off the wall
-Tore up the carpet by the upstairs bathroom (piece by little bitty piece)
-Knocked over an entire (freshly pumped) bottle of breast milk
-Spilled a glass of water

Has tried to eat:
-My chicken and cheese enchiladas
-The brownie right off my plate
-His sister's cereal
-French fries
-Salted pretzel caramel ice cream
-My flip flops
-His sister's stuffed Piglet
-Several books
-A Costco magazine
-A dinner napkin
-A ballpoint pen
-The cat

Has NOT eaten:
-A single bit of the rice cereal I've been trying to feed him

He has also contracted a cold, wouldn't sleep very well, and generally continued to be charming and adorable.  In spite of himself.

He misses you.  As does his mother.  And sister.

This place just isn't the same without you,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

never small on 9/11

Last night's late-night post seems irreverent today.  The light of day (no matter how dazzling and beautiful) can make things like that seem so small when so many families grieve on an occasion such as this.

Makes me think about the anniversary of any death: how the world shrinks to the space around you, while everyone else is complaining about their taxes or trying to figure out when they'll take that family vacation and you're richocheting against the walls of the smallest prison, pain so intense you can hardly breathe.

My attempt to honor that pain and give space in the debris for the way you mourn, however that way may be.

Hold your loved ones close and know that they do the same, whether they're here or in heaven.

not about spider monkeys

Do not ask me why I'm awake at 12:38 in the morning researching natural predators of spider monkeys. 

Though since I am awake and tired I will tell you that spider monkeys are pretty cute.

Have I mentioned that I'm tired?  And also a solo parent for the entire week while my husband attends a conference in picturesque Mesquite, Utah?  (or is that in Nevada?)

I took Max to his 6-month check-up yesterday.  That kid is going to be solely responsible for ruining what was left of my posture.  17 pounds and it's all muscle.  He's crawling.  Yes, crawling.  That doesn't seem right.  Something else that doesn't seem right is the fact that I have a feeling he's going to be walking by the time he's nine months.  Mark my words.

You guys have asked me how Alice is doing, how she likes her baby brother.  That can be its own post, but the short answer is that she loves it.  And loves him.  Loves him so much that I'm frequently shouting DON'T LAY ON THE BABY and DON'T ROLL OVER ON HIM and DON'T PUT YOUR FEET ON THE BABY.  Secretly I think that baby would let her carry him around in her purse if she could.  He adores his big sissy, breaks into the most awesome smile whenever he see her.

And now I'm feeling sleepy again and thinking I should heed the bodily warning since a little wee Max boy is going to need my conscious attention in about six hours.

See you on the other side.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

fits and starts


I am officially a c-section mother.  It's taken me almost 6 months to say that - the days following Max's birth were flooded with life events that pushed documentation to the background.  His birth story sits unfinished in Blogger.  For the sake of this post actually getting written, suffice it to say that when the post-op doctor came to my room after a 13-hour labor and emergency c-section, she said without preamble: Don't try a vbac next time.  Just head straight for scheduling a C.

All of this meant to tell you that I do my best to be a c-section supporter.  It's what my body and babies need, I guess, and so I go with the flow.  HOWEVER, there is one thing that really bothers me about the c-section: the fuzzy-headed fog of disconnect that invariably lasts for days.  Even when you think you're getting clear, the pain of recovery wraps your body in a zig-zag of haze.

I don't know if it's indicative of the c-section alone, or if it's simply a body's way of learning how to connect the dots of relationships when everything has been rewired.  Does every new mother go through this?

And with a second one, the disconnect is intensified.  Relearning how to be in the house, in my body, in the world.  All the while tending to the needs of not one but two small beings.

It's taken nearly six months and I'm still not quite there.

I tried to set myself up with a list of expectations: those things that need to be done to live inside the space I call my life.  Taking care of Alice, of Max, of Chip.  Doing housework and cleaning toilets.  Occasionally making dinner.  Showering.  Doing work for my church.  My part-time job.  Family relationships.  As the circle grows wider, we come to things like Alice's 2nd year of our preschool co-op, service for others, sewing.  Then there are the outlying goals of exercise, gardening, eating healthy.  This blog pushes farther back on that list but I find that it fills my mind even as I try to tell myself that it's okay, it's another layer of life stuff that will eventually be able to fit inside my day.

If I think of The Creamery as simply a journal then it doesn't make sense why I haven't come back sooner.  But it isn't that simple, it never is.  The Creamery has always been more than that to me.  It's an interactive journal, a small space on the internet where I've met so many of you.  And I've said it before: I miss you.  Even when I don't show it.  Even when I don't respond to emails.  Even when it takes me two months to post after Phoebe's death.  I do miss you.

And I want to be better about showing it.

Life goes on.  This space has sat empty and lonely.  I'm going to fix that.