Rehash

I have a million things I should be doing right now…but I either gave my baby something that he is allergic to or he has a really bad heat rash. So, we are snuggled up on the bed letting the fan blow over us. I should be downloading my pictures off my camera. I should be painting my entry way. I should be meal planning for the week. I should be working on an article. I should be working out. None of those things matter when your baby isn’t acting like himself.
Anyway, this gives me a chance to catch up. Lately, I have been thinking about some of the really dumb things I have done in my life. I’m not talking about the typical drink, drank, drunk moments. I’m talking about down right stupid things I did in my younger years. For example, once when I was little, I karate chopped my uncle in his nether regions because I saw it done in a movie. Another time, I was playing with some neighborhood kids. We decided to play “Marco Polo.” Unfortunately, we weren’t playing in a pool. Anyway, long story short, I was screaming “Marco!” with my eyes closed and I walked straight into a down-cable off some kind of electric or telephone pole. I cut my knee wide open. I am certain it should have had stitches. I still have the scar. Once, when I was in middle school, I had a crush on a boy. I figured out that he liked to get food for free. I mean, I was a real genius. What pubescent boy doesn’t like free food? Anyway, I spent my allowance every week buying candy for everyone on the bus ride home. I mean, I couldn’t just give him candy…that would have been so obvious. Oh…oh…wait. I have the best one. Once, in middle school, I let my best friend talk me into trying out for the girls basketball team. By the way, I played basketball when I was in first grade. I hated it. Anyway, I got myself pretty pumped about it. We practiced at my friend’s house every day after school. So, tryouts rolled around. I went in and missed every shot. I was out of breath during the drills and I had no idea what positions did what. At the end of the tryout, everyone was sitting up against the wall. The coaches called a bunch of names, including mine, and everyone else left. Basically, they told us we didn’t make the team. Everyone that had already left was invited back to the next tryout.
I went to my 8th grade dance with a boy I liked. I always wanted to step outside of the box. I always picked the wrong times to do this, case in point, this next little gem is caught on film somewhere. I wanted to try something different. I knew everyone was getting their hair done for the dance. I went and found the most unique hair style I could possibly find. Picture this, every strand of my hair was braided. It was hanging down everywhere. I basically had cornrows. If none of these things seem embarrassing enough, just add in the fact that my maiden name was a name for a man’s genitalia.
Why am I rehashing all these wonderful moments of my adolescence? I think these things have all taught me valuable lessons. I think they have all helped to shape who I am and I think my memories would be pretty dull without them. Well…all except the karate chop! Sorry uncle John!

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UNO

As I lay here in the quiet of the early morning, I realize that life passes me by very quickly these days. I no longer have downtime to sit around and really contemplate things. Right now, my life seems to be a jumbled mess of hasty and sometimes irrational decisions.
We just celebrated my son’s first birthday last weekend. How can that even be possible? In so many ways I feel like a year has gone by so fast. Then, I remember back to those long and very lonely nights when he would wake up several times and my days seemed so long and never ending. I read another blog tonight where the mom was talking about how some parts of your life turn into this blur while you have kids, then all of a sudden, you wake up one day and they can talk, walk, feed themselves, dress themselves and don’t require diapers. She called this moment of realization for her the “sweet spot.” That small window in life when your kids don’t necessarily NEED anything from you, but they still WANT you there with them.
Life is funny. You live for your kids and nothing else matters…or at least it seems that some things begin to matter less. Over the past year, I feel like I have changed so much. All I can do is worry. I worry constantly and I see no end in sight. I think about my baby 24/7. When I’m not with him, I am thinking about him or looking for ways to bring him up in conversation. I look at his pictures. I get excited about the end of the work day. I live for that moment when his eyes first focus on me when I pick him up from the sitter. It’s like my reward for a hard day’s work. It’s better than any promotion or paycheck.
We spend the rest of our hours together at night playing, getting a bath, and snuggling.
I don’t even listen to music in the car anymore. I would much rather listen to the entrancing sounds of his baby gibberish. I sleep with my hands wrapped around the baby monitor. I live for the weekends full of solid uninterrupted time with him, then when Monday morning rolls around, I take him to the sitter and watch him out the window wave to me as I drive away. I want to freeze time. “Stop growing,” I want to say. Then, I think better of it. I can’t be selfish. He loves his time at his “Yaya’s” with all his little friends and his cousin. He learns something new and amazing everyday. Today, I picked him up and Yaya told me to watch. She counted in Spanish….”UNO….DOS….” and right on que, my child squeals something from my arms that sounds vaguely like “TRES.” Of course, I am instantly amazed and proud.
As far as I know, I am nowhere near the “sweet spot.” But, that’s okay. Everyday is an adventure for us.
I remember taking family vacations as kids. When we would travel through West Virginia, my sister and I would always try to hold our breath through the long tunnels in the mountains. I remember, it was always so quiet in there. The radio didn’t work, the lights were dim, and all I ever heard was the pounding in my chest. I feel like at this point in child raising, we are in the tunnel. I can see the blinding, white light at the end, but I am basking in the moment, just sitting here, holding my breath.

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Thank You

There are gruff noises coming from inside. The sound of my heart is loud. I don’t dare take a breath.
The beast bows his head and darts his eyes. He is waiting for me. He is anticipating my next move. He is watching me. His dark brown iris meets his pupil. They are seemingly one and the same.
His gentleness is gone. He stands tall. He is calm. Too much movement on my part and he shifts his weight. He is careful not to be overly friendly. This makes being inside with him somewhat uncomfortable.
The food he takes fine. No complaints there. The water too. The pain medication is a different story. There is a faint dust in the morning light. It is the swirling of the remnants of his antibiotic that I have mixed with his food that lingers on the air.
I talk to him with a soft but stern voice. He pays me no mind. He crunches on the food and acts as if I don’t exist.
He is hurt. His ego has been cut deeper than the sharp blade that preformed the surgery. He chews and then he waits. He waits for my next move. He quickly chews some more.
I know that deep in my heart he is the same. I know that loving soul is hidden behind his hurtful eyes. He is punishing me. He is going to make me earn his trust. A tight tear slips from my eye. I whisper into the morning quiet,
“I’m sorry.”
With no particular sign of acknowledgement, he swings his head in order to scatter the flies. I stand there longer than I should. What am I waiting for? Am I waiting for him to say he forgives me?
I put everything away and pat him on the neck. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I will be here to feed him again. He will see.
As I walk away, he lifts his head and rests it on the stall door. He stops chewing long enough for me to hear him say, “thank you.”

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