Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't let this fading summer pass you by

Here are the baby robins who were born under our deck last week. A couple days after this they went through an ugly phase where their feathers turned black and their beaks took over their faces and then yesterday they left the nest. They grow up so fast, but then again so have I. Today my dad mentioned that I potentially head back to school in two and a half weeks which completely freaked me out! I am starting my senior year of college and I have no idea what I am going to do when it's all over. It's a personal process that no one else can really help me with and which is forcing me to face some of my biggest fears. Right now I definitely with I could stop time for a little while. But on a happier note baby S was so good today! I think he must be growing because he slept so much today that I only got to play with him for two hours, but he was so happy and playful! I am going to miss seeing him everyday and getting paid to have long (and fun!) chats with his mom. She experienced so many of the emotions and issues that I am going through now recently enough that she can relate, but with enough perspective to give me good advice. Plus, she let me try on her Frye boots that we had been discussing and leaves all my favorite catalogs out on the ottoman for me to peruse.

(Sorry some of these pictures aren't the best, but I've had to resort to my cell.)

I also went to Newport on Friday and finally got to visit the aquarium! I loved all of the sea creatures, but got the best pictures of the jellyfish. I may have to write more about the trip another time.



This post has been rather scattered, so I think I will throw in a photo of Alyssa straining under weight of a whole pound of yarn. Just for good measure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I let my self into Baby S' house around 11 as usual and see his Mom in the living room. I'm expecting a friendly conversation until she turns around. I notice that her hair and makeup isn't done, but it's her eyes that give her away. They aren't red and puffy like she's been crying, but they have subtly changed from bright and shining to the barely veiled crazed look of a person who is experiencing unmitigated sorrow. I've seen it before. Her mom is dying. She leaves for the hospital and I take Baby S out where he falls asleep in his stroller and I am glad to have my moms car, the quiet prius which I nicknamed "the shiny blue womb" for the day.

I swing by my house on the way back from the park to pick up some lunch and run into my own mother on the way out. I tell her what happened, give her a one-armed hug and tell her:

"I would be really sad if you died."

The sentence sounded so obvious and I felt like a little girl.

Back in the car I wish I could turn on some music to distract me from my thoughts, but I don't want to wake Baby S. I am surprised at how quickly tears fill my eyes, but I try to push them back because if I start crying a I won't be able to see the road. When I get to Baby S' house I unload the dishes while he sleeps, just looking for any way I can help.

I volunteer to work longer today so that Baby S' mom can stay with her family. Later that night I take Baby S to another park and he falls asleep. I didn't think to bring anything to do so I just sit quietly at a picnic table. I look down and see a daddy long legs climbing up my top. On any other day I would have jumped up and shook him off or at least swatted him away, but I am oddly serene and instead I offer the long legged spider my hand. He hesitates, afraid to take it so I scoop him up and set him free on the top of the table. I notice one of those tiny green spiders, so small you can hardly see it scurrying around. I spent at least ten minutes watching the way the daddy long legs walks. I don't like spiders but as I watch it move I see a certain elegance in the way its legs bend and curve.

It's a strangely normal day punctuated with moments of silence like reminders,
of what I am not sure.

The next afternoon Baby S won't sleep although he is very tired. I take him on a walk and he falls asleep immediately. As I walk farther from the main road the crunching of gravel is muted and all I hear is a trickle of a creek nearby. There is a beautiful house on Cedar wood Lane that is hidden behind trees and hydrangeas. At the very end of the road there is a giant gate painted gold an red with Chinese characters that looks like an entrance to a pagoda. My paces slows and I stare at the next house whose deck is covered with banzai and miniature maples. There is also a small peach tree sagging under the weight of two small peaches.

A couple weeks later I'm sitting on a red couch in my friends new apartment. I stare out the window at the red ashtray full of half used cigarettes and wonder if she's picked up the habit. She is sitting on the floor on the other side of coffee table with her legs crossed. She tells me about the second moment in her life where she didn't know her life would never be the same in an awful way that I've never experienced. She's had time to adjust so she doesn't have the same look in her eye, but there is still that internal silence despite drums streaming from her laptops speakers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My mother is my hero & the ongoing tales of baby S.

Tonight I realized that I have yet to blog about my job as a nanny for cute little Baby S. But first let me tell you about the rest of my day...

Today I woke up at seven only to lay in bed until nine, when I realized that I needed to return a DVD to the library by ten to avoid the hefty one dollar a day fine. Then I decided to stop by Target and Nordstrom Rack while I was out and about, only the rack wasn't open yet. So I sat in the parking lot for about ten minutes with at least twenty other over-zealous bargain hunter/label whores. I kid you not, there were plenty of women just waiting for the doors to open on an ordinary day.

Then came the coffee house hang out with an old friend. Said hang out was very uncomfortable in part because I was overdressed for the hot weather and we were sitting outside, but also because of little nuggets of conversation like this:

"Do you masturbate?"
"Umm, no."
"You should."
Did I mention that I haven't seen this friend in about two years?? She then went on to tell me about how she had been reading feminist literature and has a big problem with the Mormon church for oppressing their women and denying them masturbation. She then diagnosed that I need more caffeine and sexual expression in my life. What does that even mean? Expressing your sexuality. People use that phrase all the time and I have never been able to figure it out.

Hmm there is a lot that could be said about this meeting, but I'm not sure I have the words to express it so I will move on to my evening with Baby S.

Tonight was the fist time I have attempted his bedtime routine and parts of it went well. I took him to the park were he took a little nap while I sat under a willow tree. I felt like all the old couple taking walks with their dogs were staring at me and I was tempted several times to shout "He's not my baby!" but didn't. My favorite part was when I put him in a swing and a couple came by and were seriously cooing at him. Then came the problem of putting him to sleep. He was quiet for a few minutes then started screaming on and off for an hour. I kept going in and trying everything. I finally called my mom who suggested he might have gas and that I should burp him (I had picked him up, but had only cradled him). I put him up on my shoulder and within two pat he let out a burp that I didn't know he could contain and calmed right down.

Unfortunately he woke up screaming over an hour later. Failure.

Monday, July 6, 2009

81 years and counting...

It's just barely after midnight, and although I was born at three in the afternoon I think that technically to the rest of the world I am 21. I could be out in pub right now, but instead I am dancing to this song in my bedroom:

Nobody Knows The Trouble Ive Seen - Sam Cooke

I am wearing my mans shirt and some skinny jeans and thinking how good my outfit would look with those black and white Jeffrey Campbell oxfords I saw (birthday present anyone? Maybe I will buy them for myself). It's funny because I usually this song as slow and sad, but tonight my dancing is jubilant.

Sam Cooke's soulful voice brings a kind of hope to this song that embodies my feelings tonight. Truly, no one "knows" the trouble I've seen in the last 21 years. I am sure I have not faced the least or the most trouble in my life, but these trouble are uniquely my own. I have obvious flaws as well as secret sorrows that I haven't told anyone about, but I love when he sings "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah" as if through all this trial he is still praising the lord. And tonight I had a great talk with my dad that reminded me how much I want to have spirit with me constantly. I also thought a lot about things that have happened in my life and the milestones in my life that aren't counted in days.

This talk ended with a sickeningly picture perfect moment where Dad tilted my head onto his shoulder and a single tear rolled from the corner my eye. It almost seems foreboding. After dancing in my room my sister pushed open the door to my room and said, "Only 81 years left..."

(This was with the presupposition that I will live to 100, and yes the math on that was off.)