Posts Tagged: love

Feb 11

Happy Valentine’s 2011

Adam and I are celebrating with dark chocolate, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Vicodin (just me), and bloody discharge from my nose post-sinus surgery (also just me). Good times.

Jul 10

To my (extended) family

What sticks with me is that we were all hugging like we meant it. Which, if you think about it, is actually all too rare in this life. You know, there’s too many of those other kinds of hugs: the sideways/half-hug, the shallow hug where you bodies don’t really meet save for the pat-pat-pat on the back. Today was full of the other kind (the best kind): the squeeze where you can tell that neither one of you wants out of this thing; the hug that says, ‘come and visit me soon and I really mean it, I’m not just saying it to be polite;” the hug that says I love you and I miss you. The hug that says there are some things about today that were really hard and I’m glad that we are all here to get through this together.

We sat under the canopy and threw flowers into a hole in the ground. We told stories. We cried. We laughed. But mostly we hugged.

We sat in church. We sang hymns and worried about our children making too much noise and stood around and made small talk with friends of the family that we only vaguely knew. And we hugged.

We reminisced. We sat at the longest table I’ve ever seen and ate dinner by candlelight in an orchard backyard, barely registering the food arriving because we were all so present in the moment. Struck by the beauty of the scene, by the passion of our conversation, by the teasing and the good conversation and the love ever-present.

All the while, the silent but not unforgotten presence, the reason that we were all there together.

We didn’t want it to end. I’d like to think that we will all see each other soon….I don’t know if that is so, but until then? I’m as happy as one can be for having lost a loved one. It helps me remember, when we are all thrown together, what it means to have a family like this one–even as disparate as our lives and histories are–a family full of stories and memories and shared pasts. Faces that we can look upon and see, suddenly and strikingly, as if peeling the layers upon layers of an onion, the faces of the adolescent, the child, the infant.
It is a time in which we can know and be known, a time where we truly are. A time and place where we don’t have to tell our story because it is already there, written upon the hearts and minds of the others.

It is easy for us to think that these others aren’t mindful of us and our lives but, if we take a moment to think about it, we realize that we do think of them, even as far away as they are (in distance–they remain in our hearts and minds) and they do the same with us. If I had a dollar for every family member this week who has told me “I was reading your blog the other day…..” (and yet has never, ever commented which isn’t wrong, but just surprising to me to know that they have been, at least on some occasions, reading my words. It gives me a secret thrill!). Please, family, let me know that you are out there, reading these words and being a part of my life and rest assured–really and truly–that I think about you, keep up with your Facebook posts and stories and updates handed down from person to person until it reaches me that you’ve graduated school or have moved or your work is going great or even that you are having a hard time or whatever it is. I love you, even across this great divide. Thanks for the conversations, for the smiles and hands clasped in greeting and commiseration, but thank you, most of all, first and foremost, for those hugs (the ones that show me that you really mean it). There aren’t enough of those, not ever. Come visit me. I mean it. I love you and miss you. I really mean it.

Jul 10

34th Birthday, take two

Had more fun than I thought possible today, despite the fact that the beginning of the day was conspiring against me (female troubles, RAIN?????!!!!, late to get Anna to school)…..the rest of the day was gravy: long walk with Adam on the (drizzly but still gorgeous) beach, coffee, lunch on the sand, afternoon run, snuggles around a fire (seriously, I cannot remember a single birthday of mine in my entire LIFE that was this chilly!), then dinner out.

Oh! Plus! I got presents!

Somehow I kinda sorta forgot (forgot? is this a sign of my advanced age?) about the presents thing. I mean…I knew there might be presents. But it was SO not my focus this year (I mean, not like when I was a kid and I could hardly sleep for the excitement of waking up in the morning to New Stuff) that it felt like a really incredibly amazing special surprise to see things that people picked out for me, just for me, just to celebrate me! Pretty cool.

My mom and Adam totally weirded me out by both, independently of each other, buying me the exact same thing (heart shaped waffle iron). The present itself is not weird, no not at all (I’ve secretly been coveting one for a while to round out my waffle iron collection), it was just kind of bizarro that they would both get me the same thing. They love me enough to both know how much I would love that exact thing, I guess!

But, well, you know, it wasn’t all about the presents. I feel this year, more than any year in my life, that (sorry, cheesy writing alert) it is a gift to just be here. To be alive. What a gift! I felt a little teary today when I thanked my mom for giving birth to me 34 years ago. What a wondrous thing: to breathe, to move, to smell the damp earth and see the green things grow and feel the love of people around oneself. It’s the best thing I could think of, just to be here.

XO to all of you, my loved ones. I’m lucky to know you.

Jun 10

Especially Ordinary

Had such a productive day today. The me of 2 years ago (when Anna was 6 months old) cannot even fathom having such a day as I had today. I got up early (by my own choice; I know, I’m crazy) and baked bagels and canned apricots and ate breakfast and took a shower and drove snacks to Anna’s school (the parents rotate turns bringing snacks for all the kids) and then went to the grocery store. All this by 10 am. I know, I rock.

And then we had a great lazy beach morning/early afternoon. I only had to break up one preschooler physical altercation and clean up one pee pee accident (sometimes she gets distracted playing and doesn’t want to stop for the potty and who can blame her for that!??!?). I got to hold babies and talk with my girlfriends and it was really, really awesome.

I came home and baked a cake and made gelato while Anna helped by breaking up the chocolate into chunks and then washing the dishes….washing them really, really well for an hour. Okay, so it wasn’t so much washing as it was playing and splashing and pretending in the water but that was ok because she was content and so was I.

It’s just….a good day.

Sometimes, I tear up at the thought of this, the everydayness of this kind of day. The beauteousness of doing things that make me happy. The smallness of fingers playing with playdough, the smile and laughter, the ordinariness that is so ordinary and yet so special. These are the moments I treasure and these are the moments that make my heart clench a bit because…what if? What if there are less of these moments than I thought? The fear is there, right behind the sweetness.

I don’t live in the fear but I am acknowledging it just the same. None of us know how many days we have here. Not a single one of us. So. It’s all we can do: to be, to breathe, to savor, to smile, to laugh, to hug, to kiss, to love. To live.

Feb 10

Happy Valentine’s Day

There are many who bemoan Valentine’s Day, and for good reason. Overpriced roses, crowded restaurants. A holiday invented by the greeting card industry. A special day to say “I love you”? Why not every day.

Me? I love Valentine’s Day.

It helps me to remember, to celebrate, to marvel at the love in my life. That happy couple above, 15 years later, after all the stuff we’ve done and endured. The little stuff–me learning to sleep with his snoring, him having to admire my knitting every two rows (“Isn’t this pattern just great? Isn’t it turning out nicely? Huh Huh?”). The big stuff–yearning for children that were not easily coming our way, not enough money, sharing one bathroom (ha!), Cancer. All of it. It is all a part of who we are. We share a past, memories, a language, a child, a love.

So. One special day to celebrate this? Why not? I love him the other 364 days a year, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweet, funny, amazing love. I love you. XO

Dec 06

Doctor visits and parties

Wednesday was a traumatic day for Anna (but perhaps even more traumatic for Mama). We had to go to a pediatrician (a different doctor than Anna’s usual family practice physician, Dr. Mimi, who we LOVE LOVE LOVE!) in order to get some shots. After much deliberation and research, Adam and I had decided to have Anna get the polio, DTaP, Hib, and PCV vaccines (but not Hep B). So, to the pediatrician Anna and I went. I realized after a few minutes of waiting in the waiting room that we were soooo spoiled with Dr. Mimi. We never ever have to wait even 2 minutes at her office. We waited to just get shown into a room and have Anna’s weight/height/etc measured by nurses for over 45 minutes at this doctors. But at this point I felt committed, so we stayed.

The good news? Anna is growing SO BIG! She weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 23 inches (birth weight was 6 pounds, 5 ounces and birth height was 20 inches). The doctor came in and took a look at her and pronounced her in perfect health.

The bad news? I did not like the doctor at all. He seemed to find many ways to ridicule my parenting style (implying that I would give up on some of the things that I find very important) and just did not overall treat Anna like the special little person that she is. I understand that doctors need to learn to perform some of their tasks without becoming emotionally involved with their patients, but he was SO brusque that I felt so sad for Anna. He didn’t check with me what shots to give, so she ended up getting an additional, unneccessary (in my opinion) shot (Hep B). She cried like I’ve never heard her cry before (I cried too), she had blood running down her little thighs and the doctor told me “oh, she’ll forget about this soon;” that may be the case, but I also believe that babies are more in tune with their worlds than we give them credit for, and I had really wanted to acknowledge to Anna that this was a painful event that I was sorry that she had to go through, but that her Daddy and I had decided that this would help protect her in the long run and make her hurt less in the long run. So, overall, it was a very difficult doctor’s visit for me. I left there crying for my little girl, feeling like i hadn’t protected her the way I wanted to. I really felt, in a new way, that “Mother Bear” instinct and I realized, at that moment, just how deeply bonded I am becoming to Anna. I realized that I would, indeed, cheesy as it sounds, die for my daughter. I would rather take any hurt possible than have to have her experience any pain at all in this world. I feel weepy just thinking about it now. I love this little girl!

Anna fell asleep for a few hours after that, sleeping through a visit to Nana’s house (where I got some comfort from my own mom–thanks Mom!) and a visit to Dr. Mimi’s office for Anna’s two month check-up. We are SO glad we have Dr. Mimi. She is such a treasure and really treats Anna with such love and respect. We are able to sit down and talk through so many different kinds of issues; I never feel rushed and her exams are so caring and tender. Good medical care is so important! Dr. Mimi was so sorry for what we had to go through at this other doctor’s office. We decided that Anna’s next round of shots (when she is four months old) will not be with that doctor, but with a nurse practitioner in SB. More expensive, but from what I’ve heard of this woman, definitely worth it.

We went home after this. I ate lunch, did some stuff. Anna slept for a while, woke up and nursed, and then started screaming like I’ve never heard her scream. I cried so hard along with her because there was absolutely nothing I could do to comfort her. I called Adam after about 15 heart wrenching minutes of this and asked him to bring us some infant Tylenol. Good husband and father that he is, he obliged (how could he not, with a crying wife and daughter on the line?). Luckily, Anna sacked out after the Tylenol and Adam tucked us both into bed. We both slept for over 3 hours. That rocked. We both woke up feeling much, much better.

So…that was the medical/doctor stuff.

Since Wednesday, Anna has been quite the social butterfly, attending 2 holiday parties with Adam and I. Wednesday night we went to a Hanukkah party at “uncle” Eron’s house. Anna slept almost the entire time, but everyone admired how cute she was and we had fun eating latkes and brisket and lighting the menorah.

Thursday evening (last night) Anna and I headed over to Novacoast headquarters for an Open House, where she was  once again much admired and where her Mama and Daddy consumed many holiday sweets.

Now it is the last minute holiday rush. I can’t wait for Auntie Liz to come into town (she and Dan show up this evening) and for Anna’s very first Christmas! Exciting!