Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Teen Spirit. Rant.

Lily's vocabulary is expanding and with it has come NO! No! NoooOH. NO!


I think she turned thirteen the other day. I could have sworn she just celebrated her first birthday a few months ago but I must be mom. Oops, wrong. I must be wrong.
Wrong Mom.
Favorite words are Mommyyyyy, baby, E L M O, ELmo. elMO? elmo. ELMO. elmo elmo elmo, hat, haT hah t and days now seem to feature NO often accompanied by long, whiny noises that come from her gut and go up the scale lasting a good seven seconds. At least. And then an object is flung impressively long distances. Turkey flies, broccoli is thrown, little toys jettisoned all within the blink of an eye. And I only have two.
And I am tired.
I have no downtime except for naptime.
Not sure people get that. They think I'm militant about sleep schedules and I am - but fifty percent of that is for ME. Mommy. Mommyyyyyyy. MOMyyyyy. I have no downtime. If Lily sleeps, I do. Period. I may be under house arrest while she does, but I'll take it. And if she doesn't nap or we skip it so we can make everyone else happy - I feel like ____ . And that's how it is, how it goes...
I can't hand her off and say I'll be back in an hour. I can't run an errand without her. I can't shower unless she's in the crib with a stack of books or watching Elmo. Elmo. Elmo. elmo. I cannot leave her to get the mail/laundry/milk. I cannot run out to get ice-coffee and sit on a bench and read ONE article or a book for FIVE minutes. I cannot go to the bathroom with the door closed. I can hire a babysitter and then a twelve dollar movie becomes a fifty dollar outing. And returning an item of clothing is no longer a financially prudent move - if I pay a sitter, it's a wash. Even when I do have a sitter I SPRINT everywhere. Clock ticking. If I'm paying, it's adding up, if it's gratis they have lives too. Hmmm.

Ahh me.

Oh, and - Father's Day. That's right. I miss my man and my daughter's dad. How nice it would be to have Alan here to love and hug and play with and to let me go get ice-coffee. I called my brother to wish him happy father's day and he laughed and said "You too!!Jesus, you're doing both!".
It was the kindest acknowledgement I've gotten in a long time.

But she still is awesome, our not so delicate flower. Our rough and tumble girl who blows kisses, dances and claps with zeal to live music, has a beautiful smile and an infectious giggle. She's becoming a little person - full of urges and curiosities, and entertaining antics. She loves babies - so dolls now are fed, taken into the tub and put into strollers. Lily could spend a half hour easily trying to figure out buckles. The stroller buckles, the high chair buckles. Shoe buckles. She is a young Houdini and her focus can be itense. Her imagination is soaring and she's a good mimic - talks on the phone with pretend noises and takes care of baby with pretend noises. She fascinates me and even with the frustration and exhaustion, I still can't get enough of her. But I will say I can't wait until YES becomes a part of her vocabulary.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

And I Still Love You.

So much has happened in the last few weeks. For some it would seem like nothing but for us it's leaps and bounds. We've had some fun evenings with other families who have kids around Lily's age and it's been a joy to see her play like crazy in other people's homes and gardens. She's had a blast digging into their toys, running with sheer excitement - no destination needed, endless curiosities to explore whether it be a tub of ice, a chair just her size or discovering the addictive qualities of Bugles. It's all new to Lily, and me. It feels like were now in the "family stage" where our world grows with old and new friends who have children as well. And it feels good to be doing so -I just thought, I had always imagined, that Alan and I would be sharing these special moments together - watching our girl get filthy, seeing her share sippy cups with abandon, interact with other kids openly in an entirely uncensored way. It's all very sixties - free love, wah wah for everyone - and Alan and I would reminisce at the end of every evening, shocked and awed over the fact that we were actually parents, that our girl actually had said and done the very things we had witnessed earlier that day. But he isn't here. Not physically at least. And as I reach out into this new world it is beautiful to watch Lily's life take shape and I relish in every moment. But the ache is profound. All last week I couldn't get a song that Alan had sung at our wedding out of my head. I didn't want to. But I ached to hear it and longed to hear him. And at the end of a lonely evening the other night I came home to the James Taylor/Carole King concert on PBS - and just as I tuned in, they sang this for me.
Alan must have had some part in it.

You Can Close Your Eyes

Well the sun is surely sinking down
But the moon is slowly rising
So this old world must still be spinning 'round
And I still love you

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it's all right
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song when I'm gone

It won't be long before another day
We gonna have a good time
And no one's gonna take that time away
You can stay as long as you like

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it's all right
I don't know no love songs
And I can't sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song when I'm gone

I do keep singing that song and others, and Lily has a beautiful voice as well. The last three days have been filled with the chant eeeiiieeeeiiiooooohhh... She's got a good musical ear, that girl, just like her dada.

We hear him and see him in every note.

As my second year without him approaches, I miss him more than ever. But we did have a good time and no one can ever take that away. Yes I've got some major blues, but I'm grateful for the love that came our way.