Monday, March 21, 2011

Word Girl. (Conversations)

Lily has her mama's gift of gab.
Chatty Cathy her dad would have called her.
She has a good ear. And mind.
Her language is colored with imagination, her observations wonderfully specific.
A recent snippet overheard with her animals and dolls went like this:
No. No. Listen. Listen. So ummmm... You have a jacket? Go to museum? See butterflies and dinosaurs? OK. Let's go. Let's go.

Recent responses/interactions with her include:
Oh, just playing.
No thank you, I'm just fine with my water.
C'mon Sister, let's go to the airport. (OK pumpkin,where is it?)
On Broadway.
I have my wallet to go to Whole Foods.

And on a recent sunny daytrip to the park, as she gazed up at the sky:
The moon is smiling.

A recent phone conversation:
Hi Mama! How are you?
I'm fine pumpkin! How are you? Are you having fun?
Yes. Had a lollipop!!!!
Oh! Was it yummy?
Yeah. We need playdough.
OK, I'll get some more.
Jake and Jojo coming over!
Oh great! Are you going to share toys with Jake?
Yeah. Lily's toys...

Favorite expressions that emerged before her second birthday: "I just love it." "I'll be right back!" "Just one minute" "Just two seconds" "Just ONE second".
"Hmmm. Where could it be?". "It's lost. It's lost. It's lost."

And at her two year check-up with the doctor:
C'mon Mama, let's go.

At a party this weekend, which was probably my first in about three years, conversation was amusing on a... different level.
The best of the best coming from a guy I once dated.

So... How's married life treating you?

My friend Sam and I had a good laugh later as only dear friends and fellow widows/widowers can do with me. We contemplated responses.

Hmmmmmm. Not so good... Not so good.

Even Alan would have laughed.

Maybe he did. Somewhere.

Sitting on the bright yellow larger-than-life moon that night.

Instead, surprised but not taken aback by his not knowing,I responded,
"Actually I'm widowed."
Oh... Sorry... He says fumbling awkwardly. Actually, pathetically.
"Yes. He passed away almost three years ago. Well, two and a half years ago."
He's still stuttering feebly, looking at his feet. (How old are we now?)
Helping him out, "But I have an awesome two year old girl, and she's the best."
STILL mumbling and shuffling, staring at his drink muttering Oh. Wow....

I had to walk off. I couldn't bare his uneasiness. I felt bad for him.
What's wrong with that picture... I gave him a break.
Went to the food table. Couldn't handle his not being able to handle.
Baba ghanoush was good.

Wow is right.
I did get to a party. And I spoke to adults.
Grown-ups we call them.
A challenging first but I think I did just fine.

But nothing beats talking with my two year old.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mama Lost?

A fellow widowed blogger is plotting a move to a foreign country - now that the future she had planned with her man has ... dissolved.
And I am envious.
How I long for a new beginning.
A fresh start.
A chance to re-channel the rest of my, hopefully long, life. Find myself again.

Lily is by no means holding me in place. She is my anchor and my dreamgirl. She helps me to take flight during the hours of a day. Visit imaginary places. Gives me a glimpse at the wondrous future that she will experience. She is a delightful dance partner. And gives me tickets to every place she's visiting. Last night we went on a picnic, to the airport, to Central Park, we sat on a bench. Sometimes we just sit and wait, or watch the images in our minds float by. I follow her lead when it's time to move on. She is a wonderful companion.

The most beautiful reason to live.

Most of me says, "It's her turn now."

It is.

But a tiny part of me says "I'd like another turn too." Turn at what? Not so sure. I'd like a new home, with more space and a chance to cook and entertain with the wedding gifts we never got to enjoy. Sounds unfair and selfish in light of Alan not being here ~ to mix drinks or to torch his excellent Bananas Foster for all to enjoy.
To live.

But what else can I do?

I'd love to love again but that's just a dream. Not sure how to do it anymore. Not sure if I'm capable of it anymore, except for that which I shower on Lily. My love for her knows no bounds. But I am lonely for adult companionship. I am envious of others who go on family vacations, weekend getaways. I am envious of the co-parenters who share responsibility and can let one finish a meal while the other tends to the child. One who can stay home while the other goes out - without watching the clock as the tab runs for a sitter. One who can take the kid to breakfast while the other sleeps in. I know dual parent households have their own constraints with work and multiple kids and infinite exhaustion - but there's still that ability for one to get rest, or alone time sometime. Sometime.

Lily and I could go on a vacation but I am exhausted, so trips that just the two of us embark on are never restful because I don't... rest. I rarely get out at night and if I do, my next morning begins anywhere from 6:15 - 7am. No break. Ever.
Wouldn't use that lounge chair much.
To think I'm finally up early enough to snag the good one with an umbrella on the beach and yet, I'd never use it. Good for drying towels. Diaper changes.

I relish in our time together. But mama needs some breathing room.
A teensy weensy bit of space. Just a little bit.
And one 8am wake-up. "Just One", as Lily says when she lobbies for a lollipop.

Ahh me. How pathetic this all sounds. But it is how I feel,some of the time.
Much of the time.
Bad mama me.
The guilt that comes with that confession. Whew.

And yet, I cannot imagine a Lily-less world. It's an impossibility.
She is my world. She charms the universe.

She hangs the moon for me just like her dad did.

I only know myself through her these days.
But somewhere in there is Susan, Susie, Sus.
I just need to find her again.