Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catcher in the Wry

I figured it was time for a fun story. Well, it's a story. And .. I'll make it fun.

And a word of warning. I just finished Catcher in the Rye for the first time in my life. It's my new lifelong favorite and he is my new hero, Holden. I'll try to limit the references, but can't be held responsible for what comes out of my fingers. If you want to know the truth.

Where was I? Oh yes. Being funny.

We try to mix it up around here, in terms of playtime. I took my toddler out to a little kid's play place for drop-in play, and he played and had fun. Didn't want to leave. I finally got him to leave by suggesting we go out for a boys-n-Mom date to a little local pastry shop that happens to serve sandwiches. All you have to do is mention "pastry" to my eldest. He gets it.

We made our way down to said pastry shop (that happens to serve sandwiches.) I have my toddler, who has promised me he'll stay with me. I have my infant, too heavy to lift in the car carrier, but loaded in the car carrier. I'm not Super Mom, you know. I need carrying vessels for the ol' out-and-about.

I order us some sandwiches, my toddler and me. Let me take a moment and set the stage. It's a nice pastry shop, in fact it has "European style" in the heading of the store name. It's locally owned. It's close by. And it has pastry. Did I mention that? So it's popular, but not popular with the toddler-set. Popular with the gray-haired and retired set. Not that there's anything wrong with that. They're just a bit more...demure, that we are.

We take a seat, my toddler, infant in car carrier, and me. It's not a big place. But all the tables are full. You know, with the quiet, demure, retired folks. Who are quiet.

They are quiet and my toddler is tired from the playtime. Do you see where this is going? Oh, just fasten in.

The chairs are gorgeous. They have a beautiful little design on the back, which happen to be wrought-iron, and the design includes a little circle. Our sandwiches come. I get my toddler to take a bite. I take a bite. My toddler is up on his knees, relatively safe. (Relative to, say, the elder statesmen nearby.)

My infant squeaks. I bend down to tend to him. At the same time, my toddler sticks his entire arm through the little hole in the back of the chair. He then shifts his weight back, and CRASH!--over goes the chair. But remember, his arm is stuck through it. So his little arm is pinned under the chair, which is knocked over backwards. He starts screeching. I would too, but remember the demure setting I described? Shattered. I'm that Mom.

I jump up, to right the chair as I disentangle my toddler's arm from the hole in the back of the chair. I don't care what everyone thinks. He's screaming, really in pain. I'm thinking of taking him to the emergency room. Then, several things happen.

I examine the arm, which does not appear to be broken. Several pastry shop workers rush over, one with ice, one with a towel. A towel, she explains politely, to mop up the water gushing over the table?

Wait. Water? What water?

Oh, the water that gushed out from the vase of flowers that got tipped over when I jumped up. The same water that is gushing over the edge of the table and into the car carrier, where my sweet, innocent infant is strapped in. Helplessly trapped. The nice, calm pastry shop worker mops up the table, then smiles at me and mops up infant. And his car carrier.

Back to the arm. I'm holding ice to it, and the owner steps out from the kitchen, where she single-handedly made the hurt go away by presenting four delicate little butterfly cookies. Just for him. He takes one, and stops crying because he no longer remembers he is in pain. I check the arm. It's a little red, and they'll probably question my mothering skills at preschool Monday when they see the bruise, but he's okay.

He's okay. I'm okay. My infant is okay, smiling actually, and the butterfly cookies are good.

I don't actually remember leaving. I'm pretty sure we did, though. And I'm pretty certain my toddler got whatever else he wanted that day.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Memory

Three years ago today, we lost a dear friend of ours to a tragic and sudden car accident.

Just a moment. And all the world changed, forever.

I'd like to observe a moment of silence, virtually and reality. (No comments here please.)

We miss you Rachel.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Sands of Time

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, sometimes life is funny. There are ups and there are downs. Everyone has periods of self-pity. Self-doubt. Self-reliance. Periods where it seems like life is easy street and there can be no easier way to live, and periods where it becomes difficult to look past the end of the day. And it cycles back onto itself and repeats. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Time is at such a premium in my life right now, that I cannot think back to a time when I valued a few "free" minutes as much as I do right now. Minutes or hours, or weeks for that matter, seem to flee from me like their lives were in danger. And they are. Those minutes don't stand a chance with babies to feed. And toddlers to entertain with rice and sand soup, which is what my toddler treated me to this afternoon.

I had those free minutes last week, when we were on vacation at the beach. A few, glorious, unadulterated, breathtaking minutes. I think it was around 45, in total. I had many pairs of arms around to help with the various and sundry tasks that are usually mine alone, and I was told to "Just Go" (for a run.) But--what if he gets hungry? (Go) What time is dinner again? (Go) Where did I stick the iPod? (Go!)

And so I went. I ran with a strong tailwind behind me, pushing me, lifting me further and further from my daily obligations, my 2.5-foot high charge and my cherubic, demanding infant. Pushing me further from my origin, my home base, my known quantity. Clear thoughts pushed their way through my foggy, sleep-deprived, career-confused mind as the music grabbed hold of my feet pounding along the sand. I stole glances at the ocean, which seemed simultaneously demanding, and demure.

I thought about the past, major life choices that I made in a 30-second conversation with a co-worker. I thought about mistakes, broken promises to myself, and the New Year's resolution I was just starting by running. I thought about my heart, and what it was telling me, and the future. What was important, and what was not. I thanked God for the Present moment, the ability to recognize the moment for what it was. And I ran.

And at some point, I had to turn around. I had to return from whence I came, and ... I was tired. I headed back, only then realizing how far I had run. Turning around, I was hit by a very strong headwind.

A strong headwind called Reality.




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