Monday, November 28, 2011

If I had an orchard I'd work till I'm sore

Since I wrote last I've written five thousand shadow posts in my head and submerged myself in the conundrum of whether I still want a blog at all. Certainly I don't have far away, or even near relatives who read it, I'm not deft enough in my opinions for it to be a useful philosophy or ideas blog, and I'm not daft enough in my opinions for it to be bereft of those things. Also I'm not crafty or foodie or crunchee or fashion-y, and if I'm not offering anything useful, aren't I just another empty bid for attention in the tumultuous sea of cyberspace? And is that good for me to put so much of my heart out for passive strangers to peruse? What's the point of that?

I started thinking about why Jonathan and I started this blog together; it was basically a mutual love letter we wrote back and forth in our frenzied dopamine-laced haze, our "obsession with each other" as the blog description states. In my sage wisdom and experience of a marriage nearly 16 months old, I can tell you my obsession with Darling Jonny is alive and well, but I feel trepidation in sharing the kinds of things I did at the beginning, and that makes me sad. Of course--some things are too meaningful to write about, they only belong to us, but it's not just that. At the beginning there seemed to be so much support for waving our love like a banner. Everyone was so excited about our relationship, our wedding, our choosing each other. Blogging was also a way for me to give voice to what had become the most significant thing in my life. I found truth! I found what Conor sang about longing for, “To be loved! And believed! In my soul!” I found that despite that I had thought before, I could be happy! For me, it felt like I couldn’t stop reeling that this miracle. I don’t think most people who know me only superficially could comprehend the thickness of the cynicism that was caked onto my soul. Dating Jonathan changed me so much, woke me up into who I really was. Maybe on some level everyone expects to feel that way, or hopes for it. But I really didn’t…for what felt like such a long time. All I wanted to do was tell that story and share what it meant to me. I wanted to document every little piece that fit together so beautifully. After we got married, it seemed that less was expected. Whenever I lifted that banner, it seemed to annoy people. One of my siblings called me out on writing lovesick sappy facebook statuses and asked me if I had a need to flaunt the idea that I have this great relationship. I felt wounded. “I’m just excited,” I said in a small voice. I wanted to celebrate my excitement just as—honestly—I like to celebrate songs I like or movies that touch me or ideas that resonate with me. I feel things very deeply and just as my sorrow is deep, my enthusiasm can be explosive. But I started to realize that when that enthusiasm had to do with a marriage, it could be threatening or hurtful to others. It could be perceived as arrogance and bragging and of course everyone hates that. I know there are some who equate being positive with being fake. And truthfully no, our relationship isn’t “perfect” in the sense that we never hurt each other or that we succeed in treating each other lovingly 100% of the time. But that was just as true (in some ways much more true) when we were dating. We are both real...we both bring our pain and insecurities to the table and sometimes we misunderstand. I wouldn't want to avoid those times though because the journey we take to resolve them is invaluable and I'm sure Jonathan would agree, has created some of the most humbling and beautiful moments we've experienced. I want to write about the joy I feel in our life together because it is still a miracle unfolding to me. I'm so crazy about my husband...he is brilliant and fascinating and he inspires me. But I feel that although expressing those thoughts was expected at a certain time, now it is considered obnoxious. And I feel self-conscious. I don't know if this is an appropriate medium for that anymore, because of course I can write about that as much as I like without sharing. If you have any feedback about this I would love to be fed that feedback :).

Someday soon I will write a post about how much I love my job (only slightly less than I love Star Wars), Christmas (much more than I love Thanksgiving), lessons I learned from The Elephant Man (at least three) and poetry (if I ever finish a poem). But now it is Chai time that I wrote about Chai. He is a delightful, delicious baby, and not just because his name lends himself to many puns and rhymes with almost everything. He is a gleeful squish. In the last 6 months since that glory drenched day in early June he has become my darling companion and friend. He is the soft movements by my side at night, the warbler bleating for my attention when my gaze turns away, the shrieking eel of excitement when either his Dad or I get home from work, the chunk of sunshine glowing in the morning.

In the month of November Chai has changed so much! His advancements have brought him the grave realization that at any given moment, he might not be having as much fun as he could be. When before he was content to lay sweetly and beautifully where he was placed, now he writhes, twists, and wrenches himself around, rolls under furniture and up against walls where, if stuck, he wails piteously until repositioned. He can support himself on his hands and knees mostly smartly and is just hours away from crawling. It hasn’t quite occurred to him yet that he could propel himself forward. Secretly I’m hoping he won’t get it for awhile…once he has means to flee what will keep him in my arms?

I remember talking to one of my friends while in Romania about how far we would go to make fools of ourselves so the orphans would laugh (far). I love to sing and dance for Chai because it brings him such joy. We have a myriad of little games that we play, secret sweet little games like the knock/beep on his forehead and nose, draw a magic circle, conducting an orchestra when music is on, peek-a-boo, blowing raspberries in his neck, the “my dad is awesome” speeches, pretending to look away and then jumping on him, he jumps every time and screams with laughter.

He reaches for things and is busily trying to fit the whole world into his mouth, one finger, tabletop, blanket, carpet, kitty tail at a time. He has realized that often what people are holding is food, delicious food being kept from him! He must have it! And he must taste everything, just in case something delectable is being kept from him. He will find it out and eat it.

It’s the most fun ever having a baby. He holds my hand now while he’s nursing. He is more hardy and firmer and quicker than he used to be. He goes to sleep NEVER. He’s been ranging from 12 to 1 AM lately and I don’t want to mess with him but I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t take after us so much quite yet. I've discovered that I have fantastic mother’s intuition that comes up with perfect names for him, like Lolly Friendship Applegum, business, Lolly-business, Little Man, Manimal, Bunny-one, Hermano Lipari (named after a man in our Spanish ward of whom we are fond).

Chai eats all manner of yogurt, smoothies, occasional baby food, sucks on fruit when I let him, and once famously chowed down on a lemon in a most matter-of-fact and businesslike manner. He has been known to pilfer food from plates with lightning speed. He looks fantastic in hats, just like his daddy. Chai loves to be around people and his heart breaks when he is taken away from a party. He is a party...he is a magical creature, like Jonny always says. We love him so much!
Pond scum. I want to cut Jonny's hair. He's been growing it out because I had a fantasy of him having a ponytail, like Lumiere, but it's taking too long.
Handsome Jonny on the dating scene.

Falling asleep being a CUTIE in his swing.
Feasting on the word.
Frog legs.
Frog face.
Making out with auntie Mahwey.
WWII Chai.
Oh sweet mah toes!
This was an important day. Chai meets his beloved for the first time. Beautiful Scarlet, who was 10 lbs and BORN AT HOME! Go Laurel! I'm so proud of my amazing friend.
Chai and this drink are both "Daddy's rockstar." Heh. I like this shirt although I really do despise the thick and obtuse genderizing of baby clothes.
Raking leaves to win favor with my husband :)
Chai and I practicing our smizing.
Oh how I love him. Darling, darling one!
All I ever need, in my soul.
In the mother's lounge at church. Chai is irreligious and has not made it through sactown since his first one ever, when he was 5 days old.
I had some coupons for a photo shoot at Sears that turned out to be the biggest ripoff imaginable. I'm devastated that we never got to take REAL family pictures with the gorgeous leaves this fall. That's okay though. Chai will still be lovely next year, and I shall be skinner (please bless).
Most lolly EVER.
Eating the tablecloth. I love how everyone is so enchanted with him.
Jon thinks Chai looks like Darth Vader without the mask on.
Chai and his gorgeous grandmother. I mean really.
Hasta ver!