Monday, June 23, 2014

May your memory move us forward

Chai climbed in bed with me at about six in the morning and I was so dreamily sandwiched between him and Sparrow. I'm in love with their warm little bodies so trustingly flung and pressed. I love that they want to be close to me in their sleep. I love that Chai always murmurs "You okay, mom?" I tell him I love him over and over and I feel it heals us a little from me yelling at him yesterday and trying to be fierce. I almost couldn't go back to sleep, not just because they had commandeered both pillows, but because I felt so giddy over how dear they are right now and what a "songs of innocence" piece it is to have tiny sweets that climb in bed with me and cuddle. Right now they are playing in the fan--Chai told me "It's pouring out wind, and we get ALLLL windy!"

My relationship with Sparrow has been thriving so much this month. She only occasionally cries to nurse, now, and she will snuzzle me in bed and fall asleep leaning on my chest. I love her so much and I'm so glad that we pushed past that rough patch because now that there is no assault on my nipples, her wanting to be close is just really loving and kind. She says more words, "bubbles" and "baby" and and "kay-ay" sings "Mommy. Mommy,. Mommy!" We sing it to each other. She helps me looks for Chai at the park by shouted "Cha! CHAAA!" They have such a beautiful relationship and love to be around each other. Chai likes to be instructive and Sparrow is happy doing his bidding most of the time. Yesterday I lay back on the bed and showed them the hard little 19 weeks bump (that's beginning to kick hard enough I can just barely feel it) and we talked about Tarzan and Chai said gleefully "Is he going to come out your butt?" I said, "Out my vagina!" and Chai said, "I think out your butt, too." He's not wrong. I can't come up with any affirmations about the lines of doubt and doom are so clear in my mind. We can't afford another child. Our relationship can't afford another postpartum so close to the last one. I don't want to do this to Sparrow. These are the words that keep revolving, that steal a little bit of my joy in June.

Last night Jon and I went to the Ordain Women vigil in SLC. It was so interesting to see the internet greats wandering around in person and it made me happy to see many friends from different parts of my life (Kayte and Sara the Vranes, Dorothy, Christa, Mary Kremer, etc). I crept around like a loser fangirl trying to touch John Dehlin's garment and finally succeeded in extracting virtue from him when Jared introduced us (At that point, although I'd been trying to meet him all night, I was like, Oh Jared really, you shouldn't have!). Some parts of the vigil really resonated with me (repeating the names of women and saying "May your memory move us forward", Janice Allred's sign, "we asked for bread and they gave us a stone, we asked to minister the bread and they stoned us", Kate Kelly's father declaring "I will not be silenced because my daughter, Kate Kelly, has committed no sin!") and others ("I will not be silenced because my Heavenly Parents don't want me to be!") left me a little cold, because I feel like people are still just creating God in their own image when they insist that God is a feminist, pro LGBT rights rockstar and Heavenly Mother makes contact por doquier. There may be something, I think I even hope there is a benevolent presence in the universe, I wish so much that Jesus is real, but I just don't find it useful to insist that the reality is a progressive God that is more appealing because it seems like it's just casting your values upon a mirror like everyone else does.

I liked being there with Jon. I love being alone with him, even though I ruined the drive up with angsty wailings about the future (we decided later I was just hungry). Jon is always so kind to me. He is my best friend. He is tender and sincere. I want to recognize and feel more how good he is instead of being dour. I want to be present, but I'm struggling with feeling so sad that our little world is ending. After the vigil disbanded we went to Aristo's and sat on the patio and ordered spankopita, gyro sliders and salty purple olives, hummus, cucumber yogurt and garlic spread. It was wonderful and we had a good talk about the friend group. Jon says I need to get in touch with the part of myself that does ugly things, that could do the worst things, recognize my shadow is just as alive as anyone's. I said I could understand the behaviors and wanting something so badly, even at someone else's expense, and the lying about it, but not the flaunting about lying. He pushed me farther and I acknowledged there is a part of me that could do that, too, that might feel superior and even want to punish the people in my life for their blindness. We talked about how a part of my feeling I can't revisit the relationship the way it was, even though I miss it, was the urgency from everyone else to just get over it, the invalidation. No one said "That makes perfect sense that you're not over it yet, in fact it's weird that we all are!" I also feel very justified in taking a stand against the coercive aspect to this. I don't think it's healthy or safe, even though it's the most fun thing even sometimes, and I do miss it, I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. Anyway, that's enough friend drama to last a whole summer. It's kind of nice to have time to go to the park and reflect on what my identity is becoming. Right now I am deriving a lot of satisfaction from taking the kids to do fun things--it really is magically fulfilling to be at Art Days or the park or the splash pad with them. It makes me feel like I'm a good mother and helping them have a good childhood.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

3rd Boithday

Dear Chai,

My boy, my boy! My beautiful, clever curly boy! It's another sweetly sticky marvelous June and you are three years old! It seems so far away, that day you came into the world! I remember the letter I wrote you on your first birthday was so tender, simple, and sweet; a balloon in the back seat, cuddling during the frisbee game. Your third birthday was so bursting with energy and activity that it will be hard to remember everything we did, all the funny, charming things you said. You ran into my room this morning calling, "It's me, it's me!" I congratulated you and you cried "It's not my boithday yet!" (I think you thought it would be your birthday officially when we went to Wheeler farms to see the pigs. Which you seemed to remember brilliantly. All week whenever we reminded you that your birthday was coming up, you added, "and pigs, too!") I explained that your birthday was ALL DAY and that I was so proud of you and you suggested that we sing the happy birthday song, so we sang together several times. You and Sparrow both clapped at the end. You were just beaming. Later you took to your bed again and I found you there with an entire loaf of broad under the covers. You were taking a bite out of each slice and then putting it back. I don't know why you suddenly decided bread was okay, but it's just evidence of your obvious maturity. Daddy took you outside to the sandbox while I revised plans and hurriedly decided we'd have a picnic instead of getting "cheeseboogers." On our way into the store, you requested I hold you, and I had you and Sparrow both in my arms and a sweet older man gave me his cart. We told him it was your birthday and he patted you on the head and said he hoped you had a wonderful day. You asked to ride on the fire truck like you always do, and I thought I would buy you a ride for a birthday treat, but then the machine ate my change. Luckily, you were excited to sit on the truck anyway and didn't seem to notice.

You sat so quietly and patiently in the car on the way to thanksgiving point; you peeked behind the shade cloth covering your window. We had an exquisite picnic outside the museum of natural curiosity, and my favorite part was watching you be so excited to see your uncles, aunties and grandparents. They love you so much, and you will always be so special to them no matter what happens, because you are the first nephew/grandchild with whom they ever fell in love. Your grandmother had brought "monster" cupcakes with googly eyes and smiles. You cupped a blue one in your hands and ran around beaming.  

You kept darting out across the lawn and chasing Tanner and Chris. We sang to you and you opened your presents; sand toys for Mexico, an inflatable pool from Mary and Brian, silky Chinesey "Hugh Hefner" pajamas from Diana and Chris, TWO tool sets from Mommy Lolo. You immediately sat down, opened the box and began your carpentry as if you'd just been waiting for your tools to arrive and now you had to get to work. We all laughed at how matter of fact you were, and Mommy Lolo was so pleased that you enjoyed your presents so much.

 You were a resplendently happy boy at the museum, too. We held hands across the suspension bridge, you threw carrots and potatoes into rabbits' mouths with your crazy uncles, explored the water room deliberately and joyfully (you were soaking within two minutes), climbed in the jungle gym with Doug, went on the slide with Aunt Moh, and sat in the cockpit of the plane with Lolo. The museum was busy and loud and there was so much to do. You ran around and threw your whole heart into all you did. I had fun climbing the hanging bridges with you! They made me a little nervous but you were fearless, quick and daring. Doug asked behind me "Do humans learn to be afraid if no one tells them they should be?...look at him!"

 We found Discovery Gardens and the Noah's Ark splash pad and you and I climbed around on the rocks together. I love playing with you! I remember last summer when we were there with Brenda, I was aching to follow you and run around next yo you, but I couldn't because Sparrow was so small and needed me to hold her. This time she was sleeping and Lolo was holding her.)
 At one point you ran away (there are always some birthday hijinks!) and I was searching for you in the gardens, starting to get worried that you had gone back inside the museum. I heard a child's voice singing Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques...over and over again, from inside the little cave. I called your name and you stopped singing and answered "Yeah?" I said, "What are you doing?" and you shouted, "I'm Frere Jacqu-ing!" I seized you and hugged you and loved you and we ran back to play in Noah's Ark for a little longer until you got your blueberry lips and we finally went home.
 You decided to play with your tool kit instead of taking a nap, and then later in the evening we went to see Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma had so many gifts for you, it was like you were at a wedding reception! got dinosaurs, and cars, and a new dump truck...and a bunch of other toys I quickly confiscated to save for the car trip to Mexico. You kept shouting "thank you, Grandma!" Your favorite of her gifts were a pair of binoculars. You demanded that Grandpa get his binoculars as well and the two of you went out on the porch to test them out. I got a sweet picture of you both looking through them. Chai, your relationship with your grandfather Strange is stunning. He is a remarkable person, just like Daddy he is different from other people, and I hope you get to have him in your life for a very long time. I kept telling Jonny, what a day, what a day our Chai is having! We went back home to meet Doug and Emmy and we all marveled at how calm and lovely your mood was at that late hour, with no nap, until eventually around ten something caused you to weep and fall apart, so Jonny carried you to bed (for the first time) and after a few more pop-outs (all involving the tool kit) you finally feel asleep. I went in to visit you and kiss your sweet face and I asked you what your favorite part of your birthday was, and you cried, "Tools!" All afternoon you kept asking "Would you build with me? Do you want to play with me?" and when we did you would take away whatever tool we picked up and gently remind us, "that's mine." I think you just wanted a witness. You snuggled with me before you fell asleep and I kept kissing your head and telling you that I was so proud of you, you had grown so big. You would say, "Oh, thanks, Mom!" Right now you are so boisterous but so loving at the same time. Jonny and I talked about how the year Two is over and we can't say you ever went through anything like the terrible twos. We just genuinely enjoy you so much. I feel very lucky and grateful that I've been able to celebrate three perfect, sweet anniversaries of the day of your birth with you now, and that they have all been joyful and uncomplicated. I don't know what will surprise us in the path ahead--maybe one of your birthdays you will feel expectations and disappointment, or someone in our family will be terribly sick, or your social situation will be complicated, or you will feel sadness about another year passing for some reason. Maybe none of those things will ever happen and every birthday you spend under the sun will be a sunburst of June love and a joyful celebration of the life of one of the sunniest boys to ever live. Let me tell you with a surety, you make us so happy, and however your life unfolds, these three sweet simple years will always belong to all of us, under our skin, a bright beginning. You are a person I am so glad and grateful to know. Thank you for bringing us so much fun and happiness. I hope three will be kind to you and full of all the growing you are longing for. I love you my beautiful curly guy.