Thursday, March 14, 2013
Marriage is work, but marriage with a child is even more so. It's not necessarily because taking care of a kid is so tiring, even though it is that. It's mainly because communicating clearly and spending time with each other becomes just another thing on the never-completed to-do list. I don't mean to trivialize those very important aspects of a good relationship, but communicating clearly and spending time (that doesn't involve eating or doing dishes) with someone whose schedule is sometimes the opposite of yours while still managing to find time for yourself is challenging. It's work, and sometimes it feels like we've done enough work for the day so some things get put off and put off and put off.
An unmarried friend recently asked me for relationship advice. Being almost seven years into my marriage, I realized that I don't really have a good perspective on a dating relationship anymore. In marriage, emotions are so much more raw and the fear of consequences so much less (as long as I can stay awake, that is). I also realized that I haven't given my emotions full credence lately. I think it's because it takes too much time and energy to sort through them all and determine which ones are frivolous and petty and which ones really mean something. It takes a lot of shaking to unstick a spider web, but I have my fingers pretty wound up in this one.
I'll end up sleeping on this web, but I'll do so happily listening to the sound of 'Rado breathing through the baby monitor. He is my ocean.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I've been thinking a lot about being truthful because I've suddenly been hit by an urgent and unyeilding need to tell the truth all the time. This is a big thing for me because I rarely think twice about smiling through the pain and saying that everything is all right when it, in fact, could be much better. I take those dangling "How are things going?" fruits at work and instead of slicing those puppies open and eating them up, I put them in my basket until they rot and just have to get thrown away. Anything to avoid discord.
Now, we all know that "How are you?" or "How are things?" are usually prefunctory questions - lies about how much someone truly cares about someone else. And if that's truly the case, why ask in the first place? Or better yet, why don't we keep the questions but take it upon ourselves to care because we all need help in some way or another, and doesn't having someone who cares help out more than we can help ourselves by ourselves? I'd like to care more and careless less.
Just because I've been hit by this truth need doesn't mean I've magically been able to make myself fulfill it, which is so frustrating. It's become a reflex of mine to smile and say that everything's fine; my mouth moves faster than my mind at those moments and I tell myself to slow down every output and speed up the inputs in hopes of stopping the quiet lying. The steps I make are small but I keep taking them. If you ask me how I'm doing I won't load my burdens on you, but I will hopefully have the presence of mind to say that maybe I'm struggling today or share something with you that made me laugh instead of flashing you my stock photo smile and saying everything's just fine. Only that. My life isn't that quiet. Whose really is?
I want the world to be as clear as possible for Rado. Not mucked up with lies and artifice.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
We've moved, changed jobs, and altered educational trajectories; from 34 to 35, a lot has changed in Z's life. Like father like son. Connor continues to grow before our eyes. As is the case on every Saturday I work, when I got home 'Rad seemed older. I was looking at his profile while holding him in my arms this evening and he is truly a little boy. Toddler schmoddler, this kid is a kid.
This was today's installation into the Saturday Series:
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
No, that's not a clue about what is going on in our house. Geeesh.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Although it means I have to work on Saturday, I'm enjoying my Monday off. The dishes are washed, dinner is pre-cooking, and my homework is done. My mind is begging to be still even though my body knows there are toys to put away and mail to sort through. I'm going to let my mind win this time - it's time we stopped fighting with each other. Along those lines, I've broken one of my "rules": No coffee after 2:00 pm. I feel great about it. Am I really expected to sit in a vaccumed, quiet house without some caffeine? Didn't think so.
This weekend was perfect. We saw some old friends, got some big things done, and still spent some quality family time together. One of Connor's favorite after-dinner activities is to play football. His version involves holding one (or two) plush football and running at Z. Z responds by fake tackling him, taking him to the ground where they both erupt in laughter. Connor has even started saying "Hut hut!" It's almost too much.
That has been the centering that my soul has been searching for. It would have been great to do some yoga, pour my guts into a journal, or not let myself think of all that has yet to be done. Instead, I got to spend a great full weekend with Z and Rado eating good food, catching up, and laughing a lot. Connor and I are still struggling with wanting too much from each other, and sometimes one of us falls on the floor crying while the other only wishes she could do the same. But we're figuring it out. We're not giving up and we're only getting better and smarter. That's my goal, anyway.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
I'll take it all, though. It's so much easier to take than to give. With 'Rado though, my fear is that I give him too much - too much attention so he'll turn into a little brat; too many kisses and hugs so that he'll feel I'm a needy, crazy mother when he's old enough to figure it out; too many words so that he'll never be able to enjoy moments of silence. Yes, he's not even two years old, but I know he knows a lot. He probably understands more than I do about things because his context is so pure and unmuddied. He is his pure self in a way that years of yoga will never allow me to be. I am hard on myself. But I also expect a lot from myself and with Connor I put an extra heaping of that on my back in hopes that I don't pass that fatal flaw on to the little man. He can probably sense that, though. You can't hide anything from those damn toddlers. Have you ever tried to keep a cell phone away from one? Good luck.
Speaking of phones, everything is a cell phone to Connor. Today he had an in-depth conversation on my iPod. He also had a one-way exchange with Z on the baby monitor. Remote controls are fair game as well. By the time he's old enough to own a cell phone they'll probably be implanted in.
To celebrate 'Rado's big-growth weekend (and since we had some alone time this weekend), he and I headed out on Sunday for some chocolates. The boy is a big fan of malted milk balls, and I'm a big fan of anything, so off we headed to the coffee shop downtown. We spent a great half-hour by the front window. Connor was captivated with the cars stopping and going at the stop light, which provided both of us just enough time to finish our goodies and allowed me a few big swallers of hot tea. I loved it. Simple mother-and-son time with no electronics, no crying or whining, and no clock-watching. I'm trying to savor and swallow up these moments as they, like all others, are so few and uncherished. Why is enjoying the time and moments we're given and the ones we experience so difficult?
Here are a few captured moments from our chocolate outing: