26 August 2010

Things That Are True - The Unexpected Breaking of My Heart

For every time The Imp makes me all look-up-at-the-sky-and-shake-my-fisty, there are several times he makes me all ok-now-you've-just-done/said-the-SWEETEST-thing.

This morning as we were driving to daycare, I reminded The Imp that we were going to give some of his baby stuff to friends who are expecting.

The Imp: [names redacted] having a baby?
Me: Yes, they're having a baby girl, and we're going to give the baby some of your old things you don't use anymore.
The Imp: Booster seat and stroller?
Me (pleased that he remembered, and that he doesn't seem to mind giving his things away): That's right! We're going to give the baby girl your old booster seat and stroller.
The Imp: Wanna see the baby girl.
Me: We can't see the baby girl yet, she's still growing inside her mommy's tummy. We'll be able to see her soon. You can be like her big brother!

The Imp, thinking....
The Imp: Wanna read books to the baby.

Pause, as I gulp back sudden sobs.

Me: I'm sure the baby girl would love to have you read her books.

And just like that, my heart breaks wide open. The plan was always that The Imp is 1 of 1. He'll never have a sibling, and suddenly that's killing me.

20 August 2010

Things That Are Surprising - Friday Confession: Dishes

A couple of days ago, The Imp was being most helpful in the kitchen when we got home, taking groceries one by one out of the bags and handing them to me to put away. When that was done, we moved on to other tasks. He was very excited to carefully take each dish out of the dishwasher and put it on the counter for Mommy to put away. I was in a blissful state, enjoying this quiet, cooperative time with my little boy, and feeling more than a little mama pride at how happy he was to be so helpful. It's possible I wasn't paying quite as much attention as I should have been to what was happening to each dish between dishwasher and countertop. With ninety percent of the dishes out of the dishwasher and the job almost complete, I noticed that The Imp was carefully, so carefully, licking each dish before he put it on the counter.


I put them away anyway. I just couldn't face the job of remembering which dishes would need rewashing. And then rewashing them. And then rewashing everything else too because I wouldn't want to miss one. So I just sang "Lalalalalalalalala" to myself and firmly closed the cupboard doors, and went and read stories to The Imp before dinner.

Don't tell HWSNBN.

Wanna come for dinner?

17 August 2010

Things That Are True - Why I Write Here

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been thinking a fair amount about why I blog. I've attended blogging events, learned a lot about what blogging means to other people, and wrestled with what blogging means to me. I've considered going the route of seeking PR pitches, doing giveaways and reviewing products in this space. Who doesn't want free goodies? I've read with some envy about blogger-freebie events that others have been invited to. Who doesn't want a free trip or spa day? I've thought about what it would take to really promote my blog as a brand, and I've struggled with posting regularly enough to build traffic and be considered for that kind of attention.

But here's the thing - it's just not me.

I write because I can't not write. I don't write often, and often I don't write well, but I can't not write.

For as long as I can remember, I've been a letter writer and a journal keeper, with the same sort of sporadic output as I've had here on my blog so far. I have boxes of old notebooks filled with no doubt mortifying-to-almost-40-year-old-me rants, raves, and anguish filled entries about boys (later men), school (later work), goals, to-do-lists, and passions, however transitory.

Me, Grade 8. Also transitory: fashion.

Those notebooks are the repository of my dreams, however ridiculous, unrealistic, or embarrassing they might be. In rereading some of them, I'm shocked at what 17 year old me had to say about homosexuality, amused by what 22 year old me thought was important in a guy, and embarrassed at the depths of wisdom I spouted about turning a whole quarter of a century old. (Depths so shallow you'd crack your skull open if you tried to dive in.)

But I meant those words at the time. Meant them fervently.

As fervently as I now wish I'd never owned that shirt. Me at 17.

As I get older I tend to forget that I haven't always looked at the world the way I do now. I forget how desperately in love I was with that guy in highschool, the one who didn't know I existed. (And who now, frankly, I'd be embarrassed to be seen with. Facebook can be very good for affirming your life's choices. Yikes.) And it's easy to forget how extraordinarily important little moments can be, both good and bad. Things I don't even remember now that rocked me to my knees as they were happening.

Me at 24. It seems I never did quite get the hang of a hairdo. Also: really? Tie-dye?

Now, as a parent, I'm glad I still have this written record of the passions, angst, and injustices of my childhood, teen, and early adult years. I hope it will remind me, as The Imp grows in and out of the various stages of life, that perception is fluid, that perspectives change, and that yes, he does truly, achingly feel like missing that party will literally end any chance at happiness for the rest of his life. I hope I can look at those snapshots of my younger-self feelings and, after chuckling to myself, still be respectful of his. He's a lot like me; I'm sure his passions will be just as fiery as mine were - and still are. No matter how embarrassing they might be.

But here's another thing: not all of them are embarrassing. I can remember writing several times from the age of about 15 until as recently as my early thirties about how I wanted to get a good camera and learn to take proper pictures instead of unsatisfactory snapshots. It's a recurring theme in my notes to myself. And while I certainly wouldn't call myself a photographer, this space, this very public yet somehow very intimate space, has allowed me to start another blog, filled with photographs I have taken myself.

I also wrote repeatedly and with great longing about wanting to sing, and to learn to play guitar, and to write songs. All of which I've done. Maybe not well, maybe not often, but I've done them. Every night at bedtime, The Imp and I sing our goodnight song, a little tune that came to me in the hazy hours of mid-night breastfeeding. I wrote that, and The Imp asks for it every night.

And the photography and the music, and the writing, oh the writing, have been my solace.

The sleepless night of a highschool broken heart has been replaced by the sleepless night of a feverish toddler. The teenage angst about a boy has been replaced by the complicated business of being married to a man. The goals (go to Paris, buy a guitar, get a job) have been replaced by different goals (go to Paris again, buy another guitar, start my own business). But the writing remains.

And when I can put aside the business of life to post here, I will. And I hope you'll come back to read once in a while.

The schedule: sporadic.
The posts: honest, as real as my limited skill can make them, and probably embarrassing to my 60-year-old self.
Also: there will be swearing.

And so be it.

Me at almost 40, and finally comfortable with who I am.

14 August 2010

Things That Are True - Camelot

For reasons I cannot explain, I have had the soundtrack of Camelot running through my brain for most of this day. I haven't heard the music or seen the play in over 25 years - I guess 12 year old me is still "wonder[ing] what the king is doing tonight".

If I were a friend of the king, my 39 year old self would probably be wondering what the hell he was doing tonight, too. If I were the king myself, I'd be wondering if anyone out there was still wondering what I've been doing tonight, since I haven't blogged in forever.

For the six or maybe seven of you who do think of me fondly (and with exasperation) from time to time, well, I've been busy. I've also been thinking about why I blog, how much I want to blog, who I'm blogging for, and whether blogging here is the best use of my time, given that I'm launching a new business and all.

Will continue to ponder and share some of my thoughts once they ripen nicely.

In the meantime, look! Some cute!

Photo by Tracey at Bopomo Pictures