Monday, October 28, 2013

Knock knock. Who's there? Orange you glad I'm not a banana?

I don't know what you might call the compulsion to wear utterly ridiculous outfits, but I have it. I don't necessarily do it - but I have the definite urge.

I mean, I used to sometimes, with Maude. But I haven't had the gumption to do so on my own. But I itch to...

You know how I got all those Liberty for Target matching floral items, or how I'd like to wear stripes top to bottom. I just like the inanity of it.

So I got this fantastic orange jacket.

I love it so. It basically goes with everything. You might think I'm kidding, but I am not. It's so screaming orange, I consider it a neutral.

So there's that.

And then I was in Gap the other day and they have these cords.
Which would match my jacket kind of perfectly.

I joked about getting them but I didn't. But the more I think about it, the more I would enjoy wearing those with the jacket.

And then I'd just need some orange shoes.

Don't you think?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

India: 18 months = 1.5 years!

Dear India, my sweet, belligerent, stubborn, charming little dollop of girly-whirly delight,

You are now 18 months old, and suddenly you are no longer a baby but a girl!  Look at you! You are big and strong and a force to be reckoned with.

Recently your hair has gotten a lot longer, and lately it's not standing straight up as much. I guess it's a mullet.  I'm going to miss that sticky-uppy hair when it goes away.

First thing in the morning, when we go in to get you, you exclaim, "Mek!" Which is your way of requesting, very kindly and politely, a cup of milk. "Mek!"

You then point to the top of your sleepsack and say, "Naps!" We open the snaps.

Your lack of language skills does not keep you from voicing your OPINIONS. Oh, you have them. You have preferences, and you make them loud and clear.

There are shirts and pants that you will not put on. "No. Nonononononono."

You can't yet explain it's because they're CRUNCHY or whatever it is you might find distasteful, but no matter how cute I tell you they are, they're not going on your body.

Your favorite jacket is neon pink. Basically, you seem to embrace the same strong colors that I do. And it's not because that's all you have to choose from; you have plenty of more subdued hand-me-downs.

These are the words that you now have: Mama, Daddy, Nana, Jordan (pronounced kind of like Darde), shoes (doos!), socks (dock!), window (meeno), moon (mun!), agua, water, ice, clothes, dirty, clean, diaper, up, down, night-night, dark, duck, doggy, book, more, stop, tickle, monster, hiccup (picccup!), help you (hapu!), oatmeal (homu, pretty much like Jordan said it), car, big truck (biituck!), pasta (bata), dirt, hat, walk, button, people, ball, baby, nose, eyes.

The dangerous thing about asking you where your nose is is that you will then point to the other person's nose after yours. And then after nose typically comes eyes, at which point you tend to poke the unsuspecting person right in his or hers.

"Eye!" Poke!

I know you have more words, but these are the ones I can remember. I had forgotten how fun this stage is, with all the new words and the delight with learning and producing them.

You now have 11 teeth - three of them molars. You are definitely not one to suffer in silence, and thus we have all been suffering, particularly in the wee hours of the morning. Molars are brutal.

You looooove your brother, and he loves you back, but he's so torn between enjoying you and being completely, meanly jealous. He takes whatever toy you are playing with, or whines because you have it. He does one thing, you do another, one or both of you cry, sometimes I yell. In other words, lately evenings have kind of sucked for me, and I count the minutes until I can get you both in bed.

But when it's one-on-one with either of you, things are great. And sometimes together you are delightful. When I see you enjoying each other, making each other giggle, it fills my heart so full.

I love you love you love you.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Well, duh

You know, you'd think that after all this experience, I'd be primed to recognize when I am tip-toeing ever deeper into the Vast Ocean of Depression (VOD).

Why do I have to wait until I'm way down in it? Every time?

I mean, for Pete's sake, I wrote a post last week about how I'm doing so much better at the even-keeling! I haven't sunk since way back in the dark ages of my pregnantness! I am good! I am doing the breaststroke, head out of water! I am fine!

I even linked to this post to contrast it with my now. Because now is not like then! Right?

Yeah. So why do I feel so not fine?

Today I decided to make a list:

List of Things That Are Currently Wrong With Me (Not Comprehensive)
  • I'm struggling to concentrate.
  • I have no desire to write - one of the things I enjoy most.
    • This might be because I feel kind of...blank. What do I have to say that's interesting?
    • Also, writing means concentrating. Oh, look! A squirrel!
  • I don't want to exercise at all. Exercise means getting up.
  • Boy, am I irritable. Why does everyone suck?
  • My fuse is terribly short - shorter than my attention span. 
    • So shut up.
      • No, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Man. Why do I suck?
  • Yah, so generally, I suck.
  • Mostly what I'd like to do is just sit around and drink wine.
    • Oh, and also shove cookies into my face hole. 
      • And then go to sleep.
        • It would be even nicer if I didn't have to get up and take care of children and you know, do stuff.

So. Once I laid them out, I was all, oh, look! Here we are, underwater!

The bad/good thing is, I've been here before. So maybe I don't actually suck or hate everyone, starting with myself. Also, importantly, I'm not all curled up in a hole, uninterested in getting dressed or breathing or whatever. I'm just, you know, not so much on top of the VOD.

But I am wearing clothes! And inhaling wine and cookies breathing! And doing stuff!

I used to cry and cry. I would start crying and not stop for days. I don't want the crying back, but it certainly is obvious.

Friday, October 11, 2013

If the rain comes they run and hide their heads...

It will perhaps not come as a surprise to you to hear how sunshine-dependent I am. How stormy weather pulls me straight down.

We're on our, what, second day of rainy coldy grey pouring rain rain rain? And I feel like it's been raining my entire life.

Nick doesn't love this weather, but it doesn't affect his mood. I've talked before about how Nick is fairly even-keeled, and he never has the lows that I have. But he also never has the highs.

I would love to be able to maintain an even keel. I am much better at it now, and I'm consistently happier than I've ever been. I still have ups and downs, but they're not quite as uppy or downy, and they're briefer in duration.

I haven't descended into the dread pit of despair since I was pregnant and unmedicated.

But it seems you're either an even-keeler or an up-and-downer. Me, I so appreciate the sustained periods of good, because I have had extended periods of hideously bad. I don't know what it would be like to just take happy for granted.

And similarly, I think, I appreciate my marriage so much more because it took so long to get to a healthy relationship. I don't know if I would recognize what I have, if I hadn't worked so hard to get here, and had so many painful experiences along the way.

I'd love to say that I would, but I don't believe it.

I feel like I appreciate him intensely, and work all the harder for a good relationship, because I have lived in the dark, and I like living in the light.

Nick and I have our struggles, of course, and though we haven't had any giant, screaming fights lately, I'm not so naive as to believe they are behind us.

We get regularly frustrated and annoyed with each other, but we are both quick to apologize and quick to take responsibility. I love this man with my whole heart. Unreservedly and unabashedly. I know he loves me right back just as much.

And so, the other day, when he was stomping around in frustration, saying: "WHERE is my bike lock? I know I left it right here. And since I'm the ONLY ONE WHO PUTS THINGS AWAY, it should still be here, shouldn't it!?"

I made a giant effort to bite my tongue and squelch the desire to punch him in the ouchie bits.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Here's what the fox says: shut the f*ck up

India is teething, which means a lot of 2:00 am screaming, which then necessitates shuffling down the hall to her room and rocking and patting and shuffling back down the hall and not being able to fall back asleep.

And so there I am, lying in bed wondering what the fox says.

You'd think I'd be able to sing that damn song start to finish by now, but I get confused about which animals are in which order.

Nick has no patience for the song anymore, but I am telling you, it keeps my descamisados happy.

We regularly have dance parties to The Fox. Everyone likes to dance.

Or we can be having a screaming meltdown on the sidewalk over the tragic fact that we are WALKING IN THE DIRECTION SOMEONE DOES NOT WANT TO BE WALKING, LIKE HOME AND NOT THE PARK or fighting over a found acorn or who knows what but it is TRAGIC. And no amount of logic or silly walking can fix it.

And so I'll pull out my phone and say, "Hey! You guys! What does the fox say?"

And then I'll find the video and start it and there I am, the Pied Piper, followed by suddenly cooperative little minions, eyes focused, mouths closed, arms outstretched.

That's worth a hell of a lot of gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! to me.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars . . .

 Dear Dad,

I've been listening to Evita over and over and lately. I know you'd enjoy this; it was one of the soundtracks of my childhood.

I remember you brought pillows with us to the theater so I could sit tall enough to see.

Last week I got this wild hare to hear it, and now Jordan is hooked as well. He holds my phone out to Nick and says, "Daddy, these are show tunes."

Undelighted, Nick replies, "Yes. Great."

Three years ago today, we went out on Nick's boat and scattered your ashes in the Potomac. It was a pretty place, but a cold grey day, and even though I believe that once you're dead, your soul, spirit, whatever it is, departs your corporeal being, I still hated leaving you out there in the cold.

I was going to say that it's better than being stuck on the mantle or in the closet, but I don't know - you're like me, not so outdoorsy. You were, I mean. But you loved the water. I think we did the right thing.

You know, I rarely make that mistake with tenses anymore.

I've had so many reconnections lately: Peace Corps friends, my friend Leigh from Rome. And couple months ago I got together with a bunch of Delhi friends - kids you knew and liked. We're hosting a reunion here next May - it'll be a party I know you'd enjoy. They remember you fondly - your generosity, your smile, your laugh.

I like hearing those memories.

I've been working on my book, although I don't know if you'd be proud or not, because so much of it is about you in some way. I mean, it's about me. But the susurration of suicide echos throughout.

This would make you angry, if you were still here. I know it would. I've been reading through my archives, and you were so angry that I talked and wrote about what we went through with you. You were angry that I claimed my experience with your choices and behavior as mine.

It was self-preservation to start talking, to start writing, to seek support. I do hope that moving forward, we can eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

I know it was shame that made you so angry. It made you feel weak, which you despised.

You've now been gone for almost four-and-a-half years. In some ways, you were gone long before that. Most of your joy was, anyway. And in others, you are still very present.

My kids are so energetic and delightful, and they fill up all of our lives. Jordan is funny and creative and sensitive. India is a little bulldozer.  They both adore books, and I could easily picture them sitting on your lap, listening intently.

Both of them would make you laugh.

While time is so unkind in so many ways, it's the only thing I've found that actually eases emotional pain. Four-and-a-half years. They've helped. Mom is doing a lot better. I'm doing a lot better.

The other day I started to write, "The bad thing about suicide..." I stopped and was all, well, Lisa, the bad thing about suicide is that you're dead.

And then I laughed really hard, because yeah. The bad thing about suicide is that you're dead.

Today you would be 77. That's a pretty cool number. Happy birthday. I miss you.



Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Picking at scabs

I've been going through blog archives, looking at stuff that I've written about my dad.

Partly I'm doing it for research purposes. To refresh my memory. But when I start delving into the surreal things we lived through over and over, I just can't  help myself.

I had unpublished some posts because they made him angry. Because it was his story to keep secret, and not mine to tell. His actions were his, and basically, I had no business being affected by them. It certainly wasn't fair of me to be mad at him.

Now I know that it was the crazy talking. That he couldn't really see or feel beyond himself or his own pain. A rational human being would understand that his actions devastated his family and friends.

Anyway, I'm not sure how they'll publish, but if you see some really old posts pop up, that's why.

Also, sorry about a lot of heavy suicide-y posts lately. Tomorrow's his birthday. Things should lighten up after that.

Tra la!