Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The eyes have it

Jordan had eye surgery today. I'm still waiting for him to get home.

He's far sighted and has an astigmatism and a lazy eye. He started wearing glasses February, and the doctor was hoping they'd correct the lazy eye, but they didn't. He then started losing vision in the eye that was turning in.

So we've done patches for two hours a day--which is a huge step up from months of all-day patching that I did as a kid. And this morning he was scheduled for surgery.

Nick took him, because when his doctor was explaining to me how you hold him in your arms while they sedate him, and then when they're done he wakes up in your arms, I burst into tears. And that was just while discussing the procedure.

So I was afraid to cry at the hospital and make him scared, when he wasn't scared leading up to it at all.

In fact, he was delighted to be able to eat Jello this morning. Do you know how magical Jello is? Who knew it would be so easy to make my kid happy?

Me, I've been on the verge of hysterics all day. I'm crying as I type, which is stupid because his surgery is over and apparently it went well.

I am good in a moment of crisis, I swear, but I think it's just because adrenaline takes over. I am not good at waiting to see how things went in the hospital. I am not good at waiting for people to wake up.

His surgery was scheduled for 10:40, and then Nick called at 11:00 and I interpreted what he said to be that Jordan's surgery was running long, and he'd call again later to let me know. It was supposed to be an easy 45-minute procedure.

I went out for a run, because typically I can't cry when I run, and doing something physical feels better.

But when 11:30 and 11:45 came and went and I couldn't get Nick on the phone I kept imagining a call saying that something had gone wrong with the anesthesia. I imagined the smile my boy gave me when I kiss kiss kissed him goodbye to be the last smile I would see on his sweet little face.

What would we do without our Jordan? How would I ever be able to bear it? My throat kept trying to close. It was all I could do to not sit down and sob on the side of the path.

Nick called just before noon as I was trudging up a big hill, and the tears started flowing even before I answered.

Jordan was just about to go into surgery. The operation on the child before him had run long.

Relief! And more fear.

Nick has called several times since then. The doctor is really pleased with how surgery went. Jordan has woken up a little, eaten a bit of popsicle, and gone back to sleep.

He's fine, he's really fine. But me? I'm a mess.

I probably need some Jello.

Friday, May 22, 2015

And once again, it's not them. It's me.

This week was exhausting. I think I have an emotional hangover.

So I made a totally random video. I highly recommend doing so. It's really fun.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Ides of May

Today I woke up to an email from a dear friend; "*hugs*" was all it said.

It was perfect.

Today is the day my dad walked out the door and never came home again alive.

Today is a hard day for me.

Today I'm posting my first little video in lieu of writing.

It might be too weird and rambly and as such, might be my last.

We'll see.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dear Lisa

This is you. Happy Mother's Day. Please be kind to yourself, today and every day.

You always, every minute, try to be the best mom you can possibly be. You love your child(ren) more than your very life. Hell, more than their father's life, much as you may love him.

You may not make them Pinterest-y lunches, or feed them all organic food, or cook what you might consider actual dinners. Every night may consist of endless chicken nuggets and Annie's (organic!) mac & cheese. Many nights may not even include a vegetable.

And this makes you feel like you fail Feeding Children 101.
You may not buy them expensive clothing or adorably put together outfits.

Or you might spend big money and buy the cutest outfits you possibly can. And then they won't wear them.

Sometimes you can shrug it off. It's only clothing. And sometimes this is beyond you, because do you know how much this dress cost and how CUTE it is and YOUR NANA bought it for you and you still want to to wear that horrible polyester nightgown because it has Cinderella on it? Every goddamn day?

And the you feel like an asshole.

You are depressive and you take medication, and you need sunshine and daily exercise and alone time and sleep. It is a hard little dance to keep you sparkly, and often you are not.

Your kids aren't getting your best. You should be joyful more often. You shouldn't let them watch so many videos. You should be doing papier-mâché projects with them. You ought to teach them to sew to improve their fine motor. But often, you are tired.

You should've had kids younger. You should've had therapy and exorcised some of your demons and developed the ability to commit earlier.

But then you wouldn't have this spouse and these kids, and they are your world.

Some nights you all sit down to dinner and someone says, "NO fish sticks!" and you just feel like you cannot fucking deal and you pour yourself a giant glass of wine.

Just standing up to take a glass out of the cupboard gives you a reset. Pouring the wine is like a small dive into the adult life you used to lead that never included oatmeal smeared on your butt that you had no idea about. All day.

You don't even need to drink more than a sip or two. Sometimes you carry the glass to the bathroom and then get distracted by the bathing and the rest of the nightly struggles. You find it mostly full in the morning when you're brushing your teeth.

And sometimes one glass is three. But even if it's just one, or half of one, you wonder if this is addictive behavior.

You don't do it every night. Not even every week. But there are times when you feel tempted to walk out the back door and howl at the moon. Or walk out and just keep walking. So instead you are like, "I neeeeeeeed a glass of wine."

Your daughter occasionally says, "I'm dwinking wine!" And it is adorable. But is this a mark of your bad mothering?

You grew up with your parents' nightly cocktails and cigarettes. Regular dinner guests, and more cocktails and more cigarettes.

But we're a different generation. We're parenting more gently, more mindfully.

Aren't we?

I mean, after all, we use carseats and seat belts. We don't put them in the dog cage in the back of the station wagon while we go into the supermarket. We validate our kids' feelings and don't spank and if they cry we don't tell them to go to their rooms so we don't have to deal with them crying.We tell them they can do and be anything, rather than implying that they are not capable of a whole lot.

This puts us ahead of our parents, even if we retain the scars. Wounds that leak and break open and push us to say damaging things in moments of rage.

You try to remind yourself to breathe, to use your gentle voice, to not completely lose your mind when your kid pulls the straw out of the milk and squirts it across the kitchen. Or whacks their sibling. Or whiiiiiiiines for the 15 millionth time in a row. Or physically fights over which book to read at night.

Sometimes this works, and you stay calm and get your kids through the situation without trauma or tears. You pat yourself on the back. Or maybe you don't. But you should.

And sometimes rage overtakes you and your head melts and you yell so loudly you scare the shit ot of them. And then your kids sob and you feel like a complete failure.

You ask yourself what kind of terrible mother does that?

You love your children more than all of the stars in the universe, more than all the sunshine, all the flowers. More than every single breath you have left in your body.

You tell them so. You say, "I love you more than all the rainbows everywhere, more all the drop sof rain, more than every single chocolate chip in every cookie on the entire planet."

They eat this up.

Please give yourself a hug and remember: you are strong, and you are loving. You tell people to be gentle with themselves, and yet you do not do this.

Be kind to yourself. You deserve sunny rainbow hug love, too.

You are doing your best.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Thursday poll for those who enjoy dresses and proffering opinions and can ignore my general dishevelment and bad photography

On Saturday we are having family photos done for the first time ever every and I am beyond excited about this. I want to capture this time when Betty is such a part of our family and the kids are young.

We met the photographers and they are delightful and funny. I will have much more to say about them, and why I chose them, but that's a whole nother post.

They imagine us in a field, with muted colors. They showed samples of their work and the look and feel they are going for, and they were gorgeous.

The look, they said, starts with Mama and cascades down. They suggested pastel sundresses for India and me, maybe linen shirt or vintage tee for Jordan. I loved them from the moment they said I was the most important and then joked about skinny jeans for Nick.

Yah, so I couldn't think of anything pastel when we were talking, and then I actually looked in my closet and pretty much the only thing I have that is muted or subtle is underwear. Then I looked in India's drawers. Riot of color. Jordan's a boy who is offended by white and beige, so, same.

Betty might have some pastels, and Nick certainly has pale button-downs. So they could have some lovely dreamy photos together.

I texted with our clothing scenario. Really, they said, we have to be true to ourselves. What's most important is that we all have the same kind of look. Like we're going to the same party, is how I think of it.

So these, I think, are the best options. All dresses I feel good in, to varying degrees, and none of which I feel is a clear winner.

What do you think?

A. Long and flowy. Upside: it feels dressy, and the ikat print resonates with me. Downside: Not the easiest to maneuver in. (Not ombre; that's just my photography.)
B. Closest-I-have-to-pastel sundress. Upside: Super comfortable, and I think flattering. Downside: Not an occasion dress. I wear it all the time. I mean when it's warm. I once wore it all the time and will again.
C. Brand-new ooh I adore periwinkle dress. Upside: Flattering color for my skin and eyes. Also happens to match my walls! (Perhaps not an upside). Downside: They think it might be too structured. Also might show wrinkles.
D. Picnic cloth print sundress. Upside: This dress was made for me and I have loved it for longer than I care to admit. Downside: Now, after forever, maybe I am too old for this shortness of length. Related: Might show my bottom if I'm sitting on the ground.
E. Magic dress. Upside: For years I actually called this my magic dress. I recommended it to friends and strangers for its magical properties. I just pulled it out of a box and remembered how many dates I wore it on because I always felt great in it. Downside: Maybe not a sparkly enough color for summer photos? And maybe a little bare?
Any thoughts appreciated.

And I have stuff to say on shoes but all the contenders have not arrived.

 I promise that I will return to being a blogger of more substance. Although honestly, I could talk clothing and shoes all day. I am that frivolous. I am.