Thursday, August 19, 2021

And now you are 12

Dear Jordan,

Twelve years ago on my birthday, I thought I'd have a baby. 

Because that was my due date. And my birthday. So it was totally meant to be and I was going to have my baby on my birthday. 

Also, and this won't mean anything to you at the moment, I was absolutely not going to have an epidural if I could help it, and certainly not a C-section.


And then all last week 12 years ago I waited and waited and waited.

Then 12 years ago on this very day, you were born! 

And you were perfect.

You had the most perfect round head and beautiful skin. You were honestly the cutest baby I had ever seen. Although to be fair, I never really thought babies were all that cute before you.

But you were also the cutest baby so many other people had ever seen. So it was true. Cutest ever. 

Things were really, really hard that summer. That year, in fact.

But the best thing was that we had a baby. We had you. 

And now you are 12! You're almost exactly my height.

I picked you up on Tuesday after seven weeks of camp, and you'd grown like two inches! You're already bigger than me. In 15 minutes you're going to be taller than me.

And not only had you grown physically, you'd grown emotionally.

You have a peacefulness about you. You seem at ease in your skin. You radiate happy.

We were so proud, so very proud, of how you spent that time away from home and embraced it. I know you were homesick. In your letters you'd say how much fun you were having, and that you'd like to come home after first session, and also, could we send your Magic cards?

In one letter you said, "Dear Mom and Dad, I miss all of you, and I miss Nana and India and Wanda most of all."

Daddy said, "We didn't even make the top three!"

We missed you and we were so grateful you could be out in the beautiful woods on the edge of a lake having an incredible summer. After being home, like physically stuck in the house, for so many months, this was such a blessing.

Driving to pick you up, I was so excited. When I arrived at camp and told them who I was there to pick up, they said my smile was huge, and I said, "I can't wait to see my boy!"

When we dropped you off, you were anxious, and you didn't want goodbye hugs or kisses. When I picked you up you were totally cool with me hugging you and hugging you and kissing you and hugging you some more. You were even fine with selfies.

Those seven weeks were so good for you. Being apart was so worth it, seeing how happy you are, and what a good emotional space you are in.

You worked really hard at camp acquiring new skills, and you got your name on the banner for arts and crafts champion. I know you are proud of this. We certainly are, too.

You and I have just been hanging out in Portland in between camp and family camp, and having such a nice time the two of us. We never get this kind of time. You're funny and creative and charming and just a pleasure to spend time with.

Today you got a brownie ice cream sundae and said it was totally better than birthday cake. You're just in such a delightfully positive frame of mind. You were even pleasant about me poking a swab up your nose for the pre-camp Covid test at the drive-through.

Growing up we were so excited to go to the A&W drive-in and to eat hamburgers and drink root beef floats in our car. I know it sounds weird that this was exciting.

And now here we are, driving up to Walgreens and parking at the pharmacy window and poking swabs in our noses, putting them carefully in a tube of noxious liquid, and sealing them in a hazmat bag, all as instructed by the pharmacists behind glass and wearing a mask.

I will tell you that even with my overactive imagination, I could never have imagined this.

Root beer floats would be more fun. Although not poked up our noses. 

Happy birthday, my sweetheart!

You are such a treasure. I love you more than I can express. I love you so big. More than star twinkles. More than sunshine.

Love love love,


Friday, August 13, 2021

Today I am 52

Today is my birthday.

Honestly, I'm shocked that it's already August. Of 2021. How is it now so soon?

Friday the 13th birthdays are my favorite. I love it when it falls this way.

India and I just did this fun photo shoot to commemorate it. 

I found this dress on a street corner. I don't know how it is where you live, but here you can put stuff out on the curb and people will take it. I've gotten so me very nice drinking glasses. We've given some nice furniture and kitchen ware.

My favorite find, however, is this fabulous dress. Well, it's between this and a small, very old cast iron pan that works like a dream. 

Anyway, when people compiment me on this dress I always say, "Thanks! I got it from the street!"


But why? I enjoy that fact. It's like when someone likes your dress and you're all, "And it has pockets!"

I love compliments, I truly do. So this is not to deflect them. But I also love a bargain. If you tell me you got something amazing for like 70% off, I will always be impressed.

Which is not to say I wouldn't support you buying it at full price. If that makes any sense.

During the pandemic, I discovered the clothing of Jordan Piantedosi and it was like the clothes I'd been looking for all my life!

I ordered one and then another athleisure suit to lounge around in to brighten my mood. When I say this turned my life around, I mean it like this: there were months where I wore the same sweats for three days and nights straight, bathed, and then changed into the next set for the next several days.

I wasn't opposed to hygeine, but I wasn't seeking it out, either. Why did it matter, really?

And then I got these fun outfits and they made me feel better. India and I would go out and she'd instruct me to jump, twirl, pose. We giggled and giggled.

I would wear them out to walk Wanda and get random comments from neighbors, and some giggles, and that added to the joy. I was very low on joy.

Somewhere around there, my shrink and I also had a good fight with insurance to up my antidepressant and in the end we prevailed. And I don't know if that helped with joy, but it helped with the opposed of joy. Yoj?

I think this was last fall but it could've been winter or even spring. I don't know.

Last month in Maine friend Pam gave me some gummies to help with sleep. They were sturdy jelly rectangles, and you'd slice a quarter off of one as a starting dose.

I was staying at her house and I felt like they helped, and she said I could take them when I left.

So I took the packet and put it in my dopp kit with the rest of my traveling medicaments. When I took it out the following night, it turned out that in the heat of the car, they'd melted into a solid mass. It wasn't that they were inaccessible--just that you didn't know where one shape or flavor began or ended.

And this is exactly how I feel about pandemic time. 

It's one flexible, shimmery blob. Many things happened in there, some decent and some truly terrible, but I couldn't really tell you when, and I can't necessarily extricate them from other memories. Events have been conflated.

I don't know how much parsing them matters.

We have survived to this point and on the whole, I feel hopeful.

As many of you know, I look at my birthday as my own personal new year. I got my hair done yesterday to celebrate.

I think when my hair goes white I will leave it be, because that will suit my skin tone. The current ashiness of my blonde coupled with greys just flattens my skin tone. There's enough disappointment and flatness in life without adding my hair to it.

Anyway, today I asked India if we could do a birthday photo shoot. She's not always in the mood, but she is my favorite photographer. She has a great eye, and a fabulous sense of whimsy.

It was tremendously fun. India really gets into it and loves action shots that show the clothing. She'd currently like to be either a fashion designer or a supreme court justice, or maybe both. 

Whatever she does in life, I do hope she uses her powers for good. 

Since my last birthday I was diagnosed with Lyme disease (getting diagnosed and getting antibiotics was a struggle, I tell you). In the process they ruled out lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a variety of other diseases. Thank goodness.

I have had two rounds of antibiotics, and I still have some joint pain but they don't really know why. So.

I've also gotten very into yoga, which honestly I wish I'd discovered before, and really it's my own damn fault for not, having grown up in India where opportunities abound.

But like all my other choices, I had to go about it the hard way, and perhaps just needed to find the right instructor at the right time.

You know I'm not a team player, as I've always had a horror of group activities. Also, yoga studios intimidated me. But this is different. These are friends, and we're pushing each other to be our best selves.

I've discovered yoga is one of very few activities that takes so much of my focus that all those annoying voices in my mind go silent. There's no making grocery lists or fretting about that one awkward thing I said, or whatever else my mind likes to tip toe through while I should be focusing.

It's super difficult and ultimately so relaxing.

Forgive me if my writing is awkward. 

These are muscles I've not used in so long. I think about writing and how much I miss it. But then I wonder what I would even say, when my creativity is at such a low ebb.

I need to just jump back on the wagon or bicycle or whatever that expression is. Get on the horse and lead it to water.

Can't make a sow's purse out of a rat's ass.

I love you all. Thank you for being on this life journey with me!