Archive | December, 2012

You’re Such a Big Boy, Little Guy!

30 Dec

toysMy boy wants to swallow the world, he’s just so damn excited about life! Playing in his mommy’s bed in the morning, while she desperately gulps down her morning coffee, attempting, urgently, to wake up, he’s lying on his back, kicking and squealing with joy, trying to grab his little feet and stuff them into his mouth. There are things he wants to say, I know this as he utters the oddest sounds, a blend of consonants and misplaced vowels, but he doesn’t have the words. I wonder if that frustrates him, or if he’s able to enjoy his stage of mumbling.

If I pick him up, and place his feet on the bed, I can tell his legs are strong, he can bare his own weight, as he takes step after step forward with my support, but he’s lacking balance. I can tell he’d like to be more mobile, he’s craving the ability to walk, to run. Can he appreciate and enjoy the crawling and squirming?

My boy is growing. As I hold him in my arms, climbing the stairs to our second-story-no-elevator apartment, I can feel his weight, it’s beginning to be difficult to carry him like this. But my arms are growing stronger too, I remind myself. You’re getting so big! I tell him, look how big you’ve become, little guy! Then I laugh at the contradiction. I imagine him thinking to himself: Mom, make up your mind, am I big or little? So I clarify: You’re big and you’re little sweetness. You’re bigger than you used to be, and you’re still little compared to how big you’re going to be. And your mommy loves you, big and little, all the same.

A good friend of mine who’s read this blog pointed out that I tend to draw comparisons between my son and myself. Why the hell not, here it goes. I too am big and little. Bigger than I was, but still little in comparison to where I’m headed.

I met up with an old friend the other day. A guy friend. A very good looking guy friend to be precise. We took a walk in the park, and chatted and caught up. He mentioned he was single. I mentioned I was separated. I touched his shoulder nonchalantly as I spoke, he gave me a hug when we parted. It was great. The park in winter is breathtaking. We went off trail, got “lost” among the trees, sat by the lake, looked at the ducks and just chatted. That’s all there was between us and that’s all that could be. I’m not available for anything more than an ego boost right now. Bigger, better, but not there yet.

The truth? A part of me fantasizes about having wild sex with hot-guy-friend-from-the-past. But you know what? I’m not going to let that frustrate me. Because where I am right now, walking in the park and feeling good about myself, it so much farther along than I’ve been recently. So I intend to enjoy this stage and all it can be, as I prepare myself for what’s coming next.

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Rock Bottom

29 Dec

rockbottomEinstein said: “Crisis is the the best blessing that can happen to people and countries, because crisis brings progress.”

I reached rock bottom the other day. It was really the lowest place I’ve been since the breakup. It came following a two week down period. After the breakup, I went through a rough month, just getting over the shock of having what I had assumed unthinkable happen to me. And in order to survive the flood, I took on a fierce I-Can-Do-It-On-My-Own attitude. I lost some more pregnancy weight, I exercised, I got a new job, a new nanny, new hobbies, a social life. I made it a point to go out, to paint, to start a blog. I went to therapy. I felt strong and able. I knew that no matter what, I was going to be the best mother I could be, that my baby wouldn’t be affected by what had happened to us.

Now, put this Strong-Mama image aside for a minute and imagine me in my sweats, ruffled hair, dark circle under my eyes after having barely slept all week, holding a screaming baby who’s growing teeth and developing a cold, refusing to be consoled, having held him in my arms for hours, shushing, rocking and begging him: Please sweetie, please stop crying, mommy just doesn’t know what to do anymore, please… And finally, crying along with him.

That evening, I called BD, I asked him to come over. I have to give him credit for dropping everything and showing up. When he knocked on the door I opened it with a stained T-shirt  and my hair, and the dark circles, not making the slightest effort to look OK. I put baby in his arms as if I was handing him a package. I went into my room, shut the door, collapsed on the bed and slept for an hour.

When I woke up, it was quiet. Baby was asleep. I put on a bra. I changed my T-shirt. I pulled my hair back in a ponytail. I still looked like shit, but at least I didn’t look like someone who’d just had a nervous breakdown. I came out of my room and thanked BD for coming on such short notice. He said: Thank you for calling me. I want to help.

This made me sad, because looking at him I saw the beautiful, kind man I fell in love with thirteen years ago, who is no longer mine. And then I did what I had been wanting to do for a long time, what I had denied myself because I was too proud. I hugged him, he hugged me back, and I cried, finally, after a very long time of walking around with a huge lump in my throat. I’m sorry, he said. I drew back, I wiped my eyes dry with my sleeve. I’m OK, I said. And I meant it.

I had reached rock bottom, but there was something consoling about knowing that this was it. From here on, I could only get better. And there was something releasing about letting go of the charade.

I am a strong woman, and I am a good mother. Because I’m a good mother, I knew I had to call for help and collapse for an hour. If I were a bad mother I wouldn’t have called for help. I would have kept begging a seven-month-old baby, with aching gums to stop crying. Looking back now I’m proud of how I managed the crisis. Calling BD was not a sign of weakness, it was me being able to put my ego aside and doing the right thing.

Life is a series of ups and downs, highs and lows. I know that there are more lows ahead, maybe even more rock bottoms to come. But I also know that I have the ability to cope with them, to push forward and survive.

Candy in Bed

25 Dec

toys

I’ve decided to start a detox diet and give up sweets, which is why I’m sitting in bed eating gummy worms. I know it sounds illogical, but there are several reasonable explanations for my recklessness. 1. I need one last binge before I give this stuff up for good (again). 2. I have no backbone. 3. I’m a single mom with a teething baby who’s not letting me sleep, trying to get over my husband leaving and pull my life back together so give me a freakin break.

This is not turning out to be an easy week. And it’s only Tuesday. I wish I was Christian; at least there would be Christmas to be merry about. Instead I’m sad, I’m irritable, I’m very very tired. I think it’s just now beginning to sink in that my marriage is over, and that feels rotten on so many levels. I feel like I’ve failed, but also like I’ve been let down, I’m disappointed, I’m angry, but I’m also still in love, and the last time I was into a guy who didn’t like me back I was in high school, so I kind of feel like I’m in high school again, only with a job, a baby, slightly higher self-esteem, and a few extra pounds.

January is right around the corner, and in February I have to reserve a spot for my boy in day care for September. So I’ve been looking around and checking some places out. Day care, as it turns out is ridiculously expensive. Seriously, you could go to college for what private day care costs.

I’m also trying to figure out work for next year. How I’m going to juggle making money, having a kid and not feeling like I’m not spending any time with him, and being newly single, dealing with the repercussions of the breakup, healing and getting back out there.

It feels like a lot, like too much. And even when I manage to get some sleep, I just feel exhausted and worn out. Honestly, the only thing I know for sure right now, is that I’ve eaten too much candy and I’m nauseous. And oh my god, I’m so exhausted, that I absolutely cannot even finish writing this post. I’m hitting the sack.

Mayans, Bite Me.

20 Dec

toysDon’t laugh but I was seriously troubled today by the fact that it’s supposed to be the end of the world tomorrow, and it’s BD’s night with Baby. I mean, if all ends tomorrow morning, I’m not even going to be able to give my boy one last hug. And even though it’s a ridiculous thought, it made me sad. Have I mentioned that I’ve been hyper sensitive lately? So to forget about stuff, I walked to the mall with my friend B in the blithering cold, with a pineapple Breezer in my hand, to watch a dumb chick flick, not before downing two whiskey-diet cokes, and demolishing a hamburger with a ton of fries. At least there was a green salad on the side.

So… Bachelorette. One of those movies that really makes you think, right? Yes. It makes you think – good thing I’m drunk or this movie would seriously suck. Poor Britney Murphy, she had the role of Gena perfectly cut out for her, only she’s dead, so they had to make due with Lizzy Caplan, who was actually quite good, to be fair. B fell asleep about 20 minutes into the movie, and despite my nudging and kicking remained asleep until the last 10 minutes of the movie, when she opened her eyes and mumbled sleepily: Too bad I fell asleep, looks like it was a good one. The main theme of this movie is that women hate themselves and sabotage their lives, despite being drop dead gorgeous, smart, and helping kids with cancer. But the fat girl whose only real characteristic trait in the movie is that she likes to eat, has it right, because she’s not bulimic or high on coke, she just accepts who she is and finds the perfect guy who wants to marry her, even in a torn stained wedding dress.

Alright, movie over, candy eaten (there just were not enough calories in that burger, sorry) and we head out of the theater. It’s midnight, oooooh, the end of the world is coming. All at once it starts to poor, I’m talking cats and dogs, and none of the traffic lights are working, that’s creepy, and tipsy B and I have stupidly decided to walk back home.

When I finally make it home I rush to turn on the heat, strip of my wet sticky jeans and crawl into my pajamas, and then cannot help myself and text BD to see if Baby’s doing alright, which he is. I’m head over heels over this little guy, I have to tell you. He can keep me up all he wants, I’d take any night staying up shush-patting him over being apart. Well, maybe one night a week to catch up on my sleep is not a terrible idea.

Tomorrow is a new day, isn’t it? And it most definitely will not be the end of the world. Let me tell you why: This story, my story, is just not over yet. The heroine has only just begun her development. The plot has only just started to thicken. And what kind of a crappy novel would it be if somewhere around chapter 3, everyone in the story died and that was the end? Well, it wouldn’t be a novel at all, it would be a very poorly written short story.

So Mayans, bite me.

Teething

19 Dec

toysWe’re growing teeth. We want to be able to take a bite out of this big strange world, so we’re growing teeth. And it’s keeping us up nights.

Last night was especially difficult. 45 minute intervals – basically a night full of little naps, and non-stop awakenings, shushing, and holding, and patting, and trying to calm the little one down as he cried, confused at what was happening to him, why his mouth was so terribly  irritated, what he had done to deserve it. At one point, when I realized the night was lost, I’d just put my head down to rest for a few minutes, not even removing my glasses, until Baby would call me into his room again.

I know it hurts, my love, I told him as I held him in my arms and shushed him to sleep, kissing his head. It hurts to grow, my love. It hurts but it’s going to get better. I put my arms around him, and he buried his head in my shoulder, whimpering. I said, sweetness, just wait and see. Soon your mouth will be full of beautiful pearly white teeth, and you’ll be glad to have them. You’ll see my darling, it hurts a little but it’s worth it. It’s worthwhile to grow. I wasn’t sure if I was talking to Baby or to myself. I think I was talking to both of us.

When morning finally came, we both closed our eyes, exhausted, and slept soundly for three hours. And when we woke up, I rushed to Baby and peered into his mouth, checking his gums, because after all this hard work, a tooth must have come out. But his gums were as pink and bare as always.

Of course, I told him. Things like that don’t just happen overnight. Be patient, my love, it’ll come.

My Own Personal Growth Spurt

16 Dec

toysI had a dream about my son the other night. It was morning, and I had woken up and gone to his crib. I found him crawling around, much faster and more confidently than he has been until now. I thought to myself, wow, he must have had a growth spurt last night; he seems so much more advanced than he was yesterday.

As I came closer to him, he suddenly pushed back and sat down, picking up a toy and playing with it. Again, he did this as if it was nothing new. And I thought to myself, that’s strange, how could I have missed him learning how to do that. But then, just as I was thinking this, he grabbed the bars on his crib and pulled himself up, and just stood there, looking at me, smiling, as if to say, mom, look what I can do!

He looked healthy and happy, confident in himself and his abilities, confident that he was loved. I felt a surge of love him at that moment, and I knew he loved me back by the way he smiled at me. As I watched him, I realized that I was dreaming, and I was grateful for the dream. I felt like I had been given a sneak peek into our future. Not the very far future, but sometime within the next few months, when things will have settled a bit, when there won’t be so much constant emotional turmoil on my end.

What I saw was good. I saw my boy growing, developing, learning. And I know that like him, I am growing, developing and learning too. Sometimes I feel like I try to rush forward. Maybe I push too hard. Maybe I need some time, to let everything sink it, to fully grasp what is happening to me – to us. Because unlike what happened in my dream, I’m not going to get up one day and realize that I am over BD. Just like Baby’s development, my recovery will also be gradual. I will fall a hundred times before I can stand on both legs, confident as my boy was in my dream, and smile.

But I know that it will happen. It’s a matter of time. I have to be patient (and I suck at being patient, it’s my worst flaw). And while I’m anxious to be over it, I also know that this is a special time for me. A time of growth. And in a way, it’s comforting to know that it’s not all going to happen overnight. It’s good that I get to be present in this process, experience it. And it’s so very special, that as I watch my baby grow, he can watch his mother grow, developing her confidence and strength, to become the mother that he deserves.

Club

14 Dec

It was crammed. Blinding, flickering, colorful lights. Movement, closeness. Can’t help touching everyone and everything. Blasting music and a throbbing crowd, like a giant collective heartbeat. Seeking, materializing, moving in, holding, taking. Warm. Soft. Goatee. Slippery. Thrilling. Enveloping. Empowering. Commanding. Quenching.