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So Much Love in My Life, and Still I Want More

27 Dec

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A colorful plastic star hangs on his crib and plays soft, soothing music, while pale pastel images are projected on the ceiling of his bedroom. He observes the images, wide eyed, with glee, and slowly, mesmerized, releases his grasp of awareness and sinks into a deep sleep. I sit beside him, my hand on his back, concentrating on his breaths, and on the soft movement of his back, like ripples in water, rising and descending. So small, I think to myself. How can I love something so small, so much.

Five years later, here I am, organizing the closet in the guest room, and wondering who gets the musical plastic star. I change the batteries and clean the toy with a wet cloth. PLAY. The soft ringing music is suddenly too much. Without warning, tears well up in my eyes. I’ll be 38 soon. He’s going on six. We have our cute little ground floor apartment facing an orchard filled with grapefruit trees, and our goofy dog runs around the yard, chasing away the cats (and mice) and getting into fights with a hedgehog every now and again. We have D and his girls, who spend time with us every week. And still, at the end of the day, it’s still just the two of us. At least it often feels this way.

There’s D. My man, the one who’s loved me for over three years now, who’s allowed me to truly get to know him, without censorship, who’s broken through the fortress that used to be my heart, who’s seen me cry, and made me laugh, who’s strong arms hold me on the nights we’re together, and when he’s inside me I sometimes can’t believe my luck, that I get to have my legs wrapped around him and experience such pleasure.

I love his two girls, although I don’t see enough of them, because we’ve decided not to live together. Or he’s decided and I’ve gone with it. Or I had to go with it, because it was non-negotiable. I’m not sure. And every time my period comes, I’m a little disappointed, because we’re not trying for a baby – that too is non-negotiable – but still I hope to somehow, accidentally get knocked up and ruin everything.

It sure would make things easier if I had another child. To begin with, I’d be so busy, there would be no time to think about my life and debate whether I’m content or if something is missing. Some things would definitely be missing: sleep, and alone time, and sex. But I would probably be too busy to notice. I also wouldn’t notice how my boy is all grown up, going on play-dates instead of listening to me read, and suddenly acting as if getting a hug from his mom after school is embarrassing.

But there is no baby, and probably won’t be another baby. Or – there can be another baby, maybe, but then I need to find a father. And I don’t want another father. I just want D.

I was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to my son before bedtime tonight. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” Dumbledore told Harry, who was enchanted by the mirror of Erised.

I don’t want to forget to live. I don’t want to forget that even though he’s nearly six, he still crawls into bed with me on Saturday mornings. And that sometimes, when D is over with his girls, they crawl in too, and we all steal a few more minutes of sleep, all five of us together.

I don’t want to forget how even though we’ve been together for over three years, I still feel in love when I see him, and how he says things to me, like that I’m the second best thing that’s ever happened to him after his girls being born, and that he wants to love me for always and grow old with me by his side.

I don’t want to forget how lucky I am to be working in a place I find meaningful, to be affecting the lives of so many children every day, to truly like going to work in the morning and meeting my friends, who are my co-workers.

There is no baby. There may never be one. But I don’t want to stand there staring into my mirror of Erised and become addicted to the sight of a little bundle of happiness cradled in my arms, and forget that I can cradle my boy, or my man, or his girls, or my goofy, lovable dog.

He started reading now. My boy, not the dog. He’s outgrown all his clothes and shoes, and he no longer runs into my arms when I pick him up from kindergarten. But he does tell me about challenges and fears he’s overcome, and smiles at me with pride. He’s no longer obsessed with proving to me that he can do stuff on his own, and he’s not interested anymore in understanding how the world around him works. He now wants to understand abstract ideas, things that cannot be seen by means other than his own imagination. How did the universe begin, he asks. And what happens when you leave the atmosphere, and what is it like in space? And what will happen if I dig a very very very deep hole in the ground? I love how confident he is, not the way I was as a child, and so much more evolved than me – even as an adult. He knows his self worth, he loves himself. Looking at him I know I did a good job, and I know I could do it again.

I could.

But I won’t, I guess. And then when this saddens me.

And as I sit in the guest room, crying into a little plastic musical star, I think to myself that it’s unfair, that I have so much love in my life, and still – I want more.

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Sexy Rendevous & Really Weird Dream

28 Mar

D was called in for reserve, and even though we sometimes do not see each other for a full week, this time, since he was physically far away, it felt like forever. When he was unexpectedly released for a night in his own bed, we mutually decided on a night in my own bed, even though it was against our new rule of no sleepovers when my Boy is home. I needed to see him, so I made weak rationalizations in my head. He hadn’t had bad dreams in over a week now. And he’d had a long day, he would be too tired to get up in the middle of the night and come into my room.

A knock on the door and then a bone crushing embrace that lasted a full minute, and then his lips on my neck, and in my hair and on my mouth, soft, slippery and comforting. It was the best I had felt in a while. I missed you, he said, I had missed him too. Missed his mouth, and his neck, and his shoulders, and his biceps. Missed pulling his shirt off and feeling his warm skin against mine. Within minutes, we were making out on my sofa like a coupe of teenagers, fingers caressing and groping, tongues tasting, hips dancing. And then we moved into my bedroom, where we allowed ourselves more freedom, to explore each other’s bodies with our own, to turn off lights and thoughts and just be, easing in from a jumble of arms and legs and breasts, and hips, into rythmic movement, growing steadily deeper and faster, until that magnificent moment of complete oblivion, in which nothing has place, except the intense sensation of his final thrust and my legs wrapped around him, and my head tilted back as I muffle a groan.

But that night, back in our clothes, sleeping deeply, facing different directions, our legs still tangled like the roots of an ancient tree, I awoke abruptly to see his little face in the dark, “I can’t sleep”. Thank god for his little body, his head barely peering over the edge of the mattress. The darkness. D tucked away under the comforter. I got up immediately and took my Boy back to bed, patting his back for a full twenty minutes, which felt like forever, until he was breathing heavily again.

“Do you want me to leave?”

“No. It’s OK.”

D held me as a made an honest effort to go back to sleep. Finally, there he was, my son. It was morning, the sun beamed through the open shades and he was asking me, “who’s this, mom?” With surprise and sleepiness I woke D up. I said, “This is D. He’s a friend.” And I put my boy with a bowl of cereal in front of the TV. My sister was suddenly there. And she was playing with him, as the doorbell rang. Shit. Must be BD and his new girlfriend here to pick up my boy. Quick, D, out the back door.

They came in, smug, and went straight to the Boy’s room to pack an overnight bag for him. A couple of minutes later, it was too quiet in his room, as it often is with young children, and I felt worried, that something was wrong. I opened the door and found them: D, BD and new girlfriend, and they were getting dressed. When I confronted them, they admitted to having had a threesome, right there in my child’s bedroom. What the fuck?? I was out of my mind with rage, but all they did was shrug it off. D even said I was making a big deal out of nothing. I remember thinking miserably, how gullible I was, how I allowed someone, once again, to become close to me, and hurt me so terribly.

At 5 am the alarm rang, a few minutes after I had woken up. D’s arms were around me again, consoling me after I’d nudged him and whispered “bad dream”. When I told him about it he laughed and quoted the Lonely Island singing It’s not gay if it’s in a threeway. Then he did an Eddie Murphy impression and said, “You know what? Yeah. I fucked her. OK? I fucked her. But I made love to you.” We laughed it off, and he went back to his reserve, and I woke my son up with oatmeal and smiles, awaiting the weekend, when we’d have the house to ourselves, making new promises to avoid sleepovers on weeknights, at least until D’s called in for reserve again.

Collecting Snapshots

29 Oct

“Hi,” I smiled nervously and got into the car, perfectly aware of how awesome my favorite seven-year-old black boots that I’d repared with superglue the night before looked over my jeans, and how my top was just slightly drooping over my shoulder exposing a purple bra strap.

He leaned over to give me a hug, which I recieved greatfully, and when he started to drive, I sighed with relief. First dates are always awkward, but I had a feeling I was going to like this guy, based on the three nights in a row we’d spent chatting online and talking on the phone, sending one another pictures and youtube links to our favorite music. Also, this was not going to be a boring old date-date. This was a picnic at my favorite spot at the park, where I had fantasized all day about sipping wine, listening to him play his guitar and making out a bit if the moment presented itself.

Still, it’s always different seeing someone face to face, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of them. He wore a beige collar shirt with brownish stripes, but the fabric was soft and droopy, and the top button was loose. He was shorter than me, and smaller, but not by much. His hair was light brown and messy, cut too short for curls to form, but long enough that you could see its tendency to curl. His complextion was light, there may even have been a few freckles decorating his face. His eyes were serious, but his smile was boyish, with a bottom lip that was fleshier than the top one, and which I later found to be delicious and sexy.

“You came on time.” I commented.

“No I didn’t, I was late.”

“Two minutes doesn’t count as late.”

“But it wasn’t two minutes, it was four.” I  smiled. “So where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

An hour later I was sitting there on my green fleece banket in my favorite corner of the park. My boots were tossed to the side, as were his. He was sitting close to me, facing me, with only his guitar between us. His shirt was slightly open, from before, when I was touching his chest as he kissed me. Now he was playing Wish You Were Here, and I enjoyed immensly watching his fingers playing with the chordes, and listening to him sing, slightly off key. As I joined in, my hands were on his thighs, stroking them gently.

I closed my eyes and took a snapshot of this beautiful moment, of a girl and a guy enjoying music and warmth on a cool evening at the park. I was, once again, reminded of the numerous gifts that life continues to grant me, when I am open at heart and at mind and willing to accept them. When he placed his guitar on the blanket to his right, and leaned in to kiss me again, less cautiously and more passionately this time, I felt his warmth, surging through his body, leaking through those fingertips that stoked my back. With my eyes still shut, my mind was clear and I allowed myself to drown in an emotion that I can only attempt to describe as a sea of cotton balls and warm milk.

What happens next doesn’t even matter. My life is so intense and complex and challenging. But I am collecting beautiful moments for the collage that is my life, and they balance out the uncertainty, the drama, the pain, the guilt, the struggle.

Every single snapshot counts.

 

Let There Be Passion

23 Aug

Here’s a question I’ve been asking myself for quite some time now: What sparks passion between two people?

For me, in my life, it’s never really been about external appearance. That isn’t to say that I don’t care about a man’s looks at all, but rather that I don’t really have a type, and can find myself drawn to almost any type of look as long as there’s ‘the spark’. The spark is difficult to explain, but for the sake of science, I’m going to try. So after a lot of consideration, here they are, the top 5 qualities in a man that attract me:

1. Men I am drawn to are confident. It can be any kind of confidence, either the guy’s good looking and he knows it, or he’s smart and he knows it, or he’s a good flirt and he had me at hello and he knows it. It doesn’t really matter what he’s confident about, but basically he knows he’s a catch. There is a limit of course, because over-confidence is a definite turn off.

2. A man I’m attracted knows what he wants, and it’s me. It’s definitely a huge turn on when a man doesn’t linger or hesitate, but shows his interest – loud and clear.

3. This one is probably evolutionary. In terms of looks, I’m attracted to a healthy looking man. Not too skinny, not to robust, energetic, easygoing, if he’s into any form of sports that’s a bonus, if he likes good food (not processed junk) that’s a bonus. He better not smoke and he better have a healthy sex drive.

4. Sensitive, but not melodramatic. This guy will totally catch on if I’m having an off day. He’s sensitive enough to notice when we’re making out and I’m not really into it. He might ask if I’m ok or let me know that if I want to talk, he’s there. But unless I initiate a conversation, he’s not going to make an issue out of me being a little moody. Instead, he’ll touch me in all the right places to help me forget about everything.

5. Finally, and this is maybe one of the most important points, I’m attracted to men who are generally happy, who like their lives and feel good about themselves and their situation. It doesn’t really matter what they do for a living, how much money they make, what their goals are or what they’ve achieved. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

The Single Mom’s Ark

22 Aug

In this dream, I was at the school where I teach, and very heavy rain was falling.

My school was not in the building where it is in real life, it was a giant farmhouse. I was working on something in the basement with my principal and some other teachers, when the place began to get flooded. Water was coming in from everywhere and the floors and carpeting were drenched within seconds. Somehow, none of us was surprised. Heavy rain had been falling for days, maybe weeks, without stopping for a second. We knew a flood was coming. And we knew, somehow, that it meant the end of us. Principal looked at us with a face that meant, sometimes it’s just the end, and you have to accept it. Everyone had pretty much made peace with death.

I did too for a minute, but then I saw him. Standing on the steps – my beautiful son. And I knew I couldn’t give up.

The first thing I did was yell at everyone, including Principal, to get out of the basement. We got to the main floor of the house and I remembered I had seen a water tower somewhere. That was plan A, to climb the water tower and wait there, maybe the storm would end.

But on the way to the tower I had a better idea. I would build an ark. And if I couldn’t manage that, then at least a raft. All the other teachers, the principal, they would all help. We’d manage together. But we needed tools. So bravely I went back to the house and into the flooded basement, looking for whatever I could find, screwdrivers, a hammer, a couple of candles and matches. I couldn’t get everything I needed, but I made do with what I could find quickly and fled.

As I walked towards the water tower where we would be spending the night, I thought to myself that we were all going to be OK, and that it would be thanks to me. Building an ark, surviving a flood, it’s been done before. No reason it couldn’t be done again.

 

The Long and Winding Road

25 Jan

The long and winding road, that leads new me to her new life. It will never disappear, I’ve seen that road before. It led me to motherhood, career choices, love, passion, cooking, painting, blogging, teaching my boy and myself to be happy. 

That wild and windy night 15 months ago, the rain has washed away. It left a pool of tears, but the sun has dried them up, and now I know the way.

Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried. I know not everyone appreciates the many ways I’ve tried, but I’ve tried.

And still I find myself back again, on the long and winding road, where I was left standing a long, long time ago, and where I now choose to stand, brush my shoulders off and lead myself and my little boy to where we want to go. 

Wish me luck and courage.

Movie Moments

1 Jan

spatula

New Year’s day, and here I am. Still uncertain, still shaky, still on hold. What the hell am I doing? I know what I have to do, it’s just that I haven’t been feeling very courageous lately.

A year ago I was beginning to get a grip on things. Everything fell apart in October 2012. But in January 2013 I was beginning to put the pieces of my life back together. Slowly, one piece at a time, I learned that my life was a puzzle that could be put together in more ways than one. I waited for three months for BD to turn around. And then came the SCREW IT stage, no pun intended, well, maybe semi-intended. I discovered that life was magic. I was astounded by the revelation that I could live my life any way I wanted to, that I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Life is magic. People watch movies and read books and hear stories, and they say: things like this never happen in real life. Bullshit. Everything happens in real life, if you let it. Movie moments are all around us, waiting to be discovered by the power of one bold move, a small act of bravery.

Dinner today. Scrambled eggs. Tomato. Cucumber. Olives (Baby loves olives!) A spoon. And then BAM, Baby leans over and grabs a giant yellow spatula with a smiley face on it from the kitchen counter. Now he’s using it as a giant spoon, picking bits of tomato with it and stuffing them into his mouth, laughing his head off. Too young to have reservations. So open minded, that he would never ask if it was appropriate. Who the hell cares? It makes him happy.

It’s harder for us. We’re so aware, so worrisome. It’s harder for me. So uncertain, so afraid of making a mistake. So afraid to be brave that I prefer this impossible status quo. I prefer to let life guide me and spoon-feed tasteless mashed carrots. Instead, I should just grab me a giant yellow smiley-faced spatula, pull life by its reigns and fill it with movie moments and passion and happiness and me.