Monday, November 19, 2012

For Annie

Today one of my favorite authors was in Atlanta (which is saying something since I"m not exactly a prolific reader...or maybe it doesn't say much since I can count on one hand the authors i "like").  Anne Lamott was in Decatur. Across the street from Corey's apartment. It could have been so easy, so inspiring and cool and spiritual. But alas, life called and left me little margin for enjoying an evening out. We leave tomorrow for thanksgiving in highlands, the kiddoes needed baths, Jeff needed a run, Buckley needed the run. I knew the venue would be jammed and I'm too old and too much a mom to have much tolerance for traffic or large crowds.  All of which, on paper seems a slim excuse for skipping out on the event, but I have more and more excuses these days.  The tension between wanting to live, really live and do shit apart from being a wife, mom, housekeeper (which I'm bullocks at anyway), and the inherent stress that accompanies whatever that "living" is. Bottle prep, shower (I know, right...hassle city..), timing, trying NOT to leave wonderful husband with too much to handle. I'm often weighing the stress versus reward. Plotting little pro/con charts in my head. Too often (maybe?) I fall back to the easy, the home route, the sweatpants option.  

I hope some of it, a shred at least, is because I love my family desperately. Love them enough that another blasted evening of chasing a naked near-three-year old around to wrangle her pajamas on, wrapping up a fussy baby who may or may not sleep more than 3 hrs., baths, cleanup, all that is enough to keep me here, or at least not want Jeff to suffer it alone.

So with all that said, I write now for them, and for her, for Ms Lamott whose books have inspired me to be a better writer, a more open person, a better parent and have made me laugh, and even cry.  If I couldn't go see her tonight, she'd want me to write once all the Life was worked out and done for the night.  She'd not want me to watch Monday Night Football or No Reservations (though maybe that because something tells me she and Bourdain are sassy kindred spirits), but she'd say: butt in chair. write something.  

Right now the only story I really know how to tell is my own.  I can tell you about my baby boy's chubby cheeks. How everyone, I mean EVERYONE comments on them and how edible they are and pinchable and all sorts of other horrible action words that shouldn't be done with babyflesh. But I grin and nod. And when I grin they probably realize where those chubsters came from.  Maybe I seem nonplussed by the showers of affection because I secretly fear for him looking in future mirrors, wishing he didn't have chubby cheeks, just like I did when I was younger (okay, and sometimes now).  Using my veiny hands to stretch back and up the flesh around my mouth to just see, for an instant what it would be like to have visible cheekbones and an oval face.

But he is a he, and chances are he won't gaze in mirrors obsessively like have have, and its likely that those adorable cheeks, and all the other rolly parts of him will evaporate into his toddler jeans and he starts moving around in this world and I'll long for all those rolls again.  

He says "mah, mah, mah." Yep. No hint of "dada" but when he's sad he says "mah!"  Melts me.  He laughs with this breathing-in cackle and gummy smile that is out of this world.  Like when I accidentally learned that he is really ticklish under his arms the other night while changing him.  His mouth went agape and he breathed in this deep cackle and sigh and I smiled so big my (big) cheeks hurt.

I haven't had a moment when I wanted to throw him out of window yet.  I'm sure it's coming, or maybe just my adorable little female child will have that kind of rage-inducing effect on me.  Maybe I'm just okay with a cranky babe once in a while. I was not with her.  Okay, I've had frustrating times with him when the crying seems inexplicable, and So. Damn. Loud. Does he know its 2 am, I JUST woke up and I REALLY am trying to get you milk asap.  That's frustrating. And its frustrating that he's reverted from those nice long sleeps he had as a newborn, snuggled next to our bed. He'd hit a 7 hr clip here and there. Not so anymore. We average about 4.5 at night. He goes down about 8.30, which is nicely in rhythm with Hadley but also means if I don't also go to bed at 8.30 then I'm not getting much consecutive sleep.

One day, I have to remember, one day I will sleep for more than 4 hours at a time. And I'll feel like superwoman. I'll feel like I could bathe babies, pack for 5 days away, write, make dinner, do laundry, clean house AND go see my favorite author all in one day. But for now, I have to settle for just a few of those.  And tonight, I missed Annie, and my house is a mess, but by God, I'm writing.