Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ch ch ch changes

Today when I dropped my son off at daycare, the lead teacher threw a bottle at another teacher to "feed the crying little monster."
I have to get him out of there.  It becomes harder and harder each day to leave him on the mat, walk out the door, and drive to work.  Every impulse in me says to turn around.  Part of me knows he's okay, that they are caring for him (in most ways) the best they can, and that he is safe there and getting fed and changed and put down for naps. 
Another part of me feels that's not enough.  Where's the love?  Where's the sweetness?  Why aren't they on the floor with the babies, hugging and playing with them?  This is why I've posted an ad on Craigslist for a nanny. 

I told my friend Kelsey today that it sounds like the premise for a bad Lifetime movie.  We decided Maria Menounos could play me.
And I told Kelsey's mom Mary that my mom was going to flip when she found out.  Mary said I am Miles' parent, and that I have to go with my gut and do what feels right. 

What feels right is not to leave him in a room where they refer to the babies as monsters and throw bottles at one another. 
What feels right is to do all I can to find the best care for him from now until the end of May when I can focus all my attention on him.  This is what I'll attempt to do until I feel happy about who is caring for my son. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday I found out that my closest girlfriend, the one who has been with me through tears, hysterical laughter, drunkenness, travel, concerts, countless dinners and talks, boyfriends and breakups, marriage and birth, the one who feels like a sister... is moving to Cairo in September.

I'd like to say I can think about it now without crying, but that would be a lie.

I am overwhelmed with sadness every time I talk about it or think about it too long.  On one hand I am so very excited for her - what an incredible journey she has in front of her!  And I know she is excited for me, even though my journey isn't on a road or an airplane, it's in my heart with my family.

And that's how our lives have grown to be so different within the past five years of our friendship.  We started out both nursing broken hearts, healing though being there for each other - on the other end of the phone, across the table, next to a pool, on a dance floor.
Now look at us.
I'm blissfully, happily married with a beautiful, hilarious baby boy who is teaching me that being a Mama is the most important and stressful job I could have ever asked for.

She is finishing up her doctorate (!), which she has completed while teaching full time and publishing heartbreakingly beautiful poetry.
I am so proud of her.

I knew this move was coming.  I knew we would have to say good-bye someday.  But now there is a concrete destination, and it feels really real.
I feel like I am preparing to say good-bye to a part of myself.  There were five of us girl who (until this year) were close, close friends.  Two of us are gone.  A third is going.  And who knows what the future holds for the two of us left behind.

Columbia was our playground for a long time.  I guess it's time to move on.

It's time to go and be better versions of ourselves.
Even if that seems impossible without one another's hands to hold along the way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Worst Thing About a Monday...

Usually the worst part of a Monday is leaving Miles at daycare -- the first day back after having had him all to myself is always the hardest.  Since yesterday was MLK day, the worst part of my Tuesday so far has been leaving Miles at daycare.

For some reason today was more difficult than almost any other day...

There are now 8 babies (including him) in that room.  When I got there, Cruz and Sawyer were being fed cereal, each of them crying while the other one was getting his spoon; Lily was being held; Oliver and Maren were playing in the toys; that one weird looking baby whose name I can't remember was lying under her activity mat; and the new baby, Isaac was crying in the swing. 
I put my sweet boy down on the mat in the midst of all that, and he looked at me as if to say, "Why are you leaving me here with all the crazy, loud kids, Mom?" 
It was so sad.  And now I feel mad and am about to cry.  How come my kid doesn't get to have a stay-at-home mom or more personalized attention?  We already pay a tuition that is more than our mortgage each month.  Shouldn't that ensure I feel good about his care every time I leave him? 
Because right now all I want to do is use a sick day and go get him, gather him up in my arms and smell his sweet baby smell and take him home where he belongs. 

Being a mom is hard.
But being a working mom is even harder.

Friday, January 6, 2012

writing writing writing

My minor is in creative writing. 
Seriously.  I enjoyed my writing classes so much in my undergrad days (plus my professor reminded me of an American version of Sean Connery; we called him the silver fox) that I took enough classes to constitute a minor within my degree. 
Sometimes that sort of blows me away. 
Because what have I done with it? 
Sure, I like to write.  Once I even spnsored a writing club at school. 
I love to read, and I know good writing from bad.  But what was the point of writing so much back then if I was never going to really be a "writer"?  This is a question that I don't really let myself think about much.  It's one I've never been brave enough to ask aloud. 
I've attemped getting poems published.  And I realize rejection is part of the whole deal when you're a "writer," but you know what? It still sucks getting rejected. 
The closest I've come to being "successful" as a writer was 15 years ago when I was still in undergrad (Holy Crap!!! Has it really been THAT long???) and I read a short story at a student invitation reading and got it published in the little university magazine.  That's about it.  That's the list of my writing accomplishments. 
How has something that was once so important to me gone by the wayside? 
How has life intervened so much that I've never made more than a few measly attempts to publish anything?  (And what would it mean if I did get published anyway? 
Nothing really, I guess.)
Because I don't really define myself as a writer.
I'm a wife, mom, sister, daughter, teacher, friend.  I'm also a reader and a runner.  But a writer? Not really.  At least -- not yet.  
I once said that I don't really feel like writing when I don't have any drama in my life to lament / write about.  This feels true a lot.  Which is probablywhy my writing of late (here in this blog) is mostly about my current drama of not enough sleep...
So if I was into making New Year's resolutions - I would resolve to write more.  To make time for something that used to mean a lot to me, and to make it important again. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mega Meltdowns

Apparently sometimes when you have only had three hours of sleep at a time for the past four weeks, it catches up to you.  In ugly ways.

Sometimes this happens when you least expect it.
And manifests itself in hot tears that leak uncontrollably because you're certain your baby will NEVER sleep through the night again.  It feels like the end of the world, and he's looking at you, waiting for you to make it better.  But you don't know how.  Because you're already tried everything you know how (pacifier, rocking, lullabies) and it feels like the end of your rope.  Even though you're usually the one who keeps it together and has the (almost) never-ending patience with the baby, you crack.  And feel hopeless.  And exhausted.

Then your mom is there.
She gives him another bottle.  And rocks him to sleep.

And he sleeps -- until 7 a.m.

Which goes to prove that even when it doesn't feel like it --

Mamas do know how to make everything better.