Thursday, January 26, 2006

messy life

okay this is bad. now i can't even pretend. my blog looks like the rest of my life. a complete mess. not regularly updated. picture gone. links not working. sad. very sad. if i told you that after this weekend's move and a bit more time to get settled things will come together more again would you believe me? think carefully about that -- i don't want to lose faith in you all and i'd hate to have to sell you this beautiful swamp land i've been itching to get rid of...

elastic lives

Periodically, I find myself having to get reacquainted with my baby. Or, maybe I should revise that statement, with my little boy. Case in point. As Isaac bursts through one developmental hoop after the other, I find myself temporarily left behind, confused as to why our former routines no longer fit, who this little person is, and generally in need of reestablishing our relationship. I find these times extremely difficult and somewhat painful.

These days Isaac has no patience for baby food, little time to eat period, a great love of the VCR, and more energy than one being should be capable of harnessing within 18 pounds of muscle and bone. Me, I’m just in the way. Well, half the time, that is. Half the time he literally pushes me out of the way, racing on hands and knees to the threshold of whatever adventure he sees in front of him next. The other half of the time, I must be close by – very close – ready to stop the fall, soothe the boo-boo, play home base.

It dawns on me that most of us treat our mothers this way for the rest of our lives, and, perhaps, consequently, the other people we are close to as well. Running toward and running from creates the complete circle. How long do you imagine we would have to live before the elasticity wears thin from so much bounding to and fro, and the string finally breaks, and we are content, still?

Sunday, January 15, 2006


If I had time, this is where I would write about all the latest news in my life in witty and dynamic language. I would talk about our imminent move. How it always rains when we move, how stripping the walls bare does something to me, something sad. I would have something to say about leaving the place where Isaac was born, how I worry about the cats, how I haven’t yet called the utility companies. If I had the time, this is where I would talk about the poetry reading I did a couple nights ago, how much fun it was, how I got to go out like a real adult afterwards, how I adore the cluster of old men poets who tell raucous stories of their decades teaching community college over sushi and chit chat with the waitress in Japanese. If I had the time, I would talk more about these poets, because I really do adore them; I’d talk about their humor and their writing and how I am graced with their support. If I had the time, I’d mention my trip to the east coast, coming right in the middle of our move, how my mom is sick and the doctors have prescribed Isaac, about how my friends pile my arms with snow suits and sweaters Isaac can borrow, about how I feel this tower of fleece and wool as love. If I had the time to write, I’d be sure to write about the three miniature roses I got for Christmas, lined up in white ceramic pots one that says Peace, one that says Joy, and one Love. I’d discuss how the cats attacked Peace, dragged it straight out of its pot and left it in bits in the hallway. How I put it back, knowing it wouldn’t make it, and how the fresh red bud hung like a willow tree, weeping.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

little known koans: the sound of one ego deflating

About a month ago, Isaac began pointing. At everything. He wakes up pointing. He goes to bed pointing. And in between, he spends his day pointing. We spend our day naming things at which our baby points. “Lightswitch.” “Computer.” “Bird.” “Door.” “Daddy.”

His world is very concrete at the moment, though sometimes we add commentary. (“That’s a tree, Isaac. Isn’t it pretty?” or “That’s the mail mommy hasn’t opened in four days that lives on the kitchen table. Don’t you want to grow up so you can have mail you don’t open?”)

We name and we name and right now it doesn’t really get tiring. Certainly, for his part, Isaac shows no signs of slowing down in the pointing department.

The other day at the breakfast table, we thought we were witnessing a breakthrough. Not content to wait for Isaac to point on his own (100 million times a day), Mike decided to try to prompt him with a particular direction in mind. “Where’s Mommy?” he asked. “Isaac, where’s Mommy?” he repeated (because you must always say things twice to a baby). Isaac turned right to me with his tiny little index finger outstretched. We got a little excited. Okay, we were bursting. Deciding to push our stupid luck, Mike goes in for the encore. “Where’s Mommy, Isaac? Where’s Mommy?” Without hesitating, Isaac points directly at the plate of toast in front of me.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

boys n toys

“Let’s play train,” my husband says to our 10-month-old for the third day running. He pulls out the wooden three-car block train in primary colors and choo-choos it across the living room floor, ostensibly for Isaac’s benefit.

When it halts within arm’s reach of our baby, my son does what he’s done each time his father has brought the new toy to his attention – he removes the blue smoke stack before losing interest and turning again to chew on the book of jungle animals sent from his aunt in Massachusetts. But it doesn’t matter. My husband has found his in and can now freely play with the train as if the baby were involved.

Mostly I find this scene endearing. Then there are the days when I wonder at boys' fascination with trains. When it begins (apparently after 10 months), how it begins. I wonder when innocent choo-chooing takes on higher stakes - moves into high-speed chugging through mountain passes, ends in derailments. I wonder at what point damsels begin to be tied to the tracks, and if they ever notice.

Monday, January 02, 2006

my big book deal

Today’s idea for a working title is “Bathing my Son in the Sink: Tales of a Renter Mom.” We’re moving again. Third time in two years. Not terribly far. A house with a yard. A rent jump (understatement). Just in time for my little terminator to have more room and his parents to babyproof. Not in time to see my bulbs bloom. Not easy to explain the pain this leaves in my heart. And yet, our new place with have a bathtub. Imagine.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Isaac likes to really "get into" his play time...

10 months old.

Happy New Year!

Isaac says to tell you all Happy New Year - May your 2006 be filled with an unlimited supply of Cheerios and always something new to point at.

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