Thursday, May 26, 2011

Days Ten & Eleven: Still Santa Fe

8: am – Curious George
8:30 – Cat in the Hat
9:00 – Super Why
9:30 – Dinosaur Train
10:00 – Sesame Street
11:00 – Sid the Science Kid
11:30 – Clifford the Big Red Dog

In case you need to know the PBS Kids line up and happen to be in the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area. It's guilty mode for me. I am exhausted, working on some terrible cold, my little sea-level sinuses suffering a (very dry) elevation of some 7,000 feet. Baby belly is protesting all kinds of things, unhappy again with its position on the priority list. Mike is at his conference all day every day. And meanwhile...

My boy is pure energy – never stopping. Banging, jumping, cartwheeling, yelling, from the word go. I am unworthy and simply not up to the task. I regularly get lectured in rocket science before breakfast. That is not a metaphor, that is in fact my life. Walking down the street with this child is like walking with a jackrabbit working up a nervous twitch who's already high on caffeine.

When I can manage and I've numbed his mind all I can stand with cartoons, we try to explore Santa Fe. I find myself impatient with its touristy essence, its midweek, deflated balloonishness, the sad clown waiting for the curtain to go up so he can turn on the charm. Empty rickshaws, half-hearted turquoise vendors, the plaza dotted with a few pan handlers. We stand outside the New Mexico Museum of Art while Isaac admires the FedEx truck parked out front. “I just want to wait and watch it drive away,” he whispers with the awed reverence of a teen girl outside in the alley by the stage door after the show.

We go to what I thought was a museum of fossils and minerals, but turns out to be a store. Isaac is unperturbed and we dive into this world of gems and rocks, ancient fish trapped in sandstone. There are pieces in excess of $5,000 next to me. I check my preggo balance and move toward the box of 50 cent shark teeth. I am stunned by my own aptitude with dinosaurs, as I discuss with the store clerk the importance of the discovery of the first archeopteryx fossil while milling around a replica, as if I do this every day. “Guess the original must be in Germany, huh?” I throw out knowledgeably.

The Georgia O'Keefe museum is closed for a new installation, but we go into the gift shop so I can show Isaac her style, talk about another artist. He is mildly impressed, but turns down my offer of a kids' book called My Name is Georgia: A Portrait, with its engaging story of her path and how she did what called to her heart. He wants to know if we can buy the hand-blown hourglass instead. Hey, a giant glass thing in the van for four more weeks. No, love. We can't. Why do I bother? If we head back now, we can still catch Clifford.

I buy the book anyway. I am a total sucker for those things – kids books on the lives of poets and artists – and soon I'll have another captive audience to read them to. I have a gorgeous one on Frida Kahlo. A children's book that I used to read to Isaac when he was too little to protest and ask for “the space one” again, too little to even eat the pages. It's perfect. All those things you want for your child before the child comes. A lesson plan before the students get to it. I will read about O'Keefe and Kahlo while we rock; s/he will know beauty and perseverance and creativity as central to our being. Often, all through my first nauseated tri-mester, and now, when I am feeling not so pregnant glowy, I will admonish my lack of writing: “Kahlo painted with a body cast on! She painted through all kinds of pain!” Then, I roll over and dream my self-pity dreams. 


Anonymous said...

you don't sound unworthy at all, you sound as normal as the boy does. good job.

Rita said...

Amen to what Ruby says, and thanks for the postcard.
I can sympathize with wanting the best children's books and finding someone for them later, even not having a preborn to read to.
Love to the truck and dinosaur fan, the busy dad, the restless little one, and a certain all-around great woman.

Daryl said...

I third Ruby .. does one actually third ... I suspect not

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