Thursday, August 31, 2006

A little reminder.

Today, you and I were hanging out in your room while I looked through drawers, cleaned off shelves. I like just being with you -- both of us busy together. I found some finger puppets you'd forgotten and you proceeded to collect all of your puppets in a little purse. In and out, the puppets went. I think you tried to get the cat to put them on; she escaped to the basement with a little knit lion clinging to her tail.
There's a drawer in your purple chest of drawers (in the 60's, it was orange; the 70's, it was turquoise) that I've been avoiding. It contains papers and other curiosities from your first year or so. I basically remembered what was in there, but, of course, my memory had faded as to it's exact contents. You were sitting by me as I pulled out two deflated Mylar balloons, your first jars of baby food (empty and clean) a hand-knit baby hat with your name in violet, many cards, our unexpected hospital bracelets and finally...a couple of tiny, unused newborn diapers. While I looked at them wistfully, you laughed and pointed -- "I'll put on diaper!" -- I was getting teary. I explained that you wore them when you were so little and they were even too big then! Sitting there, I couldn't believe how the memory had faded.
So much of parenting is living in the moment, it's hard to hold on to even the most beloved things; I am thankful of this when you are screaming and trying to take a bite out of your booster seat, licking your sandals and throwing all of the bowls out of your kitchen drawer. Even after spending 12 hours straight with you, I wouldn't want it to pass without something memorable -- interesting -- unique. Even if that uniqueness makes me long for an hour to myself, somewhere far away.
When I saw that little diaper, for a moment I thought, again, about having a sibling for you. Even though right now I am almost certain you will be an only child, I sometimes feel that longing creeping in. But then I remember all day sickness or the liquid contained in those cute little diapers, and my hormones re-balance themselves (well, at least temporarily!). Even though you (will someday) no longer wear diapers and need me at your current rate of intensity, I know each moment brings -- hopefully -- a lightness....

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Vacation, all I ever wanted....

So where was I? Vacation.

We went to Eagle Crest to Nana and Papa's one-week-a year condo. It was nice there -- I've always loved the breezy heat and the smell of juniper in Central Oregon. I'm missing it right now in our dim, dusty living room. There's something nice about going to a temporary house where one knows that the ultimate cleanliness isn't up to them. But that's something we can talk about later.
You enjoyed every moment, I think, even the moments you were afraid of the splashing boys in the pool. There was a swing you enjoyed:
And the bridge on the play set and even the steep slide. I believe that Papa actually tricked you into going down the slide yourself...which you caught onto and refused to go down again. Sigh. Anyway, you enjoyed the grass like never before (most likely because it is lush, green and soft and not dead and scratchy like our lawn) and even sat by the river while Dad fished.
You interacted with children and adults and sat through a long Italian meal. You sang your version of the ABC song, even adding the "sing with me" part at the end. This was a first! And we were amazed to watch you holding up fingers for numbers.

Lately, you've been really into your "baby signs" books. This summer we realized that you are reading them to learn another language; when you met a new friend, you were "teaching" him the signs. You often show us words just for the sake of doing it, not for the purpose of communicating. You are such a cool kid.

As I write this I'm thinking, as I always do, that I can never write as much of you as there is, if this makes sense. Hopefully, you will forgive me for missing some of your milestones or measurements. Looking at it in print, this thought is so redundant? Tired? I need to remind myself that I'm doing Just Fine (and that I'm good enough and people like me) -- just as I tell you as you learn to navigate physical and emotional obstacles for the first or eightieth time.

Sometimes I know I will be able to let you grow up -- I know that that's part of the deal. Other times, I wish I could just capture you right now, sitting in my lap reading golden books and learning a thousand new things a day. I hope you are always able to tap into how unique and wonderful you are. It sounds trite, really, and looks it too. There are so many people writing about how "great" their kids are, and I'm not that different I suppose. My greatest wish is that all of these moments together -- the vacations with us listening to frogs and with your new words and with your backseat dreams of swimming pools and will be come everything you hope to be.

P.S. Would you please remind me to stand up straight? I'll need all the help I can get!

Home again.

You had such a great time in Central Oregon this past week and I want to write it all down carefully.
There was a lot of step climbing and swinging. Bonding with Papa on the deck. Fishing in the Deschutes with Dad. Enjoying the scent of juniper and splashing in the pool.
Photos to come...