Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If You Love Something...Let it Escape From a Trap?

I keep this blog alive purposely for the excuse of venting. Most of the time I vent about stuff related to being a mother, which after 10 months, is still mostly an exercise in blind ignorance coupled with exhaustion. Today I'm just off. Things are going poorly and I am having difficulty staying positive and seeing the messages and determing what I'm supposed to learn.

Our favorite feral kitty, one of two born in our backyard just two weeks before my son last summer, whom I took to the spay clinic to be spayed at last this morning, escaped from her trap as the man was carrying her inside. Clearly the word "trap" is a misnomer. Tupperware would have been sturdier. She escaped outside into their little garden yard, so the only hope of catching her is that she might hang out long enough and get hungry enough to re-enter the death cage (as I'm sure she sees it) that we brought her in. And I'm pretty sure she's pregnant. So not only did we not get to keep our favorite kitty, I'm pretty sure I just fostered an infinite lineage of feral cats in the wilds of San Martin. And I liked her. She let us touch her and would come into our house for a few minutes at a time. Now she's gone, no longer has a steady food source and is knocked up to boot. And it's my fault. I'm just bummed and there's no way around it.

And then there is the big situation that remains unresolved all because of the fierce stubbornness of a woman who is going to lose her home anyway...which she could have done without dragging us and three very hardworking real estate agents into the mix. She didn't have to sign a contract agreeing to sell it to us. But she did. And yet...we wait in silence wondering what she's thinking since she won't call anyone back.

And please don't leave me a comment saying to keep looking. We are, of course, but I'm just sort of beyond frustration now--in a totally other place beyond patience that has no name.

I'm not saying all is bad...there is a lot of good. I spent a great morning in the park with my fellow mommies. My boy is a wonderful, funny light in my life, I have a fabulous marriage, my health, an income and so on...I am grateful.

But for a little while I just want to feel as disappointed as I am.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Patience in Laying Down Roots

My husband and I are trying to buy a home. Our first home. We know how lucky we are to be in this position given the state of the economy. But we've also worked really hard and saved a lot of money. We're doing this all on our own, without family help or other kinds of assistance. And in the middle of what was already an exercise in patience as we waited three months for our offer to be approved by the seller's bank (short sale anyone?), we've hit a very frustrating snag. A snag that makes us both want to stomp our feet in frustration like children because there's very little we can do to make things progress.

I don't want to go into detail about it, but here's an analogy: Imagine you interviewed for a job you really wanted, one that was perfect for you. They made you wait a very long time to finally say that you were hired--so long you'd almost stopped thinking you would get this job. You filled out your paperwork, bought some new outfits but before you could go in for training, they called to inform you that the person you were replacing refused to leave this job and until they could find a way to convince this person to leave, you couldn't start your job. And, in fact, if they couldn't get this person to leave that person would have to be forcibly removed, which would take many more months before a resolution. It's just like that.

But despite this level of frustration, I've been absorbed lately in getting to know my community better. Being a new mom has led to a whole bunch of new friends and opportunities for get togethers. Something about getting together over food and drooling babies at parks and each other's homes, coupled with the lovely almost-spring sunshine makes even this biggest frustration in my life feel not so bad. That, and the continually evolving antics of my ever-changing nine-month old boy make me really happy. There's so much to be happy about in my life. I have SO MUCH and I am lucky, and grateful for it. So even though the physical home is still a little slow in coming to us, I feel like the roots are already being laid, and I know the rest will follow.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Accepting Help

My friend Jen just had her second baby, and everything is going so beautifully for her. The baby was born at home in a super-speedy (and intense) tub birth, both she and the baby are in primo health. They've been able to get a ton of sleep, and friends have lined up to bring meals and love and do dishes, etc in the two days since the baby was born. The energy at her house is so lovely. She's so happy. It's the experience she didn't get with her first child, so I feel doubly happy for her.

And, I have to admit, kind of envious. When our boy was born (9 mos ago!), I was so shocked and sleep deprived and overwhelmed with hormones, and slammed by the heat wave that I didn't even begin to reach out. People called and offered help and I didn't take nearly as much of it as I needed. My family did their absolute best but ultimately my husband ended up doing much of the care of me and the housework. I didn't open my world to the help that, I see now through Jen's modeling, would have done us so much good.

It's just a lesson. We can't re-do it and we have no plans for a second baby, so let it be a lesson to anyone reading: let people help you when you have a baby. Be open to their care in every way possible.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby Time

The mysterious thing about raising a child is how the time can move so glacially and yet so swiftly at once. If you are at home with your child even several days a week you know what I mean--a child's day passes in many small increments, inside which so many things happen. Whereas my free hours tend to pass in a blur of activities, where I can hardly recall what I did over the course of several hours, my time spent with my son is broken into various forms of play and discovery, acts of changing diapers and feedings, attempts to distract fussy moods and capitalize on good ones. By day's end I feel like I worked a full-time job in one day.

The first four months of his life did not move fast for me at all. Wakefulness and hormones combined in such a way I often felt like I couldn't wait for the next minute to pass--and I was counting the seconds. And yet suddenly he's 9 months old and sitting up on his own, can play by himself, is trying to crawl and speaking his own little babble language that gets more complex every week. He's not the helpless little newborn anymore. He eats solid food--he doesn't fuss in the car anymore. He's changing so fast.

So it is going faster all the time, but I'm glad that I still get to experience baby time, the languid pace of learning about the world as he explores it. And I know he'll be in kindergarten before I know where the time has gone.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Ad Nauseum

I know that everything about the abortion debate has already been said, on both sides. But this is my blog, and I feel like venting. The anti-abortion cabals with their ridiculous cries of "protectors of the unborn" are already readying their arsenals against Obama's nominee for Dept. of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebellius because she's staunchly pro-choice and her position would have the ability to make decisions about abortion.

Here's what I always want to say to pro-lifers. Nobody WANTS an abortion. An abortion is not something one looks forward to gleefully or with joy. By keeping abortion legal you do not therefore encourage women to get pregnant just so they can go out and have one, I promise you! All of the women I know who have had them see it as a very dark but necessary event in their lives, one that freed them from making the WRONG choice for a potential child, such as being too young, or broke, or with a person who was not good for them, or unable to care for a future child in some other way.

And once again, I say, if the pro-lifers want to argue that no cluster of fertilized human reproductive cells should be aborted, then those same people better think twice about education and birth control.

I am so sick of the pro-life movement. SO SICK. Protecting the unborn? You want to protect the unborn? Fight for funding for health care. Fight for helping low-income women get better educations and wages. Fight for educating young men and women about what happens when you have unprotected sex. Leave the women and their families who have to make hard, beautiful choices not to bring life into the world when it isn't in the best interest of either party, alone.