big truck

Photo on 12-4-16 at 5.20 PM #2.jpgPhoto on 4-19-17 at 12.50 PM #3.jpgPhoto on 4-19-17 at 12.50 PM #2.jpgPhoto on 5-3-17 at 12.01 PM #2.jpg

Photo on 12-11-17 at 4.41 PM #2.jpg

19 months and 6 days of mothering this human outside of the womb. The top picture is Christmas time last year, and the bottom picture is yesterday. He grows and grows, talks, walks, runs, laughs, makes jokes, dances, throws tantrums, squeals.

My life is so different from a year ago (and my hair is much longer)– mothering is so different now with this toddler than it was with the baby he used to be. My life is almost unrecognizable from what it was pre-motherhood. Though I do recognize something of myself from when I was a kid– long moments of playing, the joy of a car going down a slide, lying on the floor looking up at Christmas tree lights.

I’m still figuring out who I am in this role, though I think I’m pretty good at it. My heart has enough love, so much love, more than enough love– this I know.

I’ve gotten better at cutting his hair. Each time I do it more evenly, more like a real haircut. It’s similar to a 60s shag kind of style: like a Beatle, or Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. My sister says it looks like a bowl cut.

I’ve gotten better at confidence. At letting go.

He’s gotten better at sleeping. Eating. Expressing his needs and wants with some kind of language. He becomes himself more each day as he discovers new ways to be and do. He listens. He puts his hands on each side of my face and says, “Ohhh!”

My body has gotten better at being a body again. It will never be what it was before, and I have to accept that over and over.

One of my favorite conversations so far is this one:
ME: Giles, did you poop?
GILES: Poop!
ME: Is it a big one?

To be fair, he says “big truck” as a response to lots of things. But I really think in this instance he was using it as a description for the giant turd in his diaper. My kid has a sense of comic timing like no other.

Today I am going to Dana-Farber in Boston for one of my every-six-months checkups. No scans today, but it is always a thing, a vibration under my skin, a whisper of will-they-tell-me-i-have-cancer. This doesn’t make me not want to go. Because if I wasn’t going to these appointments I would be worried every second that I had cancer and wasn’t doing anything about it. Now I get to know definitively twice a year that I do not have cancer, and I get to ask questions and talk out my anxieties with very smart and beautiful doctors. I like the car rides with Greg. I like the tacos. It’s a kind of date, and I will cherish it every time we go.

Giles will stay with Greg’s parents tonight, since we’ll be home late. When I see him in the morning, with his big smiling face (or even possible cranky crying face), I will squeeze him tightly. I will say “I love you I love you I love you.”

He’ll probably say, “Big TWUUUCK!”



cat people

I have these two little cats, Ingrid and Galactus. They are still kittens, about seven months old and they are sisters. Every day I’m learning so much about life and love from these furry monsters.

The other day Ingrid took a giant shit right in the window alcove. She looked right at me while she was doing it, and I got so mad. After furiously cleaning up the mess I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and told her exactly how I felt about what she’d done. She looked at me with her cat face, and I was confronted with her non-human-ness. I let go and she ran under the couch. I don’t know what she understood from that moment, but I felt immediately bad for yelling at her. A few minutes later she was rubbing her little head under my hand and purring.

They teach me that they will still love me if I get mad at them. That as soon as one moment is over the next moment has begun. They are a handful, but there are ten thousand moments of joy at their existence to match each moment of “UGH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

They love me all the time. They knock stuff over, jump into the sink while I’m washing dishes, run like crazy around the apartment, scratch things, jump into every bag they see, but also cuddle and purr and look at me with blinking eyes and sleep in my arms, on my shoulders, in my lap, curled against my side.

I texted Greg to tell him about the Ingrid pooping situation and he wrote back: Remember I love you and pretty soon we will have a actual human pooping everywhere so it’s just good practice.

No (calm down Grandma) I am not pregnant. But someday soon I will be. Cats are not practice for human children but maybe they are. They are making me more patient and expanding my sense of humor. So is Greg. So is life.