I was all set to write a post called Grumpy Mama’s Back. (It was even my facebook status the other day.)
I mean…as if recurrent sciatica and intense pelvic pain and boo’s 6:30 wakeup suddenly pushing back to 5:30 weren’t enough, we went to visit some friends in Portland, Maine last weekend (awesome trip, btw) and I got mauled by mosquitoes and have been scratching and itching and bitching like a witch ever since. And then the rains came, along with them the cold and a dreary, gray sky that seemed to be perched right on my frickin’ forehead. Did I mention that we got a flat tire last week, had it changed and it blew out again on the way back from Maine? And that my birthday is Saturday and Harlan’s going to be in New York so I’ll be alone with boo and have no friends that I can call up for a quick drink here, so barring some kind of surprise visit from my sister or a long-lost friend, it will literally be the first birthday of my life to go completely uncelebrated—no cake, no candles, no singing, no booze, no nothin’. Waaaaa!
But then something happened. Something shifted. Or a few things did.
For one, the rain stopped (despite all the gloomy doomy storm watch predictions on our barfy Fox local news) after a day and was replaced by clear, blue skies. Don’t get me wrong, it’s freezing out, and yesterday a scary, dramatic wind rattled our windows. But it’s clear, blue and sunny, too!
I had two babysitting days in a row—Connie, our full-time student’s load lightened and she’s suddenly more available—and actually completed a draft of my book proposal. (This after feeling completely pathetic upon reading an old email from the publisher of my first book that said, “We’re wondering if you have another proposal for us. We’re excited about you!” Dated March 1, 2007.) The draft is too long and rambles, but it feels like an accomplishment, a personal and professional one, which is rare and gratifying these days.
Then a big box of baby clothes that I’d shipped to myself from California (girl hand-me-downs from my friend Courtney) turned up in the mail and I sorted through it all and divided it between boxes in the basement and hanging shelves in Aidan’s closet…and we’re kind of all set for baby clothes. Another accomplishment.
Then yesterday, Aidan woke up distraught from his nap. I brought him into my bed and he nursed for a while. Then we played in my bed for an hour and a half. He crawled under the covers with a massive, mischievous grin on his face, and I joined him in the “tent.” He got his go kart and go kart “guy” so they could check out the tent, too. At some point he started jumping on the bed, then jumping on me and I started nudging him so he’d fly off my hip onto the covers, giggling wildly and saying, “Flying baby!” (Once he flew in the wrong direction and his forehead slammed into my knee, but he didn’t seem to mind.) We cuddled and sang and cracked each other up and eventually the covers were on the floor and I insisted on getting up so we could change his diaper and relieve my aching bladder, but it was the most amazing afternoon.
When I told Harlan about it, he said I should treasure these times with boo, meaning I only have a little while alone with him before the new baby arrives and changes the balance forever. I hadn’t thought of that and it broke my heart a little. Who cares about rain, flat tires or unfinished book proposals? I need to take big gulps of boo these days and my time with him. Drink him up, hold him tight, remember every moment, treasure every second. These last two years, with all their ups and downs and frustration and sadness, have been the best of my life thanks to this little guy, my little best friend and constant companion, and our relationship will change with the arrival of his sister, the next two months just have to be all about us. It’s probably a good thing that my birthday will be spent alone with him, just the two of us entertaining ourselves and each other as we do do well. Let’s make it a love fest.
PS. As is my custom, I wrote this a couple days ago but didn’t post it, and…today it snowed. Full-on snow the last week of March! I looked out the window and wanted to cry. When we went outside, I could almost hear those cute little buds that had squeezed out of the end of the tree branches shivering, their teeth chattering away. And I’m no New Englander, but I assume the tulips, daffodils and crocuses that have been making an appearance all over town are going to freeze to death, right? Grumpy Mama came back with a vengeance. But you know what? It’s 4:15 now and the sun’s back! And I went to a chiropractor who, with the smallest adjustment, got rid of the pelvic pain I’ve been suffering for weeks. I also took a nap and cooked up a big batch of rice and lentils for boo and some pasta, since he was begging for it, and our babysitter Brittany came for an hour so I could cook and check email and write this and, you know, I’m feeling fine again. So, what’s the lesson? Apparently the weather here is as unpredictable as my moods—and boo’s sleep habits. If I take a deep breath and go with it, who knows what wonders might appear on the side of the grumpiness? Maybe Grumpy Mama just needs to relax and breathe and it will all work out just fine.