Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Think I See the Light

This morning, as I'm going through my routine, I'm looking out at the blooming cherry tree in my yard and feeling sunbeams warm me briefly as I pass by windows. My daughter is being incredibly cute and cooperative, due mostly to the fact that she is on break from pre-school and has had loads of mommy time.

We checked out "Free to Be You and Me" from the library - the book and the CD. Unlike every other child of the 70's, I did not grow up with this, so it's my first time being delighted by it. Audrey is addicted. She paged through the book while nibbling her cinnamon toast this morning. I asked if she wanted to hear the music.

"No," she said. "Because if I hear it I will need to dance, and I'm not finished with my breakfast."

We did a lot of dancing yesterday to FTBYAM. We practiced her ballet routine to it. I almost cried because she was so clearly loving dancing with me, and loving the music, and loving moving her body. Her joys and pleasures are so wonderful and basic - things that feel good, things that taste good, and love. Physical pleasure and heart pleasure.

I think she's onto something.

My husband said to me the other night, "We've lost our sense of humor. We're acting like life is one big chore to endure."

He was right. I was impressed that he'd noticed. I hadn't noticed. All I knew was that I woke up every morning feeling like I'd been beaten up during the night.

"We need to make sure to remember to have fun," he added.

Again, he impressed me with his insight.

"Right," I said. "Like...wait, how do we do that?"

Well, slowing down this week has helped give a little space for that. And now that all of Jonah's assessments have been scheduled and are coming up quickly, and the school tuition has been paid and enrollment has been arranged, we can exhale.

Spending that extra time with Audrey this week has also allowed me to see her charm rather than only her needs. For example, because we're having a slow morning, we've been able to laze around at the breakfast table and chat about planting some flowers today. I smiled about something and she grinned broadly and said,

"I love your smile."

Take my hand and come with me where the children are free...

Monday, April 06, 2009

My Baby

Some loser on a train this weekend asked me if my son had "cleft palate."

"No," I said.

"Oh, well my mom has cleft palate and she has a lisp like him," he offered.

"He just has a lisp," I said.

We were on our way to the door. Jonah had been talking my ear off for most of our two-hour ride into Seattle. Because he's six, he talks loud enough for everyone to hear. And because he's...eccentric and totally adorable, folks respond to him. Usually people say nice things like, "My, what an inquisitive mind he has!" or, "He has so much to say!" or, "You've got a very special little boy." Most of the time my heart swells with warmth at how he draws people in.

No one's ever offered the observation that he sounds like the bones in his face didn't grow together. Even though the guy didn't say, "Gosh, your kid seems kinda retarded," I flinched at the insinuation that sometime, somewhere, something had gone awry.

It must be said that our friend with the cleft-palate mom had been offending me for the past hour by drinking and making his nine-year-old daughter give him kisses. Around men like that, my victimized inner child rises up with breath of fire and weapons of mass destruction. I truly felt if I'd had the chance I would've shoved this fellow off the moving train and the world would've been the better for it.

Unfortunately, he was seated comfortably nowhere near the door. I kept walking.

It's hard to say of this situation what hooked me more: the way the man behaved towards his daughter, or his thoughtless comment about Jonah - seeing that Jonah does have some kind of developmental issue and I'm trying to get used to that fact.

Maybe I've just had a bad month.

Has anyone ever said something about your kid that made you grow horns?