Aug 24, 2009

Is the Grass Greener?

Some days, I feel like I am failing fantastically at being a parent. Today was one of those days. My patience worn to a thin and fragile transparency that left me legless and spineless begging for some kind of mercy- and I am not usually the praying or, begging type. The incessant needing of another human being can be mind shatteringly exhausting. It's like running a marathon with your mind instead of your feet and you don't get to stop because there is no finish line. Ever. Yes, it's been one of those days and in the moment I wonder what it is exactly, that I have gotten myself into with this mommy business.

It goes without saying that a 10 month old has no concept of personal space. He will abusively use you as a jungle gym, ladder and all purpose utility vehicle to get himself wherever it is he thinks he needs to go. Now, this may be up or down, inside or outside, to the moon, to Japan (and this is why it's so maddening and frustrating) but really in the end, he doesn't know. He has no idea. And as his mother, as the navigator of this ship of crazy, it is my job to try and decipher his insane and lunatic baby rambling and babbling, head throwing and leg clinging into some coherent and useful sense that is going to save both my sanity and his little head from spinning around and popping off into his baby pool. Suffice to say I haven't had much luck. They never taught me how to crack code in college. I am now profoundly bitter about this.

I try and explain to my childless and carefree friends that having a baby is like living in a foreign country all the time where you don't speak the language and are perpetually lost with no map and no one to come and rescue you. More often than not Rufus and I are just winging it. That, and the Jameson helps too. There's lots of UN type consulting that goes on back and forth between us with nothing becoming any clearer but at least we both feel vindicated at the effort and not entirely useless. We look at each with that dazed and glassy eyed stare that you see in lots of couples with children. They look shell shocked and battle weary because they are. It is a daily negotiation that takes place- sometimes delicate and sometimes heavy handed but, it's constant. Even when they can't yet speak you are engaged in this bartering. Even when you haven't slept in 3 days and know the child has purposely waited you out simply to get the upper hand in whatever ridiculous drama is playing out, you still pander and pray. When you have a baby, you think the universe is playing tricks on you and laughing at your expense. I told my mother this and she said without a hint of irony, that it was true. The things no one tells you are many and from what I hear, there is a good reason for this. But no one is talking yet and I am too tapped out to care.

Then I see this. The Giant in the grass with his arms raised up above his head, a smile cracking his face open like a watermelon, his fingers trying to catch the wind. His hands working like bird's wings taking flight. And in these small minutes watching him, there is a grace that takes my breath away. And I don't have to ask for the answers anymore, because I realize that I already have them.

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