Feeling twitchy today; thought writing that down somewhere might help me gain a little focus. I have plenty of work to do (writing up field notes from recent meetings/events), and the time to do it right now. It’s another gorgeous spring day, clear blue skies, and daffodils blooming everywhere. Maybe it’s spring fever…
Archive for March, 2010
Ten years ago today, we said our vows under a basketball hoop.* Like today, daffodils were blooming and Easter was on its way. When I think about the past decade together, I think of the dozen or so countries we traveled to together, all the new experiences I had that I never would have dared to undertake without him – long hikes in New Zealand, England, South Africa, and Lesotho, Peru; long drives in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica; snorkeling in Belize; wine tasting in Chile, South Africa, upstate New York. Buying a house together, raising a daughter, looking forward to a son.
When we were dating, we both read a book titled “Two Years Before the Mast,” about a young man who dropped out of Harvard in 1834 and took a job on a sailing ship. It’s a fascinating first-hand account of life on a sailing ship, back in the days when now major cities in California were collections of huts and goats. Anyway, one of the things that struck us about the story was how much time was spent maintaining the ship. The author kept mentioning the annoying task of scraping rust off chains for hours on end. From a distance, he said, a sailing ship appears to make its way merrily and effortlessly along, but up close you see all the work – the jib-tightening – that goes on.
This story became a metaphor to us for our relationship. We occasionally set aside time for “jib-tightening” talks, when we try to deal with the little things that are bugging us about each other or our relationship, trying to get to them before they become big problems. It hasn’t always worked but it does help. About three years into our marriage I did a counted cross stitch of a sailing ship that now hangs in our bathroom (because it matches the wallpaper) as a reminder to scrape the rust off our chains.
Ten years before the mast, and going strong. I love you.
*Oh, right, the basketball hoop – well, we were married in a church fellowship hall that had basketball hoops at either end, so it could double as a gym. My mom snagged miles of tulle from a friend of hers who had used it to disguise exposed pipes in a church under renovation during her own son’s wedding, and my cousin who is a visual artist did a great job of draping the tulle in long streamers from the basketball hoop at one end to make a sort of canopy. He used Bolivian textiles as accents on the walls and one over the hoop itself, and we brought in some potted plants as well. So it turned out really pretty. We arranged the folding chairs in a circle and skipped the procession thingy (we didn’t have a bridal party either), just had our parents and siblings sit next to us up front. It was kind of an unconventional ceremony, but fun. Afterward we had the reception dinner in the same room, a potato bar (super cheap!).**
T. did say it would have been fun to have the two families square off in a game of pick-up but nobody on my side is particularly into sports!
**Actually, we did the whole thing for about $2,000. T’s family helped with renting the space, and used it for a family reunion the same weekend. My mom made my dress, her dress, T’s shirt, my sister’s dress, the cake, and did all the flowers which we picked up for cheap from a local florist – mainly irises. T and I were both in grad school and recently returned from volunteer service overseas so we had like no money at all. Short of eloping it was about as economical as we could get!
…went great! Baby boy is weighing approximately 1 lb 1 oz, right on schedule, and all the bits and parts are in place. It was a long morning, waiting for our turn, then going through all the measurements, then talking briefly with the doctor. I got a blood draw to test for toxoplasmosis mostly because T. is worried about my having taken V. to play in our neighbors’ sandbox. There are housecats that roam through the area and even though I always watch for their footprints or leavings in the sandbox, I suppose there’s the chance that I might have missed the signs. V. and I have been having (sorry if TMI) diarrhea for almost 2 weeks and he’s worried about that too. The doc said diarrhea isn’t usually a symptom of toxo but she ordered up a test for exposure anyway. She thought what V and I have is viral.
I’ve been anxious and emotional about V’s sleep patterns, which have been touch-and-go since my trip out of town 2 weeks ago. I set up a mattress pad in my office so I can grab naps during the day without running into her and the babysitter at home. I just feel like we can’t seem to get into a good rhythm; we’re out of sync somehow.
I had a good birthday. Friday morning I kind of took the morning off. I downloaded pictures off my camera, went to see a friend I haven’t seen in MONTHS, someone I always enjoy talking to in part because she’s a therapist and a GREAT listener, and also because she grew up overseas in a trans-national family and can relate to all my third-culture-kid dynamicky life stuff, and also because she experienced IF and an early loss and can relate on all of that stuff as well.
I had a lovely long nap with V. in the afternoon, then packed her off to Grandma’s while T. and I went out to dinner (Thai!) and a bookstore and it was all just really relaxing and fun. T. was in a jolly mood and I don’t know when is the last time we’ve laughed so much.
I was going to get all meditative about turning another year older, and how life has turned out so differently from what I imagined when I was younger – but it’s all so cliche. What does give me pause, though, is looking at pictures of my mom holding newborn-me and realizing she was TEN YEARS younger in those pictures than I am now.
Ten years ago T. and I were newlyweds, he’d just finished his doctorate and we moved here for a job we thought would last a year. Can’t believe we’re still here.
So back to my therapist friend. It didn’t surprise me, and it made me both happy and sad at the same time, that she is the first person I’ve really been able to talk to about the VBAC/repeat C-section thing who just really listened. EVERYBODY has an opinion, and the feelings and judgments tend to be so strong either way. Sometimes people seem really defensive, but mostly they just seem so sure of their perspective. Those who have had babies seem to extrapolate everything from their own experience/s and don’t always see the bigger picture (and I’m a big picture person to a fault). I get lost in the big picture, is one of my problems.
The other day I heard part of a review on NPR of a book titled Get Me Out: A History...(etc.). I started crying as I listened to the author talking because she was describing so much of where I feel myself right now – the tension between opposed paradigms about birth. I felt like somehow the author was listening to me – indirectly – and not shouting at me.
My sister just sent me 2 books on VBACs and I feel a powerful reluctance to open them – in fact, they’re still in the box – because I just feel like it’s going to be another barrage of voices telling me what to think, what to feel, what to do. I feel like I need to listen to myself right now and just hear from ME what I think, what I feel, what I want.
Right now I’m feeling like this baby wants to come out the old-fashioned way. But I need to talk to a few doctors here and figure out if there’s a way I’m even going to be allowed to try that… and if it’s really want I want to do.
It’s that time of year again; March, spring break, my birthday, wedding anniversary – and now the 5th anniversary of my brother-in-law’s passing. My sister is now remarried and has a little one with her new husband, but she’s an emotional wreck right now – clusters of issues in her relationships with her husband, her two daughters, her late husband’s mother. I feel like so much of the current storm is an eddy from that disastrous day, March 17, 2005. “And I’m so sad, like a good book, I can’t take this day back, a sorta fairytale with you.”