Friday, April 21, 2006

My Mom Rocks

Yesterday was Animal Crackers at Alicia's park, and I was feeling pleased with myself for dressing Jarrah in a new onesie I had purchased just the day before that read "My Mom Rocks." How clever and insouciant am I! And making the most of an age when one's child may be used for free advertising.

So imagine my deflation when I spotted a little boy on the slide wearing a shirt (more masculine, natch) with the exact same message! WHA? And then his mother, trumping my sauciness all to bits, with her matching shirt: "My Baby Rolls."

Readers, this was a tiny park nestled in Carmel Valley, containing perhaps 20 children including our group, and there are two other people sporting the same theme on the same day? I can't even express how much my thunder was stolen.

Eventually the mom, who had perfect nails, a really large diamond and (good heavens) a nanny with her to chaperone Junior on the slide, stopped by to comment on our coincidence. "I guess this was the biggest seller at Target this week!" I said cheerfully. "Oh, ours aren't from Target," she corrected me. "We bought them on the internet, through a small company that supplies Baby Mabel's." Baby Mabels is the kind of store where you could drop $40 on a onesie. "I'll get you their card." And she did, the details of which I will omit here. Then she elaborated: "They have all kinds of messages. She mentioned some, and we oohed and ahhhed over their cuteness. Then she added, "They're kind of gay, but I like them anyway."

Kind of gay? This was an expression I favored in high school, and that I'm now fond of telling people was used to denote anything bad in a time before I realized that if something is gay, it's probably funnier, smarter and more glamorous than other things in the same category.

Moments like this are why we have to keep Animal Crackers so exclusive. ;)

Today I had a wonderfully relaxing, spa-like morning. You want to know what I did to achieve this state? I went to the dentist. That's right: getting my plaque scraped is now akin to 30 minutes in the hot tub with a glass of wine. No one wanted anything more from me than to open my mouth as wide as possible. Of course, I did have to listen to a protracted and tragic tale about the hygienist's adopted cousins, who "turned out bad" and want to get their mitts on her aunt's money as soon as she dies in her home for Alzheimer's. That was lovely. "How old were they when she adopted them?" I asked. "About ten," she said. When I gently pointed out that there may have been some complicated circumstances that led to these boys "turning out bad" despite her aunt's alleged devotion to them, she got kind of quiet and said she'd never thought about that before. Hmmmm.

I was feeling quite dreamy when I arrived at Aaryn's friend Kelly's house, where Aaryn, Kelly and their children were so kindly looking after Jarrah during my absence. Then I heard the crying as I was about to knock. It wasn't the late afternoon "I'm bored and want my dinner" kind of crying. It wasn't the "I've bumped my head" kind of crying. No, readers, it was the old, sad "My world is ending" kind of crying we heard in Chongqing. I lunged into the house to see Jarrah pacing rapidly between Aaryn and Kelly in her pink eyelet hat, tears streaming down her face, arms flailing. Then she spotted me, and hurtled into my arms. I scooped her up and she snuggled her entire body weight into my chest and pressed her ear to my heart. She had the hiccups. She was suddenly silent. I squeezed her for almost a half hour while everyone chatted and played. She could not be persuaded to let go of me. Aaryn said that after David had dropped her off, she waited by the door for quite a while. I think she may have thought we were dropping her off at yet another new home.

I was completely choked up in those first few minutes. At first I thought it was because I felt so bad for her, and for the nice people who had worked hard to comfort her. Then I realized that I was so emotional because I knew she needed me. Already, she needs me. She depends on me. And I don't want to let her down. After a while, she consented to eat some cheese and crackers, and finally to play with a little bike. But she didn't let me out of her sight.


Anonymous said...

Mom DOES rock! ;)

Best, Gail

Alleen said...

Nobody can steal your thunder when you're the Mom of precious Jarrah!!

Anonymous said...

Sam, I loved this post, not because I ever want Jarrah to cry or be lonely or scared, but because I'm just thinking back to how you were feeling when you were in China. You made me cry thinking about how much yesterday's protracted hug from Jarrah must have meant to you.

And by the way, I LOVE all the pix, especially the one with her holding the huge Easter basket and walking in the grass, looking like she's looking for hidden eggs. She is SOOOOO CUUUUUTE!

Anonymous said...

p.s. the above post is from me, absent-minded as usual!

Miss J

Aimee said...

That sucks.....out of all the things in the other kids closet..the same stinkin' shirt. I love the shirt and should get one for my little muffin.

Anonymous said...

We had a little cry too. But so happy that Jarrah now realises where home love and safety are.
Love J & J

Anonymous said...

Sam, After that post, I can say is that your blog is not just kinda gay, it's absolutely fabulous, darling! ;) Sorry to hear about Jarrah's sadness at the end, but happy to read how strongly you two are bonded now. Thinking of you guys, Liz

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sam,

Nothing, nothing in the world, can make you sadder and more moved than a child clinging to you as if her very life depended upon it. I am so happy for you that your daughter has come to find your heart is her home. I'm so glad that you are her sunshine.

What an extraordinary day.


Anonymous said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! She's totally mugging for the camera with her fabulous Target onesie! She's a genius! And she's beautiful! I LOVE her smile and the all-knowing look into the camera!

When you went to pick her up from Aaryn and Kelly did you just want to belt out the Sally Field Academy Award speech? "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"

Yay for Sam and Jarrah!

Love, Cheri