Sunday, May 07, 2006

This Will Be

Don't think I haven't noticed I haven't been writing here as much. It's just that sometimes what I have to say seems so repetitive. It's not like you really need to hear that we went to the zoo again, or the park again, or that Jarrah fell on her head again. You've heard it before. And I've said it to my satisfaction.

On the other hand, my feelings about being a mom certainly aren't static. In fact, I sometimes feel like a drug addict, with incredibly low lows that find me exhausted and shivering and staring at the wall, and giddily high highs in which I have a soaring sensation, like I am skimming the tops of rainbows in a lovely, lovely land. Is this weird? There have been times recently when I ask myself, am I depressed? I feel inexplicably tired, even if I've slept the night before. I crave junk food like a person who's been on a low-carb diet for a year (far from the case.) I occasionally find myself sitting zombie-like in front of the internet while my energetic and clever child cavorts at my feet, trying to get my attention. And I think, what is WRONG with me?

Other days, like today, I can't believe how satisfying this whole business is, how I couldn't have imagined how good it would feel. Today my parents came to visit, and took the three of us to lunch at The Prado, and to the In Stabiano exhibit at at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. For one thing, my parents are freakin' smitten with Jarrah. To quote Mike Myers from the underrated So I Married An Axe Murderer, they are in deep smit. My dad wants nothing more than to spot her on any available staircase, or to chase after her in a crowd. And this a man who complains about his back, dear readers. My mother shows up each time with a complete new wardrobe for an already well-dressed child. Jarrah owes the entire "smart casual" section of her closet to my mother, the style maven. My mother also can't get enough of hearing about what foods Jarrah is favoring this week, and what items are so five minutes ago. It's a veritable love fest when we're all together. How could I have thought that my parents might feel distant from her because she's not their biological grandchild? I am, for once, so happy to be wrong.

Today was the first time since meeting Jarrah that we brought her to a fancy restaurant, and I was a little nervous. But the kid is a pro. As long as we kept those delectable "flat breads" in front of her, she was a trouper. Our waiter, Jamie, who was adorable, also fell under her spell. He even brought her a plate of mango. Don't some women have joke fantasies about handsome men who offer them platters of mango? Jarrah is already living the dream. ;)

Balboa Park is a paradise for Jarrah because of all the fountains. She would leap right into them if she could hoist herself up there. She settles for dipping any available appendage into the water and splashing around. At the museum, Jarrah was allowed to run free from her stroller through the exhibit; I followed her, cringing when she caressed some ancient mosaics and also stood in front of the video presentation pressing the buttons on the TV, blocking a dozen people trying to watch it. We only had one aural skirmish, though, which took place when I showed Jarrah some items in a plexiglass case, and she decided it would be a good idea to lick them. Then she decided it was not to her liking to have that experience interrupted by a brisk removal from the scene of the crime. Even though I didn't get a chance to read about this Stabiae place and how it got blown up by Mt. Vesuvius, that was okay because I'm not a big fan of the antiquities. On the way home, I told David, "It's just hard for me to get excited about rusty pots and lopsided vases fashioned entirely from a single piece of camel crap." David's response: "I'd really like to see a vase made of camel crap."

After the museum, we let Jarrah tear around some more and ended up at the Laurel St. Dog Park, where we immediately met a nice young man and his "husband and wife" springer spaniels, Coco and Bailey. One of them (Bailey, I think) was a fan of the ball chase, and we all crowed with delight when Jarrah picked up the saliva-soaked ball and, instead of eating it, brought it over to Bailey and placed it gently in his mouth. Where she learned to do such a thing is not clear, but we all yelled and clapped so much that she wanted to do it many times more. Bailey was getting a little frustrated that she wouldn't just throw the damn thing already, but that will have to be a lesson for another day. We had a lot of fun which only had to end when Bailey and Coco were offered some biscuits for performing a trick and Jarrah objected mightily to not receiving her share.

On the way home, even though Jarrah was yowling from being forcibly separated from our electric blue slushie, I had such a feeling of contentment, of Sunday afternoon peace, of being a family. When we stopped at Windmill Farms for dinner fixin's, David napped in the car (this parenting thing is tiring) while Jarrah and I shopped. Over in the seltzer section (we need a lot of seltzer at our house) the store soundtrack turned to "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love,)" a rousing '70s tune by Natalie Cole that I've always found infectious:

You've brought a lot of sunshine into my life
You've filled me with happiness I never knew
You gave me more joy than I ever dreamed of
And no one, no one can take the place of you

It's all very snappy and hip-bumping, though, so I started dancing for Jarrah, and I danced her in the shopping cart, too, rolling her away and then back while I grabbed her little hands and swung them from side to side. She laughed and laughed, and threw her head back to show all her very white, very round little teeth. As I was singing to her "I'm so glad..." my voice cracked and I realized I was totally choked up. But I kept on singing, because I didn't want to ruin the moment.


Christy said...

Your post is so awe-inspiring, I'm afraid anything I post is going to ruin the mood you set. I just love reading your posts. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Just write when it feels right :) and don't worry, you will never run out of interesting material to relate as kids are always changing and always fascinating!

Besides, your readers will storm your house if you don't continue.

Love the outfit! Your Mom definitely knows her kid fashion.

Best, Gail

Anonymous said...

Once again, thank you for so aptly articulating the range of emotions this mom thing brings to our lives...I sometimes feel guilty that I'm not ecstatic the entire time! It's nice to know others feel the same.

I got choked up myself reading your story about dancing in the aisles to the Natalie Cole song.