Titillating things you missed and I am choosing not to write about:
- Jonathan’s first actual barf
- Taking care of a very sick husband AND baby AND then getting sick myself
- 8-month sleep regression blues
- Adventures in solid foods
- Adventures in solid poops
- Typing Adventures three times now and not getting it right once
- Our ongoing battle with Baby Eczema
Instead, I choose to focus my efforts on the two latest biggies: Jonathan’s crawling and my very first Mother’s Day (and maybe some bonus material about work purse vs. weekend purse and the fact that I never seem to have my wallet in the right one).
So, Jonathan is properly crawling now and we own all the pointy things. Oh, are those antique hat pins so shiny? Does that deer antler I found in the woods look so delicious? Tell me, what is your stance on drawer pulls that could double as letter openers? When Jonathan’s crawling was in its beta stages, we generally could contain him by constructing a pillow perimeter – those innocent days are gone. He no longer drags his legs behind him like the world’s cutest zombie, nor does he transition from tip-toe to belly and back like an inch worm. No, he crawls on his hands and knees like an actual baby, and it is his mission in life to dig through/eat the trash we keep in a paper bag next to the trashcan for overflow control because we are actual pigs.
Suffice it to say, he gets into everything and when he starts to pull himself up and eventually walk, we are officially doomed. Of course, crawling comes with a lot of baggage in terms of choking hazards and head-bonking opportunities, but also in terms of actual baggage. Zippers are Jonathan’s latest obsession, so the moment he is on the ground (if trash is not an available snack) he goes right for either Ben’s backpack or my purse. We read somewhere or heard somewhere or saw an Instagram ad about how backpacks/purses are perpetually drenched in germs and as a rule of thumb, you should never put one on your sofa, bed, or any kind of eating surface. So we keep them on the ground which, as it turns out, is Jonathan’s eating surface. And I am not a germaphobe mom. I take the old “building up the immunity” approach, but Jonathan keeps getting sick so maybe I need to rein that in a bit. Learning.
As for my first Mother’s Day, it pretty much surpassed every birthday and Christmas I’ve ever had. We celebrated all weekend, and Ben, my musician/teacher husband, didn’t have a single gig or lesson, so we had two full days of uninterrupted Maggie/Mom time. On Saturday, we took Jonathan to his first zoo, and quickly discovered that zoos are not meant for adults or toddlers. Aside from brief highlights wherein Jonathan seemed to appreciate the elephants and got to pet an enormous goat, Ben and I were generally depressed by the small living quarters of the animals and the apparent existence of crowds and smells. But it was a beautiful day, Jonathan wore a sun hat that made my ovaries ping pong in my body, and we got to eat Chipotle, so it was a pretty solid afternoon.
Sunday, Mother’s Day proper, I woke up at 6:30, which is now begrudgingly known as “sleeping in,” to find a display of framed photographs of Jonathan, a small vase of my favorite pink and white daisies cut from our front walkway, and a sentimental-no veiling joke-vulnerable-poem-type greeting card. Normally, I hate the latter, as does my husband, but the fact that he went that route and even signed with more than a B.E.N. made me tear up. He’s not a card guy, so this is love. I even got a large framed photo of Jonathan sitting in a wicker basket from our sweet daycare lady as well as a card including a stamp of his little biscuit foot. It was just the cutest spread you ever did see (unless you’re a lunatic who doesn’t think my baby is disturbingly cute, in which case it was a pudgy-cheeked, Anne Geddes-esque nightmare.)
The night before I’d requested that we go on a family hike of some kind and decided that, with Jonathan in tow, maybe the easiest thing to do was to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Ben and I have lived in the SF Bay-Area for almost 10 years now, and had never done it, so there you have it. It was another sunny day, but it was windy and chilly, so we bundled up (meaning I got to wear a beanie in lieu of brushing my hair – yet another Mother’s Day treat) and were out of the house by 8:30.
We ate hot dogs for breakfast at the Golden Gate Cafe before making the trek. I’d naively suggested we get a reservation, but it turned out the place was little more than a snack bar and, at that hour, was totally empty, save a young cashier wearing a visor, holding tongs, and generally hating life. I, of course, was abuzz with tourist-mom-with-secret-bedhead enthusiasm (the most powerful kind of enthusiasm) which motivated her eye roll to achieve record-breaking arc. And with rubbery dogs in our bellies, we were off.
The bridge walk roared with wind and traffic, and the mere scale of the bridge made Ben a bit dizzy, but we strolled, and laughed, and I’m pretty sure we saw a ghost pirate ship – all the makings of a charming Mother’s Day outing. Upon returning to our car, I returned a phone call to my thoughtful dad and accepted a picnic invitation from my brother and sister-in-law. I don’t know about you guys, but a picnic for this bunch translates to day-drinking wine straight from the bottle and eating a lot of cheese, olives, and pork rinds in close proximity to a swing set and, if you’re lucky (and we were), a pop-up bake sale. And to cap the day off, Ben fried up some pork chops in bacon fat for dinner and we drank a bit more wine while watching The Office. Heaven.
The weekend was so good, I was slightly concerned Ben would drive me to a farm the next day where I’d have plenty of space to run. That said, this lovely first Mother’s Day had baggage, too, as it was the first one without my mom. It felt strange not to call her or send her flowers. And leading up to it, I didn’t get to assemble her gift, which always required countless trips to Goodwill and careful selection of a gift box because, as she said, “[she’s] a sucker for good packaging.” On the bridge that day, naturally, I saw a lot of moms and daughters, but one duo shook me in particular. It was a mom and her adult daughter holding hands. They didn’t look anything like us, (they weren’t nearly as stylish) but they were so together, and walking at a such a carefree pace that I gasped a little and had to hang back from Ben and Jonathan. It’s moments like this when I wish life were more like the movies. That somehow mom would reach out through a breezy embrace or a sudden flourish of butterflies. Nothing like that happened. This is not the movies. Instead, I gathered myself and caught up with my family.
So, yeah. Talk about packing an emotional punch. Jonathan is crawling and inching toward becoming a real human. Mother’s Day was beautiful and fun and still fucking heartbreaking. Life is complex. Loss is a process. I guess I am doing some inching of my own.
Now here is a brief cross-section of my life in two purses —
Weekend Purse Contents:
- evasive pens
- location of wallet: Work Purse
Work Purse Contents:
- zero pens
- bottom-dwelling, partially opened and thus crumby and inedible pieces of gum
- new glasses I forget to wear
- date book I forget to write in
- location of wallet: Weekend Purse
(Note: there is never any cash in either purse. Thus is life.)