Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Girl I Miss Most

This morning, I sent an email to an old friend - one I've not seen, nor spoken to in almost a decade. I've thought of her, of course. We were best friends for many years until....well, until we weren't.

Time's a funny thing - it changes how you see the world: how it really was, who you really were.
Then, I was fearless and selfish and foolish and a little bit crazy. She was steady and down-to-earth and patient and good. Today, my fears are mostly for my children, and every day I strive for goodness. Some days, I am almost good. Most days, I must simply try harder.

Years ago, I read a book called "Something Borrowed" by Emily Giffin. It stung with every line, as I recognized myself over and over - Darcy, the self-absorbed, attention-seeking, wild-child, tramp. Me. It made me miss my friend all the more - seeing, not for the first time, but with stunning clarity, the damage done. How I longed to call, begging forgiveness for all that I had been, wasn't, had done, and hadn't.

Instead, I clung to my pride and didn't screw up my courage and time went on and the years passed. And then this morning came and there, in my inbox, her address, forwarded.

Quickly, quickly, before my courage flagged, I wrote. A brief, cheery message - updates, mostly: Married, parents fine, have children, no dog...and you? But oh, how my heart ached with each question posed and I wondered, how had I allowed ten years to pass? I did not know the basic details about the life of a woman whose teenaged secrets I once shared.

And then, I waited.

Hours later, she replied, answering every question good-naturedly,and attaching photos of her two boys, whose handsome faces stole my breath, caused my heart to skip a beat. She offered that her Matthew joined her family at Thanksgiving, 2005 - the same weekend that my Matthew came home for the very first time. I laughed out loud at this delightful sychronicity, this tiny quirk of the universe that reminds me that everything, every. little.thing happens for a reason.

That both she and I were married at Thanksgiving, a decade apart, well, that's got to mean something. Doesn't it?

I cannot say what the coming weeks and months will hold for us - me and my old friend. I am trying desperately to stem this giddy feeling that's blooming inside me. I have missed her so much - I have missed the girl she was, the woman she became, the mother she was born to be.

I hope that she's missed me enough, that perhaps, I won't miss anymore.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fight a losing battle?

You know how, as a parent, you're told to pick your battles? Yeah. This is me losing mine.

Last night - Mark's bouncing a fussy Luke, Matthew's whining:

Matthew: Mummy take Luke?
Belly: No, Luke's with Daddy. You need to wait your turn - you can share Daddy with Luke.


Matthew: Mummy take Luke?
Belly: No.

Pouty pause.

M: Mummy take Luke now?
B: Nope. Your bath has almost finished filling. Then you can have Daddy all to yourself!
M: Play now, then bath?
B: for 10 minutes and then you'll have a bath.


M: I want to play hockey.
B: Oh, really? (suspicious now)
M: Daddy plays hockey with Matthew.
B: (the light is dawning) Oh....I see where this might be going...
M: Daddy plays hockey. Mummy take Luke, right?


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Random Worries

Ah, Sunday. Here I am, mentally organizing the coming days and worrying (read: obsessing) about random stuff:

1. Matthew seems to be disappearing before my very eyes. Literally, his already-small frame seems to be shrinking. Yes, he's been sick for a few days and so not eating much, but honestly, I worry that there's something more serious going on. Thyroid issues run through my husband's side - do symptoms appear this early in life? He's only TWO - how can he have "issues" already?

2. Money. We don't have enough of it and I put today's groceries on Visa. Not this week's groceries, you'll note. Today's. Which brings me to

3. Why can't I stick to a meal plan and cook a decent meal like other mothers? If this were 1947, I'd be the laughingstock of the cul-de-sac - for both my deplorable lack of culinary skills and the fact that I can't make myself look like anything other than mildly unkempt, no matter how hard I try.

4. What if I never want to have sex again? I mean, I'm sure I'll have sex - maybe even soon -but what if I don't WANT it, ever again?

5. If I applied to one of those "Lose 180-pounds-by-Tuesday-You-Sloth!" type TV shows, what are the chances that no one who knows me/used to know me/slept with me will see it until AFTER I've lost weight? I want the free trainer - I SUCK at self-motivation.

6. I'm beginning to think that my addiction to Facebook might be a bad thing.

7. I haven't been for my 6-week post-partum check-up. Am too afraid to call now, as my doctor will be none too happy AND she'll then be performing a Pap, while pissed off. Ouch.

8. Exactly how honest am I supposed to be during these marriage counselling sessions? Like, should I actually utter OUT LOUD the stuff I really think when I'm peeved with Mark? Or should I simply spill the PG version - his heart may have a better chance of staying intact then.

9. How did my Mum manage two children, a demanding career AND still find time to look like a million bucks? I can't even shower daily. Talk about underachieving. I wonder if she's disappointed?

10. I haven't really tried to potty-train Matthew. I keep hoping he'll work it out himself.

11. If I died, would Mark fall in love with someone who fell in love with him first or the boys first? What if she didn't love them enough? What if she didn't love them at all?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Adventures in Boob Land

So, this morning, the leprechauns and I went to our favourite "Play Place." We're regular visitors to this awesome play area for the under-5 set. The two women who own and run it are friendly and welcoming to everyone - mums and kids alike.

It was fairly quiet - mums chatting easily, kids sharing snacks, everyone relaxed. In comes a Dad with his daughter and a woman I can only assume was his wife, mother of girl. Dad and the mums began chatting about work and schooling - exchanged info, advice. You know - standard play place stuff.

Also standard stuff = Luke needs to eat. I grabbed a pillow for comfort and settled back on the couch to nurse - I had a receiving blanket ready to cover, but truthfully, I'm pretty considerate about NOT exposing my boobs unnecessarily. Besides which, it's a venue specifically geared to children under 5. Stands to reason that SOME of those little people might be nursing.

Anyhow....little girl came over while Dad revealed that she loves babies. When he realized that I was nursing, he tugged his daughter back. "It's ok, she can see," I said, not for one second thinking I was doing anything offensive.

"NO!" snapped reeking-of-cigarette-smoke Mum, who had been hunching on the settee next to me. "She doesn't need to see that. And neither do I!"

And marched out the door.

Well, holy SHIT! I was so embarrassed and shocked, I couldn't even look up. Just focused on darling Luke's sweet little cherub face and willed my own not to turn ten shades of red.

E, the owner, apologized and another mum wandered over to commiserate. I sat, oddly shaken and sort of disoriented. It's the first time I've faced any sort of negativity about nursing and frankly, I was utterly unprepared for it, especially at a play group.

Eventually, She-of-Witchy-Ways returned, but made every effort to avoid being near me - which was sort of funny, and a lot pathetic. If I'd been feeling braver, I might have said something, but alas, all my witty words came to me later, during the car ride home. (Ain't that always the way?)

Chatting with another mum, while packing up my sleepy boys, I happened to glance up and caught the tail end of a vicious look from the Witch.

Seriously, what the HELL is that about? I've never seen this woman before - her husband's the one who brings their little girl to play most often - and here she is, staring daggers at ME for feeding my child.

Am off to find a "Breastfeeding-Friendly" sticker for my forehead. Crazy Witches-with-Issues NOT welcome.