Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2012

Tonight the little person and I are learning about proportions and measuring and chemical reactions via the wide and wonderful world of baking. Sort of, kind of. Really we just cut up some break and bake cookies and popped them into the oven. While we waited we whipped up the second batch of home made pretzels of the week. If I’m honest, the babe was much more interested in lining the measuring spoons up from biggest to smallest, explaining to me that one was the mommy, the daddy, the sister, the cousin, the grandma, the grandpa, the granny, the Ty Ty, than he was in the science behind the yeast in the dough fermenting to cause it to rise. He used the spoons to carve little faces and canyons into the dough and to make it into volcanoes. I rolled the dough between my finger tips and wrapped it into pretzel shapes while the bitty person dug through the utensils drawer to find the pointiest items to wave in front of his face and terrify me with.

This night of baking felt so much like all my other nights and days and weeks and years now of parenting. I always have this master plan of perfect parenthood, and always the little person decides what’s more fun and does that along with the master plan and beside the master plan and on top of it too. If I’m honest, it makes it more fun. If I’m honest his independence and creativity fills me with this feeling that is kind of like pride and kind of like terror. Parenting, right?

Image

We also spent the weekend over at Lucas Nursery, I had the idea that we could purchase one of the caterpillars they have there, take him home, and Jude could watch it turn into a butterfly. Biology! When we got there, Jude in true fashion spent most of his time collecting gravel and putting it into a can to shake and terrorize the other horitculture shoppers while he ran in circles around the citrus trees. The nursery turned out to have zero caterpillars, all sold out to other mothers and teachers in gleeful anticipation of the painted lady butterflies that they would harbor. Luckily, we spotted a juicy green guy on the tomato plants upon entering, and in desperation clipped the stalk that he was on, along with a tomato or two, and high-tailed it to the car.

It turns out that this caterpillar is called a tomato hornworm. It also turns out that this guy turns into a marvelous moth, about as juicy as the pupa stage, and is commonly called the “hawkmoth”. Fancy that. I admit that I was disappointed at this discovery. I looked at the pillar differently. I scowled at it. Maybe it was some innate human repulsion over the night winged beast, maybe it was disappointment that the hawkmoth’s beauty lies in it’s thick body, that looks almost as if it’s covered by birds feathers, rather than the ornate and flashy colors of the butterfly, maybe it’s society. I don’t know. Now the green beast circles it’s enclosure in some strange gut sloshing dance and I watch it with a kind of horrified awe. I can only hope that the small person finds glee in his transformation and is not disappointed in his lack of pomp.Image

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

This weekend was filled nearly to bursting. My first stop was a trip to Cocoa beach with my lovely Jessie to spend a day and a night with my Aunt and my sweet cousin. We drove for an hour and a half, over thin bridges that seemed to stretch up and up and up, unending, where the water was deep and dark below. When I was little I used to dream that I was in the car with my parents and as we crossed the bridge it would spiral upwards and dump us out of the car so that I would have to grasp the concrete with my fingertips to keep from falling. My father had the same ones, and when we would drive over in waking life I would close my eyes and he would hold his breath. This time I looked out over the horizon and into the clouds and mostly straight ahead until we hit even ground. The babe fell asleep on the way, and when we emerged we were all covered in a thin, or not so thin, sheen of sweat from riding in my 1990 volvo, which lacks air conditioning or a speedometer or a gas gauge. I pulled the sleepy guy from the back like a butterball turkey, or like I was a doctor pulling him into life, or like I was a mom pulling a very sweaty toddler from the back seat of a packed sedan, and side saddled him to trot over the boardwalk and to the water. I think we were all pretty relieved to sink our toes into the sand, and to make a silly dolphin, and even to sit in the water and let it wash over our legs.

Image

We held hands.

I also got to spend time with my cousin, who I don’t see nearly enough. She reminded me that even though she’s a small girl and her age gives her almost no voice in society, that inside of her lives someone that is brave and beautiful and creative. Her middle school is nothing like my middle school, and her experiences aren’t the same ones I had, but it still made me smile and cry a little to remember what that time of life felt like. I don’t think I mentioned it here, but the past four months I’ve spent working with middle school students on writing workshops. I’ll write some more about that later, but I want to tell these kids the same things I want to tell my cousin: That people will say you’re too young to matter, that you are too young to have an opinion or know what you want, but that’s not true. What is true is that you are young and strong and full of opportunity and hope. 11 to 15 is hard, probably some of the hardest years that life will bring you and peers are harsh and adults are harsh and your body is harsh, but the age is beautiful as well. It’s where you start to find out what it means to fall in love, and what it means to hate, and to find beauty in places that you didn’t expect it. It’s a time where you can discover a body that was hidden under years and years of someone elses care, and a time where you can take charge of you, to smile, to take the time to be in those “awkward teen years”.

We headed back early on Sunday. The sister friend had a brunch to attend, and I went to be with the baby’s daddy to mourn and celebrate the life of his sister. This part was about as nice and as heartbreaking as I thought it would be. The baby’s daddy’s whole family came in, minus two, which is still a whole lot. He’s the youngest of eight and they’re all sort of spread out, so when they get together it’s a kind of wonderful affair. They’re all funny, beautiful, full of laughter. None of them seem to take themselves or life even, too seriously. The baby’s daddy seemed happy around them, and it was funny to see him there, because he was the quietest and the biggest of them all. The memorial itself was beautiful. It took place in a secret A-line church that overlooked a lake. The sunlight shone in through the stained glass and made rainbows on the floor that the sweet babe made sure to grasp at and stomp on. The memorial meant more than a memorial to me, and I’m not sure how to put it into words, but it was something more, something like a call to go outside and to dance and to hold hands again. Something like that.

Image

Image

Read Full Post »