Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

As an adult Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. Because we don't have tons of family in the area it is very low key and no drama. My mother makes the best turkey in the history of all turkeys. No one dresses up so there is no need to wear pants with a belt. And there is none of the weird religious stuff that clogs up some of the other holidays.

We just eat and enjoy each other and I love it.

It is not as relaxing as it once was since now my child wants to tear my mother's house into shreds (and sadly, there was no repeat of last year, where my mother and I passed out cold with the baby and woke up to my dad and my friend Travis having cleaned up the whole mess--Travis is single ladies and if that doesn't define catch I do not know what does). This year the baby took a short nap and then was outraged that she couldn't have an entire vat of strawberry jello for dinner and spent the afternoon tackling anyone within reach.

When we get to my parents' house, every year, my mother is cooking and watching the parade. Absolutely everyone else loathes the parade and spends the entire time complaining about it and mocking it (this sounds awful written out like that and yet I was thinking it was a charming tradition . . .hmm). So I am predisposed to thinking it is awful but WTF Macy's? It seemed like every float was conceived on a dare. Did I dream that there was some neon monstrosity sponsored by Jimmy Dean sausage that featured Katherine McPhee? Was there really a drill team composed of grandmothers on purple tricycles? I felt like we were all on drugs and not even good enjoyable ones but the kind where maybe you are hoping the police will come take you to the drunk tank where you will be safe.

I am ridiculously lucky and try to remember this every single day. My husband is awesome even though I often want to push him down stairs. My child is gorgeous and wonderful. I am trying to build my dream career--and frankly I feel fortunate just to be able to try. I live in a beautiful home and have fantastic friends. My family is amazing. The only thing I could dream of changing is my fat ass and well I must not care that much given the amount of turkey I ate today.

I hope that you all feel the same. And that you had as great of a holiday as I did.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Some one closed on my grandfather's house today.

It never really occurred to me that some one would buy it. My grandfather built that house in the fifties. No one has ever lived in it but his family. He nailed each board into place. Made the doorway to the den really fucking narrow. And now some one else lives there.

Some one who is moving in right now (well maybe not right now as it is 11pm there). Who had already mowed the lawn this week.

In many ways this is the best case scenario. It sold quickly. It sold to some one who is going to live in it himself, and is excited about it. It wasn't sold to a commercial business that would tear it down which is what we always assumed would happen (since a trucking company bought seven of his lots over the past few years). It still stands. We can drive past it.

I don't think I ever will.

It's been four months he died. If mourning a grandparent time is like break up math (1 week for every month you were together), I have nearly seven years of mourning left to do.

That feels about right.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Roast Chicken

For a lot of reasons I have been thinking about when my daughter was a baby lately. Not that she still isn't a baby, but I mean a Baby baby. Brand new. My husband and I had tried for so long to have her and we had a lot of weird things happening at the same time. We were just raw bundles of nerves and strain at the end.

Now that my daughter is headed towards two years old, I think I can finally process what happened to our family during that time. I have forgiven myself for being so mean to my husband about my MIL. I have forgiven him for being so damn clueless about it. And for not being around for the first two months because of a work explosion. I can accept now that everyone was just doing the best that they could in a really tough spot.

Looking back I was drowning. And I recognize that I was about six inches from being swallowed up by some depression. I think I was just so beat up--from the miscarriage and the fear that defined that whole pregnancy afterwards, from my delivery, from sleep deprivation, from having a stranger (who I love now but really didn't even KNOW then) living in my house, from having that MOTHER switch flipped in my brain and I couldn't stop not even when I needed to. I was drowning.

And I remember the exact time that I stopped drowning.

It was a Saturday and the baby was sleeping and I was resting and J took his mother out to do something. I sent them out. They needed to get out. And ten minutes after they left I started freaking out. I just felt so adrift and alone and I called my mom. Who heard me crying and leaped in the car. I hadn't eaten in days at that point--probably close to three weeks of not eating much of anything I don't know how my milk supply stayed up--and my mother flew up the freeway. And made roast chicken. And let me cry. Didn't call me crazy which I could just FEEL J thinking. Such a small thing really, I know she would do every day if I needed her to. But that was the worst I ever felt and she pulled me back from whatever bad bad place I was headed.

And I have never been back.

Now when people I know have babies I worry about them. I try to ask soft questions about how they are doing. I wonder if I should just automatically roast a chicken and bring potatoes and let the broth sink into their bones the way it did for me all those months ago.