Friday, January 19, 2007

I love (some) high schoolers

I swear I'm not kidding. There's a high school in our --

I have to interrupt to say the very saddest thing ever is a little baby whose hat has somehow come down over her eyes, and she's whimpering and moving her head side to side and flailing her little arms, trying to make sense of it.

Wait, sadder than that is taking a baby for vaccinations. I think I'm going to cry next time we go. It's just the worst that innocent babies can't quite understand why someone is holding them down while this horrible pain -- ack!!! Why do I torture myself.

Anyhoo- the high schoolers! Most of the neighbors hate 'em, but I'm totally charmed. (Let me preface all this by saying I know lots of people who hated high school, but I really liked it. I was lucky to have great friends and a lot of fun.)

Two girls ran into a group of five boys, one girl hugged a boy, and then the girls walked away, and the boy left his group and caught up with the girls, and I was completely nostalgic for those pure, fresh feelings of love for your friends and that crushy feeling for a boy. Your whole world was that high school, and that somehow seemed safe and like something you could know, really know.

A couple of years ago I went to an all-ages show for my friend who's in a rock band. The main impression I got was that high schoolers (most of the crowd) smell so fresh! They're so sweet! They know the words to an indie rock band's songs!

I remember the sucky things-- the lonely times, the confusing things. Thinking how great it'd be to be an adult. Secretly thinking that I liked the stability and comfort of seeing my friends everyday-- a situation which I have not since enjoyed.

Speaking of high schoolers, doesn't this picture SO look like Paloma's saying "Oh. My. Gah. My parents are SOOOO weird! Why, WHY?!" (We wanted to see what she'd look like with hair, so I stood above her and draped my hair over her and D snapped the shot... poor thing...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sarah Williams

This is the name of a character in one of my favorite movies, "Waking the Dead." It's a little-known indie flick that came out right as I graduated from college, so it's a favorite not because of its artistic sensibilities but because it happened to appear at a turning point in my life. Sarah Williams (Jennifer Connolly) is a young American Catholic woman trying to help political asylees from Chile. Sarah's unshakeable beliefs are girded by her bold, sometimes illegal actions. Her lover, Fielding Pierce (Billy Crudup) shares her convictions, but they argue about his very different, much more mainstream, way of helping.

Sarah dies - her fiery death is the first scene in the film. And Fielding agonizes over the path he's chosen. (You haven't seen agony over life decisions until you've seen this film.)

Sarah Williams is also the name of an American poet who wrote "The Old Astronomer to His Pupil," which includes these famous last two lines:

"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too deeply to be fearful of the night."

What a wonderful connnection for a character to have.
Here are some lists:

  • finances
  • financing a new place to live
  • finding a new place to live


  • when I'm nursing Minkie (Paloma), I don't worry about *anything.* It all disappears as if I had been practicing meditation every day for twenty years. (Or so I imagine.)
  • my career
  • the fabulousness of my husband and marriage


  • shadows on the wall
  • vertical lines of books on a shelf
  • smiling into a mirror to make someone else smile
  • being efficient while she's napping

Friday, January 05, 2007

the liberation of motherhood

I've said it before and I'll say it again- I've found motherhood, to my utter surprise, to be the most liberating thing I've ever done.

For some reason, I feel more able now than ever before to:
  • say no
  • not feel guilty for doing things I need to do (eg, use a store restroom to change P's diaper without buying anything)
  • let the answering machine pick up
  • ask for help
  • accept offers of help
  • speak up to make things better- little things for myself, Derek and Paloma, and big political things for everyone

I don't mean that I use Paloma as an excuse to be bigger in the world. I do mean that somehow, a change has taken place in me that causes me to Just Quit Worrying So Damn Much about what others think, and to just be happy.

People moan about "losing their freedom" if/when they take on parenthood, but for me, it has more to do with all the demands of the world outside parenting. Again, I *never, ever* would have imagined saying this, but the truth is I would rather care for Paloma than do anything else. I don't feel like I'm losing my freedom when I'm with her. I feel like I'm losing my freedom when I feel obligated to the outside world.

So if the phone rings, screw it. The Urgent Message from Craptastic Credit can wait.

And if the emails pile up, well, they can wait too. I'm a little more hesitant to say "screw it all!" Because I do feel responsibility for other things I'm doing in my life-- namely, (and ironically) work for Moms Rising. And I do follow through.

But it is deliciously freeing to say, at least for today, I'm taking time for myself! I'm taking time for Paloma! I'm going to enjoy this life!