Family Life

The Magic of Windsong

People don't often want to know about or really hear your sadness or your fears.

They want to tell you it will be okay

but you already know that, you're a human with a big brain.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of room in the world these days - space

to be, to process, to work through.

When you find a place and a people who are doing the same kind

of working through as you - and who get it so much that they can't wait

to provide that same kind of experience for you,

well, that makes you want to hold on tight.

When those "people" include horses who can see, smell, and feel your

excitement, your anticipation, and yes, your nervousness too, and 

they are here for all of it to teach you things that will carry you 

your whole life through, well, that just might be heaven.

When there's a guide who is wise beyond her years, who wants to

create the place for you to have the space and takes the time to make

sure you notice the brilliance of all that you are learning, that, my friend,

is where the magic happens.

When it all comes together during the scariest time in our collective

lives, and we are at first joyous because it's a thing to do, an experience

to provide - in real life - and then we realize that the magic being

created will last long after the masks are gone, well, there really are

no words for that.

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Texting with my mom

I am so loving that my mom has joined the world of texting. We have these silly little conversations that would just never happen on the phone or over email. Here's just a small sample from this morning:

Mom: Going to BJs for a few things. Want anything?

Me: Yeah. A wife. Do they sell those?

[One hour later]

Mom: FYI - no wives on sale. A few were returned because they just didn't work. Figured we didn't want damaged goods.

Me: I don't know. Damaged might be better than nothing at this point. How much? Any husbands or were they all broken beyond repair?

To be continued...or not.

Right after I posted this, my mom wrote back again (she's going to kill me for blogging this - he he). I didn't know until right now how much of my sense of humor I got from her. Did she?

Mom: They are sending the wives to the islands for the rest of the winter. They'll return in the spring and will go on sale for $1.5 million. Husbands on shelves looked like Ken and we know he's no help at all. Doesn't like to get dirty!


S***show

So, I'm pretty sure someone hacked my blog to write that last post about two not being harder than one. I mean, the sentiment is great, but it really feels like a s***show around here these days. I don't write posts like this often because I really, really don't want comments where people are all supportive and tell me it will get better and we're doing great, etc. Seriously, I don't. Ask my mom and my sister and my husband. I know all that already, but right now I'm tired and cranky and want to live in this moment.

I was having breakfast with a friend the other day - she also just had her second - and I was saying how I'm not being the mom I want to be right now and that's probably the hardest part of this. Not that H and I didn't have our tough days and moments before but we had our relationship down, our family of three, our individual and collective dynamics. And, well, now it's a s***show. I'm mourning the relationship I had with my son - I don't want to yell at him when he drops/throws his sister across the room. I don't want to tell him to stop turning the light switch on and off for the millionth time. I don't want to tell him to not go over to L's crib and try to wake her up from her nap. I don't want him to cry to me because HE wanted to get the wipes for me and I already had them in my hand. I know much of this is two and a half year old behavior without the baby sister part, but it does feel quite amplified. I want all the fabulous moments. I'll keep the ones where he kisses L all over and tells me that he loves her, or when he wakes up from a nap all tired and cute and puts his head down on her chest to rest a little bit more and snuggle with her. Or when he says, "I want L to come over and read the story with us." Or when he shows her a postcard of AMNH and says, "L, that's OUR museum." Or when he sees something and says, "L, did you see that?" I know, just like with one, and with everything else, you can't pick and choose which parts you want, but why not already?

I'm also mourning my relationship with my husband. We went through this the first time too, a period of unrest, needing to find our way again, our new normal. But like everything else right now, it just feels amplified. I think I'm also less patient - like yeah, yeah, I know we need to go through this, but can we move on already?

The same friend I went to breakfast with the other day told me about an analogy that her husband's best friend (who already has two) shared with her husband when he asked what he could do to not make her "hate" him right now. The more experienced father of two said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "You're like the president of BP, your kids are the oil, and your wife is the Louisiana coast line. Your kids are spilling out all over the place and severely damaging your wife, and there's nothing you can say or do to make it better." This made my day for several reasons: 1. it's so true, 2. it's so timely, and 3. it's so true. Hopefully, we, our husbands, and the Louisiana coastline* will all recover as quickly as possible.

I'd be remiss if I didn't say how much I am loving L. She's so damn awesome. She smiles at me - and other people too, and laughs, and watches and listens to everything her brother does. I really think she loves him already. She goes along for the ride, wherever it takes us, and is being very cooperative at night. Like her mom, she lets me know IMMEDIATELY when there's a problem and I do my best to solve it as quickly as possible. I go between wanting her to get older faster so I can discover more about her and how the family and sibling dynamics will work themselves out, and wanting her to be this cute little age forever. I could do without the blowouts though...and there, we've come full circle. It's all a s***show.

*And, no, I am not really trying to say that what we are going through is the same as the death and horrific devastation caused by the BP oil spill.


Yoga thoughts

So, when I wasn't just "being" during Savasana at the end of yoga class tonight - my first class in months and my first during this pregnancy, I had some time to be alone with my thoughts and here's some of what came to mind:

1. Oh my goodness, there is a baby in there. There is just so much less time as the mom of a toddler to spend thinking about the baby inside. I mean I think about it, as in, I shouldn't eat a tuna sandwich - again, or I wish I could have some coffee, or be careful H, you're kicking me in the belly and there's a baby in there, or my aching back, there's a baby...you get the point. But there's been no being "one" with the baby. Not to say I spent much time meditating or bonding with H in utero, but I think I'd be willing to pay for the yoga classes this time just to spend some time alone with the baby.

2. I should really blog more, maybe about this.

3. I wonder if this is the most comfortable way for me to be laying down.

4. It's probably not sanitary for me to be laying my head down on this blanket.

5. I learned a lot during my last pregnancy (and the first, which ended in an early-ish miscarriage) about the lack of control that comes with parenting and I really think it's helped me be a more calm parent and person. I have no illusions about being in a Zen state as a mother or person (and yes, I know mothers ARE people, but you know what I mean), but I do feel like the roller coaster of my pregnancy with H, with supportive aids from the Hypnobirthing course that I took (but did not fully "use" with my breech-caused-c-section), really put the whole, "you just never know what's going to happen or when or how and you can't do anything about most of it" thing into perspective for me. It's not a new revelation for me, but I've been thinking about it more during this pregnancy. I'm grateful for the early hospital visits, the preterm labor, the hospital stay, the bed rest, and yes, even the c-section. I think in some small way it all helps me be a better mom to H, and hopefully a better person overall. At least some of the time.

6. My back hurts.


Communication Techniques

B often has a tendency to start conversations with me while he's sleeping. Okay, to be fair, he's likely not actually speaking to me, but I am usually the only one in the room when he speaks. When we were first together, I found this frustrating because I actually thought he was talking to me and there was something I was missing. Over time I came to realize that he was asleep, and wouldn't it be fun to see how long I could keep the conversation going. What could I gleam from his seemingly random commentary? Most often my attempts are thwarted by additional interruptions in his sleep activity, but occasionally I get some good stuff worth sharing. I tweeted this last night, but I thought it was blog worthy too:

B: He's going to push us up the hill.

Me: Who's going to push us up the hill?


B: Mr. Berenstain.


Me (knowing full well who Mr. Berenstain is): Who is Mr. Berenstain?


B: Isn't that the name of the bear on the cover of the book who is going to help us push the garbage out of the way so we can get on our plane and go home?


Me: Yeah.


************

I believe his brain must have been processing part of our weekend in combination with things on his to-do list. We did take a plane, we did go up hills, we did watch a mom reading The Berenstain Bears to her sons at the rehearsal dinner of the wedding we were attending - and I even remarked to him about it, and last night was garbage night. Of course, my dreams later that night included Natalie Portman acting too cool for school (I love her in real life), her little sister who I befriended (she does not have a little sister in real life), Brian cheating on me with a friend whose pictures I had looked at before bed (no need to psychoanalyze this one, I know my issues here), and a bunch of bugs in a bag of fruit eating away while making horrendous sawing noises. Where are my Berenstain Bears?


Great Expectations

Today, B and I decided to withdraw our offer on an apartment in New York. We are still moving to New York and I can now say that we are excited. We did love this place. But it was too much. I know it was the right decision because the minute we made it - or communicated it to the "officials" - the tightening, heavy feeling that I have had in my chest for the last couple of weeks started to dissipate. As mentioned earlier, I have discussed, ad nauseum, my thoughts, concerns, fears, and excitements about moving, but at the end of the day, it's really about what it's all WORTH to me, to B, to our family. We had some really great and thoughtful conversations over the weekend about what we wanted, who we are as individuals, as a couple, as a family, and what we want our life to look like - no matter where we live. It was delightedly reaffirming to find out that after nine years, a few cities, several jobs, and a child, we believe in the same things. We come at almost every issue from a different angle, but in the end, we most often come to the same conclusion (and no, it's not always my original conclusion).

We are not the same people we were when we met, but we are too. And I think we both have great expectations for our future. I kind of can't wait to see what happens.


What's so great about making decisions?

In an article in the Wall Street Journal on Friday called, Who Wears the Pants, Megan Basham dismisses the criticism of late (by women, of course) that says that a woman should work outside the home and have income (ideally higher than her partner's) in order to have power in their relationship. Ms. Basham's argument is based on a new study by the Pew Research Center that shows that women, regardless of their income level, wield most of the decision-making power in the home.

Of the 1,260 men and women whom Pew pollsters surveyed over the summer, 43% responded that the woman makes most of the major decisions for the family, with 31% saying that the couple makes most decisions together.

For marketers, and most women I know, this isn't new information. Most advertising is targeted toward women for just this reason. And, if anything, it's targeted to women who spend more time in the home rather than less.

Here's my question: does making decisions always equal power? And is it that women get to make decisions or that they have to make decisions because men care less than women do about decisions related to the home and their personal/family lives? And when a man might prefer to do something different than his wife suggests, does he just acquiesce because it's easier rather than because he's been convinced? Is it really "sweeter" that he wants her to be happy, as Ms. Basham suggests, or does his calculation go further? If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, right?

It was reassuring for me - a woman who wields the majority of the "power" in her home but does not always feel so powerful - to read that older couples make more decisions together than younger couples do. I struggle with not wanting to wield so much "power" but not always being able to give it up in a healthy, appropriate, and loving-my-partner way, which can sometimes render us both without "power" or the ability to make decisions...sometimes about very simple things.

So tell me, what makes you feel powerful? Oh yeah, and when are women going to stop hating on other women?