Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Dearest Miguelito,

Today we took you to Lula's to celebrate your birthday. We wanted to do something a little more special than usual, but you were tired from all the fun at Doodlebug (and getting up at 4:30am this morning!) so we cut dinner short. We three quickly shared a mushroom quesadilla appetizer, and our entrees were packed up before they even hit the dinner plates. The bike ride home was dark, chilly and misty--our first real fall weather--but you were warm and snug in the trailer with the rain flap down.

Once home, you played with the dining room gate for about 10 minutes: open, close, open, close, open, open, open, CLOSE! Then you crawled on to the kitchen. You stood and played with the sink cabinet lock for awhile, then tried to cruise along the garbage cans ("No--that's icky!") The kitchen tour ended abruptly when you unsuccessfully transferred your open/close routine to the Tupperware drawer. The drawer slid shut on your finger and you wailed with conviction. We should probably keep you out of the kitchen, but then you wouldn't be able to bang on the never used heat diffuser that hangs near the back door. (Or, we could do a better job toddler proofing, but as the plan is to move downstairs soon, we're holding back on a few things.)

We whisked you back to the dining room to take some pictures, but the light dimmer switch was dominating your attention. You not only figured out how to make the switch spin, you instantly figured out the connection between that action and the lights 5 feet away. On, on-er, off, off-er. . . .I could have held you forever, watching you figure out and control your universe.

But, there is no way you would let me hold you forever, no, not you, my go, go, go baby. You have wheels to spin, chairs to hide under, corners to play peek-a-boo in (my heart cracked the first time I realized YOU were the one initiating peek-a-boo), socks to pull off, books to chew, and doors to open, open, open.

Monday, October 1, 2007

letting go

I realize now that our home used to be both tidy and clean. Dirty dishes were dealt with after each meal. The living room was always ready for entertaining. Even our office, which does double duty as holding tank for all uncategorizable items , was never more than 30 minutes away from clutter free horizontal surfaces, or at least tidy piles. No wonder visiting friends would roll their eyes when I would exclaim with embarrassment, "Oh, the place is a dis-a-ster!" just because the morning's newspaper was still out, or our bed wasn't made tight enough to bounce a quarter on.

When Miguel crashed into our lives, many people warned us that we would need to let go, that, for example, there was no way we could maintain all of our domestic standards. True enough, many intentions of home cooked meals yielded to delivered pizzas. But we clung to our desire to have a serene, clean home. Always equitable in house chores, we carried on every night after Miguel went to bed, robotically picking up his toys, scrubbing down the kitchen counters, putting the laundry away, resetting the day.

Now we are both back to our full time work schedules. The transition has been brutal in many ways. I can't begin to write to the core of the matter, so I'll stick with clutter for now.

It is acreting. The office is no longer 30 minutes away to serenity. I am typing amidst piles and piles of paper, books and demands. The mounds have started to colonize the dining room, which used to be an altar of clean, teak surfaces. The whole situation makes me twitchy.

But Miguel is not twitchy. He wakes up joyfully each morning, somewhere between 5am (!!!!) and 6 am (much preferred), eager for a new day, unencumbered with expectations about how the house should look. As long as we keep the piles 5 inches away from the edge of our tables, we're OK.