I had the best of intentions when the new year began.I was going to blog early and
often.I was going to update my
look and my links.I was going to
But then, well, then I sank into a funk.The Boy hit 3.5 years with a
vengeance and though Moxie and Ames & Ilg assure me his vicissitudes are normal, they are soul crushing and
exhausting.Earlier this week,
when he wouldn’t leave the sledding hill (after much sturm and drang), I
threatened to throw his sled into the street to be destroyed by oncoming
traffic.It was a parenting high
I feel like a huge flop as a mother in almost every
interaction with The Boy, and I’m so angsty about that that I don’t spend
nearly enough Quality Time with The Girl who is growing up adorably and all too
quickly.And I’m embarrassed to
admit this, but I find myself longing, incredibly, for another child.It’s unspeakable, really.I feel like I’m barely capable of
managing the children I have, and yet there I am daydreaming about another.
This cauldron of emotions is difficult to blog through when combined with this other (incredibly
obvious) thing: I’m just not BrooklynGirl anymore.I’m not living in Brooklyn.With less than a year to go to my fortieth birthday, it's absurd to refer to myself as a girl.
I am thankful for the refuge this blog and this identity has
provided me in the five years (!) that it has existed, but I think it’s time to
close up shop.I plan to resurrect
myself as soon as I can figure out who I am. Or what I want to be. Or how to write about that journey.
Thanks for your friendship and support.I’ll post a new URL here when I have
one, and I hope you'll stay in touch.
In Those Years
In those years, people will say we lost track
of the meaning of we, of you
we found ourselves
reduced to I
and the whole thing became
silly, ironic, terrible:
we were trying to live a personal life
and, yes, that was the only life
we could bear witness to
But the great dark birds of history screamed and plunged
into our personal weather
They were headed somewhere else but their beaks and pinions drove
I still have to buy something for my sister in law, and I have no idea what to get her because even though I've "known" her for almost 15 years, I don't really know her, and it makes me sad that we've lived in such similar orbits and yet are still basically strangers to one another, but even though it makes me sad, I have neither the energy nor the inclination to do anything to change it so, once again, I'll get her some crappy present and feel bad about it.
My parents, who were no shows at my house for Thanksgiving, have followed through on plans to visit my brother and his family for Christmas, and I'm irritated that this irritates me, but it does.
We exchanged Christmas gifts with our sometime babysitter today, and The Boy so didn't get the concept of giving gift to other people that he pitched a fit when she left with her present. Christmas could be a disaster.
Our plans for Christmas are mellow--maybe too mellow. We'll open gifts at home Christmas morning, make blueberry pancakes, and then go to Christmas dinner with some of my husband's extended family. It doesn't feel Christmas-y enough. I'm toying with the idea of taking The Boy to the family Christmas Eve service at the church where he has pre-school merely for the spectacle of it, but that feels spiritually dishonest.
Happy holidays to you and yours. May your cups of eggnog never run dry.
In a similar vein, over the last few months, I've been (re)connecting with people on Facebook: friends from high school I haven't seen since graduation, colleagues from abandoned career paths, and various and assorted folks from other points in my life. Trying to neatly encapsulate who I am and what I've been up to has been...humbling. The least subtle of my correspondents asked (to paraphrase somewhat), "What happened to you? You used to be a serious person."
Um, yeah. Putting aside for a minute the assumption that being the primary caregiver for 2 kids is not serious work and the arguments about that assumption, I have to admit there is a lack of rigor to my life these days. The all consuming kids are a perfectly valid reason that I haven't recently read anything approaching literature or looked at the newspaper or posted on my blog--and then let's not even talk about the career repercussions.
Still, there's a certain amount of convenience to the excuse: at a certain point wanting to read the newspaper but not having the time morphs into not wanting to read the newspaper.* And believe me, friends, I have morphed.
*The newspaper is really just an example. NPR was my primary news source well before the kids were even imagined.
The apartment closing was today. I am no longer a resident of Brooklyn in even the vaguest sense.
We went back to do a final clear out of the apartment on Sunday, and I was surprised by how hard it was to say goodbye. So much of my life was lived in that apartment. That was where we decided to have kids, where we learned having those kids might not be so easy, where we drowned our sorrows or celebrated our victories with barbecues in the garden, where we learned how to hold a newborn baby, where we folded mountains of newborn baby laundry, where the babies learned to roll over, to crawl, to walk, where someone called me Mama for the first time.
Someone else has the keys to the apartment that holds all those memories. I hope she enjoys it as much as we did.
Sorry for the interruption. I turned 39 last week and needed some time to brood about it, but now I'm back, perilously close to 40 and still pretty much up in the air about what I'll be when I grow up. Ack.
Some other anxieties:
The Boy's winter vacation from pre-school starts this Thursday. For real. He's off until January 5th. I don't know what the hell we're going to do with ourselves.
We don't have an official closing date for the apartment yet.
The pre-school application process for next year starts here in early January. At one school, you are assigned a registration time in a lottery and then you get to register for whatever classes are still available at your appointed hour. You pay a healthy deposit on the spot or you forfeit your registration. It seems kind of hard core for pre-school.
The only thing the kids love more than the Christmas tree is fiddling with the lights on the tree. We may not all make it to Christmas.
This has never been my favorite holiday. My earliest memories of Thanksgiving are of my grandmother chain-smoking Merits and swilling VO Manhattans while my brother and I tried not to bump into anything in her house that was jam-packed with breakable tchotchkes.
As I got older and relatives passed on, Thanksgiving became a small holiday celebrated with only my immediate family: my parents, my brother, and me. It felt very mass produced and unspecial: Butterball turkey, Pepperidge Farm stuffing, Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce, Jolly Green Giant frozen corn, (unbranded) mashed potatoes, and Mrs. Smith's pumpkin pie. By high school and college, my brother was jonesing to get out and meet up with his friends as soon as the meal was over, and I was irritated both that I felt obligated to stay at home and "celebrate" with the 'rents (even if that celebrating was just watching TV) and that I didn't have friends who were up to anything interesting.
As I got older still, I resented the imposition of Thanksgiving travel: spending time and money for a lame holiday non-celebration seemed silly. I understood that Thanksgiving was supposed to be about expressing (or at least feeling gratitude), but mostly I was left feeling grateful that I got to leave my parents' house and get back to my real life by Sunday at the latest.
Then, with a nod to the inconvenience of traveling with children, my parents began to come to us (my brother or me) on alternate years. Or so goes the theory. Predictably and somewhat lamely, something always comes up at the last minute and my parents wind up not making the trip. I found out they weren't coming earlier this week when my Spidey sense started tingling at the grocery store, and I called them to make sure they were still coming before I blew my food budget in their honor.
And so here we are. Our Thanksgiving Day plans are the same: we'll dine with my in-laws tomorrow, just without my parents. As there is some history of trip cancellations, I wasn't planning to tell The Boy or The Girl that their grandparents were coming until they were actually underway so they're not disappointed, but I am.
I feel like I have so much to be thankful for, but I don't know how to channel that into a Thanksgiving Day celebration that is special and meaningful. And I feel absolutely absurd that I am whining about this when there are people out there forging celebrations with so much less.
I went to bed before they called the election. I was tired, and fighting off a cold (the cold appears to have won), and apprehensive about the eagerness with which Democratic victories were declared with zero percent of precincts reporting (I'm looking at you CNN).
The Girl was up in the middle of the night, and as I was rocking her back to sleep in her dark and quiet room, I relished the media blackout. It had to be over, but the world didn't feel any different. After I put The Girl down, I hesitated to check the computer: if it was bad, I knew I wouldn't sleep.
I'm glad I checked.
In the words of that great female visionary and super cool explorer, "We did it! We did it! We did it! Hooray!"
Even though I know there won't be any news about anything until tonight, I keep cruising by my Yahoo news page just to make sure I'm not missing something. I was kinda sorta horrified to come across this.
What the hell, ABC? The Callie/Erica storyline was the only thing remotely interesting you've had going on this season. Might be time for me to find out what else is on at 9 pm on Thursdays.