Monthly Archives: May 2007

Tortured by time

“It’s hard to be patient,” she whispered.

He sighed. “But it’s all we’ve got.”

“I’m not sure…” she started.

He touched her face. “Don’t worry, it will happen.”

“Do you really want it to?”

The tide rose between their eyes. He spoke bravely. “More than ever.”


Justin

Four years ago tonight I ate chinese food till it came out of my ears, double-checked my suitcase, tucked Korey into bed and tried to get a good night’s sleep. Five o’clock promised early and the day ahead was an exciting mix of familiarity and uncertainty.

The chinese food pounded upward all night, causing my throat to catch fire insatiably. No amount of water or chalky powder would calm the flames. I tossed and turned, cursing the sauce, the egg-roll, the chicken balls, even the harmless rice. I could feel Justin kicking inside, rolling around feeling his way through the darkness. I wondered if his eyes were open, if he could hear my agonizing moans, his dad snoring. In less than 6, 5, 4, 3, hours I would hold him in my arms and nurture him, skin to skin.

I believe I was thrown awake to savour the moment. Justin would be the last to kick between my ribs. The last to move around till my nose went numb. The last to take my breath away with a simple hiccup. The last to keep me warm from the inside.  I willed for labour to start on its own, for Justin to arrive naturally without surgical steel his introduction to life. I wanted to deliver my children, not have them taken from me without the faintest sensation. I wanted to bounce back and push a stroller on day 3, not labour over my wound for 6 weeks, unable to circulate or pick up Korey.

It wasn’t to be. The clock went off and the day began. A bit surreal. Showers, triple checks of suitcases, Korey kissed awake and taken to the sitter and Mom and Dad off to the hospital for boy number 2. All with military exactness. No surprises, no audible exchanges.

Walking into the OR and climbing up on the table felt more like I was getting an exam than giving birth. As I lay there, the spinal took effect. I could feel Justin kicking, kicking, rolling, kicking, slight kicking, one little punch, nothing. I was fully dilated. Ready to begin.

The conversations in the room disrupted my breathing pattern and resulted in panic. “Are you ok?” asked the voice of God from overhead. “There’s too many conversations going on in here. I can’t focus.” “Patient has requested quiet,” said my nurse. My doctor apologized. I felt dumb but glad to resume my calculated breathing.

I could feel Justin being twisted and pulled from between my ribs. Another high one, I wouldn’t have been able to deliver him either. I don’t remember feeling anything with Korey’s delivery, but this actually hurt. I was glad, took it like a mom. Childbirth is meant to be painful, I felt qualified.

My 8:00 am OR date resulted in a 8:23 am healthy baby boy, loud and proud. All clumbsy limbs and vibrating tongue. Music to my ears. A sight for my sore hand that was poked 4 times by an unsteady, nervous intern, who was coached closely by God while she administered the deadening juice into my spine. Perhaps her incompetence led to my qualification.

Four years later, Justin is spending the eve of his birthday at his Dad’s. Tomorrow we’ll party at the bowling alley with 10 of his closest friends and cousins and his girlfriend Olivia, a five year old from up the street. She smiled at Justin on the first day of preschool, they’ve been an item ever since.

While I blow up balloons and pack the loot bags, I lament the lost feelings of kicks and punches from the inside. Hugs, kisses and sweet conversations are the prize now. I pray the years ahead will continue to bring even more to savour. The physical scar is finally gone, but bringing a child into the world, no matter how you do it or the outcome, leaves a permanent mark, right on your heart.

 Longer version available here.


Renewal

Having a “nobody loves me moment” can suck the wind out of your sails. Fortunately these are few and far between. I’ve grown wise enough to understand that what I’m thinking isn’t what’s actually happening. Being quiet and moving moment by moment in my own direction silences the unpopular misfit from the loser table. And bolsters my senses.

Tonight, I fell asleep during savasana. I woke up as everyone was saluting the devine. I was gently reminded to take my time getting up. Good advice. I wasn’t physically able to move much faster than a centipede on muscle relaxers. My body needed the rest, my soul, the renewal.  Namaste.


Naughty china

A child’s innocent discovery of their sexuality often creates a parental fog. It’s a mind-teaser to help kids appreciate the natural blooming and balance the sensitivities that go along with those mysterious underparts.

Justin told me his cousin Megan doesn’t have a penis, she has a china. I immediately envisioned myself telling him someday, when he’s much older of course, don’t play with the china. Or, make sure it’s good china, but be sure not to break it. Yes, I like that word. Not anatomically correct but close enough in enunciation in an innocent, non-offensive way. Much better than the word we had growing up.

I believe children need to know the correct names for their body parts, but they don’t need to use them in everyday conversation. For example, their head is their noggin and their toes are their piggies. There’s no confusion about this. Why can’t we nickname the special musn’ttouchit parts too? We haven’t settled on a code word for penis. Peepee isn’t quite as eloquent as china, maybe we’ll make it the silver.

Our bedtime ritual includes loads of snuggle time, sharing the best parts of our day and squashing any disappointments with hugs and kisses.  This is consistently the best part of my day. Last night, so completely exhausted, I neglected to put on my jammy bottoms and sported my best mother underwear. Mothers don’t count as girls, right?

They went berserk. “Mommy doesn’t have any pants on, just her panties, she’s a naughty girl,” my 3 year old teased. Shocked, I laughed.

“Can we see your china?”

I put on my jammy bottoms.


Everything ends in Y

A normal Saturday morning. Computer games, breakfast, dog barking, more computer games, after breakfast snacks, fighting, drinking from the water jug, remnants of snacks fallen out of flavour. 

The computer restarted while I attempted to check on the babies and Korey lost it. “I hate you, you’re dumb.” Obviously, limiting the computer time is on my agenda, but not today; it’s raining and I’m not up for the fight. Justin said, “I’m sorry, Korey.  It’s not my faulty, but I’m sorry you losty your gamey.”

Empathy is growingy in my almosty-four year oldy.

“What does noey pell?” Translated…how do you spell no? And N-O, you can’t have another fruit rollupy. Have an appley or an orangey.


3 turns

So if a new toothbrush can make me giggle with delight, a new blender is sure to make me shiver. I picked the most powerful one I could find…700 watts. It has 3 positions, fast, faster and pulsate. The one I’m throwing away has 10 buttons of which I only ever used 2. Serious overengineering.

Back to my regular smoothie mornings tomorrow. Life is good. Maybe it will be a pina colada weekend. Crushed ice anyone…I can’t wait to pulsate.


Marigolds in tears

I’ve done a terrible thing. I forgot to water the flower Korey planted and presented so proudly to me on Mother’s Day. He sobbed uncontrollably, convinced the two-night sleepover at his Dad’s had resulted in the loss of one of the two fledgling sprouts. “It was just a baby. It didn’t even have a chance to grow.” My heart broke for him, but his empathetic reaction warmed my mother soul. 

The truth is there was only one sprout to begin with. I convinced him there were two because Justin gave me two sunflower sprouts. The sight of which made Korey’s shoulders fall like a shocked cake.

It’s a slippery road to good intentions.


So consumed

I spent yesterday and today at an internet marketing conference. Because I don’t own a handheld, yet, I was unable to keep up with Sweet | Salty. Yesterday I learned Liam was having heart surgery sometime this week. As it turns out, today was the day. Tonight I read both posts…when he went in and when he came out. I’m so glad I was incommunicado. I’m not sure I could have stood the suspense or the painful, nervous hoping. Of course Kate and Justin endured it real time, they seem so superhero-ish to me. I’m amazed by the human spirit and the outpouring of global love from those known and unknown to them. Keep putting the corners around it Kate, we’ll be here soaking up your strength and pouring it right back to you.

As for the conference, it was well done. Well organized.  An interesting mix of topics. Some light some enlightening. For the first Atlantic event, it was heavily attended and the key message was clear. A highly usable, task oriented website is the most important tool in your belt—it builds efficient business processes, your brand and great customer experiences. Say, have you met Bob and Carol? They love great experiences. Congrats ISL on your new corporate identity, your exceptional exposure at the conference and your new website…I’m still crushing on it.

Next year when I register, I hope I can select from 3 options: 

1.  Give me the basics
2.  Give me more than the basics
3.  All meat and no potatoes please

What I really want is a glimpse of tomorrow. I’m already having a blast in the past.


What will Junior do?

Dale Jr. is leaving Dale Earnhardt Inc. (Theresa) and becoming a free agent at the end of this year. The marketing machine is poised to go over the wall. The colour chips are jockying for position. Numbers hope to be the chosen combination. Manufacturers are smoozing. Owners are dreaming and fans are waiting to be “brand loyal”. As for the objects of our affection affixed with the number 8, they will be safely packed away, adjacent our shrine to number 3.

I was NASCAR when NASCAR wasn’t cool and I’ve enjoyed watching clever marketing push a southern, red-neck sport to mainstream popularity. Both NASCAR and Nextel have done well to bring in new markets and use technology to deliver the excitement to fans across the continent, in a relevant way. Its paid off. NASCAR is the most watched spectator sport in North America.

I can tell you from experience, a live NASCAR race is like nothing else. The rush of adreneline starts on the approach to the track. With branded hats waving, fans will their driver to the front of the pack, and pray the race won’t end under caution. As a spectator, it’s powerful to have 100,000 people follow your lead as you jump to your feet with a barely audible “uh-oh”.  While a scrape or two keeps things interesting, I don’t think crashes are favoured like a fight in hockey. NASCAR fans have seen too many bad outcomes and losing “your” driver is like a kick in the stomach, or lower. It takes a long while to regain your wind for the sport.

For most Senior fans, Junior filled the void left by his father. But Junior too is an intimidator, when he’s allowed to be. I can’t wait to see it happen, and get a new
t-shirt.

Related Link:  An amusing commentary on the Dale Jr. DEI split.


Mother’s Day

Sometimes I just stare at them like everyone else and manage a little smirk as they rush past. Is it so terrible of me to pretend they aren’t mine, smile and shake my head at the behaviour some mother has let spiral out of control.

Eventually I’m discovered at the checkout, repeating the rules and removing any further impulse purchases. But, somewhere between the OK button and collecting my forage, trauma is replaced with pride, and we run and skip our way out…free of the judging eyes, the sneers and worst of all, the tsk, tsks. The latter makes me want to programme my duo to heat-seek all those uptight teeth suckers and frazzle them till they forget the most important item on their well-organized list.