Friday, August 22, 2008

Excuse my bumbling background erasing skills

but this is one of my favorite pics ever.

Also, the other day, I bought Sarina a toy guitar at a garage sale, and there were no batteries in it. Sarina spotted the guitar and tried pressing its buttons.

"It broke," she told me.

"It just needs batteries," I said.

She walked into the living room, pulled out the television remotes, and removed the batteries from them.

"Got the batteries!" she announced.

17 months old.

I love this kid.

P.S. I'm getting divorced. It's not something I want to talk/post about, but it's something that's awkward having people not know about for so long. So there it is.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Before I Was a Mother

Before I was a mother, I thought women who said things like "My kids are my whole world" must have pretty sad lives.

I thought it must be a drag to have to think of someone else's needs before your own all the time.

I thought my career defined me.

I didn't understand all the fuss about breastfeeding and why women would ever want to continue it for more than a year.

I cared about suffering children, but I didn't physically ache every time I heard about a child who was abused, starving, suffering from a disease, or abandoned.

I didn't know that spending a Friday night making stacks of paper cups and watching a toddler knock them down could be a really great night.

I didn't know baby kisses could be the most memorable kisses of my life.

I hated pink.

Shopping really wasn't my thing. I had no idea it could be so much fun to shop for things for my child.

I didn't understand that all the gross things kids do aren't gross when they're your kids.

I didn't know that I could go days without sleep and not even be mad at the person who made me go days without sleep.

I didn't know how what an honor it would be to have someone give you complete trust, to feel that little body "let go" and fall asleep in your arms.

I didn't realize how deeply I could love.


Monday, August 04, 2008

There Goes My Baby

On August 3, 2008, at approximately 9:30 p.m., my baby ceased being a baby.

It all started last week, really, when she began talking in complete sentences. I asked, "Sarina, do you want me to open the door?" and she responded, "Mommy, open the door."

Several 4-word phrases and sentences followed. She dropped a quarter in her grandparents' pool and said, "Money in the pool!"

What got me the most, aside from the fact that she was 16 months old, was that she was speaking in gramatically correct terms. I was unstoppably happy, glowing with the pride of a parent who's just found out her daughter will be the valedictorian of her class at Harvard AND has paid off her schooling with the money she's made as a cover model for tasteful magazines. Then the unstoppable happiness stopped.

It happened when I was preparing for Sarina's bath. She was playing in her room, and I went to her closet to check for diapers. She came up behind me and tapped me.

"Yes, Sarina?"

"Mommy," she said, looking up at me, "What are you doing?"

I stammered, "I'm looking to see if we have any overnight diapers left," and my heart momentarily stopped mid-beat. I was explaining myself to Sarina. My baby was gone. In her place was this brilliant child, capable of expressing original thoughts and questions. She wasn't parroting me. She was just coming over and asking me what was on her mind.

It's all fun and games until someone expresses original thoughts.

Suddenly, it was serious. No more squealing to my dear relatives about the latest bit of Sarina brilliance. No, this was a moment of mourning. I felt like she skipped so many stages at once-- leaping straight from one word at a time to complete sentences within a week, bypassing the cute mixed-up sentence structures toddlers are supposed to have. She's even using pronouns and contractions properly. Where's the fun in that?

She also decided to use her potty today for the first time, just to rub it in. And she said, "My big girl potty!"

This girl astounds me, not just because she's so bright, but because she's the sweetest, most loving, non-complaining, tough little giggler I could have imagined. I could work the rest of my life at being the best parent I can be (and I sure plan to), and never feel like I'm worthy of her. Her awesomeness is just too awesome.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I'm glad I have people who I can share this stuff with.

P.S. Hey, guess what? Did you know it's possible to really and truly get sick of reading a story you wrote to your own child? ("Yes, Sarina. Hattie, Hattie, Hattie. She gets a haircut. Blah blah blah!")