Friday, September 26, 2008

Waffles for four hands

...I can't add much to this...except a big awwwwwww, I lub them!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


A friend of mine recently pointed out that Portland, OR is an entry in the Stuff White People Like book. And, while Portland IS full of things from that book (bumper stickers, hybrid cars, wine, coffee, organic farmers markets, pan-asian-fusion-restaurants, threats to move to Canada, bicycles, lawyers, dogs, living by the water...), his snarky take on our smug whiteness has made me take a step back from my adopted city to think about it. Portland has a LOT of public art. Some good. Some weird. And THIS:
Lots of alternative types. Like him (that's famous papa-Nomad):
Lots of new-age-bookstore-birkenstock-psychic-reading-pan-pagan-types (The Secret was published by a local Portland publishing house):
And we are the coffee/wine/book capital (per capita) of the US:
So that's a large city with a big load of, dancing/protesting/drumming hippies, a side of homelessness (we are bleeding hearts, but not foolproof, apparently), and naturally there's as much extreme yuppie-ism as the rest of the left coast, lots of strippers (really, like...a LOT of nekked here), and rain rain rain... (along with mold, mildew and some of the other fun things that go along with mold)...

It's a mixed bag of interesting and irritating, but I like it here. I've got access to several (although, sadly, fewer all the time) independent bookstores, including the BEHEMOTH of independence, Powell's. Yuppie, organic, beautiful coffee 24 hours a day. Lots of wine, booze, food. It's a city of excess about our excesses. And sure, smug about it. And very white. That's problematic. But not intrinsically wrong.. I grew up in Salt Lake.

Which has a lot of this:

Some of this:

and this... And WAAAY TOO MUCH of this:

I think it's ok here...away from that (hiking aside). My life is here. My kids are here. Hatred and unhappy, unloving people are here too, true, but mostly it is a city of love. Sometimes too much, shreepy, deepy, creepy love. Or nekked love. Or psychically-channeled, a bit off-the-track love...but it's love all the same. *some of these images come from Portland Ground

Monday, September 15, 2008

Good enough

So...I have a son. Maybe you've heard me mention him? Once or twice? Every 2nd post? And...I think he's a bit of a tough nut. Not particularly social. Pretty vocal. Pretty creative. Pretty gorgeous. Full of mischief. Full of ideas. Full of gifts. Full of challenges.

When I was pregnant with M, he was this super-active baby. Jab. Jab-jab. Jib. Jab. Flip. Flip. Flip.

I would just stare at my giant belly in awe...and pain, watching the shape of an entire foot protrude from just below my ribs. Hi-ya! And all that flipping and poking and jabbing was apparently tangling him tighter and tighter in his cord, until he was suspended in an umbilical net and unable to descend all the way into the canal without bringing the placenta with him. It was a dramatic birth, complete with an emergency race across town on Thanksgiving morning in the back of the midwife's car trying not to push.

And then there were three of us. On the most meaningful Thanksgiving day I've ever known.

Drama-filled and not how we'd planned, Immediately, our lives were in orbit around this tiny person, who was promptly and thoroughly pissed off. And needy. And cranky...And delicious.

First pictures of him as a baby make me laugh, because he's wearing JUST the same expression he has now when he's peeved with everyone.

Pissed off from bath
Pissed off about bedtime
YOU are on my list...

Five years later, I have to think that his gestation and birth were pretty prescient. There are a million times a week (a day!) I find myself thinking I'm the worst parent ever...or (much worse) that he's the worst kid. I make so many mistakes. Mistakes of giving too much: too much stuff, too many distracting things, too much giving IN and being subsequently inconsistent; and more mistakes giving too little: time, energy, direction, baths...

How do you all do it? How do you cope when you've had the fifteenth stupid argument about whether or not the store you drove to could POSSIBLY have the SAME noodles the OTHER store, the one 20 minutes from where you are, has!?!?! How he CANNOT wear new underpants today because he LOVES the ones with SKULLS ON THEM - the ones in the hamper!!! Give him skull underpants or he will not! Will not! Will NOT! GET!! DRESSED!!! Is he a dictator and I'm the slavedog lackey? Sometimes. Would it kill me to drive to another neighborhood to buy noodles? No...but I don't always WANT to. Am I sometimes barely treading water? Ohhhh...yes.

Jab. Jib. Poke poke. Flip. Flip....flip.

I'd love to be one of those moms who is so serene she can offer advice, and little bon mots about the beauty of raising your kids and how precious and special and magical it is. How it burns away the layers of pretention and leaves you purer. Is that me? Oh...I don't know. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I love my kids and sometimes I wonder how people get through these years of figuring out how to go with the flow when the flow thinks you are too stupid to navigate your own pants, let alone how to be a good enough parent...

Some days I just want to get through it with all of us loving each other and forgiving each other on the other side of their childhoods. Am I aiming too high???

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gratuitous waffles...

I'm in arrears in kid-adoration posts. So here's one...
And some serious shots of the parents...