Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All the wonderful you never needed

This year my birthday was pretty cool. And weird. It fell a couple of weeks before Jamie's surgery, so it was full of anxiety. A few of my favorite family in-laws came down from Washington state for a visit, which made it special. And they, along with Jamie, gave me this:

Do you have one? I've NEVER had one. Until March 16th, if I wanted to listen to something specific, I packed a brim-full CD case around with me to play in my laptop or car stereo. A veritable homage to 1996. But now...NEVERMORE! And it is AWESOME!! And scary. You know the hidden thing that comes with an iPod? Need. Because suddenly I NEED albums by my favorite singers. And books. I NEED audiobooks I was always content to read in original format. And MOOOOVIES! TV Shows I've wanted to see but never had time for. As a mom, it's like getting a time machine - I can LISTEN to books at lunch while I walk. Or sit at my desk and watch the pilot for Chuck. I've seen more TV and watched more movies in the past month than in the past 5 years, I think.

It's like the most amazing marketing tool EVER!


(and wonderful...I'll never go back, but OY! Who knew??)

Monday, April 20, 2009


This year has easily provided the most self-loathing opportunities of my life. Every failed relationship, every person who saw me at my worst, every person who knows things about me I wish weren't true, THOSE PEOPLE are now back in my life. Or at least enough of them that some days I think I've been nothing but a terrible person, the regret I feel just seeing their names.
  • The friend from High School I one day couldn't face dealing with anymore because her food issues made me upset - so I stopped talking to her with no explanation?
  • The boy I dated in HS who turned out to be gay AND who stabbed me in the back during a senior year, debate-tournament scholarship competition? (we're not "refriended", but he's friend to many of mine)
  • The friends I never called back? The ones I was disloyal to or too busy for?
  • The roommate I bickered endlessly with?
  • The boy I had a painful crush on?

All there. Every mistake made, careless word said. All. right. there.

Okay. Here's the other side of that. The "half full" part: I've reconnected with a LOT of people whom I have, at one point or another, shared really meaningful, positive experiences, friendship and love with. It's MY issue that the worst parts of those relationships are the ones I focus on, the things I didn't correct and now, 10 or 20 years later, I'm trying to sort-out (in my head or literally) and puzzle back into my self-image of happy-go-lucky kind person. Also? I think I have self-esteem issues.

Moving away from home (my theme, apparently, for this week), I've lost touch with more friends than I wish. Perhaps. And Facebook is like voluntarily returning to a giant reunion which is sometimes amazing, and sometimes absolutely bitter. I think I'm bad at Facebooking. I've used FB to apologize to a couple of people, only to never hear from them again...maybe because I reminded them that my "friendship" isn't what they want. Is this typical, my complex love for and loathing of Facebook? Am I just overly neurotic and self-loathing?

Friday, April 17, 2009

My favorite place...

When I moved to Portland, I bounced around for a while trying to figure this city out. It wasn't like Salt Lake or New York, but sort-of a weird combination:
  • Like New York, one of the first days I was here, I watched a group of junkies (or a diabetics club) shooting up out in the open.
  • People didn't seem to like to walk here.
  • It was DIRTY.

  • Like SLC, the mix of uptight people and punks made me feel at home.
  • There were a lot of independent bookstores and coffee.
  • The scenery was amazing.
Unlike NY, I could afford my apartment. Unlike NY, nobody seemed to be SO intent on being cool, going to the right school or buying the right shoes. Unlike SLC, nobody said anything that invoked God, scriptures or the lord to me without raising an eyebrow to invite me in on the joke. (For a week at least - my first job here was bizarrely populated with Mormons). Unlike SLC, I never just randomly ran into people I knew - EVER. (This is still true). Moving to a new city, even one in the same country, even one sort-of the same size as the one you grew up in, is disorienting. Everything you know isn't the same. All your comfortable places, the sights and behaviors you are used to - all gone. It's exciting, but also...hard to find ways to comfort yourself. Then I found this place:

The Tao of Tea is this amazing, cozy (possibly pretentious) teahouse. Jamie & I had many dates there pre-babies. (And pre-Jamie, I had a preposterous number of first dates there).

They also have the fancy-schmancy-disney version at the local Classical Chinese Gardens, but the main house, the shabby one with too few tables, is my secret Portland-home-away-from-home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Open hearts

My little boy has been figuring out love for a while.

He asks great questions, comes up with amazing hypotheses and takes his experiences to new and unexpected places.

Even after he gets married, for instance, he's still going to come home at night to sleep in the family bed. And I'm still going to help remind him to do his chores, especially when he has too much laundry (HA!).

We recently figured out that I'll probably not be able to help him with "major" bottom wipes, so he's been working on that one, thank the stars, because I had been trying to figure out how to walk into a board meeting and call adult Milo out for a wipe down...

At least one BIG conversation, for me at least, has been about WHO he wants to marry.

At five, just like at four and three, Milo has given his heart and future plans to his friend Devious. Recently, his friends Trouble and Frat-bound have also joined that circle. Together, the four of them intend to buy a house and get married when they are older, like eight or nine or sixty. They'll live together building Legos and pooling their money to buy cool toys and eating chocolate all day.

I couldn't be prouder. Seriously. I know it's time to insert a snarky comment here, like about my future in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Devious and their recent, silly immigrant comments. Or just generally about my son and his boyfriends. But it AMAZES me that he's so intent on building a loving circle around him of people he intends to always care for and about.

The fact that Devious, Trouble and Frat-bound have mocky nicknames doesn't mean I don't adore them for being kind to and beloved by my son.

But this brings me to the bigger, meatier issue: WILL he be able to marry Devious, Trouble, or Stan or Aiden/Jaden/Kaden or any other boy he wants to?

At least twice now, another child has told him that he CANNOT marry another boy. And both times, he's come to me looking very solemn and asking for reassurance that his world is exactly the way he left it - marriage to boys intact.

I don't know who Milo is going to grow up into.

I hope all the fine things I see in him now - his sense of honor, of gentleness, his analytic and engineering prowess, his artistry, his humor, his love of words - grow into gifts of mind and spirit that bolster him and keep his life beautiful and meaningful.

And I hope that his capacity to love and embrace his friends and remain loyal to them only increases.

He may, like many boys, discover that girls DON'T have cooties. And he may take any number of paths toward adulthood, toward love both romantic and sexual that continue to shape and alter him over the years.

Whomever he loves, though, what I hate, what I DESPISE, is how at some point I have to help him recognize that there is a world of people out there opposed to love the way he sees it today.

Jamie and I have told him, every time he asks, that even though WE are a man and a woman, many families have two dads, two moms, one mom or dad or other combinations - and we point to the families we know like that. And every time he asks about how he can be a dad (which he very much wants), we've pointed to all the people we know who are adopted - like his mom - and found a home and a family created by love rather than by biology.

It may be that we've given him seeds he doesn't need. That he'll fall in love with a girl or four and never need to worry personally about the people in this world who don't want love and commitment to be about love but instead about conformity and gender.

I don't get those people. I'm mad at them. At the ones I know (hi, Mormon nephew who posts anti-gay-marriage-Facebook links) and at all the ones I don't (hello 51% of California voters).

My little boy is growing up in a world that I just want to shake by the shoulders and point out how VITAL love is. I want Milo to perceive his world as loving, embracing and beautiful. Not hating. Not angry. Not biased or prejudiced or small.

So today, I want to say "Thank you, Iowa and Vermont. Thank you, Massachusetts. And FIGURE IT OUT, everywhere else."

My boy is five. I'm 39. And I expect to dance at his wedding.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

He's home!

And doing great...omg, bejebemusbums and all that is sacred, amen and hallelujah!!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The day after

Jamie made it through his surgery FABULOUSLY!! He's a champ and a warrior and a hero and all things strong and mighty. Also? Very very high on hospital drugs. Also...PHEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW! Jebus-gawd the relief!!!!!! Here's what happened yesterday:



Discovering he'll need respiratory help the rest of his evil life...

It was easy to convince him to put on the helmet...because? High on drugs.

Also, he won't remember this until I post it as his Facebook profile. Did I mention? High. On. Drugs. Thank gah for those, however, because they wear off too quickly and he's in a tremendous ammout of pain until they get him his next dose.

It's been a rough (and long waiting/stress-monkey) road to get here. Today. To the other side of all things heart-full.

He'll be out of critical care soon. And home maybe early next week.

You know, I discovered today that I have no filters left as I was vaguely describing his incisions and "artery harvest" to a co-worker and she turned green and backed slowly away from me.

I think I might need some recuperation time when all is said and done to regain some lost people skills.

Thanks again to you, blog friends, for all the love and support!