Archive for February, 2010|Monthly archive page

Guess How Much I Love You

Half-asleep-half-awake-dreaming, I waited patiently for the light to turn yellow so I could safely cross two lanes of traffic.

Yellow came and I eased up on the brake, rolling forward softly. A rocket of light and metal and sound shot by.

Slamming on the brakes, my whole body went rigid and vibrated toenails to split ends, as someone ran the very much red at over 80km/h in the inside lane.

He would have hit, dead-on, the exact spot where my two-year old was sitting, happily humming.

But for the eternity of a second, and automatic caution ingrained even in dreams, unending horror would have begun, at 2 o’clock on a drowsy Sunday afternoon.

Being a parent is the most frightening thing there is.

It is the most frightening thing there is.

My life, if untimely snuffed or unrecognizably altered, I give, freely and gladly, to the gods of chance and happenstance. My son’s? There is no justifying. There is no comprehension. There is no reasoning.

I have faced many things in my life – demons inside and out. Never have I known fear like this. And I have only instinct, peripheral vision, muscle memory, a heart that now without a doubt loves my child all the way to my toes, and every blessed thing to the moon and back to thank.


Much Ado About A Fork

I forgot to pack a fork in my husband’s lunch bag this morning.

“What’s the big deal?” you might ask.
“So he buys a sandwich,” you might scoff.
“You packed a lunch for your husband?” you might gasp.

And in any other sane, reasonable world, I would wholeheartedly agree, and then some.

But for someone who comes home with permanent bruises from hobbling about on crutches all day, not having a fork is a very big deal. Even being able to warm something up in the microwave on his own is a huge, and recent, step forward.

He can’t just go down to the cafeteria. It’s too far a walk.
Even if he could, he can’t carry anything from a shelf to the cash, because he needs both hands to maneouvre.
He could slip a plastic fork into his pocket and bring it back upstairs, to begin the process of heating his frozen lunch, but by the time he manages this 30-minute-minimum roundtrip, he’ll be nauseous from exhaustion.
So, he’ll ask someone to kindly make the trip for him, and sit and stew in a morose mix of guilt and shame while he waits.

All for want of me forgetting this morning, after being asked – and even having a memorable discussion of washable vs. disposable forks and the difficulties therein of washing – to put a fork in his lunchbag.

Yesterday, Dearest had a hot shower for the first time in over 3 months. It turns out that it’s pretty tough to get into a bathtub when you can’t put any weight on one of two legs, and your tub’s too deep to put a chair or any other assisting device into. So, it’s been 98 days of spongebaths. We’ve now reached the 75% weightbearing stage, and so Dearest thought he’d try. There was some terror involved in slipping bathmats and crutches in a confined and densely tiled and wet space, but, he did it! I did a jig, I’ll admit. Over a shower.

We also went out on our first date in over 4 months this past weekend. Whoever would have thought such a mundane activity as a movie with your spouse would be so intensely exciting? Who would have thought I’d be doing about three times as much as when I had a newborn, on about the same amount of sleep? Who would have thought I’d be fighting depression off with my bare hands amidst, and because of, it all?

I’m not trying to be a superwoman. I’m not aiming for perfection. I’m just trying to not lose my job, not drop out of school half a semester away from graduating with the first graduate degree in my family’s history, not cause any further harm to my weekend warrior husband, and raise a very bright, active, challenging and delightful boy. I’m not trying to succeed at anything – I’m just trying, desperately, not to fail at everything.

There are a lot of cracks in my varnish, some fine and beautifully indicating well-earned wear. Some, not so fine. Some, wide enough for a fork to slip through.

Haiku: Overdue

Snow waits – and settles,
Weights of white on grey, brown, black.
Silence creaks, and speaks.


Outside of Costco, my cart weighted down by the modernity, mundanity of life, a frozen pizza box slid off the bottom onto the sidewalk. The lady behind me whisked herself out of the way, and kindly bent down to retrieve it for me as I wrestled with my elephant on wheels.

“Thank you very much”, I said, sighing, shoving the hair off of my face with my mittened hands.
“Don’t want to lose this”, she said, handing me the pizza box, “it’s just too delicious!”
“Whoops -” she pointed to my cart, now rolling itself nigh into traffic.
“Looks like I’m losing everything else too!”, I joked.

She took a second look at me, and said, much too kindly, “Be careful. You don’t want to lose your life.”
“Holding on with both hands!” I laughed, showing her my mittens tightly wrapped about the cart’s handle.

I knew what she really meant. I knew that she knew – she knew. My soul’s on my sleeve these days, and somehow, she just knew.

I watched her walk away, confident, sleek, silvered. Jaunty. Someone who’s been there – and remembers the landscape.

May this all someday be only a memory – the sharp edges smudged, the colours muted.

And me, a seasoned traveller, too.

A Winter Haiku

Today, even the
Bitter cold dresses up as
A criticism.

There’s always gotta be a first time

“It’s been a busy few days, hasn’t it, Bonhomme?”
“And we’ve learned lots of new things, too, haven’t we?”
“Like what?”
“Like, do you remember what you learned with Grandpa Friday morning before you went to daycare?”
“When you were downstairs with Grandpa, and he was busy doing laundry for Momma because he’s so nice?”
“Umm… we don’t touch plugs?”
“That’s right. We don’t touch plugs. Especially with what don’t we touch them with?”
“Uhh… screwdrivers?”
“So, what did we learn about electricity that day? What doesn’t mix with it?”
“Umm, electricity and screwdrivers don’t mix.”
“That’s right.”
“And we learned something else that day too, remember, at daycare?”
“That you use your words, not your hands, when you want space.”
“Yeah, and we don’t push on the stairs.”
“And yesterday, what did we learn then?”
“When we were at our friend’s house.”
“Something about buttons, maybe?”
“Oh yeah! We don’t push those!”
“Yup. So, which buttons don’t we push, Bonhomme?”
“Umm… clocks ones?”
“Yeah, those are good to not push. What else?”
“Mmmm… phones ones?”
“Yeah. And maybe what about the kitchen?”
“Uh… microwaves?”
“Yeah, we don’t push the buttons on the microwaves. We ask for help.”
“And anything else?”
“Ummm, uh…”
“What about the laundry machine?”
“Oh yeah! We don’t touch those.”
“Nope, we don’t.”
“And dryer buttons too.”
“Yeah, those are good to not push too.”
“And we learned a really big thing today, didn’t we, Bonhomme?”
“Do you remember?”
“What don’t we do in the car, then, Love?”
“We don’t open doors.”
“Yeah. That one’s really really bad.”
“And is there a time when it’s really really really bad to open doors in cars?”
“When is it?”
“When we’re on highways. We don’t do it then. Not even a little bit.”
“No, not even a little bit.”
“Grandpa’s going to help us fix that so that it doesn’t ever happen again, isn’t he.”
“Yeah, cause he’s a nice, nice man!”
“Yeah, and he loves you very very much, and nobody wants you falling out of the car.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Well, I’m pretty happy to hear that, Love.”
“Yeah. Was that scary, Mom?”
“Scary doesn’t begin to describe it, Love.”
“Momma, I’m gonna try not to not listen, OK?”
“That’s a deal, Love. A very good deal.”
“Yup! It is!”
“And we learned something at Grandpapa’s house too, didn’t we.”
“About that tall wooden bird in the living room.”
“That the bird doesn’t know how to move out of your way when you squeeze past it, not even when you say excuse me very very nicely.”
“And that sometimes birds have to be glued back together again.”
“So Bonhomme, guess what?”
“You know what tomorrow is?”
“What is it?”
“Tomorrow’s a daycare day!”
“Yay! Yayaya!”

Yeah. Yay. Indeed.