Friday, January 25, 2013

to me

happy birthday.
to me.

i sat and looked at
a tree.

The power went out this afternoon along with the water, so I took my baby bundle out for a walk in the sort-of-sunshine and he fell asleep. I didn't want to hike back up the five flights of stairs with him sleeping so nicely, so I just parked it on a bench and thought about the scope of my entire life. Isn't that what everyone does when they sit down on a bench in the late afternoon on their 33rd birthday? The scope of their entire life?

I have now known my husband for one third of my days, he informed me over dinner. The older I get, as the ratio of years I have known him to the years I have not grows, the more a blessed woman I become.

Birthdays are of little consequence anymore to me, at least in our family. It is a moment where a few people near and dear step out of time and place to share their love and invoke a memory or two. But there are so many other days throughout the year where I am given gifts I don't deserve and that flow from my husband's heart so freely, that if this day trickles by with just a seat on a bench and a few rays of sunlight on my baby boy's cheeks, I don't mind at all. 

We did try to go out. There was babysitting lined up and I prepared milk and meals and rushed out the door forgetting to dab on the lipstick. The power was out in the neighborhood though so we didn't go far. We walked to the blind masseuse but they were backed up, so we made our small talk and then sauntered out. We settled on... chinese food and walked in and out of several restaurants and finally landed at a pathetic little place where he pulled out a card from his pocket that said the perfect thing. Because only one thing matters and when you have it, it's enough. More than enough. 

And what of anything do we have that has not been given? It was a happy birthday, to me anyways.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bits II

*My baby has been sick for several days, and it was starting to get the better of me. I don't know what to do with that boy when he doesn't give me a smile all day long, and no amount of holding him will stop the crying. This morning though, we struck gold with a nap that whiled the day away and after that he started to resemble his old self. Thank goodness for recovery; from addiction and cancer and all that kind of thing of course but mostly today just from the sick baby blues.

*If I didn't know better, I might have been living anywhere today, my interactions with the world were so limited. It would have had to be somewhere highly pollutable, so not Bora Bora or Montana or anything like that, because the heavy grey sky is a hard reality to get away from. There is this massive surge of pollution particle awareness going on in the social networks that is either incredibly helpful (for those that can either move away from their polluted situation, or take serious political action against their governments, or are do it yourself scientists that can devise their own facemasks) or just plain depressing. I don't want to bury my head in the sand (but it's being buried in particles anyway, so do I even have a choice?) but I don't fall into any of the three categories listed above so what do I do? I'm seriously asking. So if you have any suggestions for how to safely survive ridiculously out of control, hazardous levels of pollution please let me know. Also, world peace while you're at it. And how to raise perfect children.

*Before bed, Scout the Intrepid was moaning about a large bruise on her leg. A brother piped up from the top bunk that he had bruises before. Three of them. All in the same spot. His knee. Only three, I asked? Of course. Three, all on the knee. And he remembered when they happened too. One in Qingdao, one in America, and the other he forgot. How could he forget, I wondered? Clearly, bruises make their mark and any six year old worth his stuff knows when and where and how they happened. It's cake. Three bruises, all on the knee.

*I have a knitting situation. The first part is: I haven't been knitting in awhile. Somehow the past year got the better of me and I went into a knitting slump. So there is this red sweater that I started 364 days ago and it still needs sleeves. Josey keeps asking me about it. She's sort of like a Knitting Holy Spirit, just like I used to feel like a Knitting Evangelist. I'm not sure if that's bordering on sacrilege but I hope it's not because it describes the situation pretty well. Anyway, the slump happened, I want to come out of it, the Knitting Spirit is there prodding me, and so I'm trying to respond. It sort of worked this past week. I am enjoying it again and have nearly finished a sleeve.
The second part of the situation is: the 364 day sweater may end up a few inches shy on one sleeve. I'm running out of yarn. How dumb is that? There is probably a rule about this in every knitting book ever written. I don't want to think about it. I just keep knitting, hoping more yarn will materialize like the oil in that one woman's jars.

*I have decided that I'm pretty much 100 percent sure I don't deserve my husband.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


*Everyone is back at school now, except for me and the Little Guy. We only have four weeks of classes and then another 2 week break. This seems crazy and outlandish to me. 2 more weeks off!? It happens that way because of fairness, I guess. We are an international school which means many of our students and teachers travel over the Christmas Holiday. But then the other half of our staff and some of our students are Chinese, and for them Chinese New Year is the all important holiday to go home and see family. I'm not complaining because it's pretty awesome. But it also feels a little like I drank too much Mountain Dew in one sitting (I did that once, and now I don't like Mountain Dew).

*I am reading Peter Hessler's Oracle Bones: a Journey Between China's Past and Present. My husband has long loved and read all his books, but for some reason I have never got around to it. Now I am hooked. He is fascinating to me: dropped into a remote village for 2 years of peace corps work teaching English, became fluent in the language, lived and wrote in China for 10+ years. I want to be him in another life. 

*I dreamed a dream... watched the previews for Les Miserables on youtube, and told my Man that they made me cry. He laughed. There was a layer of superiority and mockery there. Then he watched it. 

*I dreamed another dream... that onc day after dinner the ratio of food in our stomachs will be greater than that which is on the floor. 

*My sweet little boy is full of chagrin that his underwear has holes in it. He thinks this is unacceptable. I would buy him new ones but he is also rather attached to the Fruit of the Loom boxer brief style I have always got him from Target in the States. Oh the little things in life that will teach you flexibility.

*I've been missing old friends lately. I love the memories of our days together and the things we grew in, worked through, struggled over, laughed about, rejoiced in. It takes time to build friendships like that and I have had pockets of years in a few different places where a friendship grew. They remain and even though I miss them, I think I still find solace in the gift they were and are.

*Husbands can be friends too. Dear Husband, you are the dearest friend to me. Thanks for always saying nice things about my food and... everything else. I think pretty much every day that you got ripped off but I got a sweeeet deal. You rocked those pants in Insanity tonight.