This post is a departure from my normal shit. Sometimes I need to get serious. Curses have been kept to a minimum (don’t worry, I will still find a way to insert them). Oh and hoo hoo = vagina. Enjoy.
When our son, Nico, was born, John’s best friend, Craig, and his family bought Nico several gifts the day we returned home from the hospital. One of those gifts was a beautiful, plush blue dog blanket that looked so lush I wanted to rub it against my own cheek and fall asleep. What can I say? I was tired. Pushing a baby out of your hoo hoo can be exhausting.
I thought it would be bad form to steal one of Nico’s first gifts, especially since he was only three days old. Let him develop his motor skills first, I reasoned, so he at least has a fighting chance of defending his belongings.
This is an old post, but I thought of it last night as I was in bed, bathed in darkness, right before my eyes closed.
Let’s make a law that gay people can have birthdays, but straight people get more cake – you know, to send the right message to kids. - Bill Maher
He also likes to wear his sister’s plastic high heel shoes around the house and will carry her purse all sassy-like on his right shoulder.
As we get ready for dinner and we ask him which cup he wants, it’s always the purple one.
With flowers on it.
The other day our amazing Au Pair, Heather, went to pick up Nico from school. She was wearing this pink sweater with Red hearts on it. Here is what it looks like.
The first thing out of Nico’s mouth when he saw Heather was, “Heather, I love your sweater. I just love it!” He brought his hands to his cheeks to express his enthusiasm as well.
Over the past few weeks, I wrote a few posts about my family. I pondered what boundaries to maintain since I felt like I had a right to tell these stories, because they did explain a lot about the dynamics that affected my life. That still make me who I am today.
But life doesn’t work that way, at least not for now. I think I hurt a lot of people in my family, more than I realized I could or ever would and so I have pulled down those posts. I love them more than I love this blog or even my love of writing. I haven’t yet picked up the phone to say I’m sorry, mainly because I think they’re all still upset with me and I can be a coward like that. But I am sorry and will find the balls (Has anyone seen my balls? Anybody? Bueller?) to call them soon.
For example, instead of gaining weight, I lost it. The day she was delivered, I actually weighed less than I weigh today.
I fainted frequently. Once on a plane going to a business conference. They almost landed the plane for me because they thought I needed immediate medical attention. I assured them that they didn’t need to, so they booted out the people sitting in my row so I could lie down. Little kids would come up to me and poke me to make sure I wasn’t dead.
I couldn’t walk straight for months and without pain. I heard about things like – ok – this is embarrassing – hemorrhoids - and stuff – but I mean, this was ridiculous. I could have sat in a vat of Preparation H and I would still have been miserable.
If you came to this post thinking it is a review for the Britney Spears movie which goes by the same name as this post, you probably shouldn’t read this. And you should get Netflix or something.
When you are married or with a person for a long time, it’s possible to ignore certain faults. Certain weaknesses. We tiptoe around them initially, maybe laugh at them together when the time is right, roll our eyes later.
Ok – maybe we don’t ignore them.
We tolerate them.
For example, John tries not to notice when I wear my pajamas all day. This doesn’t happen every day. Just the majority of days. I work from home a lot and it’s just convenient. Sometimes, before he comes home from work, I will run up and take my shower and change into jeans and a new shirt. But I think he knows.
Look at that picture. What a happy family, right? All smiling and dressed in coordinated denim for this little photo shoot. Might even want to make you gag a little.
But the picture is one dimensional and it doesn’t tell you our story. So let me tell you just a teeny part of ours.
Before we had kids, John and I had a lot of time for each other. We both had challenging careers. Confession: I think I always say I have a challenging career, even at times when it isn’t all that bad for the simple reason that it makes me feel important. We would go to the gym together, we’d be current on episodes of our favorite shows, we’d watch movies and go on dinner dates with friends.
On Sunday night I had dinner with some of my closest friends. They are the kind of friends I don’t talk to everyday or see all the time but when we do see each other, we can talk about anything and everything. I think for the most part, we do a really good job of being there for each other. Not being too “judgey.” And when you have been friends for as long as we have and know as much as we do about each other, it’s easy to be “judgey.” But to our credit, we work on focusing on each other, giving of ourselves what we can.
Minimal judgement. Refreshing, right?
And I love them a lot, not because of how amazing they each individually are, but also because of the way they love me, forgiving me for my many faults. One of which is that I am really, really bad about returning their calls.
It’s a greeting used very commonly by Indians and, for those of you who have ever been to a yoga class, its most likely something you are familiar with.
At the end of a yoga class, before you walk out the door, the teacher will usually lift their hands together, clasp them and slightly lower their head and say “Namaste.”
This simple gesture where the forehead meets the tips of your fingers in your gently clasped hands is one of the most beautiful salutations that can be made to a person.
“Namaste,” the class will respond before rolling up their mats and going on their way – to run back into their cars, grab the kids from daycare, make that run to Starbucks.
What is lost in that exchange is the absolute beauty of the word.
Translated from ancient Sanskrit, the word roughly translates to: