Saturday, September 5, 2015

Labor Days

You are likely currently submerged at least partially in water, your backside weighed down by the sog of a swim diaper.  Your sister is likely saying "Daddy, Daddy, watch this" somewhere relatively nearby, then jumping off a ledge into deeper water or dog paddling as long as she can before, gasping, she needs to stand.  You are at the Y with Daddy and Mommy is at the cafe so that Mommy doesn't kill any of her offspring. 

Today is Saturday of the longest weekend of the year.  Everything feels bloated and pregnant.  It's 85 degrees outside but feels like 92 because of the humidity.  Your father and Thiz spent the morning at the fair, eating chocolate chip cookies by the handful and cotton candy spun into frothy wigs; cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches.  Right after they convinced Monarchs to land on their arms in the butterfly house they let themselves be swung through the air on "jets" at the end of greasy, metal poles.  I don't like the fair because I can feel it from here: that press of bodies, the sweat of grease on wrappers, grease on foreheads, children writhing in strollers, lethargic animals below huge, churning fans, the fevered excitement and noise; people sitting on curbs eating fried things on sticks; rows of shining green farming equipment on matted grass; teenagers trying to keep their makeup on in the heat; carts where people stand over frothing vats of oil.  And that strange sense of urgency that wherever you are you are missing something far more interesting somewhere else.

I stayed home with you instead.  You woke at 5:15am.  We read Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin, we ate yogurt and honey-os and strawberries and bananas with peanut butter and raisins balanced JUST SO.  We went to the Y and I found you at the end of an hour, happily tracing the path of a car on a road inscribed into the carpet.  We went to the cafe and looked at "Cars and Trucks and Things that Go" and ate noodles and applesauce for lunch.  You slept for an hour.  "I'm awake, mom!  Come and get me!  I'm awake now!"  You "baked" muffins and I thumbed through a J. Jill catalog.

It has been a long two weeks of transition events.  Thisbe's last day of daycare.  Thisbe's birthday party.  A "special birthday" trip to the indoor water park with Thisbe.  Agnes and Greg's pre-wedding party.  Agnes and Greg's wedding.  A trip to the cabin.  Your first day of daycare.  Our first day of Olaf events.  Thisbe's Ready, Set, Go day at school.  Big moments.  Everything ratcheted up.  Everything meaningful.

School begins on Tuesday.  Thisbe will show up to the bus stop sometime before 8:01am with her owl backpack (featuring wings that flap if you squeeze a tiny pump on the strap) and dressed in an outfit that has yet to be determined.  We'll (likely) bike furiously behind the bus in an attempt to see her climb down those extra large steps and orient herself on the playground.  Then Miss Malecha, part kindergarten teacher, part Disney princess, will call the class toward her (I am imagining mother hen and flailing chicks) and Thisbe will enter a building and begin a new part of her life.  I've seen her name on masking tape below a cubby, seen her name stenciled in purple on the top of a "desk" (one third of a hexagonal table), I've seen the wide open space of the library, and the nondescript cafeteria but it feels like a space that will be hers, that I will never quite reside in or know the way I knew Northfield Daycare.  Though perhaps that will change.

We've tried to stock the rest of the weekend with as many activities as we can--playdates and pickling parties, church and BBQs and visits from Gak--but the time between now and Tuesday still feels immense.  I am rabid for a routine, rabid for your sister to be challenged, for something to finally exhaust her. 

On Sunday evening the weather is supposed to break.  Next week the temperatures look cooler, less humid, more livable. 

Today is that moment in a pregnancy when you are ready to meet the baby but someone says to you, a little knowingly and a little condescendingly, enjoy these last few moments of being pregnant.  Trust me, enjoy them.  And you want to punch that person in the face because that person does not currently feel like she has a wet bag of sand hanging between her legs, waiting to fall out.

But then the baby comes and you wish you had been able to find a way to do that better.  To be present fully in your world right before it shifts. 

 So for the next 48 hours I'll aim for presence--but I'm awarding myself an extra glass of wine if I make it through bedtime without cursing, crying, or committing myself.