Posts Tagged ‘two’

Art Show

20 October 2011

Dear J-

This Sunday theVet’s dad is having some sort of exhibit up in the Los Angeles area: clearly details are vague at the moment but it’s either in the Whitney or Whittier, and given that the Whitney is in New York City I sort of doubt that it’s there. We missed the first big exhibition and despite the unlikely-to-be-kid-friendly atmosphere and timing (Sunday, 5PM) I told her that we should probably go as I’ve noticed the relationship between daughter and mother notably fracture over the past four or five years. Low expectations on both sides become a self-fulfilling prophecy and neither one seems to be willing to make an effort to reach across the gap.

One of the things I didn’t realize about theVet when we got married was that she wasn’t really planning on having any kids, a decision borne out of fear she’d turn out just like her parents did. It may be too early to tell but she’s already gotten past the first milestone in my mind, not completely losing it with two kids in the house. There are times like last night when it becomes completely overwhelming but with support from others we’re getting through the relative madness that is the after-dinner scramble in San Diego: bath, brush teeth, storeis, songs, and more stories before figgy will go to bed, and wrestling Calcifer into long pajamas for the cool nights ahead.

I wonder what life must have been like for theVet’s parents in 1976: two kids, recent immigrants in Memphis both working full-time with no network to lean on, probably no infant care to speak of and so they make the wrenching decision to send their younger daughter to Korea for two years. I think about how much figgy has changed between eighteen months and four yearsr and wonder that they’d willingly give that up with theVet, and I wonder if that’s not a contributing cause to her distance to her parents. How difficult was that decision? Could we give up Calcifer in seven months and not see him until he was a little boy stranger in our midst? What circumstances led them to that?



Two Minutes

23 January 2011

Dear J-

Today is a tale of two moments. There are many candidates for defining times or characteristics, from the heat and light of the afternoon contrasted to the chill dark evening that reminds us that winter still has some tricks up its sleeve. There are boys and girls two of each in our family. There is time spent and time wasted, there is money left untouched and spent on entertainment, there are teams I root for and those I root against. But today hinges on two moments and I hope you’ll indulge me.

The first came at Sea World. With a sleepy and increasingly cantankerous figgy in tow after lunch I wanted to hit one last exhibit — the sharks, where you walk through the tops of tanks until you hit the basement and then go through clear tunnels and the sharks glider by overhead. I hadn’t been by in a while and I also had packed photographically light, just a wide angle lens that would have translated the tunnels into a striking place. Since figgy had already decided to go we complied instead and I’ll see the sharks again later. You say that we’ve capitulated to a three year old and I say we’re finally making a push.

The second moment came as I was reading books to her. As she always does, other pursuits kept her interested and me occupied as the myth of the family spending quiet book sharing moments together will fracture irreparably. But I figure that enough is enough and want nothing more than to be discharged of sleep patrol. With every minute bringing fresh distractions I snap and books go flying as I storm out, having only gotten ten pages or so into the story. I don’t go back until she’s very nearly asleep but she whispers softly to me, eyes closed, “Sorry you got mad.”

If you read about new year resolutions and procrastinators you know that it comes down to just doing it, not talking about intending to start. Public resolutions are the worst because you keep them up in an attempt to avoid shame. Today is a story of two moments, and lessons learned as who I want to be wars with who I am.