Posts Tagged ‘unexpected’

Love Life

18 November 2010

Dear J-

So, best laid plans and all that:  figgy broke with a little diarrhea this morning, which immediately disqualified her from daycare, and thus we ended up making an emergency shopping trip to Target for some toys to keep her busy today.  And the winner of that particular derby was not the snap-together beads nor the spiny blocks.  Nope — it was the cheap markers and Hello Kitty notebooks we picked up from the dollar aisle that held her attention best, better than a new brother, better than grandma and grandpa, better than TV.  Well, not better than TV.

The big news of the day is therefore Calcifer, who weighs in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 inches long.  There were times today I wanted to divide myself in two; you’re only allowed one other person in the operating room besides the mom, and so I had to abandon figgy to her grandparents for the half hour or so it took to perform the birth rituals:  no slapping bottoms, but cord cutting, putting the baby on mom’s chest, etc.  Even now I’m stuck thinking I should be back in the hospital, helping out but I suppose that being with figgy is what I (and she) needs.  The memories from three and a half years ago kept flooding back, from the deep newborn outrage to what I think were the same nurses telling the same jokes.  There are some advantages to being consistent:  I remembered everything I really needed to, but with the added wrinkle of having figgy along, everything was new again.

We hadn’t planned on having figgy around during the birth — pick her up a little early from daycare and go see mom and brother perhaps — but it worked out perfectly as I thought it might in the end:  the process is a little less mystifying, and she’s comfortable with the hospital, more or less, making free with the nurses and taking outrageous advantage of her innocent looks.  It’s better this way even though it’s been the longest day, filled with worry and anticipation, struggle and chaos, but mostly life and love.

Mike

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Family Meal

17 March 2010

Dear J-

Every few days we’ve been able to eat dinner as a family around the table; strange as it seems now, it hasn’t been something we do on a regular basis. Both theVet and I grew up in families with long hours and when we shared meals together, it was often balancing plates on the arm of the couch while the TV provided background distraction, at some late hour of the night. My mom used to come home from work between 6:30 and 7, so there was a lot of Jeopardy! and syndicated sitcoms on our diet. We had a table in the room where I used to do my homework; it would be interrupted by dinner and the attendant good smells coming in from the kitchen telling me it was time to pack up and put newspaper down over everything; as an old restaurant table, it was used to kids and food duty.

It’s strange to be able to sit down as a family unit, then; it’s not a background that we’re famililar with (although now that all of our parents are retired, whenever we visit is full-on family mealtime), and consequently we’re not great at it, bringing all kinds of distractions to the table (books, electronics, newspapers). The idea of a formal dinner party, say, is right out, though we may yet be able to demonstrate some semblance of normal before figgy is five.

One of the greetings in Chinese is whether or not you’ve eaten; food is something that’s paramount in our lives. The advice is to eat slowly so that you feel full faster, but these are written by people who have never been to restaurateurs’ banquets. We went to a few, all held late at night (after business hours, which are generally long for a restaurant) featuring and endless parade of dishes: chefs flexing their muscles and showing off dishes that don’t make the menu. It’s how I feel about family dinners: unexpectedly cosy, meals with focus and showcasing our talents.

Mike