Thursday, June 29, 2017

"One day son, this will all be yours."

130 Weeks

"Once you've established your plan and we can see that it's working, then I'll feel comfortable charging you," said the nicest smartest money lady in upstate New York.

After Ren was only a few weeks old, I called a highly respected, local financial planner referred to me by a friend. We've met with her four times now and have accomplished maybe ten-percent of the advice she's given us each time... because we forget... each time. It's kind of like joining a gym every six months just to go through the equipment orientation.

This time, while we admitted we still had not set an attorney appointment, as recommended, to discuss our last will and testament, we were proud to share that we'd finally called to get a new password to the financial website that locked us out after too many log in attempts. Big steps towards our future. Giant.

Ren, we leave you everything.* If you can find where we put it.

*This is probably our actual last will and testament.

Say My Name, Say My Name

129 Weeks

"He's very verbal." We've been hearing this a lot from people who notice word-things that come out of kids.

Ren lives with actors. Someone is always talking. (Especially the dog.) So when you ask Ren if an inanimate friend has a name, he is quick to say one with confidence. From the perspective of toddlers surveyed at exactly our home address, this is common. He's got a stuffed shark named Daca, a finger puppet named Bladdie, and every snowman we've built is Wawa the Snowman. He's a very happy soul.

To me, this is how to do life. I just have to remind myself I'm the one who is supposed to share the rules of the world while also encouraging creativity. Regional language from exactly our home address might confuse the schmadas over at the piffty piff.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Too Much Love

126 Weeks

As a kid, I can remember sometimes being forced into a family hug from someone older and stronger, female. Sort of stuck, knowing I was obligated to fulfill a longing, I'd let her squeeze. And while I sometimes couldn't breathe, it was nice to be needed and sometimes I could just relax into the embrace, tight and safe and all encompassing.

My stepmother always had a hand on me when I was young. My face, my back, my feet. She always gave loving gestures. She still does, with her fingers at the ends of my long hair. Her hugs are always there when I need one. Like little gifts I can open whenever I want.

Motherly female affection, unlike any other relationship, seems to contain physical expressions that are instinctively more meaningful than most. Touching each other is not really something we gage openly unless we are talking about mother figures. It's a common descriptor in casual conversation. "He really shouldn't have belted Janis in the conference room, but, you know, his mother wasn't very affectionate."

I often (or not often enough) credit my stepmother with having taught me to give graciously selfless, unbounded unconditional love. I have always admired her affectionate ways. While I know like many women, she aches and craves that soul-satisfying embrace one can only receive from the small, the furry, the pudgy cheeked naked baby butt into which you'd sink your teeth if it weren't for being hauled away in a straight jacket, she's always careful and respectful not to use people for her own fulfillment. She's very affectionate and opens her arms when people come running, but she doesn't run after them like a misunderstood hug monster. I try to do the same.

At least I thought I did.

On a recent car trip, as I leaned over to kiss Ren (again) he said, "Mommy. Put your whole face in the front seat."

I only bite his butt every couple of days now.

You know you're a mom when...

128 Weeks

I'm a theatre gal, I should know better, and I hail from a culture where you'd rather drown yourself than suffer the shame of having been intentionally rude to someone, anyone, especially innocent children... and, yet, for almost exactly ninety minutes, I let my son stand on my lap in the middle of an audience in order to watch his first live production starring characters he thinks are his friends. I will lay on my deathbed cringing in torture while hearing small echoing voices say, "Mooommmmyyyy. I caaaannnnn'tttt see....."