Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aloha. I think.

Greetings from Kauai, my friends.

I remember now what a friend said once - that parents of young children don't go on "vacation." The kids go on vacation. The parents go on a trip.

I am so getting this right now.

We are in one of the world's most gorgeous places and though I've seen a bit of it, it's mostly through the haze of changing swim diapers, applying sunscreen repeatedly, trying to find Sippy cups, and attempting to regulate the amount of sand that enters our condo each day. We may have more inside at this point than outside.

The point is, it's an awful lot of work.

It's also fun. There are moments I know I will forget, or maybe not: sitting on a beach chair with Finn wrapped in a towel, resting quietly on me, still and breathing slowly, his hair still wet from the pool, little blond curls tickling my nose. Watching Reese first be afraid of the water slide at the resort and then today, flying down it, arms in the air, rollercoaster style, her smile electric. Best of all, conquering my own reluctance - my fear, of going down the slide myself, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of not being a good enough swimmer to not appear lame in front of my children - and just doing it. Going down with Reese, then Finn, then by myself, and then repeat. Saying no to them was not an option. How can I teach bravery if I myself am so cowardly? So I fake it. Sometimes it works out better than I expect.

I am amazed at how tired I get. At how much I long to be one of those people actually lounging on a lounge chair, daiquiri in one hand, great book in the other. I want to be on their vacation. I want to have a few hours of floating around these blue waters in my $107 bathing suit; a price for which I'm still surprised doesn't come with liposuction and a tanning booth.

Still, the other day when we were at Lyndgate Beach, a kiddie beach and my kids were pulling me to build sand castles and hold them and dance with them in the water, I met Devyn. A fourteen-year old girl who her grandmother has been bringing to this island all her life. Her grandma told me this might be Devyn's last trip. She's been such a teenager. She doesn't want to do anything with them. She won't get in a bathing suit. She's just sullen with a capital S.

I suppose my daquiri can wait.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Late as usual.

Finnie, my boy.

I wanted to write to you on your 21-month birthday, which was three days ago, and I did try, I promise you. The computer ate it though. So here I am, as I often am, quite late with my sentiments.

For some reason, this milestone of my own making seemed important. You are just exploding right now. Your brain growing before my eyes, your hair blonder, your skin darker, your eyes brighter, your scream louder, your laugh harder. Everything with you is more than ever. You are intense and alive and strong beyond reason; the other day your tantrum took me, and my back, out completely. I am nursing a pulled muscle and what I think might be a mini concussion, if I do diagnose myself. All thanks to the wallop of your very hard head hitting my rapidly softening one, albeit unintentionally.

But then, as you tend toward extremes, your love of letters for instance which fires you constantly, carrying the refrigerator magnets of "B" and "P" around with you like security blankets, you also are so amazingly lovely and loving and kind and empathetic. With a specialty in smiling at me like I am the sun itself. Your smile, one that reveals your molars-to-be, should be used in peace talks. As I nurse my three-Advil headache, it is your smile that cures me.

Tonight when I was putting you down, you made me sing the abc's - twice - and then down you went into your crib, the smooth part of your blanket rubbing against your nose, binky rhythmically keeping time, the other fist with your ball of the moment tightly in hand - a red one with suction cups. It sticks to anything.

I had no idea about having two children. I had no idea what I would do with you. How I would manage. How you would fit into my already full heart. And yet here you are, me having no concept of life before you or without you. Such a wonder, a complete seperate, challenging, exhausting, deliciously strong force in my life. In my heart. Forever.

Finn Patrick, as I often whisper into your ear as a lay you down into your sweet, smooth crib, a mantra, a prayer, a blessing, a thank you: Mama loves you so. Mama loves you so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

From Loca to just plain Lazy.

I've decided to give up working out.

Although, to give up something, you probably need to have actually done it in the first place.

My scattered efforts throughout my adulthood at exercising, sporadic at best, are coming to an end as of this moment. The stress of not working out is really getting to me. To alleviate the pressure, I hereby announce I am no longer going to work out. I am not going to plan on working out. Or think I might someday work out. I'm not going to try to find a new exercise program that I may like. In fact, I'm going to sink into laziness. I'm going to lean into the curves. I'm going to cherish the Pudge. I'm going to embrace lethargy. I'm going to alleviate the stress of not working out from my life. No longer will I walk around feeling guilty that I didn't work out.

Now, I will not feel guilty. I will just feel fat.

Which is not so bad, because since I'm throwing my Two-Babied-Waistline to the wind, I may as well have some ice cream while I'm rolling down the ole Hill of Attractiveness.

That's it for tonite. Time for some mint chip. I'm not even going to walk to the fridge to get it. I might get my heart rate up.