Ah hello there dear friends. I have been suffering a severe case of January-itis that has left me feeling sad, lethargic, anxious and generally morose as soon as the alarm goes off each morning at pitch-black thirty.
But today: the little bug Margaux and I are sharing seems readily controlled by Tylenol, the sun is shining, and the temperature promises to break 40 degrees, which makes me want to blubber tears of pure joy.
I don't know when I became so affected by the weather (although I suppose my whacky hormones might contribute a bit to the shenanigans). I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where the term "sunbreak" was coined. When I lived in New York, I trudged through the city streets with alacrity through Nor'easters, snow storms and all kinds of awful muck (in high heels, no less, because I could not abide the sneakers/skirt commuter look).
But maybe since I've had kids, or maybe since we've lived here (I can still hear a friend, a native Tulsan, intoning when we told him we were moving here: "Say goodbye to temperate weather," a phrase I promptly poo-pooed but which has haunted my brain ever since), both the extremes of summer and winter make me wring my hands in despair like a little old lady.
It's fairly pathetic, really.
Too, the past many winters have corresponded with the middle, boring part of pregnancy. A boring pregnancy, of course, is a wonderful thing; I don't think anyone yearns for an "exciting" pregnancy. But the mid-pregnancy blahs, coupled with the mid-winter blahs, make me snappish, grumpy, and unable to handle the little things with any sort of resigned cheerfulness.
|The only picture I've managed recently: waiting at bassoon lessons|
And the FOOD! Back when I had three little boys, I usually could get by with one large grocery store on the weekend. A few years later, I had to add in a mid-week run for things that disappeared quickly, like fresh produce. Or chocolate. And now? It seems like I am at a grocery store every.single.day because we've run out of something. And I have at least 5 grocery stores in the rotation: one store has the best toast, the other the best produce, the other the best whip cream (this is very, very important) and deli meats, the other my special French Vanilla "coffee," the other the Sriracha mayonnaise that is helping me survive this pregnancy (which is why, perhaps, I've gained 20 pounds and the baby supposedly weighs 13 ounces). It's like I'm a Frenchwoman who goes to the farmers' market every day, without the charm, the farm, and the French. And with a big big van.
|Where did she come from?|
But of course all the little things and problems are, in the long run, more than offset by all the daily victories, the daily laughs, the daily jokes, the very loud and hazardous games of indoor tag, and the milestones. There is this one who finally got the project turned in, and while no one will think Mama did it (a point of pride in this family: homework is done by children. I am not sure all the parents in our school district always agree), it is a lovely piece of work. This one's fever is gone, and she is back to chatting up a storm about carnival rides and French toast. This one looks so very PRETTY in her ballet tutu. This one scored 5 goals last night. So much to keep track of, but so many joys, big and little.
Many many years ago, the partners of the accounting firm I was working for hosted a progressive dinner at their houses for all the newly promoted tax managers. We got a limo, and there were probably 8 of us managers packed in, drinking champagne; there was flirting; we were young and on fire, and we were having a ball. Each partners' house seemed to get bigger and grander than the home before. Finally we got to the last house. It was a brand new house presiding atop the West Hills in Portland. We could see all of Portland glinting below, the river and the mountains beyond that. The house was immaculate, I remember the beautiful virgin wood floors shining like mirrors (in fact, the partner was so obsessed with her floors that she had emailed me specifically to chose my footwear carefully, knowing my penchant for obnoxious heels). And I kept looking at those floors, knowing I would never have a house like this; I didn't have the fire, the stomach for all the work needed to make partner. And I missed my two little baby boys - and PVT - at home. And right then I had a thought that I think has given me the courage to have "just one more," to discard the stern warnings of doctors who mutter darkly about "advanced maternal age:" my children are my wealth.
Well, that and health insurance.
That's probably enough mush for one post. And my "wealth" wants me to come play some weird game with my shoes and a blanket. Here's to the occasional warm winter day and healthy kids!