Friday, September 9, 2011

The Second Day

My house is so very quiet. The only noises are the occasional clink of the dog's collar tags as he gets more comfortable on the couch and the whooshing wave sounds coming from o's monitor while he naps. And the tickety-tick of my fingers, typing.

He barely looked back today, E. As a matter of fact we walked in and he already knew everything he was supposed to do. Where his outside shoes go, how to put on the inside ones. What his cubby symbol is (the sun) and where to find it. He remembered his teacher's name. He started playing and didn't even care if I was there. When I left he just asked, "why do you have to go home?"

"Because O needs a nap, and you have lots of work to do here. You have lots of playing to do."

"OK. Bye." Back to the trucks he went without barely a glance at me. I made him come back and give me a hug and kiss, but, truth be told, it was more for me.

He is happy. As I sat and watched him play, and interact, and begin to learn the rhythms of the day, I kept thinking that I wanted him to just be happy. And feel safe. And, most importantly, loved. I want others to love him as I do. Til now he's been only with people who love him just because. Because he is ours and he is wonderful and he makes us laugh and sometimes pull at our hair, but mostly because he is him. But every parent feels that, or at least I believe they do. And every parent wants their child to be loved that way by everyone.

He has a place, now, that is apart from me, a separate experience from us, his family. A world that includes him and his friends and teachers and I am not there. That is both unnerving and yet so amazing. His school is everything I want for him--and, quite honestly, if they can get him to eat millet with soy sauce and olive oil, it's worth every penny. When I picked him up on the first day all the children, from his room and the toddler room, were outside with the teachers. Planting pachysandra, harvesting vegetables from the garden, riding tricycles, digging in the sand, rolling tree stumps, playing in the little house. It was a little glimpse of utopia.

E was climbing on a jungley-gym thingy; really a pole with loops sticking out to climb on. He was higher than I let him be when we're on the playground. And he was wearing slippery rain boots. And he was going up and down and up and down, and not holding on quite as tightly as I'd like.

He was having fun and not falling.

He looked over at me and beamed and yelled, "Hi Mom! Look at ME!"

You know this preschool thing is just as much for me as it is for him, right?

So as I sit here in my quiet house, I am trying not to freak out over all the minutiae that needs to get done. I mean, it's the workaday regular old minutiae that always threatens to swallow me whole. It will get done. I am trying to just sit and enjoy this silence. Finally get these thoughts out of my head and written here.

Today is O's 10 month birthday. I started thinking about ordering invites for his first birthday party. Well, I at least put it on my to-do list. One whole year, almost--I know, we're not there yet, but Type-A over here needs to make some plans. When I think about how stressed, anxious, and miserable I was during my pregnancy with O, it amazes me to watch this child, who is the happiest, mellowest, chillest dude on the planet.

Today marks 20 months without Calla. Which is edging ever closer to two years. Which puts her that much farther away from me. I've been wondering, lately, just what I'd do with a girl. I mean, I'm hip-deep in boy land over here. O's wearing all E's old clothes these days, which makes me feel like I'm actually MAKING money on all that spending I've done over these three years.  But with a girl? I mean, I'm all for gender-neutral clothing, but no way girlfriend wouldn't be rocking at least a little bit of froufy pink, right? Someone along the way would have gifted something princess-y and sparkly, diametrically opposed to our truck-festooned sartorial choices we currently are sporting 24/7.

Sigh. If I stop and think too hard about these past 20 months my brain really starts to feel like it will explode.  He is here, she is not. Forever and ever amen. I love my baby boy so much I can hardly stand myself. But I love her too. I still don't get it.


  1. I still don't get it either. I think I still talk about it because it seems impossible that this happened to us. The baby died.

    This is such a beautiful post. And I get it because of the same reasons. Beezus' second day...third, fourth. I hope he loves school. And I hope you are easing into this transition. Much love.

  2. Yeah, my brain might just explode if I try and make sense of the past three years. I hear you, girl.

  3. This was such a beautiful post. Good writing brings me so much calm, like being on the open road or up in the moutains. "he is him." Love that line.

    Stella started in her own little preschool utopia today too, and never looked back just like E. The gardens, fruit trees, animals, composting and a teacher who thinks kids learn best by playing made my heart happy. For us and for her. And I want her to be loved too. I could feel so much of this post and I'm so grateful you shared it.

    Thinking of Calla today and what kind of pink she might be wearing. Stella wore her pink dress again today and I thought of you and your Calla and what should have been.

    Love from LA,


  4. I don't get it either. Just tonight my husband said but If she were here he wouldn't be. I can't fathom that. I just want them all.