Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Night Train

I am, once again, on the Amtrak headed home to the city. It is night, and the baby is asleep against me, his head lolling, his mouth hanging open, his hands splayed helplessly, his hair spiked with sleep-sweat. His skin glows pale in the ever-so-slightly lurid flourescent light, his cheeks and lips cherry-pink. He is 18 months old today and still a nursling; despite his regular consumption of people-food, his staple is still breastmilk and he still breathes milk-breath - a peculiar sweet yogurty smell that I am sure any mother could recognize at twenty paces.

He sighs and shifts in my arms. He has no idea that we are hurtling through the night at some unconscionable number of miles per hour, no idea that when he wakes up, he will be somewhere else altogether, somewhere nothing like the place where he was when he fell asleep. Looking down into face, I am momentarily befuddled by the magnitude of my responsibility - I am the one responsible for safely conveying this small, clammy, yogurt-breathing being from place to place and for being sure that he is properly fed, cleaned, and clothed on the way. It seems almost bizarre that the universe would leave this to chance, that something somewhere in the inner workings of time and space thought that this was a pretty good idea: "Yeah, an' we're gonna make each an' ev'ry one of 'em helpless so it can't do nuthin' for a really lowwng time so this one lady she gotta be sure it's OK an' alive an' so on an' so fort'." (Why do the inner workings of time and space speak with a New York accent, you ask? Listen, I don't have all the answers. I'm just a conduit here, OK?)

The days move faster now, nothing like those early baby days when an afternoon could stretch for years. There seems to be (perhaps fortunately for my long-suffering readers) a great deal less time to moon about and think maudlin thoughts about my baby. It is a blessing, then, to have time, on the quiet night train, to gaze into his flushed sleeping face and to feel the full force of motherhood.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Email from the Deep

Dear [fellow-mommy friend who I have not seen since May despite the fact that we live only 20 minutes apart by city bus, or "municipal chariot" as she once put it],

Argh. I just came back from 5 days in Arizona with the in-laws and am now off for 5-6 days to Virginia with the parents, after which I will be going to M's house in Connecticut for the holiday weekend. Holy shit. There's a wedding in VA, and then I tacked the AZ trip on right before so as to not have to take too much time off doula-ing, and then the there's the holiday weekend right after, and if I don't run to CT then, I won't be able to go ever ever again because I'm on call for the rest of the summer and that means the baby wouldn't be able to go swimming in the Lake with M's niece so you see I'm insane.

On the up side, today is the last day for me at school. A total anticlimax, but I don't even have the time to think about it. And forget writing about it. What is that you say? That I used to be a writer? Horseshit. I don't believe you. Couldn't be.

I am dying to get together. After the holiday weekend, OK? My schedule is still crazy after that with the store and doula crap, but at least school is out of the mix...

I don't know what I'm doing anymore. Seems like every decision I make is completely foolhardy and ruinous. Oh god, did I really say that? ARGH!!!

Anyhoo, baby much bigger but not much more talkative. Says "JEWWWWW!" meaning Joe the dog. Insists that I clip Joe's leash on and takes Joe for walks around the house. For whatever bizarro reason, I couldn't organize myself to put trainer OR diaper on him last night, and he peed the bed twice. Once on himself, once on his papa. But not on me! Ha, it's the small victories, right?

Did you see the New Yorker piece on people writing about parenting? Hardly flattering to a (former?) mommy blogger such as myself, but true enough.

I have begun to get really into wrapping and am afraid that I have a wrap collection coming on. Just what our household needs. More redundant crap. Please borrow one some time so I can feel useful.

God I miss you!

Love, [increasingly befuddled Traveller]