Baby fever……kind of.

Little Miss Jane is finally here and I cannot wait to meet her and kiss her chubby cheeks and play with her chubby feet and bask in the general glory that is new life.

It has dawned on me that the true heroes in this world are mothers. I know my mom is my hero and a lot of my friends would say the same about their moms. Seriously, you bring a life into this world, love it, take care of it, deal with it being a little asshole….all the while thinking it’s the most perfect thing ever. That is some heroic stuff right there.

For the early part of my life I never doubted I would have kids. At least a couple (only children are weird–I can say that, I’m an only child). After some dubious years in my early twenties, I then started wondering if I really wanted kids. I knew that if I wasn’t sure, I shouldn’t have kids. For the ten years since I decided that it would be ok if I didn’t want kids, I vascilated between never wanting kids and wanting nothing more then kids. Yes, it can be exhausting being me.

After a surgery a few years ago that took an ovary and a fallopian tube, I started facing the fact that having a child might be more difficult (although Jane is proof that one ovary is all you need) and I thought more about whether I wanted to have a baby or be a mother. Most people would think that these things go hand in hand, but I disagree. I don’t think that not actually “birthing” a child makes the act of being a mother any less heroic. Plus, I’m single (oh so single), have that one ovary and know that there are lots of kids out there who just want/need to be loved.

I often feel like I have to much love to give, or not enough people to give it to (again, it’s exhausting being me!) and while no one grows up playing “Adoptive Single Mother House”….the idea keeps churning around my head. I mean, there is no way I would think of adopting a child right now….but perhaps in the not too distant future? I’d like to think that I would be willing to adopt an older child, and maybe I would. But if I had my way, I would get a baby. Some new litle person who I could use to prove that nurture can beat out nature from time to time. A little person who knows me as mom, not because I carried them for 9 months inside of me, but because I love them unconditionally and forever.

Of course, I type all of this while really looking forward to having alcholic beverages on a patio this evening, then sleeping a good portion of tomorrow and taking Noodle to the dog park. What am I thinking? I mean really, what kind of fool am I to think that my selfish lifestyle could go away just because I feel like my life will mean nothing if I’m not a mother?

Have I mentioned it’s exhausting being me?

Life is a strange and wonderful thing

Throughout my life I have had many pets. The first one I really remember was Muffin, the big ass tom cat that we didn’t know was a boy when we got him. He hated his name and went out at night and (I imagine) got in fights with the neighborhood cats that would tease him about it. He dropped many a dead bird on my baby yellow gingham bedspread and I knew he loved me. He ran away when the man who would become my Mother’s second husband moved into the house with his cat. Muffin wasn’t one to share.

In what could be thought of as a bookend to that portion of my life was D’arby. He was named after Terrance Trent D’arby and I got him around St. Patrick’s day, so it seemed like a perfect name–my love for my Irish ancestry is always coming up in odd ways. Anyway, I got D’arby when he was a tiny kitten and he was one of the best cats I ever knew. He was very much like a puppy, he followed me around and came when I called, etc…. He got very sick as a kitten and we had to feed him baby food and put him in the freezer for a few minutes at a time to try to get his fever to go down. Yes—the vet TOLD us to put him in the freezer. I had him for about 4 years, from 7th to 11th grade. In many ways, looking back, he was the highlight of this time in my life. Living with my stepfather was less then fun a lot of the time and without airing all sorts of dirty laundry, it was a very bad scene. But I always had D’arby. Well, I had him until my Mother finally left her husband and we moved to a place where we couldn’t have a cat. I don’t remember being sad about this. I don’t remember my emotions during this time much at all. I was numb throughout a lot of it. In survival mode. Using all the energy I had to just make it through. So we gave D’arby to a woman in my mom’s office. Not one of my favorite people, but she would take good care of him, etc… I never saw him again and it was years before I even asked the woman about him. Occasionally she would tell a story or something to my mom and in turn, my mom would tell me. D’arby turned 20 years old a few weeks ago. TWENTY! I can’t imagine him as the old cat that he inevitably had become. He was stuck in my mind as a silly grey and white kitten who was sitting in the freezer and would wake me up by licking my ears. I found out today that D’arby was put to sleep this past weekend. When my mom told me I felt a chill. I hadn’t laid eyes on that cat for 16 years, but he was still mine in my mind and now he was gone. I got home and gave my furry friends extra attention and made them promise, once again, to never get sick or die 🙂 They seemed alright with that.

In keeping this happy train rolling, my Dad visited my grandma today. She is 96 and every day she wakes up is a true miracle. Up until very recently she has been in good health. She can’t keep things straight and doesn’t get around much, but for all intents and purposes, is in fine shape. She never remembers my Dad, which is hard for him and sad for me to hear. She always remembers me though. She will eventually figure out who my Dad is by saying “Oh–you’re Heather’s father!”

Today she was asking how my twins were as well as the twins of my friend Erin. are. Well, I have no children and Erin (while pregnant) isn’t pregnant with twins (that we know of!) She also only met Erin a couple of times, even though I have known her since I was 5, the most recent time being almost 7 years ago at Christmas. However, in the mind of Bernice…there was a whole story line involving Erin, myself and our two sets of twins. Apparently Erin was married to a doctor (which was true the first time she was married, but not now) and I didn’t like him much (eh…also true I guess) but that wasn’t stopping me from visiting her at the hospital (which would TOTALLY be true) It’s these nuggets of clarity in my Grandma’s odd ramblings that kill me. You can almost convince yourself that her mind is almost like it used to be….almost. She has pneumonia right now and truly is not going to be with us much longer (although we’ve been saying this for some time now)

I hate that my children (should I have any) will never know her. Even now, she and I have a special bond. I used to spend all my summers with her on South Padre Island in Texas. We had so much fun it was insane. She always kept my nails painted—something my mom wasn’t so keen on. Christmas 2005 I visited her and noticed her fingernail polish was chipping (I guess people from the local beauty school come and do their hair and nails) and I asked if she wanted me to paint her fingernails for her. Her response, the first coherent thought of the visit was “Only if you’ve gotten better at that then you used to be. There was usually more polish on your fingers then your nails.” My Dad and I died laughing and I think at that moment I decided THAT was how I was going to remember her. That would be my final memory of a woman that played such a huge role in my life. So when I hear the crazy things she says, or the health problems she is having, it’s like they are some other person….and it makes it that much easier.

Um ok–this was kind of a bummer. But I didn’t mean to be. I’d like to think it is a celebration of life and the people and creatures that come in and out of it. These beings that love you unconditionally and make you who you are today. Life’s short, even though it can seem so long. So don’t miss out on things or think there will be another chance….because there might not be. On that note, if anyone wants to join me for lunch next Monday, I will be having corn nuggets in the presence of my redneck crush and he will be mine (as long as he’s working that shift of course 🙂 )

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Seven years ago today I became an official resident of Nashville.  I moved into my little apartment with only a bed, a TV, a stereo, 2,000 CDs, an air mattress and a lawn chair.  It was the scariest and most exciting thing I had ever done.  I had no job.  I knew no one.  I had enough money to live for about 2 months. The first few days were exciting.  The next couple of months were terrible.  Then I started to make friends. I had a job that was paying the bills nicely. I went out more–which is good since my apartment was way more ghetto then I had noticed moving in and the shootings and drug busts seemed to happen in the late evening and were all cleaned up by the time I got home.

I fell madly in love, not with a person, but with my city.  The place I had decided to make my home felt more like my home then any place I had ever lived.  The first time I flew back to L.A. I was almost sick at the thought of leaving.  I remember being at the Cleveland airport waiting for my connecting flight and the gate next to mine was a flight to Nashville and I just wanted to get on it and go home!  I missed my L.A. friends and my mom terribly….but it simply wasn’t home any more.

In the past 7 years I have laughed more and cried more and learned more then in the 26 years before. I have met the most amazing people. I have made the most wonderful friends.  I have stayed in touch with my L.A. friends (something I’m quite proud of!) and have even shown them the wonders of Nashville and they too, have quite a crush on this city of mine. I am still dumbstruck at the natural beauty of this area. 

I  love the creativity that seems to permeate the air. I love the fact that on Sundays, it feels like a very small town, it’s so quiet and slow and lovely. I love the smell right after a big thunderstorm. I love the smell of the air when you cross the state lines (the air in Tennessee is just sweeter…I don’t know why!) I love that I can eat corn nuggets at a meat and three and thai food on the same day. I love sitting in Centennial park and reading. I love seeing indie movies at the Belcourt and drinking fair trade coffee at Fido. I love knowing that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable and that sushi is great fried.  I love to sit on the patio at Jackson’s and drink vodka tonics with my friends AND my dog. I love the country boys in pick-ups and the rocker boys in black. I love popsicles from Las Paletas and sweet potato fries from Bobbie’s Dairy Dip.  I love that I “rescued” all three of my pets…..but I know that they actually rescued me. I love Thirsty Thursday at Greer Stadium. I love being able to hear the cannon when the Titans score a touchdown. I love hearing a song on the radio and know that the artist was at the table next to me the night before. I love being an 8 hour drive away from Chicago. I love being a half hour drive from the middle of nowhere. I love tomatoes in late July and shephard’s pie at Family Wash in late January. I love being able to walk into Corner Bar and have my drink ready for me before I sit down. I love that we now have a Sephora AND multiple places to get good fish tacos. I love pupusas at Las Americas and the accessories at Pangea. Really, the list goes on and on and on……

I can’t believe it’s been 7 years.  Somedays it feels like I just got here and other days it feels like I’ve lived here my whole life.  I’ve had a pretty transient life, but I now know that I have found my home and that is a very re-assuring fact.

My mother=random

Below is a list of the contents of a box I just received from my mother:

1 package Lipton Garlic Butter Rice

1 box Ghiridelli Carmel Turtle brownie mix

1 bag greenies cat treats

1 bag trader joe’s peanut butter dog begging biscuits

1 copy of the latest Armistead Maupin book

The book was the only thing I had requested.  The other items are random little things to fill a box I guess.  What is odd is that I’m almost out of cat treats, need little dog treats to take to the dog park, LOVE garlic butter rice and have been craving brownies.  My mom rocks in ways that even I don’t understand.

My Mom ROCKS!!!!

 

My mom had told me about this wonderful contraption when I was in LA for Mother’s Day, but even The Container Store didn’t have it.

Luckily she found them here  and I received a package containing a pink one and an orange one yesterday.  This is a feat of engineering and us cereal lovers don’t reap the benefits of those very often. There is even a dang spoon in the lid!!!

This morning was my first time using it and it rocked.  I think I’ll keep the gel thing in the fridge, not the freezer (icy milk is weird!) and I recommend washing it out if you’re going to keep it on your desk.  Damp Special K is a bit gross looking, even with a jazzy pink top.

I’ll be a breakfast eater yet…..thanks Mom!