October 01, 2006

half way to 18.

My baby turned 9 yesterday--that's where I've been.

Not every kid shares Buddy Rich's birthday.

Or his mood swings. Or his uncanny time.

You know me. An emotional amusement park sometimes. My kid. 9. So that's where I've been.

Between having a half-grown child and rescuing a stray puppy from the highway (and then having to give it back to the less than scrupulous owners), then re-inheriting two cats from our newly married neighbor who is moving back in with his ex-now-current wife--and did I mention I have re-decorated the hamster cages in pink and blue bedding, pink for mom and blue for the boys?)--life has been a river, not of news, but of heartbeats.

New life, old life, life moving.
At the speed of me.

At the YMCA a few days ago a woman had her newborn baby with her--precious tiny baby girl in pink. I said to her, "She is so beautiful," and then ducked behind the drape of the changing room to cry quietly.

Every now and then I remember that the ablation I had means I can't carry anymore babies. In my mind fact that we weren't going to have any more babies is completely unrelated to the fact that I can't.Part 1 does not lessen the grieving for Part 2. That's how estrogen works.

Driving past Jenna's school the other day I realized that her turning 9 means she is now halfway to 18, noticing how fast the first 9 years went, realizing that the next 9 will go at least that fast.

Will I make it? Will we? And then what? Where does my heartbeat go? Do I keep it? Or send it out from me?

Of all the layers to my identity, being my daughter's mom is the one I think about the most, where doing it right means every day is one day closer to being left. That little fact is not lost on me.

In my family, we have a hard time raising children to send them out into the world. We don't like letting go. We are smotherers, keepers, hoarders. It takes conscious reminding every day for me to keep from doing what I know.

Ah fuggit. I'm not sure this is making sense. I hear her downstairs now, laughing with her dad. They are watching a show. Her voice rises and falls--fits and jags--loud guffaws, she is nothing if not intense. I am re-amazed so often. heartbeats.

I had coffee with my mother today. Something I haven't done in 4 years.

Nothing is for sure.

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