When I pick him up from day care Benjamin sits stone still in his car seat, mesmerized by Bill Callahan’s Rococo Zephyr.
And then at the, “ripple, ripple, ripple” total cheesiness, pure delight. We start singing. Together. It’s cute. But the instant the ripples are over Benjamin and I both stare at each other like deer in headlights, then turn our heads away.
Like his mother, my son hates it when people sing to him. Try it. Go ahead. He’ll yell at you to stop.
Another sign of many lately that this boy is definitely mine.
See this little smirk of his?
That is my heart and soul.
That face up there is a goofy question mixed with extreme excitement and “I have to go potty” terror, all rolled into one adorable smirk.
Some things are always yours and only yours but others like, dialect, movements, smiles – those come from your parents. When one of them isn’t around as much, well – you don’t end up with a kid who has a French accent but you also can’t call a time out when you desperately need one.
During a surprise bed time tantrum Benjamin’s nails caught my face and the words of Rebecca’s I’d read earlier rang in my ears as I felt the scratches down my forehead and on my nose,
“You were “so young” they said, patting you on the head like a puppy, so cute how you always forgot to bring extra wet wipes, so sad that your son’s fingernails were always too long and so dirty.“When was the last time you cut them?”
“Um… Wait. Are you serious?”
Motherhood seems nearly impossible at times, doesn’t it? It’s ovewhelming to think about, so instead we go through the days and the weeks doing the best we can in each moment and forgiving ourselves for the moments when we lose our shit.
Rebecca (Girls Gone Child), who married her boyfriend after finding out she was pregnant wrote another post today on young motherhood and these words are stirring me:
It makes sense. To wait. But some of us didn’t. Some of us don’t. Some of us got pregnant unexpectedtly and were like “fuck! I’m fucked! What the fuck?” And then were like “fuck it! I’m going to DO this. I’m going to have this baby in a one bedroom apartment with a dude I just met and make it WORK Goddamnit!”
Or… “fuck it! I’m just going to DO this on my own! Without the dude because I CAN ROCK this motherhood thing alone.”
Rebecca is still married but there is so much in her writing I can relate to and she seems to understand single moms, or at the very least, the trials of a marriage set forth by fate not choice.
Her story is my alternate universe, the one I wanted so badly until one day I just said “fuck it! I’m going to DO this on my own.”
And I did. I said it just like that.
I was on my cell phone talking to my little sister, pushing Benjamin’s stroller through the warm spring air.
“I’m going to do it. By myself. Why not? It’s better than being with him.”
My ex-husband sent me a text tonight (very rare).
“Its 5 years i’m in the country and I am for away from being bold so a bet its a bet; you owe me dinner. a nice one.”
His English is a little rough.
What he’s saying is — years ago we made a bet that if he’d still be here in five years I’d take him out to dinner, apparently a really nice dinner.
I can’t believe it’s been five years.
The rain battered the street in Grandview where I was meeting my friend for lunch.
“I’m ready for a boyfriend,” I told her when we were inside. I tugged at the yellow sleeves of my rain coat, the one I’d had since junior high.
“I don’t know. I just am. I’m bored with dating all of these guys. I want something more serious.”
And then I saw him.
In the open kitchen he was shouting orders with his french accent. Then I ordered him. Seriously. I actually told the manager I’d like to meet the cook. The rest is a blur, aside from a few memories of the beginning when we fell so hard and so foolishly.
My ex is constantly astonished at my blatant lack of detailed memories. Thankfully this blog forces me to write them down. And where better to store memories than in the minds of others? They live forever there.
[Listen and watch the ripple song here. I’m the girl in the big white sweater trying not to cry because Bill Callahan’s music is so intense and he looks at me a few times, stares at me actually which sends me into a bit of a shock.
Warning: DORK alert. I am a dork, you all do know that right?]