Monday, August 29, 2011

(2 Karats and a Kid) Far-Away From Here...(aka Just jump in a taxi cab, grab a bag, and getaway fast...)

Mommy-ism #14:  It's completely normal to contemplate abandoning your family...for a weekend.

Yeah, I said it.  Call me a bad mommy.  Call me a bad wife.

But you can't call me a liar.

One day a few months ago,  I had a thought that initially shook me to my core.  I was ashamed to repeat it to anyone else but because I have a twisted sense of humor, it actually made me laugh.  The truth is that one day, more like for about 15 mins one day, I contemplated how far across the world I could get with the $4,500 left on my credit card. 

Would it be an island in the Mediterranean?  Or would it be a small Italian village near Rome?  After paying for the airfare I knew I could afford a week in a luxury hotel or about three months in a student hostel.  Either option was feasible to consider because both would afford me a little space -- and a little quietness -- where I could distinguish my own thoughts from the barking of the dog or trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. 

I wouldn't even pack a bag.  I'd just grab seven pairs of panties out of the drawer, the three books I had been trying to complete for months, and a few packets of gummy bears that I kept stashed in the cookie jar before heading to the airport.

But just as fleeting as the thought came, my mind reminded me of all the reasons why my dreams of a martini in Santorini or a glass of wine in Rome could never be.

"Did you hear about Kirstin?  She went crazy, got on a plane, and went half way across the world?"  I imagined my family and friends saying.

Then I imagined Roman looking for me early in the morning and not finding me.  Then I imagined my husband thinking it was his fault and thinking maybe he should have offered to cook more.

And I thought about how nothing I could ever say would convince them that it wasn't them -- it was me.  I felt like I had run myself into the ground taking care of everybody but myself.

But I knew that nothing made me happier everyday than to see Roman smile and dance while I sang the R&B version of various nursery rhymes to him during bath-time.  And though my husband COULD cook more, he is still the person that I fantasize about more than anyone else.

So I put my purse and keys down and picked up my spatula and went back to making tacos.  Even if I would have successfully made it to that little village off of the coast of...whereever, I knew that I would miss my boys too much to enjoy it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

(2 Karats and a Kid) Who in the h*ll gets SHINGLES?!?!

Mommy-ism #13:  10 Gummy bears, coffee, and 5 french fries does not equal three square meals a day.

When your baby is a newborn, it is very difficult to find a moment to yourself.  Between feeding the baby/changing the baby/cleaning the baby/entertaining the baby - it is likely that your first 90 days will simply blur into each other like one long day where you kept trying to take a nap but couldn't because there was a Jaws or Rocky marathon on. 

Very quickly, you will find yourself distinguishing the time and space you are in by what bottle number you are on rather than how many hours past noon it is.  In those precious moments of stillness where the baby is fed and sleep - you have a decision to make.  Do you eat?  Do you clean?  Do you sleep?  Or do you go to and catch up on all of your celebrity gossip?

Time and time again, I found myself choosing to do everything BUT eat during my precious moments alone.  Whether it was adrenaline or delirium, in the earlier months of being a mother, it was completely feasible for me to get through my entire day having only eaten gummi bears, three cookies, and some apple sauce.

As a consequence of eating like an anorexic (no offense to anyone afflicted with the disease) it quickly became apparent that my immune system should I say it?  Royally screwed up to say the least.

First I got the shingles, then I got my first cold sore, next I developed migraines, then I started seeing perfectly shaped five-point Stars of David everywhere.  I knew it was time for me to see the doctor.

Leading up to my appointment I was convinced I was dying.   "It must be a tumor or a parasite that I contracted from the dog," I secretly thought, "that would definitely explain why I lost my baby weight so fast."

When the day came for my check-up, I spilled my guts to the doctor.  For the first time ever, I confessed to many questions that I normally would lie about:

Drugs:  "Yes, I smoked alot of marijuana for one year, nine years ago.  Last time I smoked was in 2009 after I had an anxiety attack in one of the toilet stalls at my job."

Alcohol:   "Yes, I'm still nursing but yes, I do drink more than one glass of alcohol of week.  Sometimes I drink three glasses a night.  Yes, I pump and dump...most of the time"

Exercise:  No thank you.  But I will take a donut if you have one.

Soon, the questions were over and the checkup was complete.  After having my blood drawn, she sent me home to wait for the results which would arrive 3-5 long, nerve-wrecking days away.

Five days later, I received an email from my doctor.  With bated breath, I opened it and slowly read each line of her extensive reply.  Finally, when I came across the results from my blood lab, I was shocked to see my diagnosis.


...Vitamin D and B-12 deficiency...

...due to unbalanced nutritional habits.

I've never been so happy to not be dying.  Yes, like all Black folks do - I turned on my church music and got down on my knees and prayed.  Instead of wine, I poured myself a glass of  100% Pure Tropicana Orange Juice and pledged from that day forth that I would take better care of myself, for myself, and my family.

(2 Karats and a Kid) There is something greater...

Mommy-ism #12:  ...Babies are constant reminders that there is a divine hand controlling it all. 

I always knew that I wanted to have children.  Since the age of five when my cousin and I would talk about our "Prince Charming" during sleepovers, my yet-to-be born children were always apart of my dreams.  Four girls.  Or two boys and two girls. Or one boy and three girls.  With three dogs and four houses to match. 

Now that I am a mother, it's funny how my notion of "dreams" and "goals" have shifted.  My aspirations are no longer about myself but in many ways, they are merely mechanisms that I now strive for to help my son achieve the dreams that I now have for him..

There will be no pressure to be a astrophysist, or an NBA player, or a cardiothoracic surgeon.  If Roman never kicked the game-winning goal, to made the split-second lay-up, or hit a home-run at the bottom of the ninth, he'd still be nothing short of a Michael Jackson, "King of Pop"  superstar in my eyes.  The truth is that I simply want for my son to be better than I am.  I want him to accomplish things that I have been unable to due to fear (writing a book) and bad hand-eye coordination (playing tennis) and a horrible memory (learn Spanish).  I want him to live life without any notion of limitations and to live a life with a profound understanding of his purpose. 

And on days that he forgets his purpose, his path, his passion, or God's plans -- I pray that he learns to dig deep within his soul, plant both of his feet firmly on the ground, calm the racing thoughts in his mind, and remembers this:  There is a flow to life.  

Our past experiences work to prepare us - every moment, every day - for each moment that we are presented with.  When things seem out of our control, it is merely because we have forgotten that we are all moving forward towards a goal that serves a purpose greater than ourselves.  So the best thing we can do is relax, be open, and see where the current of life wants to take us.
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