Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Holidays

I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Seattle. I had three whole days off from work-- the most downtime I've had since a somewhat strange confluence of life and work intensity began. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself for the weekend. I didn't have the energy to get to my parent's house and back, staying home didn't seem quite right, and neither did the Orcas Island retreat I'd started to plan for myself (somehow it seemed like I should be with people, not deer).

Thanksgiving Day proper was spent with my sister. It was low-key in a way that maybe only family can offer. We ate our Thanksgiving feast while watching hour 3-ish of 6-ish of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice-- a somewhat odd (but beloved) family tradition. I'm really not the best at holidays. Usually I'm happy enough to eat a good meal for Thanksgiving, attempt to skip over Christmas, and maybe make latkes somewhere in the Hannukah range of dates. This year I'm particularly eager to just get past it all, though I somehow find myself writing from between a lit Christmas tree and a lit menorah. I'm craving the light, I guess.

In the Solstice and Festivus spirit, I want to express my deep gratitude to the good people who have been there for me... cared for me, encouraged me, reassured me, and listened to me during this season of change. I'm very lucky to have family and friends with whom I feel so loved and known. Something else has happened too though, I've experienced so much genuine support and kindness from unexpected people and in surprising places-- a good lesson for my psyche on the general goodness of people in this nutty, nutty world.

Thank you. Happy Whatever, and Happy New Year... I'm looking forward to the return of light.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Now Spinning

Right around Henry's birthday, Matt moved out of our home for the second time in the last year. I'm not sure who reads this blog. I only give this link to people I hold (at least fairly) dear and even so I have little expectation that anyone does read, especially considering the long gaps in upkeep. This is all a really long way to say that if you are reading this, then you probably have enough context to understand the complicated and sad nature of this change in status with someone who has been much beloved and rooted in my existence.

I'm only trying to acknowledge the change, I guess. I think I've done some good work towards processing everything that has happened, but it's pretty slow work and I'm trying to honor that. My life looks much different than it did not so long ago. My parenting responsibilities have become much less constant... an interesting experience during a developmental stage that is marked by its constance. I certainly feel a loss as far as my experience as a mother goes, and I know that I'll continue to mourn that-- though my time with Henry is rich with love and joy, and my time with/to myself almost profoundly nourishing. I feel myself on the precipice of a period of independence and actualization. I'm focusing on Henry, my work, my health, my relationships, my home, and letting go of all the rest for now. I'm expecting to have a quiet winter.

I recently acquired a record player. By acquired, I mean almost singularly focused on (outside of my normal responsibilities, of course) for the better part of two weeks. I was also the lucky recipient of many of the vinyls that had been sitting in my parents' basement for the last 15+ years. I'm finding it hard to feel lonely in the company of music and records, so many of which I remember from hours and hours spent listening while lying on the floor of my parent's living room. Now, in eerily similar moments, I get the sensation that time is not linear and everything might just be a-fucking-okay.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Next week my Henry Goose Honeyboy turns three whole years old (!!!). Sorry if my thoughts at this milestone are a little overwrought (and more about myself than Henry)... I've got a lot on my mind.

Henry was an early talker. I feel like we have been having meaningful conversations for so long that I can barely remember life before our daily exchanges and negotiations about topics far and wide. Lately Henry has been totally fascinated with bones and how our bodies work. His absolute favorite story comes from good-ol' (and so sexist/not of this time) Richard Scarry-- a tale we refer to as "Lowly Worm, Broken Foot," We tend to read about Dr. Lion and his X-Ray machine at least once a day. Sometimes I start to think that maybe Henry will take after his Aunt and Uncle and become Dr. Goose, but as fascinated as he is with medicine, he has been quite clear that he'd rather be a bunny or a bulldozer operator when he grows up. Any and all options are good with me.

Henry's bone interest extends to dinosaurs and humans alike. The other night our conversation about dinosaurs took an existential turn pretty damn quick and I felt just a moment away from fielding the BIG questions. ALL the big questions, and oh my sweet boy, do I know the existential crisis well. If you're bothering to read my blog, then you are probably equally aware and annoyed by this quality-- my nihilism, in an Alvy-Singer-not-doing-his-homework-because-the-universe-is-expanding type way.

It's a condition that often frustrates me about myself, yet I must also credit it with some of my better qualities and experiences. The need to find meaning has led me to my most authentic moments... in love, family, friendship-- in my work, and of course as a mother. Henry's question about dinosaurs: "Where are they? Why do we have their bones? Why are they not here?" triggered a visceral reaction in me; a deep longing to shield him from all the complex realities of human life for as long as possible, but that just isn't how this shit works now, is it?

Existentialism aside, being Henry's mom has been the single greatest privilege of my life and his affection, sweetness, curiosity, and humor has illuminated my existence in ways I never could have imagined 3 years ago. I know it's not a remarkably young age, but I never expected to become a mother at 26. There he was though, my Henry Goose...the boy who even this nihilist knows was meant to be. I'm delighted to know him, and here is a cute video of him reading a book.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I've had the intention to revive my blog for some time now. So here I am-- writing in this space after a 2+ year hiatus. There are many things I feel like I should, might, or could write about, but I think those things will come if I just start writing… so I suppose I'll get to it. 

Henry is a school boy now, and with one month left until his third birthday, seems a little more independent each day. We are no as longer completely physically bound as we were during his first couple of years, and with this new phase of motherhood comes periodic pockets of time, with which I am free to do with myself as I please. This feels partly disconcerting… besides feeling the whiz of time, I do worry about him out there in the world-- it's a feeling I realize will be around for the long haul though, as a part of my technically-a-Jewish-mother status. However, I also know that he's out there thriving; learning, growing, playing-- and so besides the disconcertion, I find the bits of time to be a respite, and a chance to get to know myself again in a new context, and during a period of my life that often feels like a bit of a maze. 

I spent a lot of my free time this summer running. I first started running when I was a sophomore in college, which means (whether I want to admit it willingly or not) that running and I have a relationship that now spans over a decade. I think I even documented my first 2 mile jog after Henry's birth in my blog. Since then, I've steadily built up a new base. I certainly won no awards in my pre-Henry days (except that one time that I placed 1st in a 5k, only to have my glory stolen by the 2nd place finisher: an 8 year-old-girl), and the same is true for now.  I've really been covering the distances lately though, and even ran my first full marathon last weekend. Honestly, it's been a restless time in my life, and the long runs have given me concentrated time to process, and on the other side of anywhere from 10 to 26.2 miles, reengage with my life a little bit differently, or at the very least too tired to keep overthinking.

Music is an integral part of my multi-hour run routine, and over the years I've listened far and wide while running-- jam bands, reggae, electronic... but, I've found nothing keeps me moving or my interest piqued quite like rap music. As my distances upped over the last several months, so did my admiration for, and fascination with one rapper, Lil' Wayne-- affectionally referred to as  "Little," by my dear friend Heide, who I have, much to my delight, managed to hook on Wayne as well. 

I'm not sure what the target readership of my blog is, but here's a little bit about Weezy: He hails from New Orleans, and has been a signed rap artist since the tender age of 9. He's had a very public addiction to codeine cough syrup, as well as a very public incarceration. He's also an extremely prolific artist. For what was arguably his finest album, The Carter III, he recorded over 400 songs. He's released almost every track he has ever recorded (for that album and otherwise), much of it for free on the internet. 

Plenty of his music is utter crap, but for a period, when he was hungry and had something to prove, Wayne had a total mastery of the style, and an ability to make intricate and funny rhymes sound effortless. Coupled with his unashamed and unbridled weirdness, he's really an artist in a category all his own. Wayne's music is certainly not for the faint of heart, or for the easily offended, but being neither of those things I've found Wayne's confidence and intensity to be a good musical match for me and my runs over the last few months. Anyways, I hope to be back writing again before too long. Until then, here are some of my favorite Little jams: