By looking at this photo you probably wouldn’t suspect this little girl would be ANYTHING but a cutie pie. Well, she truly is! BUT…I took her to my 2nd cousin’s piano recital yesterday afternoon and I discovered the unpopularity of bringing your baby with you.
Oh Yes! I was looking forward to an outing…just me and Paloma enjoying an afternoon of music. So, as I was leaving William said…”you sure you want to take her?” I quickly said “absolutely”. He said “okay, as you wish”. We had to wake her up from a nap. Soon she was strapped into the car seat, I had ALL the essentials we needed. Her eyes were wide open and she looked content. Away we went. Zoom. Bota bing!
We get to the beautiful church. Since she outgrew the baby knapsack carrier thing, I decided to just carry her in my arms. I think she’s at least 22 pounds now, so she is HEAVY!! My aunt Linda greets us ( I LOVE her by the way, she’s AMAZING! ) along with my famous uncle Steve, my mom’s brother. We all sit down. I put Paloma on my lap. She is happy for the first 20 minutes. I’m entertained by her looks as she is trying to take in the applause after the songs. She starts getting REALLY wiggly and lets out a little scream. And then another. Okay, this is going to bother the crowd. I take her diaper bag, hoist her on my hip and I’m OUT the door to the bathroom.
Luckily there was one of those pull down diaper changing stations. I haven’t used one before. So as soon as I put her on it, she SCREAMED so loud I thought the mirrors were going to crack. I hurried as fast as I could. Then it was time for me to use the bathroom. It was very comical, because I had no where to put her. I was HOPING someone would come in and I could ask them to hold her for a second. No one came.
Williams words came into my head “you sure you want to take her?”. By the time I get back into the recital it’s just about over. Paloma and I hang out in the back while she feeds on a bottle. There was an announcement that cookies and punch would be served in the lobby. We get in line, talking to people. All of a sudden Paloma flips out and cries her face off. Trying to have a conversation while holding a baby that is having a fit is insane. I try and excuse us while I take big strides to a back room. Eventually she calms down and I go back into the lobby where people are enjoying their sweets and conversation. Somehow I’m trying to have Paloma drink some of the punch out of the cup. A woman comes up and tries to introduce herself. Paloma AGAIN screams like she is being murdered! Everyone in the room looks at me and her. This is obviously my exit cue. “You sure you want to take her?” I hear Williams voice.
I was just about ready to kick back and watch a movie. I changed my mind. I seem to do that a lot. I love the fact that I can. I wasn’t going to have a piece of cake tonight, but I did. I have ALWAYS had a sweet tooth. Probably all started when I got caught buying Twinkies at the corner 7 Eleven when I was 9 years old. Our family was one of those vegetarian families that didn’t buy sugar, meat or flour. I’m NOT complaining, it has been a COLORFUL life! Well, now since I had that cake I’m wound up and realize that I do have some work to do before I go to bed.
What does this picture have anything to do with what you just read??? huh? Nothing! Here we go. I was about 12 years old here. Me, my mom and my sister. We’re sitting on the top bunk of our bunk bed. That’s a weird word. If you say it real fast over and over it sounds really strange, bunk, bunk, bunk, bunk, bunk, bunk, bunkbunkbunk….
These were sweet days. My mom had us living in this place behind Safeway in Tucson, Arizona in exchange for cleaning “The Crocket’s House”. The guy who lived next door owned an ice cream truck and drove it around. He also collected “stuff”. His house was LOADED with STUFF!!! Inside, outside…everywhere. A true “hoarder”. It takes all kinds on this planet ya know. Hey Sapphire, let’s bring this story back to somewhere….
But…truly these were sweet days, eventhough we didn’t have much. We had eachother. My mom bought all my clothes from the very hip Goodwill store. My sister Jade never cared if she had clothes. She prefered to run around naked anyways…making up dances and eventually she’d drop to the floor in a pool of sweat!
So, I’m reminiscing as I look at this photo…remembering. There actually were days when there were NO cell phones, NO laptops, NO GPS, NO Walmart’s, NO credit cards. I wonder what ever happened to that hoarder guy who lived next door to us. If you come across him, please tell him hi for me and I’d really like to have one of those bullet ice creams!
Me today. 43. Mother. What?? Yes, Sapphire you are a mother now! So what does it change??? How does BEING a mother change MY life??? For one, I no longer hop up and grab my keys and run out the door. Oh my gosh…there are THINGS involved with adding a new little person into the mix. NOW, I have to remember her little diaper bag, make sure it has the goods I may need for the day. I’m constantly, quietly talking to myself…”what’s the weather like? do I need a sweater for her?”, “does she need a hat?”…oh and then there’s ME. Oh yeah…
For two, it’s changed me in the BEST way! I’m softer and rounder too (he he he). New gray hairs and all, but Paloma doesn’t care. For three, when Paloma smiles at me I pretty much melt into a pool of goo on the floor. Why is that?? Weird.
Ya know the amazing part of having a child is the way I look at OTHER women. I’m stunned at how women can do it. Still. I’ve always admired women anyway. But, it’s more of a feeling like “dang, how do you pull that off?”. Sure, women can go to college and get degrees. Own businesses, travel the world….For me it always comes back to that amazing feat of “You gave birth to another human being”. GOOD LORD!!!!!! Exactly. Oh but not just once, but 3 MORE TIMES! I raise my arms and hands in the air as if calling for God directly. “HOW DID YOU DO IT and SURVIVE?”.
Which reminds me that I met 2 women recently that have 4 children each and they frowned when they saw Paloma was NOT being breastfed. I felt like a “bad” parent. Ugh.. One of the ladies couldn’t believe I had Paloma’s ears pierced. She said “I’m going to wait for my baby to grow up and then she can decide if she wants her ears pierced”. Again….Ugh…That’s one thing I’m NOT crazy about is the constant judging “do you make your own baby food?, do you buy plastic diapers? do you bathe your baby in tap water or eco-water? do you recycle the baby pooh for compost?”. Come on…I just want to do the VERY best I can for me and my family. I’m sorry I didn’t “follow” the “PERFECT WAY” to raise a child group. Whew… I wish the questions were more like…”how many times does your baby get hugs, butterfly kisses, raspberry faces?”.
Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. ~Ambrose Bierce
Paloma woke up last night screaming. This was a first. I heard her and I JUMPED out of bed to get her. My instincts just said “GET UP”. I hardly even knew what I was doing…all of a sudden I was at her bedside. I picked her up. It sounded like she was choking and couldn’t breathe. I patted her on the back and held her upright for a while. Eventually she was breathing normal again. She had BIG ol’ tears streaming down her face. Maybe she had a bad dream…do babies dream? Well, whatever it was, I was definitely freaked out. So I told William, let’s just keep her in our bed with us tonight. It’s been months since she has slept with us. I don’t think I slept all night, afraid of rolling on her. She on the other hand, slept GREAT!
We’ve been pretty fortunate with this round one. A lot of times in the morning I’m the one waiting for her to wake up! I’ll peer over her bed railing and she’s wide awake, waiting and smiling. When I change her diaper in the morning after all night, it feels like a brick! Yuck. Liquid in, liquid out. I still gag when she has a pooh diaper and If William is around he always changes it for me. I love dressing her and trying to put her pudgy arms thru clothing that she is outgrowing. I toss them in the pile of “No longer fit”.
On one of my walks today with her we passed by a neighborhood school. The sign in front said “Now Enrolling!”. I started thinking about the days ahead when she’ll be able to go school. What will it be like? One of the coolest schools my mom enrolled me in when I was about 5, was a place in Phoenix, Arizona where they taught us Yoga and we had to take turns teaching the morning yoga session. It was Kundalini Yoga and we always sang “May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you guide your way on, guide your way on, guide your way on”.
In the meantime while Paloma is growing like an Alice in Wonderland story, we’ll teach her love, gratitude and to be nice to the people with gray hair, or no hair! : )
I never knew I needed her. I never thought that I could feel the way I do. I’m opening this new chapter and seeing myself and people around me in a new light.
I know NOW that I want her. For the past 12 years I’ve been VERY busy. My life has been so full that I rarely just did “nothing”. Even meditating seemed like I put it on my “to do list”. Don’t get me wrong I still create a “to do” list. Mostly of all the things I love, which amazingly enough I’m quite content grocery shopping and chopping vegetables. I love taking care of people. That hasn’t changed. I find myself REALLY enjoying walks to the park with Paloma. Not just a little, but A LOT!! Well, we call them “strolls”, my Godfather pointed out, because she doesn’t walk yet. I used to hurry through my walks and say “okay, walk…check that’s done”. Our friend Jim inspired me immensely. He’s 65 I think and takes 3/30 minute walks a day. So, I have been doing that probably for a month or so. Oh yeah, I have missed a few days here and there. Of course it’s the excercise I’m after, BUT more than that it has become this INCREDIBLE bonding time with Paloma and me!….and the birds and the bees…
I’m sure there are people in their homes saying “oh there goes that woman again with her child for the 3rd time today”. “Doesn’t she have anything else better to do?”. Truth is I LOVE IT! I don’t care. I stop every 100 feet or so and peek in at Paloma because I still can’t believe this is a child of mine. A lot of the time her eyes are WIDE open and she’s checking it ALL out, but mostly she is sleeping after 15 minutes. I stop and stare at her. I can’t help myself.
These are the days I’ll remember after she’s all grown up and on her own. We spent time “strolling”. Not in any hurry to “get it done”…or check it off my “to do list”. But simply to BE with her. It feels SOOOOOO great. I know SHE won’t remember, but she’ll have all these crazy iphone pictures she can go back and look through. Aren’t these amazing times?
I am still blown away that I am a mother. When does it sink in???? Huh? I look at her and think “where in the world did you come from?” For everyone who knows me well, knows that for YEARS I’ve said “no, I am happy the way things are, I won’t be having any children”. Everyone would try and convince me otherwise. “Sapphire, when you have a child, it’s the BEST thing in the world, there’s NOTHING like it!!!”. Okay, okay…Now that Paloma is here I’m waving the white flag. I surrender!! Yep, it’s the BEST thing in the world!!!
The weird thing is…I’m trying to fit into my old self. I feel like I’m knocking on my own door saying “hey, Saph…come on out now”. However, this NEW person has emerged. So, I’m trying to get to know myself. I read a quote from Benjamin Franklin that said “There are three things extremely hard, steel, a diamond and to know one’s self”.
But then what? Is there a lightbulb that goes off and you say…”aha, I KNOW myself NOW!” “I have this ALL figured out”. What fun would THAT be anyway? It has to be a lifelong journey of knowing yourself, maybe I’ll replace the “know thyself”, with…”Do what makes thyself happy!”. I can jump on that bandwagon. Well, perhaps “Always do that which gives thyself joy!” Paloma and I can learn from one another. Obviously this path was not a chosen one…that’s why I can no longer “visualize” that which I want in life, because I didn’t “visualize” this EVER happening. So while I get to enjoy her laugh and the sunshine, I will continue to open up hidden doors inside myself and say “Yeah, how fun to meet you!”.
I love turquoise. I don’t even know why. I’m just drawn to it. It happens to be my birthstone, but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. When I wear the stone I feel rooted, grounded, like nothing can shake me. I’ve always loved gem stones. I wonder if it’s because my mother named me Sapphire. I don’t even know if that’s why. I love how when you wear stones they warm up on your skin.
I’ve always wondered how can stones hold energy. Can they? Is it just a mental imagination thing? Well, I can tell you a story that happened to me:
About a week before I gave birth to Paloma, a good friend Cindy came over. She asked me what special jewelry was I going to wear home from the hospital. I told her “Wow Cindy, I hadn’t thought of it”. She said “Oh you MUST wear something lovely when you bring home your daughter”. Just then, my Godfather David handed me a heavy neckpiece and put it around my neck. I immediately was flooded with emotion and could feel energy from this necklace. I looked down and saw it was my Godmother’s Squash Blossom necklace. David said “Jetta, would want you to wear this”. I broke out in a HUGE sobbing, crying my eyes, my heart out…full on wailing episode. I had to take it off immediately. I could feel her on me like she was a part of me. I felt her love for me. Jetta died of cancer 4 years ago. I could see in my minds eye her glowing skin wearing this Navajo piece David had bought for HER 30 years ago.
It took me by surprise that a piece of jewelry could effect me like that. A PIECE OF JEWELRY!!!! Well, I am sentimental why wouldn’t it surprise me? The gemstones I wear today will one day be handed down to my darling daughter or precious nephew. I hope by just the very sight of them, they will also remember MY love.
If you ever have to have surgery and then recover in a place, the Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids ain’t all that bad.
Today I spent the day with my Godfather David after he had back surgery. He’s now superman. It was a 4 hour surgery. They scraped out arthritis out of his joints
in his spine. I had no idea you could even do that!
While I was there a nutritionist came into the room to talk about a diet for David. Since the pyramid way of portion no longer exists, they use a plate now. The USDA, the agency in charge of nutrition, has switched to a new symbol: a colorful plate —called MyPlate. The big message is that fruits and vegetables take up half of the plate. The other half is protein, grains and dairy.
BUT what was a little weird is that they brought David a plate of liquids which consisted of green jello, beef broth, apple juice and black tea. This also happened to me after my c-section. They brought me a bunch of weird combination of liquid things. I’m not here to write about what I think is better, I’m just writing to state a fact that what are the hospitals thinking in terms of healing folks with green jello? Well, perhaps they are thinking that the green jello will make people smile and by smiling they will be happy and by being happy they will HEAL. Could be???????
So after a full day of interacting with nurses and friends visiting David, I came home feeling tired. So I took a bath with my baby girl and then put together some homemade hot chocolate with cinnamon and real Mexican vanilla. Ahhhhhhh…. I AM smiling.
Free things in life…
Happy Jig Dance
No eye blink contests
and the smile of being in LOVE!
I find that the most profound things in our lives are FREE!
Today while smiling back and forth with my girl Paloma it hit me that I’m so fortunate to experience the LOVE of a child. Just that and nothing more is HUGE! Ya know? I find that this kind of love is VERY healing and nourishing. It’s the kind of healing that doesn’t come with juicing and taking vitamins, herbs and rest. Nope. It’s ALL on it’s own!
Sometimes I wish that she would’ve arrived sooner in my life. BUT she is here now. I look forward to all the walks in the park, hikes in the forests, the gathering of pine cones, sandcastles on the beach, hide and go seeks. Who knows maybe she’ll enjoy chopping wood with William and he can show her how to play guitar and teach her the name of stars. He can also show her how to wear a tutu.
Okay, I admit, I didn’t do a HUGE research on vaccine’s. I did read SOME of what people suggested to check out. Besides the fact that she has to have it prior to school, pretty much settled it for us. BUT someone posted a picture on Facebook that scared the crap out of me. It was a picture of children who weren’t treated. It looked like they had Leprosy.
Paloma had her vaccines yesterday. William held her while I waited outside. I couldn’t bear it. They gave her 3 shots in her thigh and 1 to swollow. It was all done in about 1 minute or less. I held her afterwards and she was calm. I have a feeling this little girl is going to be tough. We took her back home and she slept most of the day.
It’s day 2 now. I’ve been waiting to see any reaction and so far nothing. I did however, notice her cheeks looking swollen, but I think she’s just chubby. She sat up in her high chair and played with a toy that plays the french song “Frarajaca”. I love that tune. Everyone in the house is singing it to her. “Frarajaca, Frarajaca, dor me vu, dor me vu, sema lema tina, sema lema tina, ding dong ding, ding dong ding.” I have no idea if that’s how it goes but something like that.
I went to the dentist today and the verdict is…I need FULL DENTURES!! Ha! Just pulling your leg. But…I do have sensitive and receding gums from brushing too hard. I almost started a blog about tooth decay, but I know that would start a full on controversy and we just can’t have that. So don’t mind me over here…I’m just gonna keep on eating my home made caramels, see if I can get a jump start on those full dentures.