3AM Jeremy

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I just watched my husband lift his dying father up the stairs.

It wasn’t a moment I planned for in life. Or maybe I planned for it at age 51 instead of 31, but I don’t think so. Fathers die only in abstraction. They aren’t supposed to die for real.

I haven’t planned for this moment, but whether any of us likes it or not, the moment is here.

This Is Your Hug.

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I had an unexpectedly harrowing experience this evening.

Hudson was squeezing my wrist tenderly, which he sometimes does when I read him a story. Tonight’s story was a new one, a quaint little book about a small child narrating to what seems to be another small child about how to survive in the city. It’s a cute book, but sometimes the child’s advice seems questionable: Yes, laundry vents do often smell good, but is it advisable to nap underneath one? And should you really just let yourself into the neighbor’s home to listen to her practice the piano?

It Isn’t Quite Fear

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There’s a large, rather alarming red stain on the sidewalk outside my apartment. After several moments of examination, a few oregano flecks told its story. What is now a sidewalk stain was once a jar of tomato sauce, perched too precariously in an overfull bag of unperishables, moved with haste from car to front door.

It’s Your Bowl.

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Everything is everywhere right now as we pack to move out of my parents’ basement. It’s not the triumphant move into a bougie condo or a three bedroom single-family home that we were hoping for, but it is a lateral move to a two bedroom apartment with a dishwasher and a flex space.

Let’s Have Some Stars

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Maeby is mad at me. Today she made a pass at my chocolate protein bar, which is like a brick of poison for her (because, chocolate kills dogs, and also because Protein gives her urinary tract infections). Being the good mom that I am, I leapt for the protein bar and disentangled it from her jaws. It was an unpleasant experience for both of us; Maeby’s favorite food is chocolate and she really resented my forceful robbery. (To be fair, she robbed me first.).

Hudson

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So, I made a baby. He’s resting up against me, propped up with pillows, after he fell asleep during a feeding.

I made his feet. I made his tiny hands, I made his lopsided ears, and my heartburn made the healthy layer of hair that covers his whole body and gives him little sideburns. For 39 weeks, I sculpted and created this specimen. Last night I realized I recognized this boy on the outside to be the same boy as the one on the inside. He’s the same boy that didn’t kick much, but instead dragged his foot across my tummy like a matchbox car while I chased it around with my fingers. This is the same boy that I made.

All That I’ve Met

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A few days ago, I brought Maeby inside from a morning piddle and found my grandma with her arm around my father singing, “My home’s in Montana, I wear a bandana, my spurs are silver, my pony is grey! When riding the ranges, my luck never changes, oh yippee ki, yippee ki, yippee ki-yay!”

She’s commissioned the entire family to learn it while she stays with us this winter. Recently, we were all indulgently singing along, and my father pulled up a quiet Youtube video of ambulance sirens which could only be heard by Maeby. The sirens prompted Maeby to howl along while the rest of us were Yippee Ki-Yaying. We all giggled happily afterwards, but there was a subtle profundity to the experience too.

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I woke up this morning in, what I realized too late, is my very favorite place in the entire world. I’m actually still here. I have to soak it up, because I’m here for the last time.

I’m in the middle of my bed, snuggled in between my husband, who’s arm is tucked under mine like a teddy bear, and Maeby, who has been grunting lately when she doesn’t get her way. She just let out an expressive groan when I dove (gently) under her belly to find my cell phone so I could capture this moment with words. Technically, there’s a baby in the middle with me too. He’s doing little flips in my tummy as we speak. 

Hard Things Can Also Be Good

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Tonight on my way home from tutoring, I saw a hardened old, grocery store clerk snarl at another employee while arranging a strange winter display of watermelon outside the storefront. And just when my mind was made up about said curmudgeonly store clerk, I watched him secretly slip an ice cube from his watermelon display to an aging golden retriever passing by on the street. It was a quick reversal of thoughts–from resenting this old man for yelling publicly at a coworker, to loving him for sharing an ice cube.   Of course as frequently happens when a pregnant person experiences two emotions too close together, this little gesture made me tear up at the crosswalk between 92nd and 93rd street.