Posts Tagged ‘parenthood’

Tempest

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

 

It’s been a long time.

A long, long, long time since there was a new cinépoem in the house. Two whole years, in fact.

So I’m beyond ecstatic to announce a new cinépoem featuring the lovely Lucette de Luna (for the second time) and introducing the gorgeous and frighteningly talented Caroline Augusta (a formidable artist in her own right.)

 

The new vid isn’t on this site, however… technology issues and the need for a whole new website redo, my webmaster tells me. But you can find it at the usual You Tube channel for all my cinépoems, and it will probably show up on vimeo before too long, as well.

 

Go take a gander, and if you want to read along, here’s the poem itself…

 

TEMPEST

There is nothing civilized
about love.

Not the way she does it…
a living thing
of hoof and horn
of dervish whirl
and lunar howl.

She abides in the eye of a season of storms
where there can be no allowance
for abnegation–ask her to deny herself
and you ask the moon to abandon the sky
and orbit instead around your shoelace.

Her love is unfit
for polite company.
prone to violence.
subject to squalls.
she goes in for a kiss
and takes out your eyes.

Society will not stand
for such barbarity, will demand
a dress code and Corinthians
which is, of course, a language
she has not learned to speak.

But then again, she will never
lie or vamp or hide
behind starched and lacquered protocol.

What you see is what she feels.
unrefined. unrestrained. undiluted.

She stomps feet, she seizes hearts
in sticky-fisted strangleholds,
then guards her stash like a dragon’s hoard
roaring MINE and MORE.

The best strategy for survival is to Get To Her First.
hunt hard and fast, chase her down softly
like a wild winged thing.
(Do not try to tame her.)

Gather the Tempest in your arms
and hold her close while she rages,
for in her wake follows
the most dazzling sunlight,
the likes of which exist
only in dreamscapes
and photoshop.

In all your days you will never again see
a love so true.

-Lo, who knows from experience.

Sleep is the new crack.

Friday, May 27th, 2011

tired

I have a confession of intolerance.

Whenever I hear someone complain, “OMG, I’m, like, soooooooo tired today!” I roll my eyes.

I know you had a late night at the movies or clubbing or studying or sitting on the couch like a lump watching infomercials or writing your screenplay or breaking up with your boyfriend, again.

I used to have those nights, too. Especially in my early 20s.

I’d straggle in to work on Monday morning, hair still smelling of cigarette smoke and stage fog, and whine blearily about how I exhausted I was after a weekend of staying out until 4am dancing blisters onto my soles at The Dome Room.

But then I’d get home from work, pull on some PJs, hunker down on the couch for a sitcom or three and then toddle off to bed early. By Tuesday morning I was all caught up.

So I get it. You didn’t catch your standard amount of Zs and you’re a little crusty-eyed today. I get it, but I don’t feel sorry for you.

Because, I promise you, you have absolutely no understanding of what exhausted really means. Not until you’re a new parent.

Once that baby comes out, you become intimately acquainted with all the hours of the night, all jumbled up and out of order. You never know when you’ll actually get to sleep or when you’ll wake up, jerked unceremoniously out of dreamland by the wail of a tiny crib-bound creature who needs you, and needs you NOW.

Everyone smiles at new mothers indulgently and says, “Awwww. Enjoy it! Newborns sleep all the time.”

Which is only partially true. Yes. Newborns sleep alot. But they also eat alot. As in every 2 hours. Round the clock. And when you’re the one with the boobs, that means that you don’t sleep more than an hour and a half at any one stretch.

“Yeah, but it gets better,” you say. Yes. You’re right. It gets better. Your little one eventually learns that daytime is playtime and night time is sleep time.

And then they learn to roll over. Or sit up. Or crawl. Or stand in the crib and jump up and down and scream like they’re being chased by large hairy beasties.

Or they grow a tooth. Or three. Or they get sick. Or they had a bad day and didn’t take enough naps and now they’re cranky and pissed off and overtired.

Ask any parent what it means when their kid is overtired. (Be prepared that said parent might burst into tears when they answer.) Overtired babies are terrifying.

And speaking of terrifying, as a new parent, you’re a hot mess most of the time. You’ve got scads of wackadoo hormones, none of your pants fit, and by the time you walk over to your to-do list and grab a pen, you can’t remember what it was you were going to remind yourself to do.

You’re afraid to look at your stretch marks straight on in the mirror because then you might have to face the fact that your bikini days are really and truly over. Your hair is falling out in clumps, but it doesn’t matter because you never have time to run a comb through it, anyway. And if you did, baby would yank the hairs you have left straight out of your scalp. So you just rubberband that mop into a knob on the back of your skull and try to remind yourself to wash it before it smells.

But most of all, as a new parent, you wake up every day to the realization that you have created a person. A tiny, awe-inspiring little human being who shits up her own back and can’t pull up her own pants and opens her mouth and squawks for you to feed her like a wee naked hatchling.

And you are simultaneously crushed by the weight of your overwhelming love for this creature and by the responsibility to raise and nuture and teach this brand new person how to be an individual and a good citizen and how to balance a checkbook and drive a car (and a motorcycle) and love herself for who she is and be confident but not arrogant and be kind without being a pushover.

Start adding up all this new parent angst and haphazard snatches of sleep caught here and there over the weeks and months and then factor in 3rd trimester discomfort, tiny bladder syndrome and the inability to roll over into the equation and suddenly you realize that you haven’t really slept a whole night through in OVER A YEAR. (A guy I work with has 3 kids and says he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in 6 years.)

That, my friends, is what being tired really is. That is actual sleep deprivation. It makes you, by turns, a drooling zombie stumbling through the day and asking your spouse a question 6 times over because you don’t remember what he said, and an over-caffeinated, frantic-eyed energizer bunny who is freakishly motivated to fold the laundry. At 2 am.

Ten years ago, five years ago, 12 months ago, I wouldn’t have really gotten it either. I would have nodded and tried to sympathize. I would have quite sincerely said, “Oh man, that must be really hard.”

And I would have giggled at Go the Fuck to Sleep and thought it was clever. But I would not have guffawed until I cried.

I get it now. And you know what? You can keep your Saturdays of sleeping in until noon. I wouldn’t trade places with you for any goddamn thing in the world.

But maybe that’s just the caffeine talking.

-Lo, who will sleep when she’s dead.

This Little Light of Mine

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

mood: transformed | drinking: cranberry juice

lulu_day2

She’s finally here.

Lucette de Luna was born at 7:58 am on Thursday, September 2nd. She weighed 7lbs, 5oz and was 20 inches long.

Her first name means “little light” in French, and her second name means “of the moon” in spanish and italian. So (very) roughly translated, her name is “little light of the moon”. (She’s very multicultural that way.)

Of course, there will be nicknames. We’re getting a head start on those by calling her Luci and Lulu.

mom1Labor lasted 27 hours, and if you told me that going into it, I would have been completely freaked out. But we just took it one contraction at a time and we all made it through just fine.

Of course, it helped that the first 12 hours (from 5:30 am Wednesday morning until 6pm Wednesday night) were spent at home. It was gorgeous in San Francisco that day, so we actually spent a couple of hours at the beach, with me standing ankle-deep in the ocean, waiting for contractions and watching the waves come in. Not a bad way to be in labor, really.

I’m writing this from our hospital room. We’ll go home soon, but for now the three of us are in a little cocoon of post-delivery joy.

dad1Bruce (I should call him Bruce on this blog now, not Boy. No need for subterfuge, right?) was an amazing partner, not only throughout labor and delivery, but through my entire pregnancy. Scratch that, through my entire life. He’s just pretty much the most kick-assingest person I know.

We’re both just beginning to find our way into parenthood, but so far Lulu is making that easy. She’s beautiful and sweet and the top of her head smells like heaven.

I know I have thousands of unknown days ahead, full of their own terrors and joys. But right now, at this moment, I couldn’t be happier or more peaceful.

Lucette’s here, and that’s all that matters for today.

-Lo, from babyland.

Sugar and Spice

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

mood: ebullient | drinking: water
bean_shoes1

…and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of. So they say.

(Although I remember being a little girl and I wasn’t always sugar and spice. There might have been a puppy dog tail or two thrown into my recipe.)

From the moment that plus sign appears, you find yourself wondering who this new creature will turn out to be. And “Boy or Girl?” is right up there at the top of the list of questions. It’s certainly the thing people most want to know, right after they ask you when you’re due.

Finally, we have an answer. The Bean is a bean-ette.

I made the ultrasound technician check, twice, to be sure there were no beans and frank hiding anywhere. She was quite positive in her diagnosis, though. “No suprises,” she assured me, “It’s definitely a girl.”

This whole time, I’ve tried very hard not to want a girl over a boy. Because what if Bean turned out to be sporting a penis, and then later he found out that his mum actually wanted him to be a girl? That would suck.

But let’s be honest. I’ve been stashing away girl stuff for a very long time now, just in case. I really, really wanted to have a daughter. bean_dress

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Bean will turn out to be the kind of girl who will even be interested in the trinkets and goodies I’ve been saving for her. But maybe, someday is good enough to go on for now.

The day before the big reveal, I wrote this poem to capture how I felt before I knew the answer to the gender question. I hope someday Bean will like this, too…

Heirloom Tomato
(week 19)

Wishful thinking will not change
the tint of your eyes
the grain of your hair
the Xs or Ys of chromosomes.

You already are whoever
you are going to be.

In a windowless room at the office
I lay on the graying carpet
and let a woman string a ring
on a strand of my hair.
She held it motionless
above the mound of belly
where you swim.

If it swung in a circle,
you would be a girl.
Perpendicular, a boy.

In my impatience to meet you
I have imagined a whole wardrobe
of bright cotton dresses. I have drawn up lists
of names. (The page for girls is longer.)

Your aunt has entered birth dates
into gender calculators,
all of which predicted
you will be my daughter.

But today the ring swung
in a line, not a circle.

I want you to know, now,
before we inspect you
with sound waves,
that you are loved
exactly as you are.

-Lo, amazed.

We are family

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

mood: busy | drinking: water
momdad_muir

The Mama & Papa Witmer were just in California for a visit. (They’re pretty adorable, no?)

I always look forward to the parental visits. Having moved so far away from the place where I grew up, I don’t often find myself reminded of my childhood.

But seeing my parents always brings back a flood of memories, and we usually end up around the table swapping stories that start with, “Remember that time…”

I have no doubt that becoming a parent myself will alter my view of my own mom and dad. For the first time, I’ll be standing in their shoes, forced to make some of the same decisions they had to wrestle with when my sister and I were tiny.

Boy and I have already started talking about how to let Bean be whoever she (or he) will be. How to let her (let’s just go with her for now) grow up to be confident in who she is, even if that “who” isn’t quite what we expected.

momdadme_muirI’m sure when I was a little two-year-old tow head running around pulling puppy dog tails, my parents didn’t expect that one day I would change my hair color a ridiculous number of times, date a boy in a band, stop going to church, get tattoos and buy a motorcycle. (Not necessarily all at the same time, of course.)

I’m sure, when they tucked me in at night, they had very different ideas of who I would become.

But they have let me grow up with grace. They let me make decisions they didn’t understand. They let me disagree. They let me go.

It couldn’t have been very easy for them.

But the freedom they gave me has made me a better me. And I think it’s one of the many reasons I actually get excited when my parents are coming to town, while many of my friends live in dread of that day.

If we start now, and we practice really hard, I hope that Boy and I can give Bean the same freedom and let her fly.

-Lo, who somehow also grew up to be taller than both her parents.