Sunday, May 11, 2008

Take A Hike

Bambina has wanted to go hiking for a while now, so we decided to take a mother’s day trek through a local gorge. It was easy enough for both a 3.11 year-old and a 36.2 year old transplant fogey, and damn if we didn’t have an awesome time. I always liked hiking in the nice, active, somewhat-workouty outdoor walk kind of way. I’ve never liked hiking in the bushwacking, bugs in your face, wiping your butt with leaves kind of way. Today was neither. It was the introduce-your-kid-to-hiking (and reintroduce-yourself) kind of trek up no mountains, hills or rock faces. It was the walk on trails, put down a blanket, eat snacks, skip rocks on the water kind of day, and Bambina cannot wait for the next one. Good times. Made more fun by Bambina asking "When is it going to be Children's Day?" since it apparently has not escaped her that moms, dads, grandparents and administrative assistants get special days in addition to birthdays yet she does not.

Poor Bambina, as I’ve mentioned, has had it. I feel like we’re dealing with a delayed grief response. Like, the closer it gets to me being able to do things with her and take her to school, it’s almost like it has made her realize just what she’s missed and lost this past year. So we’ve stopped talking about what we’ll do in the future when I’m better because it’s making the present unbearable for her. All of her reactions are completely normal and completely expected; just delayed. I fully expected to be managing her emotions this time last year, but it’s like the wave of them has just caught up with her (or perhaps she has just caught up with them) and she’s only now able to try to make sense of them. Which is no easy task for a kid, and honestly no easier for us. So we’re just letting her feel what she feels, reassuring her that Mama is always here no matter what, and that (sing it, Bob Marley!) Everything’s Gonna Be All Right. Just not yet.

In happy news, she still hasn’t lost her humor and her spunk no matter how much she’s ready to cry or meltdown at a second’s notice. She brought me a really cute painting of her hand prints from school. It had been laminated with a little comment card in it that said, “I love my Mommy because: She is gonna let me get a puppy and she tucks me in at night.” So apparently, Bambina is getting a puppy. Courtesy of me. Can’t blame a kid for trying, huh? Lower the Mama’s defenses then spring the “a puppy would make it all better” argument on her. After, of course, informing your classmates and teachers first. That’s chutzpah. And, you know what, I kind of respect it.

Speaking of chutzpah, Bambina has also apparently told her teachers that not only are we going to China to get Baby Sister, but that we will thereafter be bringing home two little brothers as well. BBDD says “not bloody likely!” I say never say never. ;)

Which, as I ponder this sweetest of Mother’s Days, in the sense that it was one that 14 months ago I wasn’t sure I was going to see, is maybe the best way to approach life. Never say never. You don’t know where life will take you, who it will bring into your universe, how it’s going to get you from here and now to there and then. So just try to enjoy the journey. And if you can’t enjoy it, try not to rage against it, using up all your energy in the pursuit of answers, explanations or reasons why sh*t happens to you. As Rainer Maria Rilke said in Letters to a Young Poet: ...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.


Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day E! Here's to many more for you and the Bambina! BTW-gotta read her "Pigeon Wants a Puppy", it's our new favorite!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mom's Day :)

My best Mother's day present ever was the card my son, then-6 (now 32 and father to the precious grandbaby) made me with the upside down letter u.

It said "I love yon Mom!"