Monday, October 06, 2008

It Was a Very Good Day

Today was a good day, from the picayune to the profound.

To the former, I finally got my front tooth fixed. Chemo is bad for one’s teeth and my front one didn’t escape unscathed, in that the corner broke off a little while back. Dental appointments being what they are these days, I waited a good month for my day in the chair, which I had to cancel because of a ragingly awful migraine. So my second day in the chair came today, until which time I had been attending weddings, meeting moms and conducting business looking like a hillbilly. When I remarked to the BBDD that I looked like I was from "Pennsyltucky" he said, "Yeah. Or Scotland." Har har. So, I now feel whole again, dentally speaking. Yay!

I also found the time to exercise today, which is no small feat, and which gave me a chance to mentally ponder my alkheits for Yom Kippur. (YK is the Jewish day of atonement; the holiest day of the year, this Thursday. Alkheit is what you say when you are reciting your sins of the past year.) Happily, it also gave me time to think about the attendant Teshuvah (Repentance; literally "to return"). I kind of welled up as I was walking around the track, recalling how last year I couldn't bring myself to give God a damn thing, much less any statement of my own wrongdoing.

Then! We picked Bambina up at preschool where she presented me with a homemade card that read, “Mama, I’m sorry I hit you. Love, Bambina.” She had “addressed” it by putting our last name and house number on the back, in that cute backward scrawl native to preschoolers. For whatever reason, I once again welled up. You’ll recall the recent Veruca Salt-inspired incident in which Bambina found herself on the business end of my displeasure. That day rattled me a little, to be honest, because it was so out of character for her to have done. And then I worried that I’d overreacted by yelling at her, fireman-carrying her to her room as she wailed, and then telling her she was not welcome to rejoin us until she sat down and thought about how that kind of behavior was never going to happen again. And then today. Happiness because I see that she got it. She internalized the gravity of what she’d done. She felt regret, which I absolutely wanted her to feel. And so, this week we’ll write our “sins” on pieces of paper and then we’ll throw them away to symbolically say goodbye to our failures past, a) because that’s what we do, and b) because now that she’s felt the regret I want her to let it go and be free from it. Not from the lesson learned, but from the regret of having done it.

Then! Bambina’s first swim lesson with Nathan! Awesome, wonderful, lovely Nathan. Is that my child smiling in the water? Is that my child actually kicking her legs behind a floaty barbell? Is that my kid not actually in tears but singing in the pool? Again, a little bit of welling up took place, seeing my kid start to conquer her worst fear, build her self-confidence, and (dare I say it?) grow up a little right before my eyes.

And finally, it’s been great seeing Bambina be excited about her new little cousin who came into the world last week. He won’t be named until his bris, so for now she calls him Baby Haggis as if it’s his real name. The entire pregnancy she was kind of like, “whatever,” on the theory that there was no actual baby that she could discern. Just Aunt J with a tummy, which—as you can all clearly see—looks NOTHING like a baby. No eyes, no hair, no toes. Not a baby. Just a tummy. But you all go on with your make-believe game! But now it has all clicked for her. As soon as she saw the photos she accepted that he was real, and it has been a hootenanny ever since. We made the baby a figurine at one of those plaster painting kid places. She picked a boy doing a karate kick “for the baby’s room.” Then yesterday she bought him a gift. I was showing her teething rings and whatnot, but she adamantly settled on a Fisher Price neighing horse flashlight toy. No amount of telling her that a 9 day-old baby will have very little use for a neighing horse flashlight toy could dissuade her from this toy. So, Baby Haggis, welcome to the world! And your special welcome gift is….drumroll…a lovely neighing horse flashlight!…

Yep. It’s been a great day.

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