Friday, March 20, 2015

"When I say it's you I like..."

"When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed" 
-Fred Rogers
March 20, 1928 - February 27, 2003

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday


Eight years ago.

When I was still in law school.

When argyle sweaters were a thing that people still wore.

When Saturday night meant drinking and playing poker in someone's Upper West Side apartment living room

When I didn't know how to do curly hair the right way and ended up with whatever this unfortunate mess is.

When we didn't know anything but thought we knew everything.

When we were just babies ourselves.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

And the Ride Didn't Seem So Long After All

It was after six at night by the time we left the house. With a six hour drive ahead of us, I knew we wouldn't get where we were going until almost one in the morning. When we made plans to go visit family for the weekend I booked Thursday night flights that would get us there late, but at least they would get us there quickly. But circumstances intervened, so it was to the roads for us.

For the first hour or so, the miles crept by. Every time I checked the GPS thinking we had made some headway it told me a completely different story. I thought we would never get there. It felt like we would be driving forever, destined to live out the rest of our lives on this stretch of I-78.

But then. In the distance, the sun started to set over the long expanse of highway. And the sky turned a riot of colors and then before long it was us and the darkness and a Spotify playlist. And we talked and sang along to songs that reminded us of our high school and college days and there was no TV and no phones were ringing and nothing much to distract us from each other and from this moment.

And I remembered something. I remembered that these days where it is just the two of us, doing as we please, are numbered, and that the little things might just be the most important things. Like sitting next to each other in a darkened car, hurtling through the mountains of Pennsylvania with a Spotify playlist blaring from the car speakers.

And just like that, the ride didn't really seem so very long after all.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Springs

Wednesday March 11, 2015. 7:25 am.

Sun rising. Blue sky. Melting snow. Birds. 

Hot coffee. Flats instead of boots.

Car windows down. Country music on the radio.

Everyday life. In spring.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Nothing Gets in Between Me and a Good Snack

I walked through the front door of my house, glowing with the satisfaction of a successful shopping expedition.

I sat down on the couch to review my purchases, marveling first at the beauty of my new red bag and blessing the luck that placed it in my direct line of sight in the accessories department of T.J. Maxx. And I admired the maternity pants that I finally bought to replace my favorite pair of pre-pregnancy black pants that I had been holding onto for dear life until buttoning them made breathing a chore and sitting down nearly impossible and I finally had to wave the white flag and admit defeat. I could practically hear my unborn child sighing with relief when I folded them away.

With the results of my shopping spree reviewed and confirmed, I walked into the kitchen to put my "binge-watch Friday Night Lights and eat the maple walnut fudge that I had made the night before during a strange confluence of pregnancy cravings and nesting impulse" plan into action.

I heard the splashing noise that, unfortunately, was not altogether unfamiliar, while I was standing at the counter, pastry knife in hand.

At first I thought it was the radiators getting ready to heat up and then I figured it had to be water dripping into the sump pump from outside due to sunshine and melting snow. But my head already knew the source wasn't nearly that benign.

One short trip down the basement stairs confirmed that thought.

Grey-tinged water and tiny bits of toilet paper were gushing out of a discharge pipe and spilling onto the floor, and the smell permeating my basement was vaguely reminiscent of a well used porta-pottie.

For a minute I just stood there watching the chaos unfold, but then I turned around and went back upstairs, closing the basement door on the whole big mess.

If I had known at that moment that this wasn't the simple do-it-yourself kind of plumbing issue we're used to but was, in fact, a complete clog of our main sewer line that would require a midnight emergency and very expensive Roto-Rooter visit and another hour of disinfecting the basement, I might have reacted with the mix of panic and helplessness that characterizes my general disposition when faced with house issues.

But I didn't. Instead, I gathered my snack and took to the couch and my Friday Night Lights marathon and decided I just wouldn't flush the toilet for the rest of the day while I waited for David to get home.

I'd like to say that having a baby in less than four months has given me a new "don't sweat the small stuff" outlook on life. That it has made me focus on the important things like creating life, instead of the stuff that's no big deal and more or less easily fixed, like plumbing gone awry.

But really?

It's just that nothing was getting in between me and that maple-walnut fudge.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Exploding in Poetry

 “It is always what is under pressure in us, especially under pressure of concealment—that explodes in poetry.”
- Adrienne Rich

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Winter to Remember

Last night, we took a walk outside. It had been snowing pretty seriously since early afternoon, and while what we really wanted to do was stay on the couch and finish our House of Cards season 3 marathon, I'm co-chair of a project at my synagogue and had to be there for a couple of hours last night. With six inches and counting of snow on the streets and no plows in sight, driving there was out of the question and it was just around the corner, so I had to walk. After blasting a path out of our house with the snow-blower, David decided to make the trek with me.

My street was completely snow-covered and utterly deserted. It's not a busy street to begin with, but with the thickly-falling snow, it was like a fluffy white blanket had been thrown over my neighborhood, and we were living in the silence beneath it.

We picked our way down the street hand-in-hand, sliding a little bit here and there and laughing while the fat flakes coated our eyelashes, slapped our cheeks, and swirled around us.

I guess I could say that I'm sick of winter. That I'm tired of cleaning off my car in the morning and of wiping up my salt-stained entry-way floors and of being so cold all the time and of snow in general. But last night when we were walking through our quiet, snowy neighborhood it occurred to me that I'm not really all that sick of it at all. In actuality, I'm kind of grateful for it.

Because this year, winter is an interesting time in our lives. In October, I found out I was pregnant, which was the beginning of a flurry of morning-sickness filled days and nights, anxiety filled doctors appointments where we sat in silence and hoped that we would still see a beating heart on the fuzzy ultrasound screen, and with each passing week a fascinating brand of hope and anticipation that this was, in fact, the baby that would be ours.

And then it got colder and the snow started to fall and we started sharing our news - first with family and then with everyone. And we started to feel more confident too. But the first half of pregnancy is a funny thing. Because even though the news was out and I was finally - mercifully - feeling better, there were still all the tests to contend with. The ones that every woman gets, that are completely routine, but that seek to unearth every single thing that could possibly be wrong with the baby you've been growing for months. And well, who can relax completely with all of that uncertainty going on?

But then the test results came back and everything is exactly the way it should be and now we find ourselves in what I have come to think of as the middle place. There are hard things behind us, and serious, life-altering change ahead, but right now, it is just us and the snow, and cold nights under blankets in front of a fireplace, and dinner together on the couch in front of the TV, and winter walks through our quiet neighborhood with red cheeks and frosty eyelashes.

Spring will be here before we know it, and then summer will come roaring in on its heels, and I'm looking forward to all of that, and everything that comes with it. But I know that, years from now, when I look back on this time, it's going to be the winter that I remember. Those days when anxiety was replaced by anticipation, and when we were still just two, living in this amazing now and dreaming and planning for the days to come, with the snow-blower growling in the background.

And I'm thinking about the days behind us and wondering how the ones to come will look, but more than anything, I am living here, right now. Because even in the face of the monster change coming in just a few months, these moments right now are still the ones that matter. And this is exactly where I want to be.