I don’t know exactly why, but the week was extremely full, to its outer limits. It ended beautifully with a movie night with my friend and neighbor Carolyn and some fun and some deeper girl talk. I am blessed to have found friends in the area, people I truly crave to spend time with, instead of finding the latest out date in the calendar because you feel you must. I think I was over that at thirty.
I don’t know if it’s some astrological New Moon or what but there seems to be a lifting of spirit or a boldness or just flat-out being who I am. I started watching Beginners on the iPad for which Christopher Plummer won his Academy Award this year portraying a father who at 75, after his wife of a lifetime has died, comes out to his son and to the world. He then lives his last four years as gloriously himself. (With a very handsome boyfriend — Goran Vinjic — to boot.)
I think that all people must at some boiling point just burst forth and come out as well as whoever they truly are, whether gay, a NASCAR enthusiast, or a closet reader of Quilting Magazine. Embrace your extremism and your petty interests and everything that composes you and just run with it. At some point in life you have to stop apologizing for who you are, and really question the people who make you feel you must apologize. Like Beginners, have a Kate Chopin Awakening and bloom, even at 75.
For me this might just mean calling the baby Noelle already. Going to Bermuda with the boys in June as my gift to them. Sleeping with the baby in our bed when she wakes, Attachment Parenting all the way. Because I want to. And, I’m not hurting anyone.
The boys are outside right now playing so insanely happily with Yorgos, a father figure, or a young, fun uncle who’s here very much for them. Teaching them, guiding them, enjoying them. In play. What parents find they get so little of with their kids after there is more than one. They are just too busy getting stuff done. Accomplishing.
I met a fellow mom at Riding on Friday. She has three children, and she said that maybe with her first she was down on the floor playing, but come the others, there was too much going on. I remember with the boys at Bart Drive, feeding them early, giving them baths and towelling them off and singing Jenny Jenkins to them. And then playing with them in their room from 6 to 7, and this was my Heaven. My reward for the end of their day, just: Play. I’d then put them down, and the ever compulsive person that I am would do their laundry right then, getting out any and all stains from the day. I’d fill their milk bottles to warm first thing in the morning. I’d prepare for the day ahead. Jump starting all the way.
Looking back now, two seems nostalgically easy. Wearing them in the Baby Bjorns about our neighborhood, Griswold Farms. Getting Fotis to take walks with us, as a foursome and a family. We went to a party when the boys were 3 months old, wearing them, and everyone remarked how well-behaved they were. And I was like, Of course! They are 3 months old, snuggled tight, in towards our chests, napping!
I don’t know why I digressed. At the time our life was smaller than it is now. Less people, not just the “only two kids.” Fotis had not even hired Peter yet to help him run the company. It was pure, or new, or innocent.
I would also put just Petros in the Bjorn and push Theodore as Petros really craved being held — always, and he still does. Theodore I trained to hug me. When I realized that this was not a huggy-touchy person I was dealing with, I sort of broke him like a horse, hugging, cooing, cuddling, bringing him to bed each night to sleep in my arms. Now, he comes to me, for warmth, for hugs, to crawl in and sleep on my side of the bed. He says, I love you, mommy. (I know he means it.)
The movie Carolyn and I saw last night was The Hunger Games, and my real tug or realization while there was how much the heroine, Katniss, was there for her younger sister, Prim, in the actual. And how Prim had placed Katniss first in her heart, because Katniss put her first, even before herself. I think that when you do this for your kids, they get it. Fathers, mothers, caretakers who put their kid’s needs first, when they are with them, as we do all have to step away and self-care. When we do this we can be the real heroes for our children, not just the image that will be blown apart through time, greater understanding, and growth. But a truth that can always stand up, and go the distance.