Friday, May 20, 2011

It's like Russian Roulette with play doh.

Raising your kid is just like that. You try to mold them and shape them to the type of person you want them to be, but at the same time who they are and who they become is really a crapshoot. You can influence them, but they pull the trigger. Am I who I am because of my parents? Yes, because they walked me through the first part of my life and taught me things while holding me to a higher standard than some other parents. But also no, because I am my own person with my own personality and opinions. They are proud of me for my education and decisions I've made in my life, but also my mom comments constantly that she has no clue how the hell she ended up with such a crunchy treehugging daughter.

I think about this a lot when it comes to Liam and it's kind of scary. There are all these things I want him to do, see, and be, but I know there are going to be tons of hard times and pain in his life too. Things out of my control. Situations where I won't be there to help him. Situations where he will have to make his own decision based on what he thinks is right and good. And I hope I lay a sturdy enough foundation that he can build on to make those decisions. Problem is, I've always been a very shitty handyperson and my organization skills suck. At night I lay in the pitch black, on my side with my knees drawn up, with him balled up against my stomach, one hand under his cheek and the other thrown over me in a sleepy hug while he nurses in his sleep. My hand is always on the same spot of his back, and I always think to myself how perfect it all is and how I wish we could just stay there forever before I drift back into unconsciousness and he rolls away into his little space to sleep sprawled out with his butt in the air.

What do I want for him? I can't even think of it all. And I can't find right words for most of the things.

I want him to be happy, obviously. But not the ignorant, blissful kind of happy. I want the happiness that is a rarity when a person KNOWS all the negatives and sadness and awfulness, but also knows all the goodness and beauty in life and chooses to be happy because of it. I struggle with this a lot and I wish I knew how to raise him so he won't have to. That it will just come naturally.

I want him to give. I figured this out early on, and I wish I knew how I did. That nothing is more important in this world than reaching out for other people and holding them. Giving them what they need. That is the only way we will survive anything, and I believe it's the purpose of life. To give. The earth is constantly giving to us. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be here. There is no need to worry about yourself because if others are giving and have the same mentality as you, then you will be taken care of. I want him to feel the joy of taking what you have and giving it to someone else. How it really does come back to you tenfold. I want him to reach out not with rose colored glasses, but with clear ones so he can see things for what they are but choose to give anyway. And I want others to give to him.

I want him to believe and be humble. I don't want him to be brainwashed by people who believe they are of God, or by literature, or by flapping mouths. I want him to look at a leaf and see the tiny veins and intricacies that no one notices unless they study it. I want him to feel wind blowing onto his face and marvel that his body knows to breathe it in even when he's not thinking about it. I want him to look at an elderly person's hand and see the withering and thin skin. Feel awe and wonder at the fact that it has touched things in the past that he will never know, and that it is nature's jacket housing a soul that will never be duplicated. I want him to look into a baby's eyes and see how wide open and unmarred they are. That the pure newness is a gift to humanity and enough to make you cry with gratefulness. I want him to know he is special and loved and unique in every way and that he is the only one on the entire planet that is HIM. But I also want him to know that goes for everyone else as well. That we are all that way. And sometimes we look at another person with disgust and forget that. That we were all nonexistent at some point, but then were put together and now are here. I want him to feel pure awe that I made something from nothing, knit him together inside my own body. Every capillary and hair follicle was grown from nothing at all, and made into the most perfect baby boy I have ever seen in my life. That in and of itself should make anyone humble, because we all know it happens without us doing anything. We don't actively build that life. And I want him to wonder who does. And know that whoever does form these lives, they have to be good. I want him to BELIEVE this. I don't care whether he calls it God, Nature, or Bill Nye the Science Guy. I just want him to feel that awe and that belonging and that feeling that there is something bigger than we are and we are safe.

I want him to understand how much I love him. I want him to experience that same ferocity that makes you say, "screw all the niceness and the fact that everyone is special and equal and all that bullshit. You hurt my baby and I will rip out your throat with my bare hands". The joy that makes your chest ache when you see their smile. The tears that fall either out of feeling physical pain when they do, or out of feeling awestruck at their existence. The urge to keep them balled up against your stomach in the dark, wishing time would stop so you never have to leave that safe place.

I want him to laugh. All the time. Because life happens regardless of whether you are cracking up or scowling. And it's much easier to get through if you laugh.

I want him to have a connection with animals. There is something about staying connected to that raw innocence and purity that keeps you from getting swept up in humankind and all it's crap. I want him to realize that sometimes just laying on your stomach in the dirt next to a dog and watching the sky is more worthwhile than shopping or driving around or buying things. That they will teach you things if you let them. They have no flaws, and people mistake their meekness for inferiority. I want him to learn respect, devotion, loyalty, and humbleness and I can think of no better way than to spend time with animals.

But mostly I want him to stay little. Every milestone makes me smile and breaks my heart at the same time. I clapped my hands for him today while smiling and telling him how good he was when he pulled himself to his feet for the first time while holding onto the couch. As his toes curled into the carpet for balance, I thought about how his grip on life will take him away from me and out on his own little by little. And how he is my little ball of play doh, so I'll do my best to not make him too lumpy and uneven. Then I took his picture and smiled because I'm so lucky to be the chosen one for him.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A goodbye tribute to an old friend.

The Truck was adopted into our family in 1989. I was 4 years old and we were trading in our Jeep Cherokee for a truck for my dad. I remember driving through the winding New Hampshire roads to the dealership, which was forever away since we apparently didn't live near civilization.

I remember when we picked him out. To me he was the prettiest truck on the lot. A big shiny gold and black 1989 Chevy Silverado. I thought the name of the truck in and of itself was so cool. Apparently when you're 4 years old Chevrolet is such a fancy word, because I named about half of my My Little Ponies Chevrolet after that.

My booster seat fit perfectly in the back seat and I just thought I was the coolest kid in the planet riding in this huge (to me) pick up truck.

The Truck has many memories that stick with me.

About 6 months later we got our dog Bridgette, and I remember riding home with her sleeping in a little ball of puppiness on my lap in the backseat. She threw up all over me and the new interior. About 5 years later, when we were living in Arizona, we made a road trip to Arkansas to visit family. We stopped in Texas and Bridgette apparently picked up a million pin sized ticks that flooded the entire back seat. I looked down from my book and the seat looked alive. I screamed and we spent the next 2 hours at a gas station vacuuming the dog and the Truck. That truck was also Bridgette's truck, as she spent hundreds of times sitting proudly next to my dad in the front seat, muddy and exhausted after her hunting trips with him. She rode on a soft blanket in the same spot when they took her to be put down when she was too old and tired and sick to live her life many years later.

He took us deep in the woods for many many family camping trips and my dad's hunting trips. It was gutted once by my dad when he drove directly over a tall stump. He also managed to back him into a hole (the only hole in their entire 1/2 acre backyard by the way) when doing yard work and messed up the axel. He had the Truck's engine replaced, as well as his transmission several times over 20+ years.

Once when riding with my dad when I was 6 or so, I was rolling a marble sized ball bearing in the track where the window goes down. If you haven't noticed, there is a hole where the track ends and the side panel meets. The ball bearing went down into that hole and into the hollow of the door. My dad could never get it out and ever since then, whenever he turns a corner it bounces around like a pinball machine and he shakes his head. He says he thinks of me every time. A few years later I found a tube of touch up paint in the glove box and decided to surprise my dad by touching up all the scratches and dings. I didn't know that the tube came with the Truck, was over 3 years old, and dries up after awhile. I also didn't know that touch up paint is not water soluble, so adding water and shaking it does not make it liquid again. I apparently thought globs of paint would just smooth out because when my dad came home from work he found his truck covered in lumpy patches of darker gold paint and me standing proudly next to my handiwork. He didn't have the heart to yell.

When I was 16 I learned to drive with the Truck. My dad's reasoning was if I could handle driving the beast with tough steering and crappy brakes, I could drive most anything. We had some close calls, the Truck and I. He overheated on me many times, but since the speedometer quit working I got to be pretty good at guessing my speed. The cops helped with that too.

The Truck spent many summer nights driving us out to the desert so we could lay on his roof and watch the meteor showers.

He hauled my stuff to my dorm my first year of college. He then moved me to various houses and apartments all throughout my years at ASU and Grand Canyon. He pulled the trailer that held our furniture and my son's crib to our first house.

For you fellow CPSTs, there truly is a niche for the Coccoro. It's in the center front seat of an 89 Chevy Silverado.

295,000 miles later, the transmission bit the dust again. The cost to repair it was too great. The Truck was tired, and could no longer pull trailers or go up the winding mountains to go camping. So he was donated to a veteran's organization to be auctioned off for charity last week. My dad sent me a cell phone picture of the Truck being loaded up.

I know in the end it's just a piece of metal. But that piece of metal held a LOT of memories. That funny black and gold pick up truck will be missed. See ya Truck. Thanks for everything. <3

Sunday, January 16, 2011

And again. Sigh.

Too, too fast. And I'm late to the game too. It's almost 5 month time. :( Also, I really hate how blogger crops the edge of my videos out. If anyone knows how to change that please tell me.