Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everything And Nothing.

For my 200th post, I vacillated about what scintillating topic to write about and I came up with...


So, to commemorate countless hours of brain downloading on this blog, I'm going to write about what's been going on in our lives for the last six months. Don't hold your breath; it's not all that exciting and really, unless you're a blood relative you may just want to stop right here because - spoiler alert - this might be very boring.

Ben is seven and eight months now. But who's counting? Apparently, he is because the chatter in our house is all about the 8th birthday and whether or not an iPad will make an appearance in his birthday gifts.

His father and I decided that there would be no birthday party this year as we are really, really tired of the birthday excess (mind you, this was a conversation about Ben's birthday, NOT mine).

So since the birthday party is nixed, Ben wants to know if we can apply the birthday party funds to an iPad. His dad's answer was a resounding "N-O" but I'm a little more soft on the subject given the fact that my *second* Acer laptop is about to die.

I thought I had solved the problem free and clear for us, when I suggested that we both forgo Christmas gifts and instead ask for an iPad from the family. This went over like a lead balloon. Ben simply could not fathom the idea of giving up Lego sets from his Grandpa. Suffice to say, we will probably finish out the year with the cranky Acer and maybe Ben will settle on an iTouch.

Now, the reason that the iPad has become so coveted is because the iPhone - my iPhone - is the hottest commodity in our house. Admittedly, I was beyond excited to get the iPhone earlier this year. Elated even.

But then Ben got his little paws on it, and I'm lucky to squeeze a phone call in. Actually, it's not that bad as I limit his usage each day to whatever time I need to get things done without being accompanied from room to room hearing complaints of how boring it is to stay at home and when when when might Angry Birds come out because there are new seasons, new levels, new worlds, all these grand new experiences that enrich Ben's life so very much.

God help me.

All this inactivity certainly isn't stunting Ben's growth or hindering his appetite. He's almost up to my shoulders and he eats twice, sometimes three times as much as me. His new game, anytime I'm sitting on the couch, but especially at bedtime, is to pin me down and keep me there.

And since he's got me beat on physical strength, my only leverage are those damn birds. At 9pm each night - sometimes later - here's the line that gets me an hour or so of uninterrupted adult time: "Benjamin, get off me right now or there will be no Angry Birds tomorrow!" Don't believe me? Ask the neighbors. Ask anyone in Carmichael. They'll tell you.

During the day, Ben is currently going to two camps: golf camp in the morning and day camp (at my club) in the afternoon. You'd think he'd be too tired to hold me down each night in what always results in a major physical tangle (so not my thing!).

Recently, an acquaintance with a 7-year-old daughter used her Facebook status to report the following: "Seven is heaven." Seriously? Because I was thinking that one was heaven. Really. There wasn't all this attitude and brute force. Granted, there were a lot of diapers and sleepless nights but the pay-off of having a sweet baby who would curl up for hours in my arms was well worth all the inconveniences of babyhood. Those days are so gone.

Now my sweet baby boy is tripping me when I walk by him. He plays "chair gymnastics" each night at the dinner table, and I'm certain that he'll split his head open any day now. He won't take a bath unless I bribe him. He gets into my dark chocolate stash. He shoots at me with his Stampede. He plays "fly the ottoman" across the wood floor and smashes into the glass slider repetitively. But he still asks me to cuddle nearly every night, so I guess there's some semblance of heaven here. Oh, and he'll still hold my hand in the parking lot, too. That's heavenly, for sure.

On the subject of heaven, I believe that Ben and I have broken up with my church. It pains me to write this, but, we - or I- am just not fitting in and I think that church is a place where you have to feel welcomed, or at the very least, comfortable. It's not happening. I don't know why. I really hate that I feel this way.

Also on the subject of uncomfortable things, my childhood BFF is moving to Boston. I'm totally crushed, but also elated for her. It's not like I didn't see this coming. She and her husband have maintained a very jet-setty lifestyle of flying back and forth for months and I believe that the breaking point was finally reached. I can't say I blame her: who wouldn't want to trade the Central Valley for downtown Boston?

Nevertheless, I'm still reeling from her news. This is, after all, the girl who picked up the phone at 10pm over eight years ago, when I called with a positive pregnancy test and 1o months later, in the delivery room, exclaimed, "He smiled! I swear, he just smiled at me!" I don't think I can continue on this topic without crying so I'll move on.

Dating. Now there's a happy topic. Not. The general consensus among my friends is is that "it's time for Janeen to start dating again."

Le sigh. Repeat. Repeat.

It's not that I don't want to date, I simply do not know where to begin and I don't think that the answer lies in my computer (ie - Match, eharmony, etc). Soooo, the friends all have other friends who could be potential set-ups. UGH.

God help me. Again. Please.

There's a single dad in my neighborhood. I've known him for nearly five years, maybe more. He's taking the old 'cat and mouse' game to a new level. "Drive by my house," he texts, "and I'll go out and get the mail and we can talk."

Really, God? REALLY? Is this punishment? I'm sorry I broke up with the church. I'll go back.

I think I like my world of Netflix and Molly time better. It's served me well for months. I sleep better in this world and I don't have to worry about blind dates with gills and the single dad who is scared to be seen with me.

I can't believe that dating, at 40, has come to this. Or maybe I can. Because nothing, in the area of my love life, shocks me anymore.

But a routine visit to the doctor does. It's never good when the doctor barrels in to the exam room saying: "Your cholesterol jumped 101 points this year. Your total number is now 301! You're going to die!" Well, he didn't say the last part, but of course that's where my brain went.

Just in case you didn't read that correctly, let me clarify: THREE - OH - ONE!


The doctor went on to explain the breakdown; that the "good" number wasn't good at all, and that the "bad" number was indeed very bad and did I know about oatmeal and vegetables and fiber and nuts and Cholest-Off and heart disease and stroke and clogged arteries? I asked him to please refer to the occupation listed in my chart (that would be "Wellness Consultant") and to kindly get off my back because my favorite relative lived to 93 and had cholesterol in the 300s and no, I do not eat red meat. Or eggs. Or butter.

Needless to say, there is a Lipitor prescription waiting for me in three months if I don't get my numbers down. So now instead of four vegetables a day, I'm eating eight and instead of a small bowl of oatmeal each day, I'm filling a horse trough. And suddenly dating doesn't seem so concerning.

On a final note, after months - and I mean months - of applying, re-applying, begging, and crying, my mortgage file is finally on the desk of an underwriter. What does this mean? It means that I run to my nearest B of A branch at least twice a day with paystubs, W2s, letters from my ex (really!), and bank statements from last week, last year, last decade.

Last night, the underwriter sent a message marked "Urgent" in the middle of dinner. "Urgent" in B of A terms means that someone lost the fax and could I please send it for the 9th time? Now. You can bet that I did not leave my prime seat outdoors at Zocalo's with three of the loveliest ladies I know and excellent conversation about love, sex, Paris and Viagra to attend to B of A's idiot-ness. No way.

Suffice to say, I've had a bit of anxiety as we come into this final step of the modification process. I figure that at best, I could know the outcome in a week or so, but definitely by the middle of August. I guess the situation was easier to stomach before, because I was just another file hanging in limbo, but now there is a very real possibility that we could be packing next month. Everyone keeps asking me if I have a gut feeling of how this will go. I really don't. And maybe that's what makes it so hard.

What also makes it hard is that I've been unable to shield Ben from the process. Each day he asks me what will happen to Molly if we have to move. I think he has overheard too many adult conversations on this topic and given that his love for Molly is so over-the-top right now, her whereabouts is a top priority for him. I don't have an answer for this - obviously - and can only re-assure him that everything will be fine.

So, while we hang out in this weird space of total uncertainty, I'm trying to keep us both busy. Ben has another week of golf and more day camp, and we'll head to my sister's, and also to the beach in the next few weeks. I've found that pool time is great to calm the persistent thoughts and so is time with my wonderful friends. Molly has become a sweet companion when Ben is away, and when the house is quiet, she must sense my need for company because she never leaves my side.

I will be grateful when things are more solid for us. Being on unsteady ground isn't easy, particularly for someone like me who thrives on planning and known outcomes. But, I still hold on to the notion that The Plan is in the works, and that it will unfold in due time on all fronts: with work, our home, health and love.

Often, in the classes I teach I'll play something that comes directly from my heart. Tonight's choice was "Let It Be."

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be. Let it be.
There will be an answer
Let it be.

I'm letting it be. What other choice do I have?

1 comment:

Lish said...

Ouch. Now I'm worried about Molly too.

Sometimes I think I must have done something bad too since my love life has been spotty in the past and currently is non-existent. But it could be much worse. I could be divorcing Mark Anthony right now.