Monday, November 29, 2004

The Beauty of the Simple Things

I was never one of those parents who "fell in love" with my child the minute he was born. You know. You hear those birth stories through friends or relatives and they always end with "...and I instantly fell in love with him the minute he was in my arms." Blissful smile. I need more time for certain things and enjoying parenting is at the top of that list.

I had my first child at 36 and still didn't feel old enough to be a parent. It was an emergency ceasarian birth and for a number of reasons, including the fact that this was my very first stay in a hospital, I was shell shocked by the whole experience. Harrison came out with a bang and has been...well...somewhat difficult since. He was cranky as an infant. I won't say colicky, but definitely a tempermental guy. He hated those baby swings - even though I was assured that it would rock him to sleep. He didn't really dig naps nor bedtime. He didn't make breast feeding easy. Little things like that. It was hard. I don't think I had post-partum depression, but I do think that my ability to really, truly appreciate being a parent did not come until he was much older. In fact, I think it finally happened last weekend.

Saturday, Harry and I went to see The Polar Express. Just the two of us. This was Harrison's first visit to a movie theater. Trying to prepare him for this event, I walked him through what was going to happen. I emphasized the fun stuff - popcorn, large screen - while de-emphasizing the stuff I thought might bother him - the lights being turned off. We had a great time running through the outdoor mall that the theater was located in. Harrison was giddy. He told me, after rushing through crowds and lines of people to get to our theater, that movie houses reminded him of the airport. We sat down with our popcorn and water with fifteen minutes to spare. As the lights dimmed, and the movie started, Harrison stared at the screen intently. He would only pull his fingers out of his ears to grab some food or drink. He only talked to ask simple questions, such as, "Mama? Could you turn the movie down?"

As the magic, of being truly engulfed in a story, occurred for both of us, Harrison climbed on my lap and we held on. To each other and to the sweet story of Santa Claus.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Still Alive

I did it. I roasted a turkey. Ok...I put a turkey in the oven and watched it for hours and it came out done. Cooked. Roasted. Dry, but not a smidge of salmonella to be found.

Our friends came over with their two boys around 4:00pm. I had been standing since about 7:00am. I don't know how mothers and grandmothers have been doing this stuff forever! I was exhausted. And I wasn't even cooking everything. Beth brought a ton of food. Her husband even had to go home twice to bring back everything we needed. I still felt like a fairly good hostess. The table even had the "good" china on it. First time I've ever used it. God, I'm a dork!

The four children (all between the ages of 2 1/2 and almost 5) managed to throw more toys and make bigger messes than one might think are possible, BUT they had a blast.

I'm very curious, in a completely awestruck way, as to how people entertain for large numbers of people on a regular basis. How do they do it? Are they given special genes for this sort of thing? I was not and for the first time felt like my mother. I was nervous and tired and kept reassuring people that I was fine. As a child, I distinctly remember avoiding my mother whenever she was preparing for a dinner party. She would be a basketcase. I hope I wasn't that bad. But I probably was. I think the four screaming children and the intermittent crashing sounds really set the holiday mood. The really funny part was that the four adults tried everything in our power to use our manners, create polite conversation and ignore the noises from the basement.

Beth was amazing. Patient and true through the whole meal. Wielding super mom powers over all the children. Taking lovely photos of the kids table.

I'm thankful for friends, family and my new home - Utah.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Football and bird

Thanksgiving is a holiday of strict codes. One must eat turkey. One must watch football. One must be with family. My husband has two brothers in town who will be gone for the holiday. We are spending the day with friends who have two kids about the same age as mine. We already broke a rule.

This will be the VERY FIRST Thanksgiving dinner I have ever hosted. I'm scared to death. My friend, Beth, and I are having trouble deciding what to serve because we each have favorite dishes. (Notice that the guys are not involved with this - why is that?) We are serving about two hundred and thirty dishes to accomodate everyone's desires. The kids will not like any of it and we'll end up microwaving turkey franks about five minutes into the meal.

I love the holidays.

Trial by Fire

I am new to the West.

I have a new job that requires me to be technologically ept.

I am technologically inept. (I just got a cell phone for the first time this summer!)

I am surrounded by people with laptops on their kitchen counters who have their own web sites.

I am trying to figure this out so have decided to jump on the blog bandwagon.