13 August 2012

The World According to Short-And-Silly

Do you know what this symbol is for? It's universal.
Jack and I went to the beach this weekend, like everyone else in LA did because the apocalypse is nigh, as demonstrated by temperatures well into the "jeezlouise-it's-hotter-than-homefries" (I"m sorry, I really am, like I have said before I'm looking for new clean phrases…) It was a pretty eventful day: we made camp near a dead beached dolphin and then talked about said dead dolphin all day. Consequently Jack is now telling people that dolphins are yucky and we should not touch them. We saw a car on fire on the side of the highway near a mountain of nothing but dead dry brush and I had this flash forward of the entire brittle hot dry city of LA catching fire. I'm pretty certain the car burst into flames due to the extreme temperatures all over SoCal and it's probably a miracle my car didn't burst into flames also considering that we were overheating for a portion of the trip home. While we were overheating I had to open the windows and turn off the air conditioner which made me feel like I might spontaneously combust at any moment, just like that car we saw did. So that was really great.

But the most awesome part of the day was stopping at various gas stations 4 times to use the potty on the way home. On one particular stop Jack saw a big blue handicap parking sign painted on the ground. He stopped and studied it for a while and then suddenly it all made sense:

" Oh! That's Jack on the potty!"
Well, have a look at that sign. I can see it!

Actually the most awesome part of the day was playing in the ocean with my kid. The waves were pretty big so we could only play at the shallow part of the shoreline, but we got plenty of soakers and the water would retreat so fast that it was very difficult to stay upright. The vertigo alone from the visual of rushing water was like an awesome carnival ride. Jack had a blast, and while we did miss Papa who was out of town for the weekend, I was really glad I went solo with Jack. Because I don't think I would have gotten in the water otherwise (rip tides and sharks. I fear rip tides and sharks in any body of water. Including the bathtub, no lie.) And getting in the water was ridiculously fun. I played like a kid with Jack in the waves and had the time of my life.

Jack pretends to be a dead beached dolphin

I realized something after our weekend together. I have been extra attentive with Jack recently. On the weekends I try to organize a ton of fun Jack-centric activities. I started a journal for Jack, recording all of the funny things he says and does. I'll give this journal to him when he's older. It's in lieu of his baby book which is mostly empty because I am a terrible scrapbooker. (Actually, I believe the term is "scrapper".) My screen saver on my computer is a slideshow of mostly baby photos. And then there is the fact that I am writing about him frequently and processing photos of him for the blog. I realized I am trying to fill and capture these moments very precisely and in as much detail as possible because he is getting older so rapidly. The baby moments have slipped away with hardly a record save for the photographs. I look at Jack sometimes and I see this fuzzy, far away hint of what is to come 5 years from now, 10 years from now, and it fills me with terror and panic. Not just because he will be a teenager in 10 years and will  most likely rather go to school with no pants on than be seen being kissed on the cheek by me in public. But terror and panic because I don't get to have a baby for very long. And if I can look at pictures from just last summer and mourn the baby he will never be again then I'm thinking I need to remember these days and this age of 3 and a half. I need to fill his days with laughter and fun and dirt and jungle gyms and ice cream and hours spent in the kiddie-pool (which he calls Kitty Pool, "Meow!")

Jack pretends to be
a big brother

And all of these thoughts have lead me to another discovery about myself: that I'm probably mourning that there will not be another baby in general. Not only will Jack not be a baby again but I will probably not have the experience of bringing a child through the belly and infancy and toddlerhood again. Don't quote me on it, the jury is still out. But every time I think about the prospect of a second child I can only mostly think of all the reasons it's a bad idea. For me, for us, for who we are as a family, and for the things we want to do. People were asking me if I was going to have a second baby when I was still pregnant with Jack. Don't they know the absurdity of that? Don't they know that you cannot even fathom what parenthood is really going to be like before it happens to your face like a mack truck hurricane? Is there really anything wrong with me wanting to just focus on the one I have and pour absolutely everything good I have into his life…into our lives, all 3 of our lives? No, nothing wrong with that.

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