When riding the teacups with Morella recently I watched her laughing and “woo!”-ing and thought this is the best moment of my life so far. Her curls blowing in the hot breeze, her laughter rising over the laughter of other kids around us. Her little face alight, taking in all the sights and sounds around her. Both of us in exactly the place we’d rather be, more than anywhere in the world.
I’m often seized with these self-aware waves of sentimentality, and I know it’s uncool to care about things, and I don’t care if caring is lame (ha). I’m at a point in my life where I will cry because of something beautiful my daughter says, or because of a scent that suddenly brings back memories, or because of a difficult or uplifting story that a coworker surfaces. And I’m not real concerned that it brands me as a sap. But I don’t know how other people deal with life — if they think about it while it’s happening and fully feel these moments and their significance, or if they just hurtle through from one event to the next, their mind never on what they’re doing and who they’re with, but on the next thing coming. I wonder at people not feeling the need to document. I feel very alive and honest, every step of every day. I want to put that into words but I think I flounder clumsily when I try. And you’re the victim of that. Ah well.
My child is hilarious. She demands “Mama, I want to be cold” when I’m buckling her into her carseat on a hot day. She sings / yells her dolls to sleep (“WOCKABYE BAYBEE”) with much feeling. She crawls under her bed despite my protestations, then yells for me to get her back out. She engages in high-pitched whining until you push her on the swing with BOTH hands. After being bathed, having her teeth brushed, listening to some stories, singing some songs, and throwing some anti-bedtime fits, she finally calms down only to break the silence with “What now? We go Busch Gardens?”
She’s got so much energy, and it continues to challenge me and spur me on.
Work is exciting and exhausting. The state of constant signal-checking, rolling with the punches, and adjustment means I’ve never had one boring day at this job, even after all this time. Taking on less reactive work and more proactive work (reaching out to users directly who didn’t contact us first, writing material about tips and new features, always updating documentation ahead of launches, trying to be helpful in an ever-changing online community) is a new dance and I’m gingerly enjoying it. Support / outreach work is a trade of absorption. You absorb reactions to a product you didn’t create and don’t have any control over, but remain the outward face of. If you’re not made of some unflinching, spongy material with a heart the size of Alaska, you will never make it.
Recently we got to have an ice cream truck come to the office as a reward for our departments, and family and friends joined us too. Watching our kids slurp down “chocolate decadence” was a happy occasion. Gelati Celesti covers over a world of afternoon doldrums. The next week we had a less happy occasion, a going away fete for our dear Lianna, without whom we’re unsure the wheels of our office will continue to turn.
Siouxzie turned two, and we celebrated with the rest of the family. The girls are now a full-blown ball of chaos when they’re together, following each other around the house getting into everything and making every mess possible, and getting appropriately jealous whenever a grandparent picks one of them up. Siouxzie dove into her strawberry cupcake in full force but then slowed down, so Morella finished it. And that’s pretty normal for them. I can’t believe these girls are so big now.
We got together with neighbors for National Night Out and spent some time just enjoying each others’ company in the sweltering August heat. I was glad to see old friends, and meet some new ones. The children drew on the sidewalk with chalk, ate their weight in blueberries and pizza, and fought over the toys. Toddlers offered up grimaces when asked to smile for my camera.
So that’s a glimpse into our summer: all sweat and popsicles. Playdates and tomatoes and chlorine. Teacups and typing and a few rainstorms. Now I’m off to get dinner ready for ourselves and some guests! I’m grateful for all these summertime farm stands in the neighborhood.