A year ago I wrote here about my beautiful eldest girl, Tui. Today, she carries new life in her belly, a second son to join her firstborn Jai, who is about to turn 15. That’s a long while between babies, but she’s ready for him :-)
I was 38 when Jai was born, and in total denial about becoming a grandmother. I didn’t even meet him till he was three. Looking back, I can’t believe that I chose to miss out on his early years like that.
Of course, I miss out on so much in my children’s lives by living on the other side of the world. But really? I completely skipped my first grandchild? That seems amazing to me now. I was young and poor and scared, but somehow that doesn’t seem like a good excuse any more.
So yeah, I plan to go back in November to spend time with Tui’s family, sharing the fun of a newborn. That’ll be three trips back in less than a year. Wow.
I love this self-portrait she took. I stole it from her Facebook page.
Posted by suchwildlove on June 11, 2013
We FaceTimed yesterday. Oh my goodness (squealy voice) these babies are scrummy.
Felix is nearly two. He repeats anything you say. He can now kiss properly (instead of just opening his mouth and slobbering). He demonstrated this by kissing the phone many times while I talked with him. He’s scared of dogs (even little puppies) and he adores his baby sister. And trains. He loves trains.
Cali is nearly four months old. Is that all? It seems longer since I last cuddled her. She sleeps well, smiles big, and sings like the rock chick she is.
I miss them so. How many sleeps till I see them in November??
Illustration by Tony. Photos blatantly stolen from Instagram.
Posted by suchwildlove on June 10, 2013
This is my seventh Mother’s Day without her.
And I miss her more each year, as my children grow and have kids of their own. Whereas once I needed mothering help, now I need advice on grandmothering.
Today K asked me to talk about her, as we drove along winding roads in the Santa Monica Mountains. I said she was petite and gentle, loving and cuddly. That she once had red hair. That she taught me to sew and spin and embroider and garden. He wanted more stories, but I don’t think the few anecdotes I shared gave him a good picture of my sweet mother.
All I know is, she is a huge part of who I am.
Miss you, mama. So, so much.
Posted by suchwildlove on May 12, 2013
How do I listen while a loved one sobs out her suffering, without taking on the pain myself? What’s the key? How do I keep perspective and equilibrium, but not become cold or indifferent?
Is this even a goal I should seek? Isn’t the world changed for the better by the passionate, not the dispassionate? If no-one takes on the pain of the abused and disenfranchised, how can things improve for them?
There are degrees of pain. “First world” versus “third world”, for example. But to the sufferer, it’s all pain.
First responders, therapists, charity workers, families of the maimed, these people (and many others) navigate the path of witnessing up close, even embracing, others’ pain without either “fingers in ears, lalalala can’t hear you” or going under themselves. I applaud them, and want to sit at their feet to learn how it’s done.
I don’t know the answers, but I’m getting practice anyway. I want to be happy. I choose to be happy. But I also want to be there for my unhappy friends, to be an ear, to be a rock, to help without hurting myself.
If you know what I’m talking about, tell me how you do it. Please.
Posted by suchwildlove on May 4, 2013
Me + guy + dog are going camping this weekend! We’re off to Death Valley, with loose plans to check out some of the many ghost towns in the vicinity. And cook delicious meals over open fires. And sing a lot of songs.
I can’t wait.
[My close friends (I'm looking at you, Lola & sister) will recognize my scrappy picnic blanket, now getting pretty bedraggled, but still much-loved.]
Posted by suchwildlove on April 24, 2013
Her nickname was Lolli, and she was a juicy sweet woman who dressed inappropriately for this community college language class. She was maybe in her early 30s, and I learned one day that her third marriage was ending.
“Well,” I primly assumed, “I guess you won’t be going there again.”
She looked at me guilelessly, her freckled face open. “Why not?” she asked. “If there’s love, why not? Why would I close myself off to love?”
I don’t think that marrying everyone you love is a wise idea. But the thing I remember the most: she wasn’t mortally wounded. She wasn’t building walls against future intimacy and commitment. She still believed that love was a good thing, even if it only lasted a season or three.
She wasn’t scared.
Lolli, I haven’t thought about you for years, but tonight I raise a glass to you, and the example you give me. I won’t show as much cleavage or belly as you loved to, but in other ways, I’m lowering my defenses.
We are all flawed, and love is a good thing. Mazel tov, my friend.
Posted by suchwildlove on April 22, 2013
With every plant and pot I bring, I feel more invested. Not financially. Emotionally. I’m planting a garden again. It feels so, so good.
Posted by suchwildlove on April 21, 2013
We dressed up in glad rags and went to a friend’s wedding. He joked that he wanted me to catch the bouquet, but the bride didn’t have one. But it sure was lovely to see him in the suit I’d adjusted.
Posted by suchwildlove on April 21, 2013
Letting out pants. Letting in possibilities. So far, it’s been wait and see. But I’m making space for the idea that this could be It.
Posted by suchwildlove on April 18, 2013
They started as strangers. After 2 hours, they were friends. It was fun to watch.
Posted by suchwildlove on April 14, 2013