Wednesday, March 16, 2005

For the Memory Book

This has been a standout week. If I were a better mother, the kind that keeps updated memory books and never goes to bed with dirty laundry in the hamper, then I would be filling up Maria's baby book with all the many milestones she has crossed. She has decided to open her fists, and reach for toys. She rakes her fingers across rattles, her kiwi puppet, and plastic fish. She can make one rattle move enough to play a musical reward. When laid out on the bed she can turn herself, like a hand on a watch ticking off minutes. She clings to her kiwi, and to her daddy's shirt, and her mommy's hair. She smiles all the time, except when she's sad, and she isn't often sad. When she cries it is adorable, strong, insistent and effective. The sound of her slurping on her fist makes me believe in angels, and dreams that come true... I don't know why. Maybe it's because when she has her fist at her lips and she is slobbering and cooing she sounds like a being full of hope, faith and grace. I love holding her. I love her.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I think I want to go on a road trip. It happens every now and then. A feeling begins to settle in my feet, and it winds its way up to my heart, and by the time it reaches my brain I am too enchanted to be ruled by reason and I must travel. Reason has been pulling me back, slowing me down. I know long days on the big highway with a baby and a teenager and two betweeners could be trying. And there are the usual issues: What about the cat, rabbit, crabs and fish? When can Geoff get away? Should I go without him? Where should we go and for how long? Is it, at last, time to take a trip out of our regular circle? Perhaps Europe, New Zealand, Catalina Island? Death Valley is supposed to be aglow with wildflowers from the record breaking rain; it hasn't bloomed this way in anyone's memory. Our attempt to see the Grand Canyon was thwarted by really bad weather. We could make a second try.

Maybe we should just sit tight, clean house, organize the garage, try to make the house ready for a baby that will soon be crawling. We haven't childproofed. We haven't cleaned the way you are supposed to clean when in-laws are coming in one week. Taxes, medical bills, alphabetizing our magazines... there are at least a dozen good reasons to not even be thinking of traveling, or are they actually solid reasons to take-off, vacate, discover the world, get lost, find new roads? Sigh. Deep, deep sigh.