Saturday, November 21, 2009

There are some things you can never take back

Like, for instance, hitting the delete button.  I mean, sure, you can always just re-do what you've deleted, but it doesn't take away the fact that you deleted in the first place.

There are people that I want to get rid of in my life...on Facebook, at work, in my personal life.  Facebook is sort of hit delete and *poof*! they're gone.  But not really.  Deleting doesn't mean they never existed. 

It's the same when you say can say you're sorry, you can pretend the other person didn't hear, but it's out there...the words seem to linger in the Universe until the other person hears them.  That happened today on the phone.  The person on the other end said, "So, are you going to the wedding?".  And the words seemed to take forever to get to me.   When she realized I didn't know about the wedding, or the engagement for that matter, I'm sure she wished she could take those words back.  And she tried.   I will not acknowledge having heard them, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen.

Which brings me to the delete button.  If my own sister can't tell me that she's a) engaged and b) getting married in two months, then she's worthy of the delete button.  I've never been particularly close to my sister.  I blame that partly on different personalities and partly on our upbringing.  If my parents never emphasized the need for us to remain close, to stay together, to have each other's backs, then as adults, we just didn't know to do so. I guess.  For a while, I coughed it up to the old "you don't choose your family" thing, but that isn't good enough for me anymore.  I see my own boys interact and I tell them at the turn of every argument, of every disagreement--  at the end of the day, you two are brothers, and there isn't anything more important than a sibling.  One day, I won't be here, and you will only have each other.

So as I sit here contemplating the delete button, in real life and just on Facebook, I realize that we will probably talk again and while I can always "add" her back in my life, the fact that *this* is happening now will never not be the case.

My husband will tell me that she is family, and no matter what, you forgive family.  My heart hurts not because I didn't know, but more because of the lack of a sisterhood that is obvious and magnified by me not knowing.  She's my second born's Godmother, and we see her 2-3 times a year.  She lives twenty minutes away and we see her 2-3 times a year.  She is my "friend" on Facebook, and we hear from her 2-3 times a year.  I know she's in her corner saying it works both ways, and she's right, it does.  But there are very few times when there is a desire to form that sisterhood.

I'll leave the blog about the Co-conspirator, my mother, to another day.  Right now, I need to go clean up my friends' list. 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm in a mood

Not that that's news or anything, but I'm really in a mood.  This weekend has been way too emotional for me, and it's just over football.  There's no crying in football! 

Jonathan is the sweetest kid ever.  You would never think so, because he's one tough cookie, but he's like a tough cookie who's all warm and soft and chewy on the inside.  My profile picture?  Yeah, that was him finding a heart shaped shell in the sand and giving it to me.  He can't pass by a weed that has a flower on the end of it without picking it up and giving it to me.  He once brought me a rock shaped like a heart, and countless heart shaped leaves.  The kid is just oozing with sweetness.

He also beats his brother up, and jumps off table tops while landing on his feet and scares the frogs away from the front door so I can come in.  And he loves, loves, loves sports. 

But Saturday's flag football was way too much.  Our team sucks. It really does.  But aside from the team sucking, Jonathan can't stop laughing.   He has the ball, and he sees the opposing team gunning for him, and he breaks out into a mad giggle, and runs the wrong way.  Because he's smart.  And who in their right mind would run towards eight kids trying to get him?

So there he is, running the wrong way, laughing merrily, when some kid takes his flag and the play is over.  And because there are two too many kids on the team, they have to rotate.  So the hubs, who is the unwilling Coach, tells Jon to get on the sideline so he can put a kid in that hadn't played that down.  Next thing I know, Jon is hysterical crying, crouched on the floor in the fetal position.  Really, just what a mom wants to see.

He tells me that his daddy took him out because he did something wrong.  He tells me that his sneakers were making him slip in the grass.  He tells me that he has no superpowers and all the kids can run faster than him.  He tells me he's no good.  I look in his eyes, and they tell me that he's heartbroken.  And I don't know what to do.  Because what I want to do is sit there and cry with him.  We work so hard to build his confidence, to let him know he's loved unconditionally, to teach him how special he is, but we never worked on how to handle feeling not good enough.  Did we do something wrong?  Did we say something wrong?  Did we make him feel too special, not special enough? 

These are only things that affect me.  My husband didn't think twice about it and went about his day.  But it took the life out of me.  I don't ever want Jon Jon to feel the way he did, and yet, I know it won't be the last time.  I also don't ever want my son to just give up, and I don't know how to make him dust himself off and get back in there.  No matter how many times I tell him that as long as he tries his best, he is the best, I don't know how to make him believe me.  I have no control over his heart, and I don't know how to handle that. 

When we got home from the game, I took him to the sports shop and got him some football cleats.  This morning, I woke up and got him dressed and took him to the field to practice, just the four of us.  I can still control his preparedness.   But I feel so useless that I can't control heartbreak-- his or mine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today, I watched my language

I really did.  I learned that the way you say "DNA" in spanish is cleverly "ADN" and I told each and every class of 20+ moms that every time they fed their baby ABM, they were changing their baby's DNA (or ADN, but whatevs).  I was even so bold as to start the class by saying that I'm not getting into the "benefits" of breastfeeding, because there are none.  That got a lot of eyebrows raised.  I went on to say that there are only risks in formula feeding.  And then I repeated. 

"Let me repeat... there are no benefits to breastfeeding, because breastfeeding is what is NORMAL.  There are only risks with formula feeding.  And you need to know that what you are choosing to give your baby has risks involved.  Breastfed babies are not healthier.  They are the norm.  Formula fed babies are sicker."

The one thing I love about my job is that I can say just about anything I want, as long as I have science on my side. 

And boy do I have science on my side.

I have to tweak the message.  I'll start passing it out with leftover Halloween candy.  But it will be the same.

All this time, I felt special, superior even, for having breastfed my children.  I have never been so happy to be so normal in my life.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read this:

Monday, November 9, 2009

There's a Storm Brewing...

No, really, there is... Hurricane Ida.  It's so windy out today.  The skies are ominous.  The temperature is cool and detached. And it is going to miss us completely, by at least eight hundred miles.

Hurricanes are an amazing thing.  They are such a regular occurrence here that the word doesn't ever instill fear. Instead, it seems to instill hope.  Beneath the certain twinge of anxiety of the unknown, there's hope...of school closings and early ends to long, boring work days, of coolers full of beer and pantries full of comfort food, of forced slumber parties and extended sleeping hours due to the darkness of the hurricane shutters., of warmth and love and unity.  The first hurricane we weathered together in this house was the last hurricane to hit Miami -- Hurricane Wilma in 2005.  It was a measly Cat 1, but it took out our power for three weeks, along with sprinkling our outdoor aluminum roof all over the neighborhood.  There were at least three men that came by asking to pick up the scraps so they could recycle it and cash out.  It's so bizarre how people try to turn a buck...

Dozens and dozens of bags of breastmilk, all thrown out due to spoilage.  That's what I remember most.  Other than that, I remember closeness and family and comfort and nice evenings with the windows open and cool air coming through.  I remember big family dinners at my in-laws and really appreciating my gas dryer and gas range oven.  Hurricanes are amazing around here, because they are an excuse to come together.

There was another hurricane that passed through here last night...same ominous skies, same aloofness in the air, mixed with some thunder and lightning.  The aftereffects are still being felt, and I'm hopeful, being the cause of last night's hurricane, that it will do just as little as most hurricanes -- clear the air, bring in beautiful weather and warm, fresh breezes, and dissipate before ever making landfall.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Full Disclosure

I'm not really a PTA mom.  Well, that's not entirely true.  Yesterday, I finally got my PTA membership card.  Do you think I'll get hotel discounts and free cookies at Mrs. Field's if I flash it around?

I'm not really a PTA mom in the sense I had imagined.  Granted, there's still time, but so far, I'm a little disappointed.  I had big ideas.

Other than that, I am who I pretend to be.  I get that somewhere in my ancestry, there are Spanish descendants.  But I really couldn't go around calling myself a Spaniard, now could I?  So I wouldn't.

I do, however, call myself indian all the time.  That's probably untrue as well, although I'm not entirely sure.   I guess if I really think about it, where I'm from, I could be part Asian, but I haven't mentally explored that possibility at all, so I won't digress. 

Not indian like Native American indian, or Indian like being from India, but "indio", like the hispanic culture refers to part of their own people. It's funny because in the Cuban culture-- the hispanic culture really, calling someone an indian is an insult.  More often than not, the tone of your skin and certain facial features indicate social class.  The only time I saw that to be different was in Spain.  When I went to Spain, I was amazed at how the light-haired, light-eyed people were attracted to the darker skinned, dark eyed ones. 

When I was growing up, my sister and I would half-kid that we were going to get my mom a bumper sticker that read "Mejore la raza" -- "Better the race".  It's not that my mom was or is a racist, it's that in her culture, like most Latin American countries, the lighter, the better.  So she was really disappointed when  every boy I brought home was hispanic, and hardly any of them had the straight hair she associates (incorrectly) with good genes.  I almost wrote "pure" genes, but really, I didn't want you to think she was that off the'd really have to understand the culture to get where she was coming from.  In the end, it all works out...she got her light haired, light skinned grandchildren thanks to my overly hispanic husband.

Anyway, I had a point. A lot of times, I really do feel more indian than of Spanish descent, and I'm proud of that indian heritage.  The Incas were an amazing people and I'm sure, because of my skin tone and hair texture, that somewhere in my bloodline, there's a fierce Inca.  Or at least I like to think so.  When people asked me why I wanted to breastfeed, or why I was breastfeeding, or why I was breastfeeding for so long, or why I am breastfeeding for so long, I politely and proudly say, "I'm indian.  It's what my people do.".  That usually shuts them up.  Mostly because I just called myself what they view as derogatory and partly because all along, they probably thought I was Cuban.  Which is ok.  The full disclosure is I am Cuban, too.  By injection only. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Late

I know it's late and I should be sleeping, but I'm not.

Instead I'm using the light from my cell phone to stare at my babies. Jonathan keeps blurting stuff out in his sleep and it always amazes me how he processes his day this way.

Bry is making baby noises and sucking motions with his mouth.

There are days when I just can't believe they're mine.

Jonathan just popped up in his sleep, made finger shadows on the wall with the light from the phone, and plopped back to sleep. It would have cracked me up if it hadn't freaked me out so much first.

Bry likes for me to wrap my arm around him while he sleeps. I'm not complaining.

When I was pregnant with Bry, I had to get Jonathan accustomed to sleeping on a different side and relying more on Papi's body warmth than mine. I beat myself up about that a lot. At least 3 times a night he still searches out my hand to rub the skin on the finger pad of specifically the pinky, which for some odd reason, puts him back to sleep. Don't try to give him any other finger. It has to be the pinky. He says the skin is the softest there.

Bry has to sleep with his legs between mine. He doesn't nurse so much at night anymore -- maybe three times or so, but I love it when he snuggles so close that my breast is his pillow. That is, after all, his intention.

I'm not going anywhere with this. I just want to remember this moment forever.