Dear Sweet Georgia Brown
In a few hours our neighbor Meg is going to come over. She is a vet and she will give you a shot that will put you asleep and then another to stop your heart. And what a heart you have. You have been in our lives as long as Andy and I have been together. If you made it to spring you would have been 18 years old. You have had a good long life. It has been my honor to take care of you. I know technically you were Andy’s first wife. You came first but not by much. Thank you for letting me share Andy with you. I know you didn’t like it at first.
I will never forget the first time I saw you. Andy had made a video of his life before any of us had ever met in person. You will still a puppy. You were all skinny, wiry and full of puppy energy. You bonked the camera. Here is a secret. You helped me fall in love with Andy. Thank you.
I always felt guilty about making you leave your bucolic southern island and move to New York. I know you loved barking at those waves and running in the surf. I also know you loved chasing squirrels in Prospect Park, but it wasn’t the same.
I am sorry about bringing Bella into your life, it was my idea- although Andy approved it. I know you had your moments but really I think she added several more years your of life. We always used to joke that hate will make you live forever. Well, you lasted another 8 with Bella, so i was close.
You have been through all of our major life transitions and you handled it with your amazing grace and grit. I am glad you got to spend some time with our Davy. I know if you were a few years younger you two would have been wonderful friends.
I understand that when you bring an animal into your life you made a commitment to take care of them for the rest of their lives. It just sucks that we can’t live out our all days together. I read a book once where peoples souls lived outside of a human’s body in the form of an animal. You will always be Andy’s soul. I love you girl. Thanks for putting up with me for all of these years.
Davy has been going to Ginny’s house a few days a week for the last 8 months or so. Ginny and Davy have a special kind of relationship. I think Davy has learned a lot there. They kind of love each other and I feel special and fortunate that there is someone so fantastic in Davy’s life. Also, personally I like Ginny a lot. We always have a lot to talk about. Sometimes I think it kind of annoys Davy that I hang around to talk to Ginny. She has been saying “bye mom”, before I am ever ready to leave. It’s funny.
Daycare has been out for holiday break so Davy has spent two full long days at Ginnys. This has given me some extra time to craft and generally feel like an adult. Today my friend Ari and I went to go see Lincoln. A mid-week adult movie that Andy (who is in Atlanta visiting family) would HATE. Before Davy came along- I used to love going to see movies during the week. It kind of felt delicious and decidant to see a mid-week movie. Yummy.
Then I had a 2-hour conversation with my friend Courtney who I haven’t spoken to in weeks. Then I picked up Davy and we went to our other family, the Rooneys for dinner.
Davy is trying on her sense of humor and was making little toddler jokes all through dinner. It was really funny. After dinner Davy spent some time chasing around Abe and Beti. Beti showed Davy a snow globe that I think was kind of mesmerizing for Davy. When it was time to leave she thanked Lori for dinner (unprompted) and said it was good!!! She then gave everyone hugs. Big Bear Hugs.
As I was putting her to sleep tonight we just hugged each other for a hard long time. I missed her all day, but was so proud of the little person she was becoming. I told her how happy she made me and how I am so proud of her and happy that I got to be her mother. We sat in the rocker for a long time, rubbing each others back. A perfect moment. My beautiful funny daughter. Out of all of the people in the universes who could have been my kid, this is my kid, and I am so grateful.
So this weekend at the tree trimming I had an epiphany of sorts. Out of the 15 or so kids that were there, mine was the loudest. Davy at 25 months is full of loud expressions; Squeals of happiness, squeals of frustration, fits of toddler fueled rage, big wet tears. She is (like me) ever so in touch with her feeling. She really feels them.
Also like me, volume control tends to be kind of an issue. People always tell me that they love my big loud laugh when they meet me. Andy says its one of the things that made him fall for me. I have also had the opposite effect. It can really annoy people. I always say “love me, love my laugh” but my big loud voice has also gotten me into trouble at some points in my life. I suck at office duty. I remember a women I worked with who used to scowl at me when I laughed. For me, it always felt kind of like the ultimate rejection because its not something I can really help. It always kind of felt like someone hating me because I am short or something. Its just part of who I am.
I have also been told to be “quiet” most of my life and it kind of feels like shit. I remember getting into an argument with my father and he told me I was talking too loud. I was a teenager at the time. He wouldn’t listen to me unless I was quiet. So while I am a relatively well adjusted adult, who is as comfortable with myself as I can be, volume control brings a bit of emotional baggage to me.
So this brings me to my daughter. She is slowly becoming a mini me (except she can wear vertical stripes). She talks like me and picks up a lot of my vocal intonation. She says “yeah sure” all the time when she is being agreeable. It’s funny to hear. The flip side is that she is picking up stuff from me that I kind don’t like about myself. I have brought attention to it, both to Andy and to others. I am aware of it, but it still feels like a total kick in my heart when i or others have to “shush” her. I mean she will scream if she doesn’t get what she wants and its really ear piercing, a small “shush” isn’t an inappropriate response, it’s just one that takes me back because I want to shield her from this little bit of pain.
This is probably the first time in my grand 18 months of parenting where I am brushing up against my own insecurities about myself coming through my daughter. It is harder to be a clear minded parent when you are battling your own demons. I know that this too shall pass, but I wonder what is next?
So ’tis the season for handmade gifts. I have been crazy busy crafting away. So much so it has been stressing me out a little. Do i finished the fingerless gloves from 6 weeks ago? Do I knit a giant reindeer head? Do I finish Courtney’s quilt (that only needed about 2 hours of work on). How about some handmade ornaments? What about Andy’s Jam label? SO MUCH to DO. I feel like a portland stereo type!
So hear it is- everything so far!
I had made a hat for Davy that would be big enough for all of her puffs and bantu knots. It wasn’t big enough so I made her a hipster slouchy.
Did some quick ornaments that were toddler friendly for our tree:
(these were pretty time consuming)
Strung some garland (I have had these felt balls for years)
Davy got into the action and decorated some snowflakes
I am working on my reindeer head-He is huge and not felting as well as I would have hoped because I way over stuffed him. Also it looks creepy because he doesn’t have eyes or horns, it is WAY more knitting than i bargained for, but he will be cute when he is done. His name is MakeOne. I named him that because we have one at the store and I started a facebook contest about the name. I picked the name Make One because it was cute and not as obvious as some. My coworker randomly decided her name should be Purl and put a string of purls on him and changed his gender. So I made my own make one because I am a small minded person who obviously doesn’t have enough to think about. The end of the story…..
and because we appreantly are portland stereotypes. Andy has been making is own jam for christmas gifts. They are great and delicious. I did the labels and cut out a million of those circles. Today Davy wanted jam on her toast. I have her marmalade and she said “Noooooo JAM mommy”. I guess she would know the difference.
Finally we had some people over to help decorate our tree. These are a few of my favorite pictures.
These are some of my favorite people (please note the green marker on Lori’s forehead)
After years of religious ambivalence. I am proud of my Christmas Jew status.
Andy bought me a special sweater. I am showing it off with Beti. I think Beti thinks I am a little crazy
How in the world to I manage all of this?
My house is a freaking mess. We have a giant knit reindeer head, but really no spoons. I am THAt fun to live with folks