Month 43, Version 2.0

Month 43, Version 2.0

Dear Miles,

I occasionally get asked why I write monthly letters to you and Olivia and there are really two reasons.  One, I’m kind of an anxious person and have really horrifying fears and one of those fears is I will die at a young age.  I’ve had this fear since I was a little girl and I have a very vivid memory of turning five years old and sitting in my bedroom crying over fear that I was going to die soon.  My mother rushed into my room and did her best to console me but the fear has always loomed over my head.  Perhaps those fears are magnified once you become a parent because now I’m responsible for both you and Olivia and the absolute last thing I would want to happen, would be to make you two motherless.  Unfortunately, the thought never seems to totally abate me.  I remember while all of us were preparing to board an airplane, someone brought up a story how a family they knew always split the family for fear that something would happen and voila, the entire family would be gone.  Probably the worst story to tell someone who is riddled with anxiety and is preparing to be hurled through the sky in a tin can and I remember thinking, why didn’t I think of that?  I have yet to split our family and I’m sure this idea wouldn’t sit well with your dad but these are the morbid thoughts that run rampant in my head.

Reason number two, I don’t really feel like I ever truly recovered from pregnancy brain.  I’m not sure if it’s the thousand things I need to keep track of at any given moment or the random thoughts that are clouding my brain but I am for sure losing my memory.  My short term memory is almost downright embarrassing.  Your dad has witnessed me on several occasions, lock the front door only to turn right around to check if I locked the door.  I’ve had people ask me what I did the day before and it honestly can take me awhile to remember, if I even can.  I read quite a bit and it doesn’t really matter how good the book is.  I will be in to a book and after I set it down and walk away and try to remember what I read ten minutes before, it’s downright hard for me.  I know I liked what I just read but it’s damn difficult to recall.

When you put these two things together, my fear of an imminent death and my dwindling memory, I want to make sure you and Olivia understand your early days.  What better way to fully understand your parents than to kind of read along with our trials and tribulations.  Hopefully you’ll have an understanding that we weren’t always uppity old people and we for sure were not always parents.  I know as children, it’s impossible to see your parents beyond their stereotypical roles but I can only imagine what it would be like to try to see beyond that.  I hear rare stories from my parents that make them seem like they were somewhat normal people before they became my folks and the stories almost sound unreal.  Sometimes I think they are just senile and are making the stories up.  Yes, people change when they become parents and that’s not necessarily bad but the more responsible ones typically do and usually because they can’t be eighteen year olds forever.

I went away this past weekend and joined your Aunt Erma, Nanette and her friend, Jackie up at the cabin that we visit every year.  It was a chance for moms to escape their lives for a brief but a much needed weekend.  No husbands, no kids.  Given our temporary freedom, we decided to engage in activities that are not on par with being perfectly responsible adults and it was everything I wanted and more.  For all intense learning purposes and so you understand I am a normal person underneath my mom disguise, I ate a delicious adult brownie and I will go ahead and let you think about that for a moment.  {PAUSE}  Got it?  Good.  I enjoyed it and I felt like a thirty three year old eating an adult brownie.  Unfortunately, it had been so long since I engaged in such fun and I kind of forgot how it felt.  I don’t remember having such dry mouth that I couldn’t swallow–since when does eating pretzels feel like swallowing serving spoons of flour?  It was fun and terrifying because a person who has issues with anxiety will most definitely have those feelings exasperated during times of extreme fun.  Once I laughed myself in to a state of hysteria and then had a panic attack over not being able to swallow, I lay wide awake in bed for fear of suffocating in my sleep and I determined that maybe I’m getting a little too old for this shit.  No matter how much I try to convince myself that yes, I’m a mom but I haven’t lost myself completely, moments like these convince me otherwise.  Parenting changes you and that’s not necessarily bad but I feel like it has certainly changed me.  Or I’m facing the realization that I’m getting older and that’s no bueno either.

Now that I have proven yet again that your mom is a complete weirdo, let’s get back to you and the strange things you do.  Despite you being over the half way point of your third year of existence, you still thrash yourself around on the floor when you can’t put your underwear and pants on.  Somehow, laying on the floor butt naked and having mini convulsions is the answer to untangling your underwear in your pants.  Another Milesism is you meticulously organizing your stuffed animals at the end of the night.  You can’t fall asleep until all your “babies” are lined up on your headboard.  Now that I think about it, you’re really in to lining things up and grouping similar items whether that be grouping cars by color or animals by species or lining up every car in the house to create what you call a traffic jam.  Repeat after me, obsessive compulsive disorder.

You are certainly very vocal now and I continue to ask myself why I spent all that money on speech therapy.  You talk constantly which is fine–I love good conversation but there are times when you either ramble or whine in a tone that makes my ears bleed.  You now also enjoy heckling which can be loads of fun when your window is down in the car.  The other morning on our way to school, you and I had to have a conversation as to why ladies don’t like to be called old lady.  I’m sure that poor woman you heckled the other morning, went to work and cried in to her Nutrigrain bar.  Jeez Miles, you’re so insensitive.

You also like to go on and on about what you want to be when you grow up which according to you is five years old.  When you’re a grown up i.e. five years old, you want to be a baseball player and Buzz Lightyear.  You also tell me that you will love me forever so I’m ok with that.  Your love for baseball and for all sports really, is growing stronger every day.  I can’t think of a moment when you’re not striking something with a bat or a club, dribbling or kicking a ball.  Nothing makes your dad prouder than when you two play baseball in the court.  One, it’s kind of a guys moment–to teach your son how to play a sport but two, you kick ass with a baseball bat and dad loves making the other dads jealous.  You have moved beyond just hitting and now you like to pitch which is an adorable sight to see.  You walk up to the pitchers mound, settle in and actually produce a bit of a pitcher’s stance.  You lift one leg up like the professionals and drill that ball in.  I think your dad sheds little tears of joy each time you two play together.

You’re growing up so fast that it almost seems unfair.  My only hope as a result of these monthly letters is that you and Olivia understand that despite what we become twenty years from now, we were once somewhat normal people.  We weren’t always parents with a tenacious appetite for discipline and rules.  I know, you look at your parents and it’s hard to believe what life was like for them before they were parents but it actually happened–there was life before you and Olivia.  I want you to also know that despite what you remember as a teenager in angst, your childhood was filled with laughter and love and countless embarrassing moments for your mother.  I’m also trying to save you and Olivia from hearing the same four stories over and over again when you’re adults.  My poor wandering mind will hopefully allow me to remember what you and Olivia were like as children but when I need to be reminded, I can always read these.  I apologize now because I sense that in twenty years, I may be a total ball of anxiety and nerves but you can count on the fact that at least I won’t be a stoner because good grief, that’s a level of anxiety I don’t need to add to my plate.  So in conclusion, I’m going to become older and weirder and you get to sit back and watch it happen.  And yes, I do expect to hear from you on every major holiday including Mother’s Day and no, it will still not be acceptable to call me old lady.




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