Let’s Go Surfing

Tonight, I started to write about things that were purely physical. Pains in my back. Milligrams of vitamins, and medicines, because life doesn’t feel like it’s going my way. I wanted to wallow in it. Sit and just write about every thing that I physically feel, because if I name it, and recognize it, maybe I can remedy it. But, once my list started going, I started to feel silly because, my body is just a body. And, this, all of it, is just what is happening now.

Life sometimes rushes over me, and takes over in waves so fiercely that I struggle to find air. But, I always do. I find it. The waves break, and everything settles into a stillness. I sit in those moments of calm, and can’t help but feel like a survivor. Like some sort of badass, because I made it, and all of that somehow resolved, and I got to be this.

I’m starting to see that life is this way. In constant motion.

A few years ago, my husband and I went to Maui together. While we were there, I took surf lessons. I often think about that first time that I stood up, and rode a wave into the shore without drinking gallons of salt water. I felt weightless. And, I had spent over an hour standing up on that board, and then loosing my balance, and falling back into the water. My board would flip, and I’d get sucked underneath. Wave after wave, I crashed into the water, but because I had committed myself to this lesson, and this task, I gave it another go. I was in the water already. So I figured that I had to choose to work out this whole thing. It was my only option. And, the moment when it finally clicked, it felt as if I’d been doing it my whole life.

Motherhood is this way. Marriage is this way. My individual journey of self-discovery and passion is exactly this way. Moments of glory. Moments where it all clicks. Moments where it feels like I’ve done it all along. But there are waves too. Waves that suck me underneath them. Toss me around, so out of control that I wonder when I will get just a moment to take in another breath of air. I expected life to be easier. Its not, and I’m actually grateful for that. How boring would it be if we knew how to surf right away. If we got into the water, and just knew everything about timing, and balance. If my husband knew everything about me the day we said I do. If I knew why my daughter was crying fresh out of the hospital. There wouldn’t be very much to talk about. There wouldn’t be very much living to do. And I think maybe the journey is what makes it. The moments where I hurt in so many ways physically, that I can’t begin to think about how I’m feeling emotionally. We need these sometimes. To remember how to feel. To discover who we are. To pin point our struggle and our hurt.

Miscarriage made me realize that this body is just a body. I can’t count on it to do exactly what I want it to do. It is all out of my control. But, I do get to choose to get back up again. To stand back up, and figure out my balance and my timing. I get to throw myself into the waves, because sometimes, it feels good to let yourself get tossed around a bit. It means we are going somewhere. It means that we’ll have something to talk about. I’ll get to sit in the calmness after a high tide, and feel like a badass because I made it. And all of that somehow resolved, and I got to be this.

surfschool2(That’s me. In the middle, with the blue rash guard, surfing. Also, about to get knocked over by some idiot who was still figuring out direction and stuff.)

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The Saga of the Swamp Cooler

Bryant and I are spoiled brats when it comes to air conditioning. We both grew up with air conditioners, and there was only one time that we knowingly signed a lease somewhere that didn’t have air conditioning, and that was when we moved to Jersey City. Apparently those East Coasters need something to bitch about, so they choose to expose themselves to intense heat rather than investing in some quality air conditioning. We unknowingly signed a lease in Vancouver, Washington at a cute little house, and because it had an AC switch on the temperature thingy, we never asked the question. I think we both thought “Air conditioning? Who doesn’t have that?” That was one miserable summer, and that cute house became instantly less cute. We basically spent the months of July and August, laying on the floor in our swimsuits, complaining about how sweaty we were.

So, as you all know, a few months ago we bought a house in Salt Lake City. Our house is old, and though adorable, it does not have air conditioning. We said when we bought it that air conditioning would be the first thing that we do. But then, we were told it had something called a swamp cooler, and that they are actually pretty efficient. We asked around and everyone told us that air conditioning was not necessary. So, this swamp cooler has become this thing that we talk about, but don’t really understand. We often say “Yeah…we should probably climb up on the roof and figure out that swamp cooler.” Or, “Its really fricken hot in here, we need to figure out how that swamp cooler works.” I’d ask the neighbors when they were outside, and they’d mention things about copper piping, and filters, but no one offered to take care of it for me, so they were all basically dead to me.

The weather mellowed out somewhat over the last week, and we didn’t really need anything other than a few open windows. But then, the weekend hit, and so did summer. Bryant was outside digging around, and realized we had this long black wire that turned out to actually be a hose, but it wasn’t screwed into any water source. He watched YouTube videos, and googled all night long, trying to figure out the damn thing. Then, we went over to our friend’s house and they gave Bryant the what’s what in swamp coolers.

Bryant came home, and we complained about how hot it was in our house again, and then he went outside, all kinds of determined.

Well guess what, you guys, he screwed that hose that is not a wire into our outdoor water spicket, like a genius, and then probably against our better judgment, turned the thing on. It’s pretty cool in here, but I’m also a bit terrified that the thing is going to fall through the ceiling. I hear occasional gurgling, but that could also just be my dog snoring. Though, about ten minutes ago we heard a loud bang, and Bryant said “WAS THAT THE UNIT?” (P.S. Not sure why he is calling it the unit. We need a new name for the swamp cooler. Tony, maybe. Or, Danza). And I said “huh?” And he said “Was that noise coming from outside or the unit?!?!” And I replied with “Well, it was from outside, but the “unit” is also outside, so I’m confused.” Then we stopped talking about it and went about our business. I think we are probably both silently worried that the thing is going to fall through the ceiling.

So basically, I told you that really long story, just so you all who do have swamp coolers, can reassure me that it is not possible for it to fall through a ceiling…

Anyone?

First Words & Cut Gums, and the Hot Dog Man

If you can’t laugh when your kid is trying to claw at your gums with their dagger fingers, then you should probably hire a nanny. I have a cut on my gum from Kinsey trying to “feed me” except she didn’t have food in her hand. It hurts almost all the time and I’m calling it one of the most painful “mom” injuries.

Kinsey said her first word. “Dog.” She’s been saying “Nana” for banana, and “Mama” when she wants something, but we were watching Curious George and she saw a dog and said dog, and I yelled “Hazzah!” She has practiced saying dog when we were talking about Franny or Zoey but some days she just didn’t want to say it. The “d” sound was defeating and every time she’d push out the sound it looked like she had simultaneously pooped while she said it. I didn’t realize the work that goes into talking until I saw her struggling with that “d.”

Lately, Kinsey will be busy playing with a water bottle, or something, and she will forget that I’m here. Then I’ll say “good job, Kinsey” or “what are you doing?” and she will jump and run the other way. It’s like I startled her and then she just flees the scene. I say “Kinsey?” and it’s like she whispers “scatter!!!”

I’m enjoying my daughter. I’m feeling thankful that she is happy most of the time, and makes me laugh all day long.

Kinsey and I met Bryant for dinner downtown so he could take a break from work. We went to this hot dog place, and the owner came in and started gushing over Kinsey. He gave her a free cookie, then, got too close. Suddenly he’s pinching her cheeks and before I could spit out the words to stop, he kissed her on the cheek…then Kinsey’s lip curled and she started sobbing. Rightfully so, because it was a whole new level of stranger danger. Had it happened to me, I would have cried too. Big mom fail on my part, but I just didn’t see it coming! And then, as I tried to console Kinsey and make her forget so she wouldn’t have nightmares about the hot dog man, I couldn’t stop laughing.

I love being a Mom. And I love that I get to spend my days with my little girl. We get to share these seemingly insignificant moments but they mean everything to me.

I feel grateful.