Let the sun shine in

I’m starting to get nostalgic about the views from my apartment.  Lily and I have gotten spoiled these past two years.  And we’ve also gotten suntans sitting in our living room.

Last night, the sunset was spectacular.

sunset

As L and I were dancing around the living room, with me singing the opening number to ‘A Chorus Line’, I noticed how stunning the light streaming into our living room was.  So I swooped her up and took a few shots.  I’m only attaching one, but there are a gazillion others.  Photo is untouched.

sunshine

This kid is full of sheer joy when her momma is singing. Which is funny because I have a terrible singing voice.  I guess it’s improved a bit after 3 years of nonstop singing (I’m known as the mommy jukebox in the neighborhood – am always singing to L walking down the street, swinging in the park, buying coffee at the patisserie, etc…).  But in comparison to my mom, or my sister, or any of my other family members, this singing voice of mine still stinks.

And L is so picky about the music she likes.  So picky.  Some mornings I’m at a loss as to what else to sing to her.  There are only so many times I can do a rendition of Jason Mraz’ ‘I’m yours’.  And she’s growing out of the ABC’s.  But a miraculous thing happened the other morning while we were hanging out in bed with me crooning to her (one of our favorite past-times).  As I was mentally scratching my head to think up another song to sing (while still singing the song I was already singing – L doesn’t like gaps in her music), I had a spark of an idea – which I’m pretty sure was whispered to me by my dad – I should start singing the soundtrack to ‘Grease’!  And – tada!  We have a new slew of songs that makes L laugh and giggle.  And thankfully I know ALL the words to all the songs as I listened to the record nonstop as a kid.  So thank you Dad for reminding me about a movie that was a favorite of ours to watch together.  I know this is going to be a new favorite of L’s too.

 

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Speechless

“Your child is going to die soon,” he alluded.

It started out as an innocuous enough conversation. Yesterday afternoon my landlord and I were talking on the phone about my move-out date, which is still not set in stone as I am still not 100% sure as to where we will be moving next month.

Over the past two years my landlord and I have become somewhat friendly. He knows that my L has some developmental issues and that we’ve been in the hospital a few times. He knows that I’m going through a tough legal battle with L’s dad. He knows that I’m a good and spiritual person. And that I pay my rent on time.

And normally, I think he is a decent person. He has been a kind a landlord. Until yesterday.

Oh yesterday. Yesterday I wanted to punch him in the face. Hard. He casually asked me how L was doing. It’s sometimes difficult to answer – especially on weeks like this when her hand function is low. So I guess I paused, and then said, ‘she is doing fine’.

He didn’t miss a beat. The first time he alluded that my daughter will live a short life, I brushed it off. As best I could. As best as anyone could. But then when he waxed on and on – and on – about how these sweet little kids burn bright, so bright that their light goes out before ours and “these kids” have learned all the lessons from the universe early and then they leave this world, well – I had a really tough time letting go. But I just “ah-ha’ed” him and “ok’ed” him. For a few reasons:

1. I want my $3500 security deposit back.

2. It was the middle of the day and I had back to back work meetings following this conversation. I didn’t have time to lose my shit.

3. I know he was trying to be kind. But wow, did it backfire.

So I carried on with my day. As best as I could. And I felt sick all day. I still do.

It didn’t help that I heard about a young girl dying earlier in the day due to complications from Rett. It didn’t help that I’m feeling so much anxiety about the future – excluding the issue of mortality. Where will we live? Will I be granted full custody on Monday? Will Mom make it home from Italy safely? What will our lives look like when L starts preschool? Will I be typecast as a vixen if I take this role which I jokingly auditioned for and was then offered a part in a film that 55,000 people at my Company will be required to watch? What if spellcheck on my iPhone makes the same mistake and I accidentally send out another text which states “I can’t wait to urinate on you!”?

All of these are real concerns. They are tangible. And damned if I let spellcheck, or my landlord, rain on mine and L’s parade.

Troppo da fare (translation: too much to do)

Most days, I have to remind myself to breathe. Deep, yogic breaths.

I’m fortunate that I spent years and years practicing yoga, even participating in a grueling, life-changing 4 week yoga training course in an ashram, in India back in 2008.

Prior to having L, I had a solid asana practice (i.e., doing yoga poses every day). I even meditated somewhat successfully. Even when I was pregnant, I was taking classes, stretching my mind and my body, grounding myself.

Now? I try. Really I do. I take a class every once in a while. I sometimes go to the Buddhist meditation center in Chelsea. But most days, I barely have time to think about it. When it gets really rough, I lie on the ground in sivasana (corpse pose) and do a few simple twists.

Lately ‘really rough’ has been the norm. I could make a laundry list of all the things I’m stressing about, but I’d prefer not to. Instead, I will share some updates, adding a positive twist to them.

  1. My mom is fit to fly. She’s FINALLY coming home after being stuck in a southern Italian hospital for almost two weeks. She is one tough cookie, this mom of mine.
  2. Lily is growing out of her crib. This girl is getting taller and taller each day. I’m not going to move her into a big girl bed until we get settled into our new home (likely to be a mattress on the floor with pillows everywhere).
  3. We are going to move. Somewhere beautiful. And hopefully I’ll have better clarity this evening. But I don’t want to jinx it. I considered dedicating a blog to the soul-sucking experience of apartment hunting in NYC but I decided to spare you.
  4. Lily is starting preschool in September. We will have a whole new support system to work with. And they will be wonderful. They have to be wonderful.

And oh, this is just the tip of the iceberg. But, deep breaths. It will all work out.

Must run – about to chair my quarterly CSR committee meeting at work.  Forza!

Sending love,

C and L

A better than normal life

In my world, life these days is far from normal.

Last week, Lily and I went on vacation. It was the first real vacation this sweetie pie has had in well over a year.  It was such a treat, on so many levels.  Spending an entire week straight with my daughter is a rare occurrence.  Not having my daughter at home with me every day breaks my heart.  But I can’t walk around heartbroken.  It won’t do either of us good.  So instead, I cherish every moment I have with her.  Better than normal.

We started our vacation in New Jersey  with our cousins and then drove up to the Cape to spend the week with friends.  Perfect weather.  Perfect company.  Amazing hospitality.  Getting  handed a hot cup of coffee every morning, not having to think about what to eat for lunch or dinner (wow, did they feed me well) and hanging out with Lily so that I could  swim a few laps – this is what I call luxury.  And love.  We were both so loved and cared for that week.  Better than normal.

I told myself before we left for our holiday that I would NOT stress out about the upcoming apartment hunt, that I would not check my work email, that I would not worry about the future.  And you know what?  Looking back, I did a pretty fantastic job of not worrying about any of these things.  But this is mainly because everything got trumped by one big, scary event that happened on the day we were driving up to the Cape.  My mother fell gravely ill while on vacation in Italy and had almost died.

Even as I write now – a week later, my mother is still in Italy, in a hospital.  Thankfully she is recovering and has finally been able to eat something today.  My sister (who was in Italy with her) has been taking great care of her; my brother Matt is heading out tomorrow to take over.  And me?  Well, the guilt I feel of not being able to drop everything and go over there is palpable.  But I am doing what I can from here.  And once I find us a new home, I’m on the next plane to Italy.  (I may dedicate my next post to the soul-sucking experience of apartment hunting in NYC.)

But this post is about a better than normal life… So actually, it’s amazing to me that my mother – the fighter that she is – survived.  It’s amazing to me that she is getting better day by day.  It’s amazing to me that she has so much love and support from her family and friends.

What else is better than normal?  Watching my silly Lily run and giggle up and down the beach at the Cape while making friends with everyone she came across, and knowing that things could have been very different for her.

The bay in Wellfleet