Sunday, September 16, 2007

Love Me Tender

Last weekend, Pi and I were walking home from the grocery store, stroller laden with purchases (we bought a new car yesterday, hooray!). After two+ years of riding in the same stroller, he finally discovered that it has a little window in the top of the canopy that could serve to entertain him. He started squirming in his seat to look at me through the little window, playing peek-a-boo from side to side and just having a grand old time.

The continuous side-to-side motion, though, caused his sun hat to creep forward over his eyes. I leaned into the stroller and asked if he wanted me to hold onto his hat for him. He peeled off the hat, handed it to me, and said, with perfect inflection:

"Thank you, Mommy. Thank you very much."

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I need iPod lessons.

For obvious reasons, I've been riding the train to work a lot more often lately, and I am in awe of the people who can plant their earbuds, stick the iPod in their bag or briefcase or pocket, and enjoy their tunes with no drama all the way downtown.

I think my ears are too small for the buds or something, because I'm constantly futzing with them when they fall out, or hurt, which they do quite often. I try to finagle them into a good position, but if the cord moves one millimeter (and it always does, because I can never find the optimal place to rest the actual iPod), they are tugged unceremoniously from my ears and we have to start all over again.

I think that the answer is in the accessories (isn't that the answer to everything?). Do they make smaller earbuds? Should I get one of those belt clip thingies so that it always has a place to rest? Would it be just too infinitely embarrassing to saunter up to the Apple Genius Bar and ask them to show me how to walk and wear an iPod at the same time?

My iPod is lovely (it was a very inspired gift from Smitty for our last anniversary - four years, for which one of the traditional gifts is fruit), but I am still an outsider in the cool iClub, and will be until I get different earbuds. Or ear enhancement surgery.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Maybe a Reason?

As many women who have lost children will tell you, "Everything happens for a reason" is one of the least comforting platitudes that can be offered in The Consolation Conversation. It simply begs the question, "What? What is the reason?"

There isn't a good reason why a much-wanted, already-loved child does not make it to term and come home with her family.

All that said, I shudder to think what could have happened if I'd been seven months pregnant when two cars collided with my vehicle a week ago.

Poorly, but strangely comforting.

I'm just ready for this year to be over.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Accident

I woke up Monday morning feeling similar to a marathon runner at Mile 25 - physically beat, emotionally drained, but full of the adrenalin that comes with knowing the end's in sight. Work has been so intense this summer, especially the last five weeks, and our final project was due for completion on August 29th. We were almost there.

I showered, dressed, left my sleeping son and husband and got in the car to head to our offsite project location. I was listening to NPR's 2nd anniversary coverage of Hurricane Katrina, thinking about whether I'd have time to stop at the bank before work, cursorily going through the motions at the numerous 4-way stop signs on a tree-lined residential street.

At the first major intersection, the traffic on my left did not have a stop sign - a fact that completely left my mind as I pulled directly into the flow and was immediately plowed by an oncoming car. The force of the first impact spun me 180 degrees and I was then hit head on by a service van.

"Are you OK?" asked the girl in the first car who hit me.

"Yes, are you OK?" Why is she so blurry? Why can't I see her - her driver's side window is inches from mine.

"Let's try to pull off the main road."

"OK." I manuevered back onto the cross-street, still wondering why I couldn't see the northbound drivers (no doubt counting their blessings that they had to wait a couple more seconds for their change at Starbucks this morning), who were waving me across the road. Why can't I see? What the hell is going on? I have to look for my insurance card, I have to...oh, my glasses are on the floor.

Our car is totaled. I have totaled a car. The reality of that situation and the red tape that accompanies it have occupied me this past week, but the fact that I'm here to deal with it is a gift and a blessing.

I held it together pretty well at the accident scene - I was the only driver in the triad who actually had my driver's license on me and proof of insurance - until the tow truck came to take my car away and the guy asked me if I needed to get anything out of the car. Pulling Pi's carseat out was what broke me. What if he had been in this car? I was driving in a completely zoned-out, stressed-out state, and it had almost cost me my life - what if I had endangered my child's life as well?

It's hard for me not to beat myself up about this - I just need to make sure that it affects my behavior in a positive way. I have been given an opportunity to spend more time on this earth with the ones I love - I can't squander it any more.