Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Birthday Shmirfday

I turn 35 tomorrow and I'm feeling bummed about it. I know that's silly. It's not so much the getting older - it beats the alternative, right? Birthdays just feel sort of lonely; they have for years. I had no friends during my first marriage (I wasn't allowed to aside from the people I worked with and I needed to keep those relationships professional) and there was never any celebrations unless he let my parents be involved. My big yearly gift for six years was that he would try not to yell or be mean to me, but I always did something to screw that up. I couldn't just let him be a nice guy, I was always doing something wrong.

I know that I am lucky. I have a best friend who also happens to be my husband and we have two beautiful children. We laugh every day and I know that I am far from the life I used to have.

Birthdays just feel anticlimactic, I guess. It doesn't feel any different from any other day, it just feels the same. I try to be excited about them, but I'm not and I feel like I should be. And I guess when people ask me what my big plans are for "My day", I feel like an asshole with no friends because I don't have any plans at all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Here We Go Again

Last night, Daniel and I attended rehearsal for Hay Fever and then stayed a bit for the after party. We’d have loved to stay longer, but it needed to be an early night for us so we could relieve our new babysitter by 9:30. We left in good spirits. I snagged a cookie as we were leaving (a roadie) and I was happy. It was my second rehearsal since coming down with the plague (I didn’t actually have the plague, per se) and it felt great to be out of the house and with friends.

Our rehearsal space is a quick jaunt from our house. We like to say that the Taylor’s are our neighbors even if they don’t live next door, exactly.... ten minutes is practically down the block. Easy. We were right on schedule for walking in our door at 9:30 when we hit a red light. We stopped (because that's what you do at red lights: STOP) and chatted very relaxed and cheerfully as we waited for our green. I remember thinking it felt like a long red light considering there wasn’t really anyone else out when all of a sudden we were hit from behind.

It was jarring. It was shocking. Daniel had left a cushion in front of us so we didn’t hit the truck directly in front of us. We both yelled. I started crying. My neck and back immediately felt hot with throbbing pain. Part of me braced myself to be hit again, but thankfully, there was nothing. We just sat there and Daniel kept telling me we were OK. The light turned green and the truck in front of us went on their way. I think Daniel got out of the car and told the person that hit us that we’d get through the intersection and then exchange information.

Daniel pulled onto the side of the road and got out to talk to the other driver. I was shaking and crying, but I reached for my phone to text a friend/cast member. Silly, I know, but I was in shock. I wanted my friends who we had just left (and who I wished I was hanging out with at that very moment) to know what had happened. And then I got out of the truck. I wanted to see who had hit us this time. I wanted to know what the hell their problem was. The light was red. Why hadn’t they stopped or slowed down? What the hell is wrong with this town and their lack of attention to red lights?!

The girl who hit us didn’t seem phased. She was pretty and stylishly dressed and in a hurry. I think she apologized, but I wasn’t feeling particularly forgiving. Daniel did most of the talking. I walked to our truck and looked for bumper damage ( I didn’t see any then, but today we can see a slight ding). I pushed down on our bumper, half expecting it to fall into the dirt, but it didn't. I walked back to her BMW SUV (her father’s fiance’s, actually) to look for damage. Her license plate was bent and I pointed out some marks on the left corner of her front bumper, “Oh, that’s from another accident. I’m a great driver.” She might have giggled, or I might be projecting what an idiot I think she is. Either way, this was no biggie to her. It was a biggie for us. When all was said and done, Daniel and I walked back to our truck and I yelled out "Drive safely!" I was tempted to add "idiot" or something worse, but I refrained.

I think having gotten through our accident two years ago, I’d told myself we’d just never have another. That felt better and sort of got me more comfortable with driving because how could we be put through that again, right? It was better than what I’d previously felt: The world (Bakersfield especially) is full of inconsiderate, asshole drivers and we’re constantly putting ourselves and our children in danger every time we get in the car. I had been coping and I've made progress in the last two years. I had become less afraid to drive short distances from our house. I told myself that I needed to be aware while I was driving, but that there was no sense being afraid while I waited at intersections. I told myself it was normal to have anxiety when my vehicle was moving, but that the likelihood of another accident was slim to none - I certainly didn’t expect to get hit while STOPPED at a red light.

Anyway. I am frustrated about last night. I’m angry at the college girl who hit us. I know accidents/fender benders happen all the time - I just feel like she had a blatant disregard for anyone else on the road and that once she did hit us, she was indifferent about the whole thing. We became an insignificant obstacle in her Friday night plans - no harm, no fowl - moving on.

My neck and back and hips are killing me and I had too many nightmares last night. Lucky for me, they were only dreams and I’ve got kind friends and family who understand how this affects me. Oh, and I’m very grateful knowing I have a friend who just happens to be a massage therapist. Now it is time for some healing, I don’t need this right now (or ever again, thanks).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What He Says

Finn didn't start talking as soon as Zoe did - he didn't need to. Zoe would talk for herself and for him and he seemed alright with that set up for a while. And then slowly the watchful boy started making up his own language. Zoe caught on quickly, helping us translate and so began "Finn speak".

"Bye-bye's" were any type of transportation there was, but now they're just cars. He says airplane, truck, bus, train now. He will also say "I wanna go bye-bye." which means exactly what it sounds like or it means he wants to go to the car.

"Nigh-nigh" is bedtime and bedroom (it's a universal term).

"Zoo-ee" is Zoe

"Ra-ra's" are dogs and sometimes they're lions too, but only sometimes.

He says Mama, Mom, Dad, Daddy, Baba, Nana, Grammy, Cheryl and Chuck.

He says Yes, No, Please, Thank you, Welcome, I love you and I'm sorry.

"Juice" is any liquid.

Recently, he's started naming all the colors when he sees them, but he will also identify red as "Not blue." (Blue is his favorite color.)

He knows that A is for apple... and he can name many other words for each letter of the alphabet.

He can count to 3.

He says "I need diaper change." and "I don't need diaper change." He tells us he's "Poopin" even when he's not at all - he just likes that we jump out of our seats and try to take him to the potty.

He will tell us when he is mad and be very emphatic about it.

He says "I dance" either just before or while he is showing us his latest moves.

He likes to say "Watch this!" and then he'll do some jump or "I'm hopping!" or "Hi-yah!" when he's doing Karate.

He will repeat after us now and he likes playing alphabet games and working with his sister. I have no doubt that he has been listening very closely to us and has been waiting for when he wanted to open up and speak more. It seems like just in the last week or so his vocabulary has grown immensely.

He will tell me he is my baby and that he is "Not the baby!" and I am proud and sad and... mostly proud every time.

I watch these kids every day and I am amazed by their big personalities and by how intelligent and observant they are. Children truly are sponges - absorbing every thing you say and do.

If he really wants to make a point, he says "You hear me?" and I do. I'm listening to every word, Finnegan.