On his second birthday, Ziggy's days' long fever broke.
We nursed and nursed and nursed. In the morning, we looked at photographs from the day of his birth and of those just beyond. We played Dan Zanes and danced all around the kitchen cockadoodle doodle doo. We listened to Daddy Booty's self made CD radio show for the boy's gift.
Late in the afternoon, I took Ziggy for a walk and to a nearby park for the first time since our having moved to this home. He looked marvelous in tie dye and green sneakers, his peaked face a canvas for shining grey blue eyes.
There was pizza for supper. The boy picked the pineapple off to eat, his usually hearty appetite dumbed and dwindled by this latest viral bug. Gifts from the grands are unwrapped, the birthday calls come in, the bath is given. Our life: measured out by rhythm and routine, profound for two adults who spent so many years running from same for their own set of reasons, all of which makes things a greater challenge in the navigation of partnered life.
We keep trying, even though it's hard and we're often wrung out. Tired of each other, and just plain tired. There have been harsh words, from the both of us. I know from him telling me plainly that my Mister no longer likes or respects me. Much of the time, anyway. Admiration has faded, discontent breeds. Too often, I feel like an imposter in a life that doesn't fit quite right. I work on alterations of the pattern and the garment itself. And hope to rise to the occasion. Still, I am all too keenly aware of my failings. And mostly, I don't want to write about them or pretend that we're something we used to be but aren't anymore. I just want to let go enough to fix it.
Often, that means revisiting ideals to make adjustments like purchasing the jeans in a larger size instead of making do with discomfort. To meet the current day's challenges with new and different means. To wit, the Mother's Day Out program, a compromise to ideal that bows to wisdom and humble admission rather than vanity of affectation.
The Mother's Day Out program-- a break in the waiting list, calling our babe up to the Chickadees classroom-- has been staved off until next week. Ziggy's supplies: napmat, box of tissue, paper diapers in labeled zip lock, handsoap, hand sanitizer.... all await the big day in a basket on top of the bookcase by the door. Ziggy wants to see these things often. He wants to take them "to homeschool meeting," or "maybe a potluck."
My girlfriends, they want to have lunch, to get our toes done. I understand the loveliness of such things, but my own talk with myself several weeks ago, resulting in placing Ziggy on the roster for a hoped for place at this program (oh, it's a lovely one! and just down the road....) was brought about solely by my desire to work more efficiently, to hopefully bring in some greater income, to provide for my family. And to give Ziggy some attention and community activity during a time when I am unable to provide that piece. Additionally, I look for an intern, to find a solution as friend Maria says, to business-care, not just childcare.
And on these days of anniversary, and of illness, I am Mother first. "Mommy," as Ziggy calls me now, though he does, in fact, revert to his infant calling of me "NiNi" when he is ill or hurting. And on the night of anniversary of his second year of life on planet earth, he stirs and cries and calls "NiNi" many times before at last gentling down to sleep. My Mister lies there beside him.
We love one another across the expanse of space and time and child between us, and hope that somehow, though we have lost ourselves and each other, that we can perhaps find our way back. Not to the people we were, but to who we're supposed to become. There is rather a lot riding on our figuring it all out.
When shortly after we think he is asleep, the boy sits up suddenly and says, "We should go shopping!"the Mister's rough snore stops long enough for the boy to elucidate, "We can find some juice!" "We can buy some cow milk!"
Somewhere, beyond Mother, I am also just Woman, and Wife, Friend, Lover. Our boy is Child. And Daddy and Mister is Man. My man. We're this solar system of planets, separate, individuated, but connected. Always it is shifting, and sometimes, there are new rings and wrinkles discovered.
I remember a poem about lone planets loving one another. My Man sent it me long ago, when he and I both were intertwined with others but admiring one another from afar. Back in those days, we must have had a glimmer of the possibility embodied in this small jubilant being now at my knee telling me, "We should take a walk."
And so we go.