Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Spiceboy and I stand on Mount Washington, high above Pittsburgh, watching the glittering lights of the city. From our vantage point, we can see the U.S. Steel Building and Point State Park. Off in the distance, the Cathedral of Learning is tall and brooding against the darkening sky.

I’m amazed, as always, by how easily I am able to slip back into life in Pittsburgh, and how good it feels.

I am breaking up with Manhattan.

At the end of July, Spiceboy and I will pack up our 350 square foot apartment and move Alice and Betty to Pittsburgh, and to whatever adventures await us there.

Spiceboy squeezes my hand. “Think we can be happy here?” he asks.

“I know we can be happy here,” I say, and I squeeze his hand right back.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Full Circle

I'm always a sentimental sucker for things that come full circle, so indulge me for a moment, if you will.

April 24th marked the one year anniversary of when I was put on bed rest.
I remember that morning so clearly; it was a perfect spring day. Spiceboy and I walked Betty in Central Park, holding hands and snapping photos of the blooming trees.

Spiceboy snapped this picture that morning. According to the time stamp, it was taken at 8:14 AM.

I suppose I've carried some version of this photo in my mind since that day--the day that all of my carefully calibrated, decaf cappuccino, gracious Earth Mother pregnancy expectations were overturned by a spot of blood in my underwear and a tightening in my belly that wouldn't go away.
And so began 3 months of bed rest, of waiting and wondering, of fighting for control..and losing. Because no matter how strictly I adhered to the bed rest, there were no guarantees that I could keep the little sea monkey swimming in my belly safe.
But by the end of my pregnancy, I had surrendered completely to my own lack of control. Since my pregnancy was far from perfect, I gave myself permission to stop trying to attain the Perfect Pregnancy, and instead decided to enjoy myself a little bit.
And on April 24th of this year at 8:14 AM, I found myself in Central Park. So I walked to that hillside, cappuccino in hand, Betty at my feet, and Alice in her stroller, and crossed paths with the ghost of myself from last year.

I'd like to say that I've gotten better at the control thing since then. But the truth is, I'm still working on it. And even if I do everything right, even if I'm the perfect mother, there are still no guarantees that I'll be able to keep my little monkey safe. So every time I get bent of out shape because things aren't going the way I want them to go, every time I try to direct my life instead of letting life direct me, I pull Alice close and she reminds me, as she has been for over a year now, that things don't always pan out in the way that we expected, but that enjoying the journey is part of the fun.