out of the gray

March 20, 2013

while i’d like to think that the intricacies of my emotional patterns aren’t so shallow as to completely match our hemisphere’s proximity to the sun, the fact of the matter is that winter is busting my ass a bit.

i guess march naturally does this to you, right? the hope of spring muted by more gray and cold and gray and cold.

i have a genetic proclivity for melancholy, as i’ve likely mentioned before. and it has become clear this year that my mode of operation in dealing with said melancholy is a complete onslaught of activity – i have basically been keeping myself ridiculously busy for the last 15 years just to avoid being sad.

of course, that was easy when i was single and untethered. and it was easier still when i was working crazy hours as a doula. but busyness is not so easy to attain with a little one in tow. a little one who takes long naps throughout the day and is not so amenable to the cold as one would like. we’ve been couped up much of this winter and, while i do so enjoy my sweet girl, i can only watch her cruise around our coffee table so many times before i start to feel a little loopy.

since the weather seems to be forever uncooperative (seriously, i’ve silently given up the fact that spring is ever coming back to see us) i’m trying to take matters into my own hands in an attempt to reign in my unruly mood. my current plan of attack:

1. be honest about feeling sad. i’m sure people don’t like to hear about it, but i also feel dishonest about carrying on like a happy mom all the time. i’ve been reminded a lot lately about the importance of transparency with those you love and have been encouraged tremendously by the transparency of those around me. it can be hard to be direct about your needs and i am the absolute worst at asking for help but i want to work at it.

2. be more spontaneous. yesterday edith and i made an impromptu visit to the aquarium with some friends and it was the best thing we’ve done in awhile. i usually recoil from spontaneity but it seems to be the answer to the drudgery of monotony these days.

3. be more patient. i know spring will come someday, right? ok. until then, i want to enjoy what i can about winter – the opportunity to indulge in the indoors by cooking, sewing, reading, cuddling. this also applies to my relationship with edith. she has…not been sleeping very well, that is, she has not been sleeping at all most of the time. i realize that this is probably contributing to my depressive mood and also realize that this is not her fault. my mom told me to treat her like she is baby Jesus, but in the middle of the night i like to think of her more as St. Augustine, who took responsibility for his infantile behavior later in life (“the feebleness of infant limbs is innocent, not the infant’s mind”). he became a saint eventually. i treasure edith already as a holy little soul. thusly, i need to be more patient with her evolving self and her evolving needs.

4. be more grateful. i’m not loving working nights right now and i realize that this is also adding to my stress. but if nothing else my work as a doula has really taught me to appreciate the simple blessings in life. there is no way to know the DEEP beauty of your bed until you’ve been away at a birth for 40 hours. same goes for the goodness of sleep, the warmth of your partner’s hug, the sweetness of your baby’s smile. rest, like all things, is only really appreciated fully in the shadow of it’s opposite – exhaustion. and so instead of focusing on the burden of work, i’ll try to revel more in the beauty of leisure.

5. be with people. make plans, get out, share, give. all those good things that i love all year round but get repressed a bit when it requires wearing snow gear.

cheers to the struggle against gloom! we can do it, yes?



March 12, 2013

so, after a week of edith simultaneously teething and having roseola (who knew the latter was even a thing?) i suddenly remembered my uncle offering to put mark and i up in a hotel for a night. and suddenly decided to take him up on it.

my aspirations for the night were not grandiose – i basically wanted to sleep for 12 hours uninterrupted. but we had a pretty grandiose time nonetheless. we looked at an apartment, went to frontera, drank lots of margaritas and wine, and were in bed by 7:00. it. was. awesome.

we both woke up at 6 am, much to our chagrin (turns out edith has programmed us more than we realized) and found the effects of sleep to have a delusionary quality. mark likened it to 2 crack heads who had been clean for months and were suddenly given a bunch of crack. we were groggy and confused and just wanted more sleep. but we were also happy.

we were also lucky enough to score a free brunch at the restaurant attached to the hotel where i had the most fantastic veggie benedict ever known to man. and, lest i ever complain that my child is the reason i’m always covered in food, i will confess that i managed a glorious 3 step outfit destruction in which i:

1. covered my sleeve in hollandaise sauce while reaching across the table to eat some of mark’s food

2. then immediately managed to drop my fork which launched eggs all over the front of aforementioned shirt and

3. spread sleeve-hollandaise onto my jacket while attempting to wipe egg off the front of my shirt.

turns out edith is not the reason why mark never takes me anywhere fancy.


March 1, 2013

well, folks. i’ve done my best with winter.

i tried. really i did. i got myself all amped up for snow, worked to get my child all amped for snow. i decided to embrace soup (not literally). i checked out really big books from the library.

so the snow fell and fell some more and i was momentarily happy to have something to distract me from how f-ing cold it was. edith and i have been taking daily walks. we made snow angels (that is to say: she unintentionally made a snow angel while flailing on the ground after i thought it’d be nice to lie in the snow together). we ate snowflakes (that is to say: she inhaled a bunch of snowflakes while acting like she was drowning when the wind blew in her face).

but now the fun is over. edith is teething like crazy, has a cold (which may or may not be related to the snow fun i inflicted upon her) and we are trapped in an apartment where nobody is sleeping, the littlest of us has just learned to crawl, and nothing is baby-proof.

it kind of seems like a recipe for disaster.

that is until baby tylenol and a seed delivery saved the day!

i really don’t know how non-gardeners survive winters. because just when the cold has about choked the life out of you, it’s time to start your seedlings! or, if you are like me, it’s also time to start your detailed garden map, time chart, seed logs, and care notes. a 10×10 foot plot seems like an acre in theory to me and i always overdo it but, hey. last season was an incredible flop on account of an infant but now that infant will be more mobile, durable, and not so sensitive to the sun so i have high hopes of near-daily trips to our plot.


since edith was born at the outset of that glorious season, my love for springtime has grown incredibly. she will always be synonymous to me with the warming of the air, the sight of sprouts cracking open the bare earth, and blooms peeking out of tree branches. we took so many walks waiting for her to come and so many more once she was born – everything exponentially more brilliant than ever before. she got to come help us plant when she was just a few days old and dutifully endured being covered in dirt bi-weekly thereafter. she has always been so patient with us and i suppose it makes sense as she cooked in-womb throughout the winter and entered the world just as it was slowly waking up.

i’m very much looking forward to growing together this season.

soon and very soon.