Friday, August 15, 2014

36

So here I am, on *this* side of 35.
And here we are, on *this* side of 4 a.m.

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I've never been melancholy on my birthday, but during the last few months I've found myself at the top of the world, taking in a deep breath of gratitude...then BAM, I get a glimpse of the straight drop ahead and my stomach is suddenly in my throat. I guess the only nice thing about emotional rollercoasters is that if you (and your understanding family) can ride it out, you're back on an even keel soon enough.

Last week, Syar turned 26. Do you guys remember when she was a precocious 16-year-old commenting here with all the wisdom and wit of a much more experienced person? Then how we blinked twice and now she's a grownup lady? It's so crazy how much she has grown but stayed the same. And how I feel like I know her, yet never have met her. Oh, blogs.

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My mom has always taken the day off work on my birthday. I never understood why, especially when I still had to go to school. I mean, if she can't hang out with me--and this day is all about me, after all--then what's the point? Even now, 36 years later, she took the day to be home, cooking and shopping and who knows what else while I was dealing with conference calls and frantic instant-messenger requests and mounting email, attempting to solve problems.

But now that I may get to bring somebody new into the world, I kind of get it: My mother might just want a day to herself to think. Maybe remember all the stuff before I showed up and what she had to go through to get me out and all she had to do to make sure I even made it to 36. I wonder if 36 years from now I might take my child's birthday off to think about these months of bed rest and no carbs and having to walk around like an 96-year-old and only going to the store once a month (if they have a scooter/wheelchair). And how it makes my damn day every single time this baby kicks me to show me that she's doing ok so I don't freak out. Is it possible to believe you have a great kid even before you've met her?

People kept asking me what I had planned for today, and honestly, there was only one thing I can say for certain. There will be ice-cream cake. There is always ice-cream cake. It'll be one sad, sorry August 14 when my mom isn't around and there won't be ice-cream cake. It just doesn't taste as good any other day. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that she didn't disappoint.

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In general, I have a pretty low threshold for decision-making. You know, decision fatigue, when you are supposed to be making a lot of important choices in a row, but the weight of all that deciding has piled up on you so you are standing in front of the refrigerator, paralyzed and frustrated because you JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO EAT. Just choose! Whatever you want! It doesn't matter, just pick something! Like, now! You haven't decided? Hurry up! Everyone is waiting on you! I feel like the world is my refrigerator with its French doors flung open to reveal thousands of delicious choices, and everyone is demanding that I make up my mind RIGHT NOW. Except I can't make my mind do anything at all, let alone make that final choice between spaghetti and soup. Because what if I take a bite of spaghetti and immediately realize I should have gone with the soup? Doesn't the world understand that scenario is a risk I'm just not willing to take?

What scares me is that I am soon going to have to make hundreds of decisions a day for a person incapable of holding up her own head. And I'm sure that by the time I actually figure out how to comfortably make those choices, she won't want me to decide anything for her anymore.

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Being alone all the time is getting to me. All day, every day. Thank God for conference calls.

I hate to be alone. I would certainly be one of those people who were asked to sit in a room with an electrical shocking device for 15 minutes with their thoughts who ended up shocking themselves to avoid having to be alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes.

It doesn't matter if the other people are somewhere else in the house doing their own thing and not interacting with me at all; just knowing they aren't far is good enough. I used to lie awake at night in my dorm room, only able to fall asleep when I heard my roommate's key in the door. Perhaps that was because I worried she'd be jumped on the way home from the library, but still.

***

I just spent 15 minutes trying to put a cover on one of those snuggly, noodly pillow things that pregnant ladies cuddle in order to sleep for more than 10 minutes at a time. About three-quarters of the way through that ordeal, I realized the thing already had a cover on it, which is probably why it was so difficult.

Pregnancy brain is real, people. And at this age, I don't think I will ever get my wits back.






4 comments:

Guyana-Gyal said...

Your mother is lovely! I think she takes time of to celebrate that she has a daughter.

I hhhhhhate being alone for too long too. I love solitude, but I like to know that there are people waiting for me.

Syar said...

AAAAHHH I feel all warm being mentioned in this post, alongside much worthier people like your kick ass mom and kicky baby. I'm sorry I'm more than a month late, but thank you for your kind words - 16 feels always so far and still so close, in a lot of weird wonderful ways. I wonder if I blogged now I'd cover the same type of things and feelings you and Jazz did when I first started reading you guys :)

I hope you're doing well xoxo

cadiz12 said...

Syar, it would have been interesting to see how/what you'd be posting at this time. But life, and technology, march on.

Syar said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm still writing some stuff on my tumblr and I added comments, mainly in case you ever felt bored and wanted to pop on over. :) Glad to hear the baby's doing well (I was making lots of pained noises reading about the cervical stitch being taken out) and thinking of you in the next few weeks!!! <3