Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Event That Changed My Life

I participate in a writers workshop. I joined two summers ago. It's been the same core group-with some floating in and others floating out-long before I joined.

Every Monday morning we meet at Norm's house and sit at his dining room table which is a special round table that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century-and one that has etched names and drawings on the oak top. Legend has it was the round table to a progressive group of thespians who resided in Chicago over 100 years ago.

The table is magical and the stories that effuse out of us during our workshop seem channeled from it's creative soul.

Each Monday morning we are given a prompt. One cold February morning with nearly 3 feet of snow outside, we were given the prompt, "An event that changed my life". The passage below was my response:

After the news settled in and after I knew there was no way I could end-deliberately end-her life at just 21 weeks, a funny calm settled into me.

I've always welcomed change and yearned for adventure. It was all how you chose to look at it I thought. This too would be an adventure.

"Your child, the baby you're carrying...she has a very rare and serious heart defect."

The doctor continued in hushed tones. Speaking in a language that was completely foreign to me; pulmonary atresia, pulmonary stenosis, double outlet left ventrical, dextrocardia...

The risks and complications, however, were words I understood.

The diagnosis, spoken by a rather handsome Boston cardiologist sprayed my soul like shrapnel. Some pieces of the information settled deep within me. Still others bounced off. I imagined the phrases 'feeding tubes' 'heart transplant' and 'heart failure' laying on the ugly grey institutional carpet in the tiny consult room in the hospital.

Paul and I left Boston numb. Quietly, without speaking a word to each other we snaked through the Fenway traffic. The moon-huge and full-late October-a Harvest moon-beamed down on the Red Sox fans. Later, we would give that Harvest Moon to our baby in the form of a name. Luna, Goddess of the Moon.

The air was thick and warm. The city vibrated. Game 2 of the World Series, Boston vs. Colorado. I stared at the 20-somethings skipping and yelling in the streets. With my window open all the way, some of the revellers nearly brushed me as they skipped past the car, yet I felt a million miles away from it all. I was a tourist, riding a tram, viewing American History comfortably from the darkened museum-or so I felt at that moment.

"This baby will be the best thing that happens to us", I thought, as we pulled on to the express way.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flap Happy! (Lu finally comes out of her shell).

Yesterday was a special day. The girls and I went up to Maine to celebrate the bridal shower of the Architect's cousin (he has close to 50 first only one.). I dressed the girls in their matching Flap Happy dresses that I picked-up in Ogunquit over Memorial Day weekend. The shop is called Baby Instincts and it carries all the baby/children's lines that we mommies to girls covet: Baby Lulu, Flap Happy, Zutano, Absorba, Wee Ones. The shop also carries some handmade dresses that were flowy and long with lace and stenciling and truly looked like pieces of art.

At the party the girls worked each room of the gracious old New England home, charming each person they met. This is nothing new for Sienna-whom in her presence, I often find myself holding my breath-because you can never be too sure that the child might not tell a perfect stranger that his hair is messy (sorry to the professor-looking man in Market Basket). But Luna. She's a whole different ball of wax; or so I thought.

Lu scooted around after Sienna-looking like some well dressed lap dog-and tried to crawl up the legs of anyone whom she came across. Later in the day when the party moved downstairs for gift opening, Luna reclined on the over-sized pillow-with her arms over her head. At one point I looked over to see some younger cousins-children who looked tween age-firing off shot after shot of our little lap dog. Not once did Luna even scan the crowd for me. No, she was much too busy with her photo shoot.

This is the same child who for the past 6 months has screamed every time a stranger came into her view. The same child, who has clinged to me like a baby monkey, forcing me to achieve tricks I never knew I could do; like emptying my bladder with a child strapped to me-and washing my hands afterwards.

Here are some shots taken before we left for the bridal shower. I think they capture the new Lu rather perfectly!

Lu pulling herself up. This is a HUGE developmental leap for her!

Assuming a crawling position; but only teasing us. She rather scoot.

I have tons of photos like these. As soon as I pull out the camera, Luna crawls up my legs and tries to lick the lens. Mmmmm...Canons. Maybe they taste better than Nikons?

Luna is naughty. And I secretly love it. She holds her own to Sienna, so much so that Sienna often comes running to me-shrieking that Luna pushed her, and I have to remind Sienna that Lu is 20 lbs.

They kiss and make-up.