Sunday, April 20, 2008

More is [Not Always But Sometimes] Better

I had an epiphany the other day doing laundry: I don’t need to use two capfuls of detergent for every load. The directions call for one capful, to the upper line, but I usually fill it up to the tippy top because I [erroneously] think I can get my clothes extra clean. I thought about it and realized I never once in my life noticed a difference between using one capful of detergent or two. My clothes weren’t getter extra clean or extra fresh or extra white. The only thing that was happening is that I am going though the soap twice as fast. Which means I need to buy more soap. Which is exactly what Tide or Cheer or whatever we use probably wants. So I am going to start using the minimum.

I have a history of using things to excess. I’m slightly ashamed to admit this but I used to be a member of a gym that used Origin products in the showers. That’s not the shameful part. There was this delicious mint shampoo, which, to this day, is my favorite shampoo ever. I used to take the big rectangular top off of the top of the shampoo dispenser and put my entire hand into the shampoo and scoop out handfuls of shampoo for my hair (shameful part). I loved the feeling of a cup of frothy bubbly minty stuff coating my entire head. Again, I wanted my hair extra minty fresh. Talk about wasteful.

On Friday, I experienced an excess of worry. Mina came over with Leif and Skye and we took the kids to Central Park. I had three panic attacks because three times, on a playground the size of Guam, I was unable to locate Leif. He was all over the place, running and climbing and swinging and crawling through play tunnels. Mina is very laid back and practical (in a good way) so she was used to this and was calm and convinced he was around. I was running about looking for him, yelling his name in a shaky voice, and wondering at what point do you call the police. I am the type of parent that considers getting those child leashes. Seriously. Skye, my little angel, does not run like a maniac and instead plays in plain view of us, never getting out of sight. After the park, we took the kids to Jamba Juice and Madeline and Avery got a little peach-mango shake mixed into their bottles with water and loved it.

Then on Saturday Nicole and I took the girls to go watch Leif play in his first Little League game, a.k.a. chaos on the field with preschoolers. After that we went back to their house for lunch, a.k.a. chaos at the table, during which Skye not once, not twice but three times raised her glass of apple juice for a toast. Later after we went home Mina sends me this text message: “Leif said best thing that happen today was u came to watch him. And he wants 2 moms. Me and my mom. He made me cry.” Of course, this brought tears to my eyes. I very much want to be the type of aunt/mother who goes to games and concerts and plays and events because I didn’t have that growing up. The fact that Leif said that just melts me.

And I love that children are so innocent. Leif sees nothing wrong with two moms. I have been with Nicole since before he was born so the whole two-women thing seems natural to him. He needs to be taught that same-sex anything it is “wrong” or evil (and he won’t be). Instead, Leif sees two moms as an advantage. So, in this case, more is better. (Mina’s mom died two years ago of cancer, which makes the two-mom choice even more poignant).

My mom hasn’t seen Leif or Skye since Christmas. I’m too weary to even begin to discuss again how sad this makes me. What’s that saying, about being grateful for what you have and not lamenting about what you don’t?

All I know is when Leif was born, all of the crap (loads) and drama (lots) and setbacks (many) I experienced dulled a little to make room for his little shine. I had to become a better person because of him. Same thing when Skye was born. And then when Madeline and Avery came, almost a year ago, again. And through Nicole, I inherited two more nieces and a nephew. This is not a version of “children made everything in life perfect,” rather it is an observation of how my world is becoming more populated with new, untarnished relationships, via mini people, it so happens, which means the good is beginning to outweigh the bad. In this case, more is better, too.

A new poll: This time, another lovely uplifting topic. Were you emotionally or sexually or physically abused as a child?

Pictured above, my Little Miss Skye. Below that, Man vs. Nature: Leif scaling the rocks of Central Park. And below that me and four reasons to be happy.


rebecca said...

i love that comment about wishing he had two moms. it reminds me of when i was about 7 or 8, i had a friend megan who had two moms. i went to her birthday party and i remember thinking for weeks afterward "megan is so LUCKY". (nothing against my dad, he is a very good dad, but still i was envious.)

Anonymous said...

I was a child of two houses two separated parents, while I was not that I can recall abused in anyway. Sometimes I do wonder why the aversion to men and the attraction to women. I don't really know how much more thinking I can do about it however. I almost married a woman, but she cheated on me. I do feel like my mom treated me less like a child and more like an equal, does this equal abuse, maybe not. I don't know but it made me into uber caretaker as an adult. Melissa

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

If I'd had Origins in my gym, I probably would've brought an empty container with me...
I think a nice handful is less indulgent!

Cute, Cute, Cute Kids!!!

Anonymous said...

Friends (two moms) gave their daughter a dollhouse, and purchased two doll house families for her, so she could create whatever seemed right to her. The mommies sleep together in the doll house bedroom, and the two dadies hang out elsewhere....I love this.

CCB said...

where have you been?!