Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rainbows and Beauty and the Beauty of Rainbows

Are children a manifestation of our own beliefs and thoughts? Are they little oracles? Are they like the intuition that we all have but don’t always listen to? Call me crazy but sometimes I feel like my children are speaking to me in visual and verbal metaphors. Sometimes it is as if God or the universe or whatever you believe in is speaking to me through them.

Let me explain, so you don’t think I am crazy: Avery walks around singing “It’s a beautiful day” over and over and over again. Most of the this is a sort of background music for me, because toddlers are wont to talk from the minute they wake up in the morning until they go to bed at night. I couldn’t possibly process all of it and remain sane. But sometimes I hear it and it sinks in and I think, is she trying to tell me something? Is she sending me a message? Is she trying to tell me to stop getting upset that we are out of butter and I have to go to the store (minor issue) or to stop focusing on, say, a family member’s lack of positive relationship with me and my children (larger issue)? Is she sending me a message, telling me to get over it all and realize that this is indeed a beautiful life, because I guarantee I will think that on my death bed?

Then I have Maddie running around from room to room yelling “Light. I need light.” And then she turns on the lights. She is light, in a toddler package. She is light, in a metaphor package. Madeline actively seeks pleasure and looks for goodness. She has few tantrums and when she does, I just ask “Do you need a hug?” and she usually stops crying immediately and throws her arms around my neck. For her, bad moments can be interrupted and stopped with an extra dose of love. I hope that never stops. So when she is running around chanting “light,” is she reminding me to stand in the sun, to find my own light? To go where it is good and warm and not cold and bad? Because I can stand in that cold, dark place for a really long time. Like most people, I occasionally suffer from “The grass is greener” disease, but these little moments usually snap me right back into the present and remind me to love all that I have.

Flash forward to this morning: I took the girls to the playground after I dropped off the car to have its oxygen sensors replaced. As I was pushing Avery on the swings and trying to keep an eye on the ever wandering Madeline I looked up and saw that yet another shiny new building that has cropped up seemingly overnight. I had a split second when I thought “I need to live there.” I need to wake up in its European baths and modern kitchen and stainless steel and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. I need to walk barefoot on its cool marble floors. I need to watch storms roll in from the west from my apartment aerie. There, in that home, life would be perfect. In that home, we wouldn’t have toddler sleep issues or bad days or marital spats. The coffee would always be fresh and there would never be a crushed Cheerio on the floor. Life would be as flawless and shiny as the building’s exterior.

In case it isn’t obvious, lately I have been thinking about moving from our current apartment. I love our home, but I don’t like that there are cell towers on top of our building. And being on the top floor, I don’t like that we are literally under these controversial do-they-or-don’t-they towers. Do they cause illness and cancer and madness and mayhem? Some say yes and some say no. But a huge part of me thinks, why take the chance? If there is even a .000000001 percent chance of something negative happening, then I want to move.

So at night when I am sitting alone in the kitchen with my computer while everyone sleeps, I am on the real estate hunt. I look all over the city, but concentrate mainly on the west side. I look at new places, and pre-war places and duplexes and brownstones. I look in our price range and sometimes way, way, way above our price range. That $37 million dollar apartments (maintenance and taxes a mere $20K a month) in the Time Warner building is one that is a tad over our price range, but what a place. I am amazed that we can get 2,000 square feet in one area but 400 in another, for the same price. I am shocked by some of the condo fees. I download layouts and envision our lives within these line drawings. I am really good at that. And I thought about that this morning at the playground, staring at that new building. A life in that shiny, new building.

And this is where I tie together these two seemingly random topics in this blog: It’s a beautiful day, whether I am here or there or anywhere. And there is light anywhere and everywhere, if I choose to stand in it. There is goodness in the $37 million dollar palace and on the street and everything in between. It’s all about perspective, right? And somehow, these little children, who have been on this earth for less than three years, are able to remind me of that everyday. Their lessons don’t always stick with me, but today I guess I was listening.

Their birthday is in a couple of weeks and Madeline wants a rainbow cake. Fancy that, Maddie wanting a cake rainbow, which is essentially an edible arc of colored light caused by refraction of the sun's rays by rain. What is a rainbow if not the beauty after a storm?

And Avery, at the playground this morning, smiling and laughing as she splashed herself wet-to-the-thighs in puddles. Laughing and running to the swings, yelling "Swings, Momma, swings!" Her pure joy of just living eclipsed the annoyance of having to pay almost a thousand dollars to replace the car's oxygen filters and the aggravation of sleeping through my morning run and yes, even the imaginary perfect life in the stainless steel building.

Maddie and her light; Avery and her beauty. See what I mean?

Pictured above, clearly I need to work on self portraits. A couple of friends and I went up to Massachusetts alone for the weekend and had a great time. I got a hair cut spur of the moment, based on the terrible image of long stringy, hair staring back at me in the mirror of a changing room. This is the result, not that you can see it. Much better. And a bargain at just $12!


K J and the kids said...

So much to say.
Love the haircut.
Thank you for sharing as it brings light and beauty to my day of scrubbing floors, thinking, if I just had $5,000 to replace these. (my wife won't let me touch the house until the kids have outgrown tearing it down)
They are such awesome girls. I can't believe they are 3 in a couple of weeks. wow time flies.

You look thin. Without seeing anything but a huge cell phone :)
Take care of you !

Jude said...

Cortney and Bob Novogratz have put there west side house up to market. The Richard Woods panals are amasing from the outside. I think you Nicole and your girls should give it a gander. It's across from the hudson and the park. just before the meat packing district. you can't miss the faux weathered blue and white panels.

Calliope said...

love the haircut!
and yes- you DO need to work on self portraits. Try holding your iphone up over your head with both arms and looking up into the phone. It is my favorite flattering angle. heh

Rainbow cake!!! Have you seen that cake that is a rainbow layer inside? Think this is achieved with 7-up.