Wednesday, June 23, 2010

where the pinots are big and the sales tax isn't

it's funny. we know quite a few sets of parents who routinely take vacations without their kids, and it's no big deal to them. i also know parents who have not had a night away from their kids since they were born, and bless their hearts, but that is hardcore. i think j and i fall somewhere in the middle: we spent one night without f in a local hotel for our 7th anniversary, but the only longer times we've been away from her have been the last two coachella festivals, and both times i was working for the entire weekend. so, you know, not so romantic. not to mention how much we both missed f the whole time. it's a conundrum; the routine, the work, the intensity of parenting and working and trying to "balance" (that word makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit) it all makes me long for a break, but as soon as i get one - even sometimes when i'm just out to dinner! - i miss her so much that i physically ache for her. wtf, you know?

anyhow. southwest notified me i'd earned a free round trip and we ran it by my mom and j's sister and picked a city and made a plan. 3 nights! just me and him! away! i could hardly wrap my head around it. we chose portland because i've heard so many great things about it (for a while there, the utne reader mentioned portland in a good light in almost every issue) and j had been there a few times to play shows when he was still in transfer and he'd loved it. j's cousin jameson lives there and we have good friends who live on a few acres about an hour south of portland, so that just sweetened the deal. the possibility of a visit to voodoo doughnuts was thrown in the mix and i was sold.

and we went for it! flew out on a thursday morning and were having cocktails on the 30th floor of the tallest building in portland by 5pm. the sun was out, which i was told was pretty lucky, and it was beautiful.

we met up with jameson, had great drinks and dinner at clyde common, caught the last 11 seconds of game 7 in the lakers/celtics playoffs (lakers!!!) and called it a night. friday we hit stumptown coffee on our way to voodoo doughnuts and i had a contender for best latte ever, which then washed down half a bacon maple doughnut and half a voodoo (raspberry jelly filled! so gory.) as we sat on the edge of the willamette river.

we got lost in powell's bookstore, shopped in the alberta arts district, had lunch and chocolate stout floats at rogue and bought bread at pearl bakery on our way out of town. and while i thought of f again and again, i was able this time to let go and really enjoy my time with j. we knew she was in good hands, and i knew that if i let myself feel guilty for being there without her or whatever, the getaway would just be counter-productive, you know? it took some doing, but i did it - just let go and had fun and stopped worrying. it rocked.

oregon is so flipping GREEN. like, every shade of gorgeous, lush, greentastic green - it's everywhere. combined with rolling hills, bright flowers, high clouds and red barns every so often, driving south to monmouth was the bee's knees. even the weeds are pretty, there in oregon. our friends derek and kathy just built a house on 3 acres of tall trees and hillside and that's where we spent the rest of our weekend: having early morning coffee in their jacuzzi, watching birds rip around in the sky outside our window, watching "hot tub time machine" as we nursed our hangovers. it was great!

derek played with a blues band fronted by the coolest six foot five african american woman one could ever hope to get a hug from on friday night, and on saturday we went to micminnville for lunch on the roof of mcmenamins and wine tasting at some local wineries. we had a bonfire saturday night and derek and kathy fed us some killer meals.

the whole thing was just right, it was just what we needed. by the time we left on sunday morning, we were both so ready to see f and to get home - it felt like we'd had a real break, the kind that makes you appreciate what you have that much more. oregon! thanks. i like you a lot.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

wine o'clock

until yesterday, we hadn't had any of those parenting moments you hear about. you know, the ones where your kid loudly asks you an embarrassing question about a person who is well within earshot? or your child just does something horrifically embarrassing and you can't. believe. they. just. did. that? i mean, f has done some awesomely inappropriate things in public (like, oh, constantly having one hand on my right nipple? like that) but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending) i am not easily embarrassed and tend to think her innocent little social mishaps are cute and really, just how kids are, being uninhibited by social graces and all. i remember being reprimanded for staring at a person with a glass eye in the grocery store when i was about 5 or 6. my poor mother. but glass eyes! so interesting. anyhow.

yesterday our winning streak came to a screeching halt in the middle of ballet class, in front of a gaggle of women i don't know very well at all, in a voice loud enough for the entire ballet school to hear. parents are not supposed to be in the room during class, but we are allowed to watch through about a 2'x4' window that we take turns looking through so we can catch glimpses of our pink-leotarded little angels twirling like dervishes and flapping their butterfly wings in front of the giant mirror. yesterday, the waiting area at the ballet school was unusually full of people; the big recital is soon approaching, so a committee of some sort was using the lobby to make important decisions about tulle and crudites and the like. and when i peeked through that tiny window and f saw me and motioned that she wanted to talk to me, i thought nothing of opening the door a crack to listen to what she needed to say, or maybe to grab her little hand so i could lead her to the bathroom. but as soon as i opened the door, i could tell she had nothing in particular that she needed to say, and she didn't need to go potty - she just wanted that little bit of reassurance that goes a long way when you are three years old. in that split second i could see her little mind scrambling for a reason, something important enough to say that it would justify having needed me to open the door to talk to her in the middle of class. and out it came. quite loudly, i might add:


hi there, everyone in this godforsaken humid tiny VERY FULL OF BALLET TYPE PEOPLE waiting area, i'm that mom. that's me! i mean, i laughed out loud, because it was so random in the true sense of the word, but as i looked at the mom nearest me, who was giving me the "aw, i'm embarrassed for you but SO GLAD IT WASN'T MY KID WHO JUST SAID THAT" look, i realized that, really? NOTHING i can say here is going to make it look any better. "she's so funny! i'm not a heavy drinker! i don't know where she came up with that!" even though that is all the truth, it just sounds like someone trying to backpedal, does it not? "i swear, i don't even drink that much!" just comes across, when your daughter has just asked you at 4 o'clock in the afternoon if you need some wine, well, it comes across a little thin, a little flimsy in the cover-up department. so i didn't even try, i just kept laughing, and thinking "DUDE, that was so awesome in its awesomeness. that was one for the baby book." i also couldn't wait to get out of there so i could call j and tell him, and then call my mom and tell her, because i knew they would both crack up. and they did. because we know that's ridiculous! i don't need a glass of wine at 4 o'clock in the afternoon! so silly.

i try to wait until at least 5.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

i hope yes!

f is saying so many mind-bogglingly good things lately, i've been jumping up and running to the office or to the kitchen to write them down verbatim on a regular basis.

some recent gems:

her (happily): "i'm a doctor! i promise i'm going to hurt you!"
me: "i hope not!"
her: "i hope yes!"

playing with her dollhouse, she grabbed one of the male dolls and said "this is god, the furniture guy!"

"i am the queen, and you are the king! and i am the king and you are the king!"

"when i grow up, i'm going to be a store opener."

and the honesty! me: "f, do you want to talk to grandma?" her: "no!" or this morning, when i dropped her off at preschool and her buddy was trying to get f to chase her: "i am DONE playing with you right now!" - how liberating to be completely honest when you don't feel like doing something. with absolutely no regard for social graces. so awesome. i hope that honesty will stay with her in the years to come. who knows? it may serve her well. you know, in her career as a store opener.