Goodbye Double Stroller, Hello Bike

We gave away our double stroller yesterday. Over the weekend I sold the warm stroller bags and gloves. All gone. There were no words to be had when the new baby rolled away with my memories. I just gulped and stood there, aimless…feeling like it’s all happening too quickly. I had to smile, though, because that stroller was with us through some pretty extreme weather – for four years. It also was my shopping cart, and often allowed two kids to sleep. I think even a year ago both kids were sleeping in it while mom and dad were parked at a bar drinking wine! As much as I loved the stroller, I also broke my back pushing it all over New York in the rain and snow…and wrote of being caught in a rain storm with babies as “humbling.” It was not uncommon for me to push it all the way to the West Village and beyond. That’s a long way. But we all have to grow and the happiness in those beautiful/stressful memories is that at least I have them. This time in my life happened. We are already past pacifiers, cribs, bottles and potty training. One kid is already reading chapter books and reading to the second kid -without me! And I’m already missing my special chair “Mommy Time” that was me reading to the kids. It’s hard to be sad when our new means of transport saves us money and is so much fun. And it’s hard to be sad about your kids learning to walk, run, dance and read. It’s just a sigh.12642499_10153423716222781_4678929169830025763_nIMG_5466

Saying goodbye to baby things

There is a mom in my building who has children around the same age as my two girls (she has two boys) and I was shocked today to realize that baby # 3 is on the way; I ran into her bump when I was in the elevator with my two girls in tow. This time she’s having a girl and she couldn’t be more excited. Oh wow. Um. I see a lot of people having their #3, and in NYC which is shocking, mostly because apartments are so small in the city and it’s so expensive. And still, all of a sudden in that moment, I wanted another baby. I wished that I started sooner,  because I would almost consider it. I guess I still could consider it, but really? Would I? I think not!!  We just got rid of our baby stuff, and now is about the time that I’ve really started looking at any of the remaining baby things. As your kids grow things start to look smaller, and it almost looks and feels like the clothes shrunk, but they didn’t shrink.  So today, I noticed that I still have baby bibs. There they are just sitting there in the sink in a pile. We haven’t used one in such a long time. But we’ve also been gone — we will use them once in awhile — maybe. And what about those baby sippy cups? Lilly still uses some of these things here and there, and we even still have a stroller. But we won’t need any of it for much longer. She really doesn’t need any of it anymore. There are no more cribs, no more baby cuddle seat — I mourned that one. It was just gone one day.  Our friends were having a baby and they snatched it up. I was singing and sitting in the day before. I would rock Lilly in the chair every afternoon and evening for bed. I would sing her a song and before I would do so, she always pretended to buckle herself in.
And then, poof the chair was  just gone. For weeks, months after — even now, I  turn to sit and cuddle Lilly and there is no chair to sit with her. We have a small apartment, so we just can’t keep things to keep them as we might if we had an attic or a garage, but we don’t. These precious things, things filled with the memories of childhood are just gone. The changing table, the high chair — went to the same fate, but to different friends. The double stroller at my mom’s went to my best friend. Thank goodness for you friends who all had babies recently and who are making this transition of getting rid of my baby stuff easier, so it’s almost fun. I said almost. It’s nice to know it’s all gone to good homes. And with the stuff gone, I don’t have to be reminded that we don’t have a baby anymore, but yeah, those baby bibs, those sippy cups….nagging at me. And it doesn’t take much, I just need to look at my girls to see that they are darling, but they are getting big so big.
Maya says to me today after the pregnant mom in the elevator incident — “Please mom, I’ll take care of the baby.”
But who would take care of me? I thought to myself as I just smiled at her. She seemed to be reading my mind (she always reads my mind).  “We will find a good babysitter,” she said without me saying a word. We walked on in silence. Oh Maya =)

Playwright Micheline Auger

I’m one of these playwrights…(my photo is coming soon), but I just really like what Jody is doing with her work. Check out these fabulous playwrights!

Necessary Exposure: The Female Playwright Project

Photo by Jody Christopherson Photo by Jody Christopherson

MICHELINE AUGER’s recent productions include the off-Broadway run of Donkey Punch at Soho Playhouse (Time Out NY Critics’ Pick); Untitled Degradation Play (Rising Phoenix Rep’s Cino Nights Series commission; O’Neill Semi-finalist) and American River (Lesser America), Her work has been developed or produced by Dixon Place, Primary Stages, Westside Theatre, Ivy Theater, Miranda Theatre, Amoralab, FringeNYC, New York Madness, OMPF, Horse Trade Theatre Group, Riot Act, Caps Lock Theatre Company, Sugarspace and Highways Performance Complex, among others.

She is one of Indie Theater’s 2014 People of the Year for her writing and producing, and is the recipient of the National Theater Conference’s Paul Green Award. She is the creator and editor-in-chief of Theaterspeak, and the producer of WRITE OUT FRONT which has put over 200 playwrights in the window of the Drama Book Shop writing new plays on view of the general public in the Times Square Theater District. WRITE OUT FRONT and has been featured on the front page of the NYTimes Saturday Arts Section, WNYC, Time Out NY, and on NY1. She has worked with the Lilly Awards co-producing their reading series of plays from the Kilroys List and…

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Gallery

The Year of Lost and Found

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Originally posted on The PopCycle:
  Miles and Noni, May 1986 This has been a year…a year of me losing things…my mind, people and weight. There are such things in life as lost opportunities, “missed boats”…when the timing just isn’t…

Mom job

Here is your new job. You are a mom. Get ready. It’s an ongoing, open-ended, unpaid, on-call, open 24/7 nurse job with only 20 minute breaks here and there. Add doing it in 4 degree weather with bronchitis and a bad back…(that means when your three-year-old says “carry me” you wince because the idea of it makes you wince but you do it anyway and cry later) much later, like when they finally go to bed at 10 p.m. By then you are so tired you are seeing tracers…But even then, at the end of the day when you are saying goodnight…you know that it’s the best job in the world =). Take that you “I got a poetry meeting and seeing plays….pitching a producer.” I’ve got stuff like that too, believe me, I do….I somehow wrote a TV pilot…and stuff is happening…I think I have a play reading coming up, a few other projects…etc, etc. But I do that stuff in my free time…Ha ha…what free time? The above list is my day/night job. And guess what, if I need time, I have to pay for it — every minute. I’m on the clock right now. While I am diddling away a 30 minute break, my kid is creating a masterpiece.

The smile

Maya’s picture

Remember When I was Wild?

skiingnonGot to watch “Wild” last night thanks to a DVD copy from our friends. Great movie. I’m so happy that Reese Witherspoon produced the film so more people can know about this woman’s crazy story. When I was 14, I spent 28 days in the Central Cascades doing Outward Bound. That experience at such a young age really shaped my life. As a teenager and young adult I became avid backpacker and counted the peaks I had climbed. At 18 I climbed to the top of Mt. Witney in one day with my dad.  I dreamed that one day I would hike the Pacific Coast Trail. My friendships revolved around crazy backpacking adventures. I worked so I could buy Tevas, a stove, a better pack, the perfect bag. Given how I live these days — in a high rise building in New York City with a doorman with a husband who loves fancy hotel stays,  I guess I’ve changed a lot since my wild “walking” days. I also have a bad back, so I doubt that will ever hike the PTC. There was some point in my life when I could sleep anywhere, and I did — on trains, futons – ha ha — on the ground, upside down…instead of inside a hotel, in Athens, I slept on a hotel rooftop in my sleeping bag. I was the opposite of  luxurious. Why would I stay in a fancy hotel when I can sleep in my tent? Why would I drive a car when I can walk, ride a bike or if I have to take a bus? That was my mindset all the time. That’s who I was until….I got interested in playwriting,  and shortly after that, I started working in advertising…and started to meet more sophisticated people. I can recall the people I worked with in advertising never worked before the age of 22. I’d been working since I was 15. At 26 I got my nails (and toes)  done at a salon for the very first time.  These days I get my mani-pedi once a week. A luxury. I made fun of people who got their nails done when I was wild.

Despite my lifestyle changes over the years, I will  never completely change. I’m considering getting my groove on for some Snowboarding today. I grew up here, near the mountains. My friends were big into boarding and skiing and I often came along for the ride when they were off on their “Black Diamond” runs and I was stuck in some snow hole. But a manufactured glide down a crowded mountain, however beautiful, was never totally my thing. I was never super great at skiing or snowboarding. But as backpacker, I soared. I love a good hike, the fresh air, the view, the challenges, being one with nature.

And all of sudden my baby is turning FIVE!

Maya at her ballet performance, 2014

Maya at her ballet performance, 2014

“That’s right, mom, in four months, I’ll be five, then I’ll be six.”

Me: “Can’t you just be happy being four for awhile?”

My kid: “No, I can’t wait to grow up!”

My younger kid (who is two): “Me too!”

Me: “That’s it, no more growing up!”

My older daughter: “Mommy, it’s okay, if I didn’t grow up, I could never start kindergarten.”

Nothing is more exciting than the moment you are growing your family. Nothing. From just the two of you to “baby makes three” and then the remarkable moment that “baby makes 4.” For a long time you will be marveling at the creation of these little people, who grow while they sleep, who show up in the morning one day — both of them — running, talking, laughing, fighting — pushing you to “get you up.”

Need a change of pace, a change of stasis? Try adding a person to your world. When you have a baby you are adding a person to this earth and it’s a miracle.ImageImageImageImage

It’s a miracle. It’s remarkable — and it goes quite quickly, so quickly you will barely have time to marvel at it….you are so busy cooking them dinner and buying them new shoes. Take the time my friends. Hold them close. Cuddle and love them, even in those angry moments (me — every single day – ha) — and “be not sad that the baby time is coming to an end, but be happy that it happened in the first place, or at all. “This is a quote from my good friend and wonderful actor, Amy Dickenson. I think this just about sums it up. Many of my friends have kids going into kindergarten. Our babies are turning five this year and we can’t stop the tears, they just flow in those moments when, for example you walk in to pick up your little girl from her very last day of pre-school…forever. You know it, the teacher knows it but your daughter, it will take weeks to sink in fully. You exchange a look with the teacher and you see that the she also has tears in her eyes as she has watched these little kids, who were toddlers still when they arrived, turn into such smarty pants. Maya talks about things that I never would have dreamed of at 4. “Mommy, is that person speaking French? We never speak French anymore.” I didn’t even know the word “French” when I was four – unless we were talking about French bread. Maya has a favorite planet. She mixes colors. She speaks Russian “better than mommy.” And sometimes, I catch a glance of her to my right, out of the corner of my eye, and I’m shocked at how grown up she is already is. I see long, slender legs…and her beautiful little face. Sigh. What hell is coming to us? I await.  For now, I will still relish in her little-girl-ness. I’ll enjoy her tea parties and “cooking” and her utter excitement with the world.

To all my friends who are having babies this year, remember that it goes fast. You will barely be able to recall them as babies in a few years. It’s just the way it goes. Take a lot of pictures and savor the moment. I did. I do. By the way, I still have a two-year-old, but she thinks she’s four, but she’s still two. She’s still silly in the way that two year-olds are silly. Still wakes up at 7 just to “get in mommy’s bed.” I’m actually tired at 7. I’m not awake yet, but it’s okay, my little one. You can be next to me.