The Little One in the form of an Owl...(but don't tell her I said that!)

January 31, 2012


         The last few days have been a marathon of bonding, blog reading, and stifled panicking-fine then, we'll call it a triathlon.  When last we spoke things seemed to be coming to a head-

[ugh I know writing this will feel good, it will stretch out my voice muscles, get me all warmed up again, but I've just spent the last few hours reading other peoples blogs.  I don't know if this happens to everyone, but when I read a certain kind of voice, Victorian, Australian, any kind of unique accent or writing style, all my thoughts take on that voice.  So now I'm trying to write my blog with like 50 different mom voices floating in my head-it's pissing me off-disclaimer]

        As I was saying, things were getting pretty ugly there for a bit.  Actually the beach thing was only the eye of the storm, a relative calm before more energetic chaos in the house.  No matter what I tried to do, I couldn't seem to hit the right note to end the nasty, putrid, thoughts whirling in my head and heart.  I couldn't help whining, demanding; taking everything the wrong way and feeling like it was them against me.  Ooff, I shudder at the memory of how ampt up I felt, how tired and tiresome.  
        The Little One showed me no mercy. Yes, I have confessed, for the most part, it was I who had hit an emotional whirlpool, but I still cooked, cleaned and played housewife, and she would sit staring off into space-going completely mute the minute Mukaka was not in the room-like I just didn't exist.  And all I could remember is how many times I pulled the same shit with my mother; I distinctly remember the purposefulness of it, the cold, empowered feeling of knowing how much I could hurt her just by voiding her existence.  She was getting off on watching my nerves get all the more raw-but only when she knew I wasn't looking.
        So Thursday evening I sit in my room and contemplate walking away.  It was a breaking point.  I had done what I said I would come to do; the transition was over and now it was as if my role had played itself out...

        Vannesa is one of the most adept survivors I have ever known.  My mother had to leave the city for the weekend, and just like that Vannesa was suddenly in love with me again, knowing very well she had no one else to interact with.  I didn't know what was more astounding, how ruthless she was in her cruelty, or how endearing she was in her need.  But whatever the rhetorical conclusion, this did not stop my hurt from soaking up that affection and need, a slave on my raw nerves. So we went swimming and she clung to me like a brand new baby, even though the pool was full of her age mates.  I took a chance and told her that I liked her so much better when she wasn't being mean to me like when Mukaka was around, she was so quick to agree-even though I'd known her behavior had been somehow conscious-I was still surprised how readily she understood exactly what I was talking about. And she vowed to stop.
          That night we sat down to dinner, just the two of us, and I don't know how it all came up. It was all very casual, like she mentioned my sister having volunteered to adopt her, so I ask her, I says, "well, what if I told you that I wanted to be your mother?"  It's weird to even bring all this up, since I'm in such a crabby mood and all, and since I have never been more desperate to get away from her as I am today...haha.  Well, but that's the point, that's how I know it's real. Anyway she was so quick to agree, but with the disclaimer that we would all have to have a family meeting with Jaja, and Mukaka, and my sister, and everyone to make the announcement (where does she learn to be so formal and proper?!?)  And I let her know that she could take her time before calling me mother-ugh-weiiirrrd.  
         Like I said, I hadn't expected this conversation to happen for a few months at least, though it's helped that my mother has already known and she thought the sooner the announcement the better.  The next morning, the last two days, in fact, of unabridged, uninterrupted bonding time has been overwhelming to say the least.  She sits across for me with the exact same intensity as when she ignored me, but she now watches my every move-my EVERY breath, her big eyes pouring "need" into me and soaking up all the thoughts and wants and desires I used to have as my own, my. very. own. MINE.  

          I wish this post flowed better, but I gotta just get it out, editing be damned.  The thing is, this is all double sided. I mean...I was already freaking out when all this happened, remember?  Like there's other shit that's being taken into consideration-for one, I have not had a single conversation with someone my age in I don't know how long, 28 days, that's how long. And I've never had a conversation with someone going through anything like this.  So it's like I'm starving, yeah, and then all this with Vannesa was like a thirst on top of the hunger.  So now I'm quenched, well at least for now, but other needs, other fears are still gnawing in my gut.  And then there is this little girl with her big, big eyes, demanding ME to fulfill HER?!?  I've seen other mothers get that look on their faces (did I just say "other"??) that quiet panic.  And you always think, c'mon what's the big idea? babies are soooo cute. Yes they are. And so is the Little One; she is absolutely gorgeous; It is just kinda crazy to go from zero to sixty with no seat belt on.  And it doesn't help that my baby is too old for naps, cannot be comforted by nursing, and is not yet in school (urgggh) and-continuing the analogy-just became MINE point two seconds ago.  

              Maybe all this is obvious to anyone reading this, but honestly the fact that I would yearn for parenting help did NOT occur to me.  Ha! Seriously, the only people I know who have kids have them by default and as a matter of fact.  I've never known anyone to have to "date" their child; to go through the very same ups and downs that happen when embarking on any other new and serious relationship.  And anyone who does know me knows, I don't know shit about relationships.  My point is there must be a method to this madness, no? There must be a way to navigate through my own life's turmoil while still managing the Little One's passing storms with minimal damage to us both.  OMG, I sound typically naive don't I?  Like a 400 lbs person saying their New Year's Resolution is to lose weight. No really, best of luck, but REALLY. By "typically naive" I mean, typical for me: the grandest adventures always strike me as no-brainers; it's the everyday that fills me with panic.  So what to do?  Does anyone want to judge me for taking hold of this little girl's life when I don't have a very good grasp on my own? Would it have been any better if I'd gotten knocked up by some Indian dude cheating with me on his German girlfriend? (wonder who would have the prettier baby, but I digress)  
           Are we only supposed to be courageous when the risks are pre-designed?  Did I just stumble into this life or did I create it?  Would I change it if I could?  The other day, at the beach, as the sun set on yet another of our bachelorette weekend outings, my mother said, "ughhh, I wish I didn't have to work tomorrow!", and I replied, "I wish I had a job. We can't always get what we want when we want it."  

           I was thirsty and now she loves me, and it's awkward and it's good.  Can I be happy with what I have even though this isn't what I had in mind, when I asked for it? 

...Can you?

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