I just finished my very last exam of my life (except for that whole THE BAR EXAM thing – I start the class to study for that on Monday. So like, in four days. I’d like to complain to the management, but nobody’s listening.) I wouldn’t get an LLM if you paid me. Strike that – I’d get an LLM, but only if you paid me, and paid for it, and I had to as part of my job. This is an unlikely scenario, ergo, stick a fork in me I’m done with degrees.
Anyway, it’s all over and done, but I’m still waiting to unclench. I’m still feeling Stress Level: Mega right now, heart racing and head in a tight stress headache, even after a Chelada (Land Shark beer, lime juice and maragarita salt. MMMMMM.) It stands to reason: so much is coming at us in the next few weeks/months, and it doesn’t look to settle into a routine until August . . . at which point I’ll be staring down a billables requirement that is a little daunting given my circumstances. Still, packing boxes and labeling yard sale items is nowhere near the same level of difficulty as memorizing the names and facts and holdings of 57 cases, which is what I had to do for my closed book exam today. So listen up, fight or flight response – just simmer down here. Chill out. Breathe deep. r.e.l.a.x.
In order to properly acknowledge the seam in my life that I just leapt over, I’d like to go to the gym and lift for an hour, then swim, then take a very long, very hot, luxuriously uninterrupted shower, get a pedicure, drink a margarita, take a nap, and then browse pictures on pinterest and pick design ideas for the new house – I think that would be my ideal post-law school treat. Instead, I am watching Babar the Elephant and taking my preschooler to the potty and keeping my toddler from launching himself off the back of the couch and building trains and lego towers and answering approximately six bazillion questions about god knows what. I mean, it’s not the WORST or anything, but I’d love an afternoon off, like, fully OFF. Just me. No friends, no conversations with anyone, no nobody except me myself and I.
Tough cookies, darlin’. That’s the thing about parenting – it’s kinda relentless. At least my kids are being sweet and in good moods today.
Speaking of kids *she segues awkwardly * I was just looking through my archives and realizing that I write about Jack way more than Liam. There are lots of reasons for this, I think, which one day I’ll explore in a very long and tortured navel gazing post that you’ll all probably skim with glazed-over eyes, but in the meantime here’s something I wrote a while ago and never put up, all about my littlest man. With that, I’ll close. And possibly head off for a glass of wine. Gotta slow this heart rate somehow!
One night last month I had the honor and privilege of holding my youngest boy while he puked into a beach towel during the wee hours. His pathetic retching woke me in the middle of the night, and that was that as far as sleep was concerned – for the rest of the night he was wide awake next to me on the couch, carrying on perky conversations with the characters on the television and occasionally vomiting quietly into the Least Favorite Towels I had selected to perform the nasty job. (Thank you, orange-on-black-sunset towel, for taking one for the team.) Later, in the early morning light, he napped heavily in my arms for three hours, drooling as he slept, arms slack, mouth open, a little snore. He was heavy and my back was aching and I held him nevertheless, on the couch watching The United States of Tara on Netflix, reveling in this physical connection with my second child who has always been a little more independent than his brother was. Barely a week later, the little man was felled again, this time by a fever, and once again I held his bulky little body for the better part of a day, smoothing his blond hair from his forehead, relishing the cuddles from my baby boy.
He’s such a stolid and confident little guy. His verbal skills and brain are so advanced, it’s always been easy to communicate with him. It is very interesting to have a one year old who is capable of telling you what he’s thinking about, who has the vocabulary to do that. I love it. The closer he gets to two, the better he gets – he takes direction more easily, he is funnier, he is developmentally ahead of the game and thus rarely frustrated by any limitations . . . he still has developed virtually no fear, not of anything, but he’s learning to obey some rules that we’ve put in place to keep his body safe. He is short, but stocky – solid as cement, broad-backed and sure-footed. He is unstoppable, and always takes the shortest route to get somewhere, even if that means climbing over something he could easily go around. Nothing much can get in his way. He calls me “mom” in a very matter of fact way. He never sits still, preferring to have long conversations with me from across the room. He’ll eat anything, but feeds half of it to the dog. Sometimes, because of all of these things, I forget he is a baby.
And then he gets sick, and I remember how little he actually is, how recently he was an infant, how far he has to go before he’s truly a grown-up. Vocabulary and motor skills aside, he is not yet two. I will never say I am glad that he gets sick . . . but I was glad of the reminder, and of the physical closeness, which has lingered these many weeks beyond his little bouts of illness. He checks in with me more. He likes to lay across my back, if I’m sitting on the couch, and rest his head on mine. It’s nice.