Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On Saturday Malko turned three months old, and if there's anything I wish had happened differently in the last three months it's that I'd written more. There's so much I could have written lengthily about: the fight Joedy and I had in the car on the way to the hospital, two hours before Malko would be delivered by C-section (we fought about who was responsible for Lula's loose car seat straps); the surreal feeling of knowing a baby would soon be removed from my body; the even more surreal experience of having the baby removed from my body; the baby's first cry, which sounded exactly like our Siamese cat, Lapis; the incredible softness of the baby's cheek when it was put next to mine.

There's so much more: the drive home from Santa Barbara--it was a bright blustery day, the ocean full of whitecaps and glittering spray--and the first day together as a four-person family, which I remember as oddly hushed, like a film without sound. The weeks following his birth are a blur of gigantic leaking boobs, cuddling, and, ok, Vicodin. The pain from the C-section flared up after a day of "My god! I'm fine!" and rushing around, carrying Malko in his car seat, from Trader Joe's to Lula's school to...the pharmacy (for more Vicodin).

Family members came to visit, I dyed my hair brown, the night sweats stopped, and Malko smiled and then laughed at us. And then, before we knew it, three months had gone by, and all the monumental details of a baby's beginnings faded into the past.

This morning, lying in bed with Joedy and the kids, it occurred to me that in two days it will have been a year since I found out I was pregnant. The past year has been filled with change--not only because we moved and had a baby, but because at this time last year Joedy and I hit a low point in our relationship. A year ago, after twelve years together, it looked like things weren't going to work out, and for a few hours we decided to call it quits. After a few hours of calling it quits we realized how much we missed each other already, and decided to keep trying to make things work; the next day, on my break from work, I discovered I was pregnant.

We moved to Ventura a month later, and we started seeing a therapist. The problems stabilized and then became less frequent, less of a problem. By January, our relationship had entered a new phase--we were new people, in a way, and new life was starting in more ways than one. By the time Malko was born, we were the happiest we've been together, even happier than when we could go to concerts on the spur of the moment or, for that matter, to the movies. I hesitate to attribute the changes in our life to Malko, even though they began when we learned of him, but I'll always think of this past year as one of the best and happiest of my life, and of course his presence will be associated with that.

Malko is like his sister in that he's an easy child: he rarely cries, he smiles often, and he's, well, kind of cute, too. I know I'm his mother and all, so maybe just a tiny bit biased, but I really think he's a fun person to hang out with. For someone who regularly throws up on his feet, he's remarkably good-natured, and when he performs Beethoven's "A Capella I Pastrami" sonata in C minor on Lula's toy piano it's really something.

It looks like more big changes are brewing in our lives, and I have the feeling this year is going to be another interesting one. When we moved to V-town we hoped it would be a temporary move, a stepping stone on our way to someplace more exciting, challenging, and satisfying--like maybe Costa Rica or France--and by golly and gum and gosh what do you know? It might just work out that way.

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