So it’s been a minute, Dear Reader, and honestly, it might be another minute before I return. Or maybe it won’t. I don’t know. I can’t make any promises. We’ll see, et al.
-I’ve had another baby. (That’s it though, no more surprise babies; I head now toward menopause, my womb crumbling and ashy from neglect….) At some point, for posterity I guess, I will tell my birth story, but for now all you need to know is that that baby came out of my vagina UNMEDICATED save for a dose of fentanyl administered 10 minutes before the head of said baby emerged into the open air. I fucking did it the way I wanted.
-Hereinafter, the Littlest Yawps as you know her, will be referred to as Littler Yawps. Unless I come up with something better. Because if I kept referring to her as the LittlEST, it would no longer be true, and I don’t subscribe to #alternativefacts. The Littlest Yawps moniker passes now to the actual littlest.
-I’ve gotten older. I’m like, peak white suburban mom right now. In fact, just telling you that made me crave Starbucks and come to a definitive decision on the color I’m painting my next repurposed piece of furniture….#notironic
What i really came here for, though is to tell you about this cool thing that happened to me this morning.
Lately, as the spring is on its way and I spend more and more time outside with my babies (because 12 hours a day INside with a toddler is like, Guantanamo level shit), I’m realizing that I had a bit of the baby blues. The cherry blossom tree outside my front door blooms by the end of March every year, and while, after its flowers drop to the sidewalk, there will be a couple more weeks of rain and cold, its always this jolt for me out of SAD. Here Comes The Sun and all that.
Anyway, this thing happened, and it was such a human moment, and so perfect, that I’m still a little stunned.
I turned 38 a few days ago, and some annoying, mundane, life shit happened (can I just live in a world where cars work fine for as long as you need them?) that led to some positive and definitive Game Plans. A combination of looking forward (2 years until 40!) and looking back (What happened to 30?!) after a winter spent cocooning and figuring out how to keep two small humans alive on Red Hots and no sleep has somehow equalled a feeling of purpose and hope for the year ahead. I mean, it might just be a manic phase, but let’s be honest, I’m not complaining.
So for a little bit, my mood’s been okay and I’ve generally been looking forward to things (depression checklist item eliminated) and I’ve been trying to parent positively. I grade myself everyday (with humor, but also truthfully) with an A being a day with no raised voices, significant time spent outside and away from screens, good naps and lots of hugs. I’m currently a B- student but we’ve just begun the semester and I’ve hired tutors. I’m in the trenches right now, for sure, but I’m actively working on it.
Tuesday is gymnastics day. Barring torrential rain, I strap the Littlest Yawps to my chest (she doesn’t like it as much as her sister did) and tie the Littler into the stroller and we make the short trek to the strip mall behind my complex. There we enter a martial arts studio where for the next 45 minutes, someone else is in charge of tiring out my nigh-on three year old. Today, I had to stop at the post office to send out some care packages. Now remember when I told you that I have become the person equivalent of a Frappucino in yoga pants? Well, I have the stroller that matches. It’s a 3-wheel model made for running behind and offroad conditions. Now, I 100% don’t run with it, and if it ever sees a hiking trail, I’ll be doing something wrong when it comes to teaching my kids about nature, but you get the general picture. It’s like, one step behind having a matching minivan with Trolls playing on the video monitors installed in the headrests.
It handles pretty well, but today, I was having decided trouble getting it in and out of the doorways to the PO. The Littler Yawps is chatting happily away, The Littlest is screeching greetings and protests (sometimes I can’t tell the difference) and I’m trying to pack and address a box, when I look down and discover that the goddamned front tire on the stroller is flat. Which renders it inoperable. I’m going to have to drop my kid off at gymnastics, walk all the way home, get the bicycle pump and return to the stroller to inflate. Not the end of the world, but a pain in the ass.
Now, any other time, this could have torpedoed my day. It doesn’t take much, the majority of the time, but, as I’ve mentioned above, PMA is my jam for the moment, so I laugh, and shake my head and say “Dang It.” My toddler then looks up at me and, amid her customary machine-gun barrage of questions, asks: “Momma, what happened? What happened, Momma?”, instead of rolling my eyes in frustration at the situation, I tell her “A minor setback, kid” and fill her in on the plan and then continue answering her other insane questions with humor and enthusiasm (Who is that? What is she wearing? Where does Kelsey live? Is she Juliet’s mom? Did Branch save Poppy? Momma, did the Bergen get me? Dad went to Target. Why do you have to fill the tire? You’re going to walk? Why? It’s like a bicycle? Is it broken? Can I have a cake pop?) (I’m telling you, GUANTANAMO)
Struggling my flat-tired BMX stroller out the door, I take a breath to answer more questions, and, I hear: “Um, hello? I think I can help you with that?” I look up to see a gentleman walking toward me from a heating and cooling truck with a battery-powered air pump in his hands. The implausibility of the whole scene begins making itself known at this point. “I was in the post office” he says “and I heard what happened and I thought you handled it like a pro” and he gets down on the ground and, while complimenting my oldest on her pink galoshes (HER FAVORITE), he fills the damned tire.
I mean, WHAT?? What are the odds I get a flat tire? That I get a flat tire on a positive day. That I get a flat tire on a positive day and happen to be in the same space as a person who happens to carry with him the same tool that I would need to retrieve through considerable effort? I’m telling you, it was a little bit of magic.
The guy was so nice, and so gracious as I stood there in a dumbfounded struggle with words. He just filled the tire, exuded an air of “Oh hey, no big deal”, and returned to his truck to go about his day. It was this amazing, human moment that kind of galvanized the feeling I’ve had over the past week. And the other kind of beautiful thing about it is that I didn’t get his name. My effusive thanks and reaction at that moment are what are going to have to suffice, my thanks and this little post commemorating the moment.