King of the Hill, Top of the Heap

When you are a momma, you get to hear your child fling forth adorable attempts at English (ducks, books and socks are all "Gocks!" right now), and see their cute little dimpled bums after they've had a bath, and sniff that incredible, rejuvenating scent that lingers in their hair. You get to hear them sigh in happiness when you pick them up at night, and sometimes they just gently stroke you arm as if to say "You are a really, really great person. And I heart you."
In return for all of this, however, you have to cart around a staggering amount of crap to go anywhere and do anything.
Case in point. If I want to get on the subway (which I have to do if I want to be anywhere other than home, Shoprite, or the cemetery next door), I have to bring at minimum the dipes, wipes, snacks, paci, toys, sunhat, and also a 20 lb child in a stroller in addition to whatever I might want to have for like, myself. Ya know, like money and ID and lipstick. And I have to somehow get these things up and down at least 5 flights of steps, depending on which station I'm headed to.
And lemme tell you, it makes you pretty mercenary about choosing just how badly you need to go out. The bookstore in Park Slope? Not really worth it, unless you toss in meet-up w/ Ash and Lu in the play ground and lunch at Smiling Pizza . Manhattan? Nothing doing unless I have my big strong hubs to help with the stroller, or there's some REALLY cool thing going on.
But sometimes we must go out, and so this week, on a muggy day, I decide to venture into Park Slope to pick up my paycheck. Gwen and I walked (well I walked, she was pushed in her sedan chair like Cleopatra) to the F train station and I huffed and puffed up the first ginormous flight of stairs, hearing the train approaching. Of course my Metrocard took it upon itself at this moment to find the deepest, darkest part of my purse and set up housekeeping there, so by the time I got through the gate, I was already missing said train. And out of no where, this nice youngish man says "Can I help you?". I was just desperate enough to say "Yes. Please." and he grabbed one end of my stroller and got us up the stairs to the platform, missing his own train in the process. I thanked him profusely and he brushed it off and went on his way.
I got on the next train, and got ready to do my transfer at 4th Ave, which involves, I'm not even kidding, 5 flights of stairs into the bowels of Brooklyn. And lo, a teenage girl, surrounded by her gum smacking friends, offered to help me get the stroller downstairs!! I only let her do one flight, cause the whole enchilada would have been a serious commitment and I doubt she knew what she had bitten off, but...just... WOW! And this day is just one of many where I have witnessed small kindnesses being casually passed around New York like lunch menu fliers.
My point (if there is one. I sometimes don't know and I'm the one writing this crap) is that New York of all places besides, say, Kabul, has this reputation for people being rude and completely disinterested in their fellow man. I am here to tell you that is bull. Yes, we have our jerks. And maybe even more of them than the average city- I mean, you try living on top of each other the way we do and see how sweet you are all the time. But there also exists a richness of spirit I have found lacking in some of the other cities I called home. This is the city mind you, where a man literally layed his body over that of a stranger to keep him from being hit by the subway a few years back, and only this week had a man who didn't even stick around to take any credit push another stranger out of the way of an oncoming train (seriously, can everyone please stop falling in front of the subway??). It's a city that is fierce in it's loves and hates, and sometimes that comes off as kind of rough and brash, but really it's just bald-faced honesty. And I really, really freaking love that. So thanks New York. I am glad I came back to you.

And now, pictures.
Ok. I know she's mine and all but God help me, I think she hung the moon.


A Cockeyed Optimist

The emotional see-saw that I have been on lately must have had something to do w/ my hormones as breastfeeding begins to taper off (we are down to only 3 or 4 feedings a day) and my body gets back to being...well, my own again, I guess. In the past few of weeks a fog of melancholia had settled about me like a musty grey shawl.
And then, like someone opening a window, things just started getting better this week. I attribute this to the following:

1. A quartet of guys got on the subway with us last week and harmonized beautifully to "The Lion Sleeps Tonite" as Gwendy and Lulu beamed on.

2. I saw three pre-teen girls in private school uniforms help an old lady carry her rolly-cart up the subway steps.

3. This rose has been blooming it's fool head off in my yard all week and there are buds all around it to indicate this will be a common occurrence this summer: (Please excuse badly framed photo as was holding baby whilst taking picture and attempting to keep said baby from nomming camera)

4. Gwendy has (finally!) begun to crawl, in an adorable awkwardly thumping manner that has me laying all kinds of "bait" (cell phones, jewelry, mail) to entice her to move towards it and make me laugh.

5. I had my very first mother's day.

6. I got a few ideas for a new play. I think I will try my hand at writing it whenever I get two minutes to rub together.

7. And finally, this is my husband:
(yes, those are "fangs" made of chicken bones)

8: And this is my daughter: