Wednesday, March 19, 2008

you're sick? again?, dishes, and gratitude

is it just me?

Augustus whippin' up the multi-grains in the midst of madness

the mystery of whistle straws

the definition of best friends

can you tell Augustus loves Henry?

I've been hearing that question, "Are you sick, again?" so often lately I want to say, no I'm not sick I was just rockin' out at the Pixies show all night and smoked 8 packs of cigarettes, why, do I sound horse? Sigh. Moving on, though, right? After my sad sad midweek last week, all I wanted was my mom so to the rescue she came, doing laundry, picking up the house, and reading to the kids so I could sleep on Thursday. Jeanna took all the kids to our regular Friday library gig, then Saturday I slept while they played at the beach, and Sunday, that incredible Auntie Jeanna, aka Tita, took the kids to the greatest park around and my mom sent in dinner so after all that rest yes I say! I am finally feeling better. Thank Heaven, God, Mary, Jesus, Buddha, Darhma, karma, Krishna, Shiva, Kuan Yin, babaganoush and Ganeesh.

So let me ask you, does your kitchen ever look like the one on top? And I need to say, it's not only when I'm down and out sick that it looks like this, it's other times also. Granted, Augustus cooking the multi-grain flapjacks does add some panache to the scene, it's still a bit of a disaster. I just didn't get the fast gene, or I guess the "I care" gene. No, it's not that, because I do care. It just doesn't' seem to get done. Or, if it does, I'm certainly not blogging! Jeanna says it's because I have different priorities, and she says that like it's a good thing. I'm just going to have to take her word for that one, and recommit to not going to bed till the dishes are done. At least, when I'm all better I'll recommit to that one.

Have I properly raved about my/our homeschool co-op that is becoming the light of my life, dream of my dreams, that thing which I never dared say out loud lest I jinx it? Oh the mamas in my life, oh the babies, oh the big kids. Of them I cannot say enough. The sheer bounty of it, the abundance, the fabulous-ness, the love, the love the love. The group is ever changing, ever growing, ever evolving and the specifics are hard to pin down, but the flow is so...well, flowing and groove is so groovy and the moms are all so bright and gorgeous and different and talented and creative, it is such a blessing to be counted among them. Not to mention that each one of them have stepped up in the last six weeks at least once, most of them twice, to pick up my kids and take them to co-op or the library or something.

And really, for it all, I am grateful for each and every spec of it. This Lent our family has gotten together almost every Friday evening for some kind of seafood feast and it has been so wonderful. My brother Anthony, aka Tito Chuchi is forever on the floor with the kids either reading or playing or being a de facto climbing jungle gym for them to romp over and on. My sister-in-law Suzanne, Aunt Su-su, made "dirty shrimp" for one of the Fridays and the only thing that was dirty really was the front of my shirt. We've been at David and Jeanna and Frida's new house or my mom's house hanging out a lot lately, all of us together, and it really is the sweetest life. Here, with my man and my babies, and the rest of my family to share it with. And that is all I have to say about gratitude right now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

ode to a cat named Sunday

the first time Magdalena discovered Sunday

where there's a baby, there is Sunday

Augustus checking him out

Sunday loved it all

sweet Sunday

ode to a cat named Sunday

Sunday died on Wednesday. He gave us nothing but love. And fleas. Sunday is dead. Long Live Sunday.

Sunday was born on my birthday. Sunday and his litter-mate Bubbles were six weeks old, I was six months clean, and those kitties taught me the nature of unconditional love. They were pure love. We lost Bubbles years ago to a car, and I mourned her with a sadness I did not expect. Sunday, however, has been my constant companion for 12 1/2 years, and his passing, I knew, would be tragic. (As I write this, blubbering at my computer, Magdalena asks me why my eyes are like that, then pets me and says, you'll be ok, the cookies will help you feel better, and Augustus in his little, halting voice says it o-k mama)

Sunday was the best kitty on the planet with my babies. All the tail pulling, the rolling over, the dressing up, the putting in bags and boxes, the covering with blankets, was taken with aplomb, and he always returned to the babies with purrs and affection. So as you see, he was still teaching me about unconditional love. He loved the babies best. Even my friends who are allergic to him couldn't resist him. When Kamy was here, he found a kindred spirit and climbed up on her and would not move unless moved upon.

Yesterday we came upon him, still, on the porch, matted hair, damaged body. Ethan dug the grave, Magdalena said immediately, "don't worry mama! We're all going to die and we'll see him in Heaven!" Magdalena wrote a goodbye, then wanted to draw cat skeletons, I wrote the ode to a cat named Sunday, Augustus was naked, we processed through the backyard to the grave site with 7-day Mary candles, incense, cat nip, string and a dried rose from my Valentine roses from Ethan and said goodbye.

I cried and cried and cried and am still crying. In bed, as we were going to sleep, Magdalena said, I'm sorry that old cat died mama, but the dogs just knew it was his time, that's why they killed him. She has some kind of wisdom, that Magdalena, I could learn a thing or two from her.

Viva Sunday!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

memory manifesto

or, as Nora says, Things We Never Want To Forget

how Augustus says everything with an "ia" on the end, like scaria (scary) or Cotia (Cody), how he wiggles his whole body when he speaks, and that his name for Frida is Ree-Ta

that last night Frida was serving coffee (pretend, right?) in the nursery at the church and came over with the little tea-pot and said "more coffee?"

that Magdalena read her first sentence today: I love Magdalena written by me and wrote her first sentence: I love you.

that Augustus' face lights up when he points and says "nummies!"

that today we had a really good day, (hardly any fighting!) it was our regular stay home family Wednesday with Frida

how Magdalena pets me, and today, wearing not one, not two, but three tu-tus all at different levels, came and gently hugged me and said, "I love you soooo much mama". Sigh.

that tonight as I nursed Augustus down to sleep with Magdalena snuggling up, Magdalena slipped her hand under my arm like a whisper and held my hand

I didn't post this right away, I saved it to draft because Augustus woke up and I had to run.

Another thing I want to remember, although maybe not what others might want to remember.
Augustus woke up at 1am barfing. After the initial barfs, every time he would stir I would jump to grab the barf-bowl and hover over him, ready to sit him up to catch to bounty, and he would open his eyes and say "I not mama, I not". Then, after he would inevitably start, he would say "I DONE, I DONE!" with his little eyes as wide as saucers, trying to will the event to be finished. Poor kid. There will come a time in my life when barf in my hair is ancient history, and along with it, all night snuggles, stories before bed, and me being the first place to go for comfort that is all-encompassing.