Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm Almost Embarrassed to Admit This...

But I think I might be in love with Justin Timberlake. For years, I've hated the bastard for telling the world that Britney was no longer a virgin. I was quite surprised he didn't show her hymen off like a trophy. She was villified for not sticking to her "promise" of remaining a virgin until marriage. And yet, no consequences for him being a nasty pig with stupid hair.

And then I heard Sexy/Back for the first time on the radio last week. I almost drove my Jeep into an old folks home I was so hypnotized. It felt like Justin's grubby slutty fingers were reaching through my radio, entering my brain and jiggling all of the Swiss cheese holes caused by the pregnancy. And I liked it.

Sexy/Back makes me feel like a meth addict. I don't care what I have to do, but all I want is another hit. I could literally listen to that song all day, giving up all food, wather and human contact until I was found in a dirty heap, Baby Boy screaming in a three-day old dirty diaper next to me.

That song is that powerful to me. And I have no. freaking. idea. why.

It came on again when Sweetie Pie was in the car with me. And as my body began to convulse and white foam spewed dangerously from all of my head's orifices, Sweetie Pie looked on in shock and horror and I could see him regretting right there and then marrying a now 30-year old who could intellectually still pass for 13.

But I don't care. Sweetie Pie can leave me. As long as I have my iPod and Justin on it, I don't need no freaking Sweetie Pie.



Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yet Another Reason Why I'm Nothing Like My Mother

There are some things my mother is very good at. Her grammar is impeccable and she'll happily correct your French whether you want her to or not. She's very good at telling you that you've gained weight or that your hair color is not right or that your outfit makes you look like a whore. She's also very good at keeping her house museum clean.

One thing my mother is not good at is handling bad news. In her strive for perfection, nothing can ever go wrong. This is why I still have a mild anxiety attack every time my phone rings. Because I still worry, at almost 31, that it's my mother calling to ream me out because she's finally found out I got a B in math in grade 7.

When I got laid off around 9/11, the last person to find out in the entire world was my mother. And the only reason she found out is my father, who rarely calls me, happened to call my direct line the day after my ego destruction at the agency, and he was greeted by a voice, which wasn't mine, telling him that I sucked ass and had been chosen as the latest person to be kicked off the island. My father then called me on my cell phone to find out if I was ok, as any parent should do. When he was properly reassured that I was indeed ok, the next words out of his mouth were "you do realize you're going to have to tell your mother, don't you?"

Because he knew that my mother would smell the stench of my defeat on my him and would explode if she knew he found out before her. And so, to save my father from having his spinal cord ripped out through his nose, I was forced to call my mother and break the bad news to her.

When you've been laid off for the first time, and for years your biggest fear was to lose your job, all you want to hear is "that freaking sucks, those dumb asses, don't worry you will totally land on your feet and everything will be ok."

My mother's reaction was "Oh my God! How could you let this happen? Your life is OVER.

None of these made me feel any better about the situation.

On Wednesday morning, Baby Boy was down for his nap when my mother called. When I answered, she was clearly distraught and couldn't even speak because of her level of distraughtness. My first thought was that her father, my grandfather, who is now 85.5 years old had passed away. My heart stopped. But she finally got out my sister's name, my sister who is 8 and a half months pregnant and who has been suffering terribly during the past two months because she's so uncomfortable because her baby is sitting right on some big nerve. When my mother spoke my sister's name, my heart once again stopped. My first thought was that my sister had died somehow, inexplicably. Then my mother finally spoke my sister's baby's name, leading me to think that she was the one who died.

Two minutes after answering the phone and having every horrible situation flash through my head, my mother finally got out that my sister just had another sonogram and they discovered that the baby is missing her left hand.

And because of my mother's inability to cope with bad news, I was actually relieved and almost cried that the baby would be alright.

I spent the next hour convincing my mother that the baby's life was not over and that there were so many worse things that could happen. The entire time, I just wante to run upstairs, wake Baby Boy up and hold him and kiss him and thank God that somehow, miraculously, despite my falling three freaking times during my pregnancy, he's gorgeous and perfect and I don't deserve a single one of the days I've gotten to spend with him.

My sister called me when she got home from the hospital. She was obviously devastated, as every single parent's first reaction to a sonogram or at their baby's birth is to make sure all the fingers and toes are there. She cried and apologized for calling me like this. I told her that as her older sister and a young mom, I couldn't think of anyone else she SHOULD call. We talked for a while and she told me the biggest mistake she made was calling our mother. I asked her how the conversation went and we both ended up laughing hysterically, a clear sign that life would go on and that this was just a blip on the radar of life.

When my sister broke the news to my mom, the remainder of the conversation was my mother repeating over and over again "Oh! How horrible!"

Not exactly the reassuring words a young mother wants to hear.

My sister is probably one of the strongest people I know. A lot of people don't like her, because she's like a cross between a chihuahua and a pittbull. She can run just about anybody over, but she's got a freaking heart of gold. Towards the end of our conversation, she told me that she wasn't going to tell most people about this. The way she saw it, her baby's missing hand didn't define her anymore than the color of her eyes or the size of her nose.

When she said this, I can't think of a moment I've ever been prouder to be her sister. I've been a mother for 20 months now, when you include my pregnancy time, and yet, already, I feel I haven't accomplished one tenth of what my sister has. She freaking rocks and her baby will rock just by association.



Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Life in a Nutshell

Because I just don't have it in me to do a real post right now, you'll have to settle for this list which I borrowed from Emma in Canada. There is much to write about, but my brain needs to wrap itself around certain things first.

Highlight the ones you've done...

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (actually, a couple of strawberries, but figures that counts!
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper (I would hope so, or else I'd have a very stinky 10-month old!)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch (may I add that they sucked ass?)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage (Ballet recital when I was 7. I also sucked ass)
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (I figure I'm in the process...)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery (C-section!)
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

66 out of 150. Still got quite a few that I want to get done, although I have no interest in learning to play dungeons and dragons or shaving my head. Or building my own PC or petting a cockroach. So don't expect me to complete this list!



Friday, July 21, 2006

I Really Had No Idea It Would Be This Fun

I feel like I can admit it, now that I've been a mom for almost a year. Before I got pregnant, I wasn't even sure I wanted a baby. It just seemed like so much work and everywhere I'd go, I'd see bratty children screaming at their mothers that they would kill her if they didn't get a bag of M&M's. I figured who the hell wants that? Plus, mothers would complain that they never got to watch TV anymore and well, TV is very important to me. I wouldn't call myself an addict per say, but I do think that my insides might shrivel up and die if I don't watch every mindless reality show on MTV.

And then all of a sudden my biological clock went off and I couldn't find the freaking snooze button. One day, I woke up, saw a baby on TV and cried. I wanted one, had to have one, and not the way celebrities want a Juicy Couture sweatsuit.

So I got pregnant, everyone knows this part. And I had Baby Boy and he was cute and cried a lot at night and disrupted our entire world.

At first, he was just a huggable blob. And then somewhere along the way during the past 10 months, he went and turned into an actual little person. With an attitude and quirks and all the cool things that make you want to be around somebody.

Today, we were driving to Baby Boy's gymnastics class. Since he's under a year old and I'm not Britney Spears, his car seat still faces backwards. I have a mirror behind him so that I can see him, should he decide to turn blue or start playing with matches.

Some 80's song came on and Baby Boy, just like me, has a deep appreciation for good 80's music. And when I started singing at the top of my lungs, I saw him crane his little neck up in my direction. I turned my head and there he was looking at me. When I caught his eye, he smiled. A simple little baby smile that lit up my whole day and made me want to sing and dance forever and learn to do a somersault if it means that he'll smile like that for the remainder of my living days.

Baby Boy is also extremely serious. I'm not the only one who notices it, one mom in a playgroup joked that Baby Boy's first word would probably be "global warming," since he's so busy observing everything around him to giggle at silly things that other babies laugh at. Baby Einstein? Pah-sha! Not for my baby. But turn on the Today Show and he'll probably listen to Matt Lauer interview a financial specialist for a good five minutes.

Then there's the applause. I've always had a weak spot for clapping babies. There's just something about those pudgy little hands slamming together that's just so pure and innocent. And so from the time Baby Boy was born, I was a total stage mom about teaching him to clap. And once he did, I was thrilled, but the clapping was so come and go and random. But now, we clap all the time. You'd think some symphony orchestra was playing at our house. We clap when the dog goes by, we clap after we sing, all I have to do is clap once and I get a response of a rousing two-minute round of applause, sometimes complete with baby clapping.

And then there's the repetitiveness. I love that Baby Boy will get hooked on one thing and it can entertain him for days on end. Right now, his favorite thing in the whole wide world is to crawl as fast as he can down the front hallway towards the staircase. I'll call out his name and yell "I'm going to get you!" which invariably causes him to break into baby laughter and crawl even faster during those stairs. He could do it all day. And the thing is, so can I. Because the sound of those little hands clapping on the tile followed by that laughter makes me glad that I survived those heinous teenage years. Every bad thing that ever happened during my life is meaningless now, because it has brought me to this time and place. A time where a 20-pound ball of flesh can make me feel like I've accomplished something great: making my baby laugh.



Thursday, July 13, 2006

No Offense to The Electrical Company, But Must You Keep Raping Me?

There are things I have no problem wasting money on, like baby clothes, toys, gadgets, house stuff, food and scrapbooking stuff.

These are concrete things. When I get the credit card bill for these impulse purchases and wonder how in the world I spent that much money, I can still dig through the house and find most of these things.

Then there's electicity. It's not like I don't appreciate it that without electricity I would be unable to watch too much MTV or surf the Internet for hours. Hell, I couldn't even heat up an Eggo waffle if it wasn't for the electric company. So I sure do appreciate what they do. But when I open my electric bill and it's for 300 dollars, you have to understand that I begin to think that a frozen waffle would be mighty tasty on a hot summer's day.

Here's the thing. We don't even put the air conditioning on a meat locker temperature the way the mall does. In fact, I spend most of my day, when I'm not sick, in a mildly sweaty stage, because I hate to spend money on electricity. I'm a nazi about lights being turned off when no one's in the room. So why is our electric bill still an a amount that added to the price of my jeep's lease equals a BMW, which has air conditioning too, thank you very much.

Whenever I pay the bill to the electric and gas companies, it feels like I'm taking a big percentage of our budget and just setting it on fire, whoosh!

Imagine if we were able to put the $300 a month it costs us to electrify our house in the summer in a retirement plan or savings. We could retire without having to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese for the rest of our lives or, if we put it in savings, we could go on one hell of a cruise!

But no, instead, the electric company uses the money I send them to buy staples or number 2 pencils. Maybe they even use it for their coffee making needs.



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Like Having a Tractor Run Over my Head

At this point, with Baby Boy being 10 months old, I figured that there was pretty much nothing that life could throw at me that I couldn't handle. After all, I've managed to make just enough money while watching my son full time (well, minus the one-day a week where he's off socializing in day care) and can keep the house clean enough that the it hasn't been shut down by the Hazardous Waste association.

And then we came back from France. In France, I developed a mild cold. The kind of mild cold that your head feels mildly stuffy with and your throat has traces of mucus that you can feel shake around when you cough violently. No big deal, especially when 10 months ago, your whole body tried to shut down in a big flaming ball of agony.

Then on the plane ride over, my little cold somehow morphed into the Bird flu or maybe even measles or the black plague. It's kind of hard to tell since I'm not a doctor and those online sites make them all sound the same as the common cold. My head feels like it's in a garlic press, stuff is coming out of my nose each time I blow it that's the same green as nuclear waste and I feel like I could die because I feel so shitty.

And yet I have a 20-pound ball of energy crawling over my half-dead body all day long, treating me like one cellulite-covered speed bump, each time saying "weeeeeee," to ensure that my migraine feels a little worse.

I've hardly ever called in sick from work, except for the one day a year that I'd decide to play hooky since I hadn't used any of my sick days at every job I had. But now, in this new job of mine called motherhood, there is no day off. And not only am I expected to still change diapers, feed the child on a regular basis and entertain him, I need to somehow treat myself like some contagious freak who should be in a bubble to ensure that I don't make my little blob sick.

Because as shitty as I feel right now, I'll feel a hell of a lot shittier being healthy again and having to deal with a screaming sick child.

Oh and advice to any of you mothers. If you feel so crappy you can't make it to the mailbox and the only medication you have in the house is Nyquil and you think to yourself "what the fuck, it's after 3 p.m.," let me tell you what the fuck really is. It's that you'll continue to feel shitty, but also feel like you're drowning in murky Floridian marsh water. All while your child is shaking you because you're not banging on the tambourine enough.



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Potty Humor

Growing up, I always had to share a bathroom with my two sisters. This wasn't a big deal to me, because I'd always done it. When we were little, my sisters used to all be bathed together. This meant we'd play in the water, and as we got a little older, we learned that we could fart in the water and make bubbles; which eventually led to the unspeakable incident of the early 80's where I pushed so hard to try to top my sister's fart, that a three-inch poop invaded our bath water instead. My sisters shrieked, which of course made my mom come down the hall screaming at us. To cover up the incident, I quickly scooped up the fecal matter, threw it in the toilet and my sisters jumped back in the tub with me so that I wouldn't get in trouble.

Sharing a bathroom with two other girls also meant that sitting on a toilet did not mean you deserved privacy. One of us was usually peeing, sometimes pooping, while the others were brushing their teeth, picking a zit or just chatting about boys. It was no big deal.

And so when Sweetie Pie and I moved in together, since I'd already seen him naked and was pretty sure that he'd seen me naked too, considering we'd had sex, I didn't think twice of leaving the door open while I peed, talking to him the entire time.

But he did.

He, of baptist origins, freaked at my vile ways, horrified that the place meant for his penis' pleasure could also be used for such disgusting things as urine.

And I was told in no uncertain terms that I was never, ever to leave the door open while I peed.

I thought this was quite funny but figured that since I had my own quirks like going psycho once a month because of hormonal imbalances caused by my body's angriness at having to shed its uterine lining, I would let him have the no peeing in front of the other rule.

While we were in France, Sweetie Pie and I escaped to the South of France to lounge on beaches baby-free for five-days. This meant that we could drink as much as we wanted, curse as much as we wanted and smoke. In other words, for five glorious days, we turned into sailors. Or teenagers.

One night, we were leaving a restaurant and I'd drank a lot of water and half a pitcher of rose wine. My bladder didn't realize until five minutes after we'd left the restaurant that I really, really needed to pee.

Since the car ride home was going to be an hour long, I knew I wasn't going to make it. So I told Sweetie Pie that we were going to need to use one of the sidewalk bathrooms, non-existent in the United States, but very common in Europe.

Basically, it's this dome-shaped thing where you put coins in the side, a door opens with a hiss, like some futuristic capsule, you walk in, the door closes behind you, you do your business, flush, wash your hands and press a button to get back out. The bathroom is completely disinfected after each person, so it's cleaner than most greasy diners here.

Sweetie Pie said that he actually had to go to the bathroom too, so we began to scrounge our change. And that's when we knew we were in trouble. We only had enough money for one of us to use the bathroom.

"No worries," said Sweetie Pie, convinced he was the bright one in the relationship. "When you open the door after you're done, I'll just sneak in."

I nodded that yes, this was indeed a good idea. Until I remembered the distinct sound of a sprayer/scrubber thingie disinfecting the bathroom after each use. And realized right away that it wouldn't be a good idea for Sweetie Pie to be disinfected along with the bowl.

So we were left with one option. To go in together.

Now, if you've never used one of the bathrooms, let me tell you that they aren't big. Picture an airline bathroom. Now picture two people in it (in a non-mile high club position please). Yeah, it's a tight squeeze.

So after we got in the bathroom and closed the door, I dropped my shorts and Sweetie Pie turned to face the door, still not ready to face the fact that his wife urinates. The whole situation gave me the giggles.

And here's the thing: when I laugh in a seated position without underwear, it invariably makes me fart.

Another one of my quirks.

And as dangerous fumes are noisily coming out of my ass, Sweetie Pie, horrified, tells me that I better not be taking a dump. Which really made me laugh, causing a whole concerto of farts.

Enough to say, there was no sex that night.



Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ten Months: My Letter to Baby Boy

This is the first time since you've been born that I'm not writing this letter to you on time. It's not because I've stopped loving you, because if anything, I love the 10-month old you even more than all the other yous. Just when I think you can't become any cooler, you do. I just wish that like you, my coolness factor grew this quickly, because if so, I'd be pictured in some tabloid discussing how I'm single-handedly making nerdy activities cool. No, the reason this letter is late is because we took you over the great big pond to France for the first time.

Going to France involved a 23-hour journey from the time we departed our house to the time we arrived at your Papy's house in Normandie. Each leg of our trip involved people getting on the plane and realizing they'd have to sit near a human being barely over two-feet tall. Each time, the look on their face was similar to the ones on the gazelles in the plains, right as the lions leap upon their little bodies. I tried to reassure them that you were in fact a better-behaved traveler than they probably are, since you smile and wave at the flight attendants rather than demand a beer while not even having the courtesy of a "please" or of taking down their tray table. The number of times you screamed during the journey are easy to count: none. Yeah, you're that good.

While your father was turning into a pain in the ass as the trip wore on, you kept smiling, marred only by stains of vomit on your shirt, but otherwise mood intact.

There are days that I look at you and think that you're like the perfect science experiment. It's like when the world created you, it found the few redeeming qualities in your father and I and packaged them up with a bow to make you. You have your father's blue eyes, but instead of his dark blue, you went back three generations to take my grandfather's perfect blue, mesmerizing women of all ages with them. You took my grandmother's thin, perfect eyebrows, foregoing the caterpillars that your father and I both have. The one thing of mine I'd want you to have is my lips, which you have and boy do you know how to use them. Whether it's to smile coily at a pretty girl or pout when I won't let you try to rip the TV out of the wall, you make full use of those full lips. You're serious like your father and already show a great meticulousness about everything you do. And yet, you've taken my good humor, always choosing to smile and laugh and reminding me that before the world embittered me, I was once that happy.

My sweet, sensitive boy... Your level of empathy has reached new heights this month. No one around you is allowed to be unhappy, except for our pets, you still enjoy terrorizing them and making them squeal like little girls. Babies, however, are a whole different matter. The sound of another child's tears will quickly reduce you to a trembling lip and straight into wails. It doesn't matter if the child is crying because they got in trouble for taking your toy. The way you see it, they can have the toy, just make them stop crying. I picture you on the Greenpeace boat, crying over dead seals, shaking your fist in fury at the governments of the world who cause such destruction.

As your overachieving mom, I had you start baby gymnastics and swim classes this month. You've shown a particularly natural knack for gymnastics. You mastered the somersault during the first class and hung on to the parallel bar like a champ. Both of which made me proud, and then made me worry that your father would leave me if you demanded a onesie covered in sequins.

Swim class was another story though. You love the pool and squeal anytime we approach any body of water. This includes a fascination for the dogs' water bowl, a delectable germ fest I spend a good part of my day steering you away from. However, you have no interest in doing serious stuff in the pool. You spend all of the exercises goofing off, splashing and waving at other kids, especially the little babes in their tankinis and bikinis. Hello hot stuff in your swim diaper, you yell.

You're the world's fastest crawler these days, able to identify an object you're not supposed to put in your mouth from a mile away and approaching said object before we've even had a chance to realize you've left our side. We've barely stopped you from putting cigarette butts, fur balls and other disgusting things in your mouth, only to have you protest that we are ruining your life and preventing you from discovering the world.

You went on vacation with my parents, your Mamou and Dadou, for five days while we were in France. They took you to the beaches in Brittany while your dad and I headed to the South of France. Driving away from the house without you felt like someone was tearing my heart out of my chest through my pores. It was painful and knocked the breath out of me and made me realize what a huge part of my world you have become. And as we laid out on the beach, fun uninterrupted by your naps and stringent schedule, I realized that I would miss your ten-month birthday and it made me sadder. And when I came back and I reached for you, you hesitated for a minute, unsure as to whether you should be mad at me for abandoning you. And as I looked at you, you looked so different to me, having grown and changed so much during those five days apart that I now understand how your grandparents feel when they don't get to see you for a few weeks.