A day in the life

Woke up and heard a hawk chirruping and ravens croaking before my feet hit the floor–a sign the rain was probably over, and sure enough, by noon it was warm and muggy. I don’t like muggy.  It’s oppressive.  Muggy is not what we do here on the Pacific Coast, or didn’t used to be.

Drank my morning coffee and read the paper.  So bizarre, the contrast between San Francisco and the East Coast.  Here, nearly a million people were out celebrating the Giants’ World Series sweep, the air thick with orange confetti, a parade of players waving from convertibles, marching bands.  There, at least a million people still without power, block after block of devastation and ruin, phones out, mile-long gas lines, a public transit nightmare, people surveying the wreckage of their lives in stunned sorrow. They say a nor’easter is on the way. I try to imagine what it would be like, temperatures dropping in a house still soggy from flooding, no heat or light, nowhere to go.  There must be thousands of people still in shelters. Where do they go if they’ve no home to return to, FEMA trailers on 5th Avenue?

The gray cat dug her claws into my lap.  I grumbled and complained, and my husband sighed, got the nail clippers and cut her nails while I scratched her back and head to distract her. The orange cat watched with interest. He doesn’t get his nails cut. You’d have to have a death wish to cut that cat’s nails.  We should’ve named him Slasher.

Later, my daughter-in-law brought the baby over.  We had a good talk.  She’s feeling isolated and depressed, trying to do right by her baby and inevitably giving up too much of herself in the process. That first year, when babies’ needs are so vast and all consuming, it’s like losing your soul.  You love them so much, can hardly take your eyes off them, and yet…there’s that voice, what about me? what about my life?  Or, as Jodi Picoult put it, (24/7) once you sign on to be a mother, that’s the only shift they offer.  I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to live in a commune where you all looked out for each others’ kids and took turns having some time to yourself. It’s not easy raising children in a society of single family households–maybe it’s not easy anywhere. But it does get easier as they get older. I always think about mother cats and how, at a certain point, they start smacking away the kittens when they try to nurse too often.  Get a life kid, I’m taking mine back. 

Oh, and my favorite picture from the Giants’ celebration was not the orange confetti or people pushing manager Bruce Bochy’s out-of-gas Rolls Royce, but this one:

San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo wears a shirt that reads “I Just Look Illegal” to the team’s World Series parade on Wednesday. (AP Photo)



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6 Responses to A day in the life

  1. byebyebeer says:

    How true that 24/7 thing is. Fortunately love and that whole propagation of the species thing gets us through those first tough several years (in my case, anyway). I’m just starting to get my life back in bits and pieces and it’s sweeter than any freedom I knew before.

  2. Lisa Neumann says:

    Love your perspective on gratitude. Please know my thoughts are with your daughter-in-law. I get it …. all us moms do. My loving thoughts for her this day.

  3. Imogen says:

    Your daughter in law is so lucky to have you as her mother in law. I hope things fall into place for her soon, it must be so difficult.

    Off topic (but not a rant this time, i promise!) – a few hundred geese fly over our house on their way to a nearby loch where they hang out for the day, then they fly back in the evenings. You posted about geese you saw a while back, so every time i see them i think of you. It’s really nice.

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