Archive for June 2008

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE

June 30, 2008

Here is the story of how a beautiful wedding was almost ruined and how we took all the attention away from the bride and groom for part of the reception.

Sasha had gone on his annual family fishing trip, where 18 male members of his family head up to Ontario and spend 10 hours a day for a week straight in a boat on the lake in direct sun drinking nothing but beer. This was the first fishing trip since his father’s death of a stroke in November and they used the opportunity to spread some of his ashes in his favorite fishing spot. Needless to say, it was a difficult trip.

He was gone a total off 11 days and I took off work to stay home with the baby. I loved the bonding time, but it was not the easiest as Finn seemed to miss his daddy and would wake up several times in the night to tell me so. I had been spoiled with him sleeping through the night since he was 4 months old, so the middle of the night business threw me for a loop!

Sasha had to cut his trip short, because our good friend Tim was getting married and he did not want to miss it. Sasha ended up flying back the morning of the wedding after traveling for a full day and not getting much rest. I picked him up from the airport and then we had a few hours to rest and then get ourselves plus the baby into our party clothes. I was very excited, because I had been looking forward to the event for more than a year. I had picked a dress with just the right amount of cleavage, but not the wisest color choice of all black since it ended up being one of the hottest days of the year.

We made it to the ceremony on time and it was a beautiful event in an outdoor garden filled with sweet roses. I cried when the bride made her entrance and I was so happy to see all their friends and family. The reception was in a shi-shi restaurant in another part of town, so we made our way there amidst all the traffic and parking issues.

The reception was amazing, as they had THREE different party favors. I am a big fan of party favors and was worried they would not have any, but they had trees for each person to take home to plant, plus little bags of candy and inscribed match books. We quickly made our way to the outside deck area where the bar was located. We were huddled in a group catching up with friends we had not seen for years. I was enjoying myself as Finn sat in his stroller basking in the attention of fawning ladies and meeting the other babies and toddlers.

I had only taken one sip of my first drink when they were calling for families with babies to be the first in the food line. I turned to tell my friend that I bet he wished he had kids, when something hit my foot. I was confused when I looked down to see my baby’s stroller fallen backwards onto the ground with my baby IN IT and then I saw the single most scary thing in my life: Sasha collapsed and convulsing on the ground. I SCREAMED. His eyes were open, but with a dead stare and his body was thrashing like a fish out of water. I screamed again. I did not know what was happening, I thought he was dying. I thought I was watching him die. I lost all control of my mind; I did not know what to do. I did not know what was happening. Someone else righted the fallen stroller and attended to my son (who was unhurt, thank god). I screamed Sasha’s name and suddenly a flicker of life came into his eyes and he said: “Oh, Sorry” and attempted to get up, but he immediately fell back down and his body was again thrashing and convulsing on the ground and his eyes again went blank. I screamed yet again, that was all I could do. Suddenly, the bride who is a nurse was squatting over Sasha in her beautiful wedding gown. A small crowd of her friends who are also nurses gathered as well as the brides’ father who must have been a saint, because he helped calm me the most by assuring me it was not a stroke, it was just a seizure. Sasha came to after only a few minutes. He was awake and oriented, but white as a sheet. I must have thrown my drink on the ground, because it was no longer in my hands, but somehow I had the baby’s sippy cup and was pouring the water from hit onto his face and neck.

A pillow was placed under his head and he was kept prone on the ground until the paramedics arrived. This is when I turned around and saw all 80 wedding guests staring at us. I felt terrible and begged the bride to go enjoy her reception, but of course she remained at his side. The paramedics took his vitals and listened to the 20 people talking at once about what happened. Sasha was completely oriented and was able to stand, but his color had only half returned. It was decided that he was dehydrated and exhausted from his long, emotional week. The heat of the day and lack of water intake did not help. The paramedics decided he did not need to go to the hospital at this time & we were able to stay until the end of the wedding, although we could not fully concentrate or enjoy the party. The image of him on the ground continues to haunt me.

Advertisements

FROM MARCH 2006

June 24, 2008

5 years old: Screaming at the neighborhood kids, calling them “monkey face, monkey face” repeatedly as they stand at the edge of our driveway. I had a mindful moment and remember thinking: “what am I doing? This is spastic behavior.”

10 years old: Playing spin the bottle with my friends, who just happened to be all girls and only one boy.

12 Years old: Crawling for a mile through the sewer system of our small town, because the boys across the creek asked us to. Only one of my friends came with us, the other had a fit of claustrophobia, so we left her behind.

16 years old: Visiting my sister in San Francisco with my friend Lara. We took the Metro bus to Powell Street & just hung out. I had a pocket of change and for some reason I started throwing pennies at Lara. Homeless men began scrambling for the change and I felt a dumb bitch. Minutes later I was standing at the bus stop looking at the map. A man started pointing at me and shouting: “pookpookpook”. I then realized that I was standing in a pile of vomit.

18 years old. Walking around Flushing NY with the 8 year old girl I was babysitting. I recognized a man walking towards us; it was one of the boys that I had crawled through the sewer with years earlier. I freaked at the strange odds of meeting him again, so far away from home. He was on his way to the Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn where he had been living.

21 years old: spending new years in a pub in County Cork Ireland, realizing that as much as it looks like chocolate, I don’t like Guinness.

25 years old. My Dad came to spend the day with me in an effort to distract me from my recent terrible heartbreak. He took me to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose to see some Mummies.

32 years old. Walking arm and arm with my Mom on the beach in Fort Bragg. This would be the single most important moment of my life.

33 years old. Floating in the ocean in Hawaii in the middle of the night; looking at the black of the sky while submerged in the darkness of the water. Knowing that I could see the stars in space, but they could not see me.

36 years old. Typing this out while the sun shines on a lovely Saturday afternoon; it is time to log off and make things happen.

 

LET THE POWER OF TRIPS COMPEL YOU

June 20, 2008

I played poker awhile back with my brother and his family.   At one point the dealer laid down the flop (the first 3 cards to be laid face up in Texas Hold ‘em) and it was triple sixes. I screamed at the top of my lungs, started spitting at the cards and making voodoo signs with my fingers while mumbling: “It’s the Devil’s hand”. My young nephew, Eli ended up on the floor after my screaming startled him out of his chair. He did not know that 666 is considered the Devil’s number. He is raised without religion, which is great, but also strange that he is not taught much at all along those lines. I thought the oddity of laying down triple anything, let alone trip sixes was worthy of a scream. I forget some people are not used to me.

BEGIN THE BEGIN

June 18, 2008

Huddled in the tree fort made in the thick brush beside the creek that runs near the walnut orchard near my house, me and my 3 best childhood friends spit on our hands and shake that no one else can enter our secret hideaway.

Growing up, my mom would kick us kids out of the house and say don’t come back until dinner. There was pretty much a one mile radius around where we lived where we could get into as much mischief as possible. Down the hill sat the orchard and the creek that ran into the football stadium. Down the street was the city park and golf course or there was always the town area. We had forts and pretend play houses in every nook and would run around like demons for hours everyday, returning home only to stock up on snacks or grab a peanut butter sandwich. We had to be home by 5pm for dinner, but then could go back out and play until dark.

Most of the walnut trees have been cut down to make room for the new houses built in the orchard and the creek has been deemed private property, no trespassing.

It is sad to live in a day and age where there are fewer places for kids to play, especially unsupervised. My kid is going to grow up in an extremely different reality.

But, there will always be swings!