A few weeks ago, I was fired from my job. It was not surprising, but still upsetting. My last day is April 15th. While the news itself was not surprising, the method by which it was delivered was… I was expecting a regular supervision meeting and we went to HR instead. I tried hard not to cry in front of them, but ended up in tears. They gave me the option to resign which I took and they said that I will still be eligible for unemployment. I have never been fired before and feel humiliated even though I know this job is not a good fit for me. I cried again in the bathroom stall at work before walking to the train.
As things have been deteriorating at work, I have been thinking about what to do next. My parents have been strongly encouraging me to take the bar exam again. My initial reaction was absolutely not. They offered to help by paying for full time day care for the Little One, the exam fees, and a prep course. After this fiasco, I thought about the type of jobs I want and looked at the listings. Almost all require admission to an exam. I took a deep breath and accepted their offer.
In the midst of all this heartache as work, Partner and I have been trying for another Little One. Since I was stressed about getting paid, I was not often in the mood to get laid. I started worrying that it would not happen for us and then on his (and our nephew's) birthday I had a positive pregnancy test! I was so thrilled and shocked beyond belief. Over the first trimester, I still could not believe it was true even as I went to the doctor's office and took the blood tests. Even though I am worried and distracted, my health has been pretty good. On March 10th, we saw our first ultrasound and I felt pure joy. Our little Bud looked pretty relaxed. Unlike the Little One, Bud seemed to be lounging and at one point had arms crossed behind the head with legs crossed. I started laughing and am excited for a mellow spirit to join our family. Granted we could have another energizer bunny on our hands, but for now I like to think that Bud is very zen. I had some genetic tests done and the weekend after the shitty work news, we got the call that everything is okay. Bud is due the day before the Little One's birthday on September 16th and I am hoping that they will at least be a week apart. We are not going to find out until Bud arrives whether we have a daughter or a son.
2014 is already an intense year:
- I was fired from my job
- I found out that a baby is coming
- I am going to face the bar exam again
I keep thinking about this poem by Rita Dove which I wrote about here during another transition. In addition to appreciating the beauty of the words, I am also craving breakfast foods as I read :)
Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits—
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You'll never know
who's down there, frying those eggs,
if you don't get up and see.
I celebrated a birthday on the 3rd and was searching for a perfect quote or story or song about aging to share. I could not find anything that fully captures what I am trying to express. Sure, there are a lot of things about changing bodies which includes wrinkles and gray hair. I do have both of those things. A lot of other items focus on gratitude and being in the now. I have a lot of that too. There are also more morbid ones that describe how life is going quickly and the fear of things disappearing. I have been feeling that a lot too.
Even though I do not eat meat, so far I think of 37 as well done. By no means, am I finished with everything I hope to accomplish or become, but I think that I am pretty well seasoned with some tough and tender spots. When I look in the mirror, I am startled to see a graying woman with some wrinkles looking back at me. I still recognize the little girl I hope stays with me for the rest of my life in the glint in my eyes and my goofy smile. I feel youthful when I am playing with my daughter and partner; it feels like we are all the same age when our laughs blend together.
I truly know that life is a fragile gift, that what I love, cherish, and, many times, take for granted will not always remain or at least not be the same as it is right now. I go from striving to cherish and be in the moment to freaking out that things and people will disappear or be harmed and I will not be able to move on. I am amazed at how many people I have in my life who have known me for almost or more than half my life. Partner celebrated my TENTH birthday with me and I am surprised that so much time has passed, but so glad that one of the things I still wish for is to be amorous with him.
I do not know what the next year will bring, but I hope that the season will bring more clarity and manifestation of all that is fulfilling and satisfying. Thank you for being in this space with me. It is an incredible thing to document life's journey in a space that feels both open and intimate.
Last week, we took the Little One to her second visit to the dentist. We have been struggling to brush her teeth and stay strong in our resolve to limit her sugar intake. We gave ourselves a small pat on the back when the dentist said that her teeth look great and told us we were doing a good job. There was just one small thing....
While we have cut down pacifier use to only at home during diaper changes, naps, and bedtimes, the shape of her mouth was still changing. He strongly encouraged us to get rid of the pacifier as soon as possible. Prior to this conversation, I was adamant about getting rid of it and embarrassed that we still had to use it. However, I also know that when she got up in the middle of the night crying, I was super thankful to have an easy way to get her back to sleep.
As we were processing the visit, I suggested to Partner that we start cutting down on pacifier use gradually. We could start with diaper changes. He took a more dramatic approach and said we should just get rid of it. We decided, after he did a lot of convincing, that we would send the pacifier to her baby cousin. We would emphasize how she is a big girl and play some videos about saying good-bye to the pacifier. I took her shopping after the visit and she got to pick out some clothes. I got her some underwear which she picked out to help with toilet training.
That night, as I was telling her how she is a big girl and explained all the things she was going to do that babies do not do, I found myself blinking back tears. We watched this video and I cried a little. I felt sad when the Little One got upset. We decorated an envelope to mail to her cousin; she put stickers on it and colored. When it was time to put in the pacifier, she started to resist. Eventually, she put them in the envelope and Partner took the envelope to the mailbox. I held her as we watched him and she whimpered for the pacifier.
We "talked" to her cousin and her aunt who thanked her. We told her we were proud of her and gave her some new play-doh. Since then she has asked for the pacifier and felt sad, but we remind her that we sent it her baby cousin and she remembers. For now, at least, the process has not been as bad was we thought.
Pacifier use is somewhat controversial. Our initial plan was to not use one. When I was home alone with the Little One and trying to pump, she would cry hysterically. I wanted to cry too. I gave her the pacifier and suddenly I was able to feed her without sobbing myself. There were several times when we could not get her to sleep and were at the edge of our sanity. Many times, the pacifier saved us. Parenting is a deeply personal and individual journey. Each choice you make has the potential to be second guessed. I am glad that we got her off the pacifier. Even though we had not planned to use one, I am thankful for all the ways using one helped bring be back from the edge of a breakdown and brought the Little One comfort.