The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So proud of you, *baby*

Have you ever watched your child and very nearly exploded with the force of your pride? Weeks pass when that's an hourly thing, other times it catches me off guard and I reel from the potency of it. I can honestly say it's one of the sweetest gifts I have found as a parent. Watching— no ownership, no jealousy, just an all-consuming need to multiply the celebration, to unfurl each ribbon of triumph and alert every tower, ensuring that sirens and applause enough attend the momentous event.

Have you ever watched someone else's child do something that deserves a cheer? Scaling a ladder or scrawling a name in dirt with a gnarly branch? I try not to judge, try not to compensate, but every once in a while I falter. I overstep or assume a role that is not mine. I wonder sometimes if I'd be grateful if someone did that for me, but a part of me knows that in every facet of gratitude there would be equal parts resentment. I don't want you celebrating my child in my stead because it means I have failed. I want you celebrating with me.

What about when there isn't one? A missing parent that you think should be seeing this? Busting with the wonder of it all?

His hands were moving, strong fingers and solid palms, keeping rhythm with the music. One hand using a shaker, the other a tambourine. I watched as his head moved along to the melody, eyes focused and mouth set in a line of concentration with bits of enjoyment lapping at the edges. I thought, "Did he know he'd do this? Did he know behind the scrapping and the chirping he had this?"

I lost myself in the concentration on his face and the delight in his eyes. My chest threatened to burst as I remembered the shapes of fingers, the tiny infant digits, the plump toddler fingers, and the budding big girl hands clasping pencils. Every iteration as piercing as the last, the babies I knew growing evermore distant and yet never really leaving.

He's far from a baby, his accomplishments soar far beyond this playing of songs with friends, and yet as I watch him, knowing him*, I am overcome with thinking that this should be seen. Celebrated. His dad is gone, but his entitlement to celebration is no less. This man, the boy still inside, he deserves to send fissures through the heart of a grown man, to steal breath with the man he has become.

I ache for what isn't being seen and feel privileged for being here to feel that sensation of awe. He is not my son and his dad is not a man I can bring to the room, but as sure as I am proud of my girls, I am proud of him and confident in what his dad would think.

Not a roar, a plea. Go watch yours, inhale them, celebrate them, cherish them. It isn't guaranteed, but it's damn sure a blessing. Don't miss it.

Live it.

*I hope you'll forgive me for writing this.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Like Riding a Bike

Autumn seems to spark a sense of hope for me (when I am not fretting over a sluggish real estate market, shattering cosmetics, dull skin, sore feet and sparsely decorated bank accounts.) I love the way the leave and wood fire smoke smell like new clothes from the Bon Marche in Eugene, Oregon circa 1983 and how the swirling leaves and gust of wind remind me of wind sprints and crunches at dusk. I am reminded of the way tomorrow is just around the corner, tempting me with all the things that might happen.

I am finding this all multiplied now as I spend my mornings with the girls peeking through windows and exclaiming, "Frost!" Me, not them. I am excited to share these things with them, reveal the magic. They reciprocate by breathlessly calling to me to point out a bird, a leaf, a stick, the sky. We spin and collapse, hug and hide. The natural wonder peppered with new things that make me gasp.

"Did you see? Did you see that mom? It's 'mom'. Ya just go two m's with an 'o' in the middle. And then with 'dad' it's d's with an 'a', which is an 'o' with a tail."

One baby can write and another can ride, the last is aiming to do both, and then some.

They are pure magic. Sleeping and awake. I'm trying to sleep better, dream better even, so that when I am awake and with them, I really am with them.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Not Quite Numb

This has been without question one of the most exhausting and challenging weeks I can remember. I find myself stuck in a place of forced silence. Things at work are intense and all-consuming, but not of a nature that we can share. Some of the experiences with kindergarten and pre-school are things that I can't describe for the preservation of the girls' privacy or my own inclusion in day-to-day things. This is to say that boy, oh boy do I have opinions and stories, but I am in the unoriginal position of needing to zip it, because it all touches so many more people now.

It is as if the lines of my life have slowly, unbeknownst to me, shifted so close as to become inextricably linked to one another making compartmentalization impossible. There is less me and much more of everyone else, perhaps it's an overdue realization that while I am my own protagonist, it's only in my mind that I play that role. I am treading along the shores of judger, villainess and detached narrator.

I miss writing, longing for the connection, either in reading my own words days or weeks after I've written them and going back to a moment in time or the friends I've made. I've been having every bit as many magical moments with the girls, more even, yet I sit frozen instead of fingers racing across the keys.

Lovely. This is not meant to be a dark post, because I think if anything, you know I am not dark. Lately as my awareness of the egos and sensitivities of others has grown, my own worries of looking the fool have fallen completely to the wayside. I took Fin and Ave with me to pick Briar up from school the other day. We were early (this would mean so much more if I explained the harrowing experience of being late (#abjectfailureasamom). The girls got understandably antsy and I eventually gave into their please to get out of the wagon.

Ave struck immediately for the dirt, knees akimbo and the tiniest bit of toddle crack peeking out of her jeans. Fin tried to follow suit, but on her way to a squat, she felt too much like dancing. She began to do what looked like a stab at doing the twist while trying to jump with cement blocks on her feet. She looked at me with such pride and delight, her dancing eyes tittered, "You catching this, mama? You see what I am doing? It's like dancing or jumping, mm-hmm." Ave shook her head and looked up from under her impossibly thick bangs and began to chuckle.

Fin was looking at me expectantly and I didn't disappoint. I swung my arms in front of me and then back, she watched, mystified as I did it again. I looked to Avery and back to Fin, both were transfixed as I swung my arms once more and then leapt into the air. Their eyes popped and I just kept going. I am fairly sure I looked like an over-caffeinated and uncoordinated orangutang. I remember finishing my impromptu performance and thinking, "I used to blog about this sort of thing."

I actually thought about how I'd describe the way the mulch in Finley's hair made me realize how much red she has in her hair, or how the way she held the sticks to scratch aside the soil, her fingers looked like a baby's. Ave's skin was something too, so creamy and clear, the lines of her jaw equal parts baby and little girl. And there was more, as I watched Briar run to her sisters, such delight at the perceived fanfare of a pick-up entourage.

But I didn't write.

Until now.

So, while I have felt a bit numb, I'm not quite.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Malleability of perspective

All I can say is, thank goodness I don't have an immobile perspective. I mean on some things I do, but I am learning to be looser with other things.

I think it may have to do with being able to endure that moment when you feel as if you might explode— from anger, from fear, from anticipation or just not knowing— when you can get to the other side you are almost always rewarded. You taste something new, dodge hate or be relieved of a weight you've carried.

Family. It isn't easy, steeped in regret, dashed hoped, exorbitant expectations and it-is-what-it-is-ness. It is also what I feel like I always turn to, it s the place I turn inside when I am at a loss, or when I need the comfort of immutability. As permanent as the sun rising each day. I am in a profound place of grace as I have moved past the moment I thought was impossible, and am open and present. Loved and loving.

I've not been writing as much lately as the push and pull of life, advancing Adirondack winter and the unavoidable bugs of back-to school rock our house. My last few posts have been wistful. I think when you find yourself between so many beginnings and endings, it's kind of natural to get caught up in fearing or bracing for more.

I got an email that said: "Try not to ache so much about the past; your memories of them are always tempered by the moment of your recollection, so sometimes they’re bitter sweet and other times they’re just sweet."

It gave me pause and after that it gave me license to just revel. I think I might have rocked a little far to the side of intellectualizing, and so now I find myself scooping up bits of birch bark to examine with Ave, roaring at Fin completely out of the blue to make her eyes bug out of her face as she reacts and then dissolves into hysterics. Briar and I galloped to school. Silly, unscripted and delicious.

It is what it is, and it's pretty damn spectacular.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tweetle Dee

Do you have a Twitter account? If you do, leave the name in the comments here and I'll follow you :) If you don't, this may not make sense. Last night Sean surprised me with tickets to Sugarland. It surpassed my wildest dreams and I have the gushing, over-the-top tweets to prove it. I wanted to write about the experience, but these entries are exactly what my Grandma Joy used to tell me to do with a journal, "Just write even a few words, just to let you back into each memory." These do just that.

Heading to the Sugarland concert tonight. Keith Urban follows, but all I need is that first act. No offense to Keith.
4:30 PM Oct 7th from TweetDeck

On our way to Sugarland...
6:40 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

@theheatherb where does one go for a quick something before a show @ the Times Union Center?
6:48 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Holy crap I am old and small town. The bar across from TU Center is sending me back. Decades. #onway2myfirstconcertinyears
7:08 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Protocol would appear to be scowl and sneer, not swallow nervously and grin.
7:09 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Sugarland just came on stage, not ashamed to admit I am crying I am so excited.
7:35 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Yup, still crying and grinning. Getting exactly what you want is literally awesome.
7:43 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

They say this town...two thousand miles and one left turn. #happyasapiginshit
7:46 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Baby pictures of the entire band and crew running behind Love your baby girl. #myundoing
7:48 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Watching having revelations of self-acceptance and seizing now. Epiphany via concerts and date nights. Please let me remember.
7:55 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

So seriously, feeling like so many unfulfilled wishes are coming true. In silent, weepy wonder. Have you ever felt that?
8:02 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

"For the mommies and the daddies" she said.
8:11 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

What I'd hold on to this feeling. Subtract worry, add revelation and unapologetic pleasure. Living, really.
8:14 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

"That's a f*cking guitar solo," said Sean - for those of you fatigued by my gushing.
8:16 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Hands together for the crew! Hell yeah from this techy! Go @capitolbuzz
8:17 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Me: I want to try surfing. (After Jennifer Nettles surfing montage) Sean: Let's get the hang of skiing of first. #nowacceptingcoastalgifts
8:20 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

She is singing Holiday! Whee high school meets mom-of-3 meets holy shit it's getting hot in here. Bwaahahaha
8:25 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Awesome Albany montage at Sugarland's close.
8:37 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

Here comes Keith Urban!!
8:38 PM Oct 7th from TwitterBerry

After last night I'm excited for this weekend's Johnny Cash Tribute. Troy Record wrote this DM me for discount!
about 12 hours ago from TweetDeck

The last tweet is different, a morning after invitation in the spirit of carrying on the incredible feeling. Go do something for yourself, if you are around here, try the Cash concert (use code: TWITTER for 2 for 1 tickets), but if you aren't, just go and find something.

Times are tight, but it's worth finding the exhilaration of delight again. For you.