Thursday, May 15, 2008

Big Night, Part II

So, we didn't spend the ENTIRE night just thinking about our little peanut. We found ourselves completely enchanted by the Brahms concerto and symphony. Of course, we both sat there thinking about how much fun it will be to bring Gabby to the symphony and teach her about music, but we devoted, oh, at least 30% of our (shared) brain to actually enjoying the music.

There are definite cultural differences among the lively arts in our town. Ballet patrons tend to be fashionable, good looking, aware of themselves and their space. Many of them look like they might be former dancers. Either that, or they're just really well preserved and have fabulous personal trainers.

The folks who attend the opera always make me feel schlumphy, impoverished, and under dressed. They dress UP. Like they mean it. It is the opera, after all.

And then there's the symphony -- aaah, the symphony.

Symphony patrons seem to skew a bit older, or maybe they're just not as good at hiding it. At any given performance, you'll see a parade of corduroy and tweed blazers with elbow patches, many adorned with a slight sprinkling of dandruff about the collar. There are also a fair number of urban hipsters and young professionals, but they all look as if they'd be equally comfortable at a sci-fi convention.

In short, they are nerds. They are folks in touch with their inner geek.

They are our kind of people.

It's not just our fellow audience members that make us feel comfortable, it's the performers themselves. I can look at a ballerina with great admiration, wondering at how on earth she gets her impossibly long legs up behind her back and parallel with her neck, but I couldn't imagine ever actually talking to one.

And opera singers seem to be of a different species -- an extremely theatrical race of divas who never ever experience humdrum emotions such as mild surprise or simple contentment.

But symphony musicians? God love 'em. They look like your next door neighbor, dressed up for a family wedding. Or maybe that guy with the schnauzer you see in the coffee shop all the time. Or the woman in the next cubicle. It makes it all the more amazing that they create such magic. And that they're so interesting to watch, despite the lack of costumes, stage makeup, or body contortions (well, other than the occasional grimace from a soloist).

Hmm. Why do I have the sinking feeling that Gabby will likely torture us from the age of 7 on by refusing to listen to anything but her generation's version of Hannah Montana?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Our Big Night Out

I have never appreciated my parents as much as I do now. Not just because I now understand what they went through, but also because they keep stepping up and doing these really awesome things for us.

I dunno, perhaps becoming grandparents for the third time has rendered them daft and unable to stop themselves from doing insane, over-the-top nice things for us.

Like coming to my house and emptying my dishwasher (?!!) I mean, who does that? And, get this -- flying all the way here for the weekend so they could watch Gabby while Atomic and I had a night to ourselves for our anniversary. Let me be clear: we're not talking about an evening out. We're talking a whole night. As in, 4 p.m. until 10 a.m. the following day. As in, dealing with the evening scream fest AND the 3 a.m. feeding AND the morning poopsplosion.

They rock. And they're completely insane. In a good way, of course.

So, you may ask, what did we do with all of that free time?

5 p.m. Cocktails and an early dinner reservation (during which we mused about what a potentially child-friendly restaurant we were at, answered one frantic call from my folks when Gabby hit an unprecedented level of wailing misery due, apparently, to a bottle that was one or two degrees too cold for her liking, called back seven times to make sure everything was ok, and debated aborting the mission and going home).

7 p.m. After being talked down from the ledge by the couple at the next table, we arrived early for the symphony and got to hear a pre-performance recital. Made one last call home before shutting off our phones.

8 p.m. Symphony performance. Enjoyed it thoroughly. And, over intermission drinks, talked about how much fun it will be to dress up Gabby and take her to the symphony in a few years.

10:30 p.m. Stopped at the symphony gift shop after the performance and found some cute stuff for Gabby.

11 p.m. Back to the hotel lounge for a nightcap and dancing. Wondered aloud how Gabby was doing and whether she was keeping my parents up all night. Talked about how much we missed her.

2 a.m. Finally turned in for the night. Wondered if Gabby was up.

2-6 a.m. Dreamed about Gabby.

6 a.m. Woke up early despite late night, as per recent programming. Pumped enough milk to supply a medium sized orphanage.

10 a.m. Reunited with our little smunchkin, who looked adorable in her little flowered dress and white cardigan, all dolled up for Mother's Day.

So it seems that the little person in our midst has thoroughly soaked into our psyches. And our hearts. And our imaginations.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Time, Part I

Some time around the beginning of my last trimester of pregnancy I stopped wearing a watch. It was just too damned uncomfortable and it left marks on my swollen wrists. Immediately after the baby was born, I didn't bother wearing a watch because at any given moment I had no idea if it was even day or night and I really didn't give a shit. I wasn't wearing deodorant, never mind a watch.

Gabby's four months old now. We keep a pretty full schedule of activities. We go to events, see friends, attend classes. But I still have not resumed wearing a watch.

They say that when your child is small, the hours go slow and the months go fast. I feel like it's all going fast. Each day begins with these beautiful big eyes looking at me and smiling, and then all of a sudden it's evening and those lovely eyes are closing.

With my return to work looming (well, it feels like it's looming, although it's still more than a month away), I'm starting to figure out why the watch has languished for so long at the bottom of a drawer: I like being in this little bubble, just me and my family and those other folks I choose to see, doing whatever we please. I dread returning to a regimented life, a life where I have to consult my calendar constantly and account for my day in fifteen minute increments. I dread the feeling of not having enough hours in the day, of constantly being late for things because I try to cram too much into every last minute.

Of course, these musings bring up a lot of stuff about being a working mom, finding a balance between work and home, wondering whether I'll have any time for myself, and not wanting to miss a second of Gabby's childhood. I'm sure I'll be writing more about these things soon.

Ironically enough, I've been working on this post since March because I haven't had the time to pull my thoughts together in a coherent way. I think I'll just call it "Part I" and leave it at that.

In the meanwhile, I'll continue to float along watchless, thankyouverymuch, in my little bubble with my baby.