Monday, February 26, 2007

on february

Poor February. Popular only because there's less of you than other months.

My February has been pretty busy. People. Projects. The book proposal (mostly, What the hell am I going to write about for a whole book? And, Now that I'm working on happiness, is it still okay to portray my miserable childhood?) . To be honest, my vision of the days behind me is a tad blurry, but this day is a standout, so I've chosen it for Snap a Dozen Days:

Schmin in love.

A day of firsts it was. The first day I've gone out with Schmin as a foursome, me, him, Bubs, and now Naiomi, his girlfriend. As we sat in The Whisper Lounge at The Grove, drinking pear martinis at Schmin and Naiomi's insistence and laughing, the two of them exchanged quick kisses and lots of I love yous.

Naiomi is an extraordinary girl, brash and brave and underneath it all, quite lovely (I told her so). She is not much like the shy lost lamb I was at 23 (even though our birthdays are three days apart and we share the same zodiac sign). I had to navigate the world, for myself and a little person for whom I was responsible, and so I did, but it was painful. I was not, like Naiomi, a natural at it.

Watching the two of them, young, in love, and unencumbered, I felt happy, but old and lost too. When did I become the matriarch?

I began to wonder how the wisest woman I know, my mother in law, felt when her son brought home his first girlfriend. Did it cause a fracture in her identity? Did she take it as a signal to wear her skirts longer? Her hair shorter? Even now, with me in the picture, how does she reconcile everything she doesn't know? Especially when I come to her, in the heart of a bad time, and expect her to say something that turns my life around.

I am twenty-plus years removed from high school yet I am exactly the same person I was then. Hopeful, searching, confused, sure, resolved, smart, stupid, funny, self-deprecating, self-aggrandizing, judgmental, non-judgmental, appreciative, resentful, trusting, grateful, sad, happy. All the contradictions are present and accounted for, same as always. What confident, sage advice do I, of all mother figures, have to offer this girl?

If she comes to me, I will tell her only what I know: That the days go on and life unfolds in ways we can imagine, but never really learn to expect. That grace and humility can carry us through the changes. That love is the best thing this world has to offer.

What a day it is, the day you see your place in this grand human experience come full, full circle.


shobhana said...


miss kendra said...

this is so amazing to me... i often forget you have a grown child.

Sahara said...

Well, you are NOT the same as you were in high school, believe me; the characteristics you mention are merely the our possessions as human beings.

Your son bringing home a girlfriend is a signal that you are not a matriarch, but a grown woman who can now enjoy her own opportunities for love as well. You are not old and lost; maybe what you miss is the simple fun, of uncomplicated love.

It is interesting that you speculate on what you'd say to the girl if she came to you; what would you say to Schmin?