new mama



now playing: super seventies internet radio


a word about my now playing link…i tripped over this radio station when my mp3 jukebox PC was down at work this past week, and it’s the closest thing to a time capsule i’ve tripped over in my years of browsing internet streaming audio. all of a sudden, i’m 12 years old again, with my little transistor radio with the off-white earplug (yeah, that’s right…earplug. no headphones back then.)…snuggled in bed, listening to stations from god-knows-where. this was in the pre-walkman era, big time. the guy who runs the station, vince garcia, actually hosts the show live for a few hours on a few occasions per week…and tonight is one of those.

every now and then, something happens to point out to me how lucky i am to live in the times i live in, and this would be one of those times.

tonight was the last night of our local carnivalistic ritual called community days, which culminates in a fireworks display…wendy and i timed our appearance in the ferris wheel line perfectly to be on the ferris wheel when the fireworks started. i’m surprised that more people don’t do that, but this year the wheel was set up at an odd angle, and it wasn’t as cool as i thought it’d be to be on there when they started up.

dylan pooped out early, and i walked him home (he doesn’t have a key to the new house yet) before coming back for the rest of the night…as we were walking out, we walked past the row of kiddie rides at the outer corner of the area. i was looking over at the rides, and i couldn’t help but take notice of the mothers there, tending to their kids as they rode the merry go round and the little choo-choo train that runs on the oval track. i was struck by the cross-section that they represented…there were the yuppie moms, smiling and manipulating their cameras while their kids waved back at them, riding next to the children of the less fortunate moms, minding (swearing at?) three other children standing next to the stroller, cigarette dangling from her mouth and loosing the occasional ash onto her protruding beer gut.

watching the kids, though, is the real treat…we met one little guy named nick, over by the swings (which i rode twice…you know, the ones suspended from the high chain that swing out over everyone at a 45 degree angle about 100 feet off the ground? i love it.) his dad had him for the weekend for his birthday, and he’d gotten him a kiddie motorcycle…hands down, his favorite present. he was sitting on his dads’ shoulders while he held a goldfish someone had won earlier (which probably has about 48 hours to live, as do most of the carny fish).

i remember thinking about a specific trip to hersheypark with the kids when they were seven and five…it was right after their mom and i split up, and it was just the three of us for the entire day. no, seriously…the entire day. we stayed and rode everything in the park as many times as we could until eleven, when they ran everyone off. we walked out to the van, and they climbed in and promptly fell asleep – almost before their little fannies were strapped into their seats. it was quite a day for the two of them. at the end of the night, though, we were literally running from one ride to another, getting right onto whatever we wanted, because there were so few people there. they had the time of their young lives – dylan’s hair lives on to this day in a picture i took of him after getting off the one rollercoaster he was tall enough to ride on…in fact, i took a lot of pictures of them during that trip that i love. one of them stayed on my wall at work for years – up until i left the company i was working for at the time. it was from a ride called the arrow, if i recall…i was on the seat in front of them, and they were both in the seat behind me, and i turned around and took this picture at the absolute perfect time. it captured them in exactly the way i want to remember them from that time period.

i thought about that, as i walked down “new mommy row” at community days…wondering how many of them might realize just how special this particular time of their lives as parents is. i know i didn’t have a clue at the time. there are so many things i wish i’d done with my kids when they were smaller that i didn’t do at all, or that i didn’t (or couldn’t) participate in for whatever reason…whether because of other obligations or because i couldn’t be bothered, and was only too content to let their mother deal with trips to the mountains for labor day weekend and such…

i’m glad i came around in time to salvage a relationship with my children. some men never do, but i’ve somehow been able to carve out my place in their lives as time has gone by. and – i feel like i have to add this – it’s not that i wish my kids to be that age again, for any reason…i love them as they are now, for who they’ve become…i love dylan, i love the mystery that is my son that perhaps only i understand – since he and i are essentially the same person. i love jayda for her talents and for her big heart and her willingness to allow me to occupy a place in her life. i feel priveleged to get to watch them grow, and although being a parent has its frustrations, i have to stop and consider from time to time just how incredibly lucky i am to have been given this role in their lives.

i don’t know how they came to choose me from their places outside this particular universe, but i’m glad they did. i think we make a pretty damn good team.

tonight, after community days, we went to wendy’s for drive thru, and then i had to take jayda to her moms’ to pick up stuff for a sleepover at her friend marissa’s house. i happened to be looking in the direction of the house when she came out to go, and she looked like a girl and a woman to me at the same time. i saw a grownup and a child in the same vision…i saw the person she’s become, and i got a glimpse of the little blond girl who used to stand in the doorway with her hands against the screen, watching me pull away on my way to work…

just before we got to marissa’s house, the bodeans sang, “ain’t that what dreams are made of….”

yeah, ya know….i think it is.

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