Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Rabbit

Its baby Jack's birthday! Hip hip hooray!!

Lets have some cake. Mama made it juuuuuust for you baby Jack. Big sister Sadie will help you blow out the candles. She's been looking forward to it for weeks!
Daddy helps baby Jack figure out what to do with his cake.Jack's a fast learner!

Its time for presents! Mama helps to open them.

Everything was so much fun! Baby Jack wanted to play with each toy right after he unwrapped it. Keeping him on task was a big job.Baby Jack loved all of the attention. He sure did have a great birthday!
A few things about Jack to mark his special day.
Jack is an amazing kid. He has got to be one of the happiest babies ever. He's always quick to smile and loves to cuddle. My favorite face is the one he makes when he crinkles his nose. Jack is very tactile and bold. He likes to "jump right in" to whatever we are doing and is very social. Nothing slows him down! He's been walking since he was 9 months old, following around his big sister and anyone else who will play with him. I love my little rabbit. I can't believe he's a year old already!

To be terrified or not to be terrified. That is the question.

Ten years ago... before the house... before the babies...before the husband...I didn't think about it. I was uninterested. I was bored. It didn't matter and I didn't care.

I'd never have sick kids. My parents would never retire. My grandparents would never near the winter of their years. Taxes never crossed my mind. The price of oil didn't have a bearing upon my travels. Environmental consciousness was nothing more than putting trash in a can rather than on the ground. There was no 9-11 and the aftermath there of with its wars and level orange terror alerts. Unemployment? I live in AMERICA! Where dreams are born and you grow up, find a job, and get your white picket fence. There was no need to be concerned about that. I was, like most near 16 year olds, immune (more like ignorant) to the effects of politics. I didn't understand that the decisions our government make directly impact our quality of life. And in some cases, the length of it.

After seeing all of the contentious town hall meetings and near riots between concerned citizens and elected officials regarding healthcare reform, I decided to do a little research. A friend of mine on Facebook was quoting comments she had read about the bill on so I went to the site and read everything written on HR3200. And then I was afraid. My mind wandered to a gray, smokefilled-skied America where people wandered the streets half- dead looking for healthcare wearing tattered clothes reminicent of the depression era. I thought of my precious grandparents; tired and worn, sitting face to face with an "end of life counselor" to plan out their deaths. I saw myself frustrated and scared not being able to make a doctor's appointment for a sick child because of the massively long lines for care. I hypothesised a medical crisis. A crisis that's outcome would be determined by my government and how much healthcare would be rationed out to me or my family. I shivered.

And THEN, I went to and watched a couple of videos made to quelch the uproar and felt all better. For a moment. Opposition for the bill says one thing and proponants say exactly the other. "You will be forced into the "public option" or government healthcare" the opposition cries. "You will have the opportunity to maintain your private insurance." the white house says. "there will be rationing of services and the government will decide who gets care and how much." the opposition says. "the insurance companies already ration our healthcare and make that very same decision." the white house argues.

I'm confused. And I feel mislead by SOMEONE. But who? What do YOU think? Really, I value your opinion and if you can help me to make an informed decision on whether or not to be terrified, i'd appreciate it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

sleeping with a hero

It was going on 1am when I shuffled up the stairs.
"You comin' up?" he had called to me on his way to bed a little more than a hour before.
"Yeah. I'll be up in a bit."

Writing felt important...more important than sleep at the time. I needed the quiet....the stillness of a sleeping house. I needed to think.

When I walked into the room, I noticed he had left the light on in the bathroom. I felt relief and a wrench of sadness in the same moment. It was like a lighthouse guiding a sailor to shore, except the sailor was an hour later than expected. Did he fall asleep waiting? I hoped not.

I turned off the light and blindly felt my way to the bed; trying to avoid toys abandoned from the day and a moat of pillows surrounding it. It seems that no matter how careful I am I wind up bumping my right shin on the foot of the bed or tripping onto the mattress and fumbling upon one of Jared’s outstretched limbs. He lay there; seemingly undisturbed by my bedtime dance. I nuzzled my cheek on the valley of his back- the place where what some refer to as “angel wings” meet. I wanted to curl up inside of his warmth. I wanted to be rescued from my thoughts.

After a few moments, I left him to sleep.

“Are you okay?” I heard him ask softly. Was he awake that whole time?

“I feel better now that I was able to write.” I told him, unable to articulate what I was feeling.

“Oh, good.”

“Its just…I don’t feel like I’m good at anything.” I blurted out. It was an awkward thing to say at 1am. Saying things like that usually ignite long, drawn out therapy sessions. It’s like buying a gallon of milk the day you leave for a month long trip. You know you don’t have time to drink it all before you leave. I almost regretted it immediately. I knew morning would come and I didn’t want to be responsible for him feeling sleep deprived anymore that he already was.

“I’m sorry, Sweetie. I think you’re good.”

He placed a warm hand on the small of my back and soothed my skin. It felt like a heavy paperweight keeping me from floating away and for some reason it spoke more to me than anything he could say. I felt my heart unclench. My hero. My angel. Nothing mattered but that I am loved by this amazing man. Armed with the comfort and the knowledge that he loves me for a reason, I put me feelings of inadequacy and self doubt to rest, if only for the night, and drifted to sleep.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

reflection of self

I find it vital for growth to pause from time to time and look at who you are at the moment, while remembering back to the person you were...say...five years ago. That way, you can evaluate how far you've come. Have you deviated from where you thought you'd be or who you thought you'd become? Are there people in your life that you didn't know existed a few years back? What about the ones that used to be there that aren't? What goals have you accomplished and how have they changed as you've changed?

If we don't reflect on who we are, then how do we know who we are? How do we change what we are becoming? Maybe you like who you are becoming. Maybe you've lost track of yourself and forgot who you want to be.

I do this every year. Usually its around New Year. This year, for some reason, this contemplation of self awareness has consumed my year to date.

The "good" reflection of myself: I am married and in a healthy, functional, loving relationship that, thus far, I have managed to not screw up. I pushed two babies into this world and use my every day to fill their cups with more love than they can hold. I have a more solid sense of spirituality and how to continue to enrich it. I've managed to help Jared get us into a house that, only a year ago, we didn't think we'd have for years to come. And most importantly, I've grown more emotionally mature. I owe this to marriage and to birthing two children.

The "not-so-good" reflection of myself: I've realized that after years of marketing myself as a non-judgemental person, I still have judgemental tendencies that stem from wanting to quickly identify and categorize others so that I can avoid getting hurt. I'm working on this. I have abandoned many of my talents. I no longer paint, make jewelry, dance, or sing. Poetry has fallen by the wayside. Run 5 miles straight with out stopping? Ha! I can't run to the mailbox without stopping. And theatre...oh my beloved theatre. I miss you so. Where's my spontenaety? Where's the Courtney that ran from security guards down hotel corridors or traveled down roads just to see where they ended?

The marrying of the two: In order to achieve the "good" i've had to let go of pieces of myself. Its just not practical to travel the world performing on stage while jumping out of airplanes between shows when you have a husband and two kids. I must say, the original plan years ago didn't include a husband and kids. It was soley stages and airplanes. That, in itself, is a huge deviation in plan and I'm grateful. Children don't work well without routine and that leaves little room for wandering. And when your whole day revolves around two little people that are (appropriately) self-centered, it makes it hard to work on yourself. Still, others do it. Why can't I?

I find myself in a creative rut these days; my brain sucked into a holding pattern. I used to be braver; more expressive. I didn't second guess my ability to create. I knew I was an artist. In that sense, I miss younger Courtney. Have you ever felt like parts of you have drifted or died? Parts that you want back? I've become obsessed with figuring out where they've gone and how to retrieve them.