Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I thought it worked the other way around!

I have fallen pretty far behind on my plans for the baby's room. The Giggglesfarm is coming along nicely, but it will be a panting photo finish at the end of the race. In hindsight, I couldn't quite figure out why I felt I needed to do all of this work myself, and not either 'write the check", or have some of the troops over to help out. It really is just one room, and I am sure we could have banged it out in a day.

Being an architect, I can be a little controlling, but never to the point that I have refused to solicit assistance in the past. No, something else was at work here, besides me. A large part of this is the nesting bug that I caught, wanting to create from my own two hands and imagination a room, a space for my child to live in that would be my gift. I don't get to have the womb, and cannot nurture quite so directly, so in this way, and architecturally, I can create an environment for my child to create his or her first memories.

Last night, however, my purely altruistic notions of "why I was working so hard" crumbled into dust, and I am now experiencing quite a bit of melancholy. It seems that a lot of the force behind all of my hard work comes from guilt.

Yep, guilt, the prime motivator passed down from parent to child for all generations. How could it be then that my unborn child could make me feel this way, so powerfully and before the little tyke is even born? Well, back when we found out our child has Spina Bifida, I was VERY scared, and advocated heavily for terminating the pregnancy. I did not want to bring this child into the world, this wonderful child that now I love more than I could possibly imagine. All of this work, all of this love, all of the emotion and anticipation of having a child would not have occured if we decided to terminate. I feel horrible and guilty about what I was feeling at the time.

Yes, I KNOW I felt that way for just a week, a week in which I was scared and looking into the Abyss. I KNOW that I came to the decision to keep the baby on my own terms, and I just needed to travel through that darkness to get to the light of acceptance and love. Knowing, however, is not "half the battle", nor is it an eigth for me...FEELING is where my battlefields are, and that is where I frequently lose said battles. As we mentioned last night, it is not your feelings that are right or wrong, its what we do as a result of them that matters. Even if we came to the decision to terminate together, it still would have been the right thing to do, but I am now so glad that we decided to keep Giggles.

So, I am faced with this guilt. Considering how powerfully it hit me last night, I can only surmise that it was lurking patiently and building all this time, while the rest of me was happy and expectant. When it pounced, it pounced hard, and I could barely get my hand around it to hold it up to the light and have a look at it. I hope that I can now take a good hard look at it and deal with it in the next month or so, as I do not want guilt to be a driving factor in how I deal with my child. I may be seeking professional help at some point, as I have off and on throughout my life, but for now I will seek your semi-professional help in this, as I have found the help of my family and friends to be far more productive, my apologies to the mental helath professionals out there. :)

Today, the Maestro will be working in the nursery, and I am not only okay with that, I am elated. Perhaps having him there today will break the seal of "I have to do all of this by myself" and allow me to solicit other help as well. Be aware, Robbybloggers, as I may be calling you soon! :) The more people that I allow to help, perhaps, the less pressure I will feel upon myself to "make it up" to my baby that I wanted to end his or her potential life.

Thanks for listening, and for being my friends.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Finally...London!

I owe you all many posts and updates, and will get to them in good time. Look for such entries as "Most Brief Snowman Ever", "The Death of Grandma Torre" and of course "Was I Always Beautiful" and "The Giggles Farm" to be coming to this space soon. For now, however, my latest crush has demanded that I post my experiences in London. In a fabulous comic book series called The Enigma, the main character had an intellect so vast that he could actually take a full day to remember a previous day, completely reliving it in his mind. I would like to be able to tell you everything I thought and did while in London, but my own cranial prowess is lacking in that regard, as is my ability / desire to type that much, so you will have to settle for a few random thoughts and notions.

London is, simply put, much like the best science fiction ever. The world you find yourself in is just foreign enough to make you anxious and bewildered, but also familiar enough that you can actually get around on your own. Everything from the money to the movies to the clubs to dining was familiar enough in that I didn't have to point at stuff and grunt or make hand motions like "feed that to me" or "no, I don't want that in my mouth". The differences were startling, however, when you realized that every sign, every socket, every taxi and every phone was "different" than what you are used to. Add to that the fact that they have swarming bands of Meerkats roaming the streets to such a degree that they have to post signs warning against them:



This bewildered soul succumbed to both these feelings of alienation and familiarity resulting in me being stirred instead of shaken.

Yes, stirred! The vast metropolitan landscape was amazing to behold, filled with, well, SO many non-British people that my imagined novelty status as a foreigner went right out of the window of the tube. Hmm..good notion there...are you Brits? English? Citizens of the United Kingdom? Sorry, love, this ugly American never took the time to find out, so you are all Brits to me. I hope you can forgive me if there is any slight. Speaking of our ugly yank, here he is at none other than Big Ben:



I look happy enough, and that is because I was! The Traveler was a wonderful guide to the City of Lights, or whatever they call London. We actually went to a salon type place on my first night in, and exclusive dinner club to meet and greet the Brits in their natural habitat. It was delightful, and very odd, as one of our dining companions actually was a student of...get this...American Studies! Who would have thought America warranted studies? I thought the world just grimaced at us, the buffoon in the wrong clothes stuffing his face at the buffet that everyone tolerates because you never know who he is going to punch. In any event, some American celebrity was assigned to me, and I did my best to give this bloke a good impression of Americans by drinking way too much and hitting on his woman. Hitting on his woman WELL, I might add.

I keep meaning to state "over the next two days, we visited many sights", but, truth be told, we saw everything on Saturday. Saturday was a whirlwind of museums, the Thames, drinks, many, many pubs, and much shopping, both indoor and out. For those of you what know London can guess as to which very obvious tourist places we went to, so i will not list them here. Needless to say, I loved the pubs the best. Here is one named after the famous Dr. Dominic Santori:



Wherein we watched a rugby game (trying to figure out the rules to that game was like trying to explain why a boar's penis rotates) while having Fish N' Chips served by a lovely eastern euorpean "lass". Again, the multicultural metropolitan feel of this place was very similar to our own Washington DC. After our big day out, we went back to The Travelers flat to freshen up, and check out the rules to rugby and the secrets of porcine penises online, then went out to Soho.

Ah...to be young, handsome, and super-gay. Oh, wait, I am older, handsome, and super married, with a baby on the way. Well, that never stopped me before, so off to Soho we went! I cashed in on some more American celebrity status, and had a chit chat with a few of the boys of Soho, and we all had a good laugh. With London entertaining about ten times the population of Washington DC, i was surprised but delighted to see that when a group decides to invade a neighborhood, they do it en masse...en massy to a degree I haven't seen before. I really couldn't tell the difference between the crowded bars and the crowded streets. It was a living, seething mass of pretty boys, and me. Oh, then we went to a hetero strip club, which was also, oddly enough, deep in the gay streets of Soho.

Sunday was....well, Sunday we wrote off almost completely, and here is where another odd dichotomy or juxtaposition or quandry or chestnut or attercop or flip flop chicken hop or well, something that came up on my trip. "Going to London" was a huge crazy thing for Bob & Lorraine's youngest son, an amazing trip across the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean to a European city of history, culture and wonder. At the same time, I was going to visit The Traveler, just like if i was going to hang out with him on a Sunday afternoon right here in Silver Spring. Sunday found us just enjoying each other's company in the flat...watching dopey movies on his wondorus big screen and properly taxed telly, and chit chatting now and again. It was delightful, and as busy as I have been, long overdue. Sure, there was more to see and do in London proper, but at the same time, the main reason i went there was to sit in the presence of my dear friend, share my energy with him, and just kind of "be". It was wonderful. We did, not to sound like a total lump, head out to the London Eye, this huge ferris wheel type thingy that you can Google up and see what it is all about. You can see it in the background of the picture of me and Big Poppa Ben (he LOVES it when you call him that) above. Yes, its HUGE! Here is a shot, a poor one at that, from the high up at night.



Very cool, and very fun, and very nervy. I guess you could say that about all of my experiences, as brief as they may be, in London. Very cool, very fun, and very nervy. I am very proud of myself for going over, seeing my friend, and not making it into a stressful "I have to see everything and do everything" kind of trip. It was delightful, pleasant and just ordinary enough to reinforce that going to London is not the big deal that it sounds like. it was very easy, very possible, and something that I hope I can reinforce in my friends and my family to be. London, the whole world for that matter, really is just kinda "over there", and you can get to it very easily.

So please, I beg you all...GO!! Go down the street, to the other coast, across the seas, over to a friend's. If Bob & Loraine's youngest can do it, so can you! The best part? When you get there...they give you sausage.