Thursday, May 17, 2007


Ila's going to a very cute little preschool, cozy and small, tucked beneath a church on a back country road. She has a tiny class of eight with two sweet teachers, adorable classmates, and she learns a new song or game every day. She comes home and says things like, "Science is fun Mom." Totally worth the gazillion dollars! Most of the moms are very thin, have an extra baby on the hip and absolutely no split ends or dark roots. Their cars are big and shiny, and they're usually coordinating some fabulous project for the teachers or a food drive or something. Needless to say I feel like the misfit I was in high school - though I look more like them now, just heavier and ungroomed.

Fortunately, thanks to my dear brother-in-law Michael, I get to channel those misfit feelings into rebel status, just like I used to. I've rediscovered a couple of mixes he made me some years back, and one is jam-packed with the delicious sounds of the eighties. God I feel young driving away from school in my small, dirty station wagon blasting the Dead Kennedys or Joy Division. Takes me right back to that time when I was so proud of saying - I'm not one of you! Revisionist memories of course, because somehow, the mists of nostalgia keep me from truly recalling the misery I felt because I didn't have the boyfriend I wanted, my mom wouldn't let me go see Frankie Goes to Hollywood at midnight in New York (what was she thinking?) or my leggings from Unique Boutique had a hole in them. Funny how in Oakland I sometimes found myself ashamed of how much we had - our actually quite fancy Jetta, my iPod, a nice garden. And now I'm parading around with a righteous firmly-in-the-middle-class attitude. Wonder when I'm going to grow up and stop caring what other people think, or at least stop being such a hypocrite. Probably never, but if I get down about it, I now know that it's nothing a little new wave can't cure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hecho en Argentina

Excuse the long silence...

You didn't ask, but I'll tell you that this whole turn-our-lives-upside-down thing first came up about a year and a half ago. I got pregnant and, despite the fact that it was what we'd intended, it made me cry three times a day. Mostly I cried when I looked at Ila and thought about how crappy, tired and impatient a mom I already was and tried to imagine that times two. Sometimes I cried because the days were getting shorter and I couldn't bear the idea of being a pregnant mother of a toddler, stuck alone winter nights in our unwalkable neighborhood. Other times it was because I knew I'd never get to quit my job working for an evil corporate giant (albeit with good people). So when the tadpole's heart stopped beating at about 9 weeks, I was filled with relief. I gladly resumed my coffee and red wine habits and resolved that we would address some of the things that had made me feel so afraid. I'd had suspicions that something wasn't right with the little worm, so it wasn't a terrible shock, and after all, we had a perfectly good one at home already.

And so, the process began. I thought I'd start by seeing a therapist to sort out what was what, but my friend Penny suggested her financial counselor instead. It sounded strange, but I gave it a shot, and sure enough two hours of financial counseling gave me the equivalent peace of mind of about two months on the couch. Alicia told us we had to decide whether to refinance our house and stay for another five to ten years, or sell it, and soon. Our cat died. My mom told us we could always stay with her and it was decided. Despite the fact that we'd be tearing Ila and ourselves away from the best across-the-street neighbors a family could have, this was the time to try something different if ever we were going to do it.

And now it's been about six months since we left California. Things are really up in the air, though I imagine they'll start to settle down a little soon. They kind of have to. Because I'm pregnant again. Made in Argentina no less. And this time I'm not crying as much but I'm miserably sick which is half the reason Ila and I hightailed it back to the old US of A. We just saw the little creature on the ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, and it's jumping up and down, happy as can be and making me want to heave. So, while we still don't have jobs, are undecided about where we're going to live next, and we're whiling away our COBRA benefits, we are safe and sound in a pretty house, in the middle of a glorious spring (I forgot about spring!) with a baby on the way.

It's all very overwhelming, but exciting at the same time. One sad thing: for now, I associate anything South American, including the entire Spanish language, with nausea. So when people ask about our amazing trip, I just shrug and say it was fun, but that I'm glad to be back, any more and I have to excuse myself. Good thing I took notes.