There are a few local annual events that make it to my calendar - Cayucos' Fourth of July celebration, Morro Bay's Kite Festival and city-wide yard sale day and Covering's Warehouse Sale. My dear friend Marissa introduced me to this natural wonder a few years ago and I've been hooked since. I expected to miss it this year because it's usually held in March and this year March was a little booked up.
This year the sale was held in a large warehouse space in downtown San Luis Obispo starting Tuesday April 29th. I wondered if I'd be able to go given my general responsibility to my seven week old son and the nagging cold that had migrated to my chest. No, I am woman, hear me roar, I will not be held down, I will survive (enter your girl-power mantra of choice). I bundled Wyatt up in the Maya wrap and headed into the sale. My first mistake was going to the sale within fifteen minutes of the opening. I have selective memory about certain things, forgetting that I'd made the same mistake the year before and hated that experience and that was minus a kid in tow. I hunkered down and began the tedious yet remarkably thrilling task of sifting through tables and racks of clothing at rock-bottom prices. In case you're curious about the lines carried at this sale, here's the list:
juicy, velvet, Puella, ella moss, 12th st, theory, vince, debbie katz, tricia fix, frenzii, c&c, l.a.m.b., mike and chris, june, humanity, charlotte, t-bags, alice and trixie, marc by marc jacobs, scanty, haviannas, malika, mstars, bobi, alternative apparel, LNA, nation, denim by humanity, seven, rock and republic, paige, joes, true religon, james,.... and for the guys ....humanity, joes, seven, rock and republic, true religion, ever, modern amusement, tailgate, james perse, rebel yell, arnold zimberg, george roth, alternative apparel, doma leather
My (or my bank account's) saving grace is the fact that the $279 jeans marked down to $50-75 just don't fit my butt. If they did, I'm afraid I might need to take on a second job to prepare for this sale. The other reality that helped me to not spend too much money this year is the dream of my body (mostly my tummy) being in a more toned condition in a few more weeks (or, let's be honest, months). These factors, however, did not save me from trying on several items of clothing in the large, communal space in the back of the warehouse in hopes of finding just the perfect $150 thing marked down to $10.
When I got into the dressing room, I could hardly see an open space to squeeze into. I finally noticed a sliver of floor space near the right side of the room and darted into it, telling the girl next to me, "I've got to lay this baby down." I proceeded to create a huge mound of clothes (you have no idea how many clothing items were strewn around the floor) near my sliver of a dressing area and gently laid Wyatt down in the middle of pile. The girl next to me was shocked, thinking that the "baby" I referred to was either myself or the gigantic stack of clothes hanging on my arm. As I tried things on, I couldn't help but notice the cutthroat atmosphere. I could hear girls say to other girls, "That makes your butt look big," and then proceed to grab the pair of pants so that they could buy them instead. Clothes were literally flying. I quickly decided to stand over Wyatt in an effort to make sure he didn't get trampled on by an over-eager shopper.
In that moment standing over my son, frantically (Why was I in such a rush? I don't know, I just was caught up in the frenzy.) trying on drastically price-reduced clothing items, I realized that I will do quite a bit for the sake of fashion.
Wyatt is now two months old and I have some good news. I think he likes me. The first several weeks of his life have been exhausting (see last post) and pretty much more than I ever imagined. Wyatt's pediatrician spoke truth to me a few weeks ago when he said, "You know, in the first few months of a baby's life, mom's give way more than they have to give." He followed up with a gentle reminder to take care of myself. Being in the communication field for a few years now, I've learned much about the power of validation and acknowledgement, even teaching new mediators to use these skills during mediation to help people feel completely heard and to give them permission to experience what ever it is they are feeling. I so needed this validation and didn't even know it. I felt like giving him a hug but I restrained myself, not wanting to have to find a new pediatrician or be known as Wyatt's crazy mom (at least not yet).
It all started about two weeks ago. First he started showing emotion with his eyes. They would grow wide and bright, as if he were using them to smile. Then one corner of his mouth would curl up a bit, exposing the dimple on his right cheek. After teasing me with these not-quite-smiles for several days, he broke into a huge grin complete with dimples on both sides and in response to my voice and smile across from him. All I could think was, "He likes me!" A comparable emotion takes me back to about fifth grade when I wondered if Brenton Parker liked me and I decided to write him the token "Do you like me? Check yes or no" note. Little did I know that this note would lead to my first boyfriend and date (to Turlock's classiest mini-golf course and skating rink).
I can only hope my relationship with Wyatt has a bit more staying power.
After being a mom for several weeks, I'm pretty sure I've stumbled upon a mathematical equation related to being a parent of a newborn. Let me explain.
If I had a nickel for every time a friend or family member has kindly encouraged me to "Appreciate every moment with him," or "Soak in each day because they grow so quickly," or, even, "You'll look back and this will be your favorite time with your little one," my bank account would be brimming. These are such common refrains given with such sincerity and with what seems to be honesty based on one's own experience. It's been difficult for me to understand and relate to these exhortations given my sheer exhaustion. I've wondered if there might be something wrong with me. Am I going to start enjoying this? Will I look back on this time fondly, even as my "favorite"? Will I ever be able to form an intelligent sentence in a meaningful conversation?
Then I most serendipitously happened upon an idea that rings true to my parenting experience thus far. 100L = S^2. I'm no mathematician (sorry, Mr. Reeser) but here are the variables defined:
L = Love (in my case, my capacity and ability to love Wyatt)
S = Hours of Continuous Sleep
If S = 3 (as it did for the first several weeks at home with Wyatt), then L = 900. Now, before I alert anyone involved with the Child Welfare Services team in our County, an L of 900 is still quite sufficient to adequately care for a little one. L = 300 allows for regular and ample breastfeeding, at least 15 diaper changes per day, cuddling on the couch, rocking in the glider during all hours of the day and napping as much as desired.
If S = 5 (as it did for the first time on April 18), then L = 2500. You see, L grows exponentially as S increases. I woke up on April 18th to tears of joy once I looked at the clock and saw that S = 5. I felt like a brand new woman ready to take on the world of parenting. When L = 2500, all of the above are true, plus one starts to enjoy all of it a bit more. Sentences become easier to form, calls are more pleasant to return and getting out of the house becomes enjoyable rather than a big, huge hassle.
Last night, S = 6.5, so L = 4225 (yes, I can square a non-even number). I can't say I know what this means yet but I am grateful and looking forward to finding out.
All math aside, it's remarkable how much my heart has expanded over these past seven weeks and I look forward to its continued expansion. The more I get to know the little guy, the more I love him. I'll let you know if I discover any loopholes in my equation.