Friday, July 31, 2009

Rough New Prizes

Listen, I will be honest with you
I do not offer the old smooth prizes
But offer rough new prizes
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
However sweet the laid up stores,
However convenient the dwelling, you shall not remain there.
However sheltered the port, however calm the waters, you shall not anchor there.
However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you,
You are permitted to receive it but a little while Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road
Healthy, free, the world before you the long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.
Say only to one another:
Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money; I give you myself before preaching and law:
Will you give me yourself?
Will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
extract from Song of the Open Road - Walt Whitman

I got married to the cute husband in 2001. Fall 2001. September 2001 to zero in on it, and okay, shit here it is: September 29th, 2001. Hey evil doers - I don't use my anniversary in any passwords. Just fyi.
Annnyway. We had the above read at the ceremony as seen in above picture by above dear friend. 18 days after 9.11 we all needed another good cry as well as a reason to celebrate, and our wedding proved to be quite a lovely affair offering time for both. This poem (okay, excerpt) really sends me into my love of falling water from my face.

Wait, sorry - side note. Am I a big dork for linking to my own posts when I only have like five so far? Please let me know. K, we're back.

I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't realize at the time that this is an excerpt of the poem. It wasn't until I googled 'smooth old prizes' recently did I discover the whole she-bang. It's a long ass poem in comparison, and if you're missing your 12th grade AP English class check it out. However I hope you'll agree that this lil cheesy wedding version above does pack a good heart-tugging punch.
I'm finally going to get to the point, thanks for staying with me. I've been living in smooth old prizes land for quite some time now. Married and happy. Rockin' good friends. Work comes and goes, freelance is freaky at times but we've always been well taken care of. In fact I feel pretty damn lucky that I've shot stuff that made me giddiously happy and gotten paid really well for it. Despite my ability to create drama, it really was a pretty easy life swimming around in the calm waters.
Enter adorable, squishy, munchee face, big-headed baby who is now an inhabitant in my household and heart. As I've already shared here, not so smooth, not always so easy. World has officially gotten rocked.
In fact, I almost named this blog Rough New Prize, because that is what he is I think. I have remained too long in the sheltered port and now I see that I must Afoot and Lighthearted take to the open road.

Even when I feel trapped in my own house and domesticity.
Even when the PPD Fairy kicks my ass like today.
 Even when I can't figure out how to schedule a dentist appointment because it's an overwhelming task.
Even when my heart and tired brain ache for simplicity and ease.

I can see the long brown path before me and ohmygod I hope I do right by this fresh, new person. Ohmygod I do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Jealous Big Brother

He's brown. He's furry. and He's pissed.

Poor Bongo. Our 'first born' has been usurped by a writhing, cooing, crying maniac who doesn't know HALF as many tricks as he does.

Bongo: I mean, does he roll over?
Us: Uh, Not yet. But he's close!
Bongo: Can he shake? Fetch? Sneeze on command? No, he cannot. Let me tell you what people, he's a whiner, he smells like trouble and I don't like him.
Us: Dude, it's going to get better, trust us. Can you please wait to see before you manifest another terrible malady?

Because our little baby dog is rather intense, a super genius of sorts. No, he's really special. A dog sitter we hired told us so.

And he's got our attention again for the 4th time since the boy's arrival with another vet-worthy puppy problem. It's called a Corneal Ulcer and he's got in his left eye now. Six weeks ago, it was his right eye. Now I'm about to go a little oovey-groovey on you - get ready, get used to it, but my belief system is that we create or manifest physical issues to help learn a lesson or show us what needs to be healed psychologically. And this is a little obvious here - but. He doesn't want to see this baby anymore!

I found this great explanation of what I'm saying here. Basically it's pretty simple. His new life is not NEARLY as much fun as the six years that he got with us where he was the biggest priority in our lives just below breathing and well above the occasional laundry load. I mean, that dog was the apple of our eye, the screensaver of our laptops, the opening picture of our iPhones. Truly the star of the show and I've got 14,000 photos to prove it. Daily hikes, 'spensive daycare - you name it...he was living the doggie dream.

Well I don't have to tell you what happened next but I'll do it anyway because there are a few surprise twists. Let's do it in bullet form because it more officious looking:

*Continuing to reveal the oovey side of myself I will tell you that we planned a home birth
* I will also share that we did not achieve a home birth
* After 40 hours of labor at home we moved to a hospital in a calm flurry but a shitstorm nonetheless and the poor brown dog who had just witnessed one of his favorite folks on the planet suffering and throwing up endlessly - was left behind. Sure our friend was on the phone to the boyfriend to get him over there to take care little Bongo but. You know. He was totally left behind.
*Ooops, back to the list. In the excitement of 16 more hours of labor (count 'em! 56!) and the unwelcome transfer of the new guy to the NICU, we didn't realize that our dog help wasn't actually staying at the house - the boyfriend was generously going to feed/water/walk/play but not staying at night.
*Gasp! This dog has never spent a night alone and now he's alone for two nights after these traumatic events. Once we got wind of what occurred we asked he be carted over to the 'spensive boarding spot which is where he spent his final night away.

What happens next still haunts me.

When we picked him up from the doggie spa with our new bundle of magic in the car, we couldn't wait to introduce them. But our sweet dog walked out of this favorite place of his with a limp tail. As if it was broken. Once we got home and got a closer look at him, it appeared he had some kind of back hip problem. Essentially his back-end looked frozen and his walk was a bit of a Frankenstein affair. Let's admire for a moment what his tail usually looks like:

So when I saw this dragging line of fur dangling from his butt I immediately suspected foul play. I made a call.

Me: Uh, um, hi. You've done something to my dog?
Nice Lady: How do you mean?
Me: Well, his tail is broken.
Nice Lady: Well, he was perfectly happy here.
Me: Harumph, did he get in a fight?
Nice Lady: No, not at all.
Me: (approaching hysteria) Well, why is he broken?
(cue newborn screams in background)
Nice Lady: You know we love Bongo here, please let us know if there's anything we can do..
Me: Um, okay (tears flowing, tiny voice). I'll call back if it isn't better tomorrow.

Because after a traumatic birth and two nights in the NICU what I really wanted to do is come home to find that my other family member that I love almost as much as the cute husband is suffering terribly and it's our fault. Looking at that drooping tail that was an exclamation mark of how heartbending, exhausting and overwhelming the last 6 days had been, I wanted to sink into any local handy abyss.

So it lifted after about four days, the tail I mean. And we thought, whew - he's back! But then a week later he developed the cornea ulcer in his right eye. Which took about five weeks to diagnose, until we finally went to the a doggie ophthalmologist. Sound expensive? It was. But thankfully the procedure was successful and he was back in business after wearing the cone of shame for two weeks.

And this afternoon, he started squinting at us again - this time with the other eye.

To which I say:

Seriously? Can we have a little break in the action please?

Poor brown dog.