Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

So it's 2007. This New Year's marks the first time I have ever gone to bed instead of cheering in the New Year. We were grumpy with head colds and had several rough nights with Swee'pea waking every hour or two under our belts. Last night was no exception, and Swee'pea sobbed before finally falling asleep on top of me. Every once in a while through the night, he would cry, sometimes rolling over and going back to sleep on his own, sometimes continuing to cry until we gave him a soother or a boob. I think he's working on another tooth in front, and I think he's started work on his first molars, as well as sharing our colds. Now I wonder if he is also suffering some separation anxiety after the trauma of Friday night with the grandparents, while I went to my miniature high school reunion,rdespite the fact that he was decidedly out of sorts and not feeling well.

I had a good time; Swee'pea did not. It traumatized all of us: Grandma, Grandpa, Swee'pea, me and Sugar Daddy, when he got there moments before I returned from my dinner. The night didn't get much better. Swee'pea nursed pretty much every hour, until we gave him some Tylenol around 5:30 am. We should have given him some before bed, but he had seemed ok. But what can you do? Hindsight is 20/20.

Speaking of vision, my legally blind friend told me Friday night that she can now get a driver's license, not because her vision has improved but because vision standards have lowered. This frightens me a bit, though I have no doubt that my friend would be as good a driver as she is a bike rider.

So, the reunion dinner. It was weird, because the dynamics were exactly the same as 15 years ago. It seemed like none of them had changed in those years, except one had a had a baby a few weeks before Swee'pea was born, another spent time in Africa, and the other has been working for the CBC for several years in between travels to Africa, China, Europe and Russia. I certainly felt like I had changed, even if the others hadn't. I couldn't remember how I fit into the dynamics fifteen years ago, and wondered if my role had changed.

It occurred to me that my perception of myself may not be that accurate. I have long considered myself a Monica sort of person (without the penchant for cleaning): high maintenance, high anxiety. Last night made me feel like perhaps I'm seen by others as more of a Phoebe kind of person. I realized that it's only been since I've been with Sugar Daddy that I've felt more like Monica, perhaps because he's so laid back, he's horizontal. Before then (apart from a fairly unhappy adolescence) I was pretty happy-go-lucky. Meeting other mothers of babies has made me realize that I'm actually a fairly relaxed/lazy mother; there are many things I could worry about, that other mothers worry about, that I don't. Maybe I went through an anxious phase and am now back to being more relaxed, without the aid of much alcohol. I'd be curious to hear what the others thought of me over that brief dinner.

I suspect they saw me as not having changed at all. We didn't have long enough to recount our life-changing experiences, and how much do we change anyways? Maybe I haven't really changed much at all, maybe I've only gathered experiences. I don't think our ways of speaking change much without substantial effort. After the other night, I suspect that our ways of seeing the world and making sense of it don't change much either. It felt like we were all back in high school again, just pretending to be grown-ups, talking about pretend babies, pretend jobs and pretend partners, still gossiping about our peers who weren't at the table. I also felt some of the old adolescent insecurity, knowing that the three of them have kept in touch with each other over the intervening years, while I have only recently gotten back in touch with them. Is it because they didn't want to keep in touch with me? Or is it because I didn't do enough to keep in touch with them? The other night I worried, for the first time, that it was the former.

While at my parents', I found boxes of my old papers, notebooks assignments and art projects. One of them is an independent study project from high school, probably grade 12. We were asked to describe a typical day in 15 years. Needless to say, it is nothing like the reality. In my paper, I have a husband (Jack in the first draft, James in the final -- probably after the middle name of my then boyfriend, which I have only just remembered now), who I've known for 14 years and been married to for 10. No children, two dogs, two cats, 30 horses and lots of riding students. The level of detail I provided was boring, mostly about the activities at the barn (even turning off the ringer on the phone in the barn at the end of the day!), but I'm intrigued by the few details I shared about the fantasy marriage. James works as head brain surgeon at a hospital, worked all night the night before my typical day, and rides horses too. I try not to wake him up when I get up, he makes me lunch and dinner, we do the dishes together, then watch a movie on cable (my parents still can't get cable!).

I have been pretty absent from the blogosphere because my parents only have dial-up (shudder). It was just too frustrating to do much on the internet. I suspect this absenteeism may continue, since we have exactly two weeks before we fly to sunny South Africa, which will no doubt be filled with lists, lists and more lists, between trying to cross items off those lists, and trying to procrastinate by blogging. I do plan to post from South Africa, but will likely not have much opportunity for keeping up to date with your blogs. I fear I will fall irrevocably behind. But what can you do?

So. Happy 2007!


jen said...

i was just thinking about your upcoming SA trip. i can't wait (to hear all about every bit of it)

and about what you wrote - it's a gift when others hold up a mirror, and we see that we look a bit different than we thought, and it's in the best possible way.

Mimi said...

Well, making lists is very Monica-ish, I think. Feel free to share with the blogosphere if it helps!

I completely know how you feel about high school reunion sessions: I think the anxiety and the insecurity are a vestige of adoloescence, things I often feel when I confront my high school past on occasion.

I'm sorry you've all been sick! Over here, I'm the only one who's sick. Head cold. Boo.

Beck said...

I'm still laughing about James the Brain Surgeon and the 30 Horses. I actually DID marry a high school boyfriend, but only after we'd been broken up for five years, post-high school.
I often feel weird when I realize that I'm not only not keeping in touch with my old friends: they're also not keeping in touch with me. Well, nuts to them.

Aliki2006 said...

I couldn't check blogs over the hols either because my parents have dial-up AND an old cruddy laptop.

I've never been to a school reunion...your post was timely to read because last night I dreamt about some old friends I haven't seen in almost twenty years and probably will never see, either--but it's so odd to think about how friends perceive you.

Happy New Year!

ewe are here said...

Have managed to avoid high school reunions thus far; the very idea makes me shudder a bit.

But you never know...!

Hope everyone is healthy now!