Of nature and nurture

This blog has been shocking lately in its lack of indignation. I used to blog politics all the time, and then Kerry "lost", and so I lost nearly all will to read the s0-called news. The impulse to outrage seems to be coming back, though instead of focusing on the horrors of our so-called democracy, I prefer to focus on really stupid public figures. So many! So little time! Interestingly, Bill Maher, despite his propensity for bimbos, is someone I usuallly find intelligent, if a little smarmy, and belligerent about some of his beliefs. This time, though, he's been just plain dumb in his rail against, of all vulnerable and exhausted targets, breastfeeding moms. You can watch it, and read my brilliant friend Sarah's noble riposte, here.

That pink sky up above? It was reflecting into our pond this morning, making the surface of the cloudy water shiny and pink (just the way the Babe likes, well, everything these days.) All that's missing is the quiet sound of deer eating just inside the edge of the woods, and out of sight, and the concurrent sound of my roosters, crowing.


Seeing the branches, and the trees

Now that the Lovely Swiss is here (I cannot, cannot, despite some readers' evident desire, call her the Swiss Miss. That's just too--weird) friends and mere acquaintances keep asking me what I am going to do with all my free time. Hmmmm. I want to answer, "What freaking free time??" and run out of the room, but that would be antisocial and not too productive. I do have more time; right now, as I type this, I can hear the Babe and the Swiss playing downstairs, and better, all seems to be amiable, which has not been the case every day. Having a new babysitter around seems to have made the Babe realize just how swank it's been for the last six months, free of babysitter fetters, free to cling to my legs, arms and abdomen all day, pretty much every day, save a few hours here and there in the playroom at the gym, the two-day-a-week daycare we started over the summer and a morning here or there "helping" our housekeeper clean. The lack of constant mommy has been translated into emphatic, "I no like YOU"s, directed at poor B (the Swiss.) So to overhear tantrum-less engagement is reassuring.

The truth, the ugly truth, is that I need to catch up. Our files, our finances, our basement, all the things in a family life that most require organization--none of them have any. I have to set up systems anew, since the ones I moved from L.A. were on life support, at best, during the year after the Babe's birth. I meet moms of little kids who seem to have everything so pulled together; if only. That is just not me. So the question becomes, after I catch up (and I have my Freedom Filer system glaring at me from across the floor) then what? That is the real question. My goal (and I'm putting it onscreen to taunt me) is to get all of the chaos under control by the end of October. Then, maybe, just maybe, I'll figure out what it is I am supposed to be doing with my life. (On that subject, visit here for some inspiration.)

Meanwhile, the leaves that started to turn two weeks ago are now falling, dancing like red and gold snowflakes in the exhaust wake of pick up trucks going too fast down our country roads. There's an old, fragile looking maple outside my window that is nearly bare, but the oak next to it is still green, except at some of its outer branches. Do you remember, if you live somewhere without fall, what eddies of leaves look like when they swirl suddenly on the ground?


Tuesday Meld

I am all betwixt and between today. Our new au pair, the lovely Swiss, arrived on Thursday. She couldn't make a better first impression. The kids adore her, fight over her, won't leave her alone. Meanwhile, my terror that she will implode from bucolic boredeom is manifesting by giving me the most intense feelings I've yet had that this has all been a terrible, disastrous, ill-considered, cliff-jumping, um, mistake. "This" being the family rural relocation, of course.

Mind you, I don't really think we've done the wrong thing--it's great here. (Fall, anyone? It is truly divine.) We are finally making real friends. Dido loves his school so much we wonder what the heck was the matter with the old one. The Babe is, well, The Babe--demanding, opinionated, prone to screaming temper tantrums, preferably in restaurants, and so obscenely cute that we forgive her all of it. The H is happier than I think I have ever seen him--calm, less moody (really! LESS MOODY!), loving and focused on his work. And I--I feel like the same disorganized flake I was before. Aha. My old shrink warned me about this. She told me when I announced our plans that she thought I was just changing venue in the hope of escaping the bag of flabby demons I have slung over my shoulder at any given time. I feel like Anne LaMott trying to write her school report, before her dad gave her (and she internalized) the "bird by bird" advice.

Any advice out there for me?