my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

March 17th, 2012

Busted On The Bloor Line: Take A Moment

There is a marked uneasiness these days. Something isn’t quite right. I can’t trust the weather — it leaves a pit in my stomach that something is going to go horribly and absolutely wrong. It is not normal to be wearing white short-shorts in March to the sugar bush. And I’m not just talking about the sheer oddity of having no snow for an ENTIRE winter, but the fact that the world might be changing in ways that I won’t recognize as my son grows up.

Last year at this time, when we went to the sugar bush, it was still quite cold, the kids were wearing winter coats, boots — it didn’t dampen their excitement, it felt right. Last year, we walked through slush and snow and piles of winter-type weather when the baby was still an infant. This year, we haven’t even had a single storm. And the old adage, that you don’t miss something until it’s gone, seems to me to be quite true — I missed the crunch of the snow under my boots all “winter. ”

The picture is deceiving. By the end of the morning at the sugar bush, the baby was out of his coat and his hat, his mittens stowed away, and he was covered inĀ  mud. It felt more like May than March, bright sunshine, inappropriate gear from odd parents (see short-shorts above), and one of the people at the park explaining that maple syrup production has to move further and further north because the nights aren’t cold enough for the sap to run the next day. Sure, we can take advantage of the weather, turn down the heat, soak up the sun, but what is it all going to look like in ten years time? It turns my stomach, just a little, to imagine my boy growing up in Canada without winter.

And maybe it’s a metaphor for a lot of things at the moment. Parenting, life after a baby, you don’t realize how much things are going to change around when when you are essentially the same. I am simply longing to crunch down on something with a foot that just isn’t there anymore. Yesterday was gorgeous and fun, the sunshine can’t help but put you in a good mood, seeing the RRBB with his cousins and laughing at how they interact with him, also hilarious. But I was tired and cranky, am still tired and cranky, and wonder what a world looks like where I’m not tired, cranky and overwhelmed.

Remember back in grade school — March break was often crisp and sunny, there was still snow on the ground, and things were beginning to melt. The whole world smelled like dank ground, like raw earth, and it was familiar. I remember this smell like I remember hanging out on the swing set with my friends and two boys in grade seven. One I had a crush on, the other, his friend. My friend was flirty, and I made up this whole scenario in my head about how she was going to take the boy away from me and la de da — it was not remotely the truth. He questioned me about it later. I was acting ridiculous. And the earth smelled so deep, so rich, and I sat on a swing with my jacket open even though you could still see your breath. The sun was bright and fresh. But it signifies something, my ability for my emotions to step well beyond what’s actually real and in front of me. I think everyone does this, let your mind wander, make assumptions, carry forth upon those assumptions, and all of a sudden you’ve ruined something before it’s even began (don’t even get me started on the phone call I had with said boy where I continually asked him about reading Agatha Christie; good grief).

The real of the matter is that my world, for all it’s imperfections, won’t be repeated in that of my son’s — maybe he won’t have a winter, maybe snow will be something he doesn’t experience. I have to get on with finding the balance between longing for that smell, that rich, deep, earth, and knowing that it’s going to be harder and harder to add context for him. He’ll find it odd that I am longing for the smell of what probably amounted to melting dog poop when he’s outside in a t-shirt and shorts, and I’ll find it strange that he doesn’t want to feel the crunch under his boots. It’s all a cycle, oh so Shakespearean, the end of my own winter’s tale, so fitting that I’m longing for a little bit of recognition, if only to be able to pass it along to his generation. In the end, I need to find the spaces in these moments that do away with the pit in my stomach. The world is still there under our feet, it just is a bit softer when we land.

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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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