I'm going to tell you something very impressive about myself, and then I'm going to add a few caveats which will make it seem much less impressive. Here it is: I am currently reading Infinite Jest. My friend Seth biked across the whole country with that book, all the way from Portland to Boston, and when he was done reading it he used it as a pillow. When he gave it to me, he said he really wanted me to read it so that he could have someone to talk about it with.
That was five years ago. I don't know where Seth is these days, but the book has been on the shelf in my bedroom ever since, and now I am finally reading it.
Except I'm not really reading it, I'm listening to it. I traded in a single Audible credit for all sixty hours, (which is what I call a bargain, by the way.) I'm about six hours into it with absolutely no idea what's going on. Dave asked me what the premise was the other day and all I could manage was, "Tennis.....academy?" It's because I keep falling halfway asleep while listening, but not fully asleep. Whenever I decide to take off my headphones and really nod off for the night I always find myself more awake, just lying there in silence, dangerously close to thinking my own thoughts which- no. Just no. Not before sleep.
So there are these huge gaps in the storyline, which is already so complicated that there are online support groups for people trying to make their way through the book, and also I still can't really get to sleep.
This is exactly what happened last night. Then I got stuck in the trap of being thirsty/ drinking some water/ having to pee/ being thirsty again and by the time I finally went unconscious it was probably two or three, or even later. Since Ollie wakes up around seven or eight, I figured today would be a total wash. But it wasn't! After only two cups of Dynamite Daymaker Coffee I felt fantastic, and Olive and yet another wonderful, wonderful day together.
It was just the sort of day we needed, restful and restorative but also a little bit adventurous- for Olive. She sat in a grocery cart for the first time! She held onto a carrot as we wheeled around the store and looked extremely smug. Of course I didn't bring my phone because I'd run out of pockets and I rarely carry a purse, so I don't have a picture, but you don't have to worry too much about that because I'll get one next time.
We split our day between playing in the nursery with the dog, listening to The Shoals of Herring and The Ballad of Mad Jack, and lounging under a shady tree in the park listening to a group of nearby college girls narrate our every move.
"Oh my god- look at that baby! Look at him! Look at him! Oh my god just look at him!" I heard them say. Then, when the wind picked up and I put Olive's sweater on- "She's putting a sweater on him! Look oh my god she's putting a sweater on him! A sweater!"
I believe I pushed my luck yesterday, writing as I did about Olive being such an independent and undemanding baby. Even though we had a very nice day, she was much clingier than usual. She fussed to be picked up every few minutes, but as soon as I picked her up she'd try and dive out of my lap again. Maybe the music had her riled up? Those songs I played are really rousing tunes.
I further pushed my luck at the end of the day by trying to squeeze one last cozy activity into our already plenty-cozy day. I made what turned out to be an enormous recipe of oatmeal raisin cookies and I figured Olive would be content in the pack and play, which she wasn't. She'd thrash around and whimper until I picked her up, and then she'd casually rest her elbow on my shoulder, as if I were not her mother but just a good pal, a teammate. And so I plodded through the recipe with this 16 pound chum of mine leaving me with just one usable arm, and it took forever, and as I'm writing this I've only managed to bake six of them.
That was our day. I loved this day. I've had some very, very happy times in my life- the month long EMT course up in Eastern Washington, the season on the boat in Alaska, the years in Seattle when I played ultimate, all of childhood- but this time right now, when Olive is a little baby and Hometeam is alive and David is happy and my parents are healthy- these have been the most deeply joyful of my whole life thus far.