Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Heart Stopped

We've been going to the pool once a week this summer. Z2 absolutely loves water and has a ball every time. It took Z1 a little time to warm up to the water (swimming classes at the YMCA were a complete and utter bust) but now he loves the pool. He immerses himself in the water with unabated enthusiasm.

Yesterday we were at the pool and after about 2 1/2 hours, we were ready to go. I wanted to go visit my sister in her new first apartment down in the city and it was threatening to rain. So I was focused on getting Z2 diapered and dressed quickly. When I turned around, Z1 was gone. I mean, it felt like I looked away for 5 seconds. My friends who were with me didn't see him leave either. I looked this way and that. No sign of him. I walked over to the pool where he usually plays. Not there. Looked at the wading pool. Nope. Maybe he had to use the bathroom? I ran to the ladies' room hollering his name. Not there. Men's room, perhaps? Not there. I started seeing images in my head of someone walking off with my baby. Started seeing images of him floating face down in the water. My heart just stopped

My friend notifies the park rangers and just as I'm about to lose it, here comes Z1 trotting over like it.is.all.good. I asked him where he was and he says so nonchalantly that he was "in the water". No clue what I've been going through. He must have been close to the three feet side because he was not at the 1 foot end. I hold him and talk sternly about how he must tell me when he's going somewhere and stay away from the deep end. Really, all I wanted to do was throttle him. But he's so young and I can tell he can't really grasp the enormity of what he just did.

I was shaken but so relieved to find him. And happy also that he wasn't really lost. I remember being lost as a child and the sheer terror of it.

Summer fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

I have been in such extreme reading mode to the complete and utter neglect of my knitting and crochet. This may be the year I complete the fewest projects since I started knitting and crocheting. It is what it is. I just really have not been in the mood to work with my hands.

In any case, I just completed The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. This book was a most interesting read--different from anything I've read in a long time. Balram Hawai, the protagonist, tells the story in the form of a letter to a Chinese Premier who will be visiting India soon. Why he chooses to write to this official? We don't know but we do understand that he has a deep admiration for China and the Chinese. I did enjoy the book although at times the author's incising critique of society and politics in India felt heavy handed. It was violent at times and really, if you're looking for a book full of tenderness and quaint stories about India, this is not the one. The author relates in graphic detail extreme poverty, rampant political corruption, as well as the often stifling and violent class structures and struggles and yet manages to infuse his tale with a kind of dry humor. Halwai comes from very humble beginnings, the son of a rickshaw puller who dies pitifully of curable tuberculosis. He manages to secure himself as one of two drivers to a very wealthy family. Soon, he drives the older/main driver out by revealing that he is Muslim (which points to the fact that there religious discrimination in India is very much alive). Halwai relishes is position as the main driver. It's a good job and his family back home knows it. He shirks his responsibility to his family by refusing to send money home--and we realize that he has really cut himself off/liberated himself from them, effectively separating himself from his roots (aka "the Darkness"). The turning point in this novel is when his master's wife kills a young child during a drunken joyride and his master tries to pin the crime on him. Something in him changes and you start to feel a fire burning in him. It's turns out to be quite deadly. I found it interesting that Halwai never really feels regret or takes responsibility for killing his master. As the reader, you find yourself feeling victorious along with Halwai that he is able to get away with it. He finds a way to break out of the chicken coop and you can't help but say, "Hooray! One for the underdog!" It's tempered though, by darkness because you know that the retribution the murdered master's family will take is to torture and murder Halwai's family. You wonder at the kind of soul that could accept that if it meant his own personal freedom. Still, during his fugitive run, Halwai takes along with him the young nephew or cousin who his family has sent to live with him realizing that the authorities would think the young boy was an accomplice to the murder and incarcerate him. Since "awful things" happen to boys in jail, Halwai takes the risk of coming back for the young boy. He's just such a complex and difficult to understand character! On the one hand, he's noble and caring. On the other, cold and conniving. Who is the true Balram Halwai? Good or evil? Both.

It stood out to me when he referenced yoga and Gandhi because as Westerners, we can be so oblivious to other places that often when we think of countries like India, that is what it all boils down to for us: Yoga and Gandhi.

I borrowed The White Tiger from the library a few weeks ago and took a while to get into it. When I went to renew it, it was on hold for someone else. I put it on hold again and it came in very quickly. I finished it last night. I wish I had more time and focus to give a more detailed review but I really enjoyed the book. I also finished My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult last week. I will review that soon, hopefully.

Books are my sanity.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I hope it's just hormones

For the last few days, I've been feeling so intensely that I want another child. The hubby, though, is quite happy with what we've got and doesn't feel any need at all to add another to the bunch. I don't know . . . I feel like our family is square right now (not that a square isn't a great shape) but maybe one would make it more round.

Speaking practically, however, I know it really wouldn't be a good move. Unless I could get a really good car seat configuration going on (which, if you research an '05 Subaru Outback seems damn near impossible), we'd need a bigger car. We'd need a bigger house unless we all just want to cram in here. All of this requires more money which would mean I'd need to find employment that brings in significant income (and in this economy would that even be possible?). But then that would mean I couldn't be a stay-at-home mom. What an interesting situation! With two kids, lots of budgeting and thriftiness, I can continue to stay-at-home. With three kids, no amount of budgeting and thriftiness would offset the added expense so I'd have to go to work. What's more desirable in the long run? Another child or staying at home with the ones I have?

Also, I have my hands pretty full and no real help from anyone besides the hubby. I'm doing a juggling act with the two I have. Is it really wise to be looking to add one more?

And I know in my heart that I really want a girl. If it ends up being a boy, how will I feel? It's just not fair to the new baby boy.

Anyway, I hope it's just the hormones making me feel this way and await the end of this moon cycle kind of, sort of hoping I don't see Aunt Flo this month.

After many years of not doing it . . .

I'm about to start . . . wearing makeup again. Nothing major. I was never a big makeup person. But I'm going to start wearing a light concealer again, getting my eyebrows done (threaded and not waxed since I don't have much eyebrow to begin with) and an eyebrow pencil. I used to wear M.A.C. cosmetics before--no breakouts and lasts all day long so at some point this week, I hope to get over to Macy's to refigure what works for my face again. I'm excited in one way but nervous in another way. Will I actually have the time to do makeup? Half the time, I barely get a chance to look in the mirror before I step out the door. But I'm going to make an effort. And also make an effort to change my earrings and put on some jewelry.

I'm also due for a new set of eyeglasses and I'm searching for frames that are beautiful and stylish and most important, that work for my face. I'd really love to go back to contact lenses but since I have a pretty severe astigmatism, I need toric lenses and they are really expensive. I've thought about laser eye surgery but I definitely want to go to a reputable doctor which means $$. I still need to see if my insurance company will cover "medically necessary" corrective eye surgery. I mean, it's worth a try. I really can't see more that 3 inches in front of me without glasses. Very dangerous.

Anyway, these are some things I'm working on just to put a little "umph" back into the way I look. Been playing plane jane for a little too long. It's getting tired. And I'm ready to feel flyy again.
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