Friday, October 2, 2009
I know we have great friends. I know that our community is made up of very very special folk.
I am blown away.
So, Jaime had put it out there on Facebook that she had just filed official adoption papers for Simon and had commented on how asinine, let me repeat, ASININE, it is that she has to pay $700 dollars and go through a home visit and court appearance to adopt her own child. I can't even begin to say how offended I am by the process that even though Jaime and I were domestic partners long before we had Simon (married even in the state of CA) we still have to have a social worker come to our home, check us out, requiring four character references, and $700 dollars (and that's only because we are doing it ourselves and not hiring a lawyer saving us hours of busy work and thousands of dollars) to have the rest of the country recognize Jaime as Simon's mother.
That's right. If we left the state and (poo poo) something happened to me and/or Simon and I at the same time, Jaime might not be allowed to see us in the hospital, make decisions and/or automatically be given Simon to care for. Not to mention if (poo poo) something happened to Jaime Simon would not be eligible for Jaime's Social Security benefits because she is not seen as his mother on a federal level.
But enough about that....
So Jaime has put it out on facebook so folks could be happy for us in her finally becoming a true "parent" to Simon (please read that with extreme sarcasm). About a week later a letter comes to us in the mail from our good friends Daniel and Katie (dear friends from Jaime's stint in North Carolina at Grad School). They are not lottery winners. They are not independently wealthy. They are in fact both students (PhD and MD respectively) AND have a new baby themselves. Not rolling in it.
In the envelope is a beautiful picture of themselves (Eli the kid is quite a looker), a lovely card with pears on it, and......a check for $100 that we are required to put towards Simon's adoption fees. They "will not take it back" and if we are too proud (which we are not) to cash it for Simon's fees we should please donate it to a worthy marriage equality organization.
I was rendered speechless with a heart that threatened to burst with love and pride in our amazing friends and their very very powerful ally action. Who does that sort of thing...so personal, so political, so out of the blue, so loving, so righteous (in the literal and 70's slang sense of the word)?
Our friends do that. That's who.
It felt incredible. We are soooooo blessed.
Oh yeah, and we have our home visit this coming Wednesday. Any one want to dog-sit our psycho pooch? Jaime may be a perfectly acceptable 2nd parent. I don't think Roxie would make that good of an impression.
Love to all.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
We were with friends who have a baby and one of them was talking about how hard it is to work and run a household and have a baby- there's always clean laundry piled up and the house is always a mess and there's always a scramble for emergency childcare when the nanny is sick, and someone has to take the pet to the vet, etc etc. Makes my shoulders tense just thinking about the juggling act.
And then I realized that, while my life is really stressful for a lot of reasons, worrying about the household level of detail doesn't exist for me because Laura has made the sacrifice to be home. We don't have to wrangle and scramble and finagle because Laura has essentially put her life on hold to be there for Simon, but has also picked up so many extra things along with that. She takes the dog out most of the time, takes the dog to the vet, takes Simon to medical appointments, does laundry, does dishes, grocery shopping, mailing things that need to get mailed, loads runs and unloads the dishwasher, etc, etc, etc.
It's all the little papercuts that add up to "death by a thousand paper cuts" that I don't have on top of everything else. I don't have to worry about all those things because Laura does them. On top of keeping our baby alive, giving him his meds, his feeds, wiping his tears at the doctors, keeping him stimulated, worrying about his barfing, etc, she does all the household things so that we can keep going. And doesn't get paid for it. And is alone a lot of the time.
I forget sometimes, all the things she does, all the things she is, all the ways she loves and supports our family. So this is my reminder.
She doesn't just do the little stuff around the house. She manages all our money. She has the hard conversations with people when I'm too scared to sometimes. She gets me treats when she's out for herself. She listens to me at night when she's really tired and I just want to talk and talk and talk with her. She loves me even when I'm grumpy and frustrated with clutter and flinging toys about in the middle of a temper tantrum about all our "things" everywhere. She lets me put Simon down to sleep even when I know it physically hurts her to hear him cry and wants to do it herself. But she lets me do it because she knows it's important. She calls me at work just to talk to me. Because she loves me. She manages to do all the stuff I already listed, love our baby, love our dog AND love me. Sometimes I can't believe how incredibly lucky I am.
Oh, and she made and carried Simon. And pushed him out. Of her body. For us. So we could have a child.
I told her tonight, "I can't imagine marrying anyone else in the whole world who would fit quite as well as you do". And I can't. She's perfect, in that way that perfect can exist in real life.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So the news is Simon is not deaf.
Looks like there is really good responsiveness in terms of his ear drum working and cochlea responding but there were some funny dips below 'normal' on the main test.
Meaning...nothing conclusive and we have to come back in 3-6 months when he's less likely to be squirmy for the sensitive in the ear test and more likely to be reliable in the test for older kids.
I know I should be relieved AND to be back in that inconclusive place with more tests to come make me just a little nuts.
We've certainly 'set up house' here before. Just waiting and letting the little man be on his own timeline. Jaime and I know this drill. I know this drill. I live this drill on a minute to minute basis with his heart, his eating, his walking, his talking. Like any baby/toddler he is on his own schedule. I feel like there's just a little more at stake with Simon. (I know there's everything 'at stake' for every child, we just know up front where the little man is coming from)
Am I thrilled that Simon does not seem to have significant hearing loss? Yes!!!
Did I want to leap for joy every time he turned his little head toward the sound coming from the speaker to his right or left? Yes!!!
Did I want to strangle the hearing specialist when she kept saying "well, he's not deaf." YES!!!
For sure there was a part of me that just wished for something definitive. Absolutely not the "Simon has significant hearing loss". Absolutely not. He has a brilliant opera career ahead of him (right now as a Soprano which means he could do duets with his PopPop Bernie).
But something definitive meant there was something to do other than wait. Waiting is hard. Waiting for more tests, waiting for his heart function to improve, waiting for his immune system to get stronger, waiting for more words so that we can really begin to understand what his days are like, waiting for him to take food in by mouth (for obvious reasons coming from two foodies like his mommies), waiting for him to start walking, and now waiting for more months to see if there is in fact hearing loss.
Something definitive meant something to do. Either, check it off and realize that Simon is just a willful little rascal that has no interest in low flying planes or that there's damage that wouldn't be reasonably unexpected given the medications that he got during his two bacterial infections in the hospital. And then what comes after....relax or figure out a plan for him to live and thrive. I do that. I can do that. I can do either the former or the latter really well actually.
Instead we wait. We go swimming. We celebrate little/big things (like first steps), and we love him up as best we can. The last one we can do so well and so easily. Let us not forget who we're talking about here.
"Uhhh, you better not. I am FABULOUS!!"
"I have my hair done regularly so I can keep looking good...for you"
"Plus I am always looking for the newest headwear in the fashion world. Just to be FABULOUS for you and make you love me!"
And it is easy.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Simon took his first step today. Completely on his own.
He was standing at the Coffee table in our living room and I was sitting next to him just far enough away that he couldn't reach me without letting go. I didn't realize at the time so I almost missed it but then it happened. There he was with one hand on the coffee table and the other one reaching for my shoulder when...he let go...both hands in the air....and he took a step!
I think I scared the crap out of him by yelling and telling Jaime (who was in the other room) "Some one just took their FIRST STEP!!" But there I was for just a moment (a sweet moment for sure) feeling like a regular parent thrilled over her child's first step.
Then he barfed on me (not related to the walking) and the moment was gone. Not gone completely since about an hour later he walked pushing a stroller for longer than I'd ever seen.
Today I feel like I'm having parallel moments run alongside each other. We have our hearing evaluation tomorrow and are waiting to hear back from the LEAP Program (an early intervention play group time that we may qualify for) and at the same time feeling the thrill of Simon finding his feet and clearly heading towards walking.
He's such a trickster. Since birth, he's brought Jaime and I just to the edge, and then offers some kind of reprieve and/or magnificent gift. Like sleeping five hours in a row just when we thought we might lose our minds from sleep deprivation, etc etc..
So just before turning 18 months, which is the later end of the 'normal range' for walking, Simon seems to be 'off and running'.
He is on his own timeline. I just need to keep remembering that. Simon.....in his own time.
Trickster/ Teacher it's all the same it seems.
Simon is not your typical baby. No baby is typical I know, but Simon has brought some very special times along with him into this life. He's certainly taught those around him to savour each moment and whether it's as a-typical as getting off a ventilator OR as typical as watching him take his first unassisted step, I celebrate this little life.
I celebrate you Simon Lev.
Celebrate Good Times C'mon!!
Training with G'Pa??