As she replied:
"I dashed these off rather quickly, because (a) I'm dying to see your response and (b) I'm afraid if I don't get on them as they come in then I'll never answer anyone - and I'll have (ack!) no internet access at all this weekend at the in-laws. Did I mention ack!!?
Let me know if you'd like me to subsititute or explain any of them!
I'm caught between asking the deep, penetrating, inquisitive questions I'd really like to have answered, and the joy of asking the simplest of questions and watching you work your usual magic by making the ordinary extraordinary. First, a simple question that does not necessarily beg a simple answer. What's your favourite memory?"
I just closed my eyes, and let some memories wash over me. Wow. It turns out, there's no one favourite, because this is the thing about my memory that's weird: my memory isn't specific. If I didn't have photos, or Steve's journal entries, I'd have no real sense of what happened when a long time ago in the nebulous "once upon a time", before I carried a digital camera like a holstered gun. But, if a memory is not so much something that happened, but something that can be described as a sensory experience that involves every fibre of my being that I can either call up when I need it, or that can wash over me at its own will? Two come to mind.
To preface the first, imagine Steve and I at a prenatal class in a very stuffy hospital two weeks before Josie was due. We rather unwisely opted for the eight hour intensive course, which was torturous for someone so very full of a baby; and also for her husband who was hung-over from the baby shower the night before (it was an AWESOME baby shower). What I learned in between pee breaks and water breaks and snack breaks (just think about eight hugely pregnant women standing in front of one half-empty snack vending machine with very few appealing options even if it were freshly stocked, and me breaking the tense silence by saying "Back off. The Kit Kats are mine.")
At one point, during those useless breathing exercises, we were asked to think about "our happy place". (I know, it took a good ten minutes for my eyeballs to roll back into the forward position), and I gamely complied.
That day my happy place was lying down on a soft blanket in a grassy field, with the warm sun shining down on me and butterflies flitting by. I was imagining resting my head on my arm and there were puppies and wild animal babies playing all around me and I could pet them and snuggle them to my heart's delight. Okay - so my happy place was Weezer's "Island in the Sun" video. I told this to Steve (without the Weezer part) and he thought that it was exactly what my happy place would be - as long as there was the promise of shopping at an estate sale later in the day and maybe some chocolate.
A couple of weeks later, after Josephine was born and things had settled into their new normal, she was curled up like a little stinkbug in a blanket on my chest, and I was resting on the sofa enjoying it when suddenly I got weepy. Steve, who'd rather quickly and violently become acquainted with the moodswings caused by pregnant/new mom hormones warily asked what was wrong, no doubt anticipating another run to the corner store for Kit Kats (because I am very sure that during that period of my life I would have cried if there were no Kit Kats, because it was just when dark chocolate Kit Kats had been introduced). I replied, with breathless, heaving sobs "She...she...she...Josephine is my ha..ha...happy pla-ace!" and bawled my eyes out.
So, there Dani. The moment I realized my happy place had just had a paradigm shift is one of my favourite memories. Oh, cripes! That was just half of the answer to the first question! Can you believe there is another half of the answer that is nearly just as important to me? But it's time to get up and dust some more.
I look forward to answering your other questions, because it was nice to think about my happy place on a snowy April day .