It has been an odd week here in San Francisco. We had two earthquakes on one day, the same day that there was a city-wide earthquake drill in the morning. The weather has been all over the place, chilly and foggy one day, hotter than Hades the next, often both in the same 12-hour time period. And people seem to be going a bit batty in the midst of all of it — or, at least, I am.
One night last week I woke up from a dead sleep with a premonition that something was going to happen to Olive — literally seconds after I opened my eyes I saw her roll over hard and hit her head on the side of the crib. She cried, I grabbed her and comforted her, and considered how odd Mother’s Intuition is.
Another night that week I woke Joel up to groggily tell him my plan for us to make our millions, which can be summed up in three words, “Grilled Cheese Spoon.” “What? What are you talking about, Rhea?” “It’s a… spoon… made of… grilled cheese. You eat your tomato soup with it. GRILLED CHEESE SPOON!” At this point we both went back to sleep and didn’t remember about GCS until later that night, when Joel made Olive grilled cheese for dinner. It jolted our memory and we went into furious negotiations about who we could get to make a special press for the spoons and what restaurants would want to feature it. Yum.
In this city where people say yes to their whimsy, it could actually happen. I saw this sign advertising something called The Good People Party, which was some sort of art gathering/experience. The wording was positively bizarre but my favorite part was “$12 gets you in. Includes marshmallows.” This had me laughing all the way to work. $12 is an absurd amount of money to get into a strange party in which you might make a turkey out of your hand print or you might put your keys in a bowl, but if it includes dessert made out of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin that I can buy for $1.00 at a corner store, well then I’m sold.
This is also a city in which there are about 30 million parties per day, which can both be fun and wildly overwhelming. In a single morning we attended a baptism, a renewal of marriage vows, a huge block party, and the Tricycle Music Fest, all before 2pm. Then the three of us took a giant nap, totally partied-out and exhausted. Parenting ITSELF is overstimulating — you have be ON every minute. It requires a tremendous amount of presence, and when the day is done if I can keep my eyes open long enough to get into a state of awake relaxation, it is a minor miracle. I am a person who craves alone time, to read, write, and just BE. But moments for this are a near impossibility with a small child, so I am riding the wave of the present moment, grateful if I can just get the both of us out of doors without vomit in our hair.
This quote from Anton Chekhov helps, when I feel so overwhelmed by all of my many commitments that I wonder where my life is even GOING, anyway, and if I am investing in all the wrong things: “…you must at once and for all give up being worried about successes and failures. Don’t let that concern you. It’s your duty to go on working steadily day by day, quite steadily, to be prepared for mistakes, which are inevitable, and for failures.” It is that alone that keeps me from throwing it all away and following the path of a Grilled Cheese Spoon salesperson.