Memory Minutiae

In no particular order: 

Patty Hearst
The Manson Murders

Just a few of the first things I remember hearing about on television. I wonder what August's will be. We don't watch the 5pm national news like my parents did, every evening. We watch a lot of old movies and the baby channel. We listen to the comedy radio stations when we drive and August laughs along with us. It will please me to no end if some of August's earliest memories will be hearing us laugh while driving around.

I met you years ago.

My great-aunt knitted this outfit for me, a muted red vest and skirt. I remember how it felt to wear it. Now that August can wear sheepishly quote Little Edie Beale, "It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. " Sometimes. I look at August and it's like looking at my baby photo come to life. It really is the oddest sensation. Other times she is my Abuelita, she is Jacob, she is cousin Callan, she is my little sisters, she is my Grandmother Irene when she raises her eyebrows and gives a mischievous little smirk. 

There are orphans in our past. My family and Jacob's have orphans. I am sure there were also children who were well cared for but maybe lacked the love and affection they desired. In loving August, it feels like we are loving every toddler in our combined, ancestral past. I am grateful for all the patience and awareness I have at this point in my life as it has allowed for a truly amazing experience with August I don't think I would have had at other points in my life. Timing.

Someone once predicted that I would be an older mother but not to worry. While there is energy in youth, there is patience as you get older. I would sit outside for hours watching my chickens peck the ground. I'd observe, I'd listen to how their sounds varied and tried to spot patterns. My bunny would sit next to me, in the shade, and I'd watch his breathing and his nose twitch. These creature teachers were preparing me for motherhood with August. 

I've seen August's face for decades. I would see her in dreams, exactly as she is now.  I'd wake up longing to meet her but felt as if I had just spent very real moments with her and was thankful for that.  Through a series of crazy and unexpected circumstances and situations, I walked through the glass and joined her, finally. And now, once in a while, I dream of my chickens, my backyard, my pets, my old house and I spend some moments there but Jacob and August are with me. I don't wake up pining from those dreams. While I slept, worlds would unfold and some were more real than others. I am convinced, I choose while my eyes are shut.

The more present I become, the more fluid time seems to be. Time, dreamtime, where we are, it has more to do with our hearts than our minds. And someone once told me the goal is to think with your heart and love with your mind.

cafe de olla

If I wake up too early, the morning is grey and chilly with a light fog hovering above the lake.  Plans for bread making and spice cake baking quickly dissipate within a few short hours as the day warms up. Suddenly it is 80 degrees and I'm in shorts, on a walk, feeling the heat of the sun on my back. An open bedroom window must be shut because the cold keeps us up. It is just too exciting. Such is October, a month that I love and feels twice as long because of schizophrenic days that have you feeling you've had two days and not just one. 

I made cafe de olla one cool afternoon and drank the entire olla leaving my mind swimming with ideas of happy things to make. My thoughts had me excitedly weaving in and out of the present and the future. It's my new cure for hesitation. August and I danced to Cri-Cri songs. I then showed her how a duck walks and she threw her head back and gave me the biggest belly laugh I have ever heard, she could barely stand. How incredibly silly I must have looked. That memory will never die. 

Daydreams, not hallucinations, took me from houseplant covered porches to sheepskin slippers on old pine floors and then west coast backyards where chickens and goats roamed. Names like Solangel, Foresita and Xoxichitl were inspired by the coffee, orange and canela scented kitchen. I could even see Lunamia. I realized I had not made dulce de leche in almost three years. The caffeine did it's work for hours. But by evening the tickling was becoming tiresome and even painful. I knew that I'd have a caffeine hangover the next day, and I did, but it was nothing some fresh cactus and pineapple juice couldn't fix. 

Still a bit high today, I feel somewhat lucky that caffeine has this effect on me. I have never been able to become a habitual coffee drinker. The trip is just too much for me to handle regularly. There was a time when one espresso would do me in. I'd be sick as a dog. The charge was just too much, keeping me up for hours and hours, high as can be. Now I know to drink water, have a piece of sweet bread and enjoy where those little beans take me.

74 Weeks