Friday, April 18, 2014

in which we do not go to catalina or adopt a kid

1. sea glass and glendora

I’m just now getting around to posting the entry I wrote about last weekend, which tells you what my week was like. Let’s just say I spent most of it working on a federal grant, and by the end of the day yesterday, I was having Republican-ish thoughts about government bureaucracies. (If you work for the Department of Labor and are reading this, that was just a little joke! I totally voted for Obama!)

But it’s Good Friday, and I’m determined to have a good Friday. I worked a half day, went to Shoshana’s yoga class—my favorite—this morning, bought some berries at the Eagle Rock farmers market and did a little bit of writing, even though I neglected my YA novel yet again. I’m feeling refreshed-adjacent, and I have the berries to prove it.

So, anyway, last weekend:

AK and I had planned to go to Catalina with Pedro and Stephen on Sunday, but when we found out it was $35 each way, not round trip, we all cheaped out and ended up in San Pedro instead. We walked the graffitied remnants of some WWII-era fortress at Cabrillo Beach. We found sea glass and sea anemones in the tide pools, a dead squid and slick silvery grunions. It felt so much healthier for my brain and eyeballs than Pinterest—the beautifully hued black hole I fell into at my sister’s urging last week—although I also kind of wanted to go home and pin pictures of sea glass crafts.

Over lunch, the subject of Donut Man in Glendora came up. It was home to Jonathan Gold-approved donuty clamshells bursting with giant glazed strawberries. Soon we were on our way, even though it was at the opposite end of L.A. County. It was the kind of impractical thing I missed doing, constrained as I usually was by traffic and adulthood.
Strawberries on the half-shell.
2. what birthmoms know

That night, we watched What Maisie Knew, an update of a Henry James novel about a little girl neglected by her chaotic parents and raised by her nanny and her mom’s sudden new husband. I’m going to give away the ending here and say that it closes with a beautiful birthmom moment: Julianne Moore says—angrily at first—“I was just like you” to Maisie. Then her face contorts and she realizes her own crazy childhood has led her to put Maisie in the same position. She has the power to stop the cycle, even though it means breaking her own heart by letting Maisie go with the people who can care for her.

Maisie has great clothes and distracted parents.
If you want to know what a birthmom goes through, watch that movie. But at the end AK and I were both sad—as I imagine we may eventually be for the birthmom who chooses us. Maybe AK was thinking of her youngest patients. I was thinking of me, as I do, and how much I wanted a little Maisie for my very own.

A couple of weeks ago we got the nicest email ever from a would-be birthmom. I sent what I thought was a nice reply, full of genuine empathy and openness. Then nothing. There could be a million different reasons for the nothing, and we will never know even one of them.

AK and I had one of those nights where at first we are sad together, and then there’s a fork in the road of our sadness, and we argue and eventually come together again. It’s good, it’s what being in a mature relationship is all about, but I dunno, I kind of want to spend this weekend eating Peeps and proving to myself I’m still a writer. Less emotional work, less work-work, more creative work, more marshmallows.

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