2.17.2008

New Year Notes From the Underground


Best Polling Place EVER!
Originally uploaded by generaltsao.

(Dostoevsky reference intended to indicate semi-mad nature of forthcoming rambling)

I can't believe how quickly this Chinese New Year has come upon us. We've had a low-key celebration this year--dinner with friends and brunch with my dad, whose birthday also happens to fall on the lunar new year eve. It's been nice that the weather has been so stupendous. We've gone on a couple long walks in the past few weeks, and today we're heading over the Golden Gate Bridge to see what we find over there. What's amazing is how it seems like just yesterday that we took Alex to Bolinas on my maternity leave, when he was just a couple weeks old and a darling blob. Now he can run around, talk, jump, play, dance, and do all sorts of other crazy things.

Time whizzes by when one is busy, but lately to me "busy" has started to seem like a cliche. Everyone's busy. I keep meaning to document a day in my life, start to finish, to give more depth and meaning to the "busy" label. It's not like I haven't been present in all these moments, and that's what I'm starting to realize is most important. Life is demanding and complicated. Few things come easily. Just when you start to finish your to-do list, new items magically appear on it, often more complex than the last. What's important is that you don't see being busy as a bad thing. Just go with it and enjoy everything you possibly can. You would hate to look back and realize you weren't enjoying yourself. Life is long, but it goes by quickly.

Of course, having kids is evidence of that. Everything changes so dramatically and at such a rapid pace. One day Alex can say 10 words. Within a week, he's learned several new phrases. When the doctor first told us to count his words, it seemed like a worrisome and difficult task. What if we don't get to 10? What if he's only saying 7? Each individual word matters so much. It didn't take long for me to realize that soon this incremental counting of his vocabulary will seem ridiculous. (He comes from a verbose family, in case you hadn't noticed.) I do think it would be really interesting to learn just how many words I know. I remember really clearly the moment when I learned certain words: epitome, stultifying, ephemeral...

Alex has currently started that incoherent rambling (wonder where he gets that from? ;) that babies do, where he is talking and talking, obviously asking questions, telling stories, narrating events, pointing to things and waiting for a reaction. I LOVE this part of his development. It's the cutest thing to hear. I really want to tape that before he starts to get more words. I vividly and fondly recall babysitting my niece Emily, who talked herself to sleep telling the most adorable, captivating and yet utterly undecipherable tales. It's a fascinating stage of language development.

And here's a catch-up blurb with some of the details that might give depth to my "busy" label: still knitting; playing 25 Words or Less, Scrabble, Professor Layton, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles; exercising in fits and starts; picking up trash in front of the house; writing to SF Supervisors; trying to be a good neighbor; looking at my 8th grade yearbook with old friends; getting our stupid Kenmore dryer fixed; trying to plan various vacations (Utah? Tahoe? Cote D'Azur? Belize? Hawaii?); taking parents to pick up prescriptions; listening to stories of old Shanghai and Hong Kong; flinging old clothes and items; devising new calendar systems and work flow procedures at work; attempts at potty training; cooking risotto, bread pudding, brussel sprouts; being disappointed by the Patriots and Tom Brady; voting for Barack Obama; drinking wine and root beer schnapps floats; daytripping to LA; examining a hermit crab; evolving to XHTML after 10 years behind the times; eating at Spork (pix to come)...

Life is basically good.

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