I was laying back on the bed, post-nurse, and you were playing with my iPhone when somehow it flew out of your hands and into my eye. Oh man did it hurt. I cried out and you looked like you were about to cry. And although it hurt like the dickens (have never used that expression before and don’t intend to ever again) I never expected it to become a purple green and yellow bruise under my eye. Each day it kept migrating upwards and outwards. My favorite part was when I would forget about it and wonder “why such the strange looks today, do I have food on my face?” No, I have short blonde hair, tons of tattoos, punk rock tights on and a black fucking eye. Nobody was gonna mess with me at your first swim class, that was for sure. I look tough. It’s kind of fun. The other interesting part has been the silence from other women I know. Like the ones in my teaching class I am taking right now. For almost 20 minutes we all acted like there wasn’t this giant purple/green/yellow elephant in the room. Finally I had to yell out, I HAVE A BLACK EYE. IT’S OKAY. I AM NOT AN ABUSED WOMAN. I JUST HAD AN ACCIDENT WITH MY IPHONE. Sure, they all seem to say as they give me knowing nods. Whatever. I am so punk rock right now I’ll cut them all!!! Just kidding. That isn’t how I roll anymore P. No way.
I am a changed woman because of you and your Dad. Changed in the best possible ways. I am much squishier. Physically and emotionally. I am not so worried about “creating” something of value in the world (meaning: writing an international bestseller- or at least being knows as having written one) because I already created something so creative it blows me away on a daily basis.
You are the most fascinating and interesting person I have ever met. You were making farting sounds on my belly as we shared a bath. It was hilarious. I don’t know what made you think to do that, maybe because you farted first, but it was pretty amazing, the sounds you were able to make. Then you suddenly started waving good-bye to your Dad as he left for a movie with your Cousin Keegan, who is visiting from Minnesota this week. Just out of the blue like that. Then you couldn’t stop. You were so proud of yourself. You waved me out as I backed out of your room tonight blowing you kisses and waving like a maniac too, saying GOOD NIGHT. I LOVE YOU. GOOD NIGHT.
I don’t know why I am writing my dialogue like Own Meany’s. Maybe because that book has really stuck with me. That is what good literature is supposed to do, I suppose. Infiltrate your world and stay there. I will never forget that book. I forget all books, but that one, never. I loved everything about it. MADE FOR TELEVISION.
Reading a book like that, or Anne Patchett’s “State of Wonder” reminds me of what a mediocre writer I am, and how grateful I am for storytellers like she and John Irving. Without them, I would be lost. I really truly madly deeply hope you fall in love with reading like I have. I want that for you. It has been one of the saving grace’s of my life. It has given me so much, a precocious vocabulary at an early age, hours spent living in other worlds, and more imaginary friends than I could ever hope for. Reading saved my life. It saved me from destroying myself completely, I am convinced of this, reading and writing. I kept a journal since I was 12 and traveling through India. I still have the original one. Unfortunately the copious volumes thereafter chronicling the formidable years of high school, college, and beyond were destroyed in a fang shui fit when I was 28. Not one of my brighter moments. I regret it to this day. More on that later. My regrets. I want so much for you. I promise to try and not smother you with my wants.
It’s time for bed. I have babbled enough.
I love your feet, your legs, your belly, your hands, your head and your heart. I love all of you, Little Monkey.