The Precious

14 12 2009

The precious

Sometimes when no one is around, not even the cats, I talk to Azita as if I’m Gollum and she’s THE ring. I mean I do the full on Gollum voice and everything. Feel free to judge.


Inheriting the Fun-damentals

13 12 2009

When I was a kid the whole “Reading is Fun-damental” campaign was pretty much unnecessary for me, as were the summer reading programs where kids could earn a pizza or some other treat for reading a certain number of books. Or any of the other incentives adults came up with to teach children to make reading a habit. I loved to read. I still do. By the time I was in high school I would sometimes read up to 2 or 3 books a day. Yes. I meant “per day.” I’m not exaggerating.  One of my coworkers insisted that I must be lying about this statement. I’m not. I know you’re doing the math right now — how many pages per hour?

Well, I can read pretty fast. I actually read slower now than I did in high school and college. But I read so much because I quite simply couldn’t put books down. Once I started a book I had to finish it immediately. This means that I was frequently walking around with my nose in a book, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to stay up in bed reading only to discover that the sun was once again rising. Luckily, I have  always been able to survive on very little sleep (a trait that has been very handy to me as a mother).

One of my sisters also loves to read as much as I do. We both still read constantly, and many of our conversations revolve around what we’ve read recently. My other sister is so very different from us, however. She does not enjoy reading. In fact, she’s not really very good at reading and was nearly illiterate for most of elementary school. It is this fact that breeds internal conflict in me.

See, I love reading so much that this is the one trait of mine I deeply hope Azita will inherit. If she has no interest in science and math, I won’t care. I won’t mind if she does not inherit my musical ear or artistic capabilities. I could care less if she looks like me. I want her to be a reader, and I want her to love it. I want her to be intensely curious about the world around her and to want to read everything there is to know about it. It is this trait of mine that has not only made it just about impossible for me to ever get bored, but it has made it possible for me to learn quickly and adapt to almost any situation.

I once had a professor who professed admiration for the fact that I learned new things by throwing myself into the deep end and learning as I did. It is true that I do this, and the only reason I am able to do this is because I feel confident that whatever I don’t know (and I don’t know a lot) I can learn from what someone else has written. I lack confidence in myself so frequently, but it is my confidence in learning that holds me together and brings me any success I may have in life. I want Azita to always feel secure in this way. To know that the great unknown is not so scary, because it is learnable.

I desire this so much that I obsess about it. I watch her every action around books. How can I tell if she will love reading as my sister and I do, and not dislike it as our youngest sister does? I mean, we all grew up in the same  household, and yet we are so very different in this aspect. How much of the love of reading and learning is nurture?

I frequently talk to my sister about my fear that Azita will not love books. Considering that Roger and I both love to read, it may seem irrational. But until very recently Azita would not let me read to her. Books were things to rip up and throw and chew on. On rare occasions I could make it through a couple pages of Goodnight Moon or Olivia before she would lose interest, but those occasions were very rare. My sister assured me that my worrying was for naught. “Just exposing your daughter to books will teach her to love to read,” she said. I had my doubts.

Then, this morning as I was feeding Azita her breakfast, she leaned over the side of her booster chair and pulled her “Colors” book over so she could flip the pages as she ate her mangoes and waffles. She was actually eating with her nose in a book. Just like I did at the dinner table when I was a child. Maybe all is not lost after all. We may yet be a family that reads together.


5 12 2009

The first snowfall has hit our nation’s capital, and it really is lovely. The flakes are large and fluffy, and they are floating softly to the ground. I love it. I’ve always loved snow, but it makes me feel warm and nostalgic even more now that we have Azita.

I am reminded of the day we brought her home from the hospital. She had lost too much weight, and they wanted her to gain an ounce or two before they let us go home. It looked like we would be spending another night in our hospital room, and I thought I would go crazy. Azita slept on my chest as I watched old episodes of Law & Order and contemplated just how good a hot shower would feel, when the nurse walked in. And she wasn’t there to take my temperature and blood pressure yet again. “You’re cleared to go home,” she said. As I jumped up about as fast as someone who had a c-section 3 days earlier could jump and reached into my bags for her going-home outfit, the sky opened up and snowflakes and little pellets of ice began their descent to the ground.

Winter had finally arrived in D.C.  I can’t say I wasn’t a little freaked out by the prospect of taking my 3-day old daughter out into the elements. Actually, I was petrified. But when we finally figured out how to get her into her carseat and were buckled up in our warm car, I looked down at my daughter as the snow blanketed our little world. All was quiet and white, and here we were. A family. I’ve never felt so cozy and content.

And now as it is snowing again, the first time this season, I hold a sleeping Azita a little closer and nuzzle my face into her neck. I am filled with that same warm feeling I felt 11 months ago, and all is right in my world.

Hi Ho Hi Ho

30 11 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I wish I could say that it’s because I’ve been busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday and being thankful for everything in my life.  But that’s not true, unfortunately. I mean I have been thankful and thought a lot about what I am thankful for. And, I do plan on finishing the declarations of thanks I started last week. However, the point is that I spent the entire weekend working, with a little family time thrown in here and there, and I’m really unhappy about it. That is, with the working, not the family time.

In the current economy, I am certainly grateful to have a job that pays me a paycheck that pays my bills and allows me to buy my daughter some nice things here and there. Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful, and I am not whining. But allow me to whine just a little. I actually like what I do. For a long time, my career was the most important thing to me. In fact, my career was the most important thing to me next to my brand-spanking new marriage about 6 years ago when I first started my job at Blackboard. So, it shouldn’t surprise me that since my current boss was also my boss at Blackboard, he might expect the same undying devotion to my job.

Well, I can tell you that devotion no longer exists. I still love what I do, but I love Azita more. And, when I spend a four-day weekend that is supposed to be about thankfulness and family and friends working until 2am while my daughter cries for my attention, I start to get pretty damn annoyed with what I do. Heck, I start to get pretty angry. I’m angry that my boss expects me to ignore my daughter and work nearly 24 hours a day just to make a minute dent in my workload. I’m mostly angry that I just did it. I should have explained it wouldn’t be possible and that my family comes first.

But I didn’t. I didn’t because I’m afraid that I’ll lose my job if I don’t lose myself to it. It’s an irrational fear at first glance, but it really isn’t if you live in the D.C. area where nearly everyone is married to their jobs. It’s easy to look at the employment landscape and to fear that unless you also give your job everything you have, including a relationship with your daughter, that you won’t be able to continue earning.

I have to say that this is one reason it is becoming more and more tempting for me to get up and move somewhere where life is a little slower and family is a little more important. For now, I’m off to the mines every weekday morning, but I need a change. Azita needs me to change, and I’ve decided that I need to start taking the steps I need to take to make that change happen.

Grit Your Teeth and Smile

11 11 2009

Looking back over this week’s posts I realize I’ve been a real downer. I was going to write about the execution of John Allen Muhammad today since it’s been weighing heavily on my mind these past few days, but I really need to lighten up. There’s plenty of time to return to more serious topics, but for today I’m going to grit my teeth and smile. Actually, I don’t really need to grit my teeth that hard, because Azita learned a new “trick” and it is so seriously cute. Seriously. Very seriously. See…

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Not convinced? How about from this angle?

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I dare you to deny the cuteness. And, yes, I do know that in a couple years I’ll be wishing she never learned this as I try desperately to get her to stop sticking her tongue out at authority figures, but whatever. I’m enjoying the cuteness right now because it makes me laugh. Seriously laugh. Kind of like this:

I Can’t Remember This Post

2 11 2009

I swear that over the past three days I’ve thought up a minimum of 10 posts that I just had to write. I hope you enjoyed reading them or at least imagining what they were about if I actually wrote them.  I really think they would have been superb species of the blog post variety. The issue here isn’t that I got lazy or even had writers block, something I’m really familiar with since I was afflicted with it until T-8 hours before every single paper I ever wrote in college. The reason is much simpler than that. I’m pretty sure I have early onset senile dementia. Seriously.

The symptoms of senile dementia are…Ok I won’t list the symptoms, because I don’t really have any of them. What I have is actually more like imaginary dementia. But I really did forget every single post I sat down to write over the past few days and I mean within minutes of sitting down to write them. As in, I think of something to write about, run to my laptop, sit down, select to add a new post and nothing. My mind becomes blank. I can’t remember anything other than my throbbing head, stuffy nose and achy muscles.

So I guess what I really have is a cold and extreme exhaustion since Azita has also been a bit under the weather, refusing to eat, and therefore waking up constantly during the night to complain of her hungry tummy and to cough up a lung. Also, Roger just interrupted me to give one of his spiels that he finds oh so adorable where he incessantly asks me questions one after another to give me a preview of what Azita’s toddler years will be like and then doesn’t take the hint that I really just want him to shut up already. Sheesh. Now I can’t remember what I was going to write next.

I probably should go to bed now, especially since I have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn tomorrow to vote and workout before work and Azita will likely be up and starving for some milk since she again refused to eat much of anything today. But, actually I can’t remember what the but is, but it really was something.

All this is to say that I’m sorry for rambling. I’m just trying to cover up the fact that I forgot what I was going to write about, and I can’t remember the previously-written paragraph of this post let alone the first sentence. So, yes, I have no idea where I’m coming from or where I’m going to and therefore cannot be expected to write anything intelligible in between.

Now I really will go to bed and hope that when I wake up in the morning I will actually remember what I’ve wanted to share with the world these past few foggy days. Copious amounts of coffee will surely help with that. I’m winking at you now, Roger.

I Did It!

29 10 2009

One of my favorite things about Azita and all little humans really is that the littlest things are such great achievements for them, and they know it. Not only do they recognize this, but they are not afraid to toot their own horn.

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Or wave their drum around in the air. Look at that face. There’s no doubt about it. She did something great, and she wants the world to know it.