Last night my teeth/gums/jaw/face/head were throbbing (I need a few root canals I think) as I laid there trying to decide whether or not to wake up Matt (again) and ruing the fact that Loli was for once having a beautifully long stretch of sleep and yet I was all contorted in pain at 2 am (you see? This sentence doesn't even make sense. I don't even know what I'm saying.) I will start again. My teeth hurt. A lot. And at around 2 am Matt told me to take some Excedrin pm and I said Wait. Hold on. Let me start again. My teeth hurt. Very much. And I got up with Loli at around 3 am and she started smiling at me and somehow it didn't hurt anymore. It didn't. And she laughed. A real belly laugh that Matt could hear from the other room. We spent an hour together, giving each other secret smiles and yes my Excedrin also kicked in, that's a big part of it, and yes Matthew rubbed my head until his hands almost fell off but I will tell you that smile of hers is like none other.
We found it strange that Lucas, upon seeing the cover of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, kept pointing to the undead portrait of Eliza and saying "Mapache!" At first I thought he thought we looked alike. I was not too flattered. After a few days, however, Matt noticed that Lucas was also pointing to the bottle of Black Lemonade and saying Mapache. Then we realized (as maybe you have already?) that to him the dark around the eyes of the raccoon cookie jar look like empty eye sockets, so he thinks that skulls are raccoons, which of course means that Ms. Pride and Prejudice herself, with her exposed jaw, is also a raccoon. All of this makes me wonder: does he think that Matt is calling me a zombie as a term of endearment?
A few weeks before Loli was born, Matthew stole a car. Really. Just up and stole a car. He is quick to point out that it wasn't just him, it was also his mother in law, but the cops didn't see it that way. He was the one who took it. He was the one who drove off without leaving a trace. . A few days before Loli was born, Matthew got busted. Got called into the police station. Poor babygirl was almost born with her daddy in the big house, commemorating her birth not with a cigar but with a cigarette stub off the slammer floor. . (Should I explain now?) It goes like this: A friend of my dad's moved to Mexico, and asked him to pick up his car. Said the keys would be in it and the battery would be dead. Told him the make and model, year and color. Matt went and found said car just where he was told it would be, fished around and found the keys, jumped the battery, and drove off. The car spent a few weeks at the shop, during which time my dad was told to scrap the car for parts. My dad was about to tear out the engine when the cops called. A tow truck had hauled away the headed-to-Mexico guy's car and they somehow had my dad as a contact -- would he like to come get it? A chill ran up his spine, I can only imagine. If they had his car, whose was the one in the lot? As it turns out, it just so happened that some other guy had the same exact car, parked in the same place, keys tucked away and battery dead and all. I'm not too sure of the details after this, but I do know that Matt was called in by the heat and, thank God, not fingerprinted and no record formally made of the event. Well, other than the enormous THUGL1FE 4EVA tattoo Matthew inked across his chest.
So the other day the Flaco says to me "Papa!" I say to him "No Flaco, that's not a potato. That's a communist*." I was befuddled as to how he could make such a grave error, given that normally he is sharp as a whip. So he says to me "Papa!" again. "No Flaco" I say. "Papa!" he says, more urgently. "No Flaco, no es una papa" I say**. Exasperated with me, he finally says "Pope!" At which moment of course I realized he was not saying la papa but el papa - John Paul II to be exact - who, in the poster hanging above my grandma's bed, does bear a striking resemblance to the undecorated communist face. Thank goodness he translates for me.
... *Follow the links if this makes no sense. Which I'm sure it doesn't! **He did once confuse a guinea pig with a potato, but that is neither here nor there.
No idea. My girl is here. When she was born and they handed her to me I could only hold her and say "My daughter, my daughter!" And Matt's eyes glowed. They glowed. I have never seen him like that. Some things are too precious to say, must be kept hidden and tucked away and wondered about in the quiet. So that is how I end.
The painting is finished and framed and hung. The dishes are done. The cushions on the couch are straightened. Lorraine has had her breakfast. This should mean that I am in the hospital and that babygirl is soon to arrive, but would you go figure?, we have been postponed! There was no room in the inn. So this gives me a moment instead to whisper something, something I wasn't going to tell. . When Lucas was born, or rather, in the hours before he was born, I was not doing well at all. I was just laying there limp and shaking, sometimes not sure where I was. And then the most marvelous thing happened. I heard whispers, so many whispers, all around me. Rustling sounds too. I felt this enormous sense of calm and peace and relief from pain, and I opened up my teary eyes and there was only Matt, sitting by my side. And I knew the room had been filled with angels, or still was, and that God in his mercy had let me know it. I knew He was taking care of me and my son, and that we would be okay. . The other day I got so afraid, and Lucas looked at me and said "Angeles, cuentame." (Angels, tell me.) I told him the story of the day he was born (which I'd never done before) and when I finished, he said "Otra vez" (again.) So I did. I told it to him again and again until I finally started paying attention to what I was saying. And I was overwhelmed by His grace again. You would think this would be enough, but then again last night I got afraid, and Lucas from his little highchair said "Mamita, angeles." I said, "Okay, I'll tell you the story." So I did. And I finished and he looked at me and he simply said "Que bello." . How beautiful.
God has blessed me enormously. You are probably assuming I speak of my giant belly. A valid assumption that is, but I speak of sleep. Flaco had been waking up around six in the morning (or rather, I was lucky if he made it to six!) and I would drag my sorry self out of bed all crumpled and tired feeling. And now, suddenly, in these last weeks when I'm so very tired and waking up all night long, he has taken to sleeping until 9:30. Nine thirty! And he has taken to napping for two or three hours during the day! Which means that I get to drag my sorry self into bed all crumpled and tired and lay there happy as a clam. Oh yes, I am like a clam. The fact that I'm sleeping again also means that I'm dreaming again. Most recently I dreamed that Matthew was Vladimir Putin's puppy. Not half-puppy half-himself but completely himself and completely a puppy (and also a bit mongoose. Twitchy and long-tailed and adoptive of mongoose poses.) Putin was in exile in Siberia, and he spent his days carving wooden statues in Matthew's likeness, until one fateful day when the CIA, in a plot to undermine the Russians, tried to steal him. Matt, that is. It was an American girl disguised as a jogger, but the plan was thwarted by a kindly Russian hobo who, up until then, was suspected to be a spy. Or a scarecrow. You see, you see? It is an enormous blessing to sleep.