Monday, March 3, 2008

The Early Bird

That's right, it's 4 am. I like to think that when a child is born all bioprocesses, including sleep, change for the better. You see, I spent far too much time lazily snoozing before, why, I might be known to sleep soundly for nine hours at once. Now, I sometimes sleep for 90 minutes. This enlightened behavior helped to propel Martha Stewart to Omnimedia heights. That, and her ability to call up real domestic experts in Westport and have them dance for exposure like circus clowns.

I don't know many experts and the ones I do would not be helpful to me on this day because I am way out on a limb here. I am up because I was worried about the friend of a friend. As Josh will tell you, if I cannot find something of my own over which to be disturbingly perplexed, I will borrow something of yours. But I heard this story and it's not the kind of circumstance that shows up on the evening news but, it should, because it occurs in a lot of young parent homes: Both parents must work, your day care scenario fell apart, now what do you? I don't know the answer to this because Josh is deployed and we made a conscious decision that my career would take the bounce because you can't call in nannyless to the Navy, and because it is nice when you see at least one of your parents during your first year of life. As I mentioned, I travelled, a lot.
So, that's our deal. But this couple we know, they have always been the first to lend a hand when any of us went through something difficult. And so it occurs to me, while I am here hanging with my little one and writing for you, that both my girl and you would be happy to lend me out to these good people to help. Also, their son is really cute, so it's not as if he couldn't have charmed us all on his own. This is my way of saying, I might slack off here a little if I can do anything to help. You'll surely be gracious about this, though I know the missing-me will run deep.

This begs an opportunity for us all, however! Why don't we get the week off to a help-someone start? Why don't we all try to do or say something kind and giving? Many New Yorkers reading this just shut the window and moved on to TMZ ,but I need to be intrepid: Here and in other places, where survival is endlessly strenuous both emotionally and physically, I find it remarkably challenging to see beyond my own four walls at times. But I have to, because a moment is on its way when I will need someone else to do the same. It's not easy to care for two babies but tell me what is easy and I would still choose the harder thing: I need give and take. Just taking is a bad prospect for one's karma (though that does not seem to slow anyone down). Let's do it together, just like camp, when we put up tents side by side. Or, in our case here in Westchester, slept sleeping bag to sleeping bag in the Girl Scout Mansion in Scarsdale. Together, is the point.

Now, a caution on this helping thing. I "help", to my great crippling, any number of "stray" animals. Why, this dog sitting next to me, who is now the guard dog, I "helped" out from under the porch where he lived with his feral pack, when he was 9 weeks old. But he was a fat little puppy and his Mom was doing a bang up job, or so Josh maintains. But there was a terrible flood where he lived and I just could not stand the thought of the puppies drowning. And that cat, I thought she was about three months old living in that barn with her partially feral clan, but she was more like 9 months and completely done with the scavenging thing and looking for a new gig. And the corgi I "helped" was only needing help in the sense that she was at the breeders asleep, paws up, in a pile of dirty newspaper. So I helped her to get away from that breeder, and the cat away from the barn, and Puppy away from his pack. But in hindsight, it does seem none of these creatures were desperately needing a hand. In fact, my Mom believes that when animals see me coming now they duck and cover. I tell you this by way of making sure you pick someone or something who needs a hand, inflicting help is not really helping. And that, do-gooder's, is the benefit of knowledge from my mistakes.

Mistakes and all, I am at the table contemplating the day ahead. This day is brazen with possibility. To help, to eat, to laugh. Bring it on.

No comments: