Monday, October 21, 2013

Some Pig

Above our front door, we have a kind of Charlotte's Web situation going on.

As with so many other things, Munchkin has opened my eyes to the pervasive presence of spiderwebs. It started with his Geema and him using a stick to clean off the spiderwebs from a playground and it snowballed from there. Every time we see a spiderweb, we have to clear it away.

In some cases, the spiderweb has been too beautiful for me to destroy, and I've convinced Munch that spiders live in there and it's okay to leave them alone. This is what happened above our front door.

A huge spider built an elaborate web and it did freak me out a bit because its inch-long legs kinda creeped me out, but whatever.  Spiders are good for us, getting rid of bugs etc., so we left it and each day, we'd see it sitting up there.

Well, the other day, it's sitting there with its legs all crumpled in and at first I hoped that it was just hiding, but the next day it was in the exact same position. It is dead.

I find myself feeling a sense of loss over the arachnid guardian above our door. He was there for a couple months, and now he is gone. The web has started degenerating from lack of upkeep.

A bright spot is that I think I see an egg sack, so I guess she, it must have been a she, will live on.

Everything changes and ends. This is a truth I'm working to accept. It's a truth that is ever-present in our lives, and now that I'm watching my child grow and change with each passing second, I'm feeling it more viscerally than ever.

It's a truth that I have run from, denied, and pushed away since I watched movies like Charlotte's Web and Bambi and Old Yeller. If I didn't look at the hard scenes, the scene where Charlotte seemed to melt away on the rafter, the scene with the gunshots ringing out over the meadow, or the growling yellow dog in the shed, then they didn't happen. They wouldn't happen. I could stop the movie and pretend the hard stuff never happened.

But, hard stuff is a part of life, and maybe these kids' books that I vowed early on never to have my own son read, movies I never want him to watch, maybe these messages are there to ease us into it.

Because, someday, the spider above the door will be real. And we will have to face it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Put Da Phone in Da Butt"

My son has always been drawn to my iPhone. It's amazing to me that while I still sometimes am amazed that I carry my entire life in my pocket, Munch will grow up with this as the norm, expected. He won't have to stand next to a rotary phone with a tangled cord in order to speak to someone. He will be able to talk to a friend while walking down the street, something that I never could have imagined when I was little.

I am hyper-aware of my tendency to "iPhone addiction." I am one of those who feel compelled to check my email each time I hear it ding, to check Twitter every few minutes, to always have my phone within reach. I work to put my phone out of sight as soon as I pick Munch up from daycare, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Last night, Munch showed that he too is hyper-aware of the phone's presence. As I scrolled through whatever inane information, he said, "Mommy put down da phone." He said the same thing to his daddy later on.

We listened.

I think we have to listen. That was Munch's way of telling me to refocus. To unplug from whatever it was that I just had to look at, to see what really mattered--my child. My real life. Munch is 2 years old. And he understood that I was distracted from him.

I'm not saying that we parents must always make our children the center of our attention. But I am a firm believer that, especially for us working parents, the moments of play time and quiet time with our children are precious and deserving of at least as much concentration we give to our precious screens.

And it's also a reminder that our kids are always watching. Later, Munch told me to "Put da phone in da butt." I almost died laughing--I always put my phone in my back pocket, and Munch was telling me in no uncertain terms to put it away where it belonged. In da butt.