Friday, August 20, 2004

I just nursed Nutmeg down for her second nap of the day, and I'm indulging in a little melancholy. Friends keep marveling over how relaxed Erik and I are as parents, and I'm wondering, am I too relaxed? I've always been a careless person, and this has caused the "Losses" column I keep in my mind to lengthen over the years. Just recently I lost the bracelet that Daddy gave me for my first Mother's Day, a bracelet that was not only expensive but that Daddy lavished a lot of thought and time selecting. Things just slip away from me, and when it happens, I don't want anyone to know, because it just reinforces my reputation in my family as the girl who loses things. Careless Carrie, a character from the Old Maid set my great grandmother used to play with me on, that was always me.
So then my mind wanders to other losses, the big ones and the daily attrition that a busy life produces. The time I chickened out on LookSmart's IPO and not only Daddy and I but my whole family lost the opportunity to make a few thousand dollars each. We're doing just fine now, and I shouldn't let it bother me, but I wonder how much easier things would have been for us then, how much easier buying a house would have been, if we'd had that money. Silly, I know. Then I pick up the paper and it's all about the things people can lose, mostly other people. A football star from the bleak East Bay city of Richmond was gunned down by a friend the day before he was to leave for college on a full football scholarship. A 9-year-old died in soccer practice. A local band of Indians wants to build the world's 3rd largest casino right in the Bay Area, and I think of people's nest eggs disappearing into slot machines accompanied by joyous ringing fanfares.
So I guess my question is, will my carelessness cost me the ultimate price someday? Is it in my very nature to lack vigilence when it comes to my child? And is there anything I can do about it? People always just say to be careful, but I feel like I am being careful, and I still lose things, valuable things. Not as often as I did as a child, I'll admit.
I've also been thinking about what a full-time job managing a household is, and how much people's quality of life suffers because most households don't have this. There's always a call to make to the insurance company or the bank, an appointment to get to, and piles of housework to get done, not to mention actually caring for and playing with Nutmeg. How many things will fall by the wayside when I'm working again, when Nutmeg has activities to be delivered to?
Then again, sitting on my butt fretting about all this isn't getting the dishes done any faster ;-).
As for Nutmeg, she has a new sound, a delighted shriek. And she's laughing more often, although not every day. One thing that can usually get her going is doing the hokey pokey in front of the mirror. I put her right foot, left foot, etc. in for her. And I also shake it all about, as prescribed.

1 comment:

Kori said...

Don't forget, friend, that the flip side of being someone who is relaxed is being someone who is uptight. I am that person, the Scorpio yin to your Sagittarius yang, so to speak. And while I may not lose as many things in "practical" terms, I lose sleep and peace and time with friends and family because my brain is busy worrying about the potential loss of things.

So in this case, who's the real "loser"---the one who lives in the moment, but let's things go, or the one who manages to hold onto things, but can't enjoy the moment as it happens?

I've always been inspired by how you approach life, and for what it's worth, I can't imagine you losing the important stuff---you're way too amazing and smart for that.

I would never call you careless, I'd call you carefree. Carefree Carrie. Yeah, that's got the right ring to it.