Monday, May 24, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday: A Second Slice of Cake

Thanks to DaisyGal for partially inspiring this post with her own sunny entry today. It's so much easier for me to blog about the bad days, the dark feelings, and the overall crap that falls into my life than to give equal attention to the sunny days when love and kindness seem to be overflowing. When things are good, why sit in front of a computer and write about it when I can be out there soaking up the goodness and living it?

But I recently finished reading Jenni Schaefer's latest book (I do work in the eating disorders field, and, for the sake of full disclosure, I have some personal history with them as well.), and in it she writes about journaling the good days as well as the bad, as a reminder and a source of solace when things get bad.

So my perfect moment? Eating my second slice of cake for the day.

There's the obvious interpretation in light of what I just wrote about having an eating disordered history, but fortunately it's so far in the distant past that what I eat barely registers in that way anymore. It's more of a reminder that I'm on a break, so I really don't need to watch what I eat this cycle in terms of caffeine, alcohol, and other not-so-good-for-TTC things. And that feels freeing.

The real reason, though, is that the cake is a souvenir from one of the best parties I have ever had the pleasure of throwing and attending yesterday. Mr. Stick turns 40 next week, and one of our closest friends is turning 80 on the same day. His wife and I joke about them being twins born 40 years apart, and it certainly speaks to something about horoscope signs and all because they really are very similar despite the age difference!

So with two landmark birthdays, we decided to throw an all-out shindig yesterday at their house (which is bigger and has a pool). There was lots of food and wine (and a keg!), close to 90(!) guests who dropped in and out over the course of the day, lion and dragon dancers, and even an impromptu jazz jam session (a lot of their friends are musicians) late in the evening.

Because of the big age difference between ourselves and our friends, the party guests covered every age demographic, from the newly-born to the not-quite-ready-for-the-senior-center crowd. There were at least two dozen kids of every age running about or splashing in the pool, most of which were our friends' offspring.

I noticed about a year ago that I've started to be a little distant around kids. I'm always friendly and tolerant, but I wouldn't really play with or engage with them in the way that I used to in the past. (I used to be an in-demand babysitter once upon a time.) I think it's because parents would invariably comment and ask me about having kids of my own, and it just became too difficult to deal with as the months of unsuccessful TTC dragged by.

And while it's a protective and reasonable thing to do, I've realized that it's also pretty selfish. I'm depriving myself and these kids-who-are-not-mine from a positive interaction just because I'm afraid of being wounded by a careless comment. So this party was a test for me, and I decided that I was going to give and get all the kid-love I wanted...because who knows how many opportunities I'll get if my womb stays empty?

So that's what I did, along with my secret weapon: Fetch-the-best-dog-ever. 

I got to carry around a fussy 1-year-old boy, defend a 4-year-old girl's right to another gingerbread cookie, help a 7-year-old boy navigate the swimming pool, taught an 8-year-old boy how to make Fetch do tricks for chicken nuggets, and banter with a couple of surprisingly articulate adolescents.

And yes, the comments did come - someone shouted out that I looked good with the 1-year-old on my hip - and his mother who doesn't know about IF made a comment about me being able to afford a baby now that DH has his new job. But I was full of wine and sun and kid-love, so they rolled away without leaving too much sting behind.

There were a lot of other great moments of catching up with busy friends, watching Fetch become a hit with the crowd of people, breaking out glow sticks when night fell, and simply splashing around with Mr. Stick. And towards the end of the day, the friends we threw the party with gave us a beautiful watercolor that the wife had painted that I've admired for a long time as a gift.

I cried some happy tears on the long car ride home.


  1. That sounds like a wonderful day! Happy early Birthday to your husband!

  2. Stick! What a great day! See?? Its was a great decision to take the cycle off - you got to enjoy the keg and the wine! ;)

    Fetch is one cute dog too by the way!

  3. Man oh man, that sounds like a fantastic day! I wish I had some friends! And some glow sticks! Props to you for squeezing some enjoyment out of life. And for coming back from an eating disorder--that's no mean feat. I hope these peaceful feelings last a nice, long time.

  4. OMG, I was actually coming over to tell you that The "STARFISH" comment sent me over the edge last night and I Cried Happy tears too...

    THIS is the best post ever!!!! First, I LOVE CAKE...I *Heart* it with all my heart. LOL. Second I am sooo proud of you for enjoyig your day, for being present and loving, carrying that 1 yr old and smiling when they said you'd be a good mom (YOU'D BE A GREAT AWESOME MOM!)

    I just can't stop smiling through these tears after reading this. I found a FRIEND in you...and I'm so glad. You're just AMAZING!!!!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful party! Fetch is adorable!

  6. I LOVE hearing about the good days, and yours sounds utterly amazing! I love that you had a second slice of cake! Sometimes you just gotta live, you know? and I'm glad you're seizing the day.

    And your dog is sooo adorable!!!

  7. What a great day. I love that you let the moronic comments roll right off of you! That is one cute puppy.

  8. It sounds like a fabulous party (and Fetch looks like a fabulous dog...I bet he charmed the kiddies so much they went home and asked their parents for a Fetch:)

    I'm glad it was a day of wine and kid-love, and that you got to eat that second piece of cake.

  9. That sounds like such a fabulous day! Good on you for being present in the moment and enjoying yourself. Eat cake! More cake!

    Your dog has 100% cuteness factor. :)

  10. What a great day! What a sweet puppy! The second piece of cake sounds like a brilliant idea.

    I know what you mean about withdrawing from children. I have always been the grown-up who "gets" kids, who loves playing with them. The babysitter who was told since she was 12 years old, "You're going to be the *best* mom one day." Now it hurts so much to adopt that role. But sometimes the kids find you, and it's good (even if hard) to let them in.

  11. what an absolutely lovely post.
    i'm happy, as you should be too, that you didn't feel guilty for eating the cake, and for allowing yourself to mix with the kids, and have a good time.
    one day at a time, as they say, and if that's ever too much, take it minute by minute!

  12. Good for you!! That sounds like a perfect day. :-)