So last night, I went to bed at a ridiculously late hour because I had to watch Obama’s infomercial, and then Obama on The Daily Show and then Obama do a stand up comedy special on HBO (oh, maybe that’s not quite right)….
After my Obama-thon, I still had to fill out a school admissions application for Dylan (with essay questions) and then fill it out again because I smudged it as I was putting it in the envelope.
But before I finally turned in, I checked on the kids and as I watched Summer’s beautiful, hypnotic breathing, she started to stir.
So I froze.
And then she moved around some more.
I held my breath and continued my motionless vigil.
Then her eyes popped open.
And I squeezed mine shut, pathetically hoping to prevent her from actually seeing me, which as you might have guessed was an enormously ineffective tactic.
So Rick and I spent the next half hour trying to get her back to sleep. Am I a master at waking my kids up or what? Wow, it’s like a whole new, untapped hobby for me.
My point is… standing motionless and squeezing your eyes shut doesn’t usually accomplish much of anything in this world. So this weekend, if you have a passion for one of the candidates, do something.
Pull up their campaign website and get involved. This election is positively NOT over and there are a million things you can do to help your candidate win.
And it will make you feel energized, passionate and engaged in our democratic process.
So get out the vote.
And then vote yourself.
I’ll be phone banking for Obama here in New York if you want to join me on campaign hysteria lane.
My best kiwi gal Lucy is on board too.
As for my friend Liz, she was trying to convince me to go hear an alternative country band in the East Village tonight.
Hmmm… Although I had a somewhat fierce Garth brooks/Billy Ray phase in my early twenties, I’m not much of a country girl or very alternative either. But we bartered. I’m going to the concert. She’s phone banking on Saturday.
I have relatives getting out the vote in North Carolina.
My dad is making calls from Cape Cod.
All campaign rhetoric aside, this really is our moment.
Because in life, we can squeeze our eyes shut, blocking out the injustices and wrongdoings, or we can stand up and do something about it.
If you are looking for calmness in the last week of the campaign, keep moving because you won’t find it here. I actually specialize in hysteria these days. It’s sort of an underrated, niche field.
I am sick to my stomach about the new polls showing Obama only 4% points ahead. So I decided I was tired of all the Reauters/C-SPAN/Zogby polls and damn it, I’ll just do my own polling.
Now I didn’t actually talk to anyone (with my weekly phone banking, I’ve sort have gotten my fill of “Hi Stranger” contact). But as I passed folks on the street, I did really focus on their political vibe.
Based on this scientific analysis with perhaps a slight margin of error, Obama has about a 97% lead here in Manhattan’s West Village.
Do the rest of you have to vote?
I keep emailing my friends and asking… So is Obama going to win? As if they have some kind of magic, insider knowledge that I’m just not privy to.
And it’s not like I don’t have other crap to worry about.
For example, I’ve really slacked off when it comes to worrying about Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman. Are they really back together? I mean, I just love that couple. They belong together, don’t they?
Or I could be troubled by conversations like this with 4 year-old Dylan:
“I’m the mommy. And Summer is my baby. Ok?” Dylan says as we sit down to play.
“Ok. That sounds good,” I respond.
“And you can be the grandmother,” Dylan explains.
“Do you think I’m old enough to be a grandmother?”
“Yes, I do,” Dylan insists.
Or I could be concerned about these two guys who suddenly appeared without any notice on my 5th floor balcony.
They looked pretty legit with their brushes and goggles. I figured they must be fixing something.
But how did they get up there exactly?
No, no I didn’t concern myself with any of the details. I just waved and went back to cleaning up the apartment and checking polls on Real Clear Politics.
Ok, there’s only one week left and after the election, I positively, absolutely promise you that I will end this nonstop political obsession. So hang in there. We just gotta close this deal.
I guess my dad fled back to Cape Cod because I haven’t seen him anywhere.
But in his absence, I did convince my New Zealander friend Lucy to phone bank for the Obama campaign with me this weekend.
Lucy can’t vote, but she wants to do something. And I figured, what undecided voter could resist that Kiwi accent? We called Ohio voters and no disrespect to Ohioans but the North Carolina voters I called last week were a bit more cordial. I guess it’s the southern way.
I remember at Tulane University in New Orleans, I’d hear southern guys get in an argument and one of them would say, “F-ck all, y’all.” Kind of a more pleasant sounding way to say F-ck you, don’t you think?
Anyway, back to my mission to change America… So one of my 90 calls on Saturday was to Ohio resident Bryan Runyon. Now, I really thought Bryan and I had something special, a bit of a connection. I was just feeling sort of a positive karmic energy even as the phone was ringing.
“Hi. Is this Bryan? My name is Kelcey and I’m calling from the Obama campaign –”
“Oh, I don’t have time for this shit.”
That is not the first time I’ve seriously misjudged karmic energy.
I have futilely tried to convince my husband Rick to phone bank for the Obama campaign. But he keeps refusing, muttering something about being an Independent and needing to preserve his journalistic integrity.
Integrity?! Have you seen Rick’s Facebook page? He has 428 Facebook friends.
I mean, the guy will be friends with anyone. He’s so easy. Go ahead. Ask to be his friend.
Alright alright, maybe he’s just a super, friendly guy.
How many Facebook friends do I have?
Oh. Only 105.
And Bryan Runyan is so obviously not one of them.
mama bird notes:
I was truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from all of you. There was so much honesty and kindness and courage in your comments. And it made an incredible difference to me. So thank you.
I immediately returned to a semi sinful life of espresso drinks, white wine and sushi. Well, to be totally honest, I never stopped eating sushi. But please don’t rat me out to my doctor. I’m not Wonder Woman over here.
The upside of totally feeling like crap is that my kids really don’t care. They need their snacks and they need help brushing their hair and they need me to fix that insanely high volume electronic toy that just suddenly went perfectly, blissfully silent.
So the frenzy of the day spins around us and it keeps me sort of preoccupied.
Today we visited the children’s library and picked out books to take home (four books in English and one in Spanish despite my insistence that I don’t really speak Spanish). But Dylan is undeterred by this inconvenient but apparently not insurmountable fact.
Our last visit, she took out three Spanish books so I’m actually making some progress.
As we are standing in line, waiting to check out, my 4 year-old says to me,
“Why don’t we just check the books out ourselves?”
“How do we do that?” I respond.
“Over here,” as she shows me the self check-out machine which I have never noticed before.
“But it says here you need a pin code. That’s a number you type in. I don’t know my pin code,” I explain to her.
“You get it from the lady at the desk,” she says patiently. When did she become patient?
And she is right. The woman at the desk can look up my pin code. And then Dylan proceeds to help me check out all our books. Apparently, she learned this from our babysitter.
Later that day, I ask Dylan,
“So now that you taught me how to check out books, what can I teach you?”
“A new way to walk,” she replies.
I mean, obviously. I feel so dumb that I even had to ask.
Hmm… Let’s see. A new way to walk…
“Well, I do have this fancy, fun walk I’ve been saving for a Democratic presidency.”
Yes, of course, I really said that. Don’t you know me by now?
And I showed Dylan this silly, spontaneous, super goofy, kind of embarrassing walk that made her laugh.
And me laugh.
And it felt like a start.
To moving on.
At least a bit.
mama bird notes:
Our contributing mama Daphne Beiner is now also a contributor for the new Rocky Mountain Moms blog! Congrats Daphne. But, of course, that means coming up with a bio. Damn, those pesky bios. Should she mention her bar shimmying skills or her home birth first? Click on contributing mamas to read more.
I recently had the chance to meet two awesome bloggers. I had coffee with the fabulous and model tall Denise from Eat, Play, Love. Despite my warnings to absolutely not venture uptown to battle the crowds at American Girl, she did it anyway. Which just goes to show, she really loves her kids.
And I also had the chance to grab some Italian food with the delightful Scrappysue of New Zealand. Somehow her husband and four beautiful girls allowed her to travel across the world to visit New York City. And we, here in the United States, are very grateful.
Last chance to enter the Votre Vu giveaway. Just leave a comment on the mama bird diaries and you are entered.
I pause a little bit before the maternity store, the one I always rush by without so much as a quick glance. A couple names whirl around in my head. I start to ponder what it really means to be of a family of five.
And then it’s over.
Just like that.
Before it barely began.
I was pregnant.
And now I’m not.
And I can’t believe how much I miss something that never really was.
Only a couple people even knew I was pregnant. It was so early. I would wait. At least a little while. Make sure everything was ok.
But then it wasn’t ok.
And now I’m just left here wondering why.
I’ve known so many women who have had miscarriages. And my empathy has always been deep for these mothers. To feel such a loss.
And now my compassion is even deeper. Now I understand just a little bit more.
And I just want to run out and do something, anything to get my mind off this.
But there is nowhere to go.
Nowhere I won’t feel this.
And now I’m just left here, with all this stillness in the air, all this potential that evaporated before I even had a chance to grasp it.
And I want to crush the sadness but I can’t.
And I want to end the longing but it’s there.
And that is where I am. For now.
And I squeeze my girls a little tighter and my gratitude for them is limitless.