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Friday, November 20, 2009

SOMEONE get the Baby!!!!!!!

The other day I had one of those perfect New York mornings. I was "in the neighborhood" and called a friend to grab coffee/breakfast before work and she happened to be free and also three blocks away! It is a rare and joyous occasion when short notice dates work out in Manhattan.

After an hour of chatting the subject of the holidays came up and I mentioned how I had been really dreading going to CA for Christmas earlier in the week but had since come around to it now that everything was finalized.

"Of course you dread it," she said, "I remember the time you went home and took that baby away from his Mom. Those situations will always be a part of that life for you."

I couldn't believe she remembered that. It was a blog I posted 2 1/2yrs ago when I first started one on a Mac website pre-Mexico move. I didn't even know people read it. It was more of a journal thing for me. Worried that all those entries had been lost (the site no longer exists) I went back to see if I could find the post on my computer. I did. And she was right. These situations will always be a part of me. That life. This life. My life. But I will also always be a part of theirs. And as long as I keep going back, at least there will be someone to get the baby.

(NOTE: I promise some lighthearted blogs to come! I'm not meaning to post depressing ones, but I realized that seems to be what's coming out at the moment)

Wednesday 8/22/2007

Mom’s house. California. Me asleep.
8 am: Baby Wailing (in the apartment below)
8:15 am: Baby Wailing
8:20 am: Baby Wailing
8:25 am: Baby Wailing
8:26 am: Me getting up and storming into the living room to ask my mother why there is a baby screaming for 25 minutes (or longer, it only woke me 25 minutes ago) and nobody getting him!?

And then it all came back to me.

A few weeks ago my mom called to vent about her downstairs neighbors. The Mom, (Jackie--24yrs old), has a 3yr old girl (Persaia--Per-say-uh), a 20 month old boy (Anthony), and is pregnant again. She gave her 1st baby up for adoption, the 2nd was still born, she kept the 3rd and 4th, and is giving this one up for adoption as well. 24yrs old; 5th pregnancy. She’s due any day and is supposed to be on bed rest but that’s a little difficult with 2 toddlers; one having seizures all the time. To remedy this her solution is to keep them in highchairs or playpens most of the day. They don’t play outside because she can’t chase after them, & Persaia could have a seizure at any moment and crack her head open. So inside they stay. On top of this, in the morning, Anthony is left in his crib crying, and crying, usually for over an hour because she can’t get him. Persaia has most of her seizures in the morning. Jackie is married to the father of these kids and they also have a friend sleeping on their couch who is quickly and painfully dying of cancer and has no where else to go.

8:30 am: Baby Sobbing. Lost all ability to wail loudly and is now dry sobbing and whispering “Ma--maaaaa”.

8:35 am: Me pacing in my kitchen and yelling at my mother, “There are THREE adults in that apartment and NO ONE is getting that baby?!?! If I can’t sleep there’s NO WAY anyone down there is asleep! COME ON!”

8:40 am: Baby Sobbing.
8:41 am: Me walking downstairs and knocking on their door. Twice. No Answer.
8:45 am: Baby Sobbing. Me teary eyed.
8:46 am: Me going back downstairs, this time pounding on the door.

She answered (VERY pregnant) with a shocked look on her face; we’d never met before.

ME (trying to have a genuinely warm smile on my face versus an accusatory scowl): “Hi! My name is Sarah, I’m [apartment X's] daughter.”
JACKIE: “Oh! Hi!” (baby clearly still sobbing in the bedroom)
ME: “Yeah, uh anyways, I’m visiting from NYC where I work as a nanny and I was wondering if I could get your baby?”
Door swings open, me practically pushing her out of the way, and I bolt to the bedroom. The house is a disaster, as I trip and stumble my way through, and a stink bomb.
JACKIE: “Please excuse the mess and the barf smell. Persaia has already had 3 seizures this morning.”

When I entered the bedroom, Anthony started screaming as soon as the door opened. One last “hoorah” in case nobody heard him earlier. He quickly stopped as I bent down and peeked through the bars of his crib. He was in nothing but a beyond soiled diaper. His eyes were puffy, his face soaked with tears.

ME: “Hi. Is your name Anthony?!”
HIM (quietly, finding his voice): “Yeah..”
ME: “My name is Sarah. Do you want to play with me?”
HIM (standing right up, arms outstretched): “YEAH!!!!”

I scooped him up, grabbed a onesy, two diapers, a pair of shoes and walked out.

We played outside, looking at trees, grass, trucks, stray cats, etc. I took him into my house to feed him a snack and he was so excited when I pulled out a box of Cheerios that he started laugh/crying. I poured a big bowl and he DOVE in. He couldn’t get his hands in the bowl fast enough, and was so excited and hungry that he was shaking. I cut up some grapes, put on a cartoon and he ate, and ate, and ate. He at 2 bowls of Cheerios and 20 grapes. I kept him for 2hrs.

If I hadn't had to drive down south to Los Gatos/Santa Cruz for the weekend I would’ve kept him all day, and the next. With their blessing.

There is always a moment during each trip home that confirms why I will never move back here. Why I left this life, and why I’ve never missed it. I thought I might escape that moment during this trip; things had been great and I was really enjoying myself.

This morning at 8:46am I had my moment.

1 comment:

Jami said...

Yeah. We get a lot of that. It's heartbreaking.