Monday, November 3, 2008

Like a Giant Tree

Yesterday, Jeff and I took Phoebe up to see Michael in Westchester. Jeff took us to Muskoot Farm, a working farm and museum where they had every animal I had ever sung to Phoebe in 'Old MacDonald had a Farm' (e-i-e-i-o.) But these were real sheep and ducks and cows and pigs. It was a city kid's moment to see an actual farm with genuine animals. (Squirrels and dogs are our general fare.)

While walking back to the car, Mike was holding Phoebe and we were singing "We are a family, like a giant tree" from Dreamgirls. Mike said he hadn't be able to get it out of his head. And here we were, an unlikely new family, but a family none-the-less. The song goes on to say, "... branching out to the sky. We are a family, we are so much more, than just you and I."

Moments like these don't escape me these days. Every day feels momentous and precious to me. There have been rougher days, when all I felt was fear, all I saw provoked anxiety. But this was not one of those days. On this sunny Sunday in November, I felt like part of a family. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I've already spent more than half my life living far away from my siblings. Other than living abroad, I've always lived close to my parents, but our circle only widened to include our whole brood on holidays. When I started working on bringing Phoebe into my life, it was as a single woman, preparing to be a single mother. You and me against the world, kid. But it hasn't quite worked out that way. It's only gotten better.

Jeff has now been in my life a long time. Longer than any man. He's been my handsome hero and my love. Now, he's not just in my life, he's in Phoebe's too. Without fail these days, her first word of the days is, "dada". She looks around for him anxiously and smiles with glee when she finds him. (I get that :)
But with Jeff, has come a whole new family. Phoebe is now lucky enough to have 2 sets of Grandparents, two older brothers as well as several Aunts, Uncles and cousins. All of whom have welcomed us into their lives with open arms.

Yesterday, I felt it. We are like that giant tree now, branching out all across the country with people who love and support us. Today, I feel nothing but gratitude. I sometimes can't believe my good luck. Jeff feels it too. We try to appreciate it and not take it for granted because we both know this moment is rare.

Tomorrow, is another momentous day. Tomorrow, we vote. On Tuesday, November 4th, whether we like it or not, we are getting a new President. (And yes, we like it- 86% of Americans are happy to see the current President go.) Hopefully, it will be President Obama. Perhaps, with that sea change, a new wave of optimism will sweep over the country and give us some strength for the tough times ahead. When those times, or any of life's difficult moments invariably come, it's good to feel a part of a family.