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Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Busy Week

This week won't go down in history as one of my favorites. It's been a draining one.

Max's (formerly known as "BabyBee") daycare was closed on Tuesday, so I brought him to the back-up daycare center in my office building, which is run by Bright Horizons and is one of the benefits provided at my job. He actually had a great day, but I needed to give him a bottle on both legs of our extensive T ride. This was not an easy maneuver, but we managed. Having to contend with this change to my routine was interesting though. Usually I spend most of my commute on my Blackberry and/or ipod, and there was none of that happening.

On Wednesday we followed our usual pattern, which means I take the Green Line, C Branch, to pick up Max from his daycare. Then we walk a few blocks and get on the D branch to take that train home. We're on the train together for three stops, just about 10 minutes in total. We got off the train at Newton Highlands. That train continued on, and two stops later, approximately 10 minutes after we got off, it rear ended another train and the driver of my train was crushed by the impact.

I have been very upset and freaked out by this. At the point where Max and I get on the train, you are supposed to pay your fare (I have a monthly pass, so the T gets no new revenue despite me switching lines - but I usually try to follow protocol and get on at the front of the train). The front of the car seemed particularly crowded that day, so I made eye contact with the driver. I held up my pass and motioned that Max and I and his stroller were going to a door at the back. She waved me through.

Later that night, while she was still trapped in the wreckage (I have not seen when they declared her time of death to be, whether it was on impact or some time later), I saw her father on the news coverage. Based on his appearance, I was pretty sure he was the father of the driver of my train, and my heart went out to him. Fortunately, almost everyone on board was able to walk off the train, and just a dozen people were treated at local hospitals (it is estimated that a total of 200 people were on both trains).

I am incredibly thankful that Max and I got off the T when we did - I can't imagine what that would have been like. I don't want to imagine it. But I have been, over and over, since then. I'm not sure I'll ever get on a train again without thinking about it. And this is something I do five days a week.

Generally I'm a big fan of the T. It has its annoyances, to be sure - constantly running late, stopping unnecessarily long at certain stations, too crowded, too noisy - but it is a much better alternative than me driving downtown and paying outrageous parking fees. I know the chances of an accident like this happening are very slim, and far less than the chance of a car accident fatality. But it did shake me out of my "I love the Green Line" reverie.

On a MUCH, MUCH lighter note, I went to see the "Sex and the City" movie last night. My best friend and I purchased tickets about a week ago. We both figured that if we didn't go on the night it opened, we just wouldn't make the effort afterward, since we knew we see spoilers everywhere. We both expected it to be an okay movie, but nothing great.

We were pleasantly surprised. Despite the series being gone for so long now, it was easy to fall right back into the rhythm of SATC. I've always had an affinity for Miranda, and enjoyed her plot line very much. Charlotte had some great lines (though I don't appreciate potty humor, and was a bit sad that they brought that in). The movie was indeed long, but I felt it was necessary to show that happy endings can take their time in coming to you. We left the theater happy that we gotten to see it for ourselves, and saying that we would tell others to see it as well.

One point to note about the audience though - this isn't your living room! The theater was packed with women, gay men, and the occasional husband, and we were shocked at the noise level before the film started. The crowd cheered at the first sight of pink-colored font, and also cheered at the end. The group of women behind us felt it necessary to talk throughout the film, making little comments on the fashion or a funny line. While that is acceptable at home, it didn't feel right in the theater, and did detract from the experience. I don't particularly care whether or not you, strangers behind me, like Carrie's wedding gown - but maybe the discussion is part of the point and what makes SATC such a different experience.

Funny though, that for me the most decadent part of the evening was getting to use a public restroom without a child in tow! A rare moment indeed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The First Thing to Get Dropped from "The Juggle": Blogging

I have been back at work for almost eight weeks now, and you might have noticed the total lack of blog posts since then. Not that I'm especially prolific, but it's even less than usual now. No specific reason for why, other than crazy busy-ness at work and less time to sit at the computer at home maybe.

I have a Blackberry now, so there's less need to sit at the computer at home too, but typing out a post from that device just seems ridiculous. And work really has been a lot of work. It's not that things weren't done while I was out for 12 weeks, but there were some major initiatives put on hold. Or maybe they were put on hold for my entire pregnancy, but it seems like my job has a whole new dimension since I've been back.

The kids are doing pretty well. BusyBee finally seems to be jealous of BabyBee, which is both frustrating and entertaining. She's acting out in ways that are totally unrelated to his existence - she's still totally in love with him - but it seems like her change in behavior has coincided with his more demanding needs. Obviously, I don't like the way she is carrying on, but sometimes I do find it really funny. This morning she said she'd no longer be my daughter if I didn't allow her to wear slippers during naptime at school (they are required to wear shoes, just in case they should need to leave the building). It's not even my rule, yet I'm the one being yelled at by a four-year-old. Somehow, within minutes it all blew over and she was fine by the time we got to school. I want to take her seriously, but I'm often holding back a smile as we engage in these moments together.

Mr. Bee has been on paternity leave for the past 8 weeks (thanks to his employer for recognizing that men are parents too!), and BabyBee will be starting daycare next week. No, not the same one as his sister. It's not even in the same town. So the past 20 weeks have been a trial run for parenting two children while maintaining two full-time jobs, a sort of suspended animation. Next week the real deal begins. While we have a plan for handling it, I think our schedules will be adjusting almost daily given whatever might be happening at the various jobs and schools. And since BusyBee switches schools in mid-June, I still feel like we're in a bit of a trial period. I guess that's just how parenthood is though - something is always changing, requiring constant little adjustments along the way.

I hope to get back to doing this more often, providing I have something worth saying in a public forum. I have just joined Facebook, and am finding it's very fun to post my "status" and quickly alert my "Friends" to my thoughts at the moment. I'm just trying to decide if I want this blog linked to Facebook, as I have deliberately kept this vague, which Facebook is decidedly not. Any thoughts?