The Purple of Life

She told me to hold on to the purple in my life.

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Location: Chicago, United States

I'm a 37-year-old editor and city dweller, wife and mother, moderately liberal and radically optimistic. I would fill my perfect day with a cup of coffee and the Op Ed section, a flea market and the playground, a run along Lake Michigan, a walk through the neighborhood with my son and my greyhound, a Cuban dinner and a bottle of red with my husband, and an evening flight to some European city. I wouldn't be picky about which one.

August 29, 2010

In my head lately

Things I have been thinking lately, in no particular order:

I can run 13 miles. I know this because I did it twice. The first time was fairly hellish. The second time, yesterday, was much better. I’m excited to do this with thousands of my closest friends in exactly two weeks (!!).

What if, when the baby comes, the person who picks him up from child care is also the first person home and has to walk the dog? How do we do both in a fast and efficient manner, where no one cries or has an accident on the rug?

Also, what kind of child care should we use?

Apparently we’re going to Italy in less than four weeks. Apparently one should make some loose itineraries when fortunate enough to have three days in Rome, five days on the Amalfi Coast, and four days in Tuscany. One now has plans for the long Labor Day weekend…

Throwing a party for 40 people on your rooftop deck is stressful, but realizing you have 40 friends who want to spend a Saturday night on your roof is pretty darn awesome.

Sometimes, when I’m watching TV at night, I look to the entrance of the hallway off the living room, and I see a tiny little boy standing there in a sleeper, holding a blanket and sucking his thumb.

I suspect adopting a baby from Korea is going to bring some really good new friendships into our lives.

I have seen the Chicago skyline from the north many, many times, but it never gets less breathtaking, especially the first time it’s approached on foot, after running six miles south on the lakefront path. Turning the bend around the domino tables, and pow—I actually consider it a kind of reward.

Stella actually understands when it’s the weekend and that that should equal a ride to the dog beach. She follows us around the house, and she starts dancing in place and wagging her pointy hound head if I change my clothes. Apparently something is working inside that golf-ball-sized brain.

I do not approve of darkness at 8 p.m.

If I worked at an adoption agency in Seoul and my responsibility was to match infants with their parents, what kinds of photos of those parents would I want to see?

Where is the child who will become our child right this very second?


This past week, we went to an outdoor concert at Millennium Park downtown. David Gray and Ray Lamontagne—oh yes, we were excited. We packed our picnic basket (including a clandestine bottle of wine under the cloth napkins), hoisted up our camping chairs, and I grabbed a light scarf because it was unseasonably cool, daytime highs in the 70s. We claimed a patch of turf close to the stage and proceeded to enjoy a really fabulous show, while the sun set behind the skyline and couples held hands and swayed together and someone, somewhere, smoked some pot.

Ray played my favorite song of his, a sad, quiet one with a violin called “Jolene.” There is this plaintive line that just pulls at the proverbial heartstrings, that I always sing along to: “Still don’t know what love means.” And so I sang along to it in my camping chair, with my plastic cup of cabernet, and suddenly it had a new meaning. I thought that it was very true, that there is a type of love that I don’t know yet, the meaning and experience of which I don’t understand. I know love, but not in all its manifestations, not yet. We are so, so incredibly on the cusp, sometimes I’m in awe of it.

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Blogger Jessamyn said...

I am excited for you, although I hope you know I don't mean that in a condescending way - I am just, on your behalf, so excited for you and the way you approach your life - the way you reflect on the meaning of events before, during, and after they've happened, well, it reminds me of how I often feel about my own life. I'm glad you're writing more often again, too.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Cori said...

This was a really beautiful post.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Damn. Love your posts. The boy in the sleeper is making me cry. And way to go on the 13 miles! Wahoo!

11:29 PM  
Blogger Birdie said...

I feel oddly drawn to respond to each of your thoughts! Don't worry...I won't, but I can't hold back on SOME of them :)
13 miles of running blows my mind - that's excellent.
I'm envious of your Italy trip
What is it with the child in the little footed sleeper? I ALSO had that same vision while we were waiting.
LOVED your thoughts at the Millineum concert, these things can sometimes hit SO HARD, can't they?

12:30 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

This post is so wonderful. The image of the little boy in the footed sleeper is so beautiful, as are many of these other statements.

And, I guarantee you, there will be pee on the floor at least once. But it will be ok. I promise.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

What a wonderful post. There are so many great things in it that I don't know where to start so I'll focus on that little boy in a sleeper too. That thought gave me goosebumps.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Amy -
My sister-in-law, Stephanie, suggested I take a peek at your blog, as we two have a similar adoption schedule for our South Korean-born children. Nice to meet you! I'd love to connect over shared dreams, concerns, thoughts, etc.

3:20 PM  
Blogger sue said...

hi Amy, i'm a friend of Kris' and she told me about your blog. maybe i have seen you out running along the lake shore? we run past the domino tables too. i'm the slow one with the man following on a bike and the cute Korean in the bike trailer :). please tell me where the dog beach is! our dog would LOVE a visit to the water!

11:05 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

Great post! Sometimes random thought posts are the best. I wonder where our child is right now too - born yet? In the baby nursery? With a foster family?

Way to go on the half marathon! I'm training for a 10 miler and would love to do a half one day!

12:56 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

That is my favorite Ray song, too. Beautiful post. I'm so happy to be catching up with your journal.

1:51 PM  

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