Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heartbeats, barbecue sauce and the endless wonder

Here is the skinny.
Melissa and I have been totally crazed and baffled at the weird miracle of life forming inside her. We have been playing music and singing to her belly. She can feel it move but I can't yet. I guess that comes later. She says it feels like a fish swimming or like wind blowing fabric. Amazing! We have played a bunch of music like Latterman, Mozart, the Knockdown, Damien Jurado, Kimya Dawson and Iron and Wine (which they seem to enjoy) etc...
We have been hanging with our friends a bunch lately. Some good folks from out of town who are very excited that we are having a kid came up to check out Melissa's belly. I think because we have been together for about 15 years now all of our friends feel a sense of hope or perhaps they help me to have hope, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot about what kind of father I will be. I think I am a pretty patient dude. Now anyways. I used to be a very excited fellow with not much to say. I have since helped with my sisters kids who taught me ALOT about patience and forgiving small mistakes.IE, ruining paintings, drawings and CDs and other things I used to think held value. Also working at a high school with awesome yet insane teenagers has made me the coolest cucumber you have ever seen. Melissa has always been good with kids. When she was younger and lived with her folks her mom would have her help babysit. Now she works with K-6 as an art teacher so I know she will be awesome.

My dad is not much of a leader by example. My step-dad is a better person to look and as far as being a provider and being a "Team Leader" so to speak however that is not really what I what for our family. I think we will talk everything over like we have since forever. I think that is why we work so well together. We talk about everything that bothers us and reach conclusions/ compromises. WE ARE TEAM VALENZUELA!

Melissa has not yet gotten any strange cravings but she did get a little upset that she couldn't eat peanut butter. This is when all the recalls where going on. we tried to figure out what else she could have but to her everything we came up with sounded like it would be better served with peanut butter on top. She has been eating a lot of spinach which is very amazing because she hadn't been doing a very good job being a vegetarian. She grimaced at run of the mill veggies like tomatoes(fruit I know) Onions, bell peppers and even lettuce. Now with no little effort she is eating not only green beans, corn, and potatoes but even the elusive Asparagus!! WOW!
We have been making lots of new creations in the kitchen so as not the eat to unhealthy and yet be able to have delicious morsels like:
-Carne guisada(made with Quorn fake chicken chunks)
-Cheddar and spinach english muffin pizza
-Veggie Tamales(courtesy of Halfshot petrone)
-Eggs like crazzy with barbecue sauce and corn tortillas(YUM)
-Macaroni and tomatoes(Yekk, I don't like it but she does)
-Potato soup with asparagus and spinach
and pretty much everything else we normally have with loads of barbecue sauce( **Sweet Baby Rays**) for her and hot sauce for me.

We went to the doctors on Friday and had a brush with disaster. Our oppointment was in the morning but not too early so we set out with the intention of stopping to get Melissa a bagel sandwich. The weather was not that great and we took that in to consideration. Melissa wanted to drive so she got behind the wheel.(Let me just also note that she is a very good driver.) When we started to get out of Oswego headed towards Fulton we must have hit some black ice. Our van swerved at first and we lost control. We spun around about four times and ended up in a lane of on coming traffic.
Now when I am in Emergency type situations I get very calm and focused. That is just how I am. As we where spinning I told Melissa to pump the brakes as I felt the inertia pulling I dropped my coffee so I could put my hand on her arm to calm her down.
She yelled that she was pumping the brakes and screamed twice "oh my god, oh my god" because out of her window we could see a line of cars all heading toward impact. That right there. That was the worst. the spin was nothing really and the threat of real harm even death was not as bad as hearing my wife be so terrified. I felt a sort of anger rise up in me. I saw the SUV coming toward our window and felt my self will it to swerve off to the side. In my mind was a single thought: "Don't you dare harm My wife and baby!" There was literally nothing else in the world but this instinct to fight or use everything I had at my disposal to safe guard those two and at that moment the great beyond was narrowly averted. I don't know if it was synchronisity or a miracle, god, luck or pure will power but I do know that we were able to stay in el mundo bueno and I could sense some sort of energy holding us here. Now, don't get me wrong I think in terms of science but at a moment like that when you are so close and everything turns out fine you can't help but wonder what systems are at work here. Order and chaos folks.

When our van stopped the other cars sort of slowed down and waited for us to get going again. the suv that went around us I am sure was shitting their pants too. At first we couldn't move so Melissa turned off the engine and started it again. We pulled up the road a little ways and stopped to switch drivers. Looking back I think we should have turned around and gone home but we wanted to go to our appointment to make sure everything was ok with the baby. Once we got there we were in a fucking blizzard. We made it there fine since all my adrenaline took the form of focus and I kept thinking "I will protect my wife and baby" those exact words running over and over in my mind. We Heard the heartbeat for the second time since we got prego and it was amazing. Reassurance like that is pretty much priceless.

These days there is endless room for wonder. room enough to make a tent out of blankets room enough to stand up and stretch out, to uncoil all the stress and worry to let it fade and give way to pure warm love and companionship. I have been asked a lot lately how are things and how everything is going and I reply "it is so amazing it is like nothing I have ever known."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

New addition to Team Valenzuela on the way!!!!

Yeah I am finally going to be a dad! When Melissa and I found out we cried and cried for pure joy.
For a while I was not sure if I was ready to be fully excited because everything that happened last year. I couldn't even look at the fatherhood book that we had gotten till a few months passed. I think it was so hard before because I didn't know that normally people waited until the second trimester to spread the word. No one told me. I was just so happy. That chapter is over now. It took a very long time to ease the over whelming sadness off. In fact I am not sure that I have really recovered. I stopped painting for a good four or five months. There is still a pulsing sorrow under everything that rises up at times. I think that is normal to feel after going through what we did.
Now that we are in our 14th week and everything is going well I want to share with whoever how great it has been to know that in a few months a new life will enter the world that is equal parts Melissa and me. We saw and heard the heart BEATING!!!
I have been feeling exhilarated and amazed at all sorts of things that I would never have paid any attention to. Before the best times I could think of where getting married and rocking in the pit at a punk show and now I feel like waves of that same excitement are around every corner. When we talk about names, when we look at Ramones onesies, when we sing to her belly and earlier tonight she thinks she felt it move!!! Ha! The world awaits!!
I like the name Horse(or Atomic Horse) but I don't think that is going to fly with Melissa so I will just have to implement it early as a nick name and hope it sticks. Her funny idea was the middle name snopp dogg. HAHAHAHAHA! Really Melissa is the funniest lady in the world. She is fucking awesome all the time.
I do find my self torn on a lot of things ethically. I want to instill radical ideas yet I also what our child to have respect for thier Chicano and Italian American heritage. That is an on going thing that I think we will just have to let flow in whatever direction/ form it takes. All we can really do is present ideas right? What that child chooses to take is all up to them.
Everyone is asking if we want to find out the gender or not. I can see not wanting to find out the gender so as not to encourage all the gender specific color coded garbage the family is most likely going to buy at sweatshop using super stores and even while we are encouraging homemade and locally bought items I think not finding out would drive me crazy with curiosity. Just keeping real yall.
One other thing. It makes me sad that my folks can't be around for the whole process. There is a comfort that they provide even though our ideologies are polar opposites. To be perfectly honest I kind of feel alone in some ways. First there are no other Chicano families around save my sister Viktoria of which I am very grateful. Both for her experience and her kids are fucking cool and crazy as hell. We have four friends that have kids but we are not particularly close with any of them. There are not a lot of resources out there for Punk Rock Chicano Dads. I guess this will be resource numero uno! VIVA PUNK ROCK PADRES.
Well I am greatful that Melissa and I are so in sync. She is an amazing lady and that keeps me fueled and ready for anything.
that is another thing. I no longer have any fear of being a bad dad. all that fear turned into commitment. This shit is magic!
Anyway, this is the first of hopefully many posts. I will be putting up more pics and talking about a very specific kind of parenting group (ie.punkrock/chicano/radical parenting/artist) that perhaps some one will find useful. If nothing else Melissa and I will be able to vent and ruminate on this wholly new and astounding experience.
Go Team Valenzuela!!!