The Best One

March 9, 2007

“The Best One”

Note: I composed all of this at about 2:00 this morning, insomnia struck again and it was the real kind of insomnia where you’re exhausted and can’t move but you can’t fall asleep. And you sort of want to punch whomever is sleeping in the bed next to you because they’re blissfully (loudly) sawing logs mere inches from you. And you have to go into the other room to try and sleep. And end up watching Law and Order reruns for 4 hours.

It was like that.

The subject of this post is a phrase I picked up from my Jess…oftentimes, if you’re doing something nice for her, or have said something particularly brilliant, or if you have just bought her a beer for her new beer leaf (which is, by now, no longer new but tarnished and well established), Jess will turn to you and say: “You’re the best one”.
This phrase is used often in our home, used well. It may be because Luke is not so much with the romance and this a practical way of telling me how wonderful he thinks I am, it may be because it’s nice to change up “I love you” with something else every now and then…
And then I read this:
“…I wasn’t sure how it happened, but I was sure I had found the best one. And I had.
I realize now this is just part of what it means to fall in love. Negatives slip away like dead skin. You don’t even notice they’re gone. You are left with the overwhelming evidence that you’ve got the best one. Logic dictates that not every husband, or wife, or child can be the best one. Yet in the face of that terrible logic, belief persists.
That belief drives us to document it, to photograph the object as proof. It may drive us to share those photographs with strangers (even thousands of them). Though a belief may be illogical does not make it untrue. It is true for all of us. The moment every child enters the world, two insufferable blowhards are born. That’s just the way it is.

And I realized that maybe Jess has created a phrase more powerful than she originally thought. It took me a lot of looking but Luke is the best one I’ve ever known. I realized that Jess has perfectly captured what it means to love unconditionally because, sometimes, late at night, when the belly has kept me up with his dancing, and I’m aching with the muscle pain of carrying around 60 extra pounds, and I’m exhausted but STILL can’t sleep, sometimes I run my hand over the hard ridge where my baby’s head is and whisper: “You’re the best one my babe” and he quiets and I can feel his little hand pushing back at me like he’s saying: “You’re not so bad yourself momma”.


tonight as we were driving back from the movies, we saw one of the neighbors bunnies, Fang (we’ve named the bunnies threatening names to entertain ourselves) just sitting in the middle of the road. Attila the Bun, his counterpart, was sitting in the adjoining lawn watching him.
As we pulled into our driveway I said to Luke “babe, you have to go see what’s wrong with Fang”
to which he replied “I was gonna!”
and he got out of the car, walked to the rabbit, looked at him concernedly, scooped him up and carried him to our neighbors yard. We knocked and returned the rabbit (the general consensus is a car winged him and broke his back and he’s gonna have to be put down poor bun.) Luke talked with our neighbor and allowed the little kid next door to pull him around the house for a while as I just stood there saying “poor bunny!”
When we got inside our house, I told Luke that I loved that he immediately thought to go check on the rabbit, even before I said anything. I said “you love all living creatures”
to which he replied, with a kiss to the belly and a hand on my cheek, “I especially love this living creature. And this one”

the boy has got romantic skills when he wants them that’s for sure.

"A mother told her daughter go out and find yourself 
a brown eyed handsome man
That's what your daddy is a brown eyed handsome man

Milo Venus was a beautiful lass
She had the world in the palm of her hand
but she lost both her arms in a wrestling match
to get a handsome brown eyed man
she fought and won herself a brown eyed handsome man..."

 There are a lot of songs about blue eyes and green eyes and every now and then a 
love song about brown eyes...Eyes of every color get odes. Even hazel eyes got a little 
tribute thanks to my girl Kelly Clarkson!
 I've been listening to a lot of love songs lately, all kinds of styles. From joyful upbeat ones to 
quiet sad songs. Mostly I listen because the baby seems to like it when I sing to him and
when I dance around cleaning the kitchen. But I've been listening to get a grasp on what this
feeling is that I've had a lot lately. This sense of ease and lightness. It takes a lot for me to go
crisis mode, and I feel confident (if ungainly) and though things still frustrate me every now and then
and sometimes I have a hard time communicating what I want, I am truthfully very happy.
Is this the love they're talking about?
 I've been innundated with the images of romance and love lately, everyone has, with the good old V-Day
coming up. Honestly, I nothing the holiday, since my birthday falls in the same month, when I'm in a 
relationship my birthday usually got precedence over the corporate holiday and I was given a joint present. 
And when I was single, it just never occured to me to be bitter because it came and went without my noticing it.
But I've been reading all those articles about romantic gifts and engagement proposals and roses
and I've been ruminating on it all...
 Mostly I have been thinking a lot about my relationship. And not just in terms of how it will be changing
once Colin gets here. But how we got here, where we're going, what makes this relationship so steeady 
feeling, so comforting and familiar. Our 6 years of friendship certainly helps, as does our ability to talk 
about everything. I'm sure that my being mentally healthy as of late (read: since last May) helps a lot too.
But it's more than that, something intangible, something that I struggle to define but am certain I have never felt
before. I use the word "incredible" a lot and "wonderful" and "joyful" in almost irritating repeat, and yet
it's still not enough. This morning as I kissed Luke goodbye, and he got into his truck to go to work, I looked at
this handsome brown eyed man I've got. A man who couldn't be more different from what I thought I wanted, a man
who really believes that his job is take care of me and worship me, a man who loves his family and friends and his God
with a ferocity that inspires people who meet him, a man with an innate curiosity about the world and a passion
for learning. A man who quite probably shares his beautiful brown eyes with my son...
and I smiled. Because there it was again. That feeling. 
 Where am I going with this? I don't know. Is it an attempt to create a Valentine for the partner I am irrevocably
bound too? Is it just a stream of thought that occured to me as I listened to Chuck Berry and Van Morrison as
I washed the dishes? I don't know.
But I'm grateful for that feeling. Whatever it is. Because it makes everything that much better.

This past Thanksgiving L. and I visited his family in Texas. I was greatly looking forward to this trip, as I love meeting people’s families and was very much anticipating sending a text message to my sister when the plane landed that read: “I have breached the Republican stronghold. Will report back soon”

L. is big on helping out wherever he can and within a few hours of our arrival at the homestead he had gone out to the backyard of his grandparent’s house to light a huge pile of leaves on fire.
huge. pile. of bone dry. leaves.

The man was in heaven…he was also sporting a relatively heavy Texan accent. Something I had never heard from his mouth in the 6 years I had known him. I kept asking him to say specific phrases, and while he did so I could tell he thought I was insane. Shows what he knows.

I spent the weekend people who reminded me very much of my own family, only Republican and in a scaled down version. They truly love being with each other and they are happiest when they are playing and eating and, well, burning huge piles of leaves together.

I have always struggled with the aspect of family in relationships. Ask anyone who knows me, my relationship with my family is an incredibly close one. I tell them everything, generally I want to be with them than with anyone else. I am fiercely loyal to them and can tell you in detail about almost all of my 35 cousins. I am especially close with my mother, father, and sister, they are like the gatekeepers of my life, to be close to me, you must also be close to them and to not get close to them wreaks havoc on our relationship (mine and the partner who isn’t communing with my wacky immediate family) I have never been able to adequately express how important it is to me that my partner be close with my family.

My ex-husband struggled with this. He was not as close with his family and I think my closeness with mine intimidated him. All of my other partners have either shut them out completely, or haven’t been around long enough.

Strangely enough, the few people who have fit seamlessly into my family unit I had never been romantically involved with. Jes, who can call my mother “Momma” (the only person to successfully attempt this trick), Juls who my sister always asks about, Just (my best friend of 16 years) who my mother offered to fly to Canada to keep him from getting shipped to Iraq, who has been at almost every major family event the run of his life, Sam who spent time with me during my “Nana Duty” before La Reina died, watching movies with us…

and L. Before we started dating, L. and I had been friends for almost 6 years. He came around every now and then, fixed my mother’s computer, talked wine and travel with my father, gave my sister a hard time. As we moved (relatively seamlessly) into the romantic aspect of our lives together, he fit so well into the family group that it was like he had always been there. He is the only peer of mine to date that can tease my mother like me and my sister. He can talk with my father for hours. My aunties and cousins who have met him send their love to him when they talk to me. Several members of my family have his cell phone number (something that didn’t happen with my ex until after we were married).

I realized on that trip, that the reason he fit so easily into my family is because thats what’s important to him. Watching him call his grandfather “council” (like my Grandfather called my mother) or tease his sister, wrestle with his little cousins, and offer to clean up his grandparents yard, I realized this man is the partner who will get the relationship I have with my family. More so than some because he knows how I feel being seperated from some of my family be state lines. He misses his little family all year round and seems so at ease around them, people who have known him for years in Arizona would barely recognize him.

I was incredibly apprehensive about the trip because of my difficulty meeting new people, because his family is so devoutly Christian, and so hard line Republican. I am my politics and my liberalism is as natural to me as breathing. I was delighted to find that this family is friendly and loving and easygoing…and if I steer clear of the political conversations I’m home free!

More than anything I focused on the fact that I had finally found the mental clarity and stability, happiness and stillness that I had been looking for. I thought about the fact that even though we have lost the matriarchs of our families my huge crazy patwork families have managed to hold each other together and love each other all the more. I thought a long time about my darling friends, who love me even if I am crazy and difficult and flaky sometimes. I gave thanks for the fact that one of those darling friends, who has stood by me through ups and downs the last 6 years, waiting patiently for me to realize how perfect we are for one another, understands my craziness and my dedication to my family, my struggle to adapt to new situations and to make the best of stressful ones, that he is forever curious, because it’s his best trait.

I was most thankful this past Thanksgiving for the realization that being myself is easier than I ever thought it could be. Easier even than breaching the Republican stronghold (which turned out to be totally simple, so much for them being all big on security).