Election Day 2012

Typing with my warm new baby sprawled out, snoozing on my lap. He loves my body heat or “skinship” as Korean FOBS like to say. If I put him back in his bassinet, he will fuss so I will let him be, while also getting in some “me” typing time.

October has already come and gone. Ellis Zachary Kim, our beloved boy #2, E.Z. Kim with his huge, intense eyes and full head of lush McDreamy hair, arrived on the first of the month, just as CA Gramma arrived to take care of his older brother so that mama can get to the hospital to push (and pull) him out. Couldn’t have timed it more perfectly. He graciously even allowed time for me to “train” Gramma on Micah 101 through my contractions. Since we didn’t know if he’d be a “he,” we decided on his full name while driving to the hospital, on that bright and sunny October evening while I bit into a chicken parmesan sandwich between contractions. Though not adhering to the family five-letter naming rule, the too fresh “Z” initial of Zachary nor the meaning (Hebrew for “remembered by God”), could be passed up.

“Ellis” is an homage to immigrants, as in Ellis Island, though discovered when Daddy was reading Sports Illustrated almost immediately after we found out we were expecting baby #2. He was attracted to the name Ellis Valentine, some baseball player of yesteryear. And naturally, Mama was sold instantly because of the immigrant connection. After checking the meaning (“My God is the Lord”), we knew our baby girl OR boy would be ELLIS. Now we got an MLK and Ellis. Already nudging them to be passionate about civil rights and the immigrant plight.

Too many memories from October to type out right now (nervously typing out my choked thoughts because the boys will wake up in 3…2…1…). Also some unexpected life lessons like: Don’t choose the sushi bar to sit at if you are going to squeeze in a hearty, postpartum fight with your spouse. It’s not just about you getting much-missed raw grub into your tummy. The sushi bar is an experience for you AND the sushi chef/owner. He wants to have some fun with you to fill in his boredom from a slower night and will NOT hook you up with extra fish if you are too busy arguing, not allowing him to lecture you on the history of Okinawa. Then, the gushing Japanese waitress will gingerly place her hand on your back and ask if you are pregnant in the same tone as if she were asking you, “Are you a celebrity?”

As always, I digress. Today is Election Day. Day Two of being on my own with my two babies now that CA Gramma has flown back home, after showering my boys with so much love and care. Having never made it outside yesterday and with an impending nor’easter on its way tomorrow (I still can’t get used to that word – it seems like only old white men who say, “Is it cold enough for ya?!” should be saying “nor’easter”), we three made it out this morning for a brisk walk. Ellis hasn’t been out more than a handful of times and dude needed some Vitamin D.

Daddy had told us that we will vote together as a family tonight but when we saw blue and white signs all over our co-op to VOTE HERE (VOTE AQUI), I decided to head to the polling site “just to see.” Our double stroller is not quite here yet (long story) so I was strolling E.Z. in a twice-handed-me-down snap n go while Micah was running around.

We ended up in the basement polling site. I got nervous as I realized that Ellis was in an unventilated, enclosed space with many people, probably many of whom are sniffly like me in this colder weather. I left him in the hallway with one eye on him. I contemplated actually voting since I was already there and it wouldn’t take too long with the late morning crowd being sparse. I spotted a Korean neighbor in the voting booth. I wanted to yell across the room and ask her, “Eeeeyyy, can you watch Ellis parked in the hallway for a few minutes while I vote?” We always speak Korean to each other and I paranoidly thought that the poll workers may think I’m trying to influence her vote in our own language so when Micah ran outside, I followed. Without voting.

Micah started exclaiming, “Abu? Abu?” while peering into my eyes. What the? Just as I was about to kneel down, nose to nose, to whisper, “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR?” (too much passionate viewing of “Homeland”) and shield him from the poll site bouncer who may radio in this Asian toddler Nicholas Brody, Micah finished his phrase: “Abu Joosssss, Abu Joosss.”

So we walked around the block one more time, doing what we were supposed to be doing anyhow, naming the colors of all the parked cars, and went home to some Abu Joossss (apple juice). We will be back tonight for family voting time.

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