Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Dad

Last week we found out my Dad has Stage 4 cancer. When we discovered how severe things were, I felt all the feelings. Shock, anger, heartbreak, more anger, more shock, heartbreak so intense it felt like I couldn’t breathe. Like someone was sitting on my chest and refused to get up. 

Conceptually, I knew my parents would die one day. Cycle of life and all that. But now that we're facing it, I feel so lost. So helpless. So utterly sad. Sad for the grandchildren, sad for us kids, sad for my mom and so, so sad for my dad who has always found a way to fix every broken thing in his life. Everything except this. If only duct tape cured cancer. 

And yet, my brain knows I’m lucky. Lucky to have had him this long — many people aren’t as fortunate. Lucky to have the time to tell him how much he means to me. Lucky to have a dad that loves us so much and shows it so frequently. Lucky that we have a chance to lengthen his life and ease his discomfort. 

But I don’t feel lucky. Not much at least. I’m still angry — at who or what I can’t say — but it’s dissipating some as we start to come to terms with all of this. I feel scared. Scared for my Dad. Scared of what he’ll have to endure and whether he’ll be ready to leave this world when the time comes. Scared that he’ll be scared. 

Mostly though, I’m just sad. So sad for all the moments we’ve had and all the moments we won’t have. The memories come when I’m alone with my own thoughts. Playing tennis, learning how to drive, the flowers he brought me on my first mother’s day. And then the sobs. And the anger. And the fear. And the sadness. 

But in those moments, after the hot tears roll down my face, I do feel grateful. So grateful that, at least for now, I can run over to my parents’ house and give him a hug and tell him I love him. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snow Much Fun

I think it’s a rule of snow blogs that you have to make a snow pun (or 10). So, one down, nine to snow. Ok, 8 to go.

We have had so much fun rolling around in the snow this weekend (which turned into an extended weekend with the snow/cold day on Tuesday). 

I’m a “horrible” mom and make my kids layer and layer and layer before they layer more, so it took quite a bit of convincing to get Grace out the door on Saturday. “But mom, I hate getting dressed!!!” I had to use some combination of bribery and threats, but I made sure she added some awesome snow memories to her already happy childhood. YOU’RE FREAKING WELCOME, child.

Claire and Henry needed no convincing — they’d been begging to play in the snow all morning.

Saturday we just played at home - sledding and making snow angels and eating so much snow. But Sunday, we kicked it up a notch and headed for the “big hill” at a nearby park.

We all had a blast. There were thrills and spills and two head injuries (one of which was Scott), but mostly just a snowy good time.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Love Mom

Henry threw a huge fit at lunch time today. One of those fits where they just scream at you no matter what you say or how calm you say it. 

The kind where if you just walk away, they follow you so you can better hear their screams. 

The kind where he tells you what’s wrong but when you suggest a solution, he screams harder because how dare you minimize his anger. 

The kind where you try to pick them up, they scream at you for suggesting such a horrifying idea and then scream at you to “PICK UP!!!” 

Luckily, my patience was at its peak. Otherwise, he may have ended up being tossed outside and told to fend for himself for awhile. 

So, back to the fit. It was right before lunch, so hunger was no doubt playing a role. And he was mad. Seeing-nothing-but-red mad. So, instead of forcing the high chair, we just sat down at the table and started eating. I sat right next to him to make sure he stayed put and ate and every time I got up to get him something else, he followed me. 

About 3/4 the way through lunch when the anger had drained out of him and the lunch had filled his belly, he was making silly noises and I was repeating those noises. He’d crack up every time I copied him. 

I leaned over and gave him a kiss on the cheek and said, “Oh Henry, I love you.” And without skipping a beat, without being prompted or asked, he said, “I love Mom.” 

I love Mom … this is the first time he’s ever uttered those words without being asked to do so first. 

It melted me and at just the right moment. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

I did, but I didn't

Scene: Grace comes running downstairs screaming that Claire kicked her. 

Me: (Ugh) Claire, because you kicked your sister when you were supposed to be cleaning your room, we are skipping our Harry Potter reading time tonight. 

Claire: WHAT!?! I didn't kick her. 

Grace: Yes you did!!

Claire: No I didn't! How do you know she's not lying? I stretched my foot out and she was just in the way. 

Me: So, you did kick her. 

Claire: I did not! 

Me: But you just said you accidentally did. 

Claire: I was lying then. 

Me: So, either way you’re lying. 

Claire: No. (**know-it-all tone*) Actually, I’m right either way. I did kick her AND I didn’t kick her. 

Me: *dumbfounded look*

Claire: You see, I stretched my leg out to try to kick her, but I didn’t. 

Me: So, you did try to kick your sister? 

Claire: Yes, but I didn’t actually kick her. I tried. But I didn’t. What’s wrong with that?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Harry Potter Fever

As you may know, the girls and I started reading Harry Potter together earlier this year. We just finished the third book. They are still loving the series, although I could tell they were getting a touch bored in the middle of this last book. It’s hard when you only have 10-15 minutes to read each night and the only thing that happens in that 10 minutes is a single Divination class. But as soon as we got to the exciting stuff, they were back into it, hanging on my every word. 

The timing of their HP excitement was great because we also attended a Harry Potter event on campus this weekend and now the girls are constantly carrying their wands and calling me Professor McGonagall. In our Hogwarts world, Claire’s a first year and Grace is Head Girl trying to keep Claire on task with all of her classes (art imitating life a bit here). When Scott gets roped into the imaginary play, he’s Hagrid, and Henry is, of course, “a Slytherin boy.” 

I think all of my dreams are coming true. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Falling into Fall

There are so many things to love about fall — a respite from the summer’s heat, the trees turning gorgeous colors, pumpkin-spice everything, and, of course, watching your children experience so much joy just from jumping in the leaves. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Driving Mr. Henry

Henry loves cars. Did I say loves? I mean is obsessed with cars. Well, at least toy cars. He doesn’t have anything against real-life cars, but toy cars are his main jam. 

His Dad also loves toy cars (age is just a number, folks) and often buys Henry a new car when he’s at the store. So, we’ve accumulated quite the car collection. This combines two of Henry’s favorite things: cars and orderliness. He puts them in his car case. He takes them out. He lines them up. He pushes them one-by-one on the hard floor. He puts them back in his car case. He takes them back out. He puts them down the car ramp. He puts them to sleep by turning them on their backs and saying "nighty night" to each one. Which, can we all agree, is stinkin’ adorable? 

For a kid who can’t sit still for more than 47 seconds, it’s quite shocking to see your kid play with the same toy for 15 minutes. Shocking and wonderful.