Dear Little One:
These last two weeks have been so scary, intense, and powerful. I am struck by how deeply I *know* that life is precious and fragile. On Monday, April 15th, we were watching the Boston Marathon with some friends down the street from our house. You were bored with watching runners, so we played on the grass in front of the library. After a while we came home and you took a nap. We got up and went to pick up Reshma Masi. When we are together, I do not put on the television (almost always) and do not check Twitter (almost always). In the car, we listen to music. We were hungry when we got Reshma Masi, so we went to get something to eat. During our meal, my phone began ringing constantly. I thought it was strange and then got a text from your Dad saying that it was an emergency. I called and heard about the horrible explosions in down town. On the way home, we put on the news and I remembered why I do not listen to news around you. I started crying and feeling very upset. It was hard to shake it off and be present with you.
Your dad was out of town, so that night I was putting you to bed. We are working on sleep training. At this point, it is more of a system than training since you are pretty good about going to sleep. That night, I read twitter as you were in your crib getting to sleep. I started sobbing and then you stood up looking so worried and started crying too. It was too much for me to have you cry too, so I picked you up and held you close. We did this for awhile, so that you did not sleep until very late.
In the midst of such madness, dear Reshma Masi worked her magic. She made dinner and then listened as I processed how intensely I feel like I have more to lose and how that feels scary. We watched some news and then switched to Modern Family. I cannot emphasize enough dear one how much I wish for you to have friends like this: people who process and hold your fear gently, but laugh hysterically with you at silly things.
You turned 19 months old on April 17th, a week ago. Reshma Masi, you and I were hanging out in her room. She had just given you a nice present and you were having fun with the wrapping paper and throwing around the shirt. Reshma Masi and I were chatting and laughing. All of a sudden, you stood up and began walking in between us. We started to increase the space between us so that you were eventually walking across the whole room. It was so exciting and fun! Daddy came home and took a video. We all smiled and cheered. Reshma Masi even mentioned that she may put "history maker" on her resume.
Your doctor was right that you needed to feel brave and confident. We noticed that you saw us chatting and laughing, then stood up with a determined look on your face and walked over to join. It was tremendous. In the midst of such a sad and hard week, you remind me again and again that life is filled with magic moments and the best things really can be just a step away.
I love you!
I wrote a few reviews this week. You can find them here.
And...here we go!
1. Right now I'm trying to stay awake and motivate to do grocery shopping.
2. Laughing hysterically is my well known quirk.
3. Are you happy with your life?
4. Take a leap first, then hopefully you will soar!
5. That's why you do not give up.
6. Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite tv shows ever!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include getting ready for Partner's departure and Sunday, I want to thrive on my first of three days alone with Little One!
Over the weekend, I took a 30 hour trip to Atlanta for Gaby and Jason's wedding shower. As mentioned before, Atlanta has had a special place in my heart. I lived there for a year on two separate occasions. The first was right after I graduated from college; during my time there, I decided to pursue a Master's in Public Health degree. The second was after graduate school when I worked at the CDC. During my second stay, I started figuring out how to live as an adult. I had a job which made it possible for me to be financially self-sufficient; I had a wonderful circle of friends. The friends listened patiently as I processed and vented about pretty much every aspect of my life.
Partner and I visited Atlanta together about a year after we had been married. It was fun to return to a place I loved so much with my Partner. I also enjoyed introducing him to people and hearing them say that they had read about him here from the beginning :) As the plane touched down on Saturday, I thought about how I had gone through a major life change since my last visit; I was now a parent. I wondered how that would change conversation and connection I had with people.
When I arrived, I was excited to see Heather and her little girl. I was getting a glimpse into the future: one where I hope my little one is as adorable and sweet as V and that I glow with parenthood as much as Heather. We spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the party. It was fun to reconnect with her and other friends. During the party, I was excited to see Gaby and Jason. I totally got misty eyed during the toasts and laughed hysterically during the games. I was also thinking about all the adventures I had with Gaby and what a wonderful person she is and how glad I am that she has someone who helps her glow.
I felt a big pang of homesickness when Partner called so that I could say good night to the Little One. I had a few minutes of sitting in a corner feeling lost and out of place; wondering if I was too attached to my family to be able to fully enjoy being away from them.
Then, I heard my name and turned to see Marian walk in the door. I was so excited to see her that I jumped up and gave her a big hug. In that embrace, I remembered that being away from the people we love makes reuniting with them so joyful. We chatted and caught up. Through the lens of our friendship, I remembered the joy and challenges that come with change.
After the party finished, I had a big glass of water with Heather and chatted more. Even though the party was wonderful and festive, one of my favorite parts about the trip was the quiet conversation after the hustle. We were both exhausted and ready for bed, but also chatty. I feel like the bond of our friendship grew stronger and our conversation flowed freely.
It is true that you cannot go home again, but if you are lucky you are able to return to a place you love and feel at home again.