Sunday, October 22, 2017

October 22

Brady went to a birthday party at the local park this afternoon. Here he is, holding the cards he made for his friends:

I love his creativity, and I love watching him interact with his classmates. When we first arrived, the kiddos engaged in an enthusiastic game of tag. I was gratified to hear several of them calling his name, and not just when he was It, but because they just wanted to say hi. As someone who's never been particularly popular, it made me happy to think that he's well-liked. It's a blessing to be loved and appreciated just for being you, and I'm glad he has that.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

October 21

I never like to say that a day was wasted, but today wasn't my favorite. Not even close, really. It was just a really, really hard one emotionally. But it was also the day we'd chosen to drive down to Pastorino's Pumpkin Farm, so we kept the plan and I tried to suck it up.

We've been to this particular farm in Half Moon Bay every year since 2003, when we didn't yet have kids and looked enviously at the young parents and their adorably dressed little pumpkins cheesing for the camera. We went in the mid-2000s, when multiple screaming short people in the back seat made the already lengthy trip feel lengthier. We went in 2010, when Logan was sick and I was hugely pregnant with Brady and even in 2011, when Logan was home with us but had started the downhill slide that would eventually claim his earthly life. We even went in 2012, when the very notion of going back without him --and of taking our annual photo by the entrance; the ones that chronicle the growth of the kids from one year to the next-- felt like an utterly unbearable impossibility. So you could say that it's something of a special place for our family.

Anyway, today we took the requisite photos and picked out pumpkins. I strugged with my mood and mostly failed, but I was there. And I felt the old feelings and remembered the old memories of all of the kids in that special place: of all four of them in a wagon, of Logan smiling as he held a delicate purple wildflower to his nose and giggled as it danced in the breeze, of toddler Abby trying to bite the stem off a pumpkin, of chubby little Isaac roving from one gourd to the next in his silent quest to seek out the perfect one. Of smiles and laughter and deep thoughts. And yes, even of tears.

Some special places feel different over time for me, but not this place. So today, I'm thankful that we were able to go back, and more thankful for the memories I continue to carry in my heart.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October 20

I first met Taylor during the spring 2016 baseball season. A boy she nannies for --who happens to be the son of another friend-- played on the same team as Isaac, so we spent quite a few afternoons just shooting the breeze at practices. But we only recently started meeting for coffee, and it must be said: this girl is awesome. (Gold, really. Definitely not silver.)

She's just a teensy bit younger than me (*cough*) and we're in very different places in life and she's the tiniest bit crazy (*cough again*), but she's something of an old soul and it's a lot of fun to just sit and talk with her. For hours.

I don't know that I expected to find a friend in her back when we first started chatting, but I'm so thankful that I did.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October 19

With school in full swing and my list of obligations growing daily, it's becoming something of a struggle to avoid feeling overwhelmed. So this evening, I filled a fancy glass with ice water and plunked down on the couch to watch TV.

It's amazing how something as simple as drinking from a pretty glass can change my mood for the better.

Little things are blessings indeed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 18

After drop-off this morning, I drove over to the cemetery. Adam planted some sunny yellow mums on Logan's grave while I was in Maryland, and they've actually managed to survive, so I decided to water them. When I got there, I found these on his stone:

They're artificial, but someone clearly took the time to arrange them and make them look nice. He's been gone for over five years, of course, but it always touches my heart when someone does something --even a very small, anonymous something-- to show that he's still remembered.

That was my primary point here, but I wanted to share something else, too. I don't go to his grave by myself very often these days. At first I did; I was there multiple times a week and wound up in tears every time. As I stood there looking down at his stone this morning, I reflected on my lack of visits, and started to say that I wasn't feeling as emotional as I used to feel when I visited. But then I surprised myself and started crying. I had a conversation with my son and cried; I talked about how I'm getting more involved at the boys' school and about the bitter realization I had recently that he never even got to meet a number of the terrific people I now call my closer friends. How life is just not as good without him in it. And then I stood in the silence with just his stone and my tears as company, and listened.

As I drove away a bit later, I reflected on a truth: no matter how my personal situation and experiences may change from one minute to the next, the underlying truth is always the same: I will always mourn him. Although the tears come less frequently, they still come, and they often take me by surprise. With all of those truths in mind, the BIG truth remains: no matter how messy the world becomes, God will still be on His throne. And when I look at my own highs and lows and laughter and tears, I'm thankful that that is the ultimate truth.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

October 17

After drop-off this morning, I grabbed some coffee, headed home to do a little work, and then met these lovely ladies for a walk around the neighborhood.

We're all moms who have kids at the same schools (well, one of us moved a kid to a different elementary school earlier this year, but she's still one of Us anyway) so we have plenty to chat about when we get together.

Given that I'm a relatively social person who isn't huge on being sedentary, it was a blessedly perfect way for me to spend an hour. Fresh air and friends: two essential elements of this life of ours, and two of God's most necessary creations.

Monday, October 16, 2017

October 16

We hadn't made a Costco run in a few weeks, so that's what we did this evening. It was just your run-of-the-mill trip, with dinner at the food court and Adam's patented how-was-your-day? child grilling sessions. (Here he is interviewing Abby, who wasn't exactly a willing participant.)

Given how much the world --and life in general-- changes from day to day, predictable moments like this one provide a sense of comfort for me. (And honestly, they're funny as heck, too. And who doesn't like to laugh? I'm definitely a fan.)