A letter to my son

Today, I send my darling baby boy out into the big, wide world. Next year his little brother, Thumper, will follow him, but I don’t want to think about that just yet. For now, I’m just trying to get through today…

Dearest Cricket,

I cannot believe you’re starting kindergarten today. It seems like only yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital, home to the proudest big brother and sister this family has ever seen. It seems like only yesterday that you started walking, started talking, started sleeping through the night.

It seems like only yesterday, but of course, it wasn’t.

IMG_20160823_101931

It was six years, one month, and twenty-six days ago. Hardly yesterday, and yet it doesn’t seem like it was so very long ago. How the time flies!

You looked so grown up this morning as you headed out the door in your new school clothes. Your rockin’ Ninja Turtle backpack looked almost as big as you as we walked down the driveway to meet the bus, and your hand in mine felt so very small.

But I know you’ll be fine. You’re in good hands. You have a fantastic teacher and a wonderful school, and I know you’ll have fun. I know you’ll talk my ear off when I pick you up tonight. I hope you’ll stay excited about school, because today is the first of many first days for you, my boy, and I hope they’ll all be as much fun as this day. I hope you’ll make lots of new friends, the kind that will stay with you for thick and thin through the rest of your life.

Most of all, I hope you’ll never forget that no matter how old you are, you will always be my little Cricket. I love you, buddy.

Love,

Mommy

How did you handle your kids leaving for school?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

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Remains

All that survives after our death are publications and people.

So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others.  For these are the only things that will remain.  -Susan Niebur

I was reading WordPress’s Blogging Through Breast Cancer post Wednesday morning and remembered Susan Niebur’s blog, Toddler Planet, which I always enjoyed reading.  She passed away from metastatic breast cancer in 2012, but her blog lives on.  Since it’s chock full of resources, I shared the link in the comments section of the WP round-up post.

The day before, my ex-husband became a father for the fourth time.  He and his wife welcomed another son to their family, but while she recovered from an emergency cesarean, he headed to a children’s hospital an hour and a half away to be with their son.  A crushed umbilical cord led to his arrival three weeks early and a host of problems.

These two things might, at first glance, seem unconnected, and maybe they are, but…

Toddlers are like cats

And now, a change of pace.  I spent my weekend taking care of two sick guys, and Monday night was little different.  But Monday night was when we discovered that sick toddlers are a lot like cats, and if you read on, you’ll find out why.

Cricket came home from daycare Friday night feeling pretty rough.  Thirty-six hours of feverish cuddles had him on the mend, but by Saturday night, he’d managed to share the mystery fever with Thumper.

Time and Tylenol seemed to do the trick, but by the time Monday night rolled around…

Late

Bubbles the Paddlefoot

Bubbles the Paddlefoot

I know, I know – I’m late again.  It seems to be a thing with me lately.  Our open house was postponed last weekend (sort of), so we’re doing it again today, and it’s thrown my whole weekend off.

I used to always be very punctual; I miss that particular virtue.  Now it seems that no matter what I do, I’m always late, always running behind, and I never catch up.  Just when I think I’m caught up, I realize I’ve forgotten something and I haven’t caught up at all. *sigh*

I think this lateness issue of mine can be traced to my eighteenth Christmas.  I was living with my ex-husband and his parents at the time (we were just dating then), and I was home from college on break.  Things that often happen between consenting adults happened and, lo and behold, some six weeks later, I was late.  You never think it will happen to you, but it can. And it does.

Mawwage is what bwings us togevah today…

I said in my post yesterday that twenty-four was a banner year, but twenty-five ranked right up there with it.  We spent the better part of the year planning the wedding and the honeymoon, getting details worked out and being generally happy and excited and everything else that is good.  At Easter, I was confirmed in Seymour’s church after completing the RCIA program.  That was one of the biggest decisions we had made thus far in our life together; his family is devoutly Catholic and mine is Presbyterian.  My family didn’t seem very happy about my decision to convert, but it’s not like I was changing religions or something.  I simply changed my denomination.  After all, Catholics and Protestants do worship the same God, do believe in the same afterlife, do read more or less the same Bible.  It’s not like I joined a cult or something.

However, the difference did pose an interesting question…

Be orange!

My first year of college was an eventful year in more ways than I had ever anticipated.  I was the only kid in my class who dreaded high school graduation; though I was excited about the new opportunities I would have in college, I was terrified of leaving my friends behind and starting over.  A few people from my school went to the same college I chose to attend and, as a private college, it was much smaller than the state universities so the class sizes were comparable to what I’d experienced in high school.

But I was on my own, for the first time.

Two-fer Tuesday

Today is the second, which is the perfect day to write about age two.  And, lucky you, I’ve got a couple of stories!

I am two years and five months older than my younger sister.  For most of our lives, we’ve fought like cats and dogs, although we do seem to get along better now that we don’t live under the same roof.  I’m glad, because we’re all each other has left of our immediate family (by which I do not mean the families we’ve created for ourselves with our husbands, both of whom we love very much).

I digress.  I do that a lot.  Anyway, rumor has it that once upon a time, like say, before she could walk and/or talk, my sister and I actually got along pretty well.  Turns out I was a helpful little stinker.  Too helpful, even.  See, we had this grate in our hallway floor upstairs for the furnace vent and apparently I liked to help change my sister’s diapers at the tender age of two and a half, whether she needed a diaper change or not.  Being a wee lass, I was not exactly up-to-speed on the proper diaper disposal techniques, so I lifted the grate and chucked them down the vent.

Cricket is now a very helpful, sometimes too helpful, toddler of two.  He enjoys helping me change Thumper’s diapers, though he and Thumper are closer in age than my sister and I.  Thank goodness, though, that Cricket hasn’t yet taken it into his head to change Thumper’s diapers by himself – I have a hard enough time convincing him to keep his own diaper on during naps and at night.  For some reason, he thinks he’s old enough to go commando.  A couple of times, it’s resulted in a very large, very smelly mess in their bedroom.  It even led to a failed attempt at potty training.  I swear my kids are plotting to drive me loony.  Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wait, I take that back.  I would change one thing.  I’d be a lotto winner – then I could afford the diapers.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.

October Blog Challenge

 

About a week ago or so, I ran across an interesting blog challenge.  Officially, it’s called the October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge.  That’s a bit of a mouthful, so I shortened it up a bit for my post title.  Anyway, you can find out more about it here on Jane Ann McLachlan’s blog and sign up for it, should you so desire, here.  I thought it sounded like fun, so I signed right up.

On the off chance that you haven’t clicked through to find out what it’s all about, here’s the gist of it: Write 25 posts in 31 days.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Ah, but there’s a theme: Each post should be a memory or reflection for each of the first 25 years of life.  From the original post:

It can be a personal memoir from your life, a reflection on turning a certain age, a recollection of someone else at that age, a poem or a photo, on the ages 1 to 25.

For example…

It’s another Photo Friday!

 

Here we are, at the end of another week, and I must say I’m glad of it.  I’m not looking forward to spending the weekend painting, but that’s another story.  Anyway, on to the photo of the day!

Photo by Kay Kauffman

Today’s photo features Tomcat, my oldest son.  Clearly this is not a recent photo, as my darling baby boy will be nine on Wednesday.  Nine!  How the heck did that happen?  Oh, right.  I blinked.  I remember now.  He was just over two and a half when I snapped this picture, slightly older than Cricket is now.  He looks so little!  And now he’s so big!  I can’t believe I have a third grader on my hands!

Quick! Get me a brick! Get me some rope! Get me a drink!

Feminism and abortion

I like to read WordPress’s Freshly Pressed articles.  I don’t always read them, but every now and then, one will catch my eye.  The one that caught my eye today was called Frankie v. Debra, Roe v. Wade: Can you still be a feminist if you’re anti-abortion?

I read the article, but not all 200 comments.  The article began by comparing two of Patricia Heaton‘s sitcom roles and then discussed some of the actress’s personal opinions, including her membership in a group called Feminists for Life, a group that apparently is very pro-life.

I really wanted to comment on the article…