Today is the last day of the last year that my child will have ever been alive.
For some reason, this milestone seems particularly cruel and unforgiving. It’s like another sort of goodbye that I have to make.
But I don’t have a choice. Time keeps dragging me farther and farther away from my son, from the reality of his existence. I can kick and scream and beg, but time shows no mercy.
So I will look back over my shoulder one last time tonight, while last year’s shoreline is still close enough for me to see, and blow a kiss back toward the vision of my living child, smiling, laughing and playing music.
I’ve started a running list of the baby items I find most useful. I’d love to hear your picks for best baby gear.
Over at Babble today I am remembering the time my family woke up to a pretty terrible earthquake.
I’ve told you a lot about my year. It’s been a tough one – the most momentous and terrible and painful and life-altering and joyful year of my life. I’ve written about it and you’ve been there for me – with your comments, your emails, cards, letters, photos and beautiful gifts.
But now I want to hear about your 2010. What kind of year did you have?
-What was the biggest news for you in 2010?
-What’s the best thing that happened? The worst?
-What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?
-What accomplishment are you most proud of in the past 12 months?
-What’s the one thing you would go back and do-over if you could?
-What news story impacted you the most?
-In what way have you changed most in the past year?
-What’s the funniest thing you saw or heard in 2010?
-What was your biggest disappointment?
-What brought you the most joy?
-What was the best book you read? The worst? Best movie you saw? The worst?
Tell me about YOUR year in the comments below. I love all of you, everyone who takes the time to read and comment on my blog, and I would love to hear more about who you are, and what matters to you, and about how your year played out.
Pregnant women certainly aren’t immune to the epidemic of prescription drug addiction we are currently dealing with in this country. That’s what I am blogging about over at Babble this morning.
So every morning Jon and I ask C if she had any dreams. 99% of the time she says yes, and the other day, Jon pointed out to me that at least as she relates her dreams to us, all of them have the same narrative theme.
“I dreamed about a lion who couldn’t roar.”
“I dreamed about a cow who didn’t make any milk.”
“I dreamed about a book with no pages.”
(and my personal favorite, from earlier this week)
“I dreamed about a cupboard that wouldn’t latch.”
Now I’m not sure if she’s actually dreaming these things or whether she just likes to have something to tell us when we ask, and she’s now hit upon a theme that’s easy to update each day. I suspect the latter. However, I can’t say that I haven’t wondered whether I should be worried that all of my three year old’s dreams (or fake dreams) are about things that don’t work right or are frustrating.
Or maybe I’m overthinking this. Maybe I need to be “a mom who doesn’t obsess.”
Do your little kids tell you their dreams? What do they say?
I’ve read before how much little kids love Apple’s touchscreen products, and I’ve seen my 3 year old niece NC playing with my sister’s iPhone all the time. But C – also age 3 – has never shown ANY interest in my smartphone (a Droid) or in doing much of anything on my laptop (a Dell). But now that I have the iPad, it’s a whole different story. She absolutely loves playing games on it, and it’s amazing how quickly she figured out how it works. I downloaded a couple of free apps for kids that my sister recommended, and now I’m going to be looking for more good ones. (Any suggestions?)
Here is C last night, playing on the iPad in the beautiful new red rocking chair that her godfather, Dr. Neighbor gave her for Christmas.
And here is NC, engrossed in playing on her big sister’s iTouch.
I wonder what it is about the iTouch/iPhone/iPad that makes them so intuitive to use for even very little kids, and for children with communication challenges?
My grandmother taught me a lot of things. But I’ve been thinking lately that perhaps the most helpful lesson she imparted to me is this one: when in doubt, do your duty.
In fact, in the video interview my brother did with my grandmother a few years ago, when he asked her what message she would most like her children and grandchildren to remember from her after she died, she quoted Robert E. Lee when he said, “Duty is the most sublime word in our language. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”
I’ve been in doubt a lot in the past year – more than at any other time in my life. I doubted the ways in which I did and did not deal with my son’s addiction. And I’ve doubted what life means and what my role in it is supposed to be since he died on May 31.
I haven’t figured out the answers to any of it yet. I remain confused, doubting, seeking. But despite my inner confusion, I know what to DO on a day to day basis. I do my duty to the best of my ability. And just as my Grandmother explained to me, doing one’s duty offers the context, the framework, the safety net that all human beings need sometimes, when things fall apart during certain seasons of our lives, as they inevitably do.
One of the things I love best about my husband is that his parents raised him with this same value system. He understands the value of duty in a life that at the end, is deemed to have been well-lived.
I hope that my children soak up this message from me. If they do, I will have done at least part of my duty as their mother.