My Journey

I took a journey.

A very long journey.

I planned the details of my journey for a long time.

But once I left it was so much more than I ever could have imagined.

You know how you go away and you feel like a different person because life isn’t the same?

Well, my journey was so long that I became a different person

I loved that person.

And now my journey’s over.

At least this leg of the trip.

And life has gone back to “normal.”

In “normal land” I can’t be the same person I was on my journey.

But it was such a long trip

That I don’t know who I am

Or who I want to be.

I want to keep being the person I was on my journey.

First Day Recap

(Our requisite first day of school picture, which I think I’m going to have to retake. lol  He refused to stand still and it was raining outside so it was almost impossible for me to get a reasonable photo inside. Not to mention he was daft that he wasn’t going to smile so I had to catch his “regular” face between any number of strange and twisted facial contortions!)

All in all, I think I’d have to say today was a success. Gabe went to school. Gabe did not cry. Tahd and I went to school. Tahd and I did cry.  Go figure.  We picked him up a few hours later (today and tomorrow are half days) and he seemed remarkably good-spirited and not averse to going back tomorrow.  That’s a win in my book!

He saved a goody for his way into into the school, though.  It really broke the ice as far as I was concerned.  As we were walking toward the doors, Tahd took Gabe’s hand.  I reached for his other hand, but he refused.  Turning to Tahd, he explained, “I’ll hold your hand because you’re my BFF.  Mommy’s just my BF so I won’t hold her hand.  You and I are a team.  We’re BFFs!”

I’m still not clear about where he heard the term “BFF” but it was good for a laugh and kept me chuckling all the way to the door.

Tonight, as I was finishing up putting him to bed, he said, “Mommy, I want to tell you something.”  Noting the gravity in his voice, I told him, “Okay.  You can tell me anything or ask me anything at anytime.  I want you to know that!”  Nonplussed by my disclaimer he carried on, “When I grow up, I’m 100% sure that I’m never going to get married.  Not at all.  I just want you to know that I’m not going to get married.  I know I won’t.  I know I won’t get married.  I’m really not going to.”

Okay, dude.  I catch your drift!  No need to reiterate further!

Curious, I asked why.  He explained that if he didn’t get married we could just all live together!  Of course!  I said that was fine with me but that there would probably come a day when he’d want his own space, and he had the most novel solution.

“Well,” he said, “I know what we can do.  We’ll sell this house and get a bigger one, you know, because this one isn’t very big.  We’ll take all our things to the new house, except not the baby toys because we probably won’t need those ones.  Our house will have one bedroom and six and a half bathrooms.  The half bathroom will have a ‘yournal,’ you know?  And then we’ll all live in that bigger house.”

“Will it be big enough so that we can all have our own personal space in the house?” I wanted to know.

“No, so we can all live together.”

I couldn’t figure it out.  “But why is there only one bedroom?” I inquired.

“So we can all sleep together in the same room, Mommy!”

Of course.  Silly Mommy!  Why couldn’t I have figured that one out on my own? 🙂


It hit me quite by surprise.

Gabe was running wildly through the house, bike horn in hand, squeezing his fingers around its bulb with abandon, causing the vibrations in my head to buzz and my ears to ring.  I had taken a breath – moms will know the breath I mean.  It’s the one where you’re inhaling to raise your voice above the din in the hopes of creating some peace, just a moment’s peace.

And then I stopped.

Tomorrow?  Tomorrow there will be no noise.  My house will be quiet.  There will be no one to loudly and persistently interrupt my thoughts and my to-do list.  No one will nag me all day long to play, to listen, to follow the rules, to go upstairs, to come downstairs, to hide, to look, to “turn off my thinking skills.”

I never thought I’d actually say it, but I will miss those interruptions.

So instead of following my quick breath with a raised voice, I followed it with…


I was quiet.  He was not quiet.  But I was.  And I listened.  And tried to quiet the ringing in my ears so I could enjoy the moment and the day.

When Gabe woke up this morning I suggested we might want to have a special dinner in honor of his last day being a preschooler.  His eyes lit up and he instantaneously planned an elaborate dinner party, full of games and tours and tip baskets.  Always an entrepreneur, I guess!  He begged me to invite guests, so I called my parents and my sister who’s local and we collectively generated a small crowd for him.

The menu for our fete was zucchini chicken casserole, rice pilaf, salad, and Magnolia Bakery knockoff cupcakes to make up for the ones we left on the bus in NYC.

Not high class, I know, but things that make my child smile.

Granted, I don’t know why I worried too much about that because the moment the guests arrived?







But again, I tried to let it go because I figured the insanity and intensity betrayed his anxiety, and it’s always better to let anxiety out than force it to remain in a confined space.

For the most part, we’ve all been less anxious since yesterday.  Yesterday we visited the school, met his lovely teacher, saw his classroom, dropped off his things, and checked out “recess” (aka the playground).  The whole time I was there I kept thinking, “He is really going to be here, all day every day?  Really?” But of course, he is, and of course it will be good for him, and of course it will be good for me.  But oh!  How I will miss him!

Of course.

While we were in Pennsylvania, I forced us to take a walk one afternoon.  It was hot and humid and he was overtired and neither of us wanted to walk.  But we did, partly because we needed the fresh air and partly because we didn’t have anything else to do.  Along the way, his hand slunk up to mine and he wrapped his fingers around mine, all of his own volition.  I loved it.  Normally when we hold hands it’s because the hand-holding was preceded by something that went sort of like, “Gabriel! Come here right now! You need to hold my hand because you are running away from me! In a parking lot! It’s not safe!  No, hold my hand. No, you can’t wiggle free. No, you have to hold my hand. Because you do.”  I much prefer the first approach to hand-holding – the one where it’s all Gabe’s idea and there’s no coercion involved.

It happened again on the way into his school, and again while we were at the mall with my mother looking for school clothes.  In fact, at the mall, he wanted to hold my hand and wanted me to hold my mother’s hand so we could be a train, him holding Jerry the Mouse in front and the rest of us trailing behind.  We must have seemed like quite a spectacle traipsing through the mall 3.5 deep, but something occurred to me while I walked.  How long had it been since I held my mother’s hand?  A long time, to be sure.  I really couldn’t remember how long it had been.  Years and years, at least.  Maybe decades? And then I wondered.  When was the last time I held her hand?  Was there a point at which we just held hands less, or did I suddenly decide holding hands with my mother wasn’t cool and I just wouldn’t do it anymore?  Does she remember the last time we held hands?  Will I remember the last time Gabe holds my hand?

I’m not sure about this growing up thing.  I’m happy for Gabe and excited for all the new experiences he’ll encounter.    But I don’t want to miss it.  I’ve already missed too much due to depression and anxiety and laziness and distraction.  I want it – all of it – locked up safely in my heart.  Not so much that I can’t appreciate the wonder of what lies ahead, but enough that I can revisit the past with a smile on my face and peace in my mind.

School starts tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll be ready then!

The First Chapter

I woke up in a funk this morning, not wanting to get out of bed and not wanting to move, really.  It just felt awful to face a new day, which made me sad because it is Gabe’s last full week at home before school starts, and I want to suck the life out of it and have a glorious time!

It didn’t help that upon awakening I found this mess of chaos…

But quite honestly, I’ve seen much worse around here, so I couldn’t totally blame the mess for my funk.

However, look at how fun it is to watch your 5-year-old read himself a Disney story!  (In case you can’t find him amidst the mess, he’s the blue lump on the green couch… ha!)

I made myself a funky playlist (entitled, quite creatively, “Funky”) and made myself a delicious cup of tea in my witty and authentic English mug, the one that came directly from England herself.  Check out the steam!  Doesn’t it just make you want to have a cup of tea?

It was green tea.  Because let’s face it – even people who choose to avoid caffeine still need a kick in the pants some days.

Then we set about our day, which included reenacting many parts of Disney World, and – for the second day in a row – did not include taking showers.  Ew.  But it was the best I could do.

When Tahd came home he ran downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, and I practically chased him and found these words tumbling out of my mouth while tears followed from my eyes.

“He’s going to leave me!  He’s going to be gone all day!  Every day!  And I won’t have any babies to take care of!”

The tears burned my cheeks, but as they fell they took with them the tension of the day.  Tahd let me grieve and dissolve on his shoulder, until Gabe wondered where we had gone and came hunting for us.  I wiped my tears on Tahd’s sleeve and felt a bit better.

I don’t want him to go to school.

But more than that, I don’t want him to grow up.

And more than that, I don’t want to be done mothering.  I don’t know who I’ll be when he doesn’t need me as much anymore.  My desire was to be in a situation where I’d be needed for longer than this.  Not because I expected him to stay dependent on me, but because we’d have multiple children and having multiple children means by default that you’re needed longer.  One child means this stage comes to an end sooner than I expected or wanted, and I’m not ready.

Going to school means the next chapter starts.  It would be a momentous enough occasion if we had multiple children.  But having only one child?  Means that not only does a new chapter start, but the current chapter completely closes.  I don’t have the luxury of a gradual, piece-by-piece transition.  It’s happening all at once.  I try to embrace the new with enthusiasm, but it doesn’t blunt the sadness I feel at experiencing the end of the now.

Maybe there will be another baby and another opportunity.  But I can’t count on that.  Maybe I will love the next chapter more than I loved the first.  But I did love that first chapter, and I’m sad to see it go.

It doesn’t help that my period is due in about 5 seconds and so I’m hormonal and exhausted.  And oh, have I mentioned hormonal?  Yeah.  The good news is that a period now means my period won’t also be due around the time Gabe actually starts school, so in theory I might be a little less overwhelmed at that point.  In theory.  Hopefully that theory will pan out more like the “theory of gravity” rather than the “theory that the earth is flat” or the “theory that the earth is the center of the universe.”

Stream of Consciousness

1.  Scrapbooking

For a long time I’ve been wanting to try my hand at digital scrapbooking.  When Designer Digitals had their Christmas in July sale I picked up a few templates and overlays on sale.  I didn’t have a chance to try it out until this week, but so far I’m generally pleased with the results.

This page was made from one of Ali Edwards’ layouts.  In all the pages, most of the overlays are things I purchased from Designer Digitals, and the papers and accents are things I downloaded for free, probably from Two Peas.

For the next ones, I made my own templates based on some Ali Edwards’ template designs.

We have a road trip coming up, and I’m looking forward to completing a few more pages while we’re traveling.  My hope is to upload them to Shutterfly to create a bound book of our Florida trip.

2.  Hoarders

Dude… I SO need to go clean my house.  Why am I watching this show on tv?  I do not want to turn into one of those people!  Perhaps I should take this sign I noticed on our trip to Champaign as inspiration?

3.  Sleep

I have the best husband in the world.  He has let me sleep approximately 47 out of the last 48 hours.  Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration.  But he did let me sleep until noon both days, and yesterday I took an afternoon nap!  My sleep has been a bit erratic lately, and it has felt good to get caught up.

4.  The Rest of My Days A.L.O.N.E.

I successfully painted my bathroom vanity, my bookshelf, my entryway, and my living room.  I started the dining room but didn’t finish it, and I don’t have plans to finish it until Gabe starts school.  The colors left me a little uneasy at first, but as I’ve lived with them they’ve grown on me.  I can’t wait to get the dining room done!

Instead of painting, I spent the rest of my days doing fun things like shopping with my sisters and helping my mom set up her new iPod Touch.  Painting is fun, but family is better!  And let’s face it – a little Anthropologie does a body good.

Gabe had a great time at camp.  I loved getting him up and having an “official” breakfast each day rather than snacking.  Here he is reading his magazine while he eats.  He looks so grown up!  Be still my heart!

I loved packing a lunch for him, too.  I didn’t think of it the first day, but the second day I tucked a note in his bag along with his food.  It was quite a hit!  I pilfered the notes out of his bag each night and tucked them away for safekeeping – not before taking a photo, though.

5.  We Love Daddy

Tahd came home late Thursday night, and once he got here it seemed like everything was okay again!  Not that the week had gone poorly – it hadn’t.  But I’m always a little out of sorts when he’s gone, and Gabe and I both love it when he comes home.  Gabe especially loves bedtime with Daddy!

It’s just so sweet!

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