Friday, June 04, 2010

For sale

Our house went on the market yesterday. We bought it thinking we’d be here for two or three years, tops. It’s been eight years and three months. The time is right for us to move. We need more space. A two-bedroom townhome with a tiny yard is getting too small for two highly energetic boys. And don’t even get me started on how complicated it is to have out-of-town visitors. This was our starter home. The next place—it will be THE house (fingers crossed), the one will be in until the boys graduate and maybe even longer.

I stopped by a coffee shop yesterday for a late lunch. There were three young men there, having lunch together, telling stories, laughing. They were probably high school seniors, I thought, taking advantage of open campus or early dismissal the last few weeks of school. I remember so clearly being in their shoes. It hasn’t been very long. I am not that much older than them… And then it hit me. I AM. I AM much older than them. They are closer in age to my kids than to me. Twelve years from now, it will be Child grabbing lunch at a coffee shop with his friends and preparing for graduation.

And suddenly, I felt old. I didn’t want to put our house on the market. I didn’t want to leave our tiny townhome. My babies are still babies while we are in this house. In the next house, they will be teenagers and graduates and college students and out of the house. And I don’t want that. I want them to be babies—my babies, who love me unconditionally and forgive me for not always doing my best as their mama. I don’t want to move.

Friday, March 12, 2010


In case you were wondering, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. It’s just that I haven’t much time or, more accurately, much need to be here. I desperately need writing when I am in distress. I think just about every single post I have ever written here reflects that. Writing is my therapy. Writing is what I do when I can’t sleep, when I can’t mentally disconnect from distress. And, well, I guess I haven’t had much need for therapy lately. Not to say that it is all rainbows and butterflies here, but it is a drastic improvement over the way things were the last time I wrote here. And time… who wants to hear me complain how little time I have. Doesn’t everyone have the same problem? ‘Nuff said.

At the same time, I don’t want to just disappear. I’ve encountered several blogs whose writers stopped writing suddenly. No goodbyes, no “I am going to take a break”… And it does make me wonder what happened to that person. Did she get hit by a bus? So I am back to tell you that I did not get hit by a bus. I am still here, running at the speed of light, playing all the same roles, and some new ones, laughing, crying, playing, dreaming, yelling, regretting, hoping, loving.

Looking back at the last year, not much has changed on the surface. One discussion-worthy change is the fact that Child started Kindergarten last fall, and it has been absolutely nothing like I imagined. For my extremely outgoing, extraverted boy who jumps both feet in in every social situation, it has been the toughest transition of his lifetime. It has taught me that the teacher is what makes or breaks the experience. Not the school, which has a near-perfect score on the web site that evaluates U.S. public schools, not the school district, which is considered to be one of the best in the nation… For the child, it is all about the teacher. And this is where our luck failed us miserably. To be fair, it is not that Child’s teacher is a bad, horrible teacher (she is probably just average, although don’t get me started on grammar and punctuation issues in school communications)—it’s just that her personality and teaching/discipline style could not be any farther away from what I picture when I think of a person who works with a bunch of 5- and 6-year-olds. Without going into much detail (because honestly, I don’t care to relive and retell those stories—I would so much rather forget them), let me just say that Child has spent the first three months of school crying every morning and every night and not able to sleep; he was completely unlike himself; his self-esteem and self-confidence plummeted. There has been gradual improvement (at least there are no tears anymore), but he completely lacks any sort of enthusiasm about going to school, and we deal with this every single day. A child shouldn’t hate school in kindergarten, right? He has 12 more years to figure that out. On the positive side, he appears to be doing really well in school academically, he is very much liked and has lots of friends. So at this point, we simply wait for the year to end and hope that his teacher next year will be a more caring, loving and encouraging person.

Other than that, the boys are doing wonderfully. I cannot even begin to put into words how close they are and how much they love each other. I had no idea it would be like this. I thought the four-year age gap will make it impossible for them to relate to each other. I’ve never been so happy to admit that I was so very wrong.

Our Christmas card last year ended with this: “If there was one wish we could make for next year, it would be that time wouldn’t move quite so fast.” That wish has not come true—nor will it ever, I suspect—but it is this fleeting nature of time that reminds me to count my blessings.

So to summarize: not hit by bus, things going pretty well (except kindergarten), love all around. I do have one particular topic I need to write about and post here because I actually need some feedback—you know, in case someone actually still has this blog in their blog feeds. But other than that, I expect my postings here will be few and far between, which is a good thing because it means my heartache level is low. And really, what more can I ask for?