I have about 20 different post ideas floating around in my brain, but because I am endlessly lazy you get to read them all together, jumbled and somewhat unrelated. Enjoy!
Thing #1. My body has changed a lot since having Christian. The combination of grief, my age, and just having had 3 kids has taken its toll – yet I’m reluctant to start doing responsible things like eating better and exercising because in a way, this leftover weight is one of the few tangible things I have left of Christian. Also, donuts. Guys, donuts are amazing and I love them so much. I don’t want to give them up. Ever.
Thing #2. Last week I took Evan shopping for some school clothes. After we were done, we got cupcakes at my favorite bakery and drove home in an intense storm. Evan loved all the lightning and the pouring rain. I had the wipers on as high as they’d go, and I could still barely see. It reminded me of watching lightning storms out the window when I was a kid. Getting to spend some time alone with Evan was really fun, and I’m trying to do it more – as well as be more patient and calm. Evan is so thrilled about preschool; I find that I’m a little terrified that he’ll be 5 before too long.
Thing #3. As much as it has continued to surprise me whenever I have a sad day (the pain does seem to come back strongly, though much less often), it surprises me even more that I can feel so good lately. Not just that I’m not sad – I’m happy! For extended periods of time! I’m getting things done, slowly but surely; I’m remembering who I am and figuring out what I want to do; I’m making plans and looking forward to the future, not with fear or anguish but with excitement. This is what I hoped to find – that life would go on and be enjoyable, even though Christian died. There are definitely hard moments; seeing small babies, of course, is still difficult, and when I have trouble falling asleep I tend to get emotional and torn up about how things have turned out. But most of the time, my not-misery is even better because I remember how very miserable I have been. Like when you’ve had a headache for a while, and later (maybe the next day, when drugs and sleep have finally helped) you notice that your head doesn’t hurt – and it’s so nice.
Thing #4. I mentioned before that we have a box of mementoes of Christian that I keep on top of the piano. If you’ve been to our house recently, I probably showed it to you. What I realized recently is that this box gives me purpose. The woman who put it together for me – I don’t have words for how much she’s impacted me. What a selfless gift she gave me. One of the times we thanked her, she just said that someone had done a box for her, so she wanted to help others. And that’s exactly how I feel now. I’m not ready yet to go to the hospital and see the heartache of a family whose world has just shattered, but eventually I will be. I have always wanted to save the world or make a difference somehow. This box is what made a difference in my life. The quiet, loving care that went into putting it together is what I want to give. It won’t unbreak anyone’s heart. It won’t bring a baby back to life. It won’t change circumstances. But in some tiny way, it will help. This is what I can do.
Thing #5. Um, June will be 3 next month. Let’s collectively say What on earth?! In some ways it feels she was born forever ago – it was before I went back to school, before we graduated and bought a house, and when I had her I was a different me. She’s getting so big! And out of nowhere, she has demanded a pink birthday party with a pink cake and pink candles and pink dinosaurs and pink presents. She also wants to be Hello Kitty for Halloween, which I think I will try talking her out of. Other costume ideas?
Thing #6. I finally designed our Christmas card. I say “finally” because I’ve been toying with different ideas since February. After talking to Jarom about getting family pictures done, we decided to be unorthodox this year. But we will send out a card and picture. You’ll just have to wait! I’m already brainstorming Christmas plans. The fact that I’m looking forward to it – to anything in the future, really – is just wonderful. So I’m trying to enjoy the joy as much as possible, even if it means planning Christmas a few months early.
Thing #7. On the questionnaire I did with Evan, he said his favorite sport was “the animal one where you touch stuff.” Honestly, I had no clue what he was talking about. I wondered if he even knew what sports were. But I figured it out! We have the kids do “races” – it’s actually a way of wearing them out – and we (usually Jarom) will tell them to hop like a kangaroo and go touch the back door, then run like a cheetah and go touch the couch, then spider-crawl to June’s room, etc. It’s a very fun game as there’s a lot of room for creativity on all sides.
Thing #8. There aren’t really going to be 20 things in this post after all. I guess I only had 7.