Tuesday, January 6, 2009

November, The Birthday Month

November is the most popular birth month in my extended family. We've got Nov. 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 20th, 22nd, and 24th covered. Note the abundance of Scorpio energy!

November rolls around and there is much to celebrate and I do, but November also makes me pause a little and reflect...

Many years ago, when my daughter had just turned 1yr old, I realized I was pregnant again. The news was so unexpected and abit of a shock because conceiving my daughter took time and required intervention. But, I was definitely pregnant, feeling completely exhausted and constantly nauseous! After getting over the shock, my husband and I were delighted and began wondering the gender of this new life and anticipating a November due date.

We had almost made it to the end of the first trimester when I began to bleed and a heartbeat could no longer be found. More shock, but now it was coupled with grief. I was now a member of the vast club of women who have miscarried.

I have been so blessed in my life and I have two really wonderful kids. When November rolls around I don't really dwell on what might have been or go back to the 'what if I had done this or hadn't done that' thinking that was a part of my grieving. But... there is a place in my heart and a knot in my throat that calls me to reflect and to whisper "Happy Birthday!" to the little spirit that was with me for a short while.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I wrote this little reflection about the relationship between my mother and my children several years ago now and it was published on The Everday Goddess Collection website which is no longer online. Anyway, I've been thinking alot lately about how lucky my children are to have wonderful loving grandparents and in particular the special relationships they have with their grandmothers. So easy. So snuggley. So huggy and kissy with a little teasing thrown in. The relationships have changed and grown just as my children have, but the love and affection they share is constant and unconditional and for that I am deeply grateful.


She was there when each of my children were born. Not actually in the room though, that might have been a little too hard. She was among the first to hold them, kiss their heads, stare into their little eyes, and tell them they were so bright and alert, not to mention beautiful! Her touch, her smile, her tone voice, and words told me and my babies that she loved them completely and that she relished her role as Mimi.

My mother lavishes love and affection on my children who are now 7 years and 4 years old. She sits in a big chair in her pajamas with the kids snuggled in beside her as she reads them one book after another. She sits on the floor with my daughter and plays Barbies. They talk about Barbie's fancy clothes and wonderful shoes, each fantasizing that such clothes and accessories were in their closets. My mother lies on the floor with my son and they play with trains, matchbox cars, and construction vehicles ~ she knows the names of all types of equipment and what each is used for ~ she is very cool that way! They have such fun with each other, my children and their Mimi.

When Mimi visits, there is great anticipation and quite a bit of planning as to how they will tease or play with her. She sleeps in our extra bedroom and inevitably the kids are the first to wake…they tiptoe downstairs, hardly able to contain their excitement and glee, they walk into the bedroom and practically pounce on their Mimi to wake her up. All that can be heard are wild squeals of delight as they chat and bounce on the bed! She always has a way of teasing them back though, such as when she suggests that their Halloween candy would make a nice midnight snack for her. They get very concerned because they know how much Mimi loves Oreos, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and other chocolate confections! I always find this type of banter extremely entertaining!

Hugs and kisses ~ snuggle time and play time ~ visits, phone calls, and postcards ~ laughter and crying ~ loud and quiet ~ love and love and love. My children are so lucky! Mimi is real to them and present in their lives. They have this wonderful independent relationship. It has been lovingly nurtured since day one.

Halloween - Shocking and Surreal

Mild. That was the temperature Friday night, October 31st, 2008 ~ perfect for trick or treating. No arguments on trying to figure out how to wear winter jackets underneath costumes ~ I love that!

Now, the energy at my house was anything but mild. There were 5 girls and 2 boys who were trick or treating together and then spending the night. There was lots of excitement and great anticipation for over-flowing pillowcases of candy loot and the possibility of staying up all night eating it.

I needed to pack as I was leaving town very early in the morning for a women's retreat so I volunteered to stay home and hand out the candy to all of the little ghouls, vampires, and princesses that came by. My husband had the more daunting task of shepherding 7 high energy kids around the neighborhood. All arrived back at the house with a little bit of energy burned off and the happy glow of knowing they had raked in enough candy loot to keep a good sugar buzz going for weeks to come. They proceeded to grab a couple candies from their bags, flopped around the living room and watched a movie. Ahhh! Quiet time.

The thing that kids really love about 'sleep-overs' is that its really about 'staying up and talking as late as possible-overs.' This is the thing parents tend to hate about 'sleep-overs.' At 1 am, with my alarm set for 5 am, I realized my window of sleep opportunity was rapidly closing. I went into the room with the chatty girls and used my most annoyed and annoying voice to suggest they 'Stop Talking and Go To Sleep! All that really did was keep me agitated so I couldn't actually get to sleep until around 2 am.

Boom! A boom that makes the whole house shake! It was close to 4 am and I was instantly awake. I wondered desperately what and where that noise could have come from. Seconds later, another Boom! I flew out of bed and down the stairs. I could hear a noise but couldn't identify it and then I saw an orange glow reflected by my kitchen window. Fire! Somewhere there is a fire! Not that house, not that house, not there, I thought, as I raced around our house until I got to our office. There, very close to our house, was our neighbor's car, on fire and blowing up before my very eyes.

I screamed for my husband to get the kids out of the house and proceeded to call 911. All of the kids followed the plan, quickly got out of the house, and walked to our other neighbor's house to wait and watch. Everyone, naturally, began running through their part of this story. What each heard or saw and when. And then, the 'Thankfullys' ~ Thankfully, its not too cold. Thankfully, no one is hurt. Thankfully, the fire is contained. And then, the wondering. What would make a car, that is just sitting in a driveway, suddenly blow up in the middle of the night? There was no satisfying rationalization.

We were back in our house by 5 am trying to convince the kids that getting a little more sleep would be good. I showered, gathered up my things, hopped into a car with a friend and headed out of town for the women's retreat. It was a short night and it was still dark.

12 hours later, I wondered, 'Did that really happen?'

Many days later, my daughter and I talked about some of the effects this event was having on us. It is still shocking and surreal. Our brains are still taking time to process. There are sounds and images, and vivid dreams of things and places blowing up, filling our night time. There is a new fear of fire to contend with.

Halloween 2008 will certainly be remembered, but not for the pillowcases filled with sweet treats!

Happy New Year!

Its a new year! 2009! Out with the old, in with the new! A blank page! Resolutions for positive changes in our lives! A chance to start fresh again! This is all well and good and I am quite happy to experience the passing of 2008 to 2009, but I feel like I have some unfinished business. So, in an effort to bring closure to 2008, some upcoming posts will be like going back in time.