Wednesday, September 21, 2011

fate is kind...right?

Kind of an anniversary of sorts. September 21st. In 2007 it was the day I found out my cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and was considered serious. Saddest day. In 2010 it was the day they gave me a clean bill of health. Happiest day.

I can't even describe the high I was on. I felt like there was nothing I couldn't do, nothing I wouldn't do, nothing to hold me back, ever again. Like I had all the time in the world.

Well, if nothing else, I lived like that for 6 glorious months. I hope I get to do that again.

My family puts on a little film festival this time every year and my entry was going to be a cute little show of our cancer free celebration at Disneyland.

My story book ending.

Of course I didn't expect the evil villain cancer show up again. BOOOO!!!

The little part I talk to the kids on the couch is a year ago today. I love their reactions to the news. I get a weak cheer for the no cancer news, but watch them light up at the mention of Disneyland. I also love their personalities reacting to the news. James, who would plug his ears when he was 6 at any mention of cancer, is maybe the only one that really gets what any of this means. He thinks about it silently, hiding his face so we won't see any tears. Luke, who insists on buttoning up his polo and tucking in his shirts, is worried about missing school. Sam's shirt is nowhere to be seen and he is ready to take off with the plane today. Are you kidding him? "Who cares? Let's go to Disneyland today!" Love my little guys!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

i will never forget

One decade ago I was in a dental chair getting a root canal, listening to the radio as the twin towers fell. Confused, shocked, horrified, and really very sad, I went home to my 6 month old. I wanted to hold him forever. I wondered what kind of world I had brought him into.

But stories of heroism and patriotism started coming out. And the country softened. And we turned to God, and to our neighbors. And we were unified.

And the more I learned, the more I felt, the more I knew what kind of world this baby came into. One with fear and hatred, yes. But also one with hope and love, beauty and kindness.

One I couldn't wait to show him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

totally convinced

And suddenly…it’s September.

The beginning of a new chapter. One I knew was coming and have been dreading. It’s called “All the Kids in School”. The baby is in first grade now. So crazy.

That first morning we were all in a rush to get the right things in the right places at the right time. We made it out the door with maybe one minute to spare.

Time for the required and unpopular first day of school picture. I lined them up. Focused them in the viewfinder. It got quiet, everyone froze. All the hurry left me as I stared in awe at my little boys. They stood together, tall and wise and ready to move on. Behind them was the the house they had all grown up in. The one they had all been babies in and totally mine. The one that was constantly littered with laundry and laughter and lullabys. I thought of how older people would stop me in the grocery store or at a restaurant when I was wrestling with 3 preschoolers and have the nerve to say “These are the best years of your life, you know.” How I smiled politely but didn’t for a second think they could be serious. It’s because they dont’t remember I would say under my breath.

"Okay guys, smile!" "Sam! Stop making that face." "Let's try again." "Wait, can we get in some shade?" "Much better." "Luke I want to see some teeth."

"We are going to be late now, mom."

"Alright, yes. You better hurry."

They took off across the street with backpacks too big for their bodies, laughing and running to the bus.

If they would have turned around just then they would have seen their mom frozen in the yard, lost deep in thought. I am having flashbacks. I am feeling again the excitement of a first step, smelling a newborn after a bath, hearing the sweet little sentences only a three year old can compose, enjoying the peace of nursing a chubby baby to sleep in the dark, tasting the wet kisses of three little mouths in the morning. And then a bit of brilliance lights up my face. Because at that moment, as the boys turn the corner and are out of sight, I finally get it. I get what those strangers who have raised kids were saying. And it's not because they had forgotten. It’s because they remembered.

If a little family full of busy preschoolers and babies (we got lots of those in the neighborhood) would have walked by just then, I would have laughed at a sudden outburst by their 2 year old and said, totally convinced, “Oh, you are so lucky! These are some of the best years of your life.”