Friday, August 12, 2011

it hurts my heart

I don't usually say things like it hurts my heart. Too goopy, too cliched. But tonight I did.

In the pool with Sam, he was asking about kids who don't look like their parents, and why. And we were talking about adoption, and the wierdness of genetics, and I mentioned that sometimes people who are NOT related DO look alike. Like people always thought Aunt Kitty and I were sisters, even though we were not blood related.

And Sam said, "Aunt Kitty's dead, right?"

It still feels surreal, and painful, and really not fair and not right. It's still shocking. So I keep her old emails. I think of her most every day. I plan the tattoo I will get in her memory. I try to make sure that her children, my cousins, know that I am thinking of them and that I love them, and that she loved them more than anything.

It still hurts my heart.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy holidays

Pictures In Blue Christmas Card
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bad news for Christmas

"Is Santa real?"

Probably the dreaded question for most parents, but we've never told the Santa tale. I grew up knewing it was not real--courtesy of my dad-- but playing along for fun. I saw many other kids lose their shit when they discovered Santa was just made up, and had no desire to repeat that with my own child. But Sam will usually ask every year, I think checking in because his friends believe and he needs to check it out.

I gave my usual answer: "What do you think?" When he was 4 or so, he said "I think Santa's real" and I just said "ok" and went with it. This year he is 7, and his answer was a little different.

"I think he was real but he died."

So Santa's real, but he's dead, folks. Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Closing Time

It is my end of summer, because today Swan Lake closed for the season. It was fairly cool today, so we didn't go swimming. I just ran in to get my chairs. As we drove away, I thought about this summer and what Swan Lake has brought to me this year: getting to know people better, and making new friends.

Finally met Tom of *Liz and Tom*, and not only is Liz lovely and gorgeous, her husband is a riot and another stay at home dad (though he doesn't take it quite as literally as my husband does). Sam played lots with Mav & Shane. I am still stunned by Mav's major league quality throw.

Finally met Segrid live and in person after chatting on FB and having countless friends in common. Annoyingly inserted myself into her recent conversation with Cole, sorry about that Segrid, but I had a very personal interest in the subject matter and couldn't seem to make myself walk away.

Lots of quality time with Heidi, Malik and Leila. Sam and Malik get along well and it's nice to have another family who is on our late schedule.

Time with Liz and her family. Sam loves Hooper. Liz is an amazing person I have known for years (since I was 14?) but over the summer I feel like I've gotten to know her much better and hope we can continue to spend time together.

Ditto for Kristin, who I knew only slightly but now know a smidge better. Another quite amazing person who radiates strength and wisdom. I love the way she talks to kids and I love her hair in ever-changing hues of pink.

Fun playing with Sam for countless hours: catch, swim races, Chase the Ball and Protect the Light and whatever else Sam can make up. Teaching Sam to tread water and swim freestyle. Digging in the sand pit and meeting Watermelon Girl (a little girl known only by her watermelon-themed bathing suit...when I remarked that it looked like a watermelon, she looked at me with pity and explained it was not a watermelon, it was a bathing suit.)

Playing with friends' kids: catch with Mav, swimming with Alden and Malik and Hooper on my back (who are all delightfully light compared to Sam, who weighs about a million pounds), chatting with Shane (about what I'm still not sure), watching the adorable toddler antics of Charlie and Simon and Sabrina. And time with Baby Leila! Feeding my baby fever...

Can't believe another season is over.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

One of those good moments

In the midst of feeling like absolute crap and being very very cranky, had one of those moments that shines a light on the good stuff.

Sam is really into Ghostbusters right now. He watched the movie and is playing the DS game non-stop. Yesterday when E and Sam picked me up from work, Sam was dressed, shall we say, WARMLY for a hot Baltimore day: long purple nylon Ravens pants, a t-shirt, and a red rain jacket (and no, it wasn't raining). He also had his backpack, even though school is not in session. Turns out this is his Ghostbusting ensemble.

When we got home, I saw a collection of Chinese condiment packets on the coffee table. Their use was made clear when E, as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, stumbled around the room tossing tiny plastic envelopes of hot mustard and soy sauce at Ghostbusting Sam, and Sam leapt over the sofa with his "blaster" and got the ghost.

Just one of those funny, sweet moments....made me smile.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I was dreading this trip. The last time we drove to East Berlin was for the funeral, only a month or so ago, but driving those roads again makes me ache for Kitty, who I just can't wrap my head around not ever seeing again. I even asked Sam if he wanted to go without me, just with my mom and grandmother to visit his cousins. Of course he said no, and truthfully I don't think I could send him off in a car to another state without me anyway.

So uneventfully we go the the assisted living, open Mother's Day presents with my grandmother, see the renovations and the new puzzle room on her floor. Back in Mom's brand new car, the four of us ride quietly. I sip my big Diet Coke in the backseat and think of Kitty, while Sam taps away on his Nintendo next to me.

At the crossroads, we stop and my grandmother exclaims "Well, how fast he going!?" And then, a deafening crash, the vehicle spins, the car is flying down the embankment and straight ahead, I see a tree. I am punched in the left side of my head by the airbag, stunned into silence as the window glass shatters. The air bags cast a sick red glow inside the car. Mom swerves and avoids the tree and we stop, tires stuck on the rocks.

"Is everyone ok?" I hear myself say. Sam begins to cry, to wail, he is terrified. Mom is bloody and crying; she looks backward at me and seems so small and frail. Mom-Mom is shaken. Sam unstraps himself from the car seat and gets out onto the rocks, sobbing. I get out as well, open the front door. Mom-Mom can't get out, and neither can Mom, whose door is smashed, its lock torn clean. People start coming to us, drawn by the siren of Sam's sobs. I settle Sam on the hill at the roadside, call Randy to tell him we have crashed several miles from his house. He will come to us, but I am too confused to explain where we are.

The EMT units arrive, the State Police arrive. I hear a new term, "t-boned," which is what we have been, by a red truck going 60 mph. I can't reach Eric but leave him a message: there has been an accident, we are all alive, Sam is ok but scared. Everyone is drawn to Sam and me by his continuing wails. Several EMTs asks Sam questions; I know they are assessing his mental status but I don't tell him he has Asperger's, don't want his terror dismissed as a special-needs quirk.

Mom is shuttled quickly into the first ambulance. I catch the word "flight" and wonder if she is being flown to a trauma center. Mom-Mom is strapped to a guerney in another ambulance, and Sam and I are deemed well enough to ride along with her, though still as patients. Sam is horrified by the lack of seat belts in the ambulance, and clings to the stuffed animal the EMT gives him. I answer the medical questions and hold Mom-Mom's hand, though she is in good spirits and, Garp-like, thinks it's exciting that she is getting her first ambulance ride in her mid-80s.

Hours at the hospital later, there have been CTs of heads and necks and xrays of shoulders, elbows and hips. Mom has a minor head injury and superficial injuries, but the rest of us are ok. Eric comes to get us and takes a circuitous route back to Baltimore, thankfully avoiding the accident site. Randy stays with Mom-Mom, and gets a call that my cousin Ryan has just been crowned Prom King. The car is of course totalled. The EMTs tell my mom they are amazed there are no serious injuries, looking at each other and saying in unison, "air bags." We learn that without the airbags my mom and I would likely be dead.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Assorted Sam-politicalisms

Listening to NPR in the car pre-election, we hear a story a story about Proposition 8in California. I ask Sam what he thinks about this, and clarify that it is a law about whether a man can marry a man or a woman can marry a woman. He pauses for a moment and then seriously says "that should be a law for the whole world."


A few weeks ago, Sam asked for whom I would be voting. WHen I said Barack Obama, Sam said, "Well, good, then you'll be voting for me."


On the way to school, Sam asks how much we owe on our mortgage and how long it will take to pay it. Then he muses that when that happens, we sure will have a lot of extra money each month, and gosh, couldn't we give him some of that money? I informed him that he will be 26 then, and while he did say he would have a job (as a cake decorator), apparently he will stll be living with us.


Election night, E and I are watching the returns after midnight and Sam stumbles out of bed, calling me to come upstairs. I ask him to come downstairs and tell him Obama won. The three of us snuggle on the sofa and watch Obama make a victory speech. I hope it's something Sam always remembers.

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