Day 25. Birthday lunch with friends cancelled. A migraine. Again. Three hours in bed. Takeout for dinner. An entire day I'll never get back.
Day 24. Sometimes it feels like he's caught in between being little and being big.
Day 23. This boy. He's been home for over a month. Healing. And now he's preparing to go back to the other place he lives. That place where he has to be ok without me. This shit is hard.
Day 22. Some days parenting is really all about playing defense.
Day 21. We live in the kind of place where kids knock on their neighbors' doors when they want to play. You're bored? Go ring a doorbell. Find someone to run around in the back with. Bring a ball. Or a Nerf gun. Go on, but be back for dinner! It's the kind of place where neighbors are actually friends. I have to be at work early on Thursday, can I drop him at your house before the school bus? Thanks, I owe you one. They move today. Not far, but not next door anymore either. She came over for breakfast while the movers began their work. The two of them looked through the books of photos from years past and pointed out all of the pictures the neighborhood kids were in. Remember that time we made a fort and ate dinner in it? Oh yeah! And that time we all jumped in the pool exactly at ten o'clock on opening day! New year's eve 2012, I forgot about that! Oh look how small the little ones were! The first day of school that year after the storm. And that snow day! These two. A little part of their collective childhood changes today. I'm so very grateful for those memories and for these images that keep them close, and for this practice of mine.
20/365. When life hands you hella shit, get a kitten.
18/365. He couldn't sleep. He asked me to sit with him and with tears in his eyes he asked me how this happened. Why, he asked, would anyone consider any human to be worth any less than any other. Why, he asked, would so many people support a man who has demonstrated such hatred and bigotry. Not understanding it myself, I had very little to offer. I reminded him (and myself) that nothing can change what we believe and that nothing can change what we know to be right. No person or group of people can change the values we hold. Then we watched Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech and found ourselves renewed. And somewhere close to midnight, still not able to sleep, he asked for paper and a pen and drafted some words about his own dreams. When we finally went to bed, I think we both felt a little bit better about what happens next.
16/365. Day off.
15/365. These past weeks, having him here with us. Figuring out what he needs and how best to help him through this. Hoping our love and support will be the medicine. Mothering just keeps getting more complicated.
13/365. I still get a tiny flicker of a butterfly in the pit of my stomach every time. Like I can't actually believe he's mine. Or maybe I'm just worried about which mood he's in.
12/365. Deep in conversation. (Squibby is the best listener in the family.)
11/365. When he first left, the silence filled every corner of our house. Some days it was so loud, it drowned everything else out. (I don't miss the mess, though.)