Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Life is too fleeting to hesitate. - JRS

Others had left my life and heart with huge holes, regret would creep in and take hold of my head and heart for days. You and I discussed my regret occasionally; you'd heave a heavy sigh and look off, thoughtfully, into your history. You explained the urgency of life and how I'd continue to pay for the moments of hesitation. You thought that the call to action I would feel my heart give was a warning of pain, to my brain. It was reminding me of the fragility of life and allowing me the chance to heal before the real hurt would inevitably come.

I took your words to heart. I believed it would protect me from feeling the devastation of loss in the future and I guess it did, in a way. My heart is not broken from the regret of moments not taken, instead I am haunted. I now relive that moment when I looked into your eyes and said, "I'm sorry but I have to," I leaned in to kiss your cheek and I held on too long as I hugged you goodbye.

I look back at that lovely weekend we all spent together and I slightly chuckle. You were right. My heart was warning me but thankfully this time, I listened. The time at the beach is well documented with pictures that you begrudgingly allowed me to take. We all woke up too early and stayed up too late, each day that we were together. We were all present and soaking in every moment - we were all together again.

The deliciousness of all our time together made it so difficult to leave that morning. We all got into our respective vehicles and began our journey home. Playful texts were exchanged between you and Bob as he recounted the 30 mile sob-fest I engaged in, as we departed. It was proclaimed that I cried for the appropriate amount of time that morning, as you thanked us both for an amazing weekend.

Sporadically peaceful sleep eludes me now and on those early mornings I lay in bed looking up at the ceiling, crying angry tears. I'm heartbroken to live another day without you but grateful that I was paying attention. When I was presented with the chance - I kissed you one last time, I held you so close and hugged you too tight.

Thank you for that, Josh.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Conversations with Cheetah

Previously I have described my probing conversations with Cheetah, the short morning and afternoon commutes quickly become a formal inquisition. The years have been racing by but the daily scrutiny has remained, but he has up-ed the ante. He stuns me daily, as his subject matters widely broaden, I imagine this is due to his veracious reading, YouTube viewing (he does so in the living room, under our screening - no parent shaming needed), and countless hours of video game playing.
He plays good cop/bad cop as he grills me for answers while testing the validity of the responses with additional inquiries and promises of "googling" when our discussion has ended. After nearly ten straight minutes of examination, I pull into the driveway hoping for a reprieve. I close my eyes and try to get my heart rate back into the safe zone, while beginning to replay my answers in my mind.
Did I respond to his question about Herpes too graphically? Maybe he is too concerned with what his classmates think of him. Why in the world did I try to describe the Holocaust by myself, when I know I become too passionate? How else was I supposed to approach a questions about sperm? Thank goodness all we talked about was bugs and lizards today. What did he mean by, "but he did throw like a girl?" These moments of reflection leave me ready for round two, which never goes as well as the round he initiated; but I attempt to solidify my point or opinion, as I watch his eyes slowly begin to glaze over...

And there en lies the problem, he is only prepared to actively listen when he is ready to discuss issues with me; which I am learning happens less and less, in direct correlation with the amount of birthdays he has experienced. I'm unsure if I should be proud that he is growing more aware of his environment, that he catches every detail and written word that is around him or if I should be worried that he seems too aware of the world around him and isn't more lost in the thoughts and musings of a care-free child.
Those concerns lead me to a realization, maybe that's why many school districts have a completely separate school for children of this age, Middle School. It must be a place dripping with angst, overrun with attitude, and full of students who's eyes are stuck in the "rolled position" - what a drastic change from the light, airy, and happy hallways of the cute elementary school he currently attends. He's nervous to make that jump to the new school full of older kids, and I'm down right terrified.
I do have an ace up my sleeve though, a friend who works as a Counselor in the Middle School that Cheetah will be attending. We've discussed what changes I can expect and she assures me that things aren't as scary as I am envisioning. She has almost convinced me that Middle School is a gift to parents. It's the time in which we can train our hearts and bodies for the marathon ahead; to prepare for a barrage of arguments, patience obliteration, and additional limit testing.
As I continue to enjoy our last year at elementary school, I invite you fellow parents to incoming Middle Schoolers to take this school year and summer to cuddle your kids - when they'll let you, enjoy your conversations with them about their friends and hobbies, and try to keep your cool under the bare bulb of the investigation room.