An August hello

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I never write anymore, I know. I suppose there is a life span to most blogs, and mine has pivoted from Crohn’s, to infertility, to children, and now the weeks tumble by without any overarching dilemma (other than finicky flare-ups health-wise, the ever-present question of, “What should I make for dinner?”, and an ongoing battle with my Excel illiteracy). Every good story needs a hurdle.

I’ll write about the good stuff: Sam is sleeping next to me, napping, two middle fingers in his mouth, sweaty and sweet. He will be three in October and is a jolly oddball: he chirps and grunts and sings and has vibrato, I swear, his little three-foot body is alive with promise Sometimes he quietly tinkers, or we find him half-asleep on the couch (he never fights bedtime, unlike his sister). Sometimes he’s the class clown, hamming it up for his inner circle. He loves his people: us, his grandparents, Julie his care-giver/teacher/wonder woman. He’s also a burgeoning little smartass.

His big sister is wholly a daddy’s girl (I hate that phrase), but in this case, it’s true. (So true, in fact, that she told me she loved her father one-thousand times more than me. She then made the critical error of asking what I was making for dinner, to which I replied, “Why don’t you ask your precious daddy?!” and went upstairs to shower.) She often says Sam and I are a team, and she and Matt are a team. I know she didn’t understand it, but after one of these bouts I pulled her close and said, “Don’t you see? We fight because we’re one in the same. Stubborn and hot-tempered and willful and sensitive.” She looked at me flatly. She didn’t buy it.

We found Annie a pre-K class for three days a week. After touring three schools, we settled on one nestled on the Main Line (so there’s a high probability Annie will learn about au-pairs and Swiss skiing holidays). I called Matt a “Tiger Mom” because this one has a more academic focus, whereas I just wanted the cheapest option (never mind the cheapest one was an offshoot of an evangelical church and we are not religious; a little indoctrination never hurt anyone if if saves us a few bucks is my mantra). I told him she doesn’t need academics — she needs to play — and like that our personas were reversed for a minute. Matt is always the lax one, and I’m the worrier who is often uptight, but here he was saying she needs more structure to ready herself for kindergarten. I should add that Annie has been asking to attend her own school for quite some time: her two girlfriends from Julies are off to kindergarten. “No one my age is going to be at Julie’s,” she said. We agreed.

“I’m just growing up so fast,” she told me yesterday. We were lounging in my bed talking about school, and about how, no, she couldn’t bring her beloved PB&J sandwiches because of allergies. “I love peanut butter sandwiches even more than Chinese food,” she giggled, before adding, “But not better than the egg rolls.” Then she was off — downstairs — to play checkers with Matt. If there’s nothing else — if we fight and holler over every blessed thing — I know we can break bread over General Tso’s.

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