Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ornaments 2012

Every year I hunt for ornaments for collections that we will eventually turn over to Henry and Willa when they have their own trees.  Henry gets a bear every year, and Willa gets a bird.  Does this sound familiar?  You can see past ornaments here and here and here.

This year, Henry's bear has an H on it because it was the year he started writing his name on everything. 
Willa has a chicken because... well, you know.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Present and future.

There's been a lot of talk and thought and energy put into Willa and Henry as grown ups today.

All four of us went downtown to stand with others from our church at the feet of a Rosa Parks statue.  A small group gathers once a month to hold signs and be a visible presence for marital justice: a code phrase for gay marriage rights.  I have friends who can not legally marry in our state and many more.  I have two children.  If one of them were to grow up and fall in love with someone of the same gender and not be able to marry, I'd be heartbroken.  I am heartbroken for those in that situation currently.  So, we stand.  Henry has a favorite sign that he pulls out of the bag of signs.  He likes it because it is orange (his favorite color) and because it the message of "honk if you support marital justice" makes people toot their horns.  Immediate satisfaction.  Someday, when the Michigan amendment that bans gay marriage is overturned, I will tell my children that they helped make that happen.  "Rosa Parks up there helped people of different skin colors have the same rights by sitting down on a bus seat.  You guys are going to help other people by standing here in the cold." 

Later today, Willa and I were in the car after an errand to swap out a Christmas Barbie for a different toy.  "Willa, what kind of adult do you think mom and dad hope you become?" I asked.
"Smart."
"Yes, smart.  What else?"
She thought for a bit, "Kind.  Respectful.  Responsible.Loving."
I held my breath, said my silent motherhood prayer of "please, please, please" and continued on.

Auld Lang Syne, my dears

I've not been here in almost 2 months now.

I am up later than anyone else in the house right now.  Last night was New Years Eve and we celebrated by playing a movie at home, projected onto our front window's big shade.  We had homemade pretzels and mini coconut pies and bubbly juice.  At 10, we watched the youtube video of the ball drop from 2010.  All four of us went to the porch to light sparklers, and then the kids were off to bed.  Jim and I finished the year by watching a movie and debating if we had enough energy left to open our own, grown up, bubbly juice.  We didn't.

Today we walked.  We've gone for a walk in the woods every New Years Day for a while now.  3 years?  I don't know.  It seems like a good idea.  We're together, we're in nature, we're walking off some of that homemade mini coconut pie...  It was 22 degrees when we finally got to the park, and the first mile passed quickly with observations and the constant "crunch crunch" of the icy boardwalk beneath our feet.  The final .3 of a mile was spent reminding the kids to be quiet so that we wouldn't scare off the deer.  They did.

Today was also spent taking down Christmas for Jim's mom.  I've not recorded here the past 30 days of Jim's dad going to the ER, being diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia, the 24/7 week of chemo, and the slow recovery that has included heart and lung complications.  To say it's been difficult is an understatement, but Jim's dad, his mom, his family, and ours have been supported with love and offers of help and prayers from "our people."

Through this, we managed to get together a lovely Christmas season.  Jim and I supported each other with dark humor, and frank words, patience, and a lot of love.  He would remind me that Christmas is a season, and the kids would still have good memories of this Christmas even if it meant making cookies after the holiday.  We still haven't finished the gingerbread houses.  We still had a nice Christmas.  Phew.

And now it's a new year.  It's inspiring to think of 2013 as a clean slate.  But we've still got an important person in the hospital, and Jim still would like to be working elsewhere, we still not certain about the right plan for our house, and the house is still a mess.   BUT - we still have each other, and our treasures that make our house cluttered, and our human little treasures that make the house messy.  We have (very slow) progress in Jim's dad's recovery, and progress in my school journey, and joy, and joy, and joy.  And, friends, we get to bring you with us into 2013, too.  We are so lucky.

Happy new year, pals.