Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Love on Thanksgiving

Tonight on the eve of Thanksgiving shortly after you peed on me you looked up at me unsolicited and said:

"I love you."

You continued splashing and kicking and playing in the water while I tried to quickly regain my breath.   I couldn't find the words to say it back. I was too shocked and dumbfounded to respond.

"I love you too."

I remember a client telling me...

"Just wait until he looks at you and says he loves you. That'll be the great day."

It's hard to believe this time last year you were only 8 months old and now you can express one of the greatest best most amazing emotions you will experience in life.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Toddlers in Winter-Top 5 Freeish Indy Fun

Winter with a toddler is hard. No long walks or backyards. We are on a quest to find free fun in Indy.

Here is our current top 5 mainly because Jack lights up the minute we set foot in these places:

#1-THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM 10a-11a on Saturdays OR 3p-5p during weekdays. This place is Indy's version of Disneyland. I still remember the first time I pulled up an attendant greeted me. WHAT? An attendant to greet me? This place must be special. And it was. This place is a dream for kids and adults. Buy a membership. It will feel free.
#2-CASTLETON SQUARE MALL 9a-10a SATURDAYS or 10a-11a Sundays. The hour before the mall stores opens is fascinating. The mall walkers are out in full force along with other moms who have discovered this best kept secret. There is a large play area in the food court and if you are joined by good parents who discipline their children, you're in for a treat here. There is also a train, Christmas lights, everything a toddler could dream of.
#3-GROUNDS AT ART MUSEUM. If you happen to catch a decent weather day, the grounds at the art museum are always breathtaking. Always. I'd imagine they are also stunning on snowy days. I haven't been brave enough to take a toddler inside the IMA. If you have, I'd love to hear how it went.

#4-THE BASEMENT. This is creepy, I know, but I have transformed our basement into a semi-toddler proof playground. Some of my fondest memories growing up were spent in the basement on roller skates and skateboards.  Kids aren't like us. They just want toys and sometimes they don't even need those. They don't care about the cement floors or cinder block walls. I have to remind myself of this constantly.
#5-TARGET. Every woman and toddler loves a Saturday morning run to Target. The shopping carts feel cleaner, the lights are brighter and there is food available if toddler gets cranky. Perfection.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

This Day Exists

I wish I didn't have to tell you this. I wish I could protect you from this reality. I wish I could take all of your future pains and hurts and erase them before they even happen, but that isn't real life. That isn't reality.

Life isn't perfect.

And the day you start striving for perfection, you begin failing. It will never come...perfection. You may get close, but we can't control what tomorrow brings. We can control our reaction (sometimes). And sometimes we can't even control that.

Because it's life. It throws us curveballs. It throws us pain. It throws us hurt. And the only person you can control, my dear son, is yourself.

So on those days that feel they may never end...on the hard ones where you may learn of ill relatives or hurting friends or heartbreak, remember...this day exists to make you appreciate the next one.

Remember that, my son.

This day exists to make you appreciate the next one. Ok?

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Sun and the Rain and the Appleseed

Every so often the sun hits our front yard so perfectly it stops me dead in my tracks. It doesn't last long, but it lasts long enough to make me think of you on our long walks as the son rose over miles and miles of cornfield. I was so mad at you for dragging me out of bed, but so glad you did it.

The sun makes me think of you. The morning you died I shot out of bed at 6 am and the sun was blinding me through a window. We never kept those curtains open...never. That room was always cold in dark, but that morning you said goodbye. There isn't a doubt in my mind it was you descending.

When I'm gathered around the table with family after a blessing, I think of the way you would billow out

"Oh, the Lord's been good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed Oh the Lord's been good to me. Amen, Amen, Amen I say Amen."

People dropped their forks as your voice rumbled through the dining room. Gram would smile coyly as if it was the very first time you had done that. She loved the way you surprised her. You were always surprising her. Always. I joined you every time shouting at the top of my lungs. You smiled across the table at me like we were the only two people in the room. Just a Grandpa and his Granddaughter.

Sometimes I look at Jack and I wish he could meet you. I wish you could take long walks with him pointing out the beauty of the world, but that's not why I'm writing. Your wife...the one you adored...the one who made you light up. She needs you right now. She is doing fine in the physical sense, but she is hurting on the inside. So perhaps you could pay her a visit tomorrow as the sun rises?

Perhaps you could sing her your song:

"Oh, the Lord's been good to me and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed Oh the Lord's been good to me. Amen, Amen, Amen I say Amen."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

These are the Days

These are the days you dream about.

Wake up. Play in the backyard pointing and screaming every time a plane passes over head. First one to spot it wins an unstated prize. Take a long cool walk passing retired pumpkins rotting curbside. Get a warm drink. Stroll home slowly staring at the way the leaves fade from orange to red to green to brown to ground. Meet a nice woman and her dog.

Lunch as a family. Nap as a family. Wake up and play. Eat. Play some more. Laugh and laugh and laugh until your stomach hurts and you don't quite remember why you're laughing anymore.

These are the days you dream about.

These are the days made for dreamers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mr Myles and His City Adventure

Tonight my oldest and most loyal friend of 10 years ran away from home. I felt a range of emotions...panic, sadness, fear. What if someone hit him? What if he couldn't hear a stranger snatching him from behind to take him far away to a dog fighting ring?

What if he just kept running like the 4th of July when he heard a firework and slipped out of his collar and just kept running and running and running? What if he tries to run home to his old house because he forgot we moved? What if he tries to run home to Fort Wayne because he forgot I moved seven years ago? What if he tries to run to Connecticut where I adopted him? What if?

What if he finds a family he likes better? What if Jack wakes up tomorrow and his "Myu" is gone? My brain went to a variety of dark places imagining life without my without the dog who broke a gate down once to get to me because he heard me crying. What would life be like without Jack's Myu?

I'm an average dog owner. I don't celebrate their birthdays or dress them up or paint their nails. I don't buy them special toys or dog treats every Tuesday. I'm not that good of a dog owner, but tonight I got a glimpse of life without my Myles and I didn't like it one bit.

Thanks for coming home, Myles. I promise I'll be better.