I’ve been on a writing haitus lately – for a bunch of reason. Some of them time-related, some of them mood-related (because when I write, whatever I’m thinking or feeling comes out first, and I don’t think anyone really likes reading my rants about my schedule). But despite the time challenges, despite the chores and financial woes – there’s an awful lot about my life right now to appreciate.
I’m married to possibly the kindest, smartest man in the world. He’s still my best friend, he’s still the person I most want to be with, and I’m forever grateful for whatever I did in a past life to deserve him. No matter what, he’s my partner, and I could not possibly do what I do, the way I do it, without him. This is a particularly challenging time in our lives, no time, not enough money and far too much to get done, all the time. But I’ve never, not once, wanted to do this without him.
My oldest daughter, Jessica, is in the middle of the loveliest transition from a little girl to a teenager. Her milestones are not as anticipated, there’s no baby book for the first time she goes away for the weekend on a youth group retreat, or uses her cell phone to call home for a ride. I worried about the transition, about adolescence. I’ve been warned about it so many times, ever since she was an infant. She’s so dramatic, so moody – everyone told me that puberty would be horrible. And they were so, so wrong. I’ve often thought that Jessie is the kind of person who didn’t like being a kid. The older she gets, the happier and more focused she becomes. Watching her turn into who she will be is one of the nicest parts of my life these days.
My son, my Sammy, my little guy – he’s come through so much. He’s a fighter, and he had challenges that I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to understand. Watching him overcome the anxiety, the fear, and learn how to handle the emotions and push past them to be able to live his life – he’s so much happier now. He’s himself now, all the time. It’s very rare that I see the anxiety taking over anymore, and he’s able to talk about it when it happens. He bounces into school and religious school without hesitation, he’s social and friendly and engaging and I’m so, so proud of his journey. He’s the most relaxed and social of my kids, I can plop him down into a group of kids and know that by the time we leave, he’ll have made friends. All of Julie’s friends ask for him at playdates, and he’s got a buddy here every single day after school. He collects old cardboard boxes and carves them up and tapes them together to build buildings and spaceships.
My Julianna – my baby. She’s such a love, literally. Her favorite spot is still my lap, she kisses me a thousand times before she cuddles to sleep. She’s doing everything on her own these days, pouring her own drinks, getting herself dressed and picking out her headbands. She’s off to kindergarten next year, and I’m still trying to fully believe that. Because she’s the youngest and the only one still at home with me, she’s had to deal with the killer schedule, hours in the car, and afternoons spent playing on the floor at the synagogue. She’s so adaptable, almost all the time. Unless you cross her, or try and do something that goes counter to her version of the way things should be done – like put on her socks before her pants, or yank on her coat before she’s fixed the arms of her shirt. She’s got an incredibly strong personality, but tempers it with this flexibility and laid back attitude. Girlfriend has a good sense of perspective – and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Unless the small stuff is incredibly important to her, in which case, she’ll force the entire world to bend to her whim.