Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks - The List

1. For Alex, the joy of my life. Healthy and thriving, joyful and filled with an infectious giggle; I wonder every day what I did to be so lucky.

2. Jym, world's most patient man. He puts up with my snits and foul moods. He tolerates my penchant for leaving crumbs on the counter and dirty dishes in the sink (and dirty clothes on the floor and shoes in the middle of the hall and books on every available surface in our bedroom and... well, you get the idea). He makes me laugh when I am angry and smile when I am sad. He is my strength.

3. My parents. They both have health problems and I am so grateful that they are still with us. We don't always get along and there are plenty of problems in our past, but I love them dearly and don't know what I'll do when they're gone.

4. My mother-in-law. She comes everyday and takes care of Alex while we work. She loves him so much and he adores her. I am blessed to have this woman in my life. She helped us buy our house and started Alex's college fund. She helps us in a million little ways and our lives would be poorer without her.

5. Leftover Halloween candy. I know, its not deep or meaningful, but damn... I do love some mini Reese's Cups.

6. My job. Less and less everyday, though. I'm burned out and in a place that offers no challenge or room for growth. It does provide a paycheck, however, so I can't argue with that.

What are you thankful for? Do you love Reese's as much as I do?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Words, Words, Words

Can I just say that it completely boggles my mind the amount of words that Alex can say?

off and on (both sound like "ah" but he uses them in the right context)
boom! ("boo!", whenever he falls down)
pull ("puh")
hat ("ha", a less cute, but more intelligible version than "tah", which he used until recently)
cheerios ("che-os")
truck ("tuck")
binky (bi-ee")
yum ("um")
nose ("no")
tongue ("tuh")
book ("buh")
up ("uh")
down ("dow" - used often in conjunction with "boo!")
door ("tor")
blanket ("bla-ee")
light ("li")
shoe ("zhoo")
tickle (one of his first words, it still sounds like "dooka")
pot ("pah")
ball ("bah")
that ("tat?", when he wants to know the word for something)
dragon ("dah-on")
block ("bah")
computer ("poo-uh")

I know there's more, but this list just amazes me. Yesterday (I swear that it was last week, at the most.) he was just a helpless newborn, bleating out his needs with crying. Today he pointed at the top of the fridge and and said cheerios. It blows my mind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Mine Anymore

My family recently went on vacation. We spent a lovely time in Walt Disney World, showing Alex all the things that we love about the place: the rides, the shows, the fireworks, the food (OMG, the food. Don't roll your eyes, Disney has tons of gourmet restaurants.) We love the place so much that we spend at least 2 weeks there every year and more if we can swing it.

Usually we come home with tons of pictures (and we did), lots of T-shirts (less this time due to the crappy economy), a new Christmas ornament (got that, and it's adorable) and a boatload of stuff for my scrapbooking. And we leave with a sense of sadness and satisfaction intermingled; bittersweet and worn out.

This time, however, was different. We were eager to leave, the bittersweet skewing sharply to the bitter near the end of our trip when my car was stolen. We parked it one night, right outside our room, carried an exhausted, sleeping Alex inside and went to bed. The next morning we packed up the diaper bag, got everyone dressed and stepped into what felt like unreality. We looked where the car was parked, and then we looked again. I asked Jym to be sure that I hadn't forgotten and then we both looked stupidly around the parking lot, as though the Jeep might have gotten bored and gone for a drink in the middle of the night, returning to a different space in its confusion.

The cops were called and Disney stepped up, giving us a stroller and providing transportation for the remainder of our stay and the return trip home, 650 miles away. We waited, hoping that the car would be found and also hoping that it wouldn't (because who doesn't want a reason to go get a new car?). The Orange County Sheriffs called us on Halloween; my car had been located at an industrial park about 20 miles outside of Orlando. I felt a sense of relief and then one of disappointment when they told us that the radio and stroller had been taken. But it was no big deal; everything was covered by insurance and stuff can be replaced.

My car finally made it back to town today. We went to the shop where they're checking it out to get some things out of it that I had been needing. I opened the door and then I couldn't stop crying. My things, all the little things that accumulate, were scattered everywhere. There were papers in the floor, all over the backseat; a CD was discarded in the passenger floorboard, the only remnant of the dozens that I kept in the car. Jym's Air Force sweatshirt was thrown over the backseat, but mine was missing. The change jar that I keep in the console was gone. Jym's Zippo was gone, taken from its place in the ashtray.

And it finally hit me, what seems like such a nothing on paper. It was just a car, just some stuff and a handful of change. But it was mine. These things, this space, it was mine.

And now it doesn't feel like mine anymore. I sat in the driver's seat; my feet didn't reach the pedals and it was leaned back at an uncomfortable angle. I felt like there was someone lurking over my shoulder, but of course I was alone, sitting in a car and crying in the bright afternoon sunlight. Jym came up behind me and I leaned into him; crying out the loss that I thought I hadn't felt.