Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Mom's Reflection

Dear D,

      You are the absolute light of my life, sweetie. Yesterday was your very first birthday and I was so proud and happy to watch you cheerfully playing with your new toys, interacting and flirting with everyone, enjoying every second being the center of attention. It was just an amazingly joyful experience to watch you.

       During these past 12 months I have watched you change so much and develop this incredible little personality that I learn more about with each passing day. You're so full of unbridled enthusiasm and every time you learn some new skill - crawling, walking, pointing - I find myself feeling so excited for you because it gives you a new way to explore this world you never seem to tire of.

      I won't tell you it was always easy. Colic, sleeplessness (yours and mine), teething, sickness - we've been through it all, buddy. While I still don't always have as much as I need, you have taught me the virtue of patience in ways that no one else ever could. You have reminded me of what it is like to be a child. You have made it so that everything old is new again. There have been many nights where I actually want you to stay awake past your bedtime because I will miss you if you go to sleep. (Luckily for everyone, common sense always prevails over that temptation.)

    My favorite moments of every day this past year, the one I will never forget even though no photos or videos exist of it, are those that happen when I bring you into bed with me in the mornings to cuddle, nurse and (hopefully) fall back asleep for a little while longer. So many of those times I have stared at your sleeping face in the crook of my arm, taken a mental snapshot, and said to myself "I have never loved anyone or anything more in my life than this little creature right here."

    My darling, sweet, baby boy, this year with you has been a gift. I love watching you turn into a little boy, and I will love watching you grow into a man. I promise you I will continue to do my best every day to make sure that your life is full of love, affection, and support as you grow up and make sure you have the tools you need to do well in this crazy, unforgiving, and complicated world.

    I love you more than words, D. Happy Birthday.


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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Still Dumbstruck

I am still absolutely dumbstruck by the events of 6/1. For those of you who haven't heard on the news, an EF03 tornado ripped through western MA in a 39 mile path of sheer destruction. I have family and friends in every single affected town and city, and the tornado missed them all by as little as a half mile and my house by about 8 miles. By sheer dumb fucking luck, we were all either just to the south or north of the tornado's path.

My former stomping grounds from my teenage years are all but totally leveled. People have lost everything. Again, by dumb fucking luck, only 4 people were killed. One of them, a mother, was killed when she acted as human shield over her 15 year-old daughter as their house came down on top of them. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it.

I've seen many people on the news and on Facebook talking about how they prayed for God to spare them and their homes, and how it was a "miracle" they came through unscathed. I am amazed at the cognitive dissonance that belief requires. It has taken all of my self-control not to ask - do you somehow think you prayed harder or had more faith than the people who lost everything? Do you think you deserved to be spared and those affected didn't? How can you possibly believe in and justify the actions of a god who would do something like that?

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure that if my house had been in the path and I was forced to take cover in the basement, shielding my baby from flying debris, glass, and mother nature's blind-ass fury, you'd probably catch me, an Atheist, praying my ass off too. I think that's just human nature in the face of impending doom - not necessarily praying to a god, but to anything, everything that might be listening - even the tornado itself - "Please Mr. Tornado, please spare my baby, I am BEGGING you PLEASE!" - throwing your will and desperation out there to the universe and hoping it sticks somehow.

But then if you ARE spared, if you are one of the lucky ones, how can you possibly sit there and say, out loud no less, that "God" saw fit to save YOU because he heard your prayers somehow over the prayers of thousands of others praying just as feverishly and desperately as you?

I am dumbstruck by all of it. The destruction, the violence of it, the terror I went through calling my family members and saying "There's a tornado heading straight for your house!!!!!" while I'm watching the shit happen on the news. Being in a panic the entire rest of the evening with every rumble of thunder, every flash of lightning, a yellow-orange foreboding sky above - the whole time saying to myself "But this shit doesn't happen HERE! Not HERE!!!"

And I've been having nightmares about it ever since. As someone who truly loved thunderstorms my entire life, I don't think I will ever see them the same way again. Ever.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nature? I Forfeit.

Fucking tornadoes now? Really? REALLY?????

I bought formula at this grocery store at 1pm yesterday. I bought some booze at this liquor store around 1:30pm. This photo was taken around 5pm:

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