Monday, September 23, 2013


I woke up early this morning thinking about you remembering our first hours together and our last.  I wrote in my journal and cried for all the moments I can not get back and all the memories we will never make.  I waited for you to come and tell me you were ok but no ghost found me.

Your brothers are wrapped around my heart keeping me busy, giving me a reason to wake up, smile, hope, and keep dreaming, it still hurts but they make it easier.  You would love the young man Noah has become and you would squeeze Elliott and kiss his big fat cheeks.  Oh sweet girl how we miss you.

Where are you pumpkin, please tell me there is a heaven so I can hold onto the promise that I will get to be with you again someday.  I love the dreamy idea that when you left your body your burst into stardust and became rain and waterfalls, petals on flowers, snowflakes, a blade of grass a tear, Elliott...but heaven, I want to believe you are still you, having fun, waiting, watching and I am still your mama.

Happy birthday to you sweet girl, my heart, you are so loved, so very loved.

We will go to the cemetery tonight, bring you flowers, cake, an apple from our tree.  We will pull up to the place where your body is and it will still feel like a dream, we will tidy up and cry, look at the view of the mountains, tell you we love you and go home.  I won't imagine you there in the ground, in a box, a person I can no longer touch or talk to.  I will keep looking up and telling myself "She just graduated before us, that is all, she is just where we are all going, saving us a place, smiling at how silly it all is really".

Today I kissed Elliott while he was sleeping and remembered kissing you as a baby, your big cheeks, the way you always smelled like fruit and flowers, and breast milk.  I loved the way you smelled, even after you left your body you smelled like oranges and love.  What I would give to simply touch your hand or hear your voice one more time.

I hope there is a celebration in heaven, even if birthdays are no longer important I know you love parties.  I hope you planned one with a great chocolate cake, creamy colored flowers, a big lawn with soft blankets and a cool band, a sky full of stars...

I am here bunny right were I have always been, I won't forget, I will never forget.

Thank you for 19 years with the smartest, bestest, funniest, lovliest, stubbornest, geekiest girl in the universe.

Still your mama buttercup,


Friday, September 20, 2013

Toms, boys, change and morning...

I took Elliott to buy his first pair of shoes on his birthday.  We had done the whole cake and party the Sunday before and it was fun.  I made yards of bunting in pic-nic colors, I frosted a baby blue cake, we had finger food, friends, swimming and piles of presents.  Yesterday was our day just me and the mouse.  I woke up early and watched his birth video, we took a long bubble bath, we went to the mall and bought Toms, ate chocolate cake and pasta for dinner and went to bed early.

Elliott is just starting to walk, taking those wobbly steps that start with one or two and double every couple days.  He loves learning to walk and I can't wait until he can run, I will have to chase him for a kiss but he is the kinda kid who needs to run in the grass, chase birds, climb trees.  My son has boy energy and it makes me love him just a little bit more, he is himself.

Noah has boy energy but he is zen, he is Ying-Yang, he is balanced, his masculine and feminine are aligned and it is beautiful.  He is tall and graceful, he sings and dances but he also loves to kick a ball and ride a bike.  He isn't competitive or aggressive, he is soft and kind and easy to get along with, I love that so very much.

My two boys, so very different.  I hope I can keep up with Elliott he is a boy on the move.  Noah did his time on the sports field, he enjoyed baseball, soccer, tennis, but his love and passion is for music and theater.  Elliott may be an athlete, he is built like one already.  Noah was kisses and cuddles and Elliott is a man of action.

I took him to Nordstrom to find a baby shoe for new walking feet and it seems his feet are way too big for those cute soft soled shoes.  I just can't see him in a clunky runner yet, his feet are still chubby and tender.  He would prefer to be barefoot forever, naked too but winter will be here before we know it and he will need to be use to shoes on his feet.

I decided on a pair of Toms.  They are a simple well made shoe with a semi-soft sole.  They are also a one for one shoe meaning for every pair purchased a pair is donated, I like that.  So for Elliott's birthday he got a cool pair of navy blue Toms and so did another kid.  I put them on him and he very quickly pulled them off and tried to eat them.

Noah's birthday is just around the corner.  He will be 14 and I told him he just hit the age where I think we are done with the big themed birthdays.  He likes expensive gifts and doing both just isn't in the budget or totally appropriate.  I told him we will have a big "16" but this year it will be a family dinner out with a couple friends, cake and presents.  He seemed Ok with it.  I got him a Penny board which is really a little kids sized retro skateboard that once cost 20 bucks but is now 100 bucks.  I also bought him some new jeans and a couple T's from his favorite place.

I wish Stevie was here, she would have loved to plan Elliott's party and she would have picked the Tom's too.  For her birthday we would have gone out to eat in Berkeley maybe the city.  She would have asked for some obscure gift that was hard to find.   I miss that kid, I can't believe she would be 26 this year.  I try to imagine what kind of music she would be listening to, what books she would be reading, would she still wear her hair in a pony tail?  What kind of glasses would she wear, would she go ultra geeky or would she do something a little more feminine?  What I would give to stay up late and talk in bed, watch her face scrunch up when she laughs, fall asleep to the sound of her voice.

This is my life, it is a good life really.  Noah is pure sunshine even as a moody teenager he brightens up my day.  Elliott is demanding, silly, smells like heaven and melts my heart with his giggles and gap between his teeth.  Aly...we struggle but she is figuring it out, slowly and not easily but everyday a tiny step forward and back and forward again.  I will never have with Aly what I had with Stevie, Aly is too angry, but she is herself and I am learning to love what is and has always been great about her.  She is smart and funny, gentle and good.

Steve and I try, we are a family and we do our best but we are very different people.  We do our best to be good to each other but there is an ocean...

I have days when I need a great big change, I want to sell this house and move far away, maybe another country.  I want to start over, build a new life in a new place and run away from the past, the things that are broken, the things that hurt.  This little house I never liked, this city I live in that is an ill-fit, landing here by accident well now it's home.  I never thought this is what "home" would look like for me.  Noah loves it here and it's a good place to raise Elliott.  I can't imagine anyone sleeping in Stevie's room or cutting down the fruit trees I planted.  The senior center is walking distance, I might appreciate that someday.

I wish to live in a community that values what I do, be surrounded by people who have similar interests, someone who I can swap gardening tips with, other artists to kick around ideas and share dinner with.  Families we can grill and take long walks with, a best friend just down the street.  This is a good place to live, it's safe.  It isn't pretty, my neighbors let their kids ride dirt bikes up and down the street all day, no one really knows each other, sports are a big deal, church is another, both of these I have no interest in.  I never fit in, I tried and try but it is always effort.

I am feeling a little sorry for myself this morning...I feel a need for change, a need to own my life and the direction it is going a little more.  There is an age when people get stuck and I don't want to get stuck here.  Don't get me wrong I love being a mom and the thought that one day there will no longer be children in my house terrifies me.  What I think I mean is I don't want to get stuck in this "me"  I want to keep growing, keep learning, reaching, exploring, there is so much I want to do, I feel like I am running out of time and this might be it, this might be the house I die in, these will be the clothes I always wear, this will be my hairstyle, and these will be the only stories I have.

I don't want to get stale and crusty, I need an adventure.  I want to be an amazing mom to Noah and Elliott, I don't want to be a person they will have to worry and care for.  I want to be an interesting person, I never want to be that ghosty-dusty Grandmother no one really wants to visit.  I think the boys and I may need to start saving for a vacation.

The sun is up, Elliott and Noah will be awake soon, I better leave the comfort of this warm bed and this computer and stop writing about change and adventure and start making it happen.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A year

Its early morning and I am up before everyone else, even the sun.  The house is quiet and dark and it's a warm morning.  We slept without blankets, windows wide open, the sound of traffic, crickets, someones dog barking.  I like waking up early it feels like I am in on some kind of secret, I get to experience the day before anyone else.

I was laying in bed thinking about September, a month of birthdays for us.  Elliott will be one this month, his party is on Sunday, how can a year have gone by so quickly?  I remember waking up early one morning on a day not unlike this one with a feeling I could not ignore, the need to be a mother again.

A year after Stevie died, when the grieving became less a shock and more a part of my life, I decided that I needed to try and have a baby.  There were all the concerns and red flags; Steve didn't want anymore children, he had a vasectomy, we were in an ugly place in our relationship, my heart was broken, I had a new business, Noah was keeping me busy, I was in my 40's....

I knew I would do this thing, it has happened before.  My rational brain can protest all it wants  but my heart has made a decision.  I didn't know how I would make it happen I just trusted it would.  I had no idea that it would be a long difficult journey and that I would have to go through much pain and heartache, that I would suffer loss again, that I would be pushed to my physical and emotional limits.  Even had I known I would have still done it.

Here we are.

It was worth it, it was all worth it.

He was born on the 19th.  I told Stevie if she was coming home she would need to be born on her birthday so I would know it was her.  Elliott was born on the day Stevie died instead...19 is a magic number, it is Stevie's number.  I think it was her telling me, "Now it's a day for celebration, I am right here, be happy mom, just be happy"  She could not come home but she sent this little man, told him we had a trampoline, ate cake for breakfast, spent our summers on a stinky houseboat, that we were loud and opinionated, told him we had a big Christmas even though mom says she hates Christmas.  She told him our house was full of music, bad magic tricks, family gatherings and dancing in the living room.

I sometimes look at him and wonder if he is Stevie but even if he was he is Elliott now, this is a new life, a new body, all new experiences.  If Stevie came back she would want to start over.  Elliott is all boy, Stevie was a girl, loved being a girl.  He has big hands, a cleft in his chin, he is strong, big Pond colored eyes.  He is stubborn like she was, has the same cheeks but that is the only similarity I can find.

Elliott is not an easy baby, he makes me work for it.  He is stingy with his kisses, he nurses like a wild boy, he wants to drive the car, be up high, he wants to pick up heavy stuff, he loves gears and gadgets, he loves to be outside and once he starts walking (he is almost there) I am in trouble, he will be a kid on the move.

He is himself and I love getting to know him.

I imagined a little girl with Stevie's eyes and she would get to do all the things that Stevie didn't get the chance to.  We would start from the beginning and I would be the perfect mom and she would have days filled with bike rides, roller skates, camping trips, she would learn to ski, I would fill her room with new books, a down comforter, a night light...

Instead there is this man baby with little muscles who can move tables and pick up heavy rocks, a little super hero.  We sleep in Stevie's bed he kicks all the covers off and bites when he nurses at night.  He wakes up early demanding milk and starts the day off climbing things.  Naked he looks like a baby gorilla.

God I love that boy.

Thank you Stevie he is perfect.

This month I will celebrate Elliott's first birthday with a house full of friends and family and a pic-nic themed party.  Then we will remember Stevie and go to visit her, bring flowers and cake and I will try to imagine her being 26...then it will be Noah's 14th birthday, a trip to the ice skating rink with a handful of friends, pizza, and birthday cake.

Time is moving so quickly.

The sun is up now and my little hercules is stirring.  It is time to start the day.