Friday, January 01, 2010

Can I remember all that?

I've read a few "What I did in the past decade" posts lately. I wondered if I could remember what I have done since we rang in the year 2000. The answer? Not very well, but I will try.

2000-Spent half the year in North Carolina and the other half in Virginia. What I remember most is our neighbors walking over with a six pack of good beer and treats for the dogs. That set the bar for a great friendship with the MaddJones family. We also found the Super Old Golden Retriever of Indeterminate Age that year. We thought we would give her one good year of life.

2001-Traveled to Miami to see a bowl game, missed a flight because of the lure of the Keys, and got to spend time with friends because of it. A good way to start the year despite our team losing the game. Phill and I traveled like students with backpacks through parts of England, Wales, and Dublin for ten days, complete with a few pub crawls and closing out one pub. Pregnant with my first child, I watched as 9/11 changed the world into which my children would enter. However ugly the world, seeing your baby for the first time is beautiful.

2002-From the bliss of a newborn to the shock of having a husband diagnosed with a cavernoma followed by all the problems resulting in neurosurgery to remove that growth. I thought life would never be the same. While it isn't, the reality became easier that I expected. This year, I lost all focus on me because Phill and my first born needed all the attention. What a revelation eight years later. That was the year I lost me.

2003-Normality means welcoming in a second child and beginning to write the dream that invaded my head.

2004-Considering moving to Arkansas and deciding against it. The death of Kodiak. Phill gave me the seemingly impossible description of the next dog we would get: a rescue puppy, female, and a mix of white German shepherd and yellow Lab. Two months after Kodi died, I found that dog. We adopted her in December. The White Dragon. A great dog.

2005-With the coming of our third child, we left our two girls with my parents so we could tour the parts of Florida we knew well. On that trip, I read the first of 20 novels that chronicle the life of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin by Patrick O'Brian. My son could only have one of those names. The birth of the boy. Man on man to zone parenting. What a change. What a life. How rich and frustrating all at the same time.

2006- I will never remember any thing else about this year except the phone call my mother made to tell me of my father's death. More than half that year and a good portion of the next I grieved. My life changed that day. It will never be the same.

2007-Too much happened this year. Continuing grief. A possible change of jobs meant travel to New Orleans with so many people asking us why we would even consider such a place. Yet, this place feels like home. Setting my feet here, eating here, meeting people on that interview trip had me knowing that I wanted to be in the Crescent City. Is moving tough on children? Yes. My eldest spent her 6th birthday with strangers in her new school. The look in her eyes when she realized that I wouldn't be staying with her traveled directly to the soft spot in every parent. We worried over her, but her younger sister had a harder time adjusting.

2008-Carnival, or Mardi Gras, changed everything for my children. They got it as we met neighbors, young and old, fancy and scruffy, sweet and grumpy. The world of New Orleans opened for them, and the beads, toys, and doubloons tossed into their hands helped usher them into their new lives. Yes! they cried. Yes, we like this place, this street, this school, these neighbors, this city. OK, Mom and Dad, we get it now. Maybe other things happened this year, but their understanding is what I will remember.

2009-We traveled as a family and as individuals this year to places near and far. Disney with three children and one fabulous sister began our year, and we ended with four of our five going to Provence. In between, we changed jobs, accepted too many volunteer positions, and began a renewed sense of health and fitness.

I have no pithy closing, because nothing changes on New Year's Day. It's a day with no special meaning. Our earth keeps turning. Our star keeps burning. We are here until we are not.

1 comment:

Liz Self said...

I was amazed as I read this to realize that I've known you for all of the second half of this decade -- and witnessed or read about a lot of these events. Nice post, SB.