Ninja Amy, Ninja Us

My last entry was pretty much a documentation of a provoked temper tantrum I threw on the Brooklyn Bridge, in front of Roan. Two good things came from this post:

  1. On our walk home from school, I told Roan I wrote about the Brooklyn Bridge Big Jerk. Roan asked if any of my readers had commented, and I told him yes, and that pretty much everyone agreed that the Big Jerk was in fact a Big Jerk. Roan raised his eyebrows high and started shaking his head and said, “I bet that guy didn’t know you had a blog or else he wouldn’t have acted like that.” And so far that is the biggest laugh I have had all year. I’ve decided to let Roan believe Pistols is actually all that powerful. Because it’s nice to have a superpower.
  2. The second great thing from that post is that I received a comment from a woman named Amy. It read as follows:

I have MS and am no supporter of the MS Society (as a charity, nearly fifty percent of their fundraising dollars goes to admin. this makes them a business, as far as I care.) That man was a bully using a “good cause” to push his weight around and I personally hope you shamed the whole lot of ‘em. Good on you.

Wow.

Ok, so actually I have no idea about the integrity of the MS Society, but as far as I’m concerned, if you have MS, you get to have pretty emphatic and passionate opinions about all things MS. So, on that: I’m firmly on Team Amy.

I was curious to find out more about Amy, and since her name was linked to a website, I clicked it. You wouldn’t believe the woman I found. Amy is more than a woman with MS. I could pretend that I’m capable of writing about who she is, but instead I’m going to let her tell you. Watch this. I dare you to watch this and not love Amy.

So, now that we all love Amy, and want her to keep making plans for her future, I have a second dare.

I dare every single person who reads this to donate $5 to Amy’s cause. It’s an amount I feel confident that we can all do. But if you can’t, how about sharing this post? Put the word out. To be even awesomer (Yup partner, I said “awesomer”), do both.

What would happen if our health care was patient-driven rather than profit-driven? I cannot imagine. But maybe – if Amy gets her way – maybe she can show us what would happen. I cannot help but love a woman who doesn’t shrink down and accept defeat. She instead is going Ninja, with all of us support ninjas behind her (and in front and next to her). Right? Seriously. Give $5, more if you want. And then let’s watch this Amy stand tall as a warrior and take a chance on something that would change her life drastically. And change her children’s lives. And maybe other people, who also have MS. Maybe someone in your family. Maybe even you.

I just cannot think of a better way to spend $5. And maybe after all, Roan could be right. Pistols could be powerful in the way he thinks. But only using our power for good.

Paypal or credit card here, or click here to get an address to send a check to.

What is Home

Easter Sunday Shenanigans, at home.

I remember while living in Salt Lake City this feeling that never left me. Anson and I owned a home, a beautiful thing. Plenty of space, remodeled with a gorgeous kitchen and a jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. Our backyard was landscaped and Anson built a sweet wrap-around porch out front to sit on and take in the pretty city sights.

But I always felt uneasy.

There was never a time where I would sit in my home and feel comfortable. I needed to plan, to get out, to walk around, to meet up with people. And while I was aware of it, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why. After a vacation at my mother’s home for Christmas, I realized what it was. When I was in my mother’s home, it felt like a home. It felt warm and easy. And when I returned to my house, it felt uneasy. It wasn’t my home. If anyone visited, I felt stressed out. If I had to spend time there alone, I couldn’t fully relax. It just wasn’t right.

Years later, after our family moved to Brooklyn, that feeling is gone. I’ve realized that it has nothing to do with the actual house, though. I am still Honeymoon-Happy with the apartment we live in. But it’s not the structure. It’s the place. It’s the location and the people around me and it’s the place I am in my own life. I am at home here in Brooklyn. This is the first place I have lived where I feel settled, at ease, and calm. I know I am home. When I lock our doors at night it isn’t to keep people out, it feels like a gesture of locking our family together at this point in time. In this comfort. In this home.

For the first time in my life, I love having people visit me. I love to show off my friend New York City, but I also love welcoming them into my home. I don’t mind that it’s not the biggest nicest fanciest place I’ve ever lived. I just love the feeling it has, which is simple and warm.

This past week, Anson’s brother Devon and his family came and visited us. Our entire family couldn’t wait to have these cousins around to play with, and cool Uncle Devon and Auntie Michelle all to ourselves.

Brothers

In a matter of four days, we toured Dumbo, rode Jane’s Carousel, ate Nathan’s hotdogs on the beach, rode every ride worth riding in Luna Park, went to Times Square, walked up Fifth Avenue (ok ok ok I skipped that day because the babies! Had mandatory nap-make-up duties.), had a meaty BBQ in the backyard with friends, tasted the goods at Farmacy, and hosted an Easter Egg hunt. There were sleepovers and restaurants, Lucali pizza, and too too too much chocolate.

Post-Farmacy Sundae Binge

We had five lifetimes of fun in four days.

Cousins on Jane's Carousel

Uncle Dentist making sure he has a future client in Shep

Before the hotdogs and never-ending rides

And now they’re gone and Roan has not gotten off the couch all day. I have given him an all-day couch pass because he has a post-cousin-rocking-great-time fever and sore throat. The babes are making up for lost sleep by sleeping extra, and I am making no attempts at keeping this home visitor-ready. While that may sound relaxing it is a little bit sad. It’s so nice to have family in town who are excited to spend time with us, and as impressed with all of New York’s shiny awesomeness as we are. I love so much being able to share my family with my family. I love the feeling of welcoming people into my home.

Just Another Day Surrounded by Strep and Condoms

Since Roan missed school one week ago due to a vomitous illness, I  arranged my regimented and highly accurate schedule to reflect him not being sick again until sometime mid-May. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that his back felt like fire on the walk home from school Tuesday afternoon, just one week after kicking the last illness. Roan further defied my schedule by percolating his fever to a full-blown 103 degrees around 2 AM.

A few hours later, my buddy the unlicensed but highly qualified Doctor Kara Knott, who has a promising future in the Carnival guessing people’s illnesses (she has accurately nailed my strangest afflictions, even when doctors couldn’t) immediately wondered to me if it could be Strep. I grabbed a flashlight, had my eldest stick out his tongue and got an eyeful of white pustules camping out on his tonsils.

I began rescheduling and thinking and planning and checking my credit. Credit with friends. Who is going to be lucky enough for me to give them no notice and ask if they can watch a baby while I take Roan to the doctor? I submit to you that it is a ridiculous thing to even consider taking two toddlers and one pustule-tonseled big kid to the doctor when I do not own a car and have no more than two arms. Before I could make my way through my self-inflicted credit check, Kara called and said she was taking a baby and that I should get on my way. Lucky me that she re-arranges her life behind the scenes to accommodate mine. She’ll never let me know what she’s had to move around or who she’s had to cajole – she just shows up. And even luckier me that my friend Lola is very much the same way. I think if Anson and I were to be plucked off this Earth at the same time, I’d just have these two women rotate Smitty and Shep between their homes. They live across the street from one another, so the logistics would work. Also, the babies adore them. Smitty blows kisses at Lola’s house, and Shep stands at our front gate and belts out, “K-AAAAAAA-AAAAAAAAA-R-A!!!!”

Roan of course would be sent to live with Tim Gunn.

A speedy in-then-out of the doctor’s office confirmed Strep, and we went to the pharmacy in Rite Aide to get some antibiotics. Poor Roan was still feverish like crazy, so he sat in a blue vinyl chair, sandwiched between two blue-haired elderly ladies. I kept my eye on them because those older Brooklyn ladies are a dangerous bunch. I simultaneously began the task of trying to present the facade of a mother who knows how to keep her really really bored toddler named Sheppard on his best behavior in public.

Photo by Roland Bello for Goatmilk

Sheppard was actually in a great mood, but eager to be busy. He’s a guy who loves to pick things up and then put them away. So I grabbed an empty basket and let him drag it along the floor. He would put various items in it, then I would put them away. As luck would have it, the store’s entire selection of condoms, sexual lubrication, pregnancy tests, drug tests, and dubious erection potions were all located at toddler-height, precisely in front of the pharmacy.

Now. I suppose I could have relocated Sheppard to a different isle for propriety’s sake. But I didn’t, because:

a) I didn’t want to leave Fever-Roan alone with those cagey ladies,

and

b) watching my 16-month-old Sheppard pull inappropriate items off the shelf, inspect them, nod his head emphatically, say, “Yeh!” then put them in his cart and applaud himself over and over until his little cart was full of condoms, lube, and dubious other items was exactly the stuff I needed for a big laugh.

The older ladies, not so much amused.

Thirty minutes later, with a prescription of antibiotics and everything put away nice and neat (you’re welcome, Rite Aide!) we hailed a cab and got home. I picked Smitty up from Kara’s house, who was just about to feed him lunch. She transferred his lunch into a container, and sent enough for Shep. I crossed the street to our home, and built Roan a nest on the couch. The babies were ready for lunch and I looked at it – a gooey buttery amazing looking grilled cheese, with Jarlsberg cheese on Brioche bread cut into perfect tiny squares. I had no choice, considering the day – busy and stressful. I prepared the twins a crappy peanut butter sandwich and as I fed it to them, treated myself to the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich ever. Who says being a mother is hard?

We Hate It When Our Friends Become Succesful

I recently found myself directed to a website that essentially makes fun of other websites and then it’s many many many readers post comments trashing the writers and actions of these sites. It’s brutal. I was reading the posts, somewhat caught up in the tornado of vitriol and snark and hate. Until I saw one post that eviscerated a friend of mine. It was unfair and incorrect on many levels. But the comments from the readers were like an angry mob. They grew harsher, they grew more cruel, and they even felt dangerous at times.

I’m not linking to the site or the post because the last thing I’d like to do is support them. And anyway it’s a total downer and waste of time.

But before my self-righteous high-horse gallops out of this town, let’s take note of the fact that I stayed on the site long enough to find my friend there. I was reading the other posts with a little discomfort, but not really being offended. Not until it hit a personal note.

Why? Why is there such a market for hugely offensive half-truths and bringing down people who are (or who’d like to be) public figures? I guess we all tell ourselves that if someone puts themselves out there, in the big forum of the world, they have to be ready for it, they deserve it, they’re bringing it on themselves. But I’m not buying that. It goes too far. It goes beyond responsible journalism or constructive criticism, and it becomes a witch hunt. This wanting people to fail. This wanting to see their flaws big and large.

Why?

Failure or mistakes of perceived successful or popular figures doesn’t make our bank balance go up, our children behave better, our patience increase, or our marriage more fulfilling. It’s a distraction. But I can’t really find the upside of it. This level of negativity, regardless if a person “deserves” it or not – is just way beyond what I think humans are built for. I know for a fact I would shut down, stick my thumb in my mouth and hide under my bed in the fetal position if I had things written about me in the same spirit that I’ve seen put out there for others.

For instance, it seems a huge audience was thrilled to see that Dooce (a juggernaut blogger who has made fistfuls of cash writing about her life) and her husband were splitting up. They all saw it coming apparently, and wondered to each other about the welfare children. That’s almost fair, right? Because she’s written about these things, there’s the license to discuss it publicly. But it’s obvious that many of these folks don’t care for the children at all, it’s all just part of the freakshow. There were also links to websites whose entire purpose was to eviscerate The Pioneer Woman (another huge blogger. Come on. I don’t have to tell you that. Books, TV shows, etc.) Sites who are polished and well kept and slick and whose entire existence is to mock her, her husband and kids, and the empire that she’s built in a few short years. That’s a lot of energy spent on someone you don’t actually know.

So why so much hatred when people become successful? It’s not just bloggers. I’ve seen the same mentality around a good friend of mine who has become wildly successful in the music world. People who watched him come up and put his time in now are mad that he is on top. They write nasty things about him, and in truth it is just not deserved.

I don’t know. I did steal the name of this post from Morrissey, who I’m guessing from the song he wrote encountered exactly the same thing. I suppose there’s comfort in the truth that this has been happening forever, not just since the internet became our medium. But the web certainly makes it easier to anonymously and quickly hurt people we do and do not know. I just wonder why so many people make the choice to do just that.

A Story About Deodorant

A few nights ago Roan announced that his 3rd grade teacher had made a declaration in class: everyone must start wearing deodorant. It was a Thursday which means they had gym that day and I do sympathize with a woman who has a class full of stinky sweaty boys and girls. That’s got to be tough and would certainly sway a person to believe that some of these children indeed should be left behind…

Roan could not have been more excited about this declaration. Ever since he saw Isaiah Mustafa in the Old Spice commercials, he’s been gunning to wear it. You’ve seen this, yes? I’ll embed it for people who haven’t. I mean – it is genius. I love it even now, after seeing it way too often.

Right.

Turns out that Roan wasn’t the only one who was dying to Old Spice it up. A few days later, when I was the designated responsible adult in charge of picking up Roan, two of his besties, Javier and Sachin, and his muse (I’ll have to write about that later) Anya, I had the brilliant idea of treating them all to their sticks of deodorant.

“You guys want to go buy the deodorant your teacher said you needed?”

(Now please imagine jumping around, limbs flailing wildly, whooping, hollering and such).

So it was decided.

On the walk to the drugstore, Roan excitedly told Sachin and Javier that he was going to get Old Spice. He kept saying, “I’m on a horse”. And they kept laughing. No back story, no build up, just “I’m on a horse.” Javier has an older brother whom I’m going to guess also wears Old Spice because Javier then announced that he too would get Old Spice but one-upped Roan by knowing which “flavor”. It would be Swagger.

I did not know that Old Spice had flavors.

The “Me too” chorus could not have come any faster or any louder and as we tumbled into CVS, the boys started racing to the deodorant isle. Anya hung back with me and seemed a little unimpressed. It’s not easy being a muse.

By the time I found the stinky boys they were all gripping their deodorants, reading the instructions, smelling it and excitedly nervously crazily moving about as if they were going to ride a rollercoaster for the first time. Sachin was miming how he would apply it, with all indications being that it would start with his feet, and end at the top of his head. Roan was wondering what it would taste like (which I cannot fault him for. It is the icy blue color of our favorite Ice-Pop) and Javier was casually snorting the scent with alarming gusto.

3 Old Spicers and an unimpressed Muse

Obviously none of them wanted bags after we made our purchase. They proudly walked down the sidewalk, just three 8-year-old boys with their Old Spice. And as dumb wonderful luck would have it, we bumped into two classmates who got to see the glorious acquisitions.  After some posturing, bragging, and another miming session of the future application, the classmates could be heard begging for their own Old Spice purchase. Seriously. I’ve not seen so much hype over any product save in the video game category.

Honestly, I don’t really think Roan needs to be wearing deodorant yet. But seeing the joy and unexpected status bump that Old Spice has brought into his life I cannot deny him the opportunity to smell like Isaiah Mustafa. After all, you can’t argue with a man holding a handfull of diamonds while riding a horse.

A Time to Help

A woman named Autumn sent me an email this week – it had a huge impact on me. I asked if I could share it with you, my readers, and she said I could:

Your Anson, My Anson

Jodi,

I think I stumbled upon your blog when I realized that we were expecting twins. I guess I just needed to see other moms of twins out there doing what we do to make me feel a little less anxious.

My husband Tim & I spent a lot of time during that early part of the pregnancy texting each other about names for the babies. We always assumed we would have a boy and a girl, I’m not sure why.

One exchange after reading your blog went something like this:

Me: Anson?

Him: Love it.

Him hours later: Sounds like “handsome”.

Me: I know! One more reason I love it. Handsome Anson haha.

That was back in June, and it was the first time I’d ever heard the name. Sadly, my husband passed away in August, but we had settled on the names Anson and Ayla (still assuming we would have b/g twins). A few weeks after Tim (Timothy James) passed, I found out we were right and the names Anson Timothy & Ayla James were finalized.

The babies are due January 8th.

Every time I read your blog and you speak so kindly of your husband, it makes me more and more sure that Anson is a perfect name for my little guy who will hopefully be as lovable as your Anson.

I just wanted to share….

Autumn

It’s not often that I have no words, but after reading this, I had no words. But I knew that in my wordless state, I still needed to reach out to Autumn and my new on-the-way friends, Anson + Ayla. Obviously I immediately thought of flying myself out to where Autumn lives and being her night nurse but then I remembered I have a few people who rely on me at night here. So I did the next best thing, and contacted a few friends who actually can help. Who actually would help, at least with things that can be helped.

Anson + Ayla are easily going to be the coolest, best-dressed kids on the block, and possibly even the state because Appaman is sending them a box of goodies. Appaman, by the way, is the company that started Roan’s illustrious modeling career. They also remain his favorite brand of all time. Here’s a blast from the past:

Little Appaman Roan.

Oh man I can’t help myself…here’s another…the twins look devastating in their Appaman tracksuits…

After this photo, they jumped off the couch and went for a run.

But Appaman is not alone in the Autumn love. Lansinoh, who made the breast pump that I used with my twins, has offered to send breastfeeding supplies. Believe me, with twins? Supplies à la breastfeeding are king.

Britax who makes my favorite baby carrier, and who also has an amazing double stroller, perfect for twins (for reals – the best) is sending Autumn a carrier for Anson + Ayla. And the queen of twindom, the one who knows more than anyone about everything twinnish, Ms. Natalie Diaz of Twiniversity, has arranged for Fisher Price to get some bouncy chairs and toys on their way as well.

I know as much as everyone reading this that things don’t replace people. But I also know, from experience, that when times are hard, it is possible to be lifted up and supported by those around you. I’m hoping that these things are helpful in Autumn’s world, and that little Anson + Ayla enjoy them. But more than that I am hopeful that Autumn knows there’s a world of support and love for her from strangers. Let her know in the comments if you’re one of those strangers (or if you know her, go ahead and say hi!).

Project Runway, Here We Come!

Watchout for this kid.

A little while ago, I started hustling all the people in my life who are in the “cool kid” circles. I’m not sure how I ended up knowing anyone who is a cool kid, but somehow I do. I am friends with the coolest people on the planet. But this was a directed hustle, very intentional and focused, trying to get my boy Roan and me tickets to the Project Runway Season Finale Fashion Show during Fashion Week.

It was a long shot, but guess what….

We’re going. Tomorrow. And Roan pretty much lost his mind over this development.

See, Roan enjoys watching Project Runway, in the extreme. He somehow remembers all of the contestant names, what designs he likes, who is kind and who is not. He does a wicked Tim Gunn impersonation, and notices when the judges are being snarky. Roan has turned into a giant Michael Kors fiend, and is overjoyed that this summer I splurged and bought a Michael Kors tank top. He compliments me each time I wear it. I wear it waaaaaaay too often, mostly to get compliments from Roan.

And this show has inspired my boy to decide, at age seven, that he would like to attend Parson’s School of Design and work in the fashion world. I believe this calling will stick. At least until he’s nine.

Will take fashion world by storm...

And as an added bonus, Roan has also scored backstage passes and seats to the Elie Tahari show. I have actually never been invited to anything having to do with Fashion Week here in NYC, (most likely due to the fact that I am terribly unfashionable. Terribly. Though I love those who are into it – I just don’t have the resources or bandwidth to indulge. Roan has asserted that will change when he grows up. He will design specifically for me. Good luck with that Ro!) so yeh – never done anything with Fashion Week except look in from the outside. And now? Now! Two events. Two events that are big deal events and all for my guy.

...or any world he chooses.

Thank you to my cool kid friends, Julia Samersova and Robin Marshall. You have made me a hero in my boy’s eyes for this week. And that does feel mighty good.

Object Permanence

As I’m watching my two baby boys learn life lessons that seem so obvious, I am also a witness to the profound nature of really believing them. I can hide an object, and my children are learning that though it is out of sight, it actually still exists. This is called Object Permanence. It is part science, part faith.

I have two friends, both writers and mothers. They have each suffered a loss that is unbearable. It is my intent to write something profound, meaningful and comforting, but all I can manage is one concept. Object Permanence. It is not going to make any of what they are experiencing any easier. It is not going to change the fact that they have each been forced to begin a journey on a terrifying terrain, one that will feel absolutely isolating and overwhelming. But possibly – this idea that things continue to exist, even when out of sight – possibly it can offer science and faith, enough to get them to the next day.

Jennifer and Alison – as part of a chorus of people who cannot fix what has happened, but who would give anything to lessen your burden, I understand that the phrase “I’m so sorry” is worth one penny when what you need is a trillion dollars. Yet it is the only currency we have as humans and friends – our words and our intent and our love. I know that are you each stronger than an army of soldiers and I also know that you are going to feel that you have no strength at all. You do have an army of friends and family who will lift you up at these times. We are permanent as well, and not hidden.

Your love still exists, though it is out of sight. Love is an object which is permanent. It does not have to be touched or tangible to be felt. You learned this in your infancy, and must continue to believe it as an adult.

Peace to you both.

Universal Truths (?)

I propose that this is a universal truth: It is easier to leave than to be left.

Did somebody say supercool? Yes, yes we are.

Obviously in romantic relationships it rings true, but I think even in our friendships and family ties this is true. When my sister Kellene came and visited me recently, it shocked me how sad I was when she left. When Roan sped off to the airport, my heart had a big sad face. Every time Anson goes out-of-town I start feeling melancholy a few days before in anticipation of his absence. And now – summer. I love this summer I do but my closest friends have all chosen this weekend to bail from NYC, and with Roan gone I suddenly feel….left.

I know – I need to chose nicer friends who would never dream of going on vacation without me. I’m going to explore that.

We are actually going on our own family vacation here pretty soon so I’m not a total pathetic sad mess. And Roan is coming home on Sunday (not soon enough). Actually, that’s the plan but judging from the iChat sessions we’ve had as well as the various pictures I’ve been sent of my son….I’m wondering if he’ll actually agree to leave the Good-Times King and Queen of St. Louis. They have truly gone overboard in entertaining that kid. He’s at Six Flags today, shopped at a mall yesterday (his big dream – we don’t do malls here), has gone to a zoo, a pool, a children’s museum, some place that has a 10-story slide (!), eaten at Chili’s and had Sophia to pose with as if they were cool unaffected fifteen-year-olds. I mean. Would you come back to hang with me after that?

Please don’t answer that.

Another universal truth: It is better to be overwhelmed with purpose, than to have nothing to do.

Clearly my son is distraught without me. iChat keeps things real.

It’s been almost too easy with just the twins. I know that sounds dumb. But I kind of miss having the constant pull and tug of someone needing something from me constantly. I’m not an entirely crazy person, I do enjoy quiet time (like now – showered, house is clean, I’ve eaten breakfast and I have time to write. What??) but that feeling of being overwhelmed with purpose, knowing I have 20 things to do and I will actually only get to 2 of them, is a little comforting. And I’ll admit there have a been a few times where I’ve sat down and thought…

“What do I do now?”

And believe me that has not happened often in recent memory. But the upside is that Anson and I have been able to order out for dinner, watch movies, and act like we’ve got the house to ourselves which is pretty cool. So, one more universal truth: there’s usually an upside to every downside.

Alright. I could be reaching there. Any brilliant truths you can share with me? Give ‘em up in the comments.

Flying Solo

There’s something super special about a first love. Not the first romantic love, but your first best friend, that person that comes in just a little closer to your heart than everyone else, because they get you. I wrote this entry in February of 2009:

I had a best friend when I was around age four, named Robert Baer.  We were determined that we would marry (and in fact did so a few times, in ceremonies officiated by whomever was nearby).  I knew everything about this kid.  I knew that when I had sleepovers, I didn’t want to sleep in his bed because he was a kicker.  I knew how to wind him up and how to talk him into letting me ride the plastic horse hosted up on springs first.  We knew we were bionic, his capabilities surprisingly similar to Steve Austin’s, mine to Jaime Summers; though my bionics had the additional benefit of allowing me to stick pennies to my forehead using only spit.  We would steal his mother’s bottles of Prell shampoo and dump them onto the dog, and I coveted Robert’s amazing luck to be able to pee standing up, which I tried to imitate over and over (looking back I’m very sorry to his parents for those attempts, and also wonder: who carpets a bathroom?)

I can’t help but see this same friendship when I see Roan with Sophia.

The way they automatically reach for each other’s hands at street corners.

The way they stop talking when I’m within earshot and say “Nothing”, in unison.

…I know they will be friends for life, even when life separates them. This kind of friendship cannot be undone.

So this is why, when I received a text from Laura, Sophia’s mother, a few days ago my heart stopped. It read:

Would you ever consider putting your eldest on a plane to St. Louis for a few days this summer?

See, Sophia and her family moved in May of 2009. All the things that need to happen to make a family move did happen to Sophia and her family. But we’ve stayed in touch with email and the occasional letter and some iChat. Roan still counts Sophia as a best friend, and looks at pictures of her regularly.

My heart stopped, because I knew it would be the greatest treat in the world for my boy to get to go visit his friend. But flying alone? And having a vacation without me or his dad? What what??

I threw the idea cautiously at Roan who said he needed to sleep on it. Flying alone seemed a little intimidating. That night, Joe, Sophia’s dad sent an email and named dropped Six Flags. And a 10-story slide. And a water park. And Roan jumped, whole-heartedly into the idea. He is now counting the days. Visiting St. Louis is the first thing he mentions to everyone when they ask about summer plans. Breakfast each morning is spent outlining exactly how excited he is to see Sophia.

And so. My eldest, who it seems was only born about 5 minutes ago and who couldn’t possibly survive 10 minutes without his mother is apparently quite self-sufficient. I’m so proud of him for being this kind of kid – but it also kills me a little that he’s this kind of kid. Fortunately, this family of Sophia’s is more family than friend to all of us Nelson Calls over here. And I do not fear at all for my boy while he’s gone. I fear a little for his father and myself. But we’ll try to be ok. How could I say no to reuniting these two?

Thoughtful.

Adventurous.

Mischievous.

Friends Forever.