Happy

Today, words are too heavy. I’m sharing with a video and pictures because I truly cannot top them. The babies are awesome. Roan is happier than he ever has been. Anson is styling a Dwell photo shoot today, and me? I go topless at Coney Island.

Life is good.

Here’s Smitty dancing to a favorite song. Coincidentally and seriously – it happens to be by an old friend of mine who hasn’t realized that we’re too old to be rock stars. But that’s cool. Clean living pays off as it turns out.

Fire In His New Shoes from Jodi Call on Vimeo.

Baby loves to get down. And up. And down. And up.

And here’s me adding to the freak show that is Coney Island, nursing my twins. What you cannot see is that I was totally upstaged by a huge Russian man in a thong doing calisthenics. Stupid calisthenics. Next time I’ll step up my game and nurse the boys while in a thong and juggling fire. That’ll turn show them.

Is Anyone Else Thirsty? Plenty To Go Around...

And finally – my boys with their mum. Just a kind of boring picture – no toplessness or rock stars – but it’s us. One day we’ll pull it together to have a picture with the whole family. For now, just imagine Anson behind the lens making funny faces at us all.

The Loves Of My Life

As It Turns Out, I Love That Guy

Before there were four, there were two. The early loves of my life.

Last summer, while I was big and fat growing twin baby boys in my bouncing belly, I went to Colorado for a few weeks with Roan. We spent time with his grandparents and I was able to catch up with a friend or two in-between baby-growing naps. One friend mentioned that she reads this site, and that the relationship that Anson and I had was something she really envied. This comment made me feel like a fraud. See, last summer Anson and I were not at our best.

While the things we were sorting out usually never made it to these pages, they were there. I mean – we are like pretty much every couple. Good years, bad years. I think that last summer was the ending of a terribly horrible year for us, full of sadness and loss and things that never were in our control. I think that these events took their toll on us, even though we tried to brace ourselves against relationship-fallout by going into therapy and talking and talking and talking and talking.

What I’ve realized by looking back on those days now, is that sometimes you just have to go through it. You have to experience the fallout, and white-knuckle your way through the bad parts because life is sometimes just going to be hard. You have to move along, and know that while you’re in it, you won’t always be in it. Yet all the talking and being open and sharing and bracing in the world can’t change the fact that you are going to be forced to experience certain things. And these things suck.

But when the bad days turn into good days, suddenly the things that seemed so crucially wrong become less important. And the things that didn’t seem like they were good enough suddenly make you feel absolutely blessed. I cannot say this is a universal truth, but it’s the truth for me. I can look back at all the things I thought were wrong and now understand: I was simply unhappy. It was not because things in my life were not fitting, it was not because my relationship with my husband was not good. It was because things had happened to me that were awful. And that just made me feel awful, for longer than I thought it would, and in ways that I didn’t know it would.

I’m visiting this now because Anson left yesterday to work on a photo shoot. He’ll be gone for about ten days. And I miss him. I miss him because he’s an amazing father and always brings smiles to his son’s faces at the end of the day when I can not. I miss him because he says really goofy over-the-top complimentary things to me that make me roll my eyes and give him a “yeh yeh yeh” but secretly live for. I miss him because he is the balance in this home. I miss Anson because I love him like crazy, in a teenage crush sort of way.

As sad as it makes me to have him be gone, it also has been a treat to recognize how far we have traveled in this past year. It gives me hope that Anson and I can make it through pretty much anything the world wants to throw at us. And it feels good to know that now – almost a year later – I can get back to my friend who envied my relationship with my husband and say, “Yeh – I see what you’re saying. We do rock, my husband and I.” At least this year we do.

On the Denial Of Being an Optimist

kiss

I have one vivid memory from around four years ago, when I was working for some very small men with very big voices. That’s how I described my employers at the time to Roan, who was three years old. It was an accurate description. I hated my job. There were lots of name dropping opportunities: 50 Cent, Britney Spears, Kid Robot etc., and under better leadership could have been an awesome place. But I didn’t enjoy the people I worked with (with the exception of one forever friend, also named Jodi.) The environment was misogynistic, it was cut-throat and back-stabby, and I was the only mother working there. I was often the victim of major stink-eye from the young turks that worked there when I would have to leave to pick up little Ro from daycare. I kept working there because I was the breadwinner of the family at the time. Anson was just getting his feet under him professionally here in the big city, and we needed a reliable income while he built his inroads.

At lunch everyday, I’d go to a gym on the third floor of a building that looked out over Union Square. I’d run on a treadmill instead of burying my head in hands and sobbing. Everyday, I’d see mothers or caretakers playing with kids in the park. And I’d remember dropping my Roan off at daycare that morning and feel even more depressed. I’d wonder if those mothers knew how lucky they were to have time with their kid on that particular day, instead of being surrounded by small men with big voices. I’d feel super envious. I’d feel like I couldn’t run fast enough on that treadmill to make it any easier to walk back into that office instead of playing with my boy.

my boy

Then one day, I got fired.

The company shut down a few months later (probably because I was gone…ha!) and I collected unemployment long enough for Anson’s current boss to throw a safety net under our family financially and let him start being the dude what brings home the bacon. I got to start spending every day with Roan and couldn’t believe how much I loved it. It was a revelation. It was liberating and freeing and felt like I had won the lottery.

I started thinking about this a few days ago when my friend Kara asked me if I felt boxed in, trapped, tied up, etc. because these twin boys make it hard to leave the house.

My reply?

A steadfast and happy “Not at all! I get them out of the house in-between naps. Usually for about 1/2 hour a pop – you know, just a walk or somesuch to tell these boys to suck it up, we’re getting out into the world.”

And then she laughed.

Kara told me that being friends with me was like studying women from an Aboriginal Tribe [no offense to my readership in the Aboriginal Tribes.] I’m something she finds interesting but can’t relate to. She labeled me an optimist and asserted that she is such a cynic and that’s why I make her laugh so. She went on to explain that most people would probably get a little cagey and cooped up and unhappy if they could only get out of the house twice a day for 1/2 hour per pop. These are the things that drive mothers crazy, Jodi Call.

But not me.

And then a baby boy started crying and I had to get off the phone and the conversation played ping-pong in my head. Am I an optimist? I don’t really think so. I mean – I’d like to be. But I don’t really think I am. And is Kara a cynic? I don’t believe she is. She’s full of more hope and help than anyone I know. Maybe a bit analytical….but somehow always analysis with hope.

Then I remembered those days running and watching moms and their kids and the despair I felt spending time with people that made me want to stick toothpicks into my eyeballs rather than being able to spend time with my son. And then I realized that my twin-enforced house arrest is such a beautiful thing. I have landed in such a better place and the fact that I am able to spend these days with these boys – a gift. Not always one that I am holding like a treasure, mind you. Twin infants are hella hard to take care of. But a gift that I want and one that I will protect. One I am grateful for. It’s a gift that I have because of where I’ve been, because of the experience I’ve had. Perspective rather than optimism, I believe.

love

So possibly optimism and cynicism don’t actually exist? I’m operating on that assumption now. People are who they are because of where they’ve been. The distance from one experience to the next is what makes us enjoy or loathe our lives, not the propensity to feel hopeful or negatively. Maybe. What do you think? Have you ever had to leave your kid to work at a job you hated? Are you in that situation now? If so, do you feel it changes how you parent – or at least your perspective on being a parent?

[I feel it’s important to add: When I first had Roan I had a job that I loved, and worked with people that I respected and could call friends. That was an entirely different place and time than what I’m talking about in this post. I enjoyed going to work at that time, and felt it was a fair trade for my time away from him. This post is not about being a working mom vs. a stay-at-home-mom. It’s just about how it sucks to have to leave your kid to go somewhere you hate. So don’t beat me up.]

On Being Taken Care Of.

First things first.  I am so so so happy for my big brother, Elden.  Known as Fat Cyclist to the world, he has been writing for years and kept his audience alternately in stitches and tears.  From his own battle to lose weight, to his late wife’s epic battle against cancer, Elden has laced every event with linings of laughter, meaning, and soul.  He is such a talented writer, and he comes by it naturally.  Last night his site, Fat Cyclist, won the Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2011 Bloggies. This is huge, this is a very big deal.  I’m super proud of him today – and want to say a big fat congratulations to the (not-so) Fat Cyclist.

Now, let’s get back to me.

I did not win any freaking Bloggie not that I wanted to.  Nope.  All those mentions I made asking for votes and such were just hyperbole.  Yep.  I mean c’mon.  The Pioneer Woman needs a few more awards before she attains World Domination so losing to her is just my way of helping her take over the universe.  We all do our part. (Actually, really and in all seriousness – I think Ree has a truly amazing style and site and deserves all the hype she gets.  Also, she’s just so damn likable.  So.  Can’t hate on her.  In fact, I think I voted for her and against myself.  She’s just that awesome.)

Now, more about me.

Smith Rocks, Sheppard Rolls. TRUE!

Last week was brutal.  Ok, it wasn’t that bad.  Anticipating last week was brutal.  I don’t mind surgery so much.  Let’s face it – after the past two years, my abdomen getting cut open and sewn up is old hat.(And damn, does it look good!) But what I was worried about this time was the fact that I have two babies who need to be picked up, carried, and put down about one zillion times in a day.  And doing that takes some abdominal strength.  So how was I going to do that with a belly full of mesh sewn into the muscle and sliced and diced?  Add to that the surprise element that Anson had to go out-of-town for a week, two days after my surgery and I was a little flustered.  Night time is hard enough with a husband on my team.  How could I ever survive Me vs. The Twins, PM edition, Post-Operative edition, Minus a Husband edition?

Then my family rallied.  The mother got all organized and coerced (didn’t actually take any coercion) Elden to use some of his mojo to fly Kellene (the boss of us all) to Brooklyn to stay with me and help out.  Add to the mix that I already have a Lori, and I was not only set up, I was SET UP.

This is Kellene. She's the boss.

It is profound how much being taken care of matters sometimes.  And it is equally profound how much it means to the person being looked after.  I have historically had a really hard time letting people help me out.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?)I have been handed circumstance after circumstance over the past two years where I needed to rely on friends and family.  I’ve needed them for emotional support, childcare support, logistical support.  It seems like I am destined to learn one way or another that it is not Me vs. The World – that I have an amazingly capable and willing army of friends and family around, behind and constantly with me.

Mommy (Auntie) + Baby Yoga, pt. 1

And this past week was just amazing.  Not brutal.  For instance – one morning, Kellene got the babies from me before I got out of bed and told me to sleep a little longer.  When I got out of bed at 9 AM, the babies were fed and asleep, Roan was eating a healthy breakfast and had showered, the house was super clean….and was that bread I smelled baking in the oven?  Yes.  Yes it was.  I almost cried.  On another morning, Lori came and picked Kellene, Smith and Sheppard up and took them to a mommy/baby yoga class.  This gave me time to spend the morning and afternoon with just Roan, something that I needed and wanted desperately to do.  We snuck off to a movie and ate pizza together.  He held my hand the whole time and I actually cried – again – maybe from the Elton John soundtrack to Gnomeo + Juliet.  But more likely just because I was so grateful that I have this family.  My own little family I’ve made with Anson, and my family I grew up with, who have never stopped looking out for me.

Mommy (Auntie) + Baby Yoga, pt. 2

So it’s not too shocking how sad I felt to say good-bye to Kellene.  That’s the downside of having someone who is so positive, loving and caring be around.  When they leave, there’s an absence. She filled my home up with activity and warmth and helped me not feel alone at all in my efforts to take care of my family. But she got me through the week where I couldn’t do it on my own to the week where I actually could.  And fortunately, Lori stayed around and kept me company until Anson finally got home.

smiles + hugs are worth a few ripped stitches.

As for the healing – well, true to my nature I sort of overdid it.  Ended up ripping a few stitches out and got a mild scolding from the doctor when I went for my check-up.  He reinforced them and actually even super glued the skin. But I imagine that’s probably the best I could do.  These boys weren’t going to escape without hugs from their mama, even if it took a minor toll on my already wacked abdomen.

Have I said this before?  I feel so lucky.  So lucky, so loved.

Obscene. Shocking. Kids Today.

Ummmm. OK! Thanks, Bloggies!

I’m just saying, that while I’m not an avid statistic follower (yes I am), yesterday I turned into Scooby Doo with my “Ruh?” as I looked at my page view statistic bar thing.  I mean.  Seriously.  Being nominated for Best Parenting Blog certainly seems to have increased my popularity. (Eh, did you pick up that I’d like your vote?  And while you’re there, give my brother, Fat Cyclist a vote as well for “Lifetime Achievement”, wouldja?)  As a tribute to yesterday’s spike in traffic, and today’s resulting popularity, I am wearing a tiara, sash and sparkling lip gloss as I type this today.  Not only that, I have switched from PJ bottoms into stretchy leggings.  How do you like me now?

Speaking of parenting.  My sister-wife-boss-of-me-friend-and neighbor Kara sent me a picture today from her headquarters where Roan, my eldest, had a playdate yesterday.  While I consider myself to be fairly liberal and forward thinking, I am putting the kibosh on any more play dates over there.  It’s just too early for my seven-year-old to know about this type of pet store and hospital.  Too early.

Inappropriate. Stop laughing.

The Lies We Tell

My friend Ilana was over at my home a few days ago and while we were nestled in on my couch, each holding a baby, with our other children running wild, she remarked, “I wonder how many times I lie in a day”.

Well.  That’s interesting.

She was referring to the lies we tell our children.  Santa, Tooth Fairy, “I’ll be right back” etc.  How many times have I had to elaborate on a story I’ve begun in an effort to get some good behavior?  To date, we’ve had a number of Fairies in our home.  There was the Sleep Fairy who designed a chart for Roan to mark how many nights in a row he could stay in his room all night.  Before her there was a Poop Fairy, who had the distinction of helping kids who were otherwise potty trained go ahead and poop in the toilet, as opposed to putting on a diaper, squatting next to the toilet, and pooping.  Not saying it was Roan.  Just saying…well, ok it was Roan.

Parents are liars!  Especially me – I love a great lie.  I love telling fantastic stories and just leaving them in the air for a kid with enough magical thinking to go ahead and believe.  My friend Jen’s little girl believes that I can look inside her beautiful little curly-haired head and read her mind, because I knew what the mascot of her class was (French Fries).  Ilana’s son was convinced I was sending a baby home with them because – well because I said I was going to.  Some lies are a little cruel.

I don’t know if it’s great or awful, this lie-telling.  I was convinced for the better part of my childhood that if I wanted to, I could marry Arthur Fonzarelli and get him away from that awful Pinky Tuscadero all because my mother told me in passing that sure, it could happen.  But probably only if I was a good student.  So, I was.  I was even “Student of the Year” in second grade!  All in the hopes of become Mrs. Fonzie.  Seriously.  (I later set my sights on Isaac from The Love Boat.  I believe we can trace my current interest in Pop Culture to these early years…)

So, really.  Lies.  Do you tell them?  Do you think it’s ok?  What’s the most ridiculous one you’ve gotten away with telling your child?  Have you had any backfire?  Tell me in the comments!

Perfect.

Sheppard and Smith

Oh you guys – – thanks for waiting for me!

I really thought I would post before this, and I’ve meant to every day, because I’d like the wide world to know that things are amazing in my corner of Brooklyn.  The C-Section went beautifully.   The boys came out all slimy and as they pulled Sheppard out (who is, by the way, a full minute older than Smith) my first thought was, “I can breathe!!”  And not as in, “I’m so relieved”.  It was a literal sensation of being able to inhale fully, where before all my parts have been so squished that there was really just not a lot of room for air.

And then I heard him cry, and I started to cry and then I was just in love.

And then I heard Smith cry, and I cried some more and then there was just more love.

Anson and Roan checking out Mr. Smith

And then the anesthesiologist started trying to wrench Anson’s camera from his hands, as he was really loving that camera.  I’m not kidding.  As Anson was trying to snap the first moments of his new twin sons’ lives, this guy is all, “What ISO are you using?” and saying to his fellow doctor types, “this camera is awesome, you could pay for an entire semester of college with it”

The camera made this look good. Good camera.

Maybe he got his degree online?

This is kind of what they do all the time. ZZZZZZZZ.

Baby Feet! I'm not the only one who thinks that's cute, right?

Not ready for their close-up, obviously.

Still, we were able to refocus back to the freaking miracle of life and not the miracle of my husband’s camera, and Anson kept snapping pictures and showing them to me as they put my humpty dumpty parts back together again.  It was so surreal and fine and funny and beautiful and my reply of, “Yeh I get that a lot” when the surgeon mentioned that I had nice Fallopian Tubes brought down the house.  Always ready to sneak a joke in…..that’s me.  Well, me + morphine.

This is Sheppard Nelson Call – born at 9:04 AM, 11/09/10, weighing in at 6.8 lbs:

I know. Makes you wanna kiss him. I know.

Sheppard has a nice profile, no?

And this is Smith Nelson Call – born at 9:05 AM, 11/09/2010, weighing in at 5.6 lbs:

I know. Makes you wanna eat him up. I know.

Smith, totally taking it in.

My friends, they are lovely.  And their brother Roan?  He’s been a trooper.  His grandmother came to Brooklyn to care for him, and she made him feel like the king of the world.  He loves his brothers, smothers them in kisses, and is especially proud when he coaxes a burp from them.  Or when they poop.  He thinks that’s some funny stuff.

Brothers.

And this? Makes me die.

Roan with Grandma Carolynn - Smith's namesake.

I will have stories, I already have stories to tell from here until the end of time.  But mostly I am just currently consumed with bone-crushing, head-spinning love for my husband Anson who has stepped up his already stellar game in taking care of me, and our now super-sized family.  This man.  Suddenly, I just don’t know what to say.  Just play an Air Supply song and then you kind of get the idea.  I know, disgusting.  I’m so sorry.

And also a shout out to my friends and family who have also circled the wagons and encased me in love and care and help.  They’ve put me in this place where I can honestly say that bringing these boys home, and caring for them and my firstborn son RoRo has been nothing but a pleasure, so easy.  Because my people are taking care of everything else in my life.  It’s a gorgeous time now.

Proud Big Bro.

And now, I need to change two poopy diapers.  Yes, Shep and Smitty are talented and thoughtful enough to poop at the same time.

[And a P.S. from Jodi: Since Smith and Sheppard have been born, they’ve had two new friends also enter this world.  Welcome to the jungle, Booker (my niece’s baby boy) and Luna Rose (my sweet friends Eddie and Katie’s newest girl)!!]

Caution: Taking Pictures Of Pregnant Ladies Can Be Dangerous

Angst at 6

Anson got a new camera last week.  Not like a digital point-and-shoot camera, but like a CAMERA, in all caps, italics and bold.  He and his (very generous) father had long talks on the phone which led to a camera coming to Anson in the mail, and I’ve never seen my husband look more like a 5-year-old child who just received his first Hot Wheels set.  His eyes are bright when he holds it, and he practically levitates when he shows off what it can do.  It’s sweet to see Anson get something for himself – he rarely spends money on anything that is just for him.  Except beer.  But even that has been downgraded to a money-saving beverage I don’t trust all that much that comes from the corner Bodega and smells more of skunk than hops and barley.

Not-So-Angsty

Back to the camera.  So Anson loves this thing and will hardly put it down.  Which means he’s snapping the living daylights out of Roan, and even taking a few of me.  I typically don’t mind these photo sessions because Roan and I will basically ignore the man behind the camera, and just do what we’re doing, never really having to see the resulting images of us mid-word, mid-blink, or mid-about-to-take-a-bite-of-food.  But did I mention that Anson is excited really I mean it excited about this machine?  So after a long day of trick-or-treating yesterday, we talked Roan down off his sugar high, got him into bed, and Anson began showing me the great shots he got.

Zombie Baseball Player, Storm Trooper, and Dragon Ninja on the BQE Footbridge.

Even Zombie Baseball Players Get Stoked for Chocolate

And there were beauties.  Beauties of the kids we were with.  So sweet and Halloween-scary.  Beauties of our friends we were with, all put together and gorgeous, our friends.

Stoop Sitting, Brooklyn Style

And then there was me.  Boo hoo.

Let’s just state the obvious and that is that at 37 weeks pregnant with twins, I am not looking my most amazing glamorous best of all time forever and ever amen.  But the good news is that I have a special filter in my head that must allow me to see more of my earlier self than my present self when I look in the mirror.  And that filter unfortunately did not come with my husband’s camera.  Oh, how I wish he would have paid extra for that filter, because it may have prevented my little mini-self-hating-temper-tantrum I threw while looking at the pictures, which resulted in my calmly handing the computer to Anson and saying, “I cannot look at one more picture of myself”, and then stomping down our stairs with a frumpy angry “Good night!” and some more boo hoo while I threw all the covers and pillows over my head.  And I was mad, at him.  Because….he….should have known….how I looked in these photographs….and he….should have….never have taken them.

“But I think you look beautiful….” was the confused voice of Anson that followed me down the stairs.  Hmph.  Bah.  Clearly drinking too much skunky cheap beer.

And in true mother’s talk fashion, I told my friend Lola this morning how awful these pictures were,  to which she replied totally matter-of-fact, “It’s just too soon, and in a year you will look at the same pictures and think they’re great.”

So, maybe she’s right and I owe that guy an apology.  Could be.  We’ll see in a year’s time….but I think she could be right.  Because I look at the funny big-bellied pictures of me when I was pregnant with Roan, before I knew who he was, and I adore them.  I adore them now because I know how much love and sweetness and awesome magical power came from that wonky belly.  I suspect there is more magical super power coming out of this (currently titled) abomination I call my belly, and that later I will look back on it with the sweet tenderness I feel for my pics of Ro and me, before I even knew how we fit together.

I know at the end of this post I should post one of the pictures I hate, but no.  It’s not been a year yet.  24 hours later, and I still am not digging them.  Sorry!  But here’s one to melt your heart:

Riiiiiiight?

I Understand That I Am A Crazy Lady.

[I’m Totally Stoked Note from Jodi: The Today Show picked up my post about Roan wanting to get his ears pierced.  Look at my name under the hot lights of the Today Show Logo here!]


And Now, Crazy Town:

This weekend I began my countdown.  Only 17 days….now 16….now 15….not so much because I’m anxious to have these boys, but because there’s just so much to do! For instance, what would happen if I went into labor, and the hall closet hasn’t been organized yet?  What if our returns to Zappos haven’t been processed by the time these babies arrive?  Worst of all, imagine if all the umbrellas on the floor of the coat closet are still on the floor when the twins are born, as opposed to being hung neatly on hooks which I’ve clearly expressed my wish to have happen?

The worst kind of crazy is the kind that you can see happening, but have no ability to dilute.  Welcome to my special edition/confession of  The Jodi Crazy, and please utter a phrase of hope for my poor husband, who in his ever-earnest quest to take care of me during this pregnancy has not complained even once, as I task-master the living daylights out of him.  My only consolation?  I’m not the only crazy pregnato.  This is just what happens, what with some delicate balance of hormones and babies and chemistry and science, we just get like this.

In fact, while Anson was on his 6,932nd chore of the day which took him to a local hardware store, he ran into a fellow father-to-be who in the interest of confidentiality and not throwing this father under the bus I will call “Freddie” instead of Eddie.  So “Freddie” was also at the hardware store, buying flowers to plant in his backyard.  Anson wouldn’t give up their conversation in full to me but I have a feeling it was one of commiseration, empathy, and camaraderie, as “Freddie’s” wife is due with their fifth (!!!!!) child right at the same time I am.  And all my husband could/would tell me was that as husbands of pregnant ladies, who are almost done being pregnant ladies, these husbands agreed that their wives were slightly psychotic.  And you know?  I couldn’t even get mad at that because geez.  It’s true.  Can’t get mad at the truth.  I mean, I could if I wanted to, because I’m pregnant.  But I won’t.

Fear not though, the weekend wasn’t all work!  For me, at least.  Other than making lists of things to do for my main man, it was all fun and games.

Roan and I went to a fashion show sponsored by the Brooklyn Indie Market, which is run by an awesome woman called Kathy Malone who took me by the hand and marched me to the front of the line for the bathroom when I mentioned that I had to go.  Brooklyn Indie Market understands pregnancy, I’m just saying.  So they had a Steampunk fashion show.  Via Wikipedia, Steampunk:

A sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction…in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture architectural style, art, etc.  Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk.

Ya dig?  More or less it is just an awesome array of fabulous costumes that I knew Roan would be ga-ga for and as it turns out, so was I.  Check out a few snaps:

Kathy Malone's Back, A happy guy, and my sis Lori Steampunking it up

Performance by the Lola Lola Dance Theater

Steampunk Dude Seriously Working It

Corsets seem especially cruel, but beautiful

This woman was breathtakingly gorgeous. She made Ro giggle.

And the most beautiful image of the day?  I came home to a coat closet that looked like this on the door:

The calming feeling of umbrellas that have a place to go. Now I can have my babies.

One Year Ago, Today

The best way to describe this date – October 6 – is like a scheduled, impending car crash.  I know it’s coming because I’ve seen it on the calendar.  I know what it means to me, because I was there.  But I don’t know if it’s an impending fender bender car crash or if there is going to be  broken glass and twisted metal everywhere.  This is my first time here, visiting the one-year mark of losing my son after severe complications in my pregnancy.  I was 24 weeks along – 6 months big with nothing but total faith that of course he’d be here soon, until of course, he couldn’t be.  One year ago today, I said goodbye to him, with his name and imagined face in my heart, and it was the most awful day of my life.

It’s a time I don’t hesitate to visit when I need to, but never really in depth.  I haven’t been able to go back and read my entries from that time.  I haven’t dared read the comments from my readers who dug in deep with me during that time.  Today I woke up and thought it could be just like any other day, really – that maybe it wasn’t going to rock me.  Because I’ve been able to get to a new place, with new hopes and such.  And breakfast was great and normal, walking Roan to school was beautiful with the gorgeous fall morning, talking to my neighbors and friends was you know – normal.  Nothing different than yesterday.

And I wanted to write about something funny today, some of the things that have made me laugh with the full force of my very full belly.  But as I opened up Pistols + Popcorn, I found myself revisiting my old posts from last year, and reading every single comment from every single person who walked me through it.  And I realized that this baby boy who was lost to me lived through these writings, with all these people in the world witnessing and honoring his short short life.  And I understood that I owed it to him to feel his loss today.

I am so grateful for the happiness I have in my life now, with all the new hopes and new plans and new circumstances.  I am so sad for the hard circumstances I have seen people around me struggling with.  I have friends and acquaintances who are in the fight of their lives right now.  And all I can say is that these terrible days, they rock you to your core.  But there is an end to the devastation, and a beginning of the healing that inevitably happens.  And the car crashes you see coming your way?  Unavoidable.  But, for me at least, there’s something sweet about how simple love, support and friendship seem to be the magical spell we need to get through even the worst of times.