Monday, April 30, 2012


April was a blur. "Oh, Really?" you say. "How would we know, what with only one post and all." Well, you're right. But do let me explain.

It all started with the mad rush to prepare for Hudson's birthday party. By the first of the month, we'd picked a theme, and the to-do list grew from there. I took two full days off of work, determined to prove that it's possible to throw the greatest construction-themed-event that ever was, while holding down a way-more-than-full-time job. Hardhats, tool sets, nail aprons, homemade chocolates... the whole nine yards. I'll admit, it turned out pretty well (you rock, Paper and Cake!) Hudson had fun, and I think everyone else did too, including my sister-in-law and niece—both of whom made a surprise cameo appearance at the big event (thanks for coming, gals!). 

It was shortly after the party, that two distinct thoughts started to takeover my brain. The first, a good one, was the sudden realization that my son had become my favorite person in the world. Talking in (relatively) complete sentences, telling me about his day, pointing out everything he saw, and most wonderfully and amazingly, telling me he loved me. The second, a scary one, came later: the overwhelming feeling that I have precious little time to share with him. Though I know this is likely my way of processing the fact that he's growing up quickly—that before I know it, he'll be off to college, then out exploring the world—there's a part of me that is terrified that something might happen to one of us. In either case, I worry that I'm not a strong enough person to let him go.

Suddenly, life started to feel more precious and real. 

Not one but two friends shared with me the grief of separating from the ones they love. How do I even begin to let them know how sorry I am and how much I understand? Uncle Mickey's passing was particularly bittersweet for me. As was learning that someone I'd always thought of as a dear friend got married back in December without my knowing. Truth be told, I didn't even know she was dating, so what does that say about me as a friend? Certainly the mature side of me understands that she's entitled to share her life however and with whomever she pleases, but the sadness I continue to feel about it is so foreign and deep, that I can't even pull it out of me, let alone rationalize with it.

The last day of the month has been no different than the 29 that came before it: a delicate balance between awful and wonderful. I ended the work day by drafting an email that read: "NOTE: Given that it is 4:48 PM and changes are still coming in, I think we can all agree that this program is NOT launching today." I hit send, grabbed my stuff, and walked out the door. After a quick pick-up at school and a long drive home, Logan, Hudson and I got in just in time to welcome Maryanne who came bearing more pizza than three and a half people could possibly consume. 

I think we can all agree that April wasn't my best showing. I didn't intend to let my Meandering fall by the wayside, but the more time that passed, the harder it was to find my way back. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


At present, my son Hudson is obsessed with three things: his dad (Daddy-O!), airplanes (nnnnneeeeeooooowwwww), and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When it comes to the latter, he's been adamant and consistent about the fact that regardless of what TV Guide or the opening credits say, the show is called Minnie.

Each morning, it's the first word that comes out of his mouth. "MINNIE!" he'll yell and point down the stairs. He'll watch two episodes and drink a cup of milk while we shower, dress, and get ready for work.     "Minnie!" he'll yell when the second episode ends. "No more Mickey," we'll say. "Minnie!" he'll correct us.

Yesterday afternoon, I had picked Huddy up from school and we were on our way home. He seemed happy to see me, but I could tell he was a little disappointed that dad wasn't with us. As we drove south on the Interstate, he spotted a white speck in the sky. "Airplane!" he yelled happily. "You know, Huddy," I replied, "Daddy's on an airplane right now. He's on his way to Kentucky. He went to say night-night to Uncle Mickey." I didn't know how else to say it.

Within seconds, Hudson had moved on to yelling out the names of the other things he spotted through the windshield—Big truck! Trees! Nan-nan! (his word for motorcycle)—but my mind was still on Logan's journey.

Just five months ago, we made the trip to the Bluegrass State as a family. It was my first time in Kentucky, and it was truly wonderful. I met four generations of Logan's family and they welcomed me with open arms. It meant so much to Logan to be there with all of them, and to introduce them to his own little family.

On Thanksgiving day, we visited Twin Oaks Assisted Living where I had the honor of meeting Uncle Mickey and Aunt Betsy. Hudson was fascinated with them, in particular when Uncle Mickey clenched his hands, touched the tips of his seemingly quadruple-jointed pointer fingers, and asked, "Can you do this, Hudson?" as he wiggled them side to side. When I looked up at Logan, he too was staring in awe at Uncle Mickey. He whispered: "I totally remember him doing that to me when I was a kid." It was a moment I will never forget.

Last night, I followed bath time (normally Daddy-O's duty) with our latest bed time routine: 5 books and 3 songs. I tucked him in and said what I always say, "I love you, Woozles. Can you say night-night to  Momma?" He waved, as he normally does. But then, as I started to walk out of the room, I heard Hudson say something. "What was that?" I asked.

"Night night, Mickey," he said. And I was so happy to know that he, too, remembers.

Dr. Layton "Mickey" Rouse (1919-2012)