Friday, September 16, 2011

Transition

I started this post almost a week ago now, so it may be rather disjointed.  Our week was interrupted by the stomach flu, a tangible reminder of how delicately balanced our health usually is. Thankfully, T and I seem to have escaped this round of illness.  O and husband...not so much.

Ten years ago this week, my mother awoke me early with the news of planes flying into buildings in New York.  I remember sitting on the pink chair in our family room, involuntary tears falling as I watched live footage of people jumping from the World Trade Centre buildings.  My university classes weren't cancelled that day, per se, but we sat around looking at each other in class, rather dumbfounded about what was happening.
Nearly three thousand lives were lost that day, and how many thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in the past ten years in the name of righting the wrong of 9/11?  Violence begets violence and more violence and more violence.  Hatred: more hatred, fear: more fear.  How do we become lovers of justice and mercy?

We've been camping out at my parent's home for the past week and a half as our house still hasn't sold, and the commute would just be too long and costly to justify staying in our own home.  It's a lot easier to keep my house clean for showings when we aren't actually living in it!  We check on it once a week and have some friends checking in on it as well regularly.  I don't think that it has really sunk into my mind yet that we are actually moving.  It kind of just feels like a prolonged visit to my parents house.  It's been almost nine years since I've lived in this house and in this city, so my bearings feel a little off.  When I'm driving around the city, I second guess my sense of direction because land has been cleared, new buildings have appeared, and new roads have been paved.
My kids are loving the extra attention of having grandparents and an auntie in the house in addition to my husband and I.  My grandmother and step-grandfather live next door, and it's been good to have some extra visits with my grandma.  I didn't realize it, but living further away changed the nature of visits with some family.  Because we had to drive a considerable distance, we usually only made the trek out there for larger family visits.  I had tea with my grandma last week and realized it has been a long, long time since I'd had a one on one visit with her.  Probably about nine years.  Growing up, I took for granted living next to my grandparents.  Now I realize how unusual that is, and what a neat experience it was to have so much access to my grandparents when I was a kid.
We've been going for walks in the evening here, and the closest playground for O is at the school where I attended from kindergarten to grade six.  When we arrived, I was so overwhelmed with the flood of childhood memories that I felt like sitting down right there and having a good cry about the brevity of our years.  How did time go so quickly?  Wasn't I just five years old and lined up outside for the first day of kindergarten?  Or in grade six walking down the hallway to the gymnasium for the first school dance, wearing my white denim skirt and sheer-sleeved blouse?  It's not that I want to start over and live my life from the start again.  It just seems to be picking up speed with every year.  I suppose that is part of what makes life so achingly beautiful: the older you get and the more you understand, the more you realize how precious the days are.
I lined up for kindergarten to the left of the door.  Just in case you were wondering.
I hope my little boys have good memories of their childhood.  O is adjusting quite well to this time of transition, and is just as friendly and effervescent as ever.  He adores his baby brother and loves talking all the time.  I love listening to his chatter, and I never know what he will think of next.  A few weeks ago, he said the funniest thing out of nowhere:
O: "Mom, when the Lord was making me, I was talking.  And the Lord told me to stop."
Me: "He told you to stop talking?"
O, looking very solemn: "Yes, Mom."  Then he burst out giggling.
I rarely tell him to stop talking, so I'm not sure where he got that one from, but I could kind of imagine God asking him to stop talking for a few seconds to concentrate on getting the arm in the armhole and the leg in the leg hole.
Once, when I was still pregnant with T., and running late for a doctor's appointment because the freeway was a parking lot and I was trying to figure out a back route on the fly, O, kept asking me questions about cows, clouds, road signs, and people and everything else under the sun, and I was only half listening and giving pat answers and "hmmms" and "I don't know"'s.  He finally said: "No, mommy, don't say 'I don't know,' think about it!"
T is adjusting well this quasi-move as well, although I wasn't really concerned that he would have trouble with it.  He seems so much older to me than O was at this age.  I think he probably is a little bigger in size, and he's already popped two teeth last week, and been rolling over for about a month already.  He is full of smiles these days, quiet giggles, and eyes filled with adoration for his older brother.  Can't you just see it in this photo?  Not really, I know.  But most of the time it's there.  These are the well enjoyed Bert & Ernie costumes my mom made for my older sister and I when we were kids.  They actually looked more cute than scary when they were filled out with bigger heads and before the mouths become kind of Joker-esque from years of play.
Brotherly love.



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