Wednesday, February 6, 2013

a promise to remember

I posted this last night upon hearing of Caemon's passing. The news knocked the wind out of me, leaving me stunned and disoriented, so I came here. I needed to be "with" other people who were hurting too, and it is this same need that brings me back tonight, because Jodi and Timaree are hurting, as they will be for some time, and I want to be here, if and when they come looking for more hands to hold.

Caemon could have been any of our children. He was our child. All of us who have been a part of this community for years have literally dreamed of, conceived, and raised our children together.  I "met" Timaree and Jodi long before any of our sons were born, and we willed them into this world together. My life has not gone on as normal since I got the news. I have been sad, edgy, and distracted. Last night, I got a nasty burn on my arm when I leaned against a hot baking sheet I'd just taken out of the oven. It still stings and reminds me I'm not all here. I know I was supposed to hug my own children closer last night, but I found myself holding E at arm's length instead. Every time I looked at him I felt a swell of sadness and vulnerability that threatened to carry me away. I went to sleep thinking of Caemon, I woke up thinking of Caemon, and after the few and far-between moments that my attention drifted to something else today, the snap back a moment later was like a fresh punch to the gut. He is gone. There is nothing you can do to change it. Opening myself up to the grief feels like looking directly at the sun. I can only do it for a moment before I have to shut my eyes and turn my head away. And yet, once my eyes have stopped burning and the white spots have disappeared, I look back at it again. I know that whatever I am feeling now is but a shadow of what Jodi and Timaree are going through, and it feels like the least I can do to bear witness to that somehow. I do not know how they are finding the strength to open their eyes and take a breath each morning.

Here's what I do know: I know that they showed an awe-inspiring amount of grace and strength of character throughout Caemon's hard-fought battle. I know that they bathed their son in more positive, healing energy than I could have generated on my best day, and they did it day in and day out, in the face of the most terrifying of circumstances. I know that they helped Caemon to live his too-short life to the fullest, and that they squeezed as much love into each minute they had with him as anyone could have. I know that Caemon knew all of this too. I know that if anyone can get through this, it's them. And I know that I am only one of hundreds upon hundreds of people who are offering a shoulder as they take their first steps down a path no parent should ever have to walk.

I will never forget Caemon - his piercing blue eyes, his cheeky grin, his old soul - he was so clearly a boy who could light up any room. I watched him grow first in his mothers' hearts, then alongside his stuffed crocodile, and then in the leaps and bounds of toddlerhood and beyond.  I read along as Timaree narrated his burgeoning love affair with appliances, but it wasn't until she shared the picture of him snuggling the hair clippers that I truly understood it's depth. I think I actually laughed out loud. Through stories and pictures, Caemon was able to touch people all over the world. I consider myself lucky to be one of them.

I know I haven't been the most active blogger lately, but my new year's resolution to post more will have to wait as I observe a week of blog silence in honor of Caemon and his moms.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


We lost one of our own today. I am shaken to my core. Standing with Jodi and Timaree tonight, and with all of you. I am so very sad. I can't even begin to imagine the pain his family is experiencing.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy New Year... Take Two

If you saw the post I published last night, you did not imagine it. It has been taken down and replaced with this one. Blogging is a funny thing: Part journal, part megaphone. I wrote that post in a very stream-of-consciousness way, to remind myself of certain changes I want to make this year and why, and to hold myself accountable for them (all journal) but when I read it back this morning and thought about how it would read to an audience (all megaphone), it came off as obnoxious and preachy, which was totally not my intent. So anyway, here's the new and hopefully more balanced version. :-)


We declared February 1st to be the start of the new year in our house. When the *actual* new year rolled around, our family was too deep in RSV Hell to notice. And seeing as I actually wanted to implement some resolutions this year (for the first time in many, many years), being completely underwater as January 1st came (and went) was kind of a bummer. No sooner did we get everyone healthy than we went on a week-long vacation to Las Vegas (a story for another post). So, we pushed it back a month, but I'm here now and ready to jump in!

I. Ditch the last of the baby weight: I gained about 75 pounds during my pregnancy with the twins and lost all but the last 20 with minimal effort, but now it is time to step up my game. I'm starting by making healthier food choices and finding making time to work out, but will step up my game as needed until the pounds start coming off. I'm ready to get out of my "fat clothes" and, oh yes, let's not forget the motivating factor of the lace bridesmaid dress I need to wear in my brother's wedding this fall. :-)

II. Battle my smartphone addiction: This one has been a long time coming, but I finally had the time and the motivation to sit down and lay out some ways I can reduce my use. (For each of these points, I'm using the term "smartphone" to refer to all of the extras - internet, facebook, apps, etc. Basically everything except phone calls and texting.)
  1. No smartphone use in the car except to play music or get directions.
  2. No smartphone use while a potential conversation partner is in the room, except to quickly look up needed information.
  3. Minimal smartphone use while home alone with the babies. Primarily only when nursing or in need of quick information.
  4. Smartphone goes on the kitchen table when everyone gets home for the evening and doesn't move from there until I go to our bedroom to nurse the babies to sleep.
  5. There are standing exceptions for camera use and for "checking in" on Facebook. That second one is a little silly, I know, but I really like having that record of fun things we do and places we go, so I'm allowing it, but I'll have to be disciplined not to let it open the door for "just 5 minutes" of catching up on my newsfeed when there are other things I should be doing instead, like enjoying the fun place I thought worthy of checking into. :-)
I have no idea how this will actually work and I'm not opposed to revising these guidelines, but you gotta start somewhere, right?

III. Complete a weekly photo project featuring pictures of anything BUT kids and babies. As much as I adore being a SAHM, I'm very aware of how much more narrowly-focused my world has become over the past 6 months. I came up with a list of weekly prompts and I'm really looking forward to seeing how this shifts the way I look at the world around me. If anyone is interested in more details or wants to play along, let me know and I'm happy to share my list!

IV. Blog more. Comment more. Make the time.

And now, let the games begin!