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Category: Family Life

She Might Have a Point

Some days go along better than others: those are the days where you feel like you actually are conquering this life thing. And then other days, your nine-year-old serves you a reality check, like this one: Saoirse was in my office, hanging out, when I saw her take a long look at the expanse of blank wall that sits opposite the front windows. “Mom?” she asked. “Why don’t you have any pictures there?” I glanced at it. That blank wall bugs me, but it’s staying that way for now. “Because your dad and I want to knock a hole in that wall,” I said, “to make a doorway into the living room.” “But then people will see your messy office,” she said. I felt a little indignant at this. I’m not messy all the time. There are moments when you can see a clear surface in here. Sometimes, anyway.  “Well, then, I’ll keep it neat!” I replied. Saoirse kept looking at the wall, thinking, then shook her head. “I don’t think that’s going to work out.”  See…

Nine Years

On Easter Sunday we marked the ninth anniversary of my dad’s death (pancreatic cancer doesn’t spare the loving). We joined the family for Easter mass, as always, and we had Easter dinner, as always. The day was filled with its own dramas, its own troubles big and small, as they so often pop up, holiday or not. My brother and I talked about it briefly when he called from the home he shares with his wife in Wisconsin. Something about the symbolism of the Easter anniversary. The depressing aspect that yep, Dad’s still dead (because despite nine years you still wonder sometimes if it’s just a bad dream you’ve yet to shake off). Jesus is risen, but Dad’s still gone. David’s dad’s anniversary was a couple weeks ago (I’ve said it before: April is super fun around here), and we hadn’t commemorated it “officially”–between David’s travels for work, and then life, it hadn’t happened. Yesterday we remembered Dad and Tom with a quick toast and moved on to the ham, because what…

No Matter What

All of our biggest conversations happen in the car. We were on our way to gymnastics, deep into a Depeche Mode song, when Quinlan asked me to revisit a story I’d once mentioned about a boyfriend I’d had when I was younger. “Mom? Did he throw you into the lake?” It took me a moment before I realized what she was talking about, then immediately swore to always downplay any single story I told her again from there on out. “No, no, honey. That boy never THREW me into a lake. We were in a canoe on a lake, and he was teasing me by rocking the boat over the deep water.” “And that’s why he didn’t become your boyfriend anymore?” “Well, not because of just that. But I was upset because he knew I was scared. But there were more moments after that when…” I couldn’t think of a way to explain it. “He wasn’t mean. I just started to feel bad about myself when I was around him. Like, sad.” She seemed to understand what I was saying. “So I knew it was time for him to not be my boyfriend…