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Category: Milestones

From My Bubble to Yours: the Anniversary of Mom’s Glioblastoma Diagnosis

It’s been a year since it all happened, my friends. Last year, a day after the sadness of 9/11, when we took a breath and gave our loved ones an extra-long hug and carried on, on until the next year, is when our story with my mom began. That phone call. That drive. I finally told David, during a quiet moment last week, that I have flashbacks to that night, that car drive, my calls for help. I’m embarrassed by that admittance–I’m a grown woman, after all, and this happened during my grown-woman years. I asked him if he thinks they’ll ever go away. I want them to go away. I want the moment that divided before and after to be erased. This is what weighs on me: if it had been a stroke instead of a tumor, my decisions could have killed her that night. Do you realize that? Because I chose to try to find her before getting help. Because I chose not to call an ambulance right away to meet me there. Because I made a decision to drive her to the hospital myself even…

The Easter Bunny Shakedown, or Why Some People Make Fun of Religion

Quinlan walked into my office the day after Easter, pursing her lips like she does when she senses deep, deep injustice in her presence. “Mom,” she said. Her tone was accusatory. “The jelly beans that were in our Easter baskets were the same ones you had in the pantry.” She wouldn’t break eye contact with me. “Mom,” she repeated. “Why are the jelly beans the same?” The time had come. I gulped–actually made a gulp sound–and half-heartedly tried to cover my (er, the Easter Bunny’s) tracks: “Well, honey, jelly beans are the same all over the world. It’s not like there are a bunch of different versions of, you know…jelly beans. So it makes sense that I’d have the same ones that were in your Easter basket.” She looked at me, then sat down beside me in such a manner that I was pinned between her and the side of the couch. She didn’t say a word for a beat or two. Then: “I know about the bubbles.” “The what…

Cian Turns Six and Has Questions: Maybe He’ll Help Me Figure Out the Answer to Some of Them

Cian has a bit of a speech impediment–if you’ve just met him, you might have some trouble understanding his “th” sounds, say–but that doesn’t stop the child from talking, usually constantly, usually about thirty different topics in the span of as many seconds. Last Saturday, I drove him and his sister Saoirse to a gym about an hour away from our house for her basketball game. The boy talked the entire time. I say this without exaggeration. Cian spoke, without stopping, the entire 54 minutes it took us to get from our house to the gym. He talked as he got out of the car and took my hand, and he kept talking as he followed us into the building. It had gotten to the point where I just turned the radio up and muttered, “Uh-huh. Uh-huh” at regular intervals on the drive because I’m pretty sure he didn’t really need me to listen in the first place. Saoirse said, “Mom. You’re not even listening to him,” and when I made eye contact with her in the rear…