A note appeared in my inbox yesterday, a kind note from a reader who wanted to make sure I was OK.
Yes, I'm OK. I'm more than OK. Let's call it neglectful but great.
Last night, I got home from work and put some water on to boil for spaghetti, and Riley played on the Nintendo DS and Maddie followed me around and talked and talked and talked. We ate dinner, then we got out big sheets of paper and we drew maps of the third task in the Triwizard Tournament (we're almost done reading the fourth book of Harry Potter.) Pajamas were chosen and donned, teeth were brushed, the most dramatic chapter yet of Harry Potter was read (Harry defeats Voldemort and takes Cedric's body back to Hogwart's!) Then I did some chores and drank some wine, and went to bed. This morning, the twins watched some Arthur while I went on a run with friends, and now I'm at work and they're at school, and this evening there will be more like the last.
I'm busy doing these things. There are so many good things to do, and I'm busy doing them. I think about blogging all the time, because even in the good there are challenges, and if there's one thing I know how to blog about, it's a challenge. Who knew the six-year-old girl could be willful, so full of eye-rolls? When do you start giving kids an allowance? Is there an age at which children become gracious losers, and how do I foster that? How do I manage a relationship with neighbors who have kids I don't want M&R to play with?
For the most part, though, I'm that friend who annoys everyone by becoming unavailable when she starts dating someone new. Only it's not new anymore and he prefers not to be blogged about, so I will leave it at the fact that it's totally wonderful and it's to everyone's benefit for me to spend time with someone who is so such a great person and who helps me to be a better person.
Having two kids, a full-time job outside the home, and a very full social life is a lot to balance. Blogging has been one of the casualties. I still think about life in blog posts, though, not that it makes a bit of difference to anyone but me if I don't write it down.
Blog-worthy event of the day: there are two therapy llamas on campus as a stress-relief event for the students who are in the midst of their finals. I got to pet them--so soft!--and I think that I'm going to promote a therapy llama party for M&R's birthday. They will be six in June. SIX. WHOA. SIX. They talk about their birthday a lot; the latest idea was a chip & dip party, which I'm totally for. I'll bet we could do chips and dip and llamas, though. Why not?
I'm here. I'm happy. I'm busy. Beyond the time constraints, I think that some of the reason I'm not writing here is that I don't feel like the person I was when I started this blog. That person who started this blog is still a part of who I am, but my life is fundamentally different now, and when I come here to write, I feel a clash between what I was and what I am. That probably sounds overstated and way too dramatic. It's not that I don't know who I am now, it's just that I don't know what to say about who I am. A few people who are new to my life have recently read through my archives, which pushed me to read some old posts, and I'm struck at times by what I wrote in the moment versus what I remember in this moment, and I'm also struck by the transitional period between when John died and where I am now. I will change and grow my whole life, but I can see with so much more clarity how the rawness of that time influenced my decision making and my emotions, and how much more centered I am five years after the fact.
I didn't even mark the five year anniversary of John's death on the blog. I thought about it on the day, and this is in many ways the perfect place to mark it. In this space, five years ago feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago; this space defined my view of myself during such an intense part of my life.
I'm here, I'm happy, I'm different, in some ways I'm better. That doesn't negate what I was in the past, but acknowledges that the past got me where I am today and that my optimist's view of life dictates that more good things lie in the future.
Enough clichés! One more time: I'm here. I'm happy. I'm different. I'm better. I'm glad someone checked on me.