Checking In

Some days, I think life is all just one big collection of stories we all compose in our heads. Most of us want to be the hero or heroine, and we all tend to frame the stories of our actions in that light. For many of us the audience is purely ourselves. Like an editor, we pick which are the most salient peaces of the stories and the rest falls away. We think back on the good we’ve done. Maybe, we think back on the fun we had with friends or lovers. Ultimately when I think back, I tend to remember the stories, the shared adventures. Remembering feelings is so much harder unless it’s in the context of the stories. In a lot of ways, the feelings are the merely context for the stories though maybe that’s the opposite for others. For me, I remember the stories.

After a year of not writing, I was trying to figure out what sticks out most to me in the past year, and all I could come up with was a bunch of stories. Truth is, the year has been lumped up in my brain as a bunch of stories, stories I cherish. Heck, even Mr. O’s rage at the indignity of nap time resulting in him removing his diaper and spreading it’s contents on the crib is one of those stories at which I look back on and laugh. I didn’t at the time, but heck if I don’t smile every time I tell why he wears a onesy to bed. Truth be told, it’s a story of simply being a parent with time and energy for little else, and that’s better than OK.

In trying to figure out which memory sticks out the most, I realized I can’t. So here’s my top list in no particular order:

* Ms. A running around chasing her brother only to stop with the “I’m sllleeeepppyyy” fuss that last for 10 seconds to be followed by another round of chase.

* Maybe it’s both of them fussing every time they are put on the potty only to be thrilled at the prospect of getting 2 jelly beans when they get down because it was a successful trip.

* Perhaps it’s hiking in Oregon with the kids on our back.

* Maybe it’s both kids asleep on the airplane with Jill forced into a really awkward looking crouch as the 2 kids took up three seats with their sleep.

* O with his Mohawk and glasses sporting a look that only a 2 year old can get away with and look cool. He draws so much attention anywhere we go.

* Ms. A being excited every moring at the psopect of getting on her school bus.

* Perhaps it’s hearing that our adoption is finally going through (at a date to be determined soon)

I guess any of those could be chapters in the year. As much as I think of moments and stories though, I think the memory that will most stick with me from this year is coming home after day at work to gleeful shouts of “DDDAAAADDDDYYY!” There is nothing like coming home from a day of sometimes stressful decisions on things I have no knowledge about, incurring bruised feelings, then wondering where the energy to genuinely be with my family is supposed to come from only to be greeted by that scream and those hugs. Everyday I come home and get to have that same feeling of “OK, I can do this.”

I think every parent has those moments where we wish for a video camera to film something that would make that first date laugh. Those are stories. As I sit here writing this, I’m kind of stuck though. I’m writing this days before Ms. A has her major heart surgery. I don’t really have the story yet because it hasn’t been written yet. At this point all I have is the emotions of frustration, worry and uncertainty, knowing all the while she’s tough and has beaten far worse odds than this surgery.

We’ll see. I’m hoping she comes out with the “I’m tough” saying on her lips just like I’ve got both kids saying whenever they want to cry because the other one hit them over the head with a random toy. Something about a little kid who has been through a lot saying, “I’m tough” to fight off tears just makes me smile.


One thought on “Checking In”

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