Friday, May 27, 2011


Last weekend we got away. Away from the Cities and traffic. Away from the school books and computers. Away from the busyness of life that so often overshadows the simple of joys of life. We went to one of our favorite places in the whole wide world. We escaped to heaven on earth.

A place with clear, flat water.

A place with majestic cliffs, moss covered rocks, beckoning paths.

We paddled through deep, quiet water, breathed in wild, fresh air, listened the to haunting calls of the loons, laughed around warm fires when everything else was cold and wet.

Ahhhh, home. This is where my heart would live if it could. This is the place of my dreams. We've come here many times before, but it has been years. Long before jobs and weddings and babies, Hubs introduced me to this breathtaking place called the Boundary Waters. And a part of me has never left; the reunion this past weekend was so sweet. So needed. So rejuvenating.

I never see God so clearly as I do when I am in the wild. His majesty is undeniable here.

I caught dinner Saturday night.

Northern never tastes as good as it does up here. Especially when we fished for hours in the rain to get it. Fish, Lipton Noodles and Smores are the most exquisite meal.

Everything is sweeter in the wild. When you have to build the fire to make the hot water for coffee, it tastes richer. (The fact that we had Starbucks Via didn't hurt, either -thanks Mom!)

When you have to gather the kindling and chop the wood yourself, the fire seems warmer, brighter. Of course, if someone were to forget the hatchet in the car and your husband has to get really creative to "chop" the wood, it is even that much better. Yeah, that would be me. Oops.

For as long as I've been a mother I've dreamed of sharing this love, this beauty, this heaven on earth with my kids. We planned to take Little Man this time, but the weather was a little too wet and cold so we left him with Grandma. But maybe next year. As we slid silently through the water, I couldn't help but feel sad that I will never get to share this with Jameson. I truly hope and pray for a Boundary Waters in Heaven. Someday, I want to camp, canoe and fish with my boy.

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." -William Shakespeare

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Soccer Practice

Little Man started soccer last night. And I think I was the only parent there without a camera. It was a little chaotic as there were about 200 kids on 4 fields and it was the first day. But we figured out where to go, got Little Man the team T-shirt and his very own ball and met the coaches. The kids were a riot. There are 24-ish kids on his team and they were all kicking the balls in circles, running into each other, falling down, playing in the dirt, twirling. After practicing dribbling and toe taps for awhile, they moved on to 4 on 4 play. Little Man seems to like the goalie position. We'll see. Overall, he had a wonderful time and did great.

I, on the other hand, may have won the prize for crying in the most embarrassing location and making myself known as the "crazy mom." There is a boy on his team with Down syndrome and it just pushed me over the edge. He doesn't look anything like our sweet J, but some of the movements, mannerisms, vocalizations were so similar that it brought me back to when J was alive and well. At one point, the boy laughed and I spun around looking for J. It was a knife through the heart and I totally lost it. I was trying to be as discreet as possible; but seriously, how to you sob discreetly on the sidelines of a very populated soccer field? Yes, I did say sob...for, like, 20 minutes. *Awesome*

After I reigned it in a bit, I spent probably equal amounts of time watching the boy and Little Man and went back and forth between tearing up and laughing out loud. Little Man is hysterical. Talk about needed comic relief, too!

Every time I looked at the boy, it brought back beautiful, fun memories of my happy Jameson. But it also made me think about what J could and should be doing now. I try so hard not to think about the could and should because it isn't helpful or healthy to go down that road. Sometimes I can't help it, though. And last night, my dreams for J's futures flooded my mind and died all over again. He was so vibrant and wonderful and he was going to have such an awesome life. He was going to surprise everyone by succeeding in so many things and changing the way people think about Down syndrome. He was supposed to play sports and learn to read and be best friends with Little Man forever and go to college. We were going to build him a little cottage next to our house so we could always have him close. Not for his sake, but for ours. Because we knew that 18 years wouldn't be enough time with him. And now we are stuck making do with 3.

And I'm having a hell of a time being grateful when what I want most in the world is to have my son back. I wonder if that boy's parents know how lucky they are to still have their son at age 5? I look around at parks and stores and school and wonder if the parents out there who don't know the loss of a child really get how lucky they are? And I ask God why can't I be that lucky? Why did my boy have to die? I read stories about parents whose prayers were answered and their children, who were at death's door, were brought back to life and I want to know why He didn't answer my prayers. What did we do wrong? After I lost the baby in March I couldn't help but wonder what is wrong with me -am I unfit to be a mother? Is that why He is taking away my children?

But I know those are all lies. God loves me and He loves Jameson. And I don't want to be so selfish in wishing J were here when he is in Paradise. I don't want to be so ungrateful for not having him longer when it is a miraculous gift that we had him at all. I don't want to be so ignorant to think that my life is extraordinarily tragic when the child mortality rate is so high throughout the world.

But I still miss my J. And sometimes the sadness of missing him is so great it distorts the truth that this life is a gift. That my God is good. That I have a lot to be thankful for.

Sigh. All this from a soccer practice.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Busy, busy

This next week is terribly busy for me but I wanted to check in with a belated Happy Mother's Day for all of you lovely Mothers. Hubs made me breakfast before I dashed off to work and then he made homemade pizza for dinner. He makes the best pizzas and I am a lucky lady. The day -as always- was bittersweet, but I was very busy and that helped a lot. I feel so blessed to have been given three children; while I miss my babies, I try to focus on the hope and joy of reunion someday.

In the meantime, Little Man is more than enough joy and happiness. He is so handsome and funny and sweet and ....old! He turns 5 in just over a week and I can't believe how fast it has gone by.

I'm finishing up the plans for his party, hoping the airport cakes turns out okay(cake decorating isn't my specialty but I always try), and praying for no rain! Hubs is studying non-stop for his Board Exam, which he takes on the 19th. Prayers happily accepted!

Today is going to be close to 80 and sunny and I'm not sure how that mountain of laundry will ever get folded and put away. But first, a field trip to the zoo with Little Man's school. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hoppy Easter

Yes, I am that cheesy and a little behind here. We've been busy and trying to stay outside whenever we have a nice day. As I write, we have snow flurries coming down so today may not be one of those days. But anywho.....

We had a lovely Easter Week.

We dyed eggs.

We went on a cold Easter Egg Hunt.

  Little Man got two eggs.

And hid behind me while I met the Easter Bunny.

It was in the middle of a field, there were a billion kids, and it was over in, like, two seconds. A little anticlimactic if you ask me. I think next year I'll just hide the eggs inside in wacky places and have him really hunt.

We ate egg salad on rye.

The bread didn't rise. It was really hearty. And kind of like eating a moist brick. Ya win some, you lose some.

Little Man and I went to Stations of the Cross on Good Friday. We walked to church in honor of Earth Day. We made it back home just as the rain came. Whew!

On Easter Sunday, we packed up the whole family and went to Grandma's bright and early for Mass. And then everybody went to the park and flew kites and played on the playground for the afternoon before Easter dinner. It was a beautiful day.

And bittersweet. But everything is this year, because every holiday, every birthday, every change of season is a reminder that it is the first ______ without Jameson. And I'm not sure if that gets easier with time; maybe in 27 years I'll still be thinking that this is the 27th Easter without J. I don't know. I kinda hope not. I hope that I'm able, with time, to remember the good things without the bitterness, without the hole inside constantly reminding me how long my heart has been broken. But I don't know if it works that way. I guess I'll find out someday.

What I do know is that Jameson loved Easter last year. He loved flying his kite and he was so proud to hold the string all by himself. He was happy. And handsome. And covered in chocolate. And I wish he could have been here this year, too.

I love you, Jameson!