Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the era of pretend

It's so fun to watch the little wheels turning; Aidan's beginning to pretend. He's talking to his stuffed animals and other toys, and to himself in his crib when he wakes up. He's been talking on the phone for awhile now, but his conversations are getting much more interesting. The other day I walked into my inlaws' kitchen (holiday travel), and he was standing on a stool having an in-depth conversation on their wall phone. In the midst of it were several, "ah, no"'s, and in the midst he paused, then cracked up as though he'd just heard or told the funniest joke ever. So fun to see!

He's very much enjoying having some new toys to play with, especially the train and car-related items, the art supplies and books.

From the department of Christmas miracles, my dear, dear friend is a mom. If I were telling this in person, I couldn't do it without crying, but in this setting, you can't tell. She's had a long road with heartbreaking bumps and turns, but a beautiful baby girl was born Christmas Eve, and now is home making more lives than she'll ever know brighter. No more deserving parents; lucky girl.

Now I count down the days (4) to a week in Acapulco with my boys. Highs of 86, lows of 68. Mmmmm.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The year of

We are so very fortunate; I know I've said it before, but we really are. To have each other, health, family, love, home, jobs, whatever we could want. Makes me think about giving back, which we've been trying to do more. I always find it interesting that you see what's on your mind all around you, but here's another case of it. Had lunch w/my friend Jen the other day, and she's starting a volunteering group (go Jen!). Told my sis about that, and she was inspired to follow through with a first-ever food drive at her work, which has really taken off. The team I'm working most closely with at my client has adopted a rather large family for Christmas, and we've adopted a child for Christmas at Aidan's school and also participated in Toys for Tots. All of these have provided opportunities for me to feel extra grateful, and also for us to contribute here and there where we can.

A woman at work was shopping with her kids for the family we adopted, and her daughter asked, "Why don't they just ask Santa for the stuff they want?" Tricky answer, no? I don't want Aidan to get everything he wants, but I also don't want to have to explain why Santa's so good to other kids but not him, even though he's a very good boy. The thought of that is just heartbreaking. On the other hand, when I was growing up, we didn't have any money. I always had food, but rarely frills. I didn't know it, though. I was showered with ridiculous amounts of love and fun (thanks, Dad!), and I didn't realize that I was missing anything. We took camping vacations and traveled a lot--by car, mostly. One year I got a new bike that I later learned was from a junkyard that my dad painstakingly restored. I am a firm believer that you don't have to have money to be happy, and I've never had money, so to speak.

I'm still incredibly grateful, though, and I'd like to help others whenever I can. That's what I want to work on in 2009. I don't really do resolutions, per se, but I like to work on an idea. For example, one year it was being graceful (if you know me, you know that I don't mean physical gracefulness or that, if I do, I wasn't particularly successful). I think this year I'll work on giving back. I want Aidan to be grateful, too; this will be the start of it. That and showering him with ridiculous amounts of love and fun.