I am suffering a batch of insomnia right now. Last night, I stopped tangling the sheets alone, and went to the kitchen around 1:50am. I poured a bowl of cereal and went to get the book I am reading. As I reached for the milk, I saw the M family photo on our fridge.

In the photo, Corey and Becky are standing behind a counter. Their son, Sam* and daughter Emma* are sitting on the counter. Emma is 7 months old, a shock of blonde hair capping her beautiful head. Sam is 2 years older than his sister, and looks like Corey already. Becky is still carrying her pregnancy weight, and this is not the best photo of her. Corey has a short haircut and is smiling.

This photo was taken in December, 1999. A family photo to send around for Christmas. I was visiting them in early January. I called around Christmas to wish everybody a good time.

On January 6, 2000, Corey was killed at Fort Bliss in El Paso.

The days after were a blur. The shock of everything. Becky was making him a birthday present when the soliders came to tell her. How Sam kept asking her was she okay. Her in-laws coming. The feuding over the burial. The complete lack of respect for her wishes. The luck that Corey had R-C put on his dogtags so Becky could at least have the funeral in her church, not his family’s.

The sadness of having to leave her with her parents. Having to leave everything in El Paso to move back to Buffalo. How to raise two small children alone? How to deal with the pain? The family? The greif?

I told Becky that I didn’t know how she did it. She replied the only sensible answer: She didn’t have a choice. She could either die too, or be there for the kids. I realize now what a stupid thing it was to say to her.

They never found his wedding ring for her.

At the funeral, they had a 7 gun salute. Half the shells were given to her, wrapped in the flag that covered his casket. The remaining 3 were given to his parents.

It was a closed casket. I think only Becky’s mom looked while in El Paso. She could do that. She had the stomach to handle these things. I nearly vomited getting the call.

Time moved forward, it always does. I went on trips with Jay, continued to work, continued to try to have a child. Becky used the life insurence to buy a car and a house. At least a mortgage would not be held over her.

She was pressured by his family to sue the railroad company. The family of the other solider killed did sue. She refused. It doesn’t matter what I thought at the time, I was there to support her choice.

I visited as often as I could. I’ve watched Emma and Sam grow up. They came out here when Soleil was a baby. Sam and Becky came out in 2005. We visit every Christmas.

Yet for Corey, time is frozen. He is always 29, less than a month from 30. He is always wearing that smile. He is always a few more exams from applying to officer school. He is always in Texas, away from the hockey that he loved.

All of this came to my thoughts last night as I looked at this photo on our fridge.


* I changed the kids names.

And we wonder about religion?

Today is show and tell at daycare. Soleil decided to bring in the 10 plagues from Passover.
(please, click on the link)

She is very excited and runs into the director of the daycare who is showing two teachers in training around. She randomly pulls out blood and shows it, then the darkness, then the cattle disease.

One of the trainees looks at Jay and asks "Is this from a book?"

While trying not to be snarky, he replies, "Yes, the bible, exodus"

Sadly, he thinks the teacher was still confused.

Maybe she was thinking of these exciting Passover titles that we thought of on the drive to work…
"Elmo flees Egypt"
"Dora and the Days of Darkness"
"Diego saves the Cattle"
"Barney and the death of the FirstBorn"


Damn, I am tired

Anyone with me? This summer is way over booked and between work, the kids and just living, I don’t know when I am going to be free!

I’ll have to get lunch soon, as I have meetings from 2-5 and then the BBQ at work. Luna has her 3 year checkup and Jay will take her.

inexplicably, I lost my measuring tape. Weird. Luckily, I found the backup one so maybe tonight I can start measuring for the PJs I want to make. I am nervous that I will screw them up some how. Not sure How I could do it, but it is a little weird making clothes for someone else. But the fabric is so cute! I am going to have to measure everything to see if I can make both the pants and the shirt. I might have to do short sleeves instead of long. That’s the part that I worry about.

I haven’t even explained the work we are having done on the house this summer! Ha! Busy!

A little bit of freedom…

It’s been a crazy week in the space house! I am exhausted and overwelmed. My hopes for relaxing in the future are not really around…

If you are the type that cares to put out a good thought, please think of Lauren. She’s back in for her second of 5 chemo rounds. The last one left her needing a few pints of Cleveland’s finest (blood transfusion to get the platelets back up).

Alos, please keep a good thought out for WhyMommy. She recently found a lump in her breast after asking her doc about issues with her breast.  

Yesterday, I got the kids out to a  playground. They couldn’t agree on which one, so I chose a third. They dealt. The problem is that this particular neighborhood is, well, um, How do you say wealthy and contains some snobby people without over generalizing?

Yes, we were in THAT town. The one where mothers ran the second MY children cried for help. Now, I think after 5 years (or close to 5 years) I know when Soleil needs help and when she wants help. Two different things. I will walk over and talk to her if it is the latter, and RUN if it is the former. In this case, it was the latter. As I stroll over, another mom runs and starts talking, in baby talk, about how "da poor little girl need some help?" I roll my eyes and call "What’s up, babe?" She says "I want to turn around", "ok, so turn around!" "But I want to stay on these ropes!" So I talk her through what to do, not touching her except to correct her left and right (but I thought you meant YOUR right, mommy). Once I was done, I started to walk away and the other mom said "She was begging for help! She really was calling for somebody to help her." I just smiled and kept walking.

A similar thing happened when the girls decided to try the balance beam. A different mom gave me grief for not hold Soleil’s and Luna’s hands, but instead I put my arm out to spot them. I told both of them to jump down if they got scared or started to lose their balance.

 What is it with overprotective parents? Here we are, in a PLAYGROUND, incredibly safe for the standards that I had growing up (Remember the monkey bar houses over concrete? yeah, so do I) and I am supposed to hover? No, I won’t do that. I am trying to let them be. A little freedom can go a long way to helping esteem, confidence and general comfort levels.



Here comes the grad?

I have so many posts in my head and no clear idea of what I want to write.

Soleil has pre-kindergarten graduation tomorrow. I have mixed ideas on this. The first is that it is silly. I mean, caps and gowns for 5 year olds? Pa-lee-zzz! Do we need to do this? Pre-kindergarten was great, but a graduation?

It is an important change to her life. Her best friend, Rachael, is going to stay in her town, and Soleil will be going to school in our town. They have been in the same day care since they started! Rachael is 2 weeks older than Soleil. Luckily, I have become good friends with Rachael’s parents. This allows us to really still get together. Soleil will be leaving behind the day care life and entering public school life. This is a huge change.

Instead of mom and dad driving both girls to day care, Soleil will walk to the bus stop and take the bus to school. Instead of having mom pick her up, the bus will take her to the after school program. Instead of a single pre-K classroom, she will be in one of 8 kindergartens in her school.

Luna will have a huge change as well. She has always been with her sister. Most days find the girls holding hands in the back seat of the car (I know! so darn cute). Now, Luna will have to strike out on her own. She will be alone at day care, the lone spacekid there. I am hoping she will flourish as she has tried to copy her sister for so long.

I am actually thrilled with the public system in our town (so far). It reminds me of what I grew up in. Small. The graduating class in our town is similar to the size that I grew up in. The physical SIZE of our town is about 1/3 of what I grew up in, but the class size is the same.

So, graduation does mean something here. It is a huge life change for these kids. Maybe they do have a reason after all…

A change in venue

Last night, after dinner, we got the girls in jammies. Then they hugged and kissed Daddy goodbye.

There’s a science meeting in Boston until Thursday. At the airport. Well, technically, it is at the hotel on the airport grounds. Jay loves the hotel. Traffic in metro Boston is not good. We have three roads (I-93, Rt 1 and Rt-3) that come together in the center of Boston known as the central artery. As many of us know, if you have a central artery, you have have cardiac arrest. This happens everyday in Boston.

Since the meeting starts, oh, 7:30 in the morning, we decided that Jay should stay at the hotel for the meeting.

This means I have kid duty alone last night and today. It’s not bad, and the kids are doing just fine. Tomorrow, one of sitters can come and we’ll have dinner in Boston. A late anniversary dinner. Did I mention the hotel rooms are sound proof?Smiley