Sunday, July 15, 2012

Land of Opportunity

My first two nephews were born in another state. I had to travel to be with them. I didn't mind. I liked them. A lot.

Eventually, they moved back to New York and we were able to spend more time together.

They liked me a lot, too.

But then I had to go and meet some sweet talking Southern man. For years, I'd harbored secret dreams of living in the South, where Spanish Moss drapes the trees instead of snow. I wasn't leaving for him so much as seizing my opportunity to get south of winter. Moving was bittersweet, but I knew my new life would be exciting.

Right after that part where it sucked.

My Going Away Party. Doesn't it look fun!?

Love looks like that sometimes.

But sometimes, it looks like this.  

Now it's his turn. My nephew just moved to Arkansas, not to be with me so much as to seize the opportunity to spread his wings and fly. I'm just a nice, soft safety net stretched out beneath him. 

Welcome to Arkansas, Will. I hope your adventure is everything you want it to be, and that the part where it sucks for those you left behind is very, very brief.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


When our little boy was a baby, we used to call him Archie.  It's not that we're big All in the Family fans, but that he had this odd habit of arching in his sleep.  Sometimes, he'd arch until the very crown of his head rested on the pillow.  Like this:

 As you might imagine, we found this slightly disconcerting.

He's eight now, and still hasn't quite outgrown it.

It was his father, who has the infuriating habit of always being right, who diagnosed the problem: adenoids were constricting his breathing; he had to arch his neck to open the airway. We got a second opinion from the pediatrician, and a third from an ear, nose, throat specialist. The adenoids had to go.

At 6:15 yesterday morning, we headed for the Otolaryngology Center. My mind, however, had gotten up early and run to Starbucks for a few double espressos. By the time I caught up with her, she had already cataloged every possible scenario that could end in death, from anesthesia overdose to zebra stampede. She likes to be thorough.

Just as I was giving my mind a stern talking-to for being irrational and melodramatic, the nurse asked my son to step on the scale so they could calculate the anesthesia properly.

"See," I scolded. "They know what they're doing."

But then the nurse carelessly flicked the metal pointer into the wrong slot and announced my son's weight at a full eight pounds off. 

My mind smirked, smugly.  "Uh huh. Told you so."

The nurse handed my son a sticker, to lighten things up a bit.



Grave Digger. My mind nearly peed her pants. I was beginning to wish I left her home to make jello and put sheets on the couch.

When it was time for the surgery to begin, my little boy held the nurse's hand and walked right into the operating room. He got all the courage in this family.

It wasn't until it was all over and I got to hold him again that I could finally breathe easy.

Hopefully, he'll be able to breathe easier now, too.