Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Adieu, Adieu, to Yeu and Yeu and Yeu

In the spirit of summer's end and the start of the school year and new beginnings and all that cool jazz, I'm starting a new blog and retiring this one. I'm not deleting it or anything, it'll be up as long as the internet wants to keep it. It's just that for awhile I've been feeling that I've mentally outgrown joyberrypie as a persona and I want to try on something that might be a better fit.

There were two other considerations in this semi-rash decision:

1) I miss writing in my old "academic" blog, and hate the thought that that space for thoughts and words and occasional hellfire will lie fallow and forgotten. I'm not going to resume updating avengingsybil at the moment--I'm sooo out of the YA fiction loop, for one--but I like to keep the option open.

2) That said, as I still pay to host the damn thing over at typepad and can add another blog to my account at no cost, why not get my money's worth and maybe jumpstart brain with the sheer novelty of a new venue while I'm at it? Ooh la la, so practical.

I still haven't come up with a name, and I'm not promising the content will be any different than what I've been writing in here. But the time has come to move on. I may have already overshot a timely exit, but I will channel my inner George Costanza nonetheless.

When the new thing's happening, you will surely, surely know.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School's In

I'm way less of a blubbering sap as a mother than I thought I'd be. I'm emotional by nature, very sentimental, but I have hardly had a moment of reflecting on HR's life in a teary, "they grow up so fast" sort of way. Witnessing him hitting all his milestones has been purely celebratory. I think the reason is because I have loved every stage more than the last. I loved him as a baby of course, but he's just gotten better with every bit of growth (give or take a little whining and willfuness). But as we tiptoe to the brink of him beginning preschool, I'm starting to feel it, what I assumed I'd feel all along, that emotional sweep inside. I could cry thinking about what it's going to be like to drop him off on that first day, even though I have no way of knowing how it's going to go. It's not because I don't want him to be older, or more independent. It's going to be so so good for him to go to school and be with other kids and all that. It's not even that I don't trust an unrelated person to watch him. I mean, I don't, but I've got to cut the cord sometime.

It's just that I have an achilles heel when it comes to little ones, especially my own of course, and that is empathy. What kids go through in life, their vulnerability and the fact that they are at everyone's mercy, it makes me want to grab up every one and make sure they know they are loved and will be cared for. Whether my empathy is genuine because theses kids are going through something I've been through, or projected from my own imagination, I can't stop myself from thinking about what's going on in children's minds when they are thrown into a new situation. Seeing the way HR looks at us, the people who aren't paid to look out for him, and the confidence he has that we won't do him harm, then thinking about the confusion he might feel if a teacher speaks harshly to him, or, I don't know what, it just kills me. Just thinking about his face kills me. I don't think he should be sheltered forever or think the world is all about him. That's partly why he needs this experience. I just wish--and I don't think I'm unique for feeling this--that he could learn all those important life lessons without having to learn them by being hurt in some way.

I don't worry about HR at all anymore when he's with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc., because we've gone away and come back enough times for him to know we'll always come back, and usually he's so distracted by the fun of being with them that he doesn't miss us at all. But this is new territory. This is different. To think that even for a second we'll be setting him up for distress breaks my heart. I know he'll be OK. I know he'll love school, if not at first than eventually. But it is definitely the biggest emotional parental crossroads I've reached in the three-plus years I've been in the game. The first of many, hooray.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I was on vacation forever and it was awesome. I wasn't out for a straight three weeks, but over that time I was not working more than I was, spending all of the time with my husband and son, and to be able to do that in life is a sweet deal. I thought about doing a detailed recap of all our happenings, but that's boring. At this point it feels like none of it even happened anyway, so it's surreal to look back. But here are some of the finer points:

Family, family, family. There are other types of vacations, but these summer vacations are strictly about family for us. We saw every single cousin and cousin's child and aunt and uncle on my dad's side, as well as my dad, siblings and my grandmother and her fiance. We saw my mother and HER mother and one of her brothers and his wife and kids and grandkids. We saw Mike's parents, and all his brothers and wives and kids. I think it's fair to say that quality time was spent. 

We slept in the relative luxury of our new pop-up camper, and in the upgraded digs of a sick rented house which Mike's brother and family generously shared

We saw the stars and the sun and the clouds (maybe clouds were a bit overrepresented in the Maine portion, but it's what it is). 

HR went crazy nuts bonding with people he rarely gets to see and claiming the tide pools as his own and successfully weaning himself off his potty and onto the grown up toilet for good.

We sat by many a fire, and waged a turf battle with wildlife (don't ask).

We ate and drank in a manner befitting royalty.

We bathed our kid in a bucket and showered ourselves in the open air (and a righteous steam shower).

We spent a LOT of time in the car, with a miraculous total of zero incidents of carsickness to be reported.

There was this


And this


And all this

And I don't think it's even possible to ask for more. I'm sad it's all behind us, but that's OK. It's good to be back to home and schedule and what-not. I realize that if I were independently wealthy, I for sure would have to have a hobby or volunteer work because the day drinking alone (something I unabashedly enjoy on these excursions) would kill me in a month. Besides, it really helps you appreciate your time off when there's such a thing as time on.

It's been a hell of a summer for us, and that's the long and the short of it. And ain't we lucky?