extended family

(Note: This does turn into a “professional” post as well as a “personal” one, and a sociological one as well, if you hang in there. This was written last week but I didn’t have time to post it from the road. Today’s snow emergency gives me the time to finish it.)

We’ve been here all week due to the death of my father-in-law Thanksgiving night. The funeral was yesterday, a week after he passed. It was a great celebration of a life well lived by a man who spent time with his children and grandchildren and gave abundantly of himself to a wide variety of community projects. The funeral was followed by a noisy and warm family gathering. Now it is quiet. As I write this, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law are napping, my sister-in-law is watching TV, the other set of grandchildren have headed home or are out shopping. My daughter is napping in the motel. My husband, son, son-in-law and I are all sitting in the living room playing games on our laptops. I decided this was the time to write the blog I’ve been thinking about all week.

I’m not sorry I came here for the whole week. It is important to honor a family you have been part of for nearly forty years. At the same time, it was a hard thing to do. Continue reading “extended family”

misfortunes highlight how lucky i am

Husband broke his foot on Sunday. Not playing hockey, but having brunch. Unfortunate. We went to the urgent care clinic, which is free (fortunately), because we live in Canada (fortunately), because I got a tenure-track job here (fortunately). While at the clinic, Husband got an x-ray and an air cast (cool!), and he also picked up a flu bug. It wasn’t that flu (fortunately), just the regular old flu. He was only down with that for the day, though, because we remembered to get flu shots this year (fortunately), and because they are easy to get (fortunately), and free for everyone in our province (fortunately).

He is feeling better this morning, but a little tired, and a little blue, especially because it is our hockey team’s playoffs, and he really wants to play. But then again, he has a job where he can work while injured (fortunately), and work from home (fortunately), so everything will be okay.

mom, who were the first people in the world?

And thus began Kid’s immersion into evolution, a couple months ago in the car on the way to swim class. And I knew I’d love teaching Kid about evolution–it’s possible that Husband thinks I am too excited about it–but what I didn’t see coming is how much Kid loves it, too. Why? First, because there are dinosaurs. Kid loves dinosaurs. And second, because it’s about him. Kid loves stories about him. And a story that puts him and T-Rex into the same family tree? That is golden.

I’m no evolutionary biologist, though, so I knew I needed some help. Continue reading “mom, who were the first people in the world?”

goodbye, dad

I am out at my parents’ house in California this week, working through some tough times again. My father’s battle with Alzheimer’s came to an end, and as usual, Alzheimer’s won. Memorial services for my dad will be tomorrow. I am so thankful that I arrived in time to see my dad one last time, and to tell him stories about his grandson and tell him how much I love him. He was only awake for about half an hour, and he couldn’t talk at all, even though he had so much to say. He clapped his hands to show me he was happy to see me and the rest of the family. Then, he fell asleep, and his embattled brain continued turning off the light switches and shutting the blinds until he passed away last Saturday night.

Continue reading “goodbye, dad”

family day weekend

We miss out on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day up here in Ontario, but we’ve got a brand new winter holiday: Family Day. It was implemented last year, when I called it “Give Me Back My Childcare; I’ve Got Work to Do Day.” This year, I’m a better planner I have more time to plan family activities, so I am embracing it.

This afternoon, we head to Buffalo to do some shopping in American stores–hello, Target!–and tonight we’ll go to the hockey game. The Buffalo Sabres are playing against my beloved San Jose Sharks, and Husband got us all tickets. We’ll stay over and splash in the hotel pool on Saturday, which may sound lame if you don’t have a kid, but you parents know what I am talking about. Back for Kid’s Timbits game on Sunday and a playdate on Monday.

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this motherhood thing.

vacation wrap-up: heading home

I’m sitting in the dark in our hotel room, as I have done every night this week. Kid’s bedtime is 8pm, and what is there to do besides sit quietly and read? I hadn’t even figured out that he can fall asleep with the computer glow on until last night. Before that, I was reading in the bathroom. My life is glamorous.

I come away from this trip with no complaints whatsoever, which is rather unusual for a visit home, even before my folks became ill. Now that I think about it, I haven’t kept the blog up to date on my folks; bad news is not my favorite to blog. Continue reading “vacation wrap-up: heading home”