Posted by: chicagoshells | October 29, 2014

Three Years Later

Three years ago tomorrow, a woman sat at a restaurant/bar in Chicago, drank for six hours, and then got in her car and changed my life.

While the pain, helplessness, and frustration of the following months will never be forgotten, on this anniversary I just feel lucky.  Last month, a friend was riding her bike and got hit by a falling tree when a storm began suddenly.  She died the next day.  So sudden.  So senseless.  So unfair.  Her husband lost his wife, her sons lost their mother, and too many people to count lost a kind and caring friend.

I’m alive.  I can walk.  I can hug and kiss and argue with Trouble.  I can snuggle and tickle and get exasperated with Mulberry.  I can think about the future.  And last month, I even rode a bike again.

I am grateful.

While yes, often exasperating as toddlers tend to be, I am especially grateful for Mulberry, and he astounds me every day.  Here are some things I don’t want to forget:

-His vocabulary is incredible.  He has well over 100 words, so many I don’t think I could count if I tried.  Being able to truly communicate with him is amazing.

-He sings along to familiar songs, including the lullabies I sing before he goes to sleep.  It’s the most wonderful sound I’ve ever heard.

-Lately he sleeps best with his hooded monkey blanket on his head.  Usually he also wants his baby doll in his crib with him as well, and he wants to make sure she’s wrapped up in a blanket, too.  Seriously, I think my heart might explode from the sweetness.  We think he’ll be an incredible big brother.*

-His memory is amazing.  He remembers events from months ago– months after July 4, a picture of fireworks prompted “Big boom!  Popcorn!  Gramma B!  [Cousin’s Name]!”  Yes, we did watch fireworks while eating popcorn with his grandma and his cousins.  He makes connections between things that constantly impress me.  The other day, Trouble mentioned someone from work with the same name as my (almost) sister-in-law. Mulberry jumped in– “[SIL Name]!  Unka [Bro’s Name]!  See soon!”  Yes, we are going to visit them (for their wedding!) next week.  Yesterday, he started singing a song, then stopped and said “Lullaby book.  Gramma B. Monkey– peek-a-boo monkey!” Yes, his grandmother visited last month and gave him a book of lullabies including the song he’d been singing, as well as a monkey toy that plays peek-a-boo.

-He prefers wearing pajamas to other clothes, and being naked to wearing pajamas.  In this, he is just like Trouble!  He especially hates jeans and refuses them in favor of “nice soft pants.”

-Current obsessions:  Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars,” Thomas and Friends (and all trains in general), Elmo, and Dora the Explorer.

-His hair is long and floppy and gets in his eyes.  I mention that because we’re going to get it trimmed for the first time this weekend, before the wedding, at which he’ll be the ring-bearer.  Considering his dislike of clothing in general, getting him into his tuxedo (yup), which includes a jacket, vest, and bow-tie, should be interesting.

-He’s not perfect.  He throws tantrums, does things he knows he’s not supposed to do while looking at us with a challenging gleam in his darkening eyes, and poops in the bathtub.  But he is the joy of my life and I am just so grateful.

*No, there is no second baby on the way yet.  I just realized I haven’t written since I started my new job– my sometimes boring, sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious, but beautifully regular-schedule new job that gives me evenings and weekends with my family.  Yes.  Grateful.  And within, I don’t know, maybe a week of starting the new job, many of the fears about a second baby just melted away.  I might actually be more ready than Trouble now, at this particular moment.  Things keep side-tracking us since, as anyone reading this well knows, “trying” isn’t really simple.  But stay tuned– I am determined to get at least one 2014 try in!

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