At the pediatrician's office with my son this morning, I was reminded of something to be thankful for. We hadn't been there in five months, not since my sons' annual physicals this summer. And before that? Last spring... maybe?
This morning at 8 AM when I went to call the doctor's office, I had needed to look up the number.
And then the particular pediatrician my son saw was the same one he had seen first at a week old, on his first doctor's visit ever. She'd had another child herself in the intervening years, had a few more gray hairs mixed in with the chestnut brown. She was happy to report that my son had a simple cold with his croup, and write that very dear prescription for prednisone, which will (hopefully) keep Jake from having another night like last, tonight.
And then we spent a moment acknowledging that we had barely seen each other in years. "Yes," I'd said, "we are no longer frequent fliers here. Remember those first years when I had your practice's number on speed dial? I think you were on call some of those nights when I had to phone in with a sick child at 2 AM."
And truly, it was like looking back to another lifetime ago, remembering those early years, because things are so different now. My sons are eight, nearly eight and a half, poised on the brink of big-boy-ness, but still seeking Mom's lap for cuddles. And Jacob, with autism in the picture, will clearly be little-boy-like longer still. But also? Getting big, fast.
Today it was hard to move myself out of my whiny, complaining space into finding my gratefulness. But I wanted to, needed to.
As I look back over this year there has been so much shitty, shitty crap, but also, amidst the crap, the gems are there, too. And today I was actively treasure hunting, trying to focus on the positive as the year winds down to its last few days.
Four more 24 hour periods, and then, onto the next. Thank goodness.
And yes I know how arbitrary a marker a year is, that calendars are an invention, a human creation, like longitude and latitude marks on a globe, imaginary lines that hold significance only because we all agree on them.
And being Jewish makes this even clearer since we get to have two "New Years" every year. Ethan asked recently which one was the "real" one, which lead to a whole discussion of the above, how they are both real and also both artificial.
I guess the truest year markers are the natural ones, things like the solstices and equinoxes, that have observable dimensions; the winter solstice being the clearly measurable shortest day, longest night (with the summer one the opposite). The vernal and autumnal equinoxes have those perfectly equal day and night ratios, twice a year precisely. At least here, far north (or there, down south) of the equator, they do.
At the actual equator where day and night are always exactly the same, each 24 hours offering alternating 12 hour periods of light and dark? All this stuff is hooey.
Is this one reason why tropical cultures have often embraced a more "live for today" attitude while those evolving in the nether regions where one must hunker down to pass through a long cold dark winter holding the promise of warmth and sunshine solely in your mind for months have frequently taken on a more "work hard and suffer now, enjoy later" philosophy? Possibly.
All I know is that right now I need to mark the passing of time, to find a way to put this dreadful year behind me. And also? To acknowledge the lovely things that have happened this year, too, the gems among the crap:
I began this blog, and found a whole world, a community I did not know existed, which has blossomed into something wonderful beyond my wildest dreams.
We found a new school for Jacob, which has been all we hoped and dared to dream it would be: the right school for him. He is growing and blossoming there something wonderful, beyond our wildest dreams.
Ethan has the perfect teacher for him in this so important third grade year. She is lovely, a living Ms. Frizzle. He no longer thinks history is boring. He spent an hour the other day quizzing me about the Kennedy family. He wants to know who my favorite president was. We are googling interesting facts about WWI together. It's something wonderful beyond my wildest dreams.
And as to 2011?
Here's to hoping it is something wonderful, beyond our wildest dreams.
For me and my family, and for you and yours.
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