Well, Facebook finally stopped carrying my blog feed since I haven't posted in 30 days, and VM called me on the carpet for falling off the blogging-map. Best get back on, I suppose.
The truth is I haven't felt like writing much of late. No particular reason for my ennui (10 points for using "ennui" in a sentence!), but the drive just can't seem to rise to the top of the work/home life/laundry pile. As life returns more "to normal", it seems that there's much to do! Then the holidays come and bring with them tidings of good cheer -- not to mention inches of snow, bitter cold and ice-covered roads.
So I add my seeming lack of commitment to regular online story-sharing to the Vampdaddy Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda List of 2008. In the meantime, my guilt is softened by the other reason behind my absence: Vampboy has exploded into the almost-4 year old with boundless energy (so much so that we actually wondered if his seizure medication was sending him off the hyper-active deep-end). As New England has been gripped with power outages over the past few weeks due to an ice storm, VB has monitored closely the status of the "wire guys", endlessly making predictions of when various buildings will get their lights back. It's like watching commentators during a sports half-time show -- or at least that's what I'm told, as "sports" and "half-time" aren't really part of my daily vocabulary. Our time together is filled with long, drawn-out answers to "how was school today" -- and the question posed back; "How was work today, Daddy?" It seems as though my energy is focused on continuing the momentum of the new normal where normal becomes the operative word.
A few weeks ago I attended the funeral of a 4 year-old cancer patient. H didn't have the same cancer as VB, but struggled just as long (longer, in fact) and just as hard, until finally her little body couldn't take any more. The service was an intense experience -- both embracing the joy and celebration that comes with childhood, and reaching into the unimaginable grief and anger at a child's life cut short. For VM and I, there was the added layer of staring into the possible future for ourselves. All in all, it was not an experience I'd recommend.
However, I was struck by something that H's mom said in her comments to those in attendance. As she talked about H's energy, spunk and tenacity, she noted the choice that lies before all of us who fight hardship -- be it cancer, care giving, loss. The choice to decide for ourselves how we will greet and manage each day. "We choose who we will be," she said.
I guess over the past month and a half I've tried to choose to embrace with gratitude the opportunity we've been given; one more day with our son, one more day to live in the world without fear or anxiety of what yesterday has caused or what tomorrow might bring. One more day to enjoy as if it was like any we experienced B.C.
I know it's safe to say that I haven't made this choice every day in the last year. Instead I've sometimes chosen to allow my anger and frustration get the best of me, or let my lack of sleep or lack of quiet "me time" turn me into a bear. While working through these states is all part of the recovery from our experience, it can be so easy to let it take over.
Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.....
But no matter -- today is a new day. I'll probably continue to lay low on the blogosphere through the end of the year, as I try to take some things off of the aforementioned list (getting back into yoga, filing a year's worth of bills and receipts, finally getting around to the financial plan, re-organizing the CD collection). In the meantime, I wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season, from a dad who's getting happier and a son who remains healthy.