One Year Ago

It was the week of Thanksgiving.

I was 30 weeks pregnant.

We were surrounded by boxes. So many boxes!

We were beyond grateful to bid farewell to the small apartment we had lived in for nine months.

Our search for a new home had finally come to an end.

A year ago, as we fell into bed exhausted we listened to the sounds we are now accustomed to coming from our house and neighborhood and dreamed of filling cupboards and closets, covering the walls with our favorite art and photographs, furnishing a nursery and making family memories.

My belly was big and round and my back ached but I was happy. I was anxious to be settled, decorate for the holidays and mail our Christmas cards, which included our new address.

I can’t believe we have been in this house for a year. It seems so much smaller now and there are things we still want to (and need to) do. I guess that happens once you grow comfortable in your space.

In many ways our lives are the same as they were a year ago, but in the best ways, they have changed. 

fence

Yes, we really do have a white picket fence.

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Family Tree

Just like I knew they would, my eyes fill with tears as I tell Lucas the photos we are carefully pasting to the page are the last ones taken of my parents. It was my wedding day, seven years ago.

I thought we’d have a couple more years before Lucas had a Family Tree project.

It’s basic, immediate family only, no research required and a few fun questions about our family including, who is the oldest member of our family and who has the longest eyelashes.

I’m worried.

Lucas has been known to tell complete strangers that my parents are dead. Just like that, he’ll blurt out to anyone who’ll listen, “My mom’s parents are dead.” It was shocking the first couple of times but, I expect it now. I’m ready when the cashier at the supermarket looks at me with a blank stare on her face unsure what to say next. “It’s okay.” I say. Of course, it’s anything but okay, but she doesn’t want to hear a sob story and I’m just trying to buy dinner.

Death is a regular topic in our home. I have shared here before the many conversations we have had as a family, the questions my five-year-old so inquisitively asks and the delicate way in which we attempt to ease his precious heart and mind by responding the best way we know how, with the truth.

For us, it is normal. I realize this is not the case in other homes and assume most of his classmates have two sets of living grandparents, maybe more.

Lucas only has one set of grandparents and they are kind and loving and a very big part of our lives. I am grateful for them every day.

I could argue that my parents are a big part of our lives too, as they come up in regular conversation, there are lots of photos of them in our house and many stories and memories to share. But are my parents no longer my children’s grandparents because they are not here physically or because they never had the chance to meet my children? We refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa Adams. In my mind that’s what they are. Right? I don’t have the answers. All I know is, their lives were cut short and were they here, they’d love Lucas and Lola to pieces.

I’m not worried about what Lucas will say when it is his turn to present his family to his class, he’ll no doubt share what details he knows, however, I am concerned about how the other children may respond.

I gave Lucas’s teacher a head’s up and she was grateful and reassured me that no two families are alike and that she would create a sensitive environment for whatever the children what to discuss. 

family tree

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