Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Forty Nine

I so vividly remember this one night when Lily was a baby. Well, it was more like the wee hours of the morning. She nursed. I changed her. She fussed. She nursed. She cried. She didn't want to go back to sleep. We rocked. I hummed. She snuggled in and the chair rocked back and forth.

Back and forth.

She had these gigantic eyes and was looking up at me. I did some math. When this baby is 16 i'm going to be 49 years old. I wondered who she would be. Who I would be. It seemed so far away on a night when the minutes of listening to a fussy baby seemed to last for hours.

Here it is.
Here we are.
This is nothing like I thought it would be.
It's better.

I've spent most of today driving Lily back and forth to work. I'd rather have my toes in the sand at the beach but this part of us will be over soon and I might miss it. Car talk is precious and productive. Seeing her safely from point a to b eases my mind. I'll do the beach another day.

This coming year, the steps we are taking away from each other are going to get bigger and bigger. No more of this baby stuff. Senior pictures, SAT's, the last first day of school, more college visits, applications to college, going to college. Someone, please please please slow this train down.

I really don't mind getting older. I swear. I do however mind the increasing speed at which it seems to be happening. I do mind that I need 4 different pairs of eye glasses to get thru the day. I do mind these single rogue hairs that occasionally pop up on my face over night. What in the hell is that? Dear God, I usually appreciate your sense of humor but now would not be a good time for my dominant, hairy Italian gene to show up. I have a new middle aged my kid is growing up part of life to create. I would prefer it if I took this task on without a mustache. Please. I ask for so little.

These things have happened since my last trip around the sun:

I put the finishing touches on my kitchen update. The last set of shelves I installed went up without me crying and calling the power drill truly horrible swear words. Some of the cabinet doors are maybe not so straight. The dog chewed one corner of the trim. If you squint and tilt your head a little bit, it looks pretty good. I am ok with perfectly imperfect.

I somehow fell more in love with the dog. Jazzy is going to be 3 soon. He loves us deeply and is the most loyal companion. I do wish he would stop humping the cat.

I am two blueberry bushes closer to having an edible yard and two minutes away from declaring a full out back yard war on a bunny and a woodchuck. The dirty ratfinks keep eating my spinach and lettuce. My tactics will be way less scary than an
intercontinental ballistic missile. I'm thinking pepper spray or maybe i'll grow them their own decoy pot of lettuce or offer a desirable relocation plan. Funny thing, they haven't eaten the kale.

"See Mom? Even they hate kale."
                                           Lily Henson

My porch is full plants and soft places to sit and watch people go by. I love it.

This house is really coming together. This life is really coming together.

Here it is.
Forty nine.
Happy Birthday to Me.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dutch Baby

This Dutch Baby sets the tone for today.
Slow it down.
Make breakfast.
Linger over one more cup of coffee.
Pick up a pen and piece of paper.
Write something.
Knit a few rows.
Stay in pajamas and watch the snow fall
from my fluffy chair named Pearl.
#lilysfavorites #sundaymornings #nantucketbreakfastinNY

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Today, for the first time since September 25th, I took 3 steps without the aid of a walker, crutches or cane. I could see myself in the mirror gracelessly moving forward with the stiffness of Frankenstein. I didn't mind how clumsy it looked. I did it. I walked and my leg didn't buckle beneath me.

I fell off of a horse. I'd like to tell a tale of great athleticism that led up to falling off like I was jumping a 3ft stone wall but that is not at all what happened. The horse spooked, not horribly, just a wee shiver and quick scoot to the left and we parted ways. I landed and twisted enough to break my leg into a lot of little pieces at the tibial plateau.

Up until that moment I was feeling so good. The sun was shining. The farm was quiet. I felt a confident, solid sense of rhythm that didn't happen often when I rode. I had a goal. I wanted to be good enough to fox hunt on my 50th birthday. It is a few years away and seemed reasonable to assume that by then I would stop flailing about in the saddle and could safely handle myself in the 3rd flight. Oh how quickly a moment can change things. My whole life was turned upside down and came to a temporary screeching halt.

I spent 10 days in the hospital. I had 2 surgeries and ingested more narcotics that I ever imaged my body could handle. Morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl. None of it ever completely took the pain away.

The months at home afterwards were spent in an overstuffed recliner that I have affectionately nicknamed Pearl.

I knit 3 scarves, one hat and 3/4 of one sock.

I watched 7 years of Gillmore Girls episodes with Lily. Twice.

I watched several PBS series in their entirety and every Werner Herzog documentary that has been made. His voice and 2 Percocet were the perfect combination to lull me to sleep. I miss them both a little bit.

My friends, co-workers, neighbors and family brought meals, movies and pie. Lily's life continued on as normal as possible because of their generosity and kindness.

I haven't been able to find the right words to describe how incredible my people are. My parents and sister were at the hospital before the ambulance arrived and never left. My Mom slept next to me every night in a recliner that may have left her with a permanent kink in her neck. She held my hand. That was often more comforting than the pain medication. Between them, I was never alone. I truly believe that their presence and care played the biggest role in my healing. They lifted me up when everything felt heavy, dark and impossible.

I have been able to count on Joe for anything and everything. Turns out he is the best ex-husband a girl could ask for. He continues to take care of the house, dog and kid while I get my sea legs back. He locks the door on the way out. I never have to pick up his socks or put the toilet seat down. I have the very best of him.

I have a new plan for what I want to be doing on my 50th birthday. It does not involve riding on the back a large animal.

Hopefully, this next time, I won't be so breakable.