Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Caught Up

There's a lot of busy-ness to this time of year.
Busy is good.
It keeps my mind on my task, focused on the child in front of me. It keeps my mind focused on her needs or on his needs, on making a lunch or packing a backpack or did you take a sweatshirt?

And busy is bad.
Because I can, for a few minutes, get so caught up in what I'm doing that I don't notice that there's one kid missing.

And then, wham.

Today was the first day of school. I've waxed poetic before about how much I really love the first day. New potential and all that.

Today was no different. I lined people up for their pictures. I made lunches. I packed backpacks. I made sure that sweatshirts were taken.

Driving to the elementary school, somehow...it hit me. How could I only drop off Yael? Shouldn't I be dropping off Sammy?

I drove up to the school and I hope she thought that the tears were the usual mom-loves-the-first-day-and-gets-all-weepy type of tears. I hugged her tightly, so tightly. I kissed her little face and told her to be amazing.

And then I got back into the car. Solly didn't notice that I was crying hard.
He asked for Shut Up And Dance.

I took a deep breath, called it up on my iPod, and drove off, music blaring almost as loud as it would go.

Sometimes that's just what you've got to do.

love Solly's shirt choice today

Solly's first day was one day before, but he got in on the group shot today

Last year...Class lists
Two years ago...Milestones
Three years ago...Back to School and Trust
Four years ago...Back to School Tradition
Five years ago...For Everything A Season

Saturday, August 15, 2015


It seems that I spend a lot of time searching.

At camp, I couldn't help but look at the kids and wonder which ones would have been Sammy's friends.

I search the faces of the little boys and girls who are about his size. I see the ones that Solly gravitates toward, and I wonder if Sam would have been friends with those kids. Does Solly see something there that Sammy would have seen?

And sometimes I catch myself looking out at that sea of faces and I realize that I'm searching for Sam. Where is he? I've picked out my other kids amongst all the others, but where is Sam? And then that wash of realization....oh, yeah.

I searched the 4th grade class lists. Which one would have been his? Would he have been happy with the teacher assigned? I searched the lists....wishing, hoping, wanting his name to be there.

I search for his face in my dreams...and it's not there.
I keep searching.

Solly keeps telling me that he's sad that he isn't dreaming about Sam.
I tell him to keep looking.

It's been 610 days since Sam died. I don't even know what to do with that number. How is it that it feels like forever ago and yet I can still feel the fuzzy skin on his head in a whisper on my fingertips?

Last year: Incomplete
Two years ago: The Special Spice
Three years ago: Bouncing
Five years ago: What I Did On My Summer Vacation
Six years ago: Restful Vacation
Seven years ago: 13 Reasons I'm Not Blogging
Eight years ago: Wordless Wednesday (aka, Sam throws a tantrum)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Yael and I were doing yoga at the beach.
She looked down at my mat.
"It looks clean," she said, "until you look closely and see all the little bits of sand caught in the ridges of the mat."

That's how it is right now.
I look fine. Most of the time, I feel fine.

But the grief is there, like little grains of sand caught in the ridges of the mat.
You can't always see it, unless you look closely.

And it's not annoying...not really. But then you put your hands down on the mat and they come away with sand stuck to them...and then it's still not that uncomfortable...until you find that you need to brush your hands off...and then it gets in the way.

But then you get used to brushing your hands off between each yoga pose. Because you can get accustomed to nearly anything, can't you?

And the sand never goes away. You can't fully brush it off, it's always there, at least one tiny grain, always. Even many days after a beach trip, there's a bit of sand stuck in your toes or in the car mats.

One bit of sand can rub a blister in no time.
That's all it takes. Just one bit of sand.

This has been a fairly "normal" summer. Camp, work, beach, play, popsicles...you know.

And there's always that grain of sand against my hand, that ache in the back of my throat, that feeling that something just isn't quite right.

When you look closely at the grains of sand caught in the mat, they glitter ever-so-slightly, the way that sand in the sun catches the light and sparkles. The bits of sand can make a blister, no question. But the sparkle? That's Sammy too.

All the beaches of our life....
Tel Aviv
Glencoe Beach -- I have thousands of pictures, and this was one that I didn't remember.
Somewhere in Florida
And of course, at OSRUI...
One year ago: Bothered
Two years ago: The Next Step
Three years ago: Catering
Four years ago: Sam, the Kosher Ham
Five years ago: What I did on my Summer Vacation
Six years ago: Making Mud Puddles
Seven years ago: A Strange Obsession with Snacks (one of my favorite Sam posts ever)
Eight years ago: Best Shot Monday
(Can you believe I've been blogging this long?)