Friday, June 27, 2008

My Dearest JJ:

It feels like just a short time ago that I wrote about you turning 3. My how the year has flown, and in the process you turned from a toddler, into a curious, clever, funny 4 year old big boy.

The things that make you so special are too numerous to write, but when I think about you when you were three, here are the things I will remember most:

1) How you giggle in your sleep as if you have just seen the funniest thing. (And I know this because you are often right next to me in my bed - something else I will always remember about you being three, though perhaps not as fondly.)

2) They way you say "a long day ago," instead of "a long time ago."

3) How whenever you get excited about something or anxious to say something, you unconsciously sign repeating with your hands the word "more."

4) How when you talk about you sister, Sweet Pea, you refer to her as "My Sweet Pea."

5) The way you insist on having your dessert next to you WHILE you eat dinner, even ice cream.

6) The way you go through days insisting everyone call you Spider-Man, refusing to answer to your real name.

7) The serious look that over comes your face when you step up to the plate to swing at a baseball - your "game face."

8) That you can barely finish a chicken nugget but managed to wolf down an entire ice cream cone.

9) The way you can lie almost better than anyone else I know, except for me.

10) The way you give me a hug and kiss every day when I drop you off at pre-school, as if you cannot go on with your day until we have our moment together.

Happy Birthday baby! (Also something you will not tolerate being called.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

No regrets?

I’m not sure I’d be able to say that if I died tomorrow, that I have, “no regrets.” Sorry to be so morbid, but I feel slightly surrounded by death this week. We unfortunately had a member of our family die this past week, and spent father’s days at a funeral and sitting Shiva with family and friends. He was a great-uncle, by marriage. His name was Hiem.

And then there’s Tim Russert. I didn’t know him, but like many people I feel like I did. There was something about his passing that almost felt harder to swallow. Unlike Hiem who was 93 years old and lived a long life, Mr. Russert’s death was so untimely. Although Hiem’s passing was emotional, and a tragic loss, it did not come without preparation. For Mr. Russert and his family, there were no good-byes.

At the memorial service we attend yesterday, the Rabbi said that as he spoke with Hiem a couple weeks before his passing, he told the Rabbi that he had no regrets. I was struck by this. I don’t think, if I died tomorrow, I could say that. It’s not that I have any big regrets. By I don’t think, up until this point in my life, I can say I have truly enjoyed life to the fullest. I feel like I spend SO much of my time worrying about something, and/or stressed about another, that I too often forget to just enjoy life.

And then there’s work. We spend so much of our time at work. And I don’t love my work. I wish I could say that I woke up everyday and was able to do exactly what I wanted to do. Or at least be able to say that there is no other job I’d rather be doing. But I can’t. I don’t even really know what that would be. I’d don’t feel like I ever really took the opportunity to figure that out and I wish I had. It’s not that it’s too late but it not realistic either to think you can just stop in your tracks and re-evaluate your whole professionally being, especially not when you have two kids, and an income that cannot be sacrificed at this point in time.
But this past week was a reminder that life is too short, and too precious, not to be doing what makes you happy - or at least working towards it.