Monday, September 3, 2012

43 is a really big number

I went to bed early last night... something that doesn't happen nearly often enough even though sleep is one of my very favorite things.  Feeling virtuous & good as I peeled back the covers before 10pm, I nestled into our most comfortable bed.  Full of reflections about my birthday, sleep didn't come quickly.  When my phone bleated notice of a text at 10:15, I couldn't resist the pull.  The need to know stronger than my pillow.

Photos of a cute new puppy & a couple of back & forth messages made it 10:30 before I once again attempted sleep.  I first heard Remy on the monitor at 10:45.  Hoping it was just regular kid-talking-while-dreaming I put the pillow on my head & rolled over.  Ten minutes later it was the unmistakable "mommymommyMommyMOMMY" middle-of-the-night wail of a kid not feeling well.  A little Advil, cool water & mommy snuggle later he settled back down.  11:15pm doesn't feel like an early to bed night any more.

As fate would have it, the baby, my sleep-though-the-night since 3 months old little angel, decides that 5:00am is a perfectly fine time to wake up for a snack.  His soft cries penetrate my dream of riding in a taxi on my way to a fancy dinner... the driver has a baby in the front seat and I remember my dream self passing harsh judgement on his lack of baby-restraining safety.  I nurse him back to sleep and at 5:30 hear Quinn on the monitor talking softly to himself.  My attempts to get back to my fancy dream dinner are thwarted by a snoring husband, a snoring dog and the final straw that gets me up... a cat fight right outside our bedroom window.  Howls & snarls & claws ablaze... and bewilderment that neither husband nor dog wake up to this noise.

So here I sit, at 6:15am, now officially 43 years young.  Good thing old people don't need as much sleep, right?  Seems like the perfect time to put to words, in no particular order, forty-three (43?!?!?!?) things that I am grateful for...

1.  Simply making it this far.  I can't help but think of family, friends, colleagues that didn't.  Missing those who left far too early.
2.  All of my boys.  Not sure how this happened exactly.  How I now find myself entirely surrounded with testosterone.  It both overwhelms & comforts me.

3.  Where we live.  This warehouse with its high ceilings and open space has spoiled me for future houses.
4.  When we live.  Having Quinn now, when there is so much more support, acceptance and encouragement.  I often think of all the parents who came before us... ignoring doctors and "experts", blazing a trail so we can be where we are now.
5.  Bacon.  I mean donuts.  No wait bacon.  Bacon donuts?  Hmmm.
6.  Sitting here listening to the sounds of my family waking up.  Baby cooing, two little boys trying to snuggle with Daddy... each attempting to be closest to him.

7.  My completely awesome extended family.  We are spread across the country, but the love knows no distance.
8.  Having enough.  We might struggle each month to keep things afloat, and getting ahead seems an impossible dream, but we always seem to find a way to have enough.
9.  My body.  It has more bumps and curves and padding than it used to, but it made three new people.  How cool is that?!?
10.  My husband.  I never thought I would actually get to use that word in my lifetime.  So-very-very-worth-the-wait.
11.  Summer tomatoes.
12.  Watching my boys form their own relationships with each other.

13.  The luxury of being with my kids during the day.
14.  Saturday morning garage sales.
15.  My mini-van.  Yes, it's true.  It makes the list.  Never say never about anything... because it all comes back around.
16.  Long, hot showers.
17.  Watching the sun rise this morning.
18.  Laughing with my friend Laurie.  We bring out those just-can't-stop-snort-milk-out-your-nose kind of laughs in each other.  The kind of laughs that are rare, but cleansing and sweet.
19.  The feeling of being known by those I love.
20.  Girlie dinners with old friends.  Must schedule one asap.
21.  The support of the Down Syndrome community... both online and in real life.  Even though we are all so very different, there is such comfort in being understood and championed by those who have walked the same path.
22.  Advil.
23.  My parents.  All six of them.
24.  The way Soren, and his brothers before him, fits so perfectly on my left hip.

25.  The ability to type.  Even one handed.  (See #24)
26.  Quinn's classmates & their complete acceptance of him in their world.
27.  My friend Honey.
28.  Flash mobs.  They make me cry happy tears.  Every. Single. Time.
29.  Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
30.  The sound of trains... Metro, Bart, the freight yard outside our door... there is something I find comforting about the whistle in the distance and the power of the train itself as it whooshes by.
31.  The memory of my Grandfather.  The firefighter who taught me how to bake a cake.
32.  Remy's valiant efforts to get the baby's first word to be diarrhea
33.  Dewey the wonder dog.  My first baby.

34.  Remembering how very much I love writing... how much I need writing.
35.  My camera.
36.  Deciding to get up early and drag myself out of bed to go to the Alameda flea market on July 1, 2001.

Early days
37.  My friend Dawna.
38.  The smell of rain in the air.
39.  Having the space of the new playroom & huge bedroom for the boys.

40.  My siblings.  Two brothers and a sister.  Knowing them as adults feels like such a gift.
41.  Having a husband who cooks.
42.  Watching my man be an amazing dad.
43.  My sense of humor.  It saves me.  Every. Single. Time.