Look Around.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 07- Oh yeah, I'm still doing this thing.

(Woops. I got sidetracked. Life gets in the way. Also, I'm lazy.)

Day 07—Someone who has made your life worth living.

The obvious answer would be my son. He’s only a year old, though… So he’s a little knew on the scene. And while he absolutely is the sun in the middle of my solar system, the center of my universe, and without a doubt my reason for living NOW, he has not always been. While he is my reason for living and will be for the rest of my life, he has not always been the person that's made my life WORTH living. (Although now, obviously, he's on the list.)

The person who’s made my life WORTH LIVING my whole life is my sister. She’s my best friend, she was my first friend. She’s my other half. She’s the kindest, most gentle, loving person in the world. Having said that, she can also be hard as nails. You’ve never seen a person so multifaceted. My sister is a delicate flower, an innocent soul, but when the need arises she is incredibly tough. She's so much stronger than I am, so much braver. People don't realize it sometimes because she's so sweet, but she's a stone cold badass when she has to be.
She’s been my support and my encouragement, my back up, my conscience, my constant guide… She’s been these things my entire life, every day of my life. She knows me better than I know myself and miraculously loves me anyway.

There have been times as an adult living in my own home that I've called my sister from half way across the country to ask her where my keys were. No kidding. I can’t find them, and she might know where I’ve lost them. When we lived together she could always find everything, and I think this is because we are so very much alike while managing to be so different that she can see me in a way I cannot see myself. She can see what I've done or will do when I can't see it at all.

We’re like different sides of the same coin. Our souls are mirror images, our sense of humor exactly the same. But where I am broadly scattered, prone to quick and hot bouts of rage, and have a hard time focusing, she is the finest point on the tip of the sharpest needle, always level headed and kind.

She’s in my head, somewhere in there under all the noise and clutter. She’s in my heart. She knows what I’m about before I do.

When I hear other people talk about their siblings, I know they don’t feel what I do when I talk about my sister. They couldn’t possibly. We come from such a different circumstance. She’s my hero. Your sister is your sister. Maybe you like her a lot, I don’t know, but you couldn’t like her as much as I like my sister. You couldn’t like your sister as much as you’d like my sister, for that matter. She is everyone’s favorite, and if you don’t like her it’s because you don’t know her.

There were times when we were growing up, when all I wanted in the world was to stop existing. I wanted it more than I can express. It was constant pain.
In those days I remember occasionally finding myself alone in the house, pacing back and forth like a mad thing, not knowing what to do with myself, but feeling like I had to do something. I wanted so badly just to be done hurting, and I didn't know how to make that happen.

I didn’t hurt myself because it would have destroyed my mother, but more because I couldn’t imagine being without my sister. I’d be without pain, but also without her. And no matter what else was going on, no matter what turmoil or confusion or ache, my sister was a constant, steady light. I couldn’t imagine being somewhere quiet and free of the constant screaming and accusations and guilt and anger, but also free of that light.

I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to be anywhere without that light. Without my sister. I couldn’t imagine it. All the rest was tolerable, because I had my sister.

I’ve told people before and I mean it completely,no matter how much everyone always looks at me like I'm a corny mope when I say it, that I think God made a mistake with my sister. I don’t think she was meant for this world. I think somewhere along the line there was a mix-up and she wound up on the wrong train, the one bound for earth. She’s too good, too sweet, too full of love and beauty and happiness and humor and joy to be here, in this place that can be so full of sadness and trouble. I’ve always thought there must be some kind of mistake, that she doesn't belong here with the rest of us.

I’ve always been so incredibly grateful for whatever mistake there was. My sister is my soul. She is where all of the hope and happiness and peace in my life has always originated. She is my safe haven, my rock, the fearless one at my side no matter what the challenge ahead. My sister has made my life worth living, every single minute of every single day of my life.

I love you, Sammo Kay.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The way it flies by.

For the first year of Cade's life, I kept a journal. I would write and draw in it frequently, most often when things were slow at work. (Which, 0300 on any Wednesday morning? They're pretty damn slow.) I have record of the first time he crawled, the first time he walked, his first teeth, first solid foods, first words, everything. I was really careful about writing in that journal, because I didn't want to forget anything.

For the last two months, I haven't really touched it. It's in my purse, so I see it multiple times a day. I just don't open it. I carry a lot of pens in there, too, so that I can write with whichever one fits my current mood. Things have been slow at work, I've had time.

(Hey, apropos of nothing: A commenter on another blog called into question whether or not I'm a member of Law Enforcement today, and that really pissed me off. I don't know why I'm mentioning it, except that I just saw it and it's fresh in my mind. I'm really proud of what we do, and it really got under my skin that some idiot on the Internet is questioning me and what I do. Instead of blasting back at them for being an ignorant troll, I've decided to leave it be. Some people are unbalanced, which is why you should have to take a Breathalyzer or an IQ test to have an Internet connection. That's all.)

I've had a lot to say. Cade's changing so fast, he's growing and moving and everything is going so fast. I've just not had any desire at all to write any of it down. Maybe I'm too busy trying to hold onto his babyhood and soak it in while I can, I don't know. I've been amazed how quickly it goes, and I do notice and feel bad for not writing it down. It feels like somehow that means I don't care, which isn't true. I notice, and I care.

For instance:

*When we pick him up for a hug (especially in the morning when we get him out of his crib, or when he's feeling sleepy) he'll pat our arms, like we pat his back. It's the sweetest thing in the world, and if you actually saw it your head would explode off your shoulders and into orbit.

*He'll go to anyone with a badge and a gun, because he recognizes the uniform and he knows those things mean someone is going to be nice to him. (We don't have jobs like you have jobs. Everyone that works with us really is like family, and I'm glad he's picking up on that.)

*He says, "mum?" instead of "momma" or "mommy"... Always with the upswing at the end, always a question. He waits for me to say, "Yes, baby?" before jabbering about I wish I knew what.

*His daddy is his very best friend in the entire world, and I know he misses him when they're apart.

*He has a sense of humor now, and will laugh at things we do instead of mostly when we tickle him.

*He wants to be just like us. He'll wear our shoes, and he loves to wear my sunglasses. Today I put my belt on him (he had picked it up and was trying to put it around his waist) and he walked around with it dragging behind him for over an hour, pulling it up when it would slide down his legs.

I do notice. I notice everything. Every day I make sure to kiss his soft little cheeks because I know they won't be that pudgy forever. He's getting longer, leaner, looking more like a little boy than a baby every day. He's figuring things out, working through things on his own, and I know it was just yesterday that I could hold him in one hand and he'd sleep curled next to me wherever I was.

Time is spinning, darting, leaping, lunging away, and there's nothing we can do but notice and appreciate what we have right this second, because in the blink of an eye it's changed and gone.