Arlo turned 2 last week, and I can hardly believe it. Seems like yesterday I was up every 2.5 hours, praying for sleep, daylight, and sanity. It's funny, most of our friends told us we'd *forget* those difficult times, and while I haven't forgotten, I don't cringe as much when I reflect back on those nights/days. .. as a matter of fact, I have fond memories of exploring the wonders that are On Demand television and the art of adjusting his boppy appropriately so I could finish whatever show I was into at the moment. At 3AM, it was just he and I, and there was a sort of bond we built because of that. As mom would say, " that's neat, Laura."
Arlo is a bright, lively force in my life. Everyday he reveals a new parts of his personality that keep me astonished, humbled and curious. He loves Thomas the Train, singing his ABC's, and music in general. Gramma and Paw-Paw bought him a music kit for his birthday, and watching him rock the snare drum is pretty damn awesome. Truly, my family is blessed. Geoff and I have the unconditional support of his parents and our friends, and there isn't a day that goes by that I am not utterly in awe of the kindness and love that our family and friends give to us.
In some ways, though, observing and experiencing Arlo's milestones without mom is like a nasty scratch in your favorite record. Just as soon as I think normalcy is settling in and I am truly enjoying things , something happens to remind me that things are indeed different now. I miss daily phone call updates from her. I miss the weekly packages of toys and clothes. I started wrapping presents today and was reminded I wouldn't be recieving any of her goofy novelty gifts or even see her handwriting on gift tags. I'm trying very hard not to be negative , but I can't help but wish mom and dad were here and present to be able to enjoy Arlo as much as the rest of us. Trying to channel that frustration into something proactive and meaningful is exhausting at times. If I'm being honest, it takes a quiet yet upsetting toll, regardless of support. No one can truly fill that void of my folks not being present, not even me.
Torn and Frayed by the Stones is one of my " I can listen to this song on repeat for days and never get tired of it" songs. Lately it's been on repeat everyhwere in my life-- in my car, computer, head, etc...that and " The Obvious Child" by Paul Simon. Sometimes I measure out my life in songs, and these two seem to be hitting the mark lately. Freudian? Perhaps. Therapeutic? Of course. But overall, I am thankful for what I have now, presently. I have wonderful memories from mom, a dad who is working to get better and stronger, and an amazing son, husband, family and friends.