Monthly Archives: October 2008

A Confession

Before I confess, I'd like to say thank you. Thank you for all of your warm and thoughtful comments and email about the loss of our beloved dog Jackson. I was truly comforted by the virtual hugs and well wishes sent our way.

It was a sad day. Jackson had been ailing for a while but the last five days he was unable to eat and things were getting worse. On Wednesday morning I couldn't get him to stand up to go out for a walk. When Sean (Jake's dad and my ex-husband) and I decided what needed to be done, he went and picked Jake up from school and brought him to the veterinarian. Jackson died while lying on a soft blanket on the floor with his gigantic head in my lap while Sean Jake Niall and I recounted thirteen years of goofy dog escapades. Jake decided that Jackson would be in dog heaven soon with Buddy and that his hearing would return. He says that dogs in heaven don't wear leashes and eat meat all day long (Jack really loved meat).

In moments like these we (and by we, I mean mothers) don't think of ourselves and our own grief or misgivings. It's all about our children. I just wanted to make sure that Jake had no regrets. We were lucky enough to have the chance for him to say goodbye and for that we are all grateful. Jake chose to be there when it actually happened and I think that will help him to remember Jackson at peace. I was amazed (although I'm not sure why) at how, well, human Jake was through it all. His grief and sorrow was so understandable and plain. It was interrupted by laughter at a memory or a question about the process. He needed comforting and space. Just like an actual person with actual needs. My boy is his own person and I couldn't be more proud of him.

Now for that confession. I hate Halloween.

There are no ghouls or skeletons at our house. For me Halloween is akin to secretary's day or grandparent's day. A fabricated holiday derived from rituals that have absolutely nothing to do with modern life. We stress and sew costumes — or even worse, spend much too much money on them — and argue with our kids about their nightly allotment of sugar for weeks to come (until the stash magically disappears).

If you'd like to remove me from your reader now or boycott my blog, so be it. I'm just keeping it real (to quote a favorite blogger). I'm not saying I don't do it. I do. The pizza is ordered (you've got to feed them before sending them out to battle). I've got pumpkin cake at the ready and gobs of candy (I'd give out pretzels or apples but I don't want to be 'that' house). I've got four 10-year-olds using me as home base and I had three cups of coffee today. I'm ready.

Halloween_07

Adorable handknitted pumpkin hats, by the way, don't count.

Mini Michael

That's my older boy, Jake on lead vocals.

Every kid has their thing and this is his. He plays keyboards, guitar, drums and sings. It's his passion. From the time he was tiny he could express his feelings at the piano effortlessly. It was like a party game. You could ask him to play a happy song and happy music would pour out of his fingers if you asked for scary or sad he could just do it. In more recent years I've witnessed times when he was speechless with frustration or anger but after an hour at the keyboard and an original composition later, it's all worked out. He has one of those ears. You know the kind. When he hears a song he wants to learn he just sits down with the guitar or the piano or even the computer and figures it out. And he can sing. I've been told that he has perfect pitch. This is something I can't even comprehend but I believe it.

The exhilaration I feel while watching him perform is heady. I'm sure some of it is pride. Mostly though I think it's the knowledge that I'm witnessing his true joy. 

Here's one more if you're so inclined.