Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Catching Up but not Catching Many ZZZZ's

How did January last 153 days and February has whizzed by? I've never been good at math, so none of this is clear to me, but I will say that hurtling toward spring feels like a good thing.

More outdoor time with my little guy will keep us from watching too much TV, which has been our M.O. for a lot of the winter.

Spring will also mean a chance to see Margaret over her college break. She and I are planning a little getaway together. There have been SO MANY gray days in a row, I know she will welcome the  warm sunshine. I'll welcome the sleep. Andrew still pops into our room every night and his morning wakeup time has scootched much earlier the past few weeks. This is torture for a night owl like me.

Springtime also means birthdays!

Jack's, Andrew's, and then a milestone one for Tim. I've scheduled Andrew's party for a huge indoor play place. Funny that I've never once taken him to one because I'm such a germaphobe, and now I'm willingly paying for an entire party there. Hand sanitizer for everyone! The thought of having a preschool party at our house just overwhelmed me.

In Tim's honor I've set up a dedicated puzzle table in our house with an ongoing jigsaw puzzle on it. We're pretty wild and crazy over here, for sure. We'll probably have a shindig for his birthday, too, but he hasn't yet told me what he wants. We almost called it quits while planning my 50th (he was in the wrong, of course), so I'm a little nervous about the forthcoming negotiations.

Jack would be 21 on March 18. This feels big. Huge. What would he be like? What would interest him? Would he be as handsome as I picture? Oh how I long to know.

I'd like to invite YOU to join me in celebrating Jack's life, and our ongoing love, by taking part in #Cheers2Jack on March 18.

Because this would be the day for his first (legal) drink, I invite you to toast him with whatever your favorite beverage is, whether it's a cold beer or or a hot latte. Feel free to take a picture for me and put it on the An Inch of Gray facebook page or instagram (I'm @annawhistondonaldson) with the tag #Cheers2Jack. I hope to do something in person here in Vienna, most likely a mid-week dinner over chips and guac, but I haven't planned anything yet. I'll keep you posted.

Today is Ash Wednesday, as we remember how fleeting our physical experience on earth really is. I got ashes and a blessing in the narthex of the preschool while dropping off Andrew. Talk about a full-service experience. Kind of wished I'd showered first.

Love and blessings to you today.


Sharon in Indy said...

Was just thinking again last night about Jack's 21st birthday in the offing and how difficult it must be. I like what you are doing to celebrate his life, although I'm not much at selfies, so at best you might get a photo of a beverage--almond milk or water. When I get really wild, I may have a little Sprite Zero.

Is there any question as to how good-looking he'd be by now? Hardly! I wish for all of you (and all of us) that you could be posting photos of him as he turned 21. I hope that knowing others are with you in spirit and in photos on that day will mitigate the pain a little.

Blessings on you, Tim, Margaret, and Andrew.

monica said...

When reading your blog for ages and I’m always so happy when I see a new post! Just wanted to pop in to provide my perfect kid birthday party “recipe”. Like many others I love the kid to invite only as many kids as his age. Total length the party 1.5 hours definitely not around a meal time. 2-3:30 is perfect. As each kid arrives, I allow birthday child to open presents and let others watch and play. People are generally late, so almost the first half hour is opening presents and kids hanging around. Young kids especially like being in other kids houses and are happy and entertained just playing with birthday kids other toys. Second half hour need some kind of activity, for very young kids it could be drawing at the table, playing pin the tail on the donkey - playing soccer in the yard if outside, playing a Wii or other appropriate group video game. Third half hour is cake at the table and piñata! I give each kid a Ziploc bag to collect piñata candy and that is their “gift bag”. I have even collected other little junk toys at my kids have gotten a birthday parties and not cared and put them in the piñata as a way to recycle!! In any case, I found that this makes life pretty easy for a quick again 1.5 hours or less, no real food, birthday party for kids!

Anonymous said...

Anna, hard to believe Jack would be 21. In honor of Jack, I'll get the family together for a prayer this evening in remembrance. Margaret is practically a woman and Andrew is such a handsome young boy! Wishing all the blessings to you and your family.

Falls Church neighbor

3 Peanuts said...

I had not checked in here in a few years but for some reason God put you on my heart today. I followed when you lost your dear Jack and how you poured out your grief so eloquently and painfully. I have boys just older and just younger than him (22 and 19) and I could fell your pain, I prayed for you and your family for years and rejoiced at the birth of Andrew.

I want to give you some words of affirmation. Your honest writing helps so many. You have a way of describing the complex emotions of love and loss and family that can make anyone relate whether they have experienced what you have or not. That is a gift and I am so grateful that you continue to share it.

I love seeing Andrew grow and I am sure it is challenging. I am just 2 years older than you and cannot imagine parenting a preschooler. But yes, you get to do this and I am sure it is such a blessing.

I will do my best to remember to toast to Jack on the 18th. I am sure it will be a difficult day for you. Lots of prayers.

Kim Swales

Dawn said...

I haven't stopped in several months either....but felt compelled to check on you this morning. I will definitely toast Jack on March 18. I remember all of that, and think of him (and your family) often.