Category Archives: My Chicago family

Opportunity knocks

Tomorrow Jack and Liv start school: Jack kindergarten, Livie preschool. Livie will attend the school near their house, Jack will ride a bus to his.

Everyone is stressed out about Jack and his new school. I totally understand this. But I’m not. I am anxious because it’s something so new and different, but in a good way. Sure, you can say it’s because I live three states away, or he’s not my child, or I hardly get to see him.

But I’m actually overjoyed. It will be very different for him, but I think he will thrive.
Not just survive, but thrive. New doors will open, new light bulbs will switch on above his head, there will be a smile in his eyes when he ‘gets’ things he’s taught.
This school will give him the tools we just aren’t equipped to supply.

Most kids are pretty easy to raise, fairly predictable in their development. Jack is not. Jack is tough, unique, quirky. He needs more than we could ever be qualified to give. There’s no book on Jack.

But what we are qualified to do is open the door for him. To show him the place he can go to that will ‘get’ him. This place was built and staffed especially for Jack. Nothing he does will be a surprise, nothing he does will be frowned upon.

He will not be set off separately from the other kids.

He will be involved, praised, motivated, happy. He will be set up to succeed, even in the small things.
He will come home excited and look forward to the next day.
He will have some bumps, but the staff will not overreact. They will show him what’s expected, and how to achieve it. They will equip him with the tools necessary to be happy and successful in life.

I’m so excited for Jack! I wish I could be there to see him off.

We all know Livie will succeed in whatever she choose to do, she will bloom wherever she is planted.
But Jack requires special soil and fertilizer. He will grow to be lovely, strong and happy, but will require more attention and time.

Jack will be wonderful. Jack is wonderful.
And tomorrow the door opens to all his new wonderful opportunities.

Have fun, buddy!


My girls are together. They are getting along. They are both adults. They share a strong love for Owen.

Stefanie put forth a lot of effort making sure everything was done right for Caitlyn’s, Koby’s and Owen’s visit. And she is getting such positive feedback from them. It makes her feel so good. She’s the hostess with the mostest.

Caitlyn is so happy to spend time one-on-one with her sister. Now that they are both adults, they have so much in common. They laugh about the same things. She loves how Stefanie dotes on Owen.

I wanted so badly to go to Chicago this weekend, too, to see how everybody reacted to the wonderful Owen. But I’m so glad I didn’t. Those girls needed to do this on their own.

They’re so happy. And I’m so proud. We’ve all been waiting a long time for this, and I don’t know if we even knew it.

Ambivalent and anguished

Seems there’s a theme running through my life lately.

I am currently being psychically tortured by desire and dread.

I miss my Chicago family with a pain akin to three abscessed molars.
I dread the trip that visiting Chicago entails with the anguish that accompanies the anticipation of three simultaneous root canals.

Of the past four weekends, we have gone out of town two of them and I have worked two of them. This is my first weekend off in a while, and next weekend we have nothing scheduled.

So our schedule is free for travel to Chicago. But the ride kills us. The quick turnaround is even harder.

Caitlyn and Koby and Owen planned their own trip to Chicago next weekend, and we are loath to interfere or intrude on their first real trip as a family. But I just miss everybody so damn much.

I want to see those babies crawling everywhere. I need to see Jack and Liv and love them and sing to them. I yearn to hug my sister and Stefanie for long long times. I need to squeeze my bony brother, hug my dad’s belly, kiss the top of my mom’s head.

I really want to see mom’s new dining room furniture.

You can see my dilemma.

Take my hand

Amy’s kids have wrapped me around their little fingers. It’s just not fair.

Their beautiful eyes of brown, grey and blue entrance me. Their pouty lips, their toothy smiles, their straight-line grins – they all captivate me. I am helpless against them.

Their bony elbows, their dimply knees, their long skinny bodies, their round chubby cheeks – I am in love with every single part of them.

I love them so much. I miss them with a pain in my heart. I want to be with them all the time.

This past weekend was wonderful in so many ways. I feel like I cemented my bond with Jack and Livie. I know Liesl and Leia won’t know me when I see them again, but that’s okay. They knew I loved them when I was there and that’s good enough.

They are all part of my heart. And I think they know it.