Wednesday, January 26, 2011

an ending and a beginning

We buried C's father today. He was "under the weather" for about a month and passed away peacefully on Saturday. C and his brothers all had the chance for a last conversation with their dad, and there was mercifully no lingering suffering to endure. The official diagnosis won't be in until Friday, but his doctors suspect ALS. The family marvels at the irony... a Red Sox fan, stricken by a disease made famous by a Yankee. That's one thing I love about this family I married into- in the darkest moments, they look for something to laugh about. And this week, when they couldn't find something to joke about, they had Charlotte to bring a smile to their faces. I'm grateful to have been able to share our daughter with them and ease some of the pain, and Charlotte obliged by entertaining like a pro- panting and signing "dog" upon request, happily sitting in just about anyone's arms (as long as I was in sight), waving "hello" and "good-bye" as well-wishers came and went, and gleefully running in circles holding onto anyone's hands who was willing to bend down to help her walk. She brought out a lot of smiles at the post-funeral gathering, and C and his brothers all agreed that her presence has been a true blessing this week.

It's got me thinking about my own mortality, and C's. Our resolve to create a sibling for Charlotte has been strengthened, as C experienced first-hand the unique support a sibling can provide when a parent is lost. Even though C has the most amazing friends I've ever met, C relied mostly on his brothers this week. And I know that when the time comes, my own siblings will be my primary source of comfort. I want Charlotte to have that. It turned out that our 2010 insurance covers us through the end of February, so Project Sibling will officially launch on 3/1. Tomorrow, I am finalizing our insurance selection and calling the RE.

It's a bit cliche, but please tell the folks you love that you love them. Don't wait for the next time it's convenient. Take those pictures of yourself and those dearest to you, even if there's no big event or dramatic landscape in the background. We have no photos of Charlotte with C's dad. No evidence to show her that she and he were alive at the same time. I'm generally not one for regrets, but I regret that immensely.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

where did the time go?

No time for a wordy post tonight, but I had promised some pictures and failed to deliver them before Charlotte turned 10 months (today). I'll post some words in a day or two, or next week... this week promises to be a busy one. In brief, Charlotte continues to be a complete joy (even when she screams at 2am). She has 4 teeth and a rapidly expanding vocabulary, both spoken and signed. She is the light in our world during some trying times we've faced lately.

Signing "cracker," her favorite food. I think she'd live on them if I let her.

At 9 1/2 months, she's unquestionably taller than the caterpillar. And I am getting worse at catching these photos on time.

Teeth! The first one erupted on 12/1, and the second on 12/13. As of 1/22, she now has a matching pair on top.

She absolutely loves to watch her B@by Signing Time videos. Her signed vocabulary now includes eat, drink, more, cracker, milk, baby, dog, all done, wash hands, and brush teeth. She says Dadad and Momom at appropriate times for us to believe she knows what she's saying, but also babbles those syllables frequently, so we're not entirely sure. She does say "Mba" to refer to our cat, Simba, and she sometimes says "daw" while signing "dog."

At 9 months, just a hair taller than her caterpillar.