Four years ago today, we finally brought our son home. Today, I was telling Das Big Boy about the significance of the day. “It’s like your birthday in a way,” I told him, “only different.” (I didn’t want him to start grubbing for presents). He still conflates the NICU with the time they were hospitalized for RSV and he got to really watch TV for the first time. But I think my message of, “I’m so happy you’re my son, and I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m so proud of you” got through.
So here we are, my readers. We’ve reached the finish line. Although another thing the NICU taught me is that there are no finish lines (or maybe that there’s only one, and we want to get there s-l-o-w-l-y). So I won’t be signing off, but you won’t have to read my words each night whether I have something to say or not. I’ll be a bit more curatorial with my thoughts.
A beloved family friend wanted to know what I loved and hated about this passion project, this nightly assignment that I’ve given myself.
We’ll start with the negative so I can finish on a high note. I’ve hated having to write when I felt like I didn’t have anything to say, like I was boring us all. I often tell my stories here, then feel awkward when I see friends and start to tell them stuff in person. Have they already heard/read this? Am I being obnoxious by wondering if they’ve already read it? And although the blog hasn’t taken time away from my kids, it has taken time away from Herr Husband. And books. So I’ll be glad to have time for them again.
But there’s so much more love than hate. Two main things: People make a lot of how we whitewash our lives when we put them on the Internet. That it makes life look like one long series of vacations, cheerful siblings, and creative craft projects. That it’s not real. I don’t think I’m guilty of that per se, but I do often put a happy or humorous spin on things, and I’ve been guilty of not sharing a few tough things because they were too painful or personal. But what’s wonderful about a little bit of tweaking. I get to see the good in my life, and appreciate it. And that makes the hard stuff seem smaller. It’s very real, but it’s me seeing the best of my reality. Perspective again. Writing has granted it to me these past 114 days.
And most of all, I’ve loved you. My readers. My commenters. My likers. The family members, college friends, high school friends, family friends, childhood friends, grad school friends, NICU friends, teaching friends, mom friends, random friends, former student friends, travel friends, blog friends and even strangers who’ve connected to me through this experience. You’ve made me feel heard. You’ve supported me and made me laugh and even connected to each other. You’ve given me a warm and comfortable home. And that’s what it’s all about.
This isn’t goodbye. Apologies for that! But the Huxtables are coming this weekend, and this time you won’t be subjected to any one-a.m.-crap-I-forgot-to-blog posts. But you will be hearing from me.
Thank you for reading. And for everything. Happy home day, Das Big Boy. And all of you. Thank you for making me feel so at home.