weekend recap, january 20 edition

 1. Little Violet | 2. Birthday lunch | 3. Birthday Dinner | 4. Care Package | 5. Apple + tree | 6. Unexpected bounty | 7-9. Last minute family time, waiting for a ride.

1. Little Violet | 2. Birthday lunch | 3. Birthday Dinner | 4. Care Package | 5. Apple + tree | 6. Unexpected bounty | 7-9. Last minute family time, waiting for a ride.

Well, in the "keeping it real" category, I'm not gonna lie. This was about the most prickly weekend we've had around here in awhile. Neel and I knew going into this page business that our weekends wouldn't be a weekend anymore, and so far that has certainly proved to be true. Start with getting stuck in traffic on the drive home from Richmond (made entertaining by the addition of some House Pages in the carpool), to the ALL DAY running around on Saturday and Sunday. Seriously, poor Neel's birthday was one big errand with some eating in between.

Cal had baseball orientation at school Saturday night, so it felt like we spent all day at school on Saturday (poor kid is working his butt off at school and work this term and gearing up to hit the ground running for baseball season the second he gets home). And we dashed from that straight to Neel's birthday dinner.

Which I ruined.

Seriously.

Look, any of us who is a parent or a parent of a teen or a wife or a person knows we all have a funny line to walk between keeping these spaces we create authentic and real and protecting the intimate parts of our lives. Protecting the things that aren't completely our stories to tell. And personally? The blogs that are my favorite are the ones that are the messy detailed journals of everyday lives, warts and all. I love you guys, and I want to know you. If you're giving me generic, whitewashed stuff, I'm less inclined to read it.

But there's that tightrope. So without going into the whys of what happened, let's just say that after a mostly wonderful dinner something happened to make me lose it (the final straw of some things, I guess), and I started bawling my eyes out at the table. Except we weren't at the table, we were at the chef's table, in full view of the entire kitchen. It was the seeping kind of weeping, where the tears just ooze from your eyes down your cheeks, and nothing I did could stop them. Fortunately we were at dessert, so I just grabbed the keys from Neel and waited things out in the car.

Happy Birthday, Neel!

Poor guy. He and I are making room for a do-over to go see Dallas Buyers Club and have dinner later this week.

And here's where things got really prickly.

You're thinking, Good God, there's more? I know, right? But again. Not my story.

We'd planned a supper club (after a long hiatus) for Sunday night, and I got up Sunday morning to a heartbreaking message from our host. The fifteen year old daughter of dear friends of hers had attempted suicide, and the family had made the torturous decision to remove her from life support in the coming days.

What more horrible news could you hear than that? Put my own meltdown in perspective. And as news filtered through the day, I realized that I'd been touched by this family's story all week. Passing a house just around the corner from ours surrounded by police cars around dinner time on my way to a meeting Wednesday evening. It was them. Feeling disgusted at a loud talker in Target graphically discussing a neighborhood family's tragedy on Thursday. Likely them. Our friend who drove Cal to Richmond yesterday went to this family's church. A colleague of Neel's was her Girl Scout troop leader. This is a small town, really.

Her favorite color was red, and many people are placing red ribbons on their homes as a show of support, and this is such a beautiful thing. But we did not know them, and I feel prickly also about the appropriation of grief. I feel more comfortable holding that family, and all who loved them, quietly, in the light of my heart. It's sometimes hard to know the right thing to do, but I'll always choose love, either inward or outward expressions of it.

Add to this that another neighbor lost a beloved pet over the weekend, and their family is dealing with their own grief.

Prickly. So. This couldn't have been much fun to read, and I'm sorry about that. I'm curious though about the connection of all of these things. Connected and not. Belonging to me and not. But the running high of emotion. The sun is shining today, and they're calling for a little snow tomorrow (!!). Moving forward is the only thing.