Monday, August 21, 2006

The first week of school

It was Jacob's first week of school and, as usual, I have been suppressing my fears about him attending school. My stomach is in knots and I can't focus at work. I'm not sure when this transformation occurred in me in which I could no longer express my fears and I became more like my father. Is it some kind of genetic coding in the Malchus make up that at age 30 or so you begin to clam up?

There is already so much anxiety about leaving your kid at school to begin with that when you add in all of the CF issues, you're talking about some major shit to deal with. I went with him the first three days and it was pretty rough. He screamed, "Don't leave me!" as Julie and I left the building. Heartbreaking. I was fighting back tears the first day. I think it's been harder on Jules than me, though. Jacob has been home with here for almost four years straight. That's a big part of her day that will be missing. I know we're glad that he's growing up. But... it's kind of bittersweet to see him slowly not need us anymore.

Speaking of not needing us anymore. Man, you'd think Sophie was a tween already. Oh, it's not that she has an attitude or anything like that. But she has gained a lot of confidence going to school and that confidence builds her independence. Yet, she's still a little girl. She still likes to snuggle and is really affectionate. I'll tell you, one of the strange, but cool, parts of being a parent is watching these little humans evolve. To see them grow and mature and become PEOPLE is one of the greatest joys I have in life. I've been corresponding with an old friend who has a teenage daughter and I can't even imagine what that's going to be like. I know I've said I have memories of 1st Grade (2nd and 3rd, though...hmmmm, complete blank), but my high school years? I can't go a day without hearing some song on the radio that throws me back in time. 80's radio and classic rock are the rage. So practically every song on the box brings up some distant memory that feels so close that it could have happened yesterday.

It's not that I'm living in the past. I don't think I one of those guys we used to poke fun at back in college who longed for their glory days in high school and couldn't grasp the present. We all do our share of reminiscing. It's natural, especially when you have friends who are dying. On a bright note, I had a tinge of nostalgia for the mid 90's this week. I found an MP3 of a Pete Droge song I had loved when we first moved to California. Hearing that tune really conjured some good memories of living in the shitty Chandler apartment that would have been 200 degrees right about this time of year.

As I sit in our home, listening to the kids taking a bath in the next room, I feel like the 80's were a hundred years ago. The truth is, I can't live in the past even if I wanted to. Those kids depend on us being in the present. In the NOW, man! I'll take the difficult days of dropping off Jake and watching Sophie become a bright little girl over the awkward years of high school and college any day. Any day at all.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

I've been away most of the summer, I know. I guess I've been questioning the whole point of me keeping this blog. There are much better writers out there and I'm not sure who even keeps track of Thunderbolt. But a few weeks ago I was cleaning the garage and I found the only consistent journal I've ever kept. Back when Sophie was in the womb I wrote every day in two Mead, college rule composition books as a record of her first 9 months of existence. Man, it was pretty confessional. So confessional that I'm unsure I want her ever to read it. Anyway, I was proud that I'd disciplined myself to make an entry each night. I felt like a writer. Not that I haven't been writing the past three or four months when I was making sporadic entries to Thunderbolt. I think this year has been the year I've work hardest on my craft. So far it seems to be paying off.

Where am I going with all of this...? Oh yeah. I'm committing myself to this blog again. I have to. I need to clear my head and write down some of the shit that's wearing me out. This is the best option, right now. And putting myself out there? Hell, maybe someone will get something from it. Or maybe they'll disagree and begin a wonderful debate with me. Or, possibly, I'll run into some old friends on the cyber highway, like I did this week (shout out to Cindy Graf).

Maybe this all has to do with school beginning this week. More importantly, with Jake beginning pre-school on Monday. This is intense. I'm excited to see him grow up, but, yeah, I very sad about it, too. And, yes, I'm worried about his CF and whether he'll get sick. In the back of my mind, I think I'm most stressed about whether he'll make friends. I just want Jake to have a normal childhood. I don't want the disease to rule his life. Is that strange? Shouldn't I be MORE worried about his health? There aren’t any guidebooks to this one. Someone could make a fortune on "What to Expect When Your Child Goes to School And They Have CF".

As you can tell, I'm rusty. I haven't written on the blog in so long I can't keep a straight thought. I'll get better. I promise.