It’s been a while – more than two months, now – since I last wrote a Three Good Things post. I’ve thought about them, kept lists of what new 3GT posts should include, even started some, and then time got away from me. But I want to make time now. After the craziness that was March, I’m again reminded that love, learning, and gratitude aren’t passive activities. They are actions that need intention, practices that bring rewards.
Put simply, I notice more things in my life that I love, that I’ve learned, that I’m thankful for, when I’m looking for them.
Three things I’ve loved lately:
- Listen to Your Mother cast/alumni party. I came thisclose to not going to the party, which was more than an hour away, on a night when Katie wouldn’t settle down, after a day when she hadn’t napped at all. But I decided that I needed to go out, that I needed to put on real clothes and makeup, that I needed to nurse a single glass of wine while seeing a group of people who bring me joy. It wasn’t a good overnight, or next day, for Katie’s sleep, which left me sleepy and cranky, too, but I was still glad I went.
- Rare Bird. The best-selling book by LTYM alum Anna Whiston-Donaldson, Rare Bird takes you through Anna’s grief after her 12-year-old son Jack’s death. I love Anna’s blog and was incredibly moved by her LTYM piece, but I was afraid to read her book. I haven’t yet finished, but as tragic and sad as the story is, it’s also a beautifully written tale of a mother’s love for her son, and a family’s journey through incredible hardship. And after not reading a single book while on maternity leave, it feels good to be reading again.
- “Good for her, not for me.” Amy Poehler’s book came out a while ago, now, so you may have already heard this line of hers. I haven’t actually read the book – see note above on the whole not-reading-on-mat-leave thing – but damn, this saying had me nodding my head when I read it. Oh hell yes. No doubt that I’m still way more judgmental and competitive than I should be, but on the things that count, I have to remember this line. What’s right for other women/moms/families/bloggers/runners/volunteers may not be right for me, or maybe just not right for me right now, and vice versa. And it’s ok.
Three things I’ve learned lately:
- A doctor thinks he knows what causes SIDS. What an amazing discovery, if it pans out. They already do so many screening tests just after birth; I could see adding another one to check for inner ear damage – or even adding it to the anatomy ultrasound during pregnancy – and putting an end to so many families’ heartache.
- (Mostly) who’s in the starting rotation for the Red Sox. The combination of new baby + football hangover + my hatred for the redesigned Boston.com, on which I can find exactly nothing, means I’ve done little pre-season reading about this year’s team. I’m still not particularly excited by their roster of starters, none of whom is really an ace or even a number two, but at least I know some of their names now. Though every time I read “Rick Porcello” I think of porcini and portabello mushrooms.
- 25,000 honor flights. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit that brings senior and ill veterans to DC to visit the memorials – at no cost to the veterans, and with the logistical and mobility support they need to make the trip. This year they’re aiming to bring 25,000 vets here. I’m hoping my grandfather will get to be one of them.
Three things for which I’ve been grateful:
- Teddy’s school. We — along with thousands of other families — had to participate in the school lottery to get Teddy a seat for preschool, starting in the fall. (DC offers full-day pre-K but doesn’t guarantee you a seat.) The lottery system sucks, as some families get totally shut out. I dutifully spent most of January trudging to school open houses and then submitted our list and crossed all my fingers, knowing that we were listing the same set of “in-demand” schools as so many other families in our area. And then Teddy actually got into one of them! We are grateful and excited and nervous all at the same time. My kid, in school in just a few months? No way.
- Katie has been able to tolerate milk that I pumped before I went off dairy. I’ve been nervously considering when to test Katie’s tolerance for dairy again. Some kids outgrow the intolerance quickly, while others never do. But with my freezer stash dwindling as I fail to “make quota” for her bottles most days, and her definite distaste for the hypoallergenic formula (can’t blame her, the stuff smells like cat food), I reached into the big bag of milk I froze back in November and December…and so far, so good. Next we’ll see if she does ok after I eat a giant bakery muffin baked with butter…yum. butter.
- Support after my last post. Thank you so much for the support so many of you showed after my last post (including the messages from those of you who were clearly a little nervous that I might have fallen right off my rocker). I know there’s a fine line between being honest and being a complainer, and I will try to do my best to stay on the right side of it. But March did suck (other than the school thing), so I’m especially grateful that I can be honest here. April’s slowly looking better — but I’ll keep you posted. And I hope you’ll bear with me as I describe the bumps along this crazy road of trying to find some semblance of balance — or at least to get to work in matching clothes.
What have you loved, learned, and felt grateful for lately?