Daisy with Ellie, circa 2012

Where did August go? It seems like just yesterday I was whining about the unceasingness of winter, and here we are in September again. I am wearing a cozy sweater, people, and am starting to think of soup! This morning it was even too cold for iced coffee. The passage of time is a wild and crazy thing, isn’t it? I do so love fall, tainted though it is by winter lurking around the edges. And Zach turns ONE in a couple of weeks, which is very strange to contemplate, given that I thought while pregnant that there would never come a time when I wasn’t nauseous all the time, and here we are! Almost a year nausea-free. And with a crawling, laughing, tooth-having, word-saying almost-toddler! He is a delight. I am inclined, slightly, to weep and mope a bit as the first birthday approaches, but I am also inclined to really enjoy this stage of babyhood, and this morning I dropped him off for his first day at a new sitter’s, which is a big milestone and no, I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye. (My big boy! He didn’t object in the slightest when I left him.) He and Ellie will be going to the sitter’s two days a week, which means hopefully my days of working on the weekend are over for a while. Yesterday I spent the afternoon messing around in the kitchen rather than hunched over my laptop, which was a nice change of pace.

Part of the disappearance of August, I suppose, is due to the fact that it was a somewhat eventful month for us, and not in an overly pleasant way. Early in the month we lost Daisy to her kidney disease, which was not unexpected but was still heartbreaking. The house is very quiet now, and nobody greets us excitedly at the door, and we probably won’t have a dog again for a while because having a puppy plus a baby plus a three-year-old … well, that way madness lies for sure. So I am still feeling a little bereft. Ellie took things better than I expected she would, and has accepted that Daisy is in heaven and wants to talk about that a lot, but she tends to drop the letter “h” at the beginning of words, so it is a little bit like discussing the mysteries and complexities of life and death with the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins.

The following week I developed an abscessed tooth, and I won’t comment any further on that except to say that the tooth that had the abscess was a tooth that I had work done on several years ago by a dentist who specializes in patients with severe dental anxiety, and whose work I have had to have repaired several times since then, increasing significantly each time in cost and unpleasantness and panicky feelings. I say that not for head pats and hair strokings (although I will never turn those down) but to share for those in the audience who appreciate irony.

But! Things are now looking up. At the end of the month, we spent our yearly week volunteering at Camp Hermosa, which is both exhausting and exhilarating and also reminds me that most of the important relationships in my life come directly or indirectly through my association with camp, a simple fact that I will never not be grateful for. There’s Mike, obviously, and the kids, and the very good friends we see every year AT camp but unfortunately rarely elsewhere because you hug them goodbye and say we will see you soon but of course life happens in the meantime, but also there are people like my friend Bethany, who I consider a kindred spirit and who I met through doing some volunteering with the youth program at our church with my friend Chris, who I met through my camp friend Ian (who was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon).

Oliver Barrett IV says hello

Also we adopted a cat. His name is Oliver Barrett IV but we call him Ollie, or sometimes “New Cat”, as in “Oh geez, the new cat is up in the ceiling again!” or “Why did the new cat chew through the cord of the baby monitor?” or “Ellie, remember, you have to be GENTLE with the new cat; he probably doesn’t LIKE to be hugged so tight!” He is very sweet and we like him a lot, in spite of his cord chewing habit. Norton also likes him a lot and has ceased his incessant sad meowing, which is a very good thing indeed, both from a loneliness-reduction standpoint, and from a noise-reduction one. They hissed at each other once and have been peacefully coexisting ever since. The other day I actually caught them CUDDLING. The cuteness level was off the charts.

So that was our August. How was yours?