Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This post has been running around in my mind for a few weeks now, however finding the time to organize my thoughts has been difficult, and even now I am not certain I can get the right words down.

I have discovered the Tribes in my life. The groups of people who help me through my days, weeks, months, life. I never realized or maybe never saw them until recently. Sure there are the family and friends, yes, we have these people and they make our lives what they are, but have you ever looked at those friends, or acquaintances, have you grouped them into what they mean to you? How and why they came into your life, how they all fit together.

Broken down, my Tribes look like this:

1. The We Like to Stretch, Bend and Twist in a Very Hot Room Tribe: Most of these people I know only superficially. They are my yoga people. There are maybe 8 or 10 regulars, people I see at class at least 3 times a week. I don't know a lot about these people, but we share a special, sweaty bond. I look forward to seeing them, to the casual friendships.

2. The We Go To The Same School Tribe: We all have similar ideas on education, and the types of discipline for our children. These mom's in our kindergarten class, the are wonderful. I feel so fortunate that we brought our children to this wonderful school. I expect to know these women for quite a long time, and I am pleased.

3. The We Used To Go To The Same Preschool Tribe: Similar to the, We Go To The Same School Tribe, these women I have known since the boys were 2 1/2. Many of them I still see casually, but there are a handful (or two) that I see often, that we make a point to get together because we really like each other. All of our kids play well together, and all of their Mom's play really well together. I know we will know each other for a long time to come, and it makes me joyous.

4. The Our Kids Play Hockey, T-ball, Soccer Sports Together Tribe: We sit on the sidelines, in the stands for hours each week, we get our kids in gear, we cheer, encourage, reprimand, teach, and laugh together as our kids hone their athletic prowess. We may play on teams together again, we may play on teams together forever, but we will always support those kids' love of sports.

5. The We Went Through The Worst Time of Our Lives Together Tribe: My NICU people. I really need not say more. These people- the parents, the nurses, the kids -These people. We've been through more together than any one should. We've watched as nurses and doctors resuscitated our children, as they took them away for surgeries. We've watched milestones no parent should ever see, the first feed, the first time being held, the first extubation, the first 1000 grams. WE will be bonded forever. We will celebrate all triumphs, we will hold our collective breath at every hint of bad news. I will love those kids like my own forever. I will be proud of all they are, because I know where they have been.

6. The I Went To School With You Tribe: Most of these people I don't see or hear much from except from Facebook. Many of the people in this tribe I see infrequently, many of these people I don't care if I see them more or less. A few of these people I wish we were able to get together much more often, but even if we do not, it is always as if no time has passed. Such a wonderful old tribe.

7. The We Used To Kayak In Another Life Tribe: Kayaking buddies, some I see often, some not so much, but we will always have the river.

8. The We Once Worked Together Tribe: Like the Kayaking Tribe we once had something in common, now not so much, but those shared experiences will forever link us.

No wonder I never have any free time!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

NICU Revisited

I am about to willingly walk back through one of the most difficult times in my life. The time in my life that defined me as a parent. The time that Forever defined my children. Those days and months that changed everything.

For the past few months I have been attending meetings and training sessions at the hospital where the boys were born, their home for the first five months of their lives. My home the first five months of their lives.

I am volunteering. I will be talking to parents who are experiencing the NICU like we did almost six years ago. I will be attempting to offer support, comfort or just someone to listen to them, some one who has been there, someone who understands.

I was so luckily, if you can call it that, because there were people with whom I shared my NICU experience. Those people are still an integral part of my support system. My friends, the people who to this day get it, my lifelines in a time when life was so fragile and tenuous. Not every family is that lucky. In spite of the fact that 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely, most parents of preemies have no one to talk to who really understand because they have been there.

In the years since the boys discharge, I have talked to a number of parents who are having difficulties in the NICU, lending an ear, a supportive comment, or a suggestion. I have talked to parents with kids with feeding issues, I've talked to parents worrying about what to do with their preemie once they go home. These were all referrals from our former nurses, OT's, teachers or educational therapists. This is much more formal. I even have a pink badge granting me access to the NICU so familiar to me from all those days in the NICU.

I am going to formally introduce myself to two families tomorrow. I am filled with anticipation and a little fear. I hope I can offer the support that these families need. I hope I can keep the flood of memories at bay. I hope I can use them to the benefit of those families. I hope that I can just offer them what they need most...HOPE.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

BlogHer Book Club: The Lake of Dreams

This review was supposed to go live a month ago but i had a problem with the iPad app i wrote it on. Thank goodness the fix is now live and so is this review! In Kim Edwards new novel The Lake of Dreams, Lucy Jarrett returns home after a long, self imposed exile and stumbles on secrets from what may be the past of her family. Mystery after mystery unfold involving Lucy's past present and future. Lucy leaves home after the accidental death of her father. In her wake she leaves a grieving family and a heartsick ex boyfriend. She carries the weight of the sudden loss of her father around the globe and through more than a decade of restlessness. When she is finally drawn home, she uncovers pamphlets and a letter hidden in a locked window seat. Lucy is drawn to the knowledge that a suffragette may have lived in her family home. As Lucy digs into the past, Kim Edwards' story explores the rich history of the finger lakes region of New York, the Suffragette movement, and the changing landscape for women in the United States all while expertly weaving in the story of the Jarrett family. The more she researches the family history, the deeper Lucy is drawn into the past. The more information she uncovers, the more she desires. I found as a reader that I wanted nothing more to have Lucy delve deeper and deeper. I couldn't wait to turn the page to make discoveries right along with Lucy. Kim Edwards, who brought us a similarly engaging Memory Keepers Daughter, gives us another tale of secrets, intrigue, woven into the fabric of recent historical facts. There is even a subtle reference to her previous novel if you are observant. But what continues to make Edwards' work so engaging are her strong female characters driven by their own need for the truth. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad