Hello, friends. It's been a while, and I apologize. I went on a painting spree in the house, redoing two bedrooms (one to go), which kept me busy for a while, but for the last week I've done very little. With anything. I'm just undermotivated in the extreme. However! It has gotten bizarrely warm in these parts (hello global warming! welcome to Vermont!) and I just started to get some outdoor gardening done today. Nothing beats dirt under the nails to keep me (wait for it) grounded. ba-dump ching!
So, in the last three days I've had to confront variations on the same question three times -- twice today alone, which frankly about kicked my ass. The question? "How many kids do you have?" Now, the answer is obvious -- even I can count to one -- but when it's couched in a "Hey! Haven't seen you in ages! Whatcha been up to?" kind of conversation... well.
I've been trying to teach Sarah that Jane will always be a part of our family; she's not with us anymore, but that doesn't mean she isn't her sister any more, or my daughter, or a cousin or granddaughter or niece. But when a stranger or friendly acquaintance making small talk asks about my family, it doesn't feel appropriate to bring her up. Which doesn't entirely sit well with me, but I'm not about to volunteer the whole "Well, I had two daughters but one died" thing in a casual conversation.
I don't know. I mean, obviously, I say that I have one kid, that Sarah's an only child, but it's not quite accurate, is it? Maybe I'm still too close to it to have a grasp on the social niceties. Or maybe we've gotten so far away as a society from being comfortable with talking about death that I have no vocabulary for discussing it. I'm stuck.
So, this is one of the crappier days, in a somewhat crappy week. Oh, and we got an invite from the Boston hospital to attend their annual memorial service. Um, no thank you?
Okay, so can those of you with mad etiquette skillz just give me a holler and tell me how to handle this stuff? I'm tapped.