Susan! You’re here!

The whole family went with Widget for his first day of first grade this morning, walking two by two in the morning sun.  Widget held my hand as we rounded the corner of his school and found the line for the first graders, and then he disappeared into the sea of kids hugging each other, goofing around, and making each other laugh as they stayed in their wiggly line.  We all waited until the bell rang, parents as happy as the kids, with our own share of happy hugs, cooing at the new babies, and making each other laugh.  Then, quickly as we had arrived, the kids entered the school, 5th graders first, then 4th, then 3rd, then 2nd, and then our own precious babies, disappearing into the red brick building as fast as they could, loaded backpacks and overflowing Target bags flying behind them.

It was done.  Widget and his friends were now elementary schoolers, and all was well.

We lingered to chat a little longer.  Then, as we began to leave with Little Bear, the school principal came flying out the double doors, stopping me with her voice.  “Susan! You’re here!” she said, with a grin as wide as the flag out front.  “You must have nine lives, lady!”  We laughed and hugged, and I felt good about leaving my children here once again, and I smiled all the way to the car.

I understand her surprise.  I know she prays for me, and she knows that this cancer – and its treatment – push me to the brink often.  I feel terrible and homebound and sick in bed for days – and then the meds kick in, or settle in, or we rally, and I am able to do things like take my kid to school (with help), or take him bowling for his birthday.

Widget’s birthday was this weekend, and his request was to go duckpin bowling with our family and a couple of friends.  I rested, and rallied, and we went, bowling a complete game and then doling out the quarters as the kids played old-fashioned video games, like Frogger, and Donkey Kong, and a racing game (“Let’s bring lots of 25 centses!” they had asked before we left, and they opened their banks all by themselves for the treat.).  I played pinball, and then rested in the seat of a driving game that didn’t work, as the kids laughed loudly in the little room around me.  I would never have thought that I could do this when I began writing my last post a few days ago – or when I was too pooped to write last week – or when I had a bad reaction to new meds last Monday and Tuesday.  But yesterday, I could.  We took Little Bear bowling for the first time ever, which surprised me, actually, because we had taken Widget so often when he was littler, and I was in remission.  The time had slipped away, and Bear hadn’t gotten to go before.  But he did this time, and both Bear and Widget had a fantastic time, and my husband and I did too, and the resulting sleep all afternoon was worth it.

It was worth it.

When my children read this as teenagers, if they cry at the other posts, I’m sorry, but sometimes you have to understand the bad in order to see how very, very good the good can be.  Taking Widget to school today and celebrating his birthday at the bowling alley yesterday was very, very good.  I wish I could post pictures of Widget’s first day or Bear’s tough-guy bowling stance as he waited for the ball to hit the pins, getting spare after spare, but I don’t, for their safety.  All I can show you is this picture my husband snapped as I celebrated a spare, a strike, and the sheer joy of being out with my family, who I love so very, very much.

strike! at the bowling alley

28 Responses to Susan! You’re here!

  1. Magpie says:

    What a nice day, and what a great triumphant picture. Your babies have a wonderful mama.

  2. Bon says:

    love the photo, and the triumph in it, like Maggie said. every first bowling trip or first day of school…a triumph.

    you remind me that my kids haven’t really ever been bowling, except for a long-ago birthday party that O got to go to. soon. thank you.

  3. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    Happy days. Priceless! So proud, so happy, and always – so enriched by your writings. Thank you.

  4. Stella says:

    Someday, Susan. Someday, your boys will read about and cry and cherish each of the days you’ve spent together. What you are giving them is absolutely priceless… whether you live until next year or the next decade or longer. I wish I had my father’s words and thoughts and feelings available to me some 31 years after his death. How wonderful that would be…

  5. I’m throwing my arms up in the air, too, as I celebrate with you!!!

  6. coach c says:

    How glorious! Love the victory dance by the way…something we should all be doing at the end of every day. Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments!

  7. justenjoyhim says:

    Wonderful. 🙂 So glad you had that great time with your family.

    Also, very good point about how understanding the bad helps us appreciate the good so much more.

  8. You continue to teach me, Susan. Thank you.

  9. Your pose is exactly the pose I’m making, right now, in reading this AWESOME update. YES!! Celebrate!!

  10. I am so glad you felt up to going birthday bowling and Widget’s first day of school. How wonderful that you were able to be there for the important stuff this week. I hope you’re on a feeling-better roll for some time to come.

    And you know that you inspire me to cherish each moment with MY family, and try not to let them slip through my fingers in their mundanity.

  11. Patti Morfeld says:

    so glad you are allowing yourself to enjoy all the moments-the boys will remember bowling and first days of school-and your courage and determination to rest up and rally. prayers for you, p

  12. Joan says:

    Susan, your story reminds me of this prayer/wish I came across a few weeks ago. To me, it expresses how challenging times can serve to make the good times more appreciated. You sure are an example of doing that.

    “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
    I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
    I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
    I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
    I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
    I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
    I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Goodbye.”

    I am so glad that you were able to have such a good time at Widget’s first day of first grade. What a special year that is — for both of my kids, I think it was their favorite. What can be better than focusing on the miracle of reading?

    Best wishes to both your boys for a wonderful school year, and to you for many days in which you can enjoy the good.

  13. Linda Lawrence says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Lisa says:

    LOVE this post and hope the second day of school is just as awesome for everyone! Hugs!

  15. To Susan
    You are an inspiration and a joy
    May we live just one day as you have we would have gained so much
    We wish you health and happiness and love.

  16. Tina says:

    Susan, you find the brightest spot in any moment and succeed in living for it. You are an amazing woman, so strong, so beautiful, so true. Thank you for sharing the good and the bad, for loving your kids as you do, and for teaching all of us what it means to live life, every day, to the very best of our ability. Hugs and hugs and hugs.

  17. How absolutely wonderful. Happy Birthday Widget!
    Much love to all of you 🙂

  18. Adam says:

    Wonderful. Laurel Lanes may be closed, but you’ve still got it.

  19. Amy B. says:

    LOVE that picture of you!!!!!

  20. That picture needs to be framed and hung on your wall! Love it 🙂

  21. this is the best thing I have read all day.

    All week.

    I love you woman. So damn hard.

  22. I am sooo sooo happy that you were able to go to school for the first day–and the bowling pic….oh sweet Susan, that picture is worth a million words!

  23. Cindy says:

    Good for you! Through your journey and your willingness to share, I am reminded to be mindful of the precious moments that sometimes rush by when we’re too busy to notice. I’ve tried not to do it as my son is now 15 and life with him is still wonderful but different. Thanks for the reminder! Wishing you continued victory and a great first grade year for Widget!

  24. JoC says:

    Lovely! Absolutely love that photo!

  25. nancyspoint says:

    The love and joy your family brings you really shines through in this post. So does the love you show them. It’s a beautiful thing to read.
    Thanks for sharing.

  26. NOR says:

    I’m so glad you are enjoying yourself!

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