A Hot (& Cold) Mess
Bleeeeeehhhhhhhhhhh etc.

An Ordinary Day Like Every Other

Today started with Noah's face inches from mine.

"Mom! You told me last night to remind you to give me money for the book fair," he says, lifting up the covers while I blink blearily at him. 

"So I'm reminding you." 

And we're off. I pull on some clothes and pull my hair into a ponytail while Jason gets Ike ready. Ezra, as usual, needs to be physically dragged out of bed and deposited on the floor of his room, at least four feet away from his bed so he won't immediately climb back in the minute our backs are turned. I distribute underwear and socks and shirts and hope that there are clean pants in the drawers — by Friday it's usually a laundry crapshoot. I inform Noah that the shirt he put on is too small for him. He insists it's fine, it's okay, he just won't raise his arms too much.

Downstairs: Cheerios, milk, juice, grapes, eggs, bananas, pancakes. Second, third, fourth helpings. Good Lord, they eat so, so much. Noah rehearses a presentation for a school project — a shoe box decorated and filled with representations of our family's cultural background. He struggles with the pronunciations of "potato famine" and "Hannukkah gelt." A box of spaghetti and a jar of German mustard complete the puzzle of our mutt-like heritage.

I pack Noah's lunch and then remember that — oh my God — in addition to the book fair AND the culture project, he's going on a field trip this morning. I re-pack everything in disposable bags. 

I pack Ezra's lunch and then remember that — aw crap — it's Pizza Friday and I didn't need to pack anything. I shove it in the fridge for Ike to eat later and decide to make myself some coffee, because clearly, I need it

Everybody back upstairs: Brush your teeth. Back downstairs: Find your shoes. Get your backpack. Coats, hats, a bajillion mismatched gloves. Jason takes Noah to the bus stop: Homework folder, reading journal, lunch, book fair money, shoebox project, check check check check check.

It's time for me to drive Ezra and Ike to their schools: No, you don't need your backpack or a lunch box today. No, you definitely don't need those four stuffed animals and three Matchbox cars. Fine, Ike, I'll put some Cheerios in a baggie for you since it's not like you've eaten half a box already. Ezra, why are you crying? What do you mean you thought you were going on Noah's field trip? Why would you...oh, Ezra. Dude. I'm sorry. But we really gotta go.  

We drive right past Noah's school on the way to Ezra's. The buses are unloading and the sidewalks are full of kids and parents — I could drive Noah to school every day but he insists on taking the bus. Ezra asks about kindergarten for the millionth time while I try to picture what Noah's doing, wishing I could've chaperoned the field trip, then imagine my little Ezra there too, in those bustling, packed hallways of life and chaos. 

"Next year," I say to Ezra, also for the millionth time. 

I drop him off at his quiet little preschool and then book it over to Ike's campus — the curbside drop-off is ending in eight minutes and it usually takes me 10 to get there. We drive past Noah's school again, but everything has magically gone still and quiet in the span of a few minutes, now that the school day has begun. The buses for the field trip are idling at the curb. 

I get to Ike's school and the drop-off is over, so I park and we walk to his classroom hand in hand. He goes in without a look back or a goodbye; I see him through the windows as I head back to the car, making a beeline for the easel to paint. 

Finally, home. Top off my coffee and settle in front of the laptop. And that's when I notice the date.

Happy birthday, Dad.

I miss you so much. 



Hugs to you via the interweb!


And it doesn't get any easier as far as I can tell.

Hugs times a million.


And yet you made it through the morning, that to me is so impressive.

Hugs, Amalah.


Fuck Cancer.


I wish I could hug you, or give you a glass of wine (or some type of alcohol for your coffee). So all I can offer is a (((HUG))) and prayers for you today. On a side note, your boys are an example of everything that is amazing in the world :)


That was also supposed to say hugs, but I put it inside brackets, because... I forgot how to internet? so HUGS

Wally Hartshorn

Well... crap. Now I feel sad.


This happened to me last week. I didn't realize, with all the goings on, that it was my Mom's birthday (she's been gone a year) until dinnertime!




Sending you a hug. My heart hurts for you and I'm all weepy now.


Oh, big hugs.

One thing: make sure Ezra doesn't think that "Next year" means that Kindergarten will start after Christmas. Apparently a lot of four/five-year-olds think that every year. I'm always careful to say "After Christmas and after spring and after the long summer break, that's when you'll go to Kindergarten."


Oh. I started crying right at the end. My mother in law passed away in feb of 2012. We were insanely close and I have her 4 month old grandson on my tummy sleeping.


Sending hugs to you...fuck cancer indeed.


(((hugs))) I'm sorry Amy :(.


And the beat goes on! I am betting that is exactly what your Dad wanted & he is watching it all and smiling on your precious family. We always have special cupcakes with my niece & nephew on my Mom's birthday, a sweet remembrance.


Hugs and happy birthday to your dad. That ending really made me tear up.


Fuck cancer, indeed. I was happily reading along until POW! I was crying. My sister-in-law passed away 8 years ago come the 27th of this month. It continues to suck. Hugs to you send your family....


Reading your last line made me tear up. I am remembering my mom and dad, now 20 years gone. Usually you are okay, but sometimes you are not.

It never goes away but it does recede a bit. Hugs to you, Amy.


Hugs to you.

It was my mom's birthday a few weeks ago and like you, the day was perfectly normal routine. But I would have much rather taken an hour's drive to see her.


I miss my dad, too. He died the day before my birthday, 2 years ago, ensuring that I will never, never, never be able to miss/forget/overlook the date. And now I'm so sad all over again.


Give the kids birthday cake ice cream tonight! That's what we always do on my mother-in-law's birthday. It feels like just the right amount of 'celebration.'

Liz Tea Bee

Fuck cancer, fuck cancer in the ear. It does get easier but it still sneaks up you like some sort of evil grief ninja.


I has a sad.


My heart breaks for you. But what a beautifully written essay - it captures how grief sneaks up and slaps you in the face, and you don't see it coming.


Knocked the wind out of me and I cried at my desk. My Dad is a lung cancer survivor, and fighting kidney failure without sight of a transplant anytime soon. Happy Birthday to your Dad (and hugs to you). I hope to being saying those words with a hug and kiss in response from my Dad in March.


I love you, pal. xo



next week will be 8 months since losing my mom to it...and it fucking sucks. went home to scatter her ashes 3 wks ago on what would have been her 75th bday...and it fucking sucked.

you had it right all along...FUCK CANCER



**Hugs** Your dad will continue to live on through those beautiful boys you have. I second the vote for copious amounts of ice cream or cake (or Kahlua in coffee)


Such a sucker punch. For us too. I have tears in my eyes. I wish you the best.

Katie Ganske

Oh Amy. Thinking of you.

Sue W.

Happy birthday to your dad in heaven. It's my hubby's 49th today and he is cleaning out his parents house with his sister. We had to put my mil in a care facility 2 months ago and 2 days ago, my fil had a cardiac episode and stroke. He will have to go to a rehab facility separate from mom in a few days. And this thing we call life goes on...


Sniffle. I can't read these at work anymore. Am too sappy.


You made my heart jump at the end. I'm so sorry. Happy birthday to your dad. Hugs to you xxx


sending all the love I can muster :)


:( fuck cancer, Amy. I'm so sorry.


What a beautiful, beautiful post. I'm sure he's watching all of the chaos and smiling. :-)


Fucking calendar, always reminding us. I'm sorry your dad isn't here for this birthday, but I hope he's watching the chaotic joy of your family from afar and smiling.
(I lost my mom to cancer five weeks ago tomorrow. Cancer can go right to hell.)


Oh, my heart. A beautiful post.


Your posts need to come with warnings: "This will make you cry at work."

Because you get me, girl. You get me EVERY. DAMN. TIME.

The way you capture life is brilliant. I know how hard it is to be a writer and capture the *real* and *important* things and still sound "writery". But you do. You so do.

Hugs and high fives all around.


I just reread my last comment and realized it might sound kind of stupid. Let me clarify the hugs & high fives. Hugs on your dad's birthay :( And high fives because you are such a damn brilliant writer.


Fuck cancer is right! Lost my dad to it almost five years ago now, and there are definitely still moments when it sneaks up and hits me like you just described. Especially now that I"m expecting his first grandchild. This post was amazingly written and captures the feeling perfectly. Hugs to you!


Amazing writing, amazing. Thank you.


I'm sorry, Amy. Yesterday was my grandma's birthday. She raised me, and even though she died nine years ago it still ached all day. Hugs over the internet.


Hugs, Amy. I'll raise a toast to your Dad while I hit the send button.


Hugs, Amy. I'll raise a toast to your Dad while I hit the send button.


Happy birthday, Amy's dad.


Happy birthday Amy's dad. Big hugs.


It always helps me to remember it's just another day, like the one before or after. Nothing magic. Hang in.


Fuck cancer and hang in there. I wish I could lessen that sting for you. *hugs*


::hug:: Daddies are special. Cancer is a bitch. I'm sorry, Amy.


In a few weeks, it'll be two years that my mom died. And it's now that my grief and heartbreak become almost overwhelming. I think, "Two years ago at this time, she was still here." God, it hurts so bad. It isn't easier. I keep feeling like if I do things in the right order or just right, that'll be the combination to bring her back. And then it punches me in the gut that nothing will make that happen. I'm sorry for you. I'm sorry for me. It really sucks.

Leigh Ann

I settled in for a good old day in the life post and left in tears. Big internet hugs to you. This was chaotic and lovely, just like life.

Jamie Z.

This is beautiful. I'm so sorry :(


Yesterday was my dad's birthday, too. He passed away this summer. I miss him so much.


Oh man. Speacial dates are hard. Big hugs.

Lynda M Otvos

Amy-love, I'm so sorry that fucking cancer got your best friend and dad, it's the worst way of the world and if "I could change your world...I'd change it right away", Martyn Joseph would sing to you in his inimitable Welsh growl.Check him out on You Tube, obviously I am an idiot or I could link you to it from here but I can barely do a link on my own blog and it's just a damn icon !~~!

In the meanwhile, feel this hug that is meant with so much love and understanding, I lost both younger siblings and the loss is so acute on holidays like their bdays that I just wanna cry all damn day. Your dad is so proud of you, Amy for the woman, wife and mom you are being.


Hugs to you Amy. PS-You are an amazing Mom and I love reading about your adventures in daily living. :)


Oh! I'm so sorry.


Thinking of you, and wishing you peace and time to remember your beloved father.


I'm the mom of the toddler at the funeral. Laugh love live. Never forget, but live as a memory. And then grab a tissue when they aren't looking

not supergirl

So sorry Amy, I know how those dates just punch me in the gut sometimes. The most recent was my sister's wedding anniversary. I love my brother-in-law's new wife, and given the cards we were dealt, life is going on as well as it could, but wow, that day hit me hard. I was better equipped to handle her birthday because I expected it to get to me, but not so with the anniversary.


girl, you can WRITE. so powerful.


Fuck it indeed. Much love to you.


Oh sweetie. Getting blindsided by dates like that is so hard sometimes. Holding space for you.

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