There comes a time in everyone’s life when we are tested. Our courage. Our will power. Our strength of character. Our ability to keep ourselves from going to pieces.
They are our own battles which no one else can understand. When we found out our first born would need open heart surgery within days of his birth it became an obstacle we weren’t sure how to conquer. It became our battle.
One such battle began for a family thousands of miles from home, on the other side of an ocean, when their littlest required serious medical attention.
Dori start her blog Green Grapes shortly after she and her husband found themselves in this situation. Soon after, she took the world of blogging not only to find stories like her own but to share her story as well. She writes with the clarity of a crisp, autumn morning and you’ll find yourself nodding along in understanding the whole way through her posts.
If you’re like me and wondering where her blog title comes from, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I’m honored to welcome her here with her first ever guest post.
I’m learning the ropes of the blogging world from Eric of All in a Dad’s Work. Thanks for letting me guest blog here!
For many years I have proclaimed to be a Summer person. I love the anticipation of vacation with my family; I love the beach and I love cold brewed coffee and iced tea, which frankly – cannot be consumed in the winters here.
My husband and I moved to the Boston area in August, 2005. Naive, young and desperately broke, we heaved half our furniture and boxes into a temporary apartment and the other half into a storage unit. One month later on September 1, 2005 we moved those same belongings into a tiny, overpriced apartment during a heatwave. In retrospect, that day was the tipping point for me and my favoritism of summer. I was miserable. I must have looked it, because even the guy who came to install our cable stuck around an extra 15 minutes to help carry boxes to our 3rd floor walk up.
As time went on, I began to develop a preference for the fall season in New England. It’s sort of irresistible with it’s fiery foliage and countless crisp mornings. In 2007 my husband (then boyfriend) proposed and we were married on September 21st. Three years later, my first son was born on September 14th. His brother joined our family late in August of 2013. As I ventured further into adulthood, the positive memories associated with fall began to imprint themselves upon me.
In the US, students take a break from formal education in the summer months and return to school in the fall. Eric and I know this well – we met as educators at a higher education institution in Maryland. I transitioned away from the education profession in 2007. In addition to K – 12 schools, the Boston area is home to more than 100 colleges and universities. When those students return to school each fall, we all return to a familiar pace of life.
The change is an undeniable force.
Our family has been eagerly anticipating Fall, 2016. My oldest son was due to start kindergarten and my youngest, preschool. They would start their new adventures with a fresh set of clothes, new lunch boxes and trimmed hair. In June we had a party for my older son “Congratulations on Preschool Graduation!” The kids jumped for hours in the bouncy house.
And then in early August my youngest son had a sudden, unexplained onset of Myoclonic Atonic Epilepsy. We are still learning why… how… when… and the answers to so many other questions. During our first visit to Boston Children’s Hospital, our neurologist let us know that our son’s continued participation in a school would be critical to his psychosocial development. However, he was far from being ready to actually return to school.
So, we focused instead on playgrounds, Gymboree and creative play at home. He also got dressed, ate breakfast and walked with us every day to drop his older brother off at school, to create routine for when it is his turn.
Last week, the summer weather “broke” and fall rolled in, bringing with it, fantastically strong wind. This happened on Thursday, September 22nd – the first day of fall. We have been sleeping with the windows open and I woke to the sound of acorns falling off the Oak trees, a syncopation of pops and bangs as they hit everything in their path on their way to the ground. I listened for a few minutes before closing the window in the boys room. Then, I re-read the email I drafted earlier that day, confirming my younger son’s attendance at preschool, starting September 26th. I decided that the timing felt right. I hit “send”on the message as I wiped the 3-millionth tear off my cheek and then grabbed some extra blankets for the bed.
I realized that night, that the fall season has become more than just my preference. It is my beginning, my New Year. Very much like a student, it is my chance to start again – stretch open a new book until it cracks, sharpen an unused pencil and resolve to be better at something this time around. Cheers!