Monday, April 15, 2013


An enormous, touching, and heartwarming outpouring of concern from people that I know only through the Internet. I'm OK, as is everyone I know.

I don't have any sense to make of it, but please be aware that the genuine concern coming from all corners of the world really does mean a lot.


Friday, April 12, 2013


My little girls turn three on Monday, which is unbelievable both because the time has gone so fast, and also so slowly...

Tomorrow, however, is their birthday party:-). I didn't do first or second birthday parties, partly because I am lazy and partly because I have never really seen the point of having birthday parties for kids who don't know what a birthday is. But now, they definitely get it, they definitely love the idea of a party and they are definitely looking forward to it.

So, combine an hour and a half at Gymboree, a lot of pizza, some cake and a whole mess of children, and you have yourself a birthday party. We invited their friends from school, along with some other people we know that have kids their age...many of whom come in pairs;-) I'm sure that much fun will be had by all!

Now, if I can just figure out a way to tire them out tomorrow morning so that they will take naps in time for the party...

After that, we can start to talk about the absolute mother-effin-bender that we are throwing for Munchkin's graduation. It would be completely factual (if highly exaggerated) to report that the party will require the approval of the US State Department...

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

On Finishing. (Sort of)

The small, skinny, 12-year old girl got the news at school. Her teacher excitedly told her that her Grandmother would be coming to get her, and taking her straight to the hospital after school. It was not the first time that the girl's Grandmother had come to get her unexpectedly, but it was probably the first time that the reasons were good.

The girl wondered how she was supposed to pay any attention through her last two periods of the day. How could US History or Chemistry be remotely interesting at a time like this? How could anything else in the whole world matter at a time like this? The minutes crawled by, one by one, until the final bell rang and she was released.

The trip to the hospital was a blur. Her Grandmother talked about the news, but also about school and friends and everything that a Grandmother might talk with her Granddaughter about. But the girl was too excited to answer questions or to listen. The drive seemed interminable, the traffic a cruel joke, and the search for a parking space completely maddening. But finally, after what seemed like weeks, the elevator bell dinged, and they stepped out into a bright hospital hallway. Fighting her desire to run as fast as she could, the girl walked ahead of her Grandmother, counting the rooms one by one until she get to the one she was looking for. Bursting through the door, she saw her stepfather, normally so surly and stern, beaming. Her mother, seven months since her last drink ever, lay in the bed, looking very clearly tired, but the happiest that the girl ever remembered, or would ever remember, seeing her.

And in her arms, swaddled in striped hospital blankets, was the most perfect little baby girl that the World had ever seen. Just a fat little face, and two bright blue eyes barely visible through half-closed lids. The girl fell in love in an instant, and moments later, sitting quietly in a hospital chair holding her new little sister, the girl promised very quietly, to herself, that she would never leave that baby, and that she would never let anyone hurt her.

I did leave her, for a little while. But today, exactly eighteen years after my Grandmother picked me up at school to take me to go meet my new little sister, I think I have done a pretty good job of living up to my promise.


Yup, today is Munchkin's EIGHTEENTH birthday. My little baby sister, who stopped being a baby a long time ago, is now officially an adult by every measure. That little, tiny lump of perfection, with the heart shaped face and the big blue eyes, is now a brilliant, gorgeous, college-bound, globe-trotting adult with a very real place in the world that she is growing to understand by the day.

In addition to being a symbolically important day, it has some very real importance as well. Most obviously, as of today I am no longer her legal guardian, and I am back to just being her plain old sister:-). I filed my last report with the Illinois family courts last month, and am no longer subject to the supervision (or a potential surprise visit!) of the child services authorities in either Illinois or Massachusetts.

And in the event that something really bad were to happen to me, she is no longer subject to a court's ruling on where she can live...she can pick her own spot. So, a week ago, if I got hit by the proverbial beer truck, her guardianship would have been the subject of a legal ruling (with her brother almost certainly being named her guardian). Today, if the same beer truck hits me, she can make up her own mind on who she wants to live with.

I am probably going to keep an eye out for any beer truck today, just to be safe, but I would be lying if I told you that I hadn't always had a little nagging worry that something would happen to me and she would get swept back to Chicago. I never did get her brother to completely promise to move out here and keep her where she is. But today, none of that matters, because I have a full-fledged adult on my hands!

(Well, except for her education Trust, which she doesn't get control of until she turns 25...hee hee:-))