Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birthday presents

So a quick update on what my daughter bought me for my birthday (and then back to grading papers, semester will be over soon)

My husband took her to the local big box store and she wanted to buy me everything. So he asked Meg what I liked. She said baths, knitting and flowers, which is fairly accurate.

So here these are for:

Bath. She has used the bubble bath more than me though.

Knitting. You can tell she likes pink. She wants me to knit something with the yarn. I'll manage, although homespun is not my favorite yarn to knit with, although it is fine after it is knitted.

Flowers. The vase has been filled with Meg picked flowers for the past couple of weeks.

It was awfully cute. She also made me a card which I'm not posting here since she is currently very fond of writing her own name.

Actual birthday was okay, not great. Party that weekend went well though.

And now back to grading papers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Advanced Maternal Age

So tomorrow I turn 35. I will be officially advanced maternal age if I ever get pregnant again. Of course getting pregnant again involves convincing my husband he wants to have another child, a difficult decision once you have lost a child. Also there are other complications which I have written about here.

Except for the ticking of my biological clock, I don't really mind turning 35. I hope my birthday will be easier than last year. Last year I was still in the complete haze of despair of early grief from losing Drew, so we had a potluck at the house the day of my birthday so we would celebrate some. It worked a little and I do like potluck.

This year we are having potluck again on Saturday. I hope I can manage to celebrate some tomorrow though. Meg with help of her daddy bought me some birthday presents and she can't wait for me to unwrap them. Last year the presents consisted of a small honey jar with bees on it and popcorn, both thing she liked and I was amused. This year's gifts from Meg promise to be amusing too.

I will miss and think about Drew as well. I do it every day, of course, but around my 30th birthday Meg and Drew were conceived, the best birthday present I ever received. So I will think of Drew tomorrow and watch Meg enjoy it being my birthday and wonder if I will get to be considered advanced maternal age by my next birthday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Going through the motions

April is a busy month in academia. Grading is at an all time high. Registration season hits and usually take more time than you expect. There are also lots of special events this time of year as well. Hence the light posting.

This weekend was the local conference in my discipline. I have gone ever since finishing my Ph.D. I even went last year, when I was really only moderately functional. So I went this year. Conferences are odd for me. On the one hand they are part of my job, and so the job parts provide the usual distraction from my grief. Heck, I even get to knit during the talks. On the other hand, they involve lots of semi-social settings. I don't have as much tolerance for social situations anymore.

I enjoy the socialization with the colleagues I know well. We talk about teaching, our jobs, and perhaps our families, but they all know. They know about Drew. We don't always talk about it, but that's fine. At least they won't blunder into it. In fact my research collaborator made sure to ask how the anniversary in February went and that she was thinking of me and I appreciate that.

The people I don't know at all at conferences don't bother me either. You generally stick to talking about teaching and research and nothing else. Unless I'm asked directly how many children I have, I don't have to mention Drew unless I want to. They may find out about Meg, since that is who I am knitting socks for at the moment.

The hardest part of the socialization are the people I know peripherally at conferences. Some of these people know I have twins, since I did bring them to a couple of conferences. I really don't know how many of them know that Drew died a year ago. I have had that awful awkward moment several times when someone asks how my twins are doing and I have to then tell them about Drew. Fortunately there was none of it this time.

Coming back from conferences is also hard. I am usually tired as I tend to not get as much sleep as I planned. My husband is usually tired from taking care of Meg by himself. Meg is usually quite clingy because I've been gone.

But I go through the motions, partially because it is part of my job. Partially because I used to really like conferences before Drew died. Hopefully I will get there again sometime.