I’m in my cousin’s basement watching my two goofy boys play on iPads while the adults get ready to head out for the family celebrations. They don’t have a care in the world today. They’re well-nourished and healthy. They have zero doubt that they’re surrounded by love. They don’t even understand that there are any other options.

We have enough family that wants us that we have two different houses to visit today. I am looking forward to seeing every single person. The important social research agency of Facebook tells me that many, many people don’t have this good luck.

The back half of 2104 has been pretty hard, and just a few days ago I told Damon we should be proud if we can just drag our carcasses over the finish line. Still. We exist in such a state of privilege. I had some serious injuries this year, but also doctors and physical therapists who cared, were thoughtful, and got me back on my feet. Work has been hard, but I have excellent coworkers and I do still have a job. Alden was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder. Now I have the gift of understanding him better and we can afford the out-of-pocket therapy he needs. Getting the boys into the right school this year was excruciating, much more so than I expected, and yet now that it’s done the results have been no less than life changing. Some things just suck. We lost two cats this year, one suddenly and shockingly just two weeks ago. I don’t have distance from much of these things yet. I recall very clearly the pain of a stress fracture in my leg that added a layer of unpleasantness over many of my days. I can still get choked up remembering the sleepless anxiety of not knowing what Alden needs, of finding a school that both wanted and welcomed him (which his old school very much did) but also could teach him in a way that worked for him. Some day it will all fade away. Today I’m grateful to remember because I can still savor the relief of those things abating.


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