Oh My Hexlings,
Let’s start with the light stuff. We have much to be grateful for today because today is a celebration of motherhood. When I think about “motherhood,” I think about gardening, actually. About growth, nurturance and teaching.
I once heard someone say that a mother is the first and most important teacher a child will ever have, and I think that is often true. I also once knew a very talented gardener, let’s call her Green Thumb, who had a green thumb like no other and could get anything to grow, and I was really astounded when I saw how plants would flourish in her care. I was baffled when I walked through her greenhouse because I could not understand how someone, one single person, could orchestrate the growth of and sustain so many plants. To accomplish this, she had to have a unique understanding of each one of her plants and its individual needs. After this came potting it in just the right pot and finding it a perfect home in the house– a temperate place just for it with the right amount of warmth and sun. An important start is essential, but the care didn’t stop there. The gardener then spent years taking care of each of her plants, giving each one just the amount of water it needed at just the right time it needed it, trimming it when needed, and polishing its leaves when needed. Oh, and most importantly, she had to care about her plants. It is always love that makes things grow. For where there is true love, there is always commitment.
When I encountered my highly committed green-thumbed friend’s garden, I was amazed. It was just a little greenhouse, but it felt to me like being in Oz because I could not believe that someone could make such a beautiful place exist. There was love all around when I got the greenhouse tour. Even though there seemed to be stillness everywhere in her greenhouse, there was actually so much life. Where can you breathe more easily than in a greenhouse? Well, my gardener friend did an amazing thing when she made her greenhouse. She didn’t have any human children, like you two, at the time, but I think of her as an incredible mother. Only an incredible mother could take such good, loving care of all of those happy plants. How do I know they were happy? Because they were alive. Not hanging onto life by a thread, but fully alive. So alive that they reminded you to breathe more deeply. So green that they made you see things differently. So beautifully green. Kind of like the pictures I have put in this collage for you. They remind me my visit to the House of Green Thumb. The last two pictures remind me of me, when I toured Green Thumb’s greenhouse for the first time.
The story of Green Thumb is literally true, but it is also a nice allegory for motherhood. An allegory is an extended metaphor. But even though your mummy is a metaphor fanatic, I doubt you’ve heard of metaphors before now. Let me see. How to put it. A metaphor (sometimes called a “literary device”) is something that writers and speakers use to compare things. If they compare two things using the words “like” or “as” (like “Mummy’s smile burst into the room like a daffodil to the first sun of Spring”), then they don’t get to be called a metaphor and are, instead, called similes. Complicated, I know. I always had trouble learning grammatical rules as a kid. Anyway, now that I teach writing, I sometimes have to explain things and I try to do so in a way that would have been understandable to grammar-rule-resistant kid-me. Metaphors compare things without those “like” or “as” words, so they are usually more complicated comparisons. Less direct. They are a little sneaky and mysterious. They aren’t meant to be understood instantly, like similes are– they are meant to make you think a bit before you understand them. And if they are very detailed, long and complicated, then they become allegories. Metaphorical stories. Like the story of Green Thumb, which I started to tell you for the first time today.
I hope that when you are grown you remember that it was your mummy who first taught you about similes and metaphors and allegories (oh my!), and that you will also always think about Green Thumb. Anytime, in our family, that we want to talk about grammar, or about motherhood, for that matter, all we need to do is the Green Thumb Salute. And anytime we want to nurture each other and take care of each other, we will give each other the Green Thumb Salute. And anytime we want to pick a fight: same thing. Green Thumb Salute. The Green Thumb Salute is something I made up that originated with Shakespeare’s much beloved play Romeo and Juliet. It’s perfect because Shakespeare was, is, and always Will be part of our family!
Shakespeare is The King of Thumbs. Of biting thumbs, that is. In Romeo and Juliet, if someone wants to insult someone else, the way they do it is by biting their thumb. This sounds kind of silly but for people with green thumbs and for people, like your mum, who have a habit of biting their nails, it couldn’t be more perfect. The biting of thumbs between chaps (or hexlings) can be a great way of initiating playful battles, duels, and romps in the garden of life, and I know from experience that the two of you love playful battles, duels, and romps. In our family, a playful romp is a sign of love, so if you bite your thumb, in our family, its literal translation is “Love you, Baby; now let’s spar!”
Figures of speech are so much fun. Even the phrase “figures of speech” is fun. A figure of speech is something that is not what it seems: its meaning is something else. It’s almost like speech wearing a disguise. Not quite, but there is an element that touches on code-making. Encoding requires a limited audience, though– so encoded speech is a bit different. Our Green Thumb Salute would be an example of a code– one that only we (and anyone who reads my letters to you) know about. Now if the whole world gets a load of our Green Thumb Salute, then it’s common knowledge. It’s no longer a code but it will always have a history as a salute that started out encoded. I hope I’m not confusing or boring you; it’s just that I love studying language so much that I want to share that love with the kiddos I love most.
What do you think of when you see the word “figures”? Do you think about numbers? Do you think about little ninja Legos (called figurines)? Do you think about modeling clothes? A figure refers to the shape of something– words are shapes; they are shapes we can see and hear, and some people have the gift of being able to smell them. Cognition is interesting (ask your Momma Si all about it!). I like the idea of making figures and then dressing the figures in clothing made of speech. Darah, that sounds like a project right up your alley. You could even do it with figures of speech from Shakespeare. Our Green Thumb Salute is actually sign language. I know you already know that language can be expressed in many ways, including through the use of hands, silence, and sound.
I have a lot to say to you in this letter, so I cannot spend too long telling you about figurative speech, like the idioms “stuck out like a sore thumb” and “thumb your nose at,” but we can talk about figures of thumb speech anytime you like, my little green thumbs!
In our special Hexling language, green thumbing simply refers to nurturing — to green thumb something, or to give it a green thumb, is to nurture it. Mother’s day is, to us, Green Thumb Day. This is the reason why I think every mother’s day should be spent in a green house or in a garden (yes, Darah, I must face my fear of birds and you your fear of bees). But that’s not where I am right now. And that’s not where you are, either. I am here, amidst a mess of boxes and storage containers, and you are snuggled in bed at home with Momma Si.
Now onto the heavy part of this love letter.
This year’s Green Thumb Day was an important one for us. My forever loves, it was the first mother’s day ever since the advent of the two of you in my life that I did not wake up with you near me. This did cause me grief, my little hexlings. But it also caused me to remember how much I love waking up with the two of you next to me. It made me remember happier times, like last year, when Momma Si helped you make breakfast for me, and you two brought it in to me, with special cards you made, that you read aloud to me. My favorite part, of course, were the looks on your faces as you did it– those proud and loving smiles, and the hugs and kisses and squishes that came with it. It is a memory I will cherish always. I am happy that Momma Si had you with her today. I am happy for her. I know how it feels to be with the two sweetest hexlings in the universe (on Mother’s Day and every day), and I know what a gift she received by being with you today.
I had the gift of waking up with you in my room here on Madison for one of the last times. You slept in your sleeping bags on the floor, but when you woke up, the three of us snuggled onto the twin bed together.
The only reason I could not have you sleep on the twin with me is because I would not have gotten an ounce of sleep (yes, sleep is always measured in ounces by those with green thumbs!). Thinking about sleeping with family makes me think of a few funny memories. It reminds me of your Gramma Sue, first of all, because she is the funniest sleeper I have ever known (second to her is your Aunt Missy). Today I am celebrating Gramma Sue because she is my mom and because she’s the BEST MOM IN THE WORLD for me. Your Gramma Sue is so loving and so loyal. Do you know something: your Gramma Sue taught me some things over the last couple of years about the meaning of unconditional love. She did. The funny thing is that Gramma Sue says that Mummy taught her the meaning of unconditional love. It just goes to show that moms and daughters can teach each other.
Gramma Sue is a lot of wonderful things, but there is one scary thing about her. Guise, I hate to break this to you but your grandmother … she… she… she turns into a beast when she sleeps. Now you two might think you have it tough with your strict Momma Si and your nutty Mummy J, but just be grateful that you don’t have a mom who morphs into a horrifying gremlin in the night. When Mummy was little, Gramma Sue and Dimpy would often let us sleep with them in their big bed. My siblings loved this, but I never wanted to. Because I knew. I knew about the gremlin! Have you ever seen a gremlin, hexlings? Oh, don’t. Don’t do that to yourselves. Because once you see one, you’ll know the reason why Mummy stays up all night and never sleeps a wink. It’s to make sure she never finds out if she inherited the sleepy gremlin gene! Okay, just kidding about that. But not about Gramma Gremlin. Since she was a young pipsqueak on Paradise Road, your Gramma used to do all sorts of strange behaviors in her sleep. She would sleep walk across the house in the night. Her siblings would watch her do this for fun. And they would laugh at her. But she never knew, until the morning when they told her. One time, Gramma Gremlin even walked into the bathtub and turned it on… WHILE SHE WAS ASLEEP. And I think there was also a story involving a refrigerator, but I will have to check. I think I blocked that one from my memory. Too scary to think about The Gremlin trying to refrigerate herself! I know it sounds like she should be called the zombie, but Gramma Sue’s beastly sleeping voice is more like a gremlin than a zombie, and that is why the name fits. Plus, alliteration, but ask me what that is later because I need to get back to telling you about your grandmother, the gremlin.
You are lucky you have two moms who, as far as we know, do not turn into gremlins at night. I first suspected something gremliny was going on when I tried sleeping in the family bed. It was awful. The place felt like it was one hundred degrees. The bodies, all strewn about, had a sweltering effect. Not to mention that, because of that sweltering effect, the bodies were mostly naked. So there I found myself, in my little bunny nightgown, trying to sleep while being surrounded by a bunch of sprawly, hot Masons wearing only their underwear. Do you think I could sleep? NO WAY. I tried to be part of the family, but I couldn’t stand the heat. I had no space of my own. No way to cool down. And I had had enough of flinging people’s limbs off of me. This is when I knew. I wasn’t like the others; I wanted my own bed. This is also when I knew I was strange. How were they all able to sleep? I couldn’t sleep a wink in there. So I started sleeping in my own room, in my own bed, and I made Melissa come with me. Shortly after we started staying in a room together, which we called The Pink Room (can you guess why?), I learned that Missy was some kind of sleep demon. She would become a demon in her sleep. Let me explain.
Before knowing about Gramma Gremlin, I only knew about The Hot Bed. But then I learned about Monster Missy. Monster Missy would come out at night to talk to me, usually to babble, but always to scare the living nightlights out of me. At first, I was terrified. The thing that was terrifying is that I didn’t know she was asleep. Her eyes were open and she (I thought) was looking directly at me. She would say things to me and, thinking she was awake, I would answer. But I noticed that her facial expression was unusual. More delirious than usual. More feral. Kind of creepy. Once I realized that my sister was talking nonsense and that, although she was looking at me, she was not actually seeing me, and was, in fact, asleep; I began feeling kind of freaked out. I worried that she would get mad at someone in her sleep and take it out on me. And I had good reason because not long after I made this discovery, Melissa got into a fight with me while she was talking in her sleep. Okay, maybe I picked the fight, but who can say. All I know is that I learned, that night, that I was sleeping in a bed with a monster. And that the monster was my sister. She started mumbling at me, and looked at me with a crazed “I want to kill you” look in her eyes. I smiled, knowing she was asleep, and, propped up above her, I said something sassy in response. She then began to get mad. Not just a little mad but furious and she threatened to hurt me. I said something even sassier, then, like, “Oh yeah, Missy Stink Foot.” And do you know what she did? She attacked me. She hit me. Hard. And yelled. I kind of flew out of bed and went to tell my parents. I learned my lesson. Never talk back to a monster in bed! Just let them have their way; give them what they want.
The second scare I had from Monster Missy (or Auntie Ape, as she will now be referred to by you) was when she had a sleep walking episode that scared the sisterhood right out of me. I like to think I saved us all on that terrifying night. I was lying in the bed, thinking about things, as was my usual habit at night, when all of a sudden, my sister jolted in her sleep. Ut oh. Sister Monster. I immediately tightened up, moved my body away from her, and watched her in horror. She started to lift up her head. She looked at me but did not seem to recognize me. Then she looked to the sides, as if she were paranoid. Then the unthinkable happened. She began to slowly sit up. Oh no. It was alive! It was alive! Moving! Getting up! I sat up, too. I wanted to make sure I could protect myself. It got scarier. She got on all fours and slowly stood up on the bed. Yes, hexlings, she actually stood up on top of the bed. In her sleep. I could not believe what was happening, but I did not dare move. Then my nightmare came true. I thought to myself, “I hope she’s not going to do something to the canopy.” At that time we were sleeping in what is called a “canopy bed.” It was a bed with four posts that were connected with these metal bars that made a frame, and over the metal bars was a sheer pink canopy. It was like she read my mind IN HER SLEEP. She slowly made her way to the edge of the bed, and stood on the end of it. I came over and stood on the floor by her feet, even though I was scared, because I was worried she might fall. She then in a slow and creepy way PULLED one of the white metal canopy bars out of the frame. She held it in her hands like a torch, or a spear, and climbed down from the bed. Without any hesitation she EVER SO SLOWLY began walking out of the room, down the hall. At this point, the only thing I could think of was getting the canopy bar out of her hand because I was afraid she might hurt herself or someone else. If you could have been there, you would have seen how much it looked like a scene from a scary movie, or from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I hurried behind her and walked with her. She led me further down the hall, toward Gramma Sue and Dimpy’s bedroom, holding the staff. I quickly grabbed the canopy bar from her, and gently turned her around and led her back into bed. I was worried no one would believe it happened when I told them in the morning, so I set the canopy bar down on the floor before I got into bed with my scary sister. Do you think I slept a wink that night? Probably not. But that was not the only sleep monster in the house.
Around that time, I learned that Gramma Sue turned into a gremlin at night. It really became apparent to me when I would go to ask Gramma Sue a question in the middle of the night. She did this terrifying thing where, when I would tap her gently and say her name, she would fly back in horror, stare at me wide-eyed like a terrifying demon gorilla who was possessed by an evil master, and then she would make these LOUD, GRIZZLY sounds. I do a great impression of your gremlin grandmother being awakened. Usually, she would fly back, and say a string of incoherent words, the closest in our language being, “WHATWHATWHATWHATWHATWHATWHAT.” The gremlin would say the words in a booming, gravely gremlin voice. I did not like interacting with my mother this way, and who could blame me. My response would be to shake her firmly and to say, “MOM. IT’S JESSY.” If it worked and I was able to knock the gremlin out of her, she would yell, and I mean yell, for my dad (“BILL. BILL. BILL.”). But battling gremlins was not my idea of middle-of-the-night fun. I was a very fearful (but also very brave) kid, and the gremlin was so unpleasant to me, that I solved the issue by ONLY waking my father up for late-night issues and questions. This worked well. I stopped having to confront the gremlin, which was good. Very good.
So there’s a funny sleep story for you. I have had a couple of sleep walking and sleep talking episodes of my own since then, so I am coming to terms with the fact that I am capable of being a beast in bed, like my sister, but my beastliness has not yet reached the point of gremlinhood. As you get older, Dar and Elan, you may notice that one of you is exhibiting some beastly behaviors. Don’t be too surprised when it happens…just be sure to balance it all out by being beatific (which sort of means ‘angelic’) during your waking hours. I think the two of you have that covered. If you’re anything like me, you’ll work out a nice balance between beauty and beast.
So we had a morning to snuggle together on Saturday, and we’ll have a couple more after that, but, my angels, our snuggling time together is going to be much more limited now. Because, as I have recently decided and as you now know, I am going to be living in Western New York and you are going to be living here, in Western Illinois. Yes, my darling angels, I am moving.
Mummy made a really difficult decision this week– one she has been in the process of making for a very long time. I was going to tell you next weekend, during our family trip to the Quad Cities, but keeping it from you didn’t seem right, and you were already starting to catch on to the fact that something was up when you noticed the books off the shelves, so I talked with Momma Si about telling you sooner, and we decided that was best.
Last night and today were wonderful because the two of you were in the circus. Wow. I can now say that I have two clowns, and that they are in an actual circus. While I don’t like Macomb, Little Ones, I do have to say that Macomb does have a few special events that really reflect the spirit of the people here. The Balloon Glow is something that is fairly unique to this region, and we have been lucky to be part of it. I have very much enjoyed Dickens on the Square and Moon Over Macomb, too. But topping both of these have been your experiences with Project Dance Company and with the YMCA Circus. Both are unique and special, close-knit, community driven projects that are simply wonderful. You are lucky to be part of both. And I am lucky to have witnessed and been part of both, too, as your supporter and fan and helper. Last night (and today), I saw something beautiful happen. I saw my two precious daughters LIGHT UP. I saw both of you just POURING with JOY.
I have seen you happy before, but I have never seen you so FULL of JOY as I did last night and today during your performance with the YMCA Circus. The program’s leader, Amy, informed us that your circus is one of only TWO YMCA circuses in the United States. And that the other one has been around for about 75 years, making you a “baby circus,” as she put it. I don’t know exactly what it was that caused the joy to spill out of you both, but I do know that I am SO grateful that you are part of the circus. In my estimation, it had everything to do with the way the program is run– that it is about giving EVERYONE a role, that is is about including EVERYONE. It’s not a program about excellence-through-exclusion; it’s a program about community. Everyone performs and everyone cheers everyone else on, and most of the numbers are large group numbers, and everyone gets a turn– and, WOW, just WOW, I cannot say enough about what a remarkable experience it was to watch you be part of it. I have never seen the two of you GLOW, from the inside out, as I did watching you perform in the circus. To me, it was heaven. To sit there and watch you dance and smile, with so much joy: that is heaven to me. And I know it’s heaven to your Momma Si, too.
We waited until after both of your shows for me to break the news to you. Oh babies. I could hardly do anything last night. I was distraught over having to have this conversation with you. But, like I’ve told you before, I am strong and I know you are strong, and I know that the bond that we share is UNBREAKABLE and that our love makes us brave and strong. So I picked you up, after your amazing performance and after-party, from Momma Si’s, and I took you to my house, where I said we had to stop before going to get ice cream (which was true), and I sat you on my bed to talk to you. And, there, the three of us had a heart-to-heart conversation. One none of us will ever forget.
I sat between you, against the wall, and I looked at each of you, long and slow, and I said, “I have something to tell you.” I felt my heart rip in half a little as I looked from one of you to the other, and saw the look of distress in your eyes. Then I told you, softly and sorrowfully, that I am going to be moving to Buffalo. Not just for the summer.
There was a wavelength of panic that we shared for a minute. Darah, you expressed your alarm and upset, citing over and over that I had told you that it was just for the summer. That I said we had three more years here. Then you both began sobbing, and I began sobbing, like I am silently doing now as I write this, and I held you both against my chest, one girl’s head on each shoulder, and we sobbed together. Hearts aching. Grieving. Grieving.
I told you, as I will always tell you, that you both are my world. That you are the most important thing to me. That you are everything to me. That … that… that.
You calmed down and then I told you more about what led to my decision and how I made the decision. I explained that I found out that the Department of Theatre at Western is planning to remove their graduate program in directing, and that it is another casualty of the Illinois budget crisis in education. It is a very sad situation for education, and especially for the town of Macomb. Many people have lost their jobs and many people are fleeing the university to find jobs elsewhere. I explained some of this to you, but I am not sure you fully understood that I cannot stay in Macomb without a job and with no financial support.
Sometimes the heart hurts and no logical explanation can make it stop. We just have to go through it.
There was no way around what happened tonight, my loves; we had to go through it. We had to hurt. There was no way around it. Sometimes in life, we have to experience grief. Change. Loss. They are all parts of life. Of course, as your mum, I want to protect you from having to feel those things, but sometimes I cannot. And sometimes I will be the cause. But please know this: if I could, I would shield you from every form of pain, just as I would myself, and I would never, NEVER, NEVER be apart from you. I told you this, over and over. I told you that I hate spending one second apart from you. I also told you that it is my hope and BELIEF that we will all be together again someday. I BELIEVE in Momma Si. I believe in myself. I believe in you. I believe in us. We are about to undergo a difficult separation, but we will survive and, my babies, we WILL be together again. I know we will. If I weren’t absolutely convinced of this, I wouldn’t be able to survive.
Now in order for this to happen, Mummy has to do some things. Mummy has to fulfill educational goals and have a career and build a life. And I will. It will take time, but I will do it. In the meantime, I will also be your mummy. Always. I will talk to you and see you every day. I will let you know how much I love you every day. I will listen to you every day.
I am going to read books to you. You will go to the library with Momma Si and pick out some to read to me. And I will go to the public library with Harper and she and I will pick out books for me to read to you. We are going to tell stories and learn together. We are going to play board games together. We are going to cry together. We are going to laugh together. We are going to eat snacks together. We are going to sing together. We are going to dance together. We are going to argue together. We are going to do this over Skype and Facetime, but the important thing is that we are going to do it. It is not ideal, but we will make this work.
I had to tell you that this is NOT like a friend moving far away, because, Dar, you brought that up. As I told you, I am your MOTHER and when a mum moves away, it’s different. It’s not the same as a friend moving away. We don’t say goodbye. We stay together.
It is imperative to me that you both KNOW that I am working toward a goal of BEING WITH YOU. At ALL times, this is my goal. I need to be able to support myself so that I can be with you. While I work on that, I will pray that Momma Si will come to live close to me when she retires. I know that the three of you love Macomb, but the truth is that without a job at the university, Mummy does not have a way of living in Macomb. Buffalo affords more options. I want you with me. I want Momma Si with you. I want her to have financial stability and a home, and I want to have financial stability and a home.
But still, the hearts ache and there is no way to stop them from aching. We need to work hard, we need to be strong, and we need to pray to God for help– my angels, PRAY. Pray when you are scared. Pray when you hurt. Hold onto hope. If there is anything I want you to know, it’s that hope is the key to life. It is why Mummy is alive. There have been a lot of difficult things and feelings that I have experienced in my life, just like there are for many people, but BELIEF in and HOPE for a better future have kept me going.
I did not have an easy option. I did not have a “good choice” in this matter. I had two choices: rely on the help and support of family while I work to become independent or stay here and stagnate without a job and without a way of surviving and working toward advancing myself and fulfilling my potential. Do you know why I need to fulfill my potential, my loves? Do you know why I need to become independent? For YOU. For US. I cannot be a mother to you if I cannot survive. And this, my dearhearts, is what it has come to. Survival. I am so sorry, but this is what it has come to. I was dependent on your Momma Si for ten years. I never had a job during that time, except for being a mom to you. I was a student for a good chunk of it. It’s okay being dependent when you are married, but once you are no longer married and being financially supported by your spouse, then not having a job and not being able to find one are a big deal. Since Momma Si is not supporting me anymore, I need to go to Buffalo so my family can help me until I no longer need their help and can stand on my own. I know it’s a lot to take in, but I hope someday you are able to read this and understand that it was an easy choice because it was a choice between surrender and survival.
I want to survive. I want to thrive. Because I love myself and because I love my two amazing children.
I am so sorry this news had to come to you on Mother’s Day, but, in a way, the timing was right– it was right because the tough conversation reminded me of how very much I am your mother and how very much connected we are. We are UNBREAKABLE. My children, we are UNBREAKABLE. As I held my arms tightly around you today, and as we went through waves of conversation and crying, a passion was burning inside of me. The will to live. The will to survive. The will to be together again.
I live my life for and with that goal: of being with you. We belong to each other. Forever. You are loved beyond all conjecture and expression.
My time away from you is going to be excruciating. My roommate Monica, who has been helping me through this (along with my other roommate Ryan), reminded me that military families sometimes have to be separated for periods of time, and that this is not seen as the end of the world. So I have decided that this is how I am going to think of it. I am a soldier. Your soldier mum. I am a soldier and I am going off to war. I am doing it because I love my family (rather than country), and I am doing it FOR my family. It will not be easy for us, but we will SURVIVE and we will BE TOGETHER again. If you can, think of it like this. Mummy is doing what she has to do to give you the best life I can give you. You are the center of it all.
I think this is all I can handle for one night, my dears. I need to pack and clean and write a detective fiction story for my students. I will be seeing you tomorrow, after school, and getting you off the bus for the second to last time. I will soak up the memory of the two of you walking merrily toward me in a way no one else can understand.
Please, my babies, never let ANYONE tell you and never believe ANYONE who tells you that your mummy left you. Your mummy did not leave you. Your mummy went to fight for you. She would do anything to be with you.
We are about to take a long journey. A long journey home– a journey toward being together. And we will. Yes we will. On this journey, we will learn and grow, and honor our green thumbs.
Happy Green Thumbs Day, Hexlings.
Many years ago, I wished I could nurture something the way Green Thumb nurtured her plants, and thanks to you, now I know I can. Thank you for showing me that I have my very own green thumb by being my beautiful flowers, my carnation and my marigold (your birth flowers, although I think you’re every flower), to nurture for the rest of my life.
P.S. I felt a lot better when the two of you wanted to switch gears from the sob fest to the board game, Life. Life was an appropriate game to play on a day like today. And I kind of liked saying “That’s life” to you whenever you were moaning over having to pay taxes or pay off a loan.
P.S. 2. Oh, and I want you to know, even though I already told you, how much I love the Mother’s Day (Green Thumbs Day) flowers you gave me during your circus performance. I also love the flower in the planter that you gave me, Elanah. And Darah, I am going to love the mother’s day gift you made me. You forgot it at school but you were so excited to tell me that you included Shakespeare in it. I see you both have been using your green thumbs, my loves.