Phillip wrote a list of pictures he required and handed me a thumb drive. He then sat behind me and vetoed photos that I paused on for more than 2 seconds. Ultimately I am lucky that our sense of humor is the same and got some bonus mileage out of about 3 wax museum pictures and a particularly endearing shot of him playing Adele's Someone Like you on his baby cousin's Fisher Price Piano for his section about the role of music in his life...
Diabetes is a main part of his life- it affects his sleep, his emotions, it hovers and follows every meal or lack there of- it needs to be considered before exercise- and after, sometimes for days- stress affects it- hormones affect it-food affects it- it is part of him. I wish it wasn't. I wish his life was easier- because I know for sure it doesn't get easier than this. But I feel better that he has come to terms with it and accepted it as part of his life. It is as much a part of him as sports and family and parkour, apparently, which gets a full bullet in the presentation, by the way. Hey you know that massive rock I scaled at Yosemite? You mean the one that caused this gray hair or this one? You got a picture right? No, no I did not. I have learned in my 13 years of parenting that any time you hear- hey guys watch this- photographic evidence could probably be used in court for a case of negligent parenting- so no. Aw man- do you at least have one of me ON a big rock. Yes, yes I do. I just leave out the ones of you smacking into it like Peter Parker trying to figure out the whole web slinging thing. I didn't see the final product- I was not allowed- trying to let squirt go- but I am somewhat amused and worried that his plan for a presentation opener is - This is my family and we have an important relationship with Pooh.
Lily wanted more guidance- she needed pictures. We sat down Saturday morning and got to it. 4 HOURS later- I printed the last page. So if the point of the assignment was to give parents and children quality time together reminiscing the finer and not so finer times over the past 8 years- we crushed it! If the point was to give parents an idea of how their child views their history- I got it. And the piece de resistance- writing a 100% positive letter to your child about who they are and how much you love them with the tiny requirement of letting them know they should do well in school- well that's the kicker. I can easily be positive. 100% positive. Well I am 100%positive I COULD be 100% positive. In our uncertain world- what things could I be 100% positive about? I can be 100% positive about my love and pride in Lily- in all of my children. Of all that I've learned over these years of trials and tribulations and temporary normals and new normals- is that I 100% love my children. I am not always 100% happy about their choices or behavior or decisions- but all of those really reflect my not 100% happiness with my own parenting and my own character flaws so I tend to try and go easy on all of us there.
So when the angelic little monkey asks if it would be Ok to put cancer pictures in her timeline, I am forced again to look at a very painful time in our lives and accept that it is a very real part of who she is. She may not remember the throwing up- she doesn't thankfully- and the hair loss and various side effects and trauma memories have started to disappear for her. I am grateful. I know they left indelible scars on her psyche, but I am somewhat relieved when I hear that she has forgotten yet another major part of that horrific journey. I remember my mom telling us story after story from when we were tiny- so much that when paired with pictures, they have become part of my memory. This is a time I do not feel compelled to remind her. So as we take a trip down that memory lane- I swear to God I almost didn't cry. Almost.