Thursday, June 30, 2011

My 37 Moments

I recently finished an article for the Providence Day Magazine that celebrates 40 important firsts in the school’s 40-year history. This made me think of the moments in my life that have shaped who I am.

I took the challenge and have come up with 37 moments (I haven’t celebrated 40 yet) that have helped shape me as a woman, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mother, a friend and a professional. Some are obvious and others can’t be explained. Yet, they are all real and they are all me.

Here we go….

1. Nerf balls at Spring Lake.

2. Teen Encounter weekends in high school.

3. Knowing I would have a future after being accepted into college.

4. Graduating from Cathedral High School after four great years of memories and friendships – some of which have truly lasted for 20 years.

5. Freshmen Orientation and Senior Week at Northeastern University.

6. Turning 21 in Boston.

7. Driving to Florida with my best cousin, Nikki, for spring break junior year in college.

8. Giving the eulogy at my Pépère’s funeral.

9. Speaking at my college graduation from Northeastern University in the Fleet Center – Go Huskies!

10. Purchasing my first car – Nissan Sentra.

11. Finishing my research paper / thesis in graduate school at UMass Amherst.

12. Being successful at Weight Watchers the first time. I know I can do it again.

13. Signing up for

14. First date with Todd at Fitz Willy’s in Northampton, MA. At the end of the date, I hoped he would call me again and he hoped I would say, “yes,” when he called again.

15. Becoming an Aunt for the first time – love you Emily!

16. Holding Brooke in one arm and Morgan in the other for the first time outside of the NICU at Bay State Hospital.

17. Breathing Vermont air.

18. Getting engaged on Todd’s grandparents’ 62nd wedding anniversary. The engagement story deserves its own blog post.

19. Looking in the mirror and knowing that I had just found my wedding dress.

20. Walking down the aisle of the Newman Center on May 8, 2004.

21. Our first Howe family Christmas tree.

22. Moving to Huntersville, North Carolina.

23. My first NASCAR race.

24. Seeing my name as the editor of the PDS magazine for the first time

25. Hearing the words, “it’s a boy,” and then seeing that baby boy for the first time.

26. Hearing Tyler say “Mama” when he was nine months old.

27. Waiting at the airport for Todd’s plane to arrive from China, holding a Father’s Day envelope with a positive pregnancy test in it.

28. Being told that I needed to undergo further tests because I was of an advanced maternal age and making the decision on the spot that I would love that baby no mater what.

29. Finding out it was going to be a girl.

30. Hearing Molly cry after she was delivered via emergency c-section.

31. Seeing Tyler meet Molly for the first time in the lobby of the hospital.

32. Being diagnosed with early stages of heart disease at 36 years old.

33. Seeing James Taylor and Carole King.

34. Participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease to honor my Mémère and support my mother.

35. Molly sleeping through the night for the first time after her ear surgery - yes, finally!

36. Watching Tyler score his first soccer goal.

37. Actually having the courage to start this blog.

True confession of the night: this was easier to do then I thought it would be.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Tyler's Day

On the way home from day care Friday afternoon, Tyler announced that Sunday was going to be “Tyler’s Day.” He would get to choose what we would eat on Sunday, he would get control of the television remote and he would pick where we went that day.

After celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, he truly wanted to know when it would be kid’s day. When I kindly told he that there was no official kid’s day – he created a day for himself, calling it “Tyler’s Day.”

His idea of a perfect day was actually very simple, innocent and doable. He wanted to mow the lawn with daddy, have ham and cheese for lunch, get a shake from either Steak & Shake or Cook-Out, go swimming at the neighborhood pool, and watch a NASCAR race on television.

After mowing the lawn on Saturday, we went out to lunch, ran errands, ordered an M&M shake from the Steak & Shake drive-thru, watched the NASCAR practice on the Speed channel and went swimming at our neighbor’s house. When I tucked my happy, yet sleepy boy into bed. I asked him how he had enjoyed his special day. I thought this was a reasonable question, seeing that we had accomplished his four-year-old bucket list that day. His head quickly popped up form his pillow and he said, “Mommy, I said Sunday was Tyler’s Day, not Saturday. We will just do other things since we already mowed the lawn and drank a shake.”

The next morning, Tyler bounced out of bed ready for his special day, which began with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and a cup of apple juice. Then he settled on the couch to watch some of his favorite shows on Nick, Jr, because it is “like preschool on TV.” When he thought Todd was reaching for the remote, he gently reminded him that it was “Tyler’s Day.” When I left for the grocery store, he asked if I might be able to get him a small treat to celebrate his day. He was overjoyed when I returned with a Cars bat and ball – a $2.99 clearance find at Walgreen’s. After his special lunch of rolled up ham, cheese slices, Fish crackers, pineapple and coffee milk, we headed to the neighborhood pool with his cousins. Before dinner we toasted Tyler and after dinner, Uncle Keith (who is visiting from Massachusetts) took Tyler into the backyard to play some baseball. A scoop of cookie and cream ice cream and a Chips Ahoy cookie finished off his day.

Later that evening, my happy, yet sleepy boy told me that he had the best “Tyler’s Day” ever. My heart melted as he hugged me goodnight. Before shutting his eyes, he announced that next week we would celebrate “Molly’s Day,” and he would help her choose what to do for her special day, since her vocabulary only consists of “ball,” “bye-bye,” “cracker,” and “more.”

True confession of the day: I admire my son for coming up with the idea of “Tyler’s Day,” but am relieved that his requests were simple.