December 19, 2007
up on the housetop

Blake's Christmas concert was last night. O Christmas concert of preschool awesomeness, I sing of thee! There were many acts that blew me away. There were the SK's with a girl dressed like a Christmas tree who danced alone the entire song (me: "I want to be her.") There were the Toddlers dressed as snowflakes who stood amazed while their teachers tried to get them to shake glow sticks (except the one kid who cried unremittingly until muffled by a soother). And then there was my son, who helped to introduce his class, and was part of the only introduction not delivered in tragic sing-song. (At one point he forgot his line and just laughed directly into the microphone. It was quite possibly the most infectious laugh I've ever heard - and we all laughed along.) Blake was also the most enthusiastic performer in his class, jumping emphatically, singing loudly, and pulling a classmate into a dance seconds before the others remembered their cue. If I had any doubt that he was related to Pixie, that doubt vanished in the shake of an unlabeled stocking. I don't think I could tell you about anyone else on stage; the tunnel vision was profound. I was overwhelmed.

Of course, my hard candy exterior was already softened before the concert experience itself. I went to see a lawyer yesterday to draft a separation agreement, and the combination of that appointment, two nights of insomnia and a steady parade of happy-seeming families in the audience just about ripped me up. I've been brooding on this today, about what makes a pair decide to stick it out and go on with the first family, and what makes others split up and hope for another chance. My impending single status looms like that ridiculous monolith in 2001, throwing a shadow over these last days of co-habitation. I find myself wondering if I'd really prefer my old, pre-August life. A choice between lonely stability and lonely instability doesn't seem much of a choice. Still, I find myself longing for the chance to be forgiven. Maybe I'd still be here a couple of years down the road, but maybe I wouldn't. All I know now is that my family isn't all that dissimilar from the families I saw last night. It's just pulling apart instead of pushing ahead or pulling together.

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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*