My neighbor pointed out to me that in the Chinese Zodiak, this is the Year of the Goat.
I’m expecting greatness for me and my people now.
Jack’s birthday was great. Last year, his birthday was acutely painful for me. But this weekend I had low expectations for a good day and somehow the universe delivered it to us. Jack got a purple oscillating fan. He loved it. It’s broken now, a mere 36 hours later. We had cake. We visited Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Lynn. We went to McDonald’s (blech) and had peanut butter cups and stimmed off the new fan.
And Jack is eleven years old now.
“Can you believe he is eleven?” A few people have asked me.
Actually, I can. It’s been a grueling eleven years, and it has felt long.
I am sort of stunned though when I look at Jack and realize that he’s huge and tall and has no traces of pudgy baby Jack left in his face.
The difference between this year and last is that Jack is happy. He’s calmer now—still hyper but less so. He gives hugs and he giggles. He makes happy sounds.
I feel less despondent when it seems there is some happiness left for Jack, when we can reach the sweet, gentle curious boy who started out life as a little growl bear with gingery hair.