11 September 2011

The September 11 Anniversary

This has been a very difficult anniversary for me.  I know there are people who lost a lot on that day, and by comparison, my losses seem small.

I lived and worked in the DC suburbs back then, and I felt the shockwaves from the Pentagon when the airplane hit.  My then 5-year-old was very traumatized, especially when she learned that her Sunday school teacher worked in the section of the Pentagon that had been hit by the plane. It was shortly after September 11 that my 7-year-old decided she should join the armed forces, a decision that she is still working toward.  It was just a few days after September 11 that my husband and best friend decided he needed to rethink his religious views, a decision that has made it difficult for us to talk about religion, politics, and other issues even after 10 years.

I remember that day very well. Who would have thought that it would still be so difficult all these years later?

05 September 2011

The Summer of Fun

My oldest child graduated from high school in May and left for college a couple of weeks ago. As a celebration of our last summer together, we decided to pull out all the stops for a "Summer of Fun."

My middle child (who is now a senior in high school) planned a college-tour trip to Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. It isn't that she wants to go to college in any of those states, it turns out, but her older sister got to go on a college tour, so it seemed like the thing to do. What she really wanted, and what we did, was to go to the Monkees (as in "Hey, Hey, we're the Monkees") reunion tour concert at the Minnesota Zoo on July 1. Then we visited relatives in Iowa and Nebraska. In late July, to celebrate a monumental birthday of my mother's, she took all her kids and grandkids to Disney World for a week. In early August, my oldest and I went to the Joint Statistical Meetings in Miami Beach while the other two hung out in the ocean and at the pool.

The first trip was a working trip, but the trip to Disney World was a real vacation for me.  I didn't even check my email.  Then as soon as we got home, it was time to take my oldest to college, and it's difficult to work when you are constantly driving.

I have two more kids in high school.  My children take their courses by correspondence, which means that they are working at home --- usually in the dining room while I'm working in my office. After years of being home with my kids, it feels very strange to have one of the children not here.

It was nice at the time to have a real vacation and some quality time with my child, but now that it's time to get back to work, I'm feeling the stress. The extra quiet in the house isn't helping matters either.  Hopefully I can get caught up in another week and be ready to take on new projects again.