The Apple and Tree and Whatnot

Alex is his parents’ son.

Such an obvious thing to say, but it is impossible to look at this kid, let alone actually spend time with him and get to know him, without knowing exactly who made him.

“There once was a Zach and an Allison…” and then there was an Alex, a perfect combination of the two of them, with a little bit of extra Zach for good measure.

It’s a given that Alex was actually cloned. He looks so much like his father I have, at times, wondered how it is possible that my egg didn’t actually hold any of my DNA.

Beyond mere looks, they are alike in so many other ways: both very particular in how they want things done, both extremely focused on what they like, both able to charm just about anyone they meet.

There may be one thing Alex got from me, though: he wears his feelings on his face.

That child is completely unable to hide exactly what is going on in his head. It all shows in his face, his eyes, his mouth. And that, I have to admit, is entirely from me. My face and eyes? Give everything away.

June 24

In 9 Weeks He’ll Be Five

For some reason, Five is a really big number. It’s scary. It’s the number before needing more than just a hand to count.

In nine weeks, Alex will be turning five. Five. That’s kid-aged! That’s Kindergarten aged! That’s…five and it’s so big.

He is certainly showing his increasing age with a level of maturity that we haven’t seen before. His understanding of the world around him keeps broadening, his independence keeps blooming.

I just can’t believe that by the time fall rolls around I’ll be able to say I’m the mom of a five year old.

Day 46: June 20

Why I Can’t Complain

I am seriously lucky.

I have an awesome kid. An awesome partner. A beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood in a really good school district.

I have a job. And it pays decently. And I no longer have to work overnights like I was last year at this time.

I am in relatively good health, and so is my family. We have a little too much weight on the adults, and the kid is hopefully in the process of outgrowing asthma. Alex is definitely allergic to dogs, though.

At the end of each day, I have my gripes. As we all know, the grass is greener on the other side of any metaphorical fence.

But this side? This side is pretty awesome.

And sometimes I have to remind myself of that. Some days I momentarily forget all of the good. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to remember.

June 14

Pride Pittsburgh

There are so many reasons why I try to attend Pride Pittsburgh every year. There are countless things I could tell you about why I support equal rights. But at the end of the day, what it all comes down to is selfishness.

I’d like to say it’s selfless, my passion for the cause, but that wouldn’t be true. Sure, I’m not gay. No one in my family is gay. I’ve never been discriminated against based on my sexuality, so, okay: it could seem like I am just looking out for others.

But the reality is I’m just looking out for myself. And I’ve said it before, perhaps more eloquently than now.

Pride Pittsburgh 2012

I don’t ever want to have to feel an ounce of pain if my son turns out to not fall into the “norm”. If he isn’t the typical straight white male that he most likely will be, I don’t want him to worry. I don’t want to feel the pain of having to explain to him why someone was mean to him. I don’t want to cry over the fact that he will be discriminated against based on something that is just who he is.

He’s my everything. My entire world. It’s hard enough explaining to him why there were people that made me very angry at the festival. “Some people are mean to other people, and that makes Mommy angry and sad at the same time. Those people? They are being very mean to many of the people here at the event, and they are being mean simply because they think the people here are different and that different is bad.” He doesn’t know what sexuality is yet, so he didn’t understand the context of it all. He gets the gist, though. He knows that you aren’t mean to people because they are different. My four year old can state why we aren’t mean to people and yet here were grown men attacking nearly everyone at a mostly celebratory event.

Pride Pittsburgh 2012

And then there is us: a man, a woman, and their child. And…I was attacked. Not physically, but verbally. I was told that I am a terrible parent for bringing my son to a place full of such “abominations” and “terrible people”. I was told that a good parent would never be there. That letting my son be around these people would harm him.

My blood pressure rose, I was shaking, I told them that they were the disgusting ones. It took everything in my power to not say more. To not get into it. It wasn’t worth it, and I couldn’t do that to my oblivious child.

Pride Pittsburgh 2012

We watched the parade, but not for very long. Alex was tired, hot, and, honestly, bored. He had no real idea why we were there. He just wanted lemonade and toys.

Pride Pittsburgh 2012

And for that I am thankful. I can only hope that the coming years bring more change. That I never have to explain to Alex why some of his favorite people in the world are not able to marry the people the love. Why some of the closest adults in his life are ridiculed, discriminated against in the workplace, yelled at on the street.

It’s all selfish. I don’t want to deal with the pain anymore.

Pride Pittsburgh 2012

Project 365

I’ve already thought about quitting.

Today is day 27, which means I’m not even a month in.

I’ve contemplated changing the rules.

I haven’t even done it for 1/12 of the time and I want to cheat.

Yesterday I worked in the evening, so my picture-taking-time was limited to the day, in a house, all by myself.

Today it’s raining, so it’s very dark, and we can’t go outside, and and and and. I have lots of excuses.

I think that the last two days, these two days when I really didn’t want to take pictures, have made me think it’ll be worth sticking it out.

There is just something about tiny little cars and kids playing with them. I got two shots that I really enjoy, and that will remind me of this phase of Alex’s life. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

Day 26: May 31

Day 27: June 1

I won’t lie. There is a good chance I will make up my own Project 365 rules. I may just steal Michelle’s suggestion and do 365 pictures in a year that I love. That way I can look back and see the amazing pictures that really, truly, mean something to me.


For now? For now I’m sticking with it. At least one picture every day.

And they may be boring. They may be items around the house on a day when I don’t see Alex but for the rush of the morning before school. There may be more random flowers or things blooming. And there will certainly continue to be pictures of toys strewn around our house.

And there will certainly, certainly, be even more pictures of Alex this year than maybe any other year yet. It’s a good thing he’s so gosh darn cute.

Playing with cars