and the lights just flickered out.

This was a good week. There was only one truly ugly thing that happened, and there was only one outburst of sobbing. My voice has wavered a few times in conversation. But, you know. Two tears in a bucket, amirite? Life goes on. I am propelled by forces much bigger than myself.

We celebrated my brother’s birthday with a typically amazing Mom spread that included fried fish and squash casserole. Morella had a mini dance party with her cousin. I want to describe it here but it just wouldn’t work. Sheer hilarity. The concept of “dance like no one is watching” is no longer the life-lesson-y, coming of age, liberating sentiment it’s supposed to be — it just makes me think of my toddler concentrating on her head jive.

I’ve spent some time catching up with friends. My friend Melanie came over for a long overdue visit and we each had several unexpected news items to share with the other. We need to hang out more often because a bottle of wine shared betwixt us never disappoints. I worked all day Saturday and then went to a party at Daniel and Chardae’s, where friendly faces were plentiful and where I felt shamed about my backyard game. I mean, they have this super casual backyard, all fabulous but looking like it doesn’t care. Fire pit. Old fence draped casually with casual ivy. Further draped with casual light strings, which were (you guessed it) casually hanging in perfectly proportioned swags. Anyway it was lovely to chat with people while the flickering lights added an additional sense of drama to the scene. And to finally, finally meet Jaime Patterson’s dashing long distance boyfriend.

On Sunday afternoon at church I got an offer for a standing babysitting arrangement and it made me get choked up just because of how generous it was. I feel really encouraged by the fact that people aren’t all “It takes a village” in passing, and then shirking the situation when they see someone who needs help. Instead they’re like “I will be at your house at such-and-such a time, okay?” Boom.

Afterward we went to my sister’s where there was entirely too much delicious food and where Morella showed off her awesome dipping skills. And her awesome double-dipping skills. See, this is how the daycare germs propagate themselves. ::shudders:: Much to our collective chagrin, the babies would not sit still to watch The Secret of NIMH, but they enjoyed running amok while we tried to watch it.

Tracy and Kenny brought over some 8 1/2 on Monday night. I have declared their pasta the currency of kindness in RVA, since people are always exchanging it as tangible tokens of love and care. I’ve brought it to friends who just had babies, I’ve had it brought to me, I’ve been paid for babysitting in penne and been perfectly happy about it. We should probably all agree to stop saying “Hey, I’m here for you” when somebody needs some TLC and instead cut to the chase with “So what do you want from 8 1/2?” All that being said, feeling comforted might have had more to do with this couple’s stellar skills at reassuring a sad person emphatically than with the stellar marinara.

As if this wasn’t enough, Jess brought over some Roy’s Big Burger last night. A delicacy so treasured by us that we only allow ourselves to partake of it about once a year. Jess is such a blessedly thoughtful, steady person, and it was a sweet time enjoying that meal (cheeseburger all the way) and talking about everything going on in our lives. Although someone stole a few french fries.

I didn’t mean for this post to become a gastronomic journey through divorce, but there it is. Also I’m sure that book has already been written (if not, dibs).

Another bright spot in this week has been that I’ve gotten a bunch of compliments from Morella’s doctor and school about how she’s doing. She’s so tall (87% percentile!), she’s bizarrely strong, she’s got a great attention span (ha O RLY, does she?), she’s a happy camper, she knows so many words, etc. I think after a year of babying you can get into a “one day at a time, the best way you can” mode and also just assume your child is the greatest thing since sliced bread and that the whole world accepts this as fact, but it’s good to hear stuff like this from outside parties and get confirmation I didn’t even know I wanted that I’m doing a good job.

A few weeks ago it was time for my every-two-years phone upgrade, and I went ahead and ordered an iPhone. It arrived yesterday and so far I’m finding it way easier to switch from Android to iOS than I thought. I haven’t done much other than download all the apps I need, but I’m excited to play with the camera.

Okay, going to go continue thinking positively and being amped about Common Good RVA this weekend.

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