I wanted to note here two birthdays:
First, this blog was born on October 22, 2005. It is six weeks younger than Lucas. I began The Clutter Museum at the beginning of a very tumultuous academic year. I was going on the job market for the first time, learning to be a mom, teaching, and finishing my dissertation. In the process of writing here and reading others' blogs, I have learned so much about motherhood, academia, feminism, and myself. Many thanks for your support and advice in this space and across the academic blogosphere.
Second, my grandfather was born on October 19, 1917. He passed away from leukemia in 1991, shortly before I turned 16. Had he survived, he would have turned 90 this week. He was at once a very simple and very complex man, and I wish often that I could talk to him now that I'm an adult. Even more, I wish that my grandmother, who is a hale 84, could have enjoyed all those additional years of companionship with the man she loved. Earlier this week I called my parents, sister, and aunts and reminded them to call Grandma on Grandpa's 90th, and those I reached were grateful for the reminder.
As I was growing up, my grandfather lived four houses from my parents'. The proximity to my grandparents made it possible for both of my parents to work, as Grandma and Grandpa would care for me before and after school. They also let us spend the night on weekends, treating us to lavish breakfasts in the mornings.
I wish I could offer the same benefit to Lucas. After all, I was the fourth generation of my family to live on that block in Long Beach, and wouldn't it be extraordinary to make it five? But circumstances are such that Long Beach does not have the kinds of opportunities I seek, the schools are not places where I would wish to send Lucas (even though I'm a big supporter of public schools and was educated in that school district myself), and the cost of living in LB is even higher than it is here. For example, today we could purchase a home on my parents' formerly very middle-class street for a cool $1.3 - $1.5 million--if I could find a bargain.
I want Lucas to know his grandparents as well as I knew mine. And right now, that's not happening. It makes me sad.
Anyway, happy birthday, Grandpa Lind, wherever your spirit may be. And happy birthday to this tiny little corner of the blogosphere, to everyone who has kept my own spirits high.