I didn't even realize until yesterday that we are beginning a new decade, not just a new year. So much happened in my life over the past 10 years.
But it's located on a park, which I thought The Child would enjoy:
My work schedule was such a challenge for a single parent. I worked very odd hours and one of the toughest things I ever did was to seek babysitters to cover my schedule.
One angel in the form of a babysitter came to us through an ad in a suburban newspaper. She was 12 years old and lived a few blocks away. I still remember the day I first showed up at her door with the Child. The connection between the 12 year old girl and The Child, then age 5, was palpable. I could almost see electricity shooting between them. They loved all of the same things, and she was the best sitter we ever had. As an interesting aside, she ended up choosing the same career path as mine, which happens to be a very unusual one!
She couldn't cover all of my work hours, of course, but I was fortunate to be able to hire the mother of a co-worker who frequently came to our house. She became like a mother to me, but unfortunately we lost her to complications from diabetes.
I also lost a dear friend from work due to breast cancer. She was as sweet as could be, and things haven't been the same without her presence. She and her husband used to take The Child and me out to eat regularly, and they were as close to grandparents as The Child ever had.
And then there was Mr. D, our next door neighbor. When he died a few months ago, I was so upset that I vowed to move out of this neighborhood as soon as possible. His personality was so large that its absence created a huge void in the neighborhood, all the more noticeable to me because his house was the only one near ours. His widow still owns the house but spends most of her time in Florida.
When we first moved here, The Child did spend time outdoors, often enjoying the park. More recently, though, he has become the indoor type, content to spend every waking moment with his computer, especially the one he just built by himself:
Public school, especially after having had such an extraordinary preschool experience, has not been impressive! It's drudgery to be endured.......
Career-wise, I completed a major project last year which I never thought would be possible. After that I took on a couple of extra responsibilities at work which don't increase my income, but which do increase my variety of experiences. I never could have accepted those duties in my younger days; I didn't have the confidence until now.
Houses have figured prominently in my life over the past years since The Child was born. Two years ago I was broken-hearted over losing out on a house back in the downtown neighborhood:
I almost forgot to mention that last year I had the experience of unemployment when my workplace shut down. Luckily, it re-opened after a few months, but I didn't know that it would! I'd say that the most upsetting and depressing aspect of unemployment was trying to buy health insurance. I ended up paying $230/month for catastrophic insurance for myself and The Child. That's a lot of money when you have no income.
Another downer of the decade was that my sister was diagnosed with tongue cancer. At one point , following chemo and radiation, she was told that she was cured. A few months later, the cancer returned with a vengeance. Surgeons removed much of her tongue. She is receiving speech therapy, but has to be fed through a food tube.
Those are a few of the facts punctuating my past decade. I will always remember it as the decade during which The Child grew from a toddler to a Middle Schooler.
Happy New Year.