We have been living quietly in the past few weeks, as Katherine resigns herself to a life with just parents, rather than the wonderful world of grandparents living just across the hall. Nathaniel has started another round of intense eating and waking at night, so life is currently best lived simply for the parents who may well be short a few brain cells for awhile. Today I submitted the first of my five chapters to my advisors for the dissertation defense in September. The next four chapters will all go out in the next two weeks, so I’m revising, revising, revising. And I’m laughing at the lengthy, careful, detailed lists of “To do”s for each chapter, knowing that I’ll only be able to address a fraction of the things I’d like to see added or changed. Sydney is, quietly, helping wherever possible, taking Nathaniel when he has difficulty going to sleep, making dinners, proofreading, and giving me regular time to work in the mornings.
In the past week we’ve had two great visits from friends from home. I haven’t seen Jen since the day of my wedding, so I was delighted to learn that she would be in town, interested in meeting up, and bringing her partner for me to meet. I did my best not to shriek, “The little sister is all grown up!! And now a world traveler and owner of advanced degrees! My goodness!” I only just managed. Both Jen and Jess were great company, reading stories to Katherine, teasing Nathaniel, and making me laugh. Katherine got a bit wound up with all of the attention, but otherwise we had a great time. This evening Aaron came to visit and, as requested, brought pictures of his wife and son, whom we haven’t seen since we left Ithaca. Katherine was intrigued by the pictures of the little boy, who was born two months after she was, and plied our guest with her wooden vegetables until his hands were full. In our sleep-deprived state it is wonderful to see friends who already know us, who sit easily with our children, and who give us an excuse to settle in for good food and good conversation.