Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today is Saint Eric’s day. Seriously.

Eric was a Swedish king about whom very little is known. He reigned for 5 years before being murdered at age 41 by a rival claimant to the throne. It is said that a fountain sprung from the earth where his head landed after he was beheaded. He codified the laws of his kingdom which became known as King Eric’s law. He also did much to promote Christianity in his land and in Finland. He is the patron saint of Stockholm and featured on the seal of the city.

My Eric was a New Jersey boy who would have loved to be a king. Not much is known about him in the greater world, but this blog will hopefully change that. He was not murdered, but died young and unjustly. A fountain of tears was seen in his hospital room. He created laws in his world. Laws such as:

1. Transcend climate—Wear what you want regardless of the weather.

2. It’s ok, in fact it’s preferable, to eat Doritos or a bag of popcorn for dinner. Dessert can be a mix of melted Milky Ways and Goldfish crackers.

3. An apartment does not need a couch, but a reading room is a must.

4. When buying presents for children, the larger and louder the better.

5. When buying presents for everyone else, be generous.

6. Do what you love to do even if everyone else doubts your way.

7. Let your love for your family and friends be known.

He is the patron saint of my heart and my family. He is incredibly missed and will never be forgotten.

Thank you for reading and supporting me through this journey. Please continue to follow me at my new home, LITTLE MANic where I’ll continue to write about my life, my boys and of course, Eric.

Monday, May 16, 2011

#365 Camouflage

I am almost done. This is the second to last post in this blog. There are so many things I could write about today.

I could talk about how it feels to be so close to the end, certainly there are many conflicting emotions.

I just got back from a weekend in Savannah where my parents, husband, uncle and I scattered my grandmother’s ashes. We put some of them in my parent’s backyard, with Eric’s. It was incredibly emotional and worthy of a blog post.

I could shamelessly plug my friend Sarah’s blog, Lunch Box Mom, for several reasons. It’s an excellent blog all around, but today’s is all about me and my blog.

But what I really want to talk about is camouflage.

Yup, camouflage.

Eric had a camouflage outfit before you could buy it in any store. He was obsessed with all things military and my mom went to the Army Navy Surplus Store and bought him camouflage. It didn’t come in kid’s sizes so she had to take it in and shorten it and she gradually let it out and lengthened it as he grew so he was able to wear it for years. Eric flirted with ROTC in college and tried to become a Marine JAG in law school. I don’t think he really ever got over his military dreams; his knees were what kept him a civilian.

My seven year old informed me last week that he intends to go into the army when he grows up. He has a highly formed sense of justice and wants to help defend our country and others who can’t defend themselves. I can’t say I’m thrilled about this career choice, I don’t want my son in harm’s way, but he’s only seven, maybe he’ll grow out of it. At the moment I’m choosing to support him. I got him some camouflage shorts. Luckily for him they do make kid’s sizes now because I’m not the seamstress my mother is. Whenever I see him in them, I think about Eric.

I haven’t told him about Eric’s military ambitions, I really don’t want to encourage him and that might just do it. He loves being compared to Uncle Eric. I think I’ll just keep this comparison to myself.

Oh, and you really should check out Lunch Box Mom’s blog both for me and because I think you‘ll find her other posts informative, interesting and entertaining. You can find it here.

Stayed tuned for the last installment of this blog coming this week

Saturday, May 14, 2011

#364 The Green Dodge Dart

My seven year old reminded me of an Eric story that I had temporarily forgotten yesterday. We were packing the car in preparation for a trip to Savannah and he asked if he could sit in the driver’s seat while he waited for us to finish. I automatically said no, but that he could sit in the front passenger seat. When he asked me why I realized it was because of Eric.

When Eric and I were little my dad had a green Dodge Dart that he bought from a dealership called Green Dodge. That always made me laugh. He bought it before I was born and I remember thinking that made the car ancient. There was no air conditioning and no power windows. There were pennies on the floor of the front passenger seat that I was (frustratingly) not allowed to touch. They were there for good luck.

One day the car was parked in our driveway on a small slope and Eric was playing in the driver’s seat. I don’t know if he accidentally released the emergency brake or if it wasn’t set or really what happened, but all of a sudden the car was moving. The windows were rolled down and I can still see my dad clinging to the top of the car door as he ran along with it trying to stop the car. The car was probably 10 feet from a stone wall and luckily my dad didn’t get pinned between the car and the wall and the wall stopped the car. No one was injured but no one was allowed to play in the driver’s seat anymore either. Including my children.

Friday, May 13, 2011

#363 Crazier Than Me

I think we have officially established that left to my own devices while stuck on the couch feeding a baby I will watch junk television. I think Eric would be proud of me. After all if it was on TV he liked it. He introduced us to “Trading Spaces”, “SpongeBob Squarepants” and “Reno 911”.

The other day I found “18 Kids and Counting”. Clearly this was a rerun because the current version of the show is “19 Kids and Counting”. What couch potato could pass this by??? 18 kids?? Who is crazy enough to do that? How do you feed them? How do you transport them? How do you not run screaming into the woods and never come back????

The episode I watched was one where they were doing a fun run for some charity. I confess I don’t remember what the cause was. I do remember that they were all running in jeans because they believe that God doesn’t want them to show their thighs. Ok, but what does God have against lighter fabrics?? At least mom, who was pregnant (isn’t she always?), wasn’t running, but the rest were.

The father took the race as a challenge and was trying to beat his children to the finish line. They interspersed footage of him running with him and the kids commenting on his run. He had a hard time with it. He was admittedly out of shape and running full out for the first time in a long time. I was terrified. He was panting and wheezing and in the commentary stated that he felt like he was going to die. This is not a risk he needs to take! He has 18 ½ kids!!

Well of course he didn’t die. He finished and recovered his breath and decided to train a little more before the next one.

After I recovered my breath I decided that the most remarkable thing about this family is that all of the kids names start with J. Now that’s a challenge!

#362 Dick Deadeye Bites the Dust

I took my seven year old to his first opera last night. Opera Carolina is putting on HMS Pinafore, a Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta and last night was the final dress rehearsal. They call that performance student night and for a steep discount you can bring, well, students.

I’m not a huge opera fan. I love musical theatre but I’ve never really gotten into opera. Still, I like Gilbert and Sullivan and thought an opera in English would be a good way to introduce the art form. We both liked it. The production was a good one and he seemed to be able to mostly follow the story. I helped when necessary. His favorite part was, of course, when Dick Deadeye kept falling or getting pushed off of the ship, but then again, he’s seven.

Mostly I’m just glad he liked it. I gave him the option to leave at intermission since it was getting late and the bus comes early, but he wanted to finish it out so we did.

I think my first opera might have been when Eric bought my husband and me tickets to the opera in Paris. I honestly can’t remember what we saw, but it was a magical night. We were in Paris (which is a good start) we got all dressed up, went out for a nice dinner and we went to the opera. We were young and in love and cultured. It felt good. And we never would have done it without Eric.

I think Eric would like that I took my son to the opera. He was more into it than I was. So I did it partly for Eric, partly for me and partly for my son. I like that combination.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#361 Suzanne's Journey

The fickle finger of fate has struck again. After weeks of suspecting it from her hints on facebook I found out that a friend of mine from high school has cancer. It’s not just any cancer either; it’s a very aggressive form of cervical cancer. It’s really scary. This is not supposed to happen to people my age. Just like nothing was supposed to happen to Eric.

While we were friends in high school we did not keep in touch after graduation. As with so many other friends, facebook has brought us back together. In this way I have learned what an amazing person she has become and gotten to know about her two wonderful boys and her fiancĂ©. That’s right. She’s supposed to get married in September. To give you a hint of the personality in this one little package, there will be a tattoo artist at the wedding. Permanent party favor anyone? I say there will be a tattoo artist because there will be a wedding. She decided this today as she got the proof for her invitation. You too can read about her journey on her blog.

Wedding Excitement Turns to Cancer Treatment

I know she is scared. I know she is mourning the loss of being able to carry future children—although not necessarily the children themselves thanks to reproductive technology and a borrowed womb. I know she is worried for her boys. I also know she is strong and has the resources and support to get through this.

My mom asked me this morning why she would post about this on facebook. My answer was for the support of all of her friends. Without facebook I would never have known about this and been able to offer my support. Facebook brought me (and still brings me) a ton of support surrounding Eric. It may seem very exposed to my mom, but to me it’s a community. It brings together people from every stage of my life and lets me interact as much or as little as I please. It also lets me visit Eric’s page any time I want.

Suzanne, I wish you success and support on this journey you’d rather not be taking. Your community is here as well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#360 I'm Good With That

I was driving through the city this morning and there was an intersection that was blocked off by police. I was stopped at a light so I tried to see what was going on. It looked like a ceremony of some sort. There were a lot of policemen and a lot of people on bikes. It looked like most of them had their heads bowed. Did someone die? Was someone on a bike hit by a car? Was it a policeman? Who knows? It could have been a bike safety rally, but my brain immediately jumped to memorial service. How our life experiences change us.

I was on my way to get a massage. My husband suggested I get one before I go back to work and a livingsocial deal came around and I jumped on it. Guess the name of my masseuse. Yup, Eric.

So half my day is gone (the massage was amazing by the way) and I spent a lot of it thinking about Eric. I bet I’ll think about him for most of the rest of the day too.

I’m good with that.