Friday, February 27, 2009

Flashback Friday: One Day He Called Me

It was wonderfully surprising to me that after I broke my guy's heart in 7th grade, he still talked to me occasionally. We didn't share much more than small talk, but I was glad for that.

One day early in our 10th grade school year (we were 15), I arrived home from school, ate a Little Debbie fudge round, watched a repeat of Who's The Boss? on tv, and then the phone rang.

It was Ryan. I was shocked, surprised, stunned. I didn't know what to say. He confided in me the current events of his life. His parents were getting a divorce. He knew I'd gone through that myself, so he wanted to talk about it.

We talked for close to an hour. During the phone call, I was walking all over my living room, my feet wearing a path in the yellowy goldy greeny carpet. I would step up on the couch and walk across it too. My skin felt tingly, my brain felt mushy.

I have no idea what I said to him.

But it must not have been that bad, because he called again a few days later. Eventually it became a routine that went on for months. I'd come home, have a snack and watch tv, then he'd call. We talked about everything under the sun. Except how I was falling in love with him. I never mentioned that.

He had begun dating someone else, that's why. I felt confused! Conflicted! Since he clearly considered me only a friend, I didn't want to pine away, so I began dating someone else too. Each of us quickly realized that these other people didn't float our boats, and we were both single again.

One morning after church, he asked me to go Christmas shopping with him. I said yes. I don't think this was really a date, but it sure was electrically charged!

We had a few dates after that. Sparks positively flew. One evening we sat on his living room couch watching "Memoirs of an Invisible Man." I put my hand on the couch between us. He put his hand on the couch between us. I swear, lightning was striking right between those hands. We inched them closer together. Finally we held hands. and it was insane.

On January 3, 1994 we officially became a couple, and have stayed that way.

The next month we went to a Valentine's dance. I can't believe I'm going to post this picture. It is exceedingly embarrassing. But, eh, who cares. Here we are at the dance, newly 16:

I don't know which are bigger, the flowers on my dress or the ones on my wrist corsage. But I will honor the girl I was back then, and not say another word about it. Besides, we were super in love and so looking at this picture gives me such a lovely feeling.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Will They Remember

Sometimes when I hear the song "Puff the Magic Dragon" I feel a stab of panic.

It doesn't last long though. I actually love the song, and it carries in its tune a feeling of comfort and safety for me. Growing up, my mom was not obsessed with a clean house, but when she did clean house, she cleaned house. I remember the smell of lemon Pledge and the way her hands cleared shelves, removing the picture frames and owl figurines, and dusting them. When she cleaned like this, there was always a record whirring around on our player. I remember a lot of John Denver and Peter, Paul, and Mary. These songs are the rhythm of my early years.

The reason "Puff the Magic Dragon" causes me a moment of panic is because it hits me deep inside, at a place where I realize I'm the mama now. It is my cleaning routines, my music on the radio, my time spent playing that my kids will remember. This right here is their childhood, and I'm front and center...not totally responsible for it, but certainly having a very large impact right at this moment, and for the future too.

I wonder what they will remember of me.

One of our friends wrote on Facebook yesterday that he had put the butt flap back on Mr. Potato Head for his daughter. When I read that, I laughed and laughed. It just felt so real to me, and really captured part of being a parent. Our kids need us for so much, but what matters to them is the current moment. Reading them a book, sliding with them at the park, putting the butt flap back where it belongs.

Like my memories of my mom, I imagine my kids' memories will be similarly "everyday" kinds of memories. That makes me feel good, capable. It also reminds me to give those small moments the reverence they deserve.

Here is a small moment I will remember forever. Goose fell asleep on my lap a few days ago. She curled her hand up and covered her face, and slept like that for half an hour. The camera was nearby so I took a picture. The feeling I get when I look at this picture is the feeling I want my kids to remember of me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

An Outing to the Library: Baby's Point of View

Hi Mama! Look what I've been doing!

First we have to get the big kid from preschool.

This is awesome. Dennis is showing them how to tap a tree to get sap.

Best library ever.


Return books.

Book heaven!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009


She is such a funny, funny girl.

She sniffs in and out wildly, in an attempt to mesmerize you.

She even does it during portrait sessions.

This tiny, funny girl has captured my heart and I love all her little quirks.