Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Ladies from Way Back

I'm not sure when our tradition started...I want to say 2007 or so. That's when we started getting together every year to Christmas season to shop, my two friends and I. My two friends from the way waaaay back.

Erin I've known since 3rd grade. That blows my mind to think about because I currently HAVE a third grader. I try to imagine one of her little buddies right now, being her good friend 25+ years down the line. And how they might reminisce about life back in 2015.

And Melissa I've known since 7th grade. We did everything together in high school especially. I have many memories of being at her house and riding around in her green mustang convertible. It even had a car phone, back before anyone knew what a car phone was. 

Now we are all grown up and busy and live in different towns. Between us we have 8 kids ranging in age from 17 years to 2 months old. We are busy busy people. But a couple of times a year we carve out time to shop. Mostly we catch up and talk, but there is also shopping involved. Sometimes with an overnight hotel stay (if there is proper time and babysitting for such a thing). Sometimes one of us is pregnant or there's an infant tagging along, as was the case this past weekend. 
This summer we even finally made time for long weekend at the lake cottage, begging the question..why haven't we done this before? Why don't we do this every summer until we die?

Notice that there aren't any kids in these pictures. That's the deal, and part of what makes it great. No husbands, no kids. Except an occasional baby...

There's something so relaxing and easy about hanging with friends that you've known for SO long. It's like pressing the hold button on a phone call and then picking up right where left off, mid-sentence. I feel blessed to have such old kindred friendships with these two ladies. I think if everyone had relationships like these, there might not be need for expensive therapy.

I guess if someone is reading these who doesn't have good girlfriends in their life, I would advise them to go search some out. Find the time, MAKE the time. It'll be worth it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Middle Child Memory Fog

There was a time in not so distant history that I wrote on this blog a LOT more. There are almost 1,300 posts here, starting in 2006. I had followers and reposts. I think I even got nominated once for having a good Mommy blog. 

Yeah well, life happens right? That was before the ease of quick Facebook status updates and before I had a phone fancy enough to do a mobile upload. It was also before I was busy running my kids around town to multiple activities. Before the distracting simplicity of using my laptop to stream old episodes of The Wire instead of using those fleeting free moments to write something. 

Then recently I asked myself why I ever did it in the first place, and why I really stopped? And I guess I got sad at the idea that I wasn't writing anything anymore. I've always been writing something, ever since my first day as a Comm major at Purdue. I miss storytelling, I miss the rapid fire movement of my impressively quick typing fingers (can I say that I HATE and SUCK at typing on a phone),  and I really really miss having a good chronicle of what's happening in our house. 

So I'm trying to make a comeback here on this blog. To start, I'd like to start writing family stories at least a couple times a week. I'd also like to post important pictures here instead of just dumping them on Facebook (important like baby dedication and holidays...not like uploading pictures of my lunch). Wish me luck!

So let's start!

I don't know if you've noticed, but I have three kids right now. Even though Crosby is now 7 weeks old, I'm not sure that the reality of that has fully sunken in. His pregnancy was so easy and he is such a good baby, it's almost like he just fell from the sky and into our family. Sometimes I forget that he is mine and that I'm not just babysitting someone else's kid.

And yet there's some sense of calm reverence with this one. I'm paying attention, taking note of things that happen. Trying to spend more time holding him than may be necessary, often letting him nurse as long as he wants to in the afternoon..even if it means becoming a temporary human pacifier. Because I know, he's probably the last baby. In fact I'm almost sure of it.

So when he spits up AGAIN on my shoulder, cries at night, poops all over his outfit...there's something that feels different in my brain than it did with Tessa and Charley. Something that says 'this part won't last long'. Today he's spitting up, in a month he probably won't be. It changes so quickly, the good and the bad.

But I've noticed another interesting phenomenon. I often have very crystal clear memories of Tessa as a baby...when her milestones occurred, what her baby personality was like or how we handled certain things. But with Charley, I...don't remember.

I noticed this last week at Crosby's baby dedication. I remember Tessa's. I even remember what I was wearing. I remember spending most of the church service in the cry room because after she got dedicated she had baby meltdown. And Charley's dedication? I...don't remember.

I know he was dedicated. I was certain I would find a blog post about it but I can't find one by searching the word 'dedication'. I'm sure if I went archive digging, I would find a picture.

The same thing happens when I'm asked questions like...when did the older kids start sleeping through the night? I remember Tessa, but not Charley. Did the other babies ever has gas problems? I remember Tessa but not Charley.

I'm going to go ahead guess that this is true because when Charley was a newborn, I also had a 20 month old kid who was occupying large chunks of my energy and brain power. I was a bit distracted by trying to manage it all. And of course, Tessa was the first kid so everything seems more notable right? I just wonder...since I am taking such care to soak in Crosby's life (because he is the last) and did the same with Tessa (because she was the first), will my memories of baby Charley be a muddled mess?

Perhaps Jan Brady was onto something.