As I Was Growing and Changing

Summers filled with swimming at the swimming pool, playing tennis with my friends, playing outside until the last lightning bug was caught.  Ahhh, those were the days.  I remember them so well.  The carefree days of long, long ago.  No bills to pay, no getting up for work, no one to have to take care of.  It’s not that I would have things any other way than the way they are now, it’s just, well, some days, just some, I’d like to go back in time to visit the old days that I couldn’t wait to get out of.

When we are eight, we long to be nine.  I thought that being nine must be the coolest age ever.  I could never explain my fascination with the age of nine, but for me, I thought that nine year olds could do anything.  In my head, I had it imagined that they stayed up later, they had more independence.  It was just way cooler to be nine. Until, of course, I became nine and nothing at all changed in my life, except that I could say that I was nine.


When I was 14, I thought the world started when you became 16.  You could drive and work!  Wow, I could get a job and by golly, I would get a job as a waitress because that’s what Mary H, my mom’s friend’s daughter did.  She got one at Wag’s Restaurant and she made tips.  Everyone knew that if you made tips, you made good money.  What a life it must be if you were 16, driving and had a job that made tips.

That is exactly what I did.  Well, in the summer.  I wasn’t allowed to work during the school year.  And I got that job at Wag’s.  I wasn’t that great, but I always tried my hardest. I also was introduced to harassment, weird people hitting on me, spilling 5 cups of water on my manager and not making so much in tips that I was rolling in dough.  I worked all the time and boy, were my legs tired, but I had a job and I was so very proud of that.


Eighteen must be where it’s at.    Then you’re an adult.  Then you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore.  They are always ragging about what they want you to do.  It sucks enough that all your friends got to go away for college and your 2 choices were both in town for nursing school, so they could keep an eye on you.  You know that they said “We don’t think you’re quite ready to go away just yet” means, you can’t handle it and we are going to micromanage your life just that much more.  God help me.  I just want to be an adult already.  When will they loosen those apron strings?


I’m twenty-one, on my own and loving it, but this is so hard.  It’s hard to keep track of the bills.  I thought I’d have more money to have fun with.  God, they always treated me like such a child.  I’ll prove them wrong though.  I really will.  When I get married E and I will do just fine.  We’ll be so happy together.  They’ll see.  If he ever asks me.


Well, I’m married and it’s been a rough start.  I sure hope he does really love me as much as he said he does.  He spends a lot of his time with his friends.  My friends come to visit me, but not as much anymore now that we are having a baby.  At least I have his sister.  I’m almost done with school.  At least I finally have made my own friends here.  It’s taken me forever since all his friends are just his gamer friends and are not like me.  I’m 26 now.


Five years have past and we have 3 little girls now.  They are my life.  He’s a good father, but our relationship is awkward sometimes.  It seems to work though.  I think.  My girls are precious though.  My oldest just started kindergarten, my second one is in preschool and my 3rd is a newborn.  September 11, 2001 just happened and it’s a tragedy of epic proportions.  The world as we know it will never be the same.  I am a great mom and a nurse, but I fear I’m not a great wife anymore.  We just seem to go through the motions a lot.  It must be because the kids are small and take up so much time.


Another 6 years have elapsed.  My marriage is in ruins.  My husband left.  I don’t understand.  This is all I’ve ever wanted.  What did I do?  How did this happen?


July 28, 2006 I am marrying the man of my dreams.  Actually, he is the one I dated for 6 years through junior high, high school and part of college.  Then I dumped him.  I was bored and thought he didn’t love me.  The truth is, he never stopped loving me.  He was the one I went swimming with and played tennis with all those years ago.  He understands me like my ex-husband never did.  He is the love of my life and we will weather any storm.  We know that marriage is hard work, but he waited from 1989 until now for me.  Not that he didn’t date, but he’s only loved me.  Me! Sometimes things are better the second time around.  We hope to get pregnant as soon as possible because I’m not getting any younger.  I’m 36.  I’m a beautiful bride, even if I say so myself.


April 27,2007 Baby boy is born.  Well it certainly didn’t take us long to get pregnant.  The boy was a honey moon boy.  What a perfect, 8#, 20 inch long baby boy.  His lips are like rose buds.  He’s perfect and looks like his daddy.  I’ve never been happier and I am so happy to say that my family is finally complete.


This summer will be our 10th anniversary and I grow more in love with my husband everyday.  I can’t tell you that I wish the divorce didn’t happen, but my first marriage was not the fit that this one is.  We fit each other like a pair of old well worn kid gloves.  My husband makes me very happy and we understand each other.  It’s also so nice to have him to reminisce with about the good old days.  The day he got so mad at this brat of a kid that he dumped water on him at the tennis courts and chased him all the way to the pool where he promptly got kicked out.  He was defending his brother and myself.  Always my knight in shining armor.  My hero.  Sometimes he remembers my stories, other times he doesn’t, but he always listens to them anyway.  I thank God for this man every day and for the family I’ve been given.

Growing up is great when you’re young, but you’re always in such a rush to grow up.  Such a shame knowing what I know now.  I wish I hadn’t always wanted to be the most independent woman that I have become.  Just another reason to love Hubs I guess.  He lets me rely on him, a lot!


 


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post with your host, Kristi from www.findingninee.com

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And Sometimes Things Just Happen

20160512_184944.jpgSometimes I just don’t understand little boys.  I love my little boy very much, but there are those times when I just simply don’t understand his behaviour or that of his friends.  Most of the time, I just don’t understand the behaviour of his friends simply because I know my child’s mind. I know how his mind works, as it is so similar to my own.  There are some things that are more like my husband, of course, but for the most part, I see myself in my son.

I see this gentle boy who is fair and just struggling with injustices and abstracts at his current age of 9.  I see a rough and tumble, let’s-get-filthy-outside child who doesn’t always know how to deal with the finer points of conflicts and simply gets angry and upset, then comes inside, slamming the front door.  He tells me part of the story and I have to investigate if I feel like the infraction warrants it, or simply talk him through the tough stuff and let him know it will be alright.  It’s me that he turns to when things get difficult and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.

My son is just newly 9.  He turned 9 one month ago.  He’s a young one in his class age-wise, but he knows more mature subject matter simply due to the fact that he has 3 older teenage sisters and his best friend is is 13.  His best friend lives next door and they have been fairly inseparable all the years we’ve been here, since the boy was just 8 months old.

I’ve decided that boys are weird.  They play strangely and they fight in a strange way too.  Many is the day, well, truth be known, most days, the boys will start playing Minecraft, then it’s outside, then back in for the X-Box and a sports game, then outside for another game, maybe some basketball, then ride the bikes, then back inside for something else.  At least once or twice during this time, the boys will separate and go their separate ways, one close to tears or slamming a door.  It’s those moments when it’s mom to the rescue.  I’m sure my friend and mom to my boy’s friend is the same as me.

I get the boy to divulge the problem, we discuss, settle the problem whenever possible and go on about our day.  About 45 minutes to an hour later, the boys are together again.  It’s weird, but it works for them.  I always worry about my boy, but I’m getting over it now.  I’m learning that he’s growing into a “big kid” now and is able to fight his own battles much easier.  He’s growing up too fast.

I admit I’m his mom, but I’m really proud of this little boy.  In 3rd grade, there was a project where all the kids had to write something positive about all their classmates.  It was a project about filling everyone’s buckets full.  A little girl in his class wrote that my boy “always has a smile and always helps others.” What a sweet and wonderful thing to read about him.  He is a good boy with a big heart, but he’s still one of those strange little boys who does weird things.

I Am Who I Am

Ever wonder why your life is the way it is?  I know I sure have.  I wonder what would it be like if I had made different choices.  What if I hadn’t been given up for adoption.  What if I had married my husband the first time around, or if I had stayed married to my first husband.  Wow, my life would be so different.

Life is a series of happenings.  When my parents made the choice to adopt me, they said no to one other baby before me.  I could have had other parents altogether.  Instead, my parents decided that I was their baby girl.  They came to pick me up from the hospital when I was just 5 days old and I have been their daughter from that day forward. I had a happy childhood with summer holidays to Ireland, mostly, but also to California, Michigan, New York, Wisconsin.  I had trips to Florida and St. Louis and Chicago. I had piano lessons and tennis lessons.  Most importantly, I had a family that loved me.  They taught me to be strong in the face of adversity and to never give up.

I dated my husband back in high school.  We dated for a very long time.  Boy, was he a cutie.  Jet black hair, hazel eyes and the longest eyelashes you can imagine.  We dated all the way through high school and half way through college.  Then I dumped him.  Yes, I broke his heart.  He never really got over the fact that I did that, but somehow, after some time had passed, we rekindled our friendship and just remained friends for many years. I married someone else.

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When I had my first child, she was perfect.  I couldn’t wait till she got here and she was in no hurry to make her grand appearance.  She was nearly 3 weeks late.  My life had changed forever.  I was in awe of her perfect little body, her fingers, toes and sweet chubby cheeks.  Not only did my body change, she changed my whole world, forever.  She was followed by two more beautiful girls.  What a perfect family, until the divorce.

Getting divorced was a huge life change for me, as well as my girls.  We were starting over by moving back to my hometown and leaving the place where I had called home for 13.5 years.  We left both good and bad memories behind.  I had to create a new home for us, a new place of belonging without their dad.  That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but alas, I did what I thought was best under the circumstances.

Once things were settled down, I asked my high school sweetheart a very important question.  We had stayed in touch.  He had watched the girls grow up.  We were in the parking lot at Walmart, just the two of us.  We had met for lunch as usual, but unlike other times, I hadn’t brought the girls with me.  I told him that he had to promise first, not to laugh at me.  I asked him my question.  I asked, “Would you ever, possibly, ever remotely, consider, possibly, dating me again?” He laughed.  I couldn’t believe that he laughed, but he did.  He said yes, but the reason he laughed was because he couldn’t believe I had to ask him that.  Well, of course I did.

Shockingly enough, after knowing this man for most of my life, I married him.  We dated this time for only a few months.  He is my soulmate.  The second time around marriage works.  We even added a bouncing baby boy to our crew a year after our marriage.  I married the one who sticks with me through thick and thin and we’ve seen it all in the last 10 years.  I can’t tell you what I would do without my husband in my life.  I don’t even want to think about it.

This is my story. It is how I came to be where I am today.  It’s how I grew up to be the one I am now.  I am a lucky woman and even though my life hasn’t always gone as I planned it, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday  post.  We do this every week and you could join us too!  The sentence to finish this week, was “I grew up to be the one I am now…” hosted by Kristi and the sentence thinker-upper, Upasna Sethi of Life Through my Bioscope.  Visit and have fun checking out what we do each week and join in the fun!

It’s Just a Phase They Say

When children are small, they go through phases.  They go through the “Terrible Two’s”, the “Terrific Three’s” and so on.  We all know about the Terrible Two’s if we are parents.  Well, I will tell you that for some of us, two year olds can be quite pleasant.  I rather enjoy them, actually.  They are exploring the world around them and learning about who they are and how they fit in.  They are learning how to be independent most of all for the first time in their young, little lives.  Some two year olds are prone to tantrums.  I will tell you that I was lucky that out of my 4 children, only 1 child did something even remotely close to the tantrum throwing that other children did.  Instead, she would get frustrated and curl up into what we termed, the ball of fury.  She wasn’t loud about it, but her curling into this ball where her legs twisted into this knot was rather amusing.

When children grow older, around 9 or 10, they start learning more “adult” things.  They test us just a little bit more. It’s always interesting when you suddenly hear more mature words and ideas coming out of your child’s mouth.  Your innocent, or formerly innocent, child! It always happens when they think you can’t hear them.  Luckily, they don’t understand most of the new knowledge they are acquiring, but soon enough, they will.  Thus begins the tween phase, AKA, the brat phase.

The tween phase of childhood is one of the most challenging phases in parenting besides the all intensive teenager phase.  Your formerly innocent, lovely, and sweet child suddenly and quite unexpectedly becomes mouthy and will say, or attempt to anyway, just about anything and everything just to get under your skin.  It’s great.  It’s like they just have to press every button you have as a parent in order to prepare you for them entering high school and their independent stage.  They are simply trying to break those apron strings a little more while trying to fit in with the crowd.  Middle school and junior high are the roughest time for kids.  No one feels like they fit in no matter who they are.

And then it happens.  The teen years.  Do they ever end?  The mouth, the teenage angst to grind, the know-it-all attitude from hell.  And it goes on and on and on.  They are growing and learning so much at this stage and want more than ever to break away from home life.  They have no idea how good they have it at home.  They don’t have the experience that life has to offer yet to make really great decisions.  So, as parents, you pray that you’ve trained them well.  You pray that they know how to behave in public, that they remember their manners and to bathe frequently.  You really do a lot of praying at this stage of parenting.  You remind yourself frequently that this, too, is just a phase.

Eventually, kids grow up and repeat the life cycle themselves.  They get to learn the joys of parenthood just as our parents did.  Parents get to curse their children with that famous curse “Just wait till you have kids of your own.  I hope you have one just like you.” The phases continue and life goes on.  We as parents get to spoil our grandchildren and send them back to their parents saying, “well, they’re always perfect angels for me!” I, personally, look forward to those days ahead, and I consider myself lucky to have some pretty good kids.

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Daily Prompt: Vision

vision

When I was young, very young, I was born with a cross eye.  My left eye couldn’t keep straight vision.  It loved to look to the left as my right eye looked straight. The condition itself has a name.  It’s called Strabismus.  It’s simply a problem with the eye muscles.  Nothing would help it but surgery. At 3 1/2, my sweet and wonderfully talented father performed eye surgery to correct the problem.  Yes, he just happens to be an ophthalmologist.  How he managed to perform such delicate surgeries like mine always amazed me.  To perform surgery on his own child, now that’s just incredible.

After that surgery, I got my first pair of glasses and an eye patch so my eye could heal.  When the patch came off, I had exercises to perform, which I still do from time to time.  I can’t tell you how long I had to wear those glasses, but it wasn’t terribly long and I looked so darn cute in them.

Fast forward to age 7.  My big brother needed glasses.  He was 13.  I took note to how I saw the world and noticed it was sort of fuzzy.  I told my dad and Voila! I had a pair of glasses too.  In fact, dad told my mom that he was surprised I hadn’t said anything before then.  My eyes were bad.  My new spectacles were purple.  The color on the glasses was called “grape”.  I remember that.  They were plastic frames with plastic lenses.  I was in second grade.

Suddenly, the world was very clear.  The trees outside of my dad’s office were so clear.  I could actually see the leaves!  The individual leaves on the trees!  I couldn’t believe that you could see those… This was normal for people with normal vision. Wow, what I had been missing!

Each year, my eyes worsened.  Each year I received a new pair of glasses and case to hold them in.  Each year, my lenses got thicker and thicker.  They started shaving and shaping the edges of my lenses so they looked less like coke bottles.  Then, when I was about 15, they stopped changing.  I wouldn’t wish this eyesight on anyone.  Thank God for contact lenses.  The glasses were so heavy and left marks on my face no matter how thin they tried to make the lenses or how small I tried to get the frames.

Now, I need reading glasses with my contacts or bifocals.  who thought my eyes could get any worse.  The prescription has even intensified some more.  I didn’t think that was even possible after not changing for 31 years, but alas, it has.  Damn it! I’m so worried that eventually I won’t be able to see or read anymore.  It scares me, but I try to think positively and realize that that possibility is very small.

I’m just blessed that I can see what I do.  I may not be able to see everything the way I used to, but at least I can see and I see fairly well.  I thank God for that daily. I also thank God for my dad.  Because of his care as a child, I can see now. I thank God for my brother, the optometrist.  He keeps me seeing.

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When We Were Small

IMG_1125Many people write these days about how kids spend the majority of their time on electronic devices, but there are still those kids that play outside.  If I could take away some of the computers, mobile phones and game systems, I probably would, but sometimes they are kind of nice to have around, I’ll admit.  Sometimes, kids do actually learn something from them, but other times, they just waste an extraordinary amount of time on them.  I know from personal experience with my own kids, but let’s go back to explore what we did when I was young and compare.

downloadWhen I was young, I spend my days outside playing for the most part.  I was a normal child who loved playing with my neighborhood friends.  We would ride our bikes, play soccer, make believe that we were in other worlds, play tag, catch lightening bugs.  We had a blast!  We would wander around the neighborhood and just go from house to house playing with each other and gathering more friends often times.  We would also play inside our friends’ houses, too and play board games, although I still don’t care for Monopoly, play Barbies, play house and make believe we were on board a rocket ship headed for Jupiter.

20140816_134527.jpgSome of my friends, including my husband’s family, had an Atari 2600.  There were times we played that as well, but we didn’t spend tons of time playing it.  You see, the graphics weren’t great, like today, and we had other things that we liked doing.  My husband was so good at Pitfall.  I was enthralled and amazed at his skill.  I eventually got an Atari, but I had only Combat and Pacman for it.  I loved it, but again, I had other things to do with my time as well.  It was on a small, black and white TV but I did love that Atari.  It was mine, until dad did something while playing it and the darn thing broke.  That ended my Atari life.

The thing is, we didn’t live for our game system.  We weren’t allowed to eat, sleep and breathe video games and there simply weren’t that many games to play.  Prior to the Atari, the system of it’s day, there had been Pong.  I also loved playing that at my cousin’s when I visited.  We had a life outside of games.

Our family just got a used video game system for Christmas, which my son adores.  If he had his way, he’d play it all the time.  The Boy loves playing football on the system most of all.  We don’t allow him to play it all the time, which he has gotten better about since the weather has gotten nicer.  He still loves to play outside and with his friends.  I’ve talked to him about staying inside vs. playing outside.  I will say that if there is a knock on the door, he knows his friends’ knocks and runs off to play immediately. He’s just like I was at that age.

The kids these days are not as active as when I was a kid on a whole, but perhaps they aren’t allowed to run around outside like we were as kids either.  I’m very thankful that my kids are like me and have been active kids.  Sure, I was very active and my son is the most active of my kids.  He’s just like his parents who never stopped going as kids.

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I’m so blessed that I had such a great childhood.  I had everything I could have ever needed or wanted.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but what child does? I always had plenty of really good food to eat, a roof over my head, a fantastic backyard to play in, good friends to play with and a family that loved me.  What more could a little girl ever ask for.  Kids need love, food, shelter and the great outdoors.  I provide this for my children and I work very hard to do so.  I also have happy and healthy kids because of it.  How could I ask for anything more.  Perhaps everyone should encourage their children, like we do, to get outside more and enjoy life and their imaginations like we do.  Their kids will thank them for it, eventually!