Thursday, February 21, 2013

I hope I don't look old.

I recently saw that someone...not anyone in particular, just a person...was turning 52. 52 years old. And, it made me long until I turn 52? 16 years. Sheesh. The answer wasn't as big as I imagined it would be. As it should have been. Not for how old I am. Right? Because I know I'm not so great at math, I pulled out my calculator, even though I knew the answer couldn't be any different, but I had to be sure. Yet, there it was. Of all the times I wanted to be wrong (which is like, never), there I was: right as rain.

And, then, like rain the tears started pouring out of my face as the realization sunk in. How did I get so old?

16 years. Holy crap. Wasn't I just 16, like, 10 years ago? No way, Jose. That was, in fact, 20 years ago.

It's a strange moment when you realize that you're that age you remember your parents as when you were little. The same age you expect your parents still to be. That age when you joked with your parents about how old they were. When you picked on them for their grey hairs or receding hair lines. When the grandparents were still alive. When Christmas was for you, and Easter and Halloween, too. When you played with real kid toys and cousins. And, went to your first school dances. When you couldn't wait to grow up, and it seemed like life would go on forever and ever.

And, I thought about what I was doing 16 years ago. Moving away from South Carolina. From Charleston to a perfect 3-month Outward Bound adventure in Texas and Mexico and Minnesota and Ontario. To Utah. I turned 21 in the Painted Desert, in Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell. I was making new lifelong friends and creating new experiences that would shape who I am. I was blazing a path for the direction my life would go...getting lost on plateaus, playing in hoodoos, exploring canyons, snowboarding, and hanging out in hotsprings...16 years ago.

16 years later...look where I find myself.  Here I am with a husband and living back in the Palmetto State. And, now, my kids are the ones playing with the real kid toys and their cousins. They're the ones building forts. Christmas is for them, and Easter and Halloween, too. They pick on our grey hairs (as did the lady at my hair salon the other day, who told me I was lucky to have the greys hold off for so long...was she calling me old?). They are getting ready for those first dances. They have all of their grandparents here to love and love and love and love them. They are living life like it will go on forever and ever.

16 years from now...I cannot imagine what that will look like. Certainly, I never really imagined my life right now the way that it is, which does not me that I do not love it, but I guess the beauty is in the surprise of it all. I hope that we're all happy and experiencing the world in the best ways that we can. I hope that life is good, as it is right now, as it was 16 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. And, I hope I don't look old.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feels Like Home

Oh, lawdy. I don't even know where to begin. I don't even know where I've been. I thought I had my you-know-what together when I wrote that "Dusting off the Keyboard" blog, but apparently my you-know-what has been all over the place, and it's taken me some time to clean it up. And, though I'm not done, and I still have stuff in funny places, I'm working on it. I have no other choice, really. Even my kids have been asking me when I'm going to start working on this blog thang again. So, I'm going to try. Really. I think I would have done it sooner, but I didn't know how to do it. Like that painting you put to the side, promising yourself that you'll get back to it tomorrow, but you know that you just aren't up to the commitment...
I have been up to the other commitments, though. That baby is the most fun. The most. I guess I've been enjoying my time with her more than I have been worrying about other things that I should be doing. She's so happy. She's so good. She's the sweetest thing. And, she's growing soooo quickly. Knowing she's the last of them for me has made me not want to do ANYTHING ELSE except look at her and play with her and talk to her. She "talks" back, too...for the record, her first word was 'mama' some time ago, though she does say 'dada' because it's so easy to get out. She's started to pull up, and she's crawling all over the place. Which, inevitably leads to bruised foreheads and fits of crying and screaming after she smacks her head on the coffee table multiple times in a day. Sheesh, Evie Sue. Learn a damn lesson. Please, or people are going to start thinking we beat you. And, just last week these two little teeth burst through her bottom gums. How is all of this happening so fast? I keep begging time to slow down, but he refuses. Who knew Father Time could be such a bitch?

Ella and Summit have been leading busy little lives, too.

This third grade business is no joke. Ella has so much homework and tests and quizzes and multiplication tables and REAL-LIVE grades. I don't remember third grade being so serious when I was little. At least it didn't seem to be so. We have mean girls and MAP testing, and I can't decide which one is worse. I do know that there is a lot of pressure for kids in Ella's grade and a lot of pressure for parents, too. What happened to the fun in learning in elementary school, I'd like someone to rationally explain. Fortunately, my girl seems to enjoy school and has been on the all-A honor roll on both of the report cards that have come out this year! I'm super proud of her hard work!
 Kindergarten has been a perfect experience for little Summit. He's in an awesome class with a teacher who seems to absolutely love him. I was really anxious for him to start grade school, hoping that whoever was lucky enough to get him in his or her class would see how lucky they were, would see the sweet boy that he is. Thankfully, my wish came true: he's a happy little Busy Bee with a sweet-as-pie teacher.

As for our general existence, life's been good. I really cannot complain. We live in a cool spot where we spend a lot more time outside, TOGETHER, going for bike rides and runs and walks and building bonfires, fishing, shooting hoops, kicking the soccer ball around. Adjusting to life in a new house, getting settled, taking care of the family...these things have been the most important...and, maybe they've kept me from this blog, but I've been so invested in family life, in making this new place's nice to feel like we're home.