It’s rare that my husband and I get to go out on a really real date. Between classes and homework, kid and homeowner responsibilities we are too busy or tired to fit it into our already overfilled schedules.
I wasn’t always nearly as type A as I am now. Something happened somewhere post college to make me need to micromanage most parts of my life (just done look in my purse). I became an organizer and planner. Not having a plan gave me super high anxiety.
Every mom needs a tribe. I have several I turn to for different reasons. My BFF is practically my sister. My sisters have been stand-ins for my mom as I learn how to navigate parenting. The PTA is always ready to grab sushi while we gab about our children, jobs, and the next kids’ event we are planning. My fake friends know my deepest, darkest secrets. My classmates keep me sane through the most insane of semesters. My Mac pals are always up for a girls’ night out even if we can manage it a few nights a year.
My mom loved going out to eat. It was not unusual to find us shopping followed by a trip to Cheesecake Factory or Baker’s Square. Pie. That’s where it was at. We would have a salad…because isn’t that healthy…followed by a slice of pie to take home.
I read a SOL yesterday from a fellow slicer, Imagine the Possibilities. She described a writing exercise where you choose a penny and look at the date. Then you write about a memory from the year on the coin. This is so super cool. I love this idea and couldn’t wait to try it today…maybe I’ll even do it with my students when testing season winds down. We started IAR and ISA today. DLM also began. Glitches in the systems caused this special educator slash technology teacher slash IT fire putter-outer slash test proctor to be extremely busy.
Taking the time at the end of the day to put into practice what ItP preaches is actually a little therapeutic. I dig into my Mary Poppins type purse. I find a baggie of baby wipes, a bottle of water, the power supply to my computer, a package of goldfish, some partially used gift cards, a pile of receipts, a newspaper article from a month ago, several emergency diapers, and a random handful of coins…among many other things.
I shuffle through and pull out the first penny that isn’t super shiny. It’s from 1983.
That is the year my youngest brothers were born…twins who are very different from each other. SWM would golf 7 days a week, weather and bank account permitting. MPM prefers working in the yard or on projects around the house.
Back in 1983, ultrasound wasn’t the typical standard of care. My mom didn’t know she was having twins until about 6 weeks before she delivered. I have a vivid memory of her telling my Grandma while sitting in the burnt orange Lazyboy recliner near the picture window of the Kedzie house. She held up two fingers cried and a little while Grandma squealed with delight.
We’ll just get double of everything. Grandmas are wise in that way.
As a stay at home mom, probably overwhelmed with the 4 little ones she already had, I’m certain the thought of adding two more to the brood sent her nearly over the edge.
In December, when her water broke, my dad had just pulled out of the driveway for work. My mom was standing by the harvest gold refrigerator shouting for towels and for someone to call my dad and her brother. She clearly needed a ride to the hospital. This was before the time of cell phones but right when beepers were becoming popular. Someone left the dad call home message repeated three times while others grabbed towels.
Uncle Mike arrived in what I recall as a very small car. A Datsun maybe? I’m pretty sure it was a two door hatchback.
My mom had already been having difficulty getting in and out of our giant station wagon so this should be interesting.
And then they were gone. I remember nothing else until those two screaming babies came home. They were lovable troublemakers from the start. They wore us all out with their non-stop-middle-of-the-night-cries. It was a small three bedroom house at the time. I’m not even sure the basement was finished yet. We were on top each other. There was no escaping the wrath of the twins. They took over our lives and our hearts.
Sure. They terrorized the neighborhood and their big brother. They gave my parents pre-mature gray hair. It was said more than once that if they had been born first, the rest of us would never existed. But they end-capped our family–evening out the sexes so the girls didn’t outnumber the boys 4 to 2. They brought laughter and tears and ER visits and a couple 911 calls. But I cannot imagine what our lives would be like without that day in 1983.
I am writing for the 2019 March Slice of Life Challenge
But I don’t wanna go to bed. The sun is still up.
Daylight savings time is killer on a toddler’s routine. She gets out of her bed every 10-15 minutes until close to 9:30. Tomorrow morning is going to be awful. I need to wake her at 6:00 AM when her little body still thinks it’s 5:00 AM.
Come morning, I bribe her to get out of bed with the promise of some TV before we leave…as long as she gets a move on.
It’s not time to go to school, Mama. It’s too dark outside.
She’s right. Just last week the sun threatened to burn a hole through your eyes when we pulled from the garage. Leaving home in the dark has a certain kind of eeriness about it…so much more so than coming home in the dark.
Along our way to school, the sky begins to brighten and we can see the trucks hauling their cargo beside us. It’s a new favorite game of ours.
What’s in that truck, Mom?
I think it’s a whole bunch of balloons.
And that one?
It must be macaroni and cheese.
It’s a fun game that began one day when she saw a large salad painted onto the side of a semi as we traveled our familiar route.
Look. God is painting the sky this morning.
When I look at the horizon, my heart stops. She’s right. It’s so beautiful that it could only have been created by God.
I think my Angels are helping him. They like to paint.
These are such wise words from a child who has never really spent a Sunday morning in church. Although we talk about God and she unfortunately is all too familiar with angels, we don’t attend any sort of formal religious services. We pray pretty regularly a simple prayer of Thank you, God, for…and please keep safe… Of course, we talk about our Angel Grandmas–we have all too many of those. Although we are fortunate to have many Grandfathers, we are light on Grandmas as they have all been called to heaven much earlier than anyone could have ever anticipated.
My Angels are good painters. Do you see all that pink, Mama? That’s my favorite color. They know that. They are painting for me.
I’m sure they are, Little One. I’m sure they are.
I am writing for the 2019 March Slice of Life Challenge
It’s one of those days. Chilly and wet and lazy. When I was making my meal plan mid week, I checked the weather and knew it would be a good day for soup. Which one? I make a few tasty soups that would fit the bill. Then I remembered my aunt had asked me recently for grandma’s vegetable beef barley soup.