My best memories with Grandpa had the Cleveland Indians game radio broadcast as a soundtrack.
I don’t remember the first time we met, whether it was at the hospital or at home, but I do remember the first time I held you like it was yesterday. I can clearly recall looking down at your little perfect face. You were a magical wonder to me. I had no idea how you came to be. I just knew you were growing in Mom’s belly and then you were there in my arms and I was your big sister. I remember trying to help you not to be scared at night in our shared room. Telling you stories and singing you songs, like Lionel Ritchie’s “Ballerina Girl“, after we were tucked into our bunk beds. Decorating the underside of the top bunk like the night sky with puffy paint so that it didn’t look like spiderwebs anymore. Fighting every fiber of fear in my body to get up and throw the creepy clowns in the closet so they didn’t scare you. Teaching you to tell time on the wall size wristwatch that hung on our pepto bismol pink bedroom wall to distract you from things I didn’t want you to hear. Taking the blame so you didn’t in get in trouble for your experiments and inventions. Growing up fast so that I could protect your innocence when heavier things surrounded us. Looking over my shoulder to make sure you didn’t follow my own path.
I know you had some trouble as you forged your way into adulthood, attempting to navigate life and love. It hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. There’s been hurt and bitterness. You’ve learned some lessons the hard way. But I hope today as you leave life alone to join together with your husband, that you can look back and see that EVERYTHING that has happened, good and bad, has led you right to this point in your life and made you the woman that he fell in love with.
When you love someone, you can see all the things that make them wonderful very clearly. I know that you see your husband-to-be in that light. But I think you struggle to realize that all the things that are wonderful about him, that you love with all your heart, that you are willing to sacrifice for, willing to give everything you’ve got without thinking twice … finds it’s equal in you.
You are just as wonderful. You are just as magical. You are just as real. You are just as worthy.
As I sit here, with tears of complete joy for you streaming down my face and words failing me, I just want you to know this:
Sister, you are a beautiful, one of a kind, fully deserving of every happiness. Today’s the day. The day you are marrying the love of your life. Please allow yourself to be completely vulnerable. Let everything that has come before go and move ahead and risk it all. Because you have to in order to fully experience the complete joy and love that is waiting for you. Know that love is the answer to most questions in life. You are ready and he is “the one”.
Go ahead and jump into the great unknown, holding his hand, with your beautiful smile and laughter.
I’ll be right here … always.
(I’m not sure what will come from this exercise but here it goes)
Stop listening to this sad music. Listen to the good stuff. How about some Lionel Ritchie? Remember that song Ballerina Girl? Dad used to play that song for us. Remember when he brought home the pudgy, stuffed, cabbage patch ballerina that hung by the pretty ribbon? You focus to much on the pudgy. That’s your own hang up. No one else thinks you’re fat. Yeah the mean boy at school said it but you see the way he looks at you when his buddy isn’t around.
That gym teacher in middle school who called you ugly. That guy was stupid. I don’t remember what he looked like but his heart was ugly. He is probably just a miserable human. Let it go.
That’s why you like that song so much. Because you have a hard time letting go. It’s become a prayer for you. You’ll figure it out. You’re almost there now. You have to work on forgetting. You’re worried about forgetting but you shouldn’t be. Just remember the good stuff though. Clear out more space for that stuff.
Remember bowling and having Happy Birthday sung by the waiters at Denny’s, the way Amy laughed when she embarrassed you. The day Julie moved away and you sung ‘That’s what Friends are for’ all day while staring at the big tree branches through the bedroom window. Melodramatic, but you loved her. Exploring the woods and crawling across the fallen tree over the creek. You could’ve walked. It wasn’t that deep but the adventure was cool. Oh, flashlight tag! Even the high school kids would play. Remember the time that neighbor kid shot Julie in the butt with the BB gun? The open classrooms at Kerrydale? I wonder if they’re still like that, don’t you? Probably, since the high school was too. Seems like a stupid idea. Very distracting. Remember when that dentist came to visit? You still think about fluoride being instant throw up when you go to the dentist, don’t you? Did you ever try eating chalk instead of Tums? I wonder if that was really true.
Do me a favor and stop worrying so much. You’re not dying. You’re going to be an old woman with children and grandchildren who love you so much. You will have a legacy of love. You’re a great Mom. You’re kids know you love them. You’re allowed to be grumpy. You’re better than your Mom and Dad. That’s what bothers you so much about Jer. You think he’s not paying attention and will give the kids bad memories, but he’s more fun than Dad. You just need to tell him you need more fun. He’ll understand that. Tell him about the piggy back ride and why it’s important. There will be piggy back rides and you’re going to figure out cartwheels. Dance more. You love to dance and you’re really good at. Just do it.AND spin. And lay in the grass. Roll down a hill. Even without the kids. Do it for you. Just for fun. There is still fun to have and you will.
I love you just the way you are. You’re awesome. Go to sleep. No bad dreams tonight. It’s happy in here.
(This writing was done with my non-dominant hand. Turned out pretty interesting. I hadn’t thought of many of these things in years and had no idea where each thought was coming from or going to. I would challenge you to try it out yourself. I double dog dare you.)
Normally the neighbor girl has her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail and is in a T-shirt and those flowing warm-up pants that have a set of white stripes running from hip to toe down the side. Last night, she wore a layered chiffon, jade colored dress that tied around her neck and layered at the bottom. Her hair was down. I watched as her date came to pick her up and nervously took her arm. I watched her smile for nearly 50 pictures. She was gorgeous.
It’s funny how you can completely forget all about certain memories until you see someone else making the same ones.
I remembered homecoming last night.
It was something I haven’t thought about in a long time. I remembered how much it meant to me back then. How much I would fantasize about how it would go down. And the funny part is that as much as I thought about what dress I would wear and how I would do my hair, I wasn’t doing it for me. I was doing it for him. I used to regard boys as mystical creatures who somehow could unlock my happiness and rescue me from all things sad and boring. Maybe that’s something all teenage girls do, I’m not sure.
I recalled the picture I was searching for in my mind and was struck by how stunningly beautiful I was. I didn’t see it then. Even in that size 7 dress, I thought I was fat. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, or cool enough, or whatever it is you were supposed to be. How young I was. How different life was then. How I thought I knew everything and could have never been more wrong. I smiled and let out a snort with the shake of my head.
It’s weird how time changes you. How you keep learning even when you think there is nothing left to learn. How you learn to appreciate the small things, like even being able to afford a new dress that you feel great in.
The neighbor girl must have forgot something cause her date pulled back into the drive-way and she pulled her dress up away from her shoes and scuffled into the house, running on her tip toes. It reminded me of Cinderella, but I know better now.
When she ran back out to the car, she noticed me and gave a big smile and a wave.
“What do you think?” she said, turning around in her dress.
“I think you look beautiful….more beautiful than you even realize right now.”
My faith in family and the human race in general has been a little restored.
Yesterday when I went to check the mail, I was surprised to see a card from my cousin, Li. It was touching and it meant a lot to me. Made me cry. She wrote some really kind things in there. I really believe that there would never be a resolution between the two of us and well, it’s nice to have one. It’s nice when people are accountable. I have gained a great deal of respect for Lindsey because of that. I guess all things really are possible through prayer and faith. I’ll have to mark this in the column of things that I handed over to God and he came through on.
Today is Pickle’s first day of school. 3rd grade. That was a rough year for me cause I had a tough teacher. Ms. Ray. she was a hippie who wore those long crinkled skirts made of hemp or something, the peasant shirts, a peace necklace and John Lennon glasses. She had hair that went below her butt and the girls in class would spend recess brushing, braiding and putting flowers in her hair. She was a good teacher though.
Got a little off track there. Back to Pickle.
It’s kinda weird for me, cause when Hubby and I first met…he was two. I remember his first day of preschool and kindergarten. He’s getting all growned up. I guess that was bound to happen sooner or later, but man, time sure does fly. And poor Jedi got all teary-eyed when Pickle left to catch the bus. I think he’s gonna miss his playmate.
I’m getting ready for a picnic with my Aunt and her kids up at the park. I’m headed off to the store to buy some chips and juice boxes and other things that kiddies think are fun. Hmm maybe bubbles or water balloons.
Very excited to see the matching halter tops she made for Diva and my cousin’s daughter. Just one more step closer to my trip, Friday….YAY!
Should probably get a strapless bra to wear with my tank tops while I’m out. Since my breast reduction, I wear a bra as little as possible because before I had to wear one like 24/7. FREEDOM!! But, sometimes I forget that it might not be appropriate to have my boobies hanging out.
This is what happens when I share my ACTUAL thoughts. lol
I ran into my workout buddy from the Y while I was shopping. She gave me a BIG hug and told me she had missed my smart ass remarks. That she isn’t having any fun without me. I promised her when I got back from KY I would get back up there. eh, I need to do that anyways. Ive been a little to lax in that area of my life I suppose. Anyhow, She gave me her phone number and asked me to come over sometime and have a glass of wine with her. Sounds good to me.
My picnic was fun, mostly because the kids got to run and play and my Aunt and I got to sit in the shade and chat. My older cousin actually joined us. It’s weird cause I remember holding her as a baby and now she’s this 13 year old, sassy, trendy thing with boobs and everything. Makes me feel wicked old.
And to make matters worse, I stopped by my folks’ place on the way home and my little sister has a stack of boxes in the hallway that adjoins her room and the room I used to have because she’s moving into her first apartment Monday.
My baby sister. I mean…..I know it’s been years since we shared the same address, much less the same room, but just the sight of those boxes stopped me in my tracks……I started thinking about the house we grew up in, in Virginia….and the Pepto bismol pink walls in our room there and the Cabbage Patch Kid lamp. Our bunkbeds and how she used to be scared of the fuzz on the bottom on the top bunk bed because it looks like spiderwebs, so I took a black sheet and drew stars and planets all over it and hung it up over her bed. We were both scared of these clowns Dad had brought back from Bolivia or someplace on a trip. I would throw them in our closet at night so she wouldn’t be scared and put them back in the morning so my Dad wouldn’t be offended. Ha!
And now she’s all grown up and moving out on her own, to her first place.
Where does the time go? I have three kids!
Am I really getting this old or is everyone else just growing up too quick?
Had some really scary PMS moments this weekend. Hell, maybe its not PMS at all. Maybe its that I have a very low tolerance to bullshit! But, The rage is unbelievable.
Don’t even ask. I don’t know what’s up with that lately. Moving on….
I had my last TBall game Saturday afternoon. After the game the parents had somehow managed to get all the kids to sign a card for me without me catching on. It was so cute. And then all the parents came up and thanked me for everything I had done. They really had the sweetest things to say and made me blush. One mother came up and gave me her own seperate thank-you card and when she gave it to me she apologized for not being able to help more, that her husband would help but is in Afghanistan right now and that her son had been really struggling with it, but he had always looked forward to TBall and it helped them get their minds off of the whole situation. She told me that she really thought a lot of me and that she admired the way I had brought so much fun and still discipline to the team. She hugged me and it took everything in me not to sob like a baby and believe me I wanted to.
Having grown up as an Army brat with my Daddy in the service and my friends parents being in the service and my Mom raising me when my father was serving, this will be the thing Im most proud of coming out of coaching. *sniff, sniff* And I then I started my period about an hour later. Stupid horomones.
My parents took Jedi and I to Friendly’s to celebrate our last game. It’s really strange to watch your kids enjoy things that you loved as a kid. Like a Cone Head sundae. And like right now, Pickle is watching this really cheesy Sci-Fi remake that I loved as a kid, “Invaders from Mars”. It’s making me remember all sorts of things I had forgotten about.
Btw…if you need a good laugh and you like offbeat movies, dark comedies…check out “Eulogy”. It’s a new release with Rip Torn, Ray Ramano, Kelly Preston, and Debra Winger. I watched it last night and haven’t laughed that hard at a movie since “Old School”. Check it out!
I don’t care who you are or how old you are…..getting on a swing and going as high as you possibly can, makes everything better.