Friday, November 12, 2010
And, being the rebels we are, we may totally blow off the homework and go furniture shopping. Because we're that badass.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sometimes I worry that I'm not a good enough mother for you, that you deserve someone better. Someone that is fluent in several languages, and can stay home with you, and never raises her voice or tells you "NO NO." But then you step too close to railing, or I remember that I didn't lock the front door when I left you and daddy at home sleeping sweetly on my 4:00 am drive to the airport and a wave of terror passes over me that tells me, I am a good mom. I would do anything in this world to keep you safe, happy, healthy. I would cut off my legs if it would mean you would never be in pain or danger. I will never be disappointed in you for what you are. Maybe in some of the choices you make, but never in YOU. I will continue to love you this fiercely, this sweetly, forever. Who you love, your faith, your politics (even if you're the most Conservative of Conservatives... Lord help me!) are yours, and not mine. You are the reason that I care that all couples have the freedom to marry. You are the reason that I care that everyone have access to good, affordable health care. You are the reason that I want more legislature for good schools and gun control.
I try so hard not to worry too much. I don't want you to be fearful, so I can't appear to be. When you fall, my heart skips a beat. I want to rush to you, to cry out. But instead, I stay where I am, and say "Uh oh!" and you happily get up and continue on your way. I drive so much more cautiously with you in the car. I don't care if people fly around me because I am going the speed limit... I don't care if I'm a few minutes late. I am carrying Precious Cargo, and that is more important than a stranger flipping me the bird (don't ever do that, it's so classless) or arriving on time. I am trying to eat healthier, and exercise to be a good example to you, and not pass on my body phobias and insecurities.
You are at such a sweet age. You love me, you love your daddy, you love balls and your Cozy Coupe. You are funny and happy and healthy. You are just independent enough without completely breaking my heart... yet. Right now, you love to be with me. Right now, Daddy and I are your favorite people. I know that won't always be the case. When I dropped you off this morning at school, after a week of not being there, you happily trotted in and told me "Bye!" before I was ready to go. I know that is a testament to your security... to feeling safe at home and at school. But I'm not ready for you to be SO ready for me to leave.
I know you won't always like that you have to invite your whole class to your birthday party, or go to church on Sundays, or finish up the season of that one sport you thought you wanted to play but now don't. You'll think I have no sense of humor when I tell you that making fun of someone is wrong, and that words and kindness matters. That we're all made to be different, and that's wonderful.
I know you won't understand when you aren't allowed to wear this, or go there, or drive with those kids... I know you'll think I'm being mean and unfair and old fashioned, and that I don't remember what it was like to be teenager. Believe me, I remember far too well. And I love you far too much. I won't be that one "cool" parent who allows parties and drinking and has a secret code she yells down the stairs when the cops show up. I don't need to be your friend yet.
I will hate your friends and partners when they break your heart. I will wish it was my heart. I will try to keep my mouth shut when you don't want my advice. I said TRY. I will remember why things that I know don't matter much in the long run matter so much to you now. I will nurture your body and soul. I will encourage you to do the right thing, even when it is the hard thing. I will strive to do the same.
I will love your father. I will keep my vows to him. I will set the best example of partnership and teamwork and marriage and love that I can.
I will love you. I will love you. I will love you. When you need me, when you don't, when you hate me, I will love you.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I met Rose my first week of work at a past job. It was her last week. All the girls that worked there were thin and immaculately dressed. I was dumpy and dowdy. You couldn't help but like Rose right off the bat. She had a voice like a 5 year old and great taste in everything. We bonded over our love for Coke Zero. Rose immediately included me in the "going away" festivities to paint pottery. I was too afraid to go because I barely knew anyone, but it meant so much to me to be invited.
We stayed in touch after she started her new job, and went on several double dates with our husbands. She invited us to dinner parties with all their other friends. She introduced me to Coke Cherry Zero. When her husband was in basic training in Texas, she was overwhelmed and frustrated with trying to deal with selling their house and all the headaches that comes with that. My husband was hardly ever home. We'd never done anything just the two of us, and I was nervous. What should I wear? What if I couldn't think of anything clever or interesting or funny to say? What if she thought I was so boring and lame? Come on... you know you've got a little bit of 16-year-old in you when you're hanging out with "The Cool Kid." None of that was a problem. We went shopping and to a movie and lunch. We laughed and laughed and laughed at "Dan in Real Life." Every time I see that movie I think of her cracking up at the dinner table scene with Steve Carell's character being awkward and inappropriate. She introduced me to Lotsa Noodles and told me to try the pesto and tomato sauce. We found a great deal on camisoles (You know, the kind you wear under shirts... Not the sexy kind. We were shopping for her seeing-Justin-for-the-first-time-after-Basic, but I didn't get THAT involved!) that I still wear on a regular basis.
Rose and Justin were stationed in Valparaiso, FL and their going away dinner was at a favorite Italian restaurant. They served one of her and Justin's "Eat like a bird, run like a cheetah" staples- spinach and strawberry salad. I think everyone else ate pizza. :-) Our friends had just had a baby and he was the hit of the party! We all gushed about having kids someday... Kristan told us what it was really like and brought us down to earth with stories of c-sections and jaundice. I thought it wouldn't be long until we'd hear that Rose and Justin were starting a family.
The last time I saw Rose was early 2008 when they came back to visit. She had made treats and snacks at Kristan's house and it seemed like she had never left. I was newly pregnant and she was so happy for me, even though it was a less than perfect situation. She even wrote me later to tell me how cute she thought I looked and how she couldn't wait to meet the baby.
We kept in touch through the wonders of Facebook. She sent me healthy cooking and baking tips. She gave me icing recipes that knocked my socks off. She commented on picture after picture after picture of my son. She emailed me to make sure I was okay and not upset (with her, of all things!) after a particularly ugly and hurtful Facebook religion debate. Rose truly cared about people. She didn't agree with my liberal politics, but she cared that I was sad. She was always so kind when we'd talk about the things we disagreed about. And with Rose, I didn't really have to get into it. I know what she believed, and she knows what I believed. And that was fine. We don't agree, but we respected each other. Her views came from a place of love and concern for people's well-being.
The best word to describe Rose IS kind. Kristan called her that during her memorial, and it is the perfect word to describe Rose. Yes, she was incredibly artistic. She was a wonderful cook and baker. She was organized and involved with church and loved her husband and her dog and her family and her friends and Jesus and kids... But most of all she was kind.
Her marriage will go down as one of the great love stories. They got married a couple of years after dating, while still in college. She said that they couldn't keep their hands off each other, so they just got married! It was so obvious how much they love each other. They were so attentive and sweet to each other. Justin would tell funny stories... There was one about Rose's voice setting something off... Does anyone remember what it was? I want to say those lights things that you clap to make turn on and off! I think about Justin everyday. My heart breaks for him. It is so unfair for someone to die so young. But it is so unfair for someone to lose their love so young.
So Rose, thank you. Thank you for touching my life in such a short time. Thank you for being my friend. I wish I'd told you what a great mother you would be. I wish I had told you how much I admired your marriage and commitment to Justin. I wish I could have your sureness of faith, your dedication to improving your walk with Christ. I wish you had met my son. I miss Facebooking with you about big things and little things. Who will answer all my baking questions? No one is going to fill the big void you left. I wish you were still here. But I know where you are, and I know how happy you are to be with your Creator. You were such an example of His love. I hope to see you again, Friend.