Archive for the ‘nostalgia’ Tag
October 11 2010
J brought home a hand-me-down skateboard this past weekend, more for Jedi than anyone else. And with it I realized just how much things have changed.
When I was younger, high school years, I really liked skater boys. I’d watch them flip their boards around, not really paying much attention to the tricks they could do. I do remember never thinking they’d fall and get hurt, or maybe that was part of the attraction. Not once did the phrase “be careful” cross my mind.
As Jedi took his first wobbly attempt at balance on his skateboard, that was ALL I could think about.
Since it was already dark outside by the time J got home, they practiced on the hardwood floors of our hallway. It was a short and unsteady spin around our house. For my oldest son, the cautious one, who still won’t ride his bike for fear of falling, it was enough to feel like Tony Hawk. I, on the other hand, envisioned crushed bones and busted heads or broken windows.
“Shouldn’t he wear a helmet?”, I implored my husband, certain that I never contemplated helmets as a teenager.
“We’re inside,” he said in turn.
“I know you’re inside, that didn’t answer my question.”
Then, when all that was left was the simple task of stepping off, that’s when the skateboard got out from under Jedi’s feet and he fell with a chaotic thud. Thankfully, he got right back up and wanted to go again, but my nerves were already shot. Has anyone invented that bodysuit of bubble wrap yet?
July 28 2010
When I was younger, a kid if you will, I was stupid. There, I said it. I didn’t do many of the huge stupid things kids do; I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t drink, I didn’t sleep with the football team. In that regard I was pretty tame and boring. My stupidity was more subtle, like a poke in the face instead of a punch.
In my later high school years, I tried to be goth-ish. I listened to Marilyn Manson. I wore dark eyeliner and pouted a lot. I painted all my bedroom furniture black. Any article of clothing I owned with color was discarded. Even in the scorching days of summer, I was that person you’d see sulking about like a head to toe shadow. It was a sweltering existence. My parents let me be whatever I wanted to be, although I’m sure there was an eyeroll or a thousand passed along. Because kids are stupid.
It didn’t take long to snap me out of it.
Recently, when we were driving back from running errands during the peak part of a million degree day, I witnessed the me that I used to be 14 years prior. Even in the middle of a heat warning, this kid was a summer sun sponge in heavy black. If I was uncomfortable in the regulation mom attire I was wearing, this kid had to be on fire.
“Stupid kids”, I found myself thinking with an eyeroll.
To which I then gave myself an eyeroll, because oh heavenly crackers, my age is showing. But at least I’m not (as) stupid.
July 09 2010
My parents bought us a portable swing when I was pregnant with Jedi. I didn’t know what I was doing after he was born. He and I both had a lot to learn. It took awhile, but we eventually found our way. Before then, however, he spent more time in that swing than he should have, gazing at its lights and falling asleep with the sounds. Once he grew from a small infant to a weight-exceeding baby, the swing was folded up and put in storage until next time.
During the 3rd trimester with Buzz, I lumbered my big belly to the basement in search of the swing. When Buzz was born, I felt more comfortable, more sure as a mother. Except the swing was the only place I could get him to sleep for any decent amount. I remember panicking, worried he’d use it forever. Of course, he ultimately grew tired of its confines. Soon after, the swing was folded and put in storage until next time.
Many months into my pregnancy with Abby, I brought out the familiar swing. Once born, her initial reaction to its back and forth motion was not pleasant. She wasn’t in it often, but gradually the soothing sways found her mesmerized. And then it snapped, broken and unfunctional. We tried replacing with a different chair, but it wasn’t the same. The swing that had been with us for each of my 3 babies was folded one last time and stowed in the closet.
We placed this broken swing out for the trash recently. It was my choice. I wanted to make room in the closet. It’s not as if there will be a next time, anyway. The finality as I watched the garbage collectors haul it in their truck, however, tugged at my emotions. We no longer have a swing patiently waiting it’s later use. The swing that held the scent and memories of my newborns. The swing that swayed each of them to sleep. The swing that shifted and buckled under their growing bulk. Our swing. It was a piece of the past of our family. And I threw it in the trash. My fickled heart says I wish I hadn’t.
April 30 2010
My parents live in a secluded area. It’s not the country, exactly, but they have a huge yard with an area of overgrown woods we used to explore as kids. Naturally, there were all kinds of bugs and animals hiding in its midst. And spiders.
We came upon one of these spiders when hiking through with my brother. It was a tarantula, I’m pretty sure. Though we didn’t stick around long enough for a personal examination. We quickly darted off as fast as we could run and never looked back. If my nightmares serve correctly, I actually think it jumped at us.
Not long after, I was busy listening to music in my room when I hear a rustling. My wall was covered with posters and I thought maybe one had fallen down. I look around, though, and nothing. So I turn the radio back on, but I hear it again. At this point, my interest is peaked. What in the world…?
When a tarantula crawls down my wall. From behind one of my posters.
I screamed. Like a girl. And ran. Like a bat out of hell. Leaving my bumbling parents to take care of it.
I’ve never felt the same about spiders since.
So even though the spider that Jedi pointed to as it crawled across my bedroom was small and black and probably harmless, they all resemble a hairy tarantula poised to attack now. I had to take care of it, though, when I would have preferred to run and scream. Because being a parent means doing things you really don’t want to do. Even when it involves giant (tiny) hairy (or not) arachnids.
April 23 2010
When I was pregnant with Buzz, I heard a constant question from countless people. “Are you hoping for a girl?” I honestly wasn’t. Either way would have been fine, but I thought there would be something truly special about my son having a brother. That’s what I envisioned. Two boys, friends, brothers.
And when that became our reality, I was overjoyed. I couldn’t have imagined anything different. They were perfect, my boys. My sons. I was soon to be in a house full of action figures and Light Sabers and burping contests. There were times when I felt outnumbered, but it was exactly as it should have been.
Still, people would ask, “Are you going to try for a girl?”. As if we had somehow failed. Third time’s a charm. The answer to that was no, I don’t think so. We thought our family was complete, already a handful. Bony knees and dirty fingernails and all things blue. Perfect. To imply that something was missing would have been wrong. At least I thought it was.
Then, along came a surprise. And we weren’t sure how we felt about it at first. I was in denial for longer than I should have been, actually. But we gathered our wits and our courage and we prepared once again. Whatever it may be. Three boys, three brothers, would have been just as well. Easier even, maybe.
When I met her for the first time, though, they said “It’s a girl! You have a daughter.”, and I cried. This girl that took me by surprise. Who I didn’t know I was missing until she was here. We are still outnumbered, but at least I have someone on my side. And she will always have me on hers. My beautiful girl. It’s so much better than I could have ever imagined.