Monday, July 27, 2015

Real Live Bears

I turned 21 on July 21st. Not this year, people. I'm a full decade older than that.

But when I did turn 21, it was on the 21st, and I think I felt that I had to do something really big that day. I guess I just did the really obvious thing for someone to do on their 21st birthday. Go on an overnight camping trip to the Tetons with a bunch of twenty year old girls. Duh.

It's still one of my favorite birthdays.

We left about 5 hours later than planned and got to a campsite at 11:00 at night. No reservations. No sort of planning. We somehow built a fire and put up a tent in the dark. No boyscouts there, remember. I'm actually not even sure we had a tent. But we did start a fire and cooked tinfoil dinners that took all night to cook. But it was the best dinner I have ever had at 3 am.

The next day we hiked. I can't remember which hike, but it was long and steep and ended at a beautiful lake. We ate lunch there and took lots of pictures. There's something about 20 year old girls and how much they like to take pictures of themselves. This was before camera phones. All taken the old fashioned way. Digital cameras.

But on our way down, I remember there being a crowd of people stopped on the trail. We got closer and saw that there were two bears, one on either side of the trail. Every one had stopped and was snapping pictures and whispering. It was pretty amazing.

Now this is the weird part.

I was within ten feet of two bears, and I remember thinking "Huh. Cool, bears." Then I remember us walking past the line of people and tromping through the rest of the hike like it was no big deal. What? TWO BEARS? Yeah, I know. I walked passed them like they were a couple of golden retrievers. I'm not sure why I a) didn't care or b) didn't get mauled to death. 

But it happened. And on my 21st birthday. I even dug around the other day and found some of the pictures. There were like thirty of me and my friends and one of the bear. Figures.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Case In Point

I found this post in a draft pile after I wrote my last one. I'm posting it now because it made me think about all sorts of things that won't matter to anyone but me.

But might matter because all of our lives evolve. And mine is too. And so are my kids. 

Here it is. Un-edited.

Oh baby Jane.  It has been quite a year.  It has been hard.  Can I say that without sounding like I'm complaining?  Because I'm really not.  I'm just being honest.  It has been hard in ways I never could have expected.  I have cried some.  Laughed more.  Changed lots of diapers.  Worried a lot.  Spent lots of time in pajamas (all four of us).  Read lots of books.  Played with lots of cars.  Tucked lots of heads into little beds and cribs and couches.  Made lots of messes.  Yelled at my kids some (gasp).  Wished that I had let more go.  Chased my kids lots.  (Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying.)  I have learned a lot.  I have tried to be a better mom.  I have cuddled little babies and big boys that are still little babies.  I have gotten used to sticky fingers and hand-smudged windows and water-soaked bathrooms.  I have gotten used to broken cellphones and empty bins of flour and sugar.  I am used to going to bed tired and waking up tired, too.  I have exercised less than I am used to.  But have run lots more laps around the house, the store, the church.  I have picked up shoes and socks thousands of times and tripped on trains and cars at least that many.  I have squeezed them so tight they start giggling and looking for a way to escape.  I have found that the days go by so fast now.  Too fast.  I have started to worry that they will get old before I have time to really look at them.  I would like to remember just one day.  One day forever imprinted in all its messiness, whininess, orneryness, silliness, fighting-ness.  In all its glory.  Because I think I just might miss it.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I really like Thomas the Train.

Hang on. Let me explain.

I like Thomas the Train. Now.

I used to HATE Thomas the Train. The incessantly tooting steam whistle. The annoyingly chirpy character voices, the whining diesel engines, the fact that Thomas is always getting in the same kind of trouble the same kind of ways in every single episode. And don't get me started on the theme song which I can still hum on demand at any time day or night. Especially night. Between 2 and 3 am.

But a funny thing happened: my kids grew out of Thomas. They "grew" up. Sort of. I mean CJ is 7. But we don't watch Thomas anymore. Ever. I actually forgot it existed.

Until the other day I was at my mom's house cleaning out some old movies and found Splish, Splash, Splosh. As soon as I held the case in my hand, it's like I remembered all those times watching it with the boys. I remembered cuddling on the couch with sippy cups and blankets. Or me sweeping up sticky cheerios. Or me folding baskets of clean laundry. Or ironing shirts. (I'm making myself sound a lot more domestic than I really was.)

Or when CJ was in the hospital. The four of us piling on top of each other on a teeny, tiny hospital bed. CJ + Christian + me + baby Jane still in my large belly. Barely scrunching together. I remember the drip, drip of the antibiotics through the PICC line. Piles of stuffed animals and get well cards and balloons everywhere. And Thomas. Seemed like an episode of Thomas is about how long it took for the antibiotics to go all the way through.

I was transformed to a different era. When the boys were small. Things were different then. Not better, not worse. Just different. And I miss it just a little bit.

I turned it on the other day for the kids. They watched it. They didn't love it. It wasn't the same. I didn't even watch it with them. I was probably doing something completely domestic in the other room. But somehow hearing the music made me think that if I tip-toed back in, I'd see a 3 year old CJ and a 1 year old Soren sitting on the couch with sippy cups together. And I guess I sort of miss them. I mean, I love them now. But I miss them then too. Is that crazy?

Geesh. What a baby. What am I going to be like when they're 30? And please don't tell me I'll ever feel this way about Ninjago. Please no.