Thursday, August 13, 2009

My How...Times Ten

This Saturday marks my ten year high school reunion. Although I can’t make the 1200 mile trip to attend, it did get me reminiscing about the old days. How in the world have ten years passed since high school? In some ways I feel like it was ages ago, but at the same time it seems impossible that so much time has gone by. I can’t say I remember a whole lot about high school, you know, since I was drunk as a skunk most of the time.
Juuuust kidding. I had a pretty clean image in high school. I mean, squeaky clean. I mean, the only party (No, I wasn’t a wallflower- I went to parties- I just mean not THAT kind of party) I ever went to in high school was for about a half hour one night because some guy had made a deal with me that if I went he would come to church with me. Nice. He didn’t even hold up his end of the bargain.

I tried to think of anything from high school- I mean anything that actually took place at CNS- and my memories were pretty vague. This is about all I could come up with…

- Roaming the halls looking for cute senior boys.
- Senior year English didn't have an Honors level. Our teacher asked some girl if she could give an example of a pun. The girl’s response, “Like…the?”
- Accidently throwing a milk at the cute boy table. How does one accidently throw a carton of milk? Good question. Wink, wink.
- Bomb threats…all the time. They would herd us into the gym and auditorium. You know, so all the bodies could be in one place when it exploded.
- The creepy art teacher that always told me I looked pretty and took me aside one day to tell me how he had always wanted to have me in his class. Ew. I heard that he was fired a few years later for “having a picnic” with some female student. Fact or fiction? Who knows.
- Getting a 75 in math my sophomore year and telling my teacher I couldn’t get a C…so she gave me a B. Awesome.
- Getting Mr. F to sign a pass for me every day to skip homeroom, so I could have an hour lunch. - Talking about putting together a “fund” for my homeroom group to go to Darien Lake. We never did do it.
- Spending 3/4 of my day in the art wing senior year.
- Being yelled at by Ms. F in global studies for smiling at Anna across the room on the first day. She wouldn’t have wanted any of that in her classroom.
- Um, the class Tools for Change. Basically, it was the school system’s way of providing group therapy. Most worthless class ever. Oh, and we assigned our own grades. Seriously, they paid someone to teach this class??
- Standing around looking at everyone before graduation thinking, “Weird, this will be the last time I’ll ever see most of these people ever again.” And then there was Facebook.

What a strange time. I thought knew so much, but looking back I really knew nothing about life. Sometimes I wish it were still that way. Not that I know so much now, but there are things I wish I never had to learn about the way the world works. On the other hand, life is so much fuller now, and I would never, ever want to relive being a teenager. It’s nice to be able to look back and smile. I really have few regrets. As I looked through old pictures of faces that were so important in that part of my life, it's also nice to know that most of them are better off at this stage of the game too. Seriously, no one's really screwed up their lives too much. Then again, we're only twenty-eight. We've got tons of time left for that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To Babyproof or Not to Babyproof...

That is the question- or was the question. I thought I had it all worked out in my mind that I would not baby proof my house. Matt and I were very big on the baby will not change the way we go about our lives idea and we continue to stand by that. The way we live our lives is similar to how we did pre-Emma. If we were to put up gates and locks and plug up every electrical outlet around our house it would mean that a) we were anal parents, b)we had no parental ability to control our kid or c) our child would surely wreak havoc if ever in an unbabyproofed home. Um, and before you throw darts at me, no, we don’t put parents that do babyproof into any of these categories. I promise.

For the first fifteen and a half months of Emma’s life it worked really well. She didn’t throw our breakables on the floor, and she was great about staying away from the stairs (except when her friends are around- peer pressure already). We had it all figured out.


I didn't realize that maybe there would be a choice “D” to add to our list of reasons people babyproof. Simply put, our child is a Wild Thing. When we were thinking through babyproofing we did not factor a wiiiild chiiiiild into the equation. My sweet little girl already marches to the beat of her own drummer. I swear she has a future spot on the U.S. gymnastics team. She flips, (yes, she did her first somersault the other day) she twists, she tumbles, she climbs. I mean, with unnatural abilities. Last month she started climbing out of her crib. I found the crib tent or toddler bed options unsuitable for my spidermonkey, but thought I’d give her Pack ‘n Play a try. She couldn’t jump out of that could she? It almost lasted two weeks. On the third night of escaping she ended up with a big enough bruise on her face for me to cave in and just put her in a toddler bed. Except our toddler bed didn’t come with rails and finding bed rails for anything smaller than a twin bed was almost impossible. So, my dear is now sleeping on a mattress on her bedroom a babyproofed room.

Oh how I babyproofed.

So much so that her room is almost as empty as a Madoff investor's bank account.

My nursing chair and ottoman are gone, her rocking chair is gone, her shelf is out of there. Every outlet that could be plugged is plugged. There's drawer locks and door locks and safety galore.

The carefree image I tried so hard to project has been shattered. Blast.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


These past couple months I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but run. Literally, no, actually I stopped that right around the same time I picked up the figurative running. Crap. This summer has been a series of sprints from one thing to the next, and while most of it has been great, it’s wearing me out. We started the summer on a cruise. Then we were off to Long Boat Key to spend a week with Matt’s family. The following week a good friend from OH came to visit. We dropped him off at the airport and two days later were in our car for the trek up to NY to see my family. (I know, you’re really feeling sorry for me, aren’t you?) We’ve had such a fantastic summer that returning to real life seemed especially difficult.

Real life can be hard.

Back when I was running, there were times when I would go over to the lake during one of those pesky little “charity” runs (kidding, I love running for a cause, however…) going on. The problem with these events is that if you are actually at the lake to run, you better leave right away because there will be no running for you that day. Nope. The run/walkers take up the whole path. They don’t move, even when you yell, “On your left…on your left…ON YOUR LEFT!!!” So you nick their foot with your stroller and they give you a dirty look. The nerve.

It’s kind of the way with life. You’re out there running your own course, but really, it was never just your course to run alone anyway. There’s all these other people around you running (jogging, sprinting, walking, lollygagging- you feel me?) too. On my little jog through life things aren't going to happen as I want them to. Events and people are going to complicate the course. You know, like the run-walkers who don’t allow for passing on the left. But, if I don’t see it as my course in the first place, then this won't bother me so much. It's not about me. If I can just realize that and give up my own need for things to go as I planned, then maybe I can set aside my own pride and just run alongside the others...even when it’s not comfortable. I’ll still reach the finish line, though that's not necessarily what it's about anyway. How I get there is important. I mean, in a comparison of bulldozing the other runners or coming alongside them at least.

It’s been a heavy summer.

Turns out life doesn’t go as planned. Spouses hurt each other. Things don’t make sense. People get sick. Young people die. You get stuck in the rat race when it was always your goal to live above it.

The funny part is, personally, it’s been a drama free summer. Matt and I have had little hardship to contend with. It doesn’t feel like that though. There’s this strange ripple effect that comes with having relationships. The laugh with those that laugh and mourn with those that mourn effect. I suppose you could call it authentic community (or how about a runner’s club??). What happens to each member of the community impacts the whole- as it should. We don’t run alone, which is great for support, but it’s just hard at times. I want to be the kind of person that is humble and gentle, and bears with others in love, but I’m not there yet. I guess that’s the beauty of community and sharing life with others. It would be a whole heck of a lot easier sometimes to say screw it and just run alone, but in those moments where I’m tempted to do just that, I know that there are others beside me, willing to pick up my slack and keep me going, even when it’s the last thing they want to do.

On a lighter note, keeping with the whole running theme, I put together this little slideshow highlighting a few of our summer rompings, accompanied by my favorite song of the summer. :)