There is no way to do this post without going all AUNT AVIS on you. I interchange the word brag with Aunt Avis (God rest her braggy little soul). She was my funny, and adorable aunt that loved to boast. Usually it was about her own children, but she would extend it even to nieces if the opportunity presented itself. I’ve told this story many blog posts ago, but it’s worthy of a re-tell. Continue reading
Do you remember your blue barracuda that we rode “the loop” in, self-proclaimed king and queen of everything….in our small town? Of course you do. You still talk about that car.
Do you remember me crying all the way to college? I do. And I just remember your hand holding mine.
Do you remember what an oven our first apartment was in the summer? And you got mad at me, for leaving our bed, and retreating to the cold cement floor. The next day, you went and spent money we didn’t have on a window air conditioner. That still makes me giggle like crazy.
I remember sitting at our small kitchen table…you trying so hard to teach me Algebra. Do you remember the day you realized it was hopeless?
I remember the way I used to make fun of John Denver, and how you made me love him…so much that I sing Annie’s Song to our children at night.
Do you remember taking time to make a route across the campus for me so that I didn’t get lost on the first day of classes, and walking me through it? I still got lost.
Thank you for taking me to the mountains. And for teaching me how to fly fish. Do you remember that summer that we were caught in an unexpected blizzard, stuck in our tent for the whole day with only each other and sleeping bags to keep warm? We took turns reading All Creatures Great and Small to each other. As memories go, that one gets a gold star.
I remember a friend hurting my feelings. I told you. You told me to not take things so personally, and to stop being so sensitive.
But, do you remember going behind my back, and telling them off? There are few things like that I remember, but I won’t ever forget that.
I remember when we saw our little girl for the first time. Just a small little funny shaped green button on a black screen. And you told me it was ok to cry. And so did you.
And I love that you brought me roses, and the nurses roses, too. Because you were so happy that she and I were ok after a tough and dramatic delivery.
And I love that you started the tradition of giving our babies baths to ENYA music. Do you remember ? Sounds of Memory of Trees and Orinoco Flow mixed with splashing and baby gurgles floating from our bathroom.
Do you remember the day you went back to work after Oldest Boy was born? And I was left alone with TWO babies? I’ll never forget your face as you walked out the door. Clearly doing battle in your head about your responsibilities at work, and your worry for me. It was somewhere between a bemused grin, and an anxious smile.
I called you 14 times that day.
I love traveling to new places with you. I love that you drove like a maniac in Italy even though we didn’t know where we were going. And that you surprised me with that trip, because you love surprising me. Do you remember our first time eating at Mon Ami Gabi’s in Vegas? And that eccentric couple we played black jack with? They made us laugh so hard we couldn’t even talk.
I am seriously going to live in Italy. I’m not just saying that. I’ve already warned my children, they will have to fly the ocean in a silver plane to come and see me and their old Dad…once we get them all settled in their happy American Life. This could take awhile….Sunny’s only 5. It’s definitely not what most retired-ish parents do. It could be a terrible idea. But don’t you just love those? Either way, we need to make sure these kids are off to a good start first.
But once we’re sure they are ok…Ciao! and Grazie! and old guys sitting around reading the paper in streets older than my great great Grandpa. And crazy car rides through the winding countryside, where speed limits and traffic laws are really just a suggestion.
What does OK mean? I’m not really sure. Hopefully we will be able to recognize the signs that they don’t need us anymore:
Hey Mom..I can’t come home this weekend..got stuff with friends.
Hey Mom and Dad..we just bought a new house! ..(need help?) Ummm..no..we bought it all by ourselves.
Hey Mom, thanks, but I think we’re gonna try Christmas morning at our house this year. You know, so the kids can wake up in their own house that morning.
I don’t know, just guessing what it might look like. And, I’m not saying they won’t always need us. I am 40, (yikes) and I still need my Mom. Her solid take-it-to-the-bank advice is something I depend on. Especially now that I have kids. Evidently I inherited my Dad’s worry-wart gene.
Mom says that she would ask, nearly every morning over coffee..”Well, Marlin. What are we going to worry about today?” It was her way of opening up conversation with Dad. He always had a response…something that he was turning over in his mind like a well-worn stone. It was often about us kids..or his ability to be the best Dad/husband he could be.
I wonder if my anxious thoughts feel like de ja vu’ to my Mom. I spill them out…and she always clears them up. She has some old standby statements that she uses:
Lisa..think..how important will this be in 10 years?
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
Have you talked to God about this yet? Remember, he’s your co-pilot.
Oh, honey. Just smile and be yourself.
Well, if you don’t have a choice..do it (whatever the unpleasant thing is) joyfully.
I see that as our children grow…they need more of these kinds of words. And less of us being there physically for them. My 5-year old needs me to keep him from danger. My 12-year-old needs that too, but less and less. More often than not, she needs wise words like my husband gave her recently..I don’t care what you want to do. I just want you to be the best you can be at it. Pick something..and then go do your best. If they put you in the outfield..then be the best outfielder there is. (Fastpitch Softball jargon)
I guess I don’t know when the day will come. When me and Edward decide to go all Under The Tuscan Sun, and move to our beloved Cortona. But I love the idea. But I also love that we aren’t there yet. It’s fun, getting to be the advice-giver for a change. After dropping aforementioned daughter off at a camp where she knew no one..I got to use the famous..Oh honey, just smile and be yourself line. It was cool.
So, our grandchildren may have to schlep themselves all the way to Cortona to get their Christmas presents. I don’t know…it seems a little crazy.
P.S. Terrible ideas. Don’t you just love those?