Sex & the City is one of my most favorite TV shows ever. I started watching it about 7 years ago and became hooked. What I love most about the show is the friendship between the four women. I think all women wish they had really close girlfriends that they could count on for anything. My best friend lives 2,000 miles away and so we don’t get to do the fun girlfriendy stuff, like going out to lunch or shopping, on a whim anymore. I miss being able to hang out with her for no reason at all. So when I watch SATC, I feel like I’m hanging out with best friends.
I guess Flavor Flav just announced that he will not be making any more “Flavor of Love” reality shows for VH1. Thank goodness. Now if VH1 could just get rid of all their other sleazy dating reality shows, and I could actually watch the channel again without needing a shower. Why can’t they bring back good shows like “Behind the Music” and “Pop-up Video?” Watching a one season reality show called “Bands on the Run” helped me get through labor with my daughter and introduced three very cool struggling bands to the world. I don’t know who’s in charge of programming at VH1 but they suck and need to be fired. VH1, like MTV, used to be about the music. Now it’s about watching the nastiest people in America get drunk, make fools of themselves, try to string together logical coherent sentences, while sleeping with a semi-celebrity in order to win some challenge. And really, since when was Flavor Flav a prize to be won? Seriously VH1, I need some “Behind the Music” back in my life! I actually cried at the Pantera episode. Pantera!
On May 15th I was very hungry and we did not have a thing in the house I wanted to eat. I’m very picky normally, but being in my third trimester makes it worse. So I headed off to McDonalds because it was close and I didn’t have to get out of my car. It was unusually busy for 2:00 in the afternoon, seeing as the lunch rush should have ended an hour before that. Then I noticed they were giving away a free sandwich – The Southern Style Chicken sandwich. Not being one to look a gift sandwich in the mouth, I ordered one.
This sandwich is a total rip-off, but I don’t care. My kids always want Happy Meals and the only CFA close to me is inside a mall. Try dragging two kids into a mall sometime just for food and tell me how much fun that is. So until I have 30 free minutes to myself to find a parking spot at the mall and can make my way to my beloved Chick Fil A (with a stop at Mrs. Fields too), I’ll have to settle for the McDonald’s rip off. Now if only McDonald’s could get on the ball and stop making their chicken nuggets look like a science experiment from the planet Unholy pig fart.
Along the east side of my house, by my front door, there is a row of many different colors of roses. Every Memorial Day they are in full bloom and we are able to take a few of those roses to my grandparent’s grave. Not this year. We don’t have a single bloom. This what happens when your winter extends into Spring. Even though it’s the end of May, we are experiencing March like temperatures and weather. As I sit here writing this, it is raining and is very cold outside. Blech. So in an effort to perserve my asthma-stricken lungs, I shall not be going out in the rain and cold today. Besides, I have no roses this year anyway.
Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have come before us and our soldiers. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this country. Even when giving their life wasn’t necessary to protect our freedoms back home (i.e. Vietnam, Iraq). Recently a website I frequent asked its readers to share their soldier stories. Neither one of my grandfathers served in World War 2 and I do not come from a “military” family. However, like all the men of his generation, my father was drafted into the Vietnam war. My Dad, because of his religion, is a pacifist and would not carry a gun. He was trained as a medic instead and spent his 2 years in the war saving the lives of POWs instead of taking the lives of the Vietnamese. He still risked his life every day and the horror of what he witnessed there is something that I have yet hear him talk about today. I am incredibly proud of my father for still doing his patriotic duty and sticking up for what he believed in at the same time.
Another soldier story I have is my first cousin, Chris, who is a Chaplin in the Army. So far he has been in Afganistan once and Iraq twice. Every time he is deployed, I feel like I hold my breath the entire time he is gone. I can’t help but think of his beautiful and amazing wife Kristi and their son Victor, and what they go through in Chris’ absence. Even though I don’t support the war, I support my cousin and the other soldiers who have and are serving. Something that Chris said about going to war amazed me. Every time a soldier deploys, they get a substantial amount of money for going. Chris and Kristi put this money toward adopting their child, Victor and have put away the other deployment toward adopting another child. Chris said that going to war wasn’t a sacrifice because it enables him to add more children to his family through the miracle of adoption. That he is willing to make this kind of sacrifice on behalf of his family is amazing to me. What a wonderful father and man he is.
Seven years ago my life changed forever. I became the mother
of my beautiful baby girl. I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I held her for the first time? I can still remember the night she was born. Once I got my epidural, it was actually quite a pleasant experience. I can still remember looking over at my Mom and mother-in-law while they stood there in excited anticipation holding hands and waiting to see their first grandchild be born. What overwhelmed me the most was how many people loved Reilley just for being born. She was possibly the most gorgeous baby girl ever born and everyone from my co-workers to family members adored her.
Now she has grown into a little girl. She has one of the sweetest hearts in the world. Yes, she has a mischievious side and takes a little too much enjoyment out of teasing her brother. Her nature, however, is very caretaking. The other day we were shopping at Target and I started having pains in my stomach. I decided to sit down and rest and let my husband continue shopping. A few minutes later, Reilley came over to me and said she wanted to sit with me and make sure I was okay. She rubbed my back the whole time. That’s just how she is.
Reilley has a natural exhuberance and zest for life that inspires me. She is so out-going and makes everyone her friend. She tends to be a little bossy, but after all, she is my child. And she is still my baby. I’ve watched her grow from a helpless infant whom I breast fed and changed diapers for into a spirited, independent, social butterfly. Those first few months of sleepless nights and rocking her are nothing but a memory now. Now she is a “big girl” and I even trust her enough to walk to her friend’s house just up the street all by herself. Of course, I watch her the whole way.
Reilley is also a very good big sister to her adoring baby brother (despite the teasing). Cole looks up to her so much and sometimes I think they have their own secret language with each other. They really are mindful of each other and it is so beautiful to watch. I know they’ll have each other for their whole lives. The last seven years I have grown-up as I have watched my daughter grow. She has changed my life for the better. She has made me more patient, more compassionate, and a whole lot less selfish.
For my sweet little girl, I’d like to dedicate the first verse of Martina McBride’s song “In my Daughter’s Eyes” in honor of her birthday.
In my daughter’s eyes,
I am a hero.
I am strong and wise,
And I know no fear.
But the truth is plain to see.
She was sent to rescue me.
I see who I want to be,
In my daughter’s eyes.
Last night I attended my sister-in-law’s high school graduation. The Principal of the school aknowledged that most graduation speeches are just a bunch of platitudes strung together. So in his speech, he proceeded, rather humorously, to do just that. His entire speech was just quote after quote of one sanctimonious saying after another. It was great, and much more entertaining than the usual graduation fare.
One student I couldn’t help but laugh at his speech. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but having graduated 12 years ago I know from experience that what he was saying wasn’t true. He talked about how they would never forget this or that experience from high school, and I thought “yes you will.” And if you do remember high school as the best time in your life, I feel truly sorry for you. I believe high school is the 3 or 4 years you spend surviving in order to make you strong enough for the real world to come. So to this kid I say, no I don’t remember the first time I walked through the “hallowed” halls of my high school, nor the last time I did either. But I do remember the first time I met my husband, the first time we kissed, when we married, and when each of my children were born. For me, those events were incredibly more significant in my life than trying to find my locker the first day of sophomore year.
Years later, I brought my first child home from the hospital. While I reveled in our quiet moments of nursing and rocking together, I longed to find a song to sing to her that would adequately explain the feelings of joy and love I had for her. I remembered the song “Baby Mine” and I quickly learned the lyrics. I noticed that my singing never failed to quiet her when she was crying and put her to sleep after she was done nursing.
When my son was born a few years later, I sang “Baby Mine” to him as well. When he was six-weeks-old he was hospitalized for RSV. Even though he was just a tiny baby, and was a month premature already, the only time he seemed happy was when I would rock him and sing “Baby Mine.” His little baby eyes would roll back in his head and he was soon peacefully asleep.
Now that my children are a little older, they sometimes request that I sing to them before they go to sleep. Whenever I ask my two-year-old son what song he wants me to sing, he always says “Baby Mine.” I have even caught him singing the first lines of the song to himself on occasion. Sometimes when I sing it to him and he’s over-tired, he will get mad and yell, “I’m not a baby.” He doesn’t understand that he’ll always be my baby.
I have sung this song to my children, probably over a million times. The last time I did, I looked over at my two sweet angel-babies lying in their beds. Their faces were so trusting and their eyes were filled with peace. It is at these moments that I know exactly why my mother cried when Dumbo’s mom rocked him to sleep in her trunk. Again, my voice catches as I sing the words, “you’re so precious” to me. I can’t help it, the song and my children are too close to my mommy-heart.