Monday, September 20, 2010

Random - Just to hear the keys go click

I spent the entire weekend studying for my first exam, which was today. It covered several huge chapters out of our main text, a couple dozen chapters out of our secondary text, three chapters of medical math, and four chapters of medical terminology. I must be learning something after all because after it was over I thought to myself “well, that wasn’t too bad”. Then I came home, changed into completely unflattering gauchos and a huge t-shirt, made myself an enormous burrito, and have tuned into mindless television shows and looked at silly things on the internet because MY BRAIN WANTS A BREAK.


Jeff and I were planning our upcoming weekends and we have something planned for every weekend until the end of time. On one hand, yay, stuff to do! On the other, boo, whatever happened to lazy weekends where we stay in our pajamas and watch old 80’s movies? I don’t even know the last time we’ve done that. With Jeff working nights, weekends are the only time we have together as a whole family. It’s also the only time we can spend with his folks, or mine, or any of our friends. It’s the times when we do grocery shopping, or house projects. I hate that he has to work nights. It ruins everything. And makes me cranky. This post will start getting out of hand, so I should probably change the subject.


Faith’s teacher brought her out to the car last week (which is new to me, this whole escort to and from the car thing. Just what are they trying to keep the parents from seeing inside?) and told me that Faith had had a good day, but was a little disappointed when no one else wanted to play pretend with her. She was stuffing animals and/or dolls up her shirt and pretending to be pregnant. I laughed and shook my head and tried to appear like a normal parent and informed the teacher that it’s been a big thing with her lately, playing “pregnant”. The teacher eyed me, probably trying to figure out if I were pregnant which would make more sense and so I made sure to tell her I didn’t know where it was coming from, and we went home. Where Faith continued to play pregnant, made her barbies be pregnant, and drew pictures of babies in bellies. So I decided to really blow her mind and showed her the video of her being born and she was FASCINATED. I asked her if she wanted me to have another baby and she said no, that she’ll just have one some day when she grows up a little bit and I could help her take care of it. I’m so proud of her. She wants to have a child, doesn’t care if she’s married, and she’ll make me take care of it. I must be doing something right in my child rearing duties!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Not long ago Jeff and I were looking through old pictures on the computer, click click click and we were transported back two years and three. There we sat, mouths hanging open as we viewed our children back then. James, bald, wide gummy smile. Faith, short curls, baby-face. The videos are more extreme, tiny voices that are now loud. Of course, in a few short years I’ll think that these are the tiny voices (hard to imagine) and that time has again back-handed me and left me stunned.

Chubby cheeks are starting to narrow, and short legs are lengthening. Diapers are non-existent and temperaments are well in place. I can hardly lift Faith without a verbal exclamation and James is much more boy than baby. I watched the videos and looked at the pictures wanting so badly for another baby, another tiny thing to feed and hold and be a BABY, but I know that another would quickly grow out of “baby” and into “kid” in lightning time.

I’m trying to make it last. I’m trying to keep our old habits. I swaddle them in towels and hold them in front of the mirror after the bath, something I started with Faith when she was just a wee thing. I sing the morning songs, the patience songs. I cuddle and carry and use our own language whenever possible, transforming hand to “hammy” and flip-flops to “clip-clops” and they are moving on when I refuse to.

It is obvious that each stage is a new wonder, a new sense that I must hang on to this, this right now, and wish forever for the memories to stay clear and never leave my ever-evolving mind. They are wondrous and aren’t I the lucky one to get to experience this? How silly it feels sometimes to complain about this small thing or that inconvenience when I have the privilege to watch them be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Experience

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Something sad, I suppose. Old people, feeble-bodied and weak-minded, sitting listlessly around a bleak room, lonely and depressed. I figured they would all be sickly and incoherent. I’m not sure why I thought this way, but I suppose I had heard so many stories about the sadness of nursing homes from my in-laws that I expected the senior center I visited today to be the same.

It is part of the nursing program I’m in, a community service type of assignment. We spent some time with seniors today and we’ll go spend some time in an elementary school in a couple weeks. While I was looking forward to the elementary school (a little) I was sort of dreading today. So imagine my surprise, just ten minutes into my visit, when I thought to myself “this is awesome”.

The people I met were upbeat and energetic people. The woman I spent most of the day with, Wilma, was easily one of the most effervescent, witty, quick, charming people I’ve ever met. Her hands moved quickly with her crochet needle, her eyes easily picked up the mistake I made when she was trying to teach me, she had comebacks for every taunt thrown her way in record time. She is 86 years old. Her and another lady, who is 90 and proclaims that she is healthy as a horse, made easy jokes towards one of the only men at the center. They are both widowed but they don’t want “an old man”. Wilma was married for 57 years and her husband passed six years ago. She told me that they were very close and had he been alive she wouldn’t have been out at the center, but that it’s helped her a lot. It keeps her from looking at four walls all the time.

Wilma enjoyed me being her pet today and I didn’t want to leave her side even though the room was full of older people, all in their own groups, all full of hearty laughter. I laughed so much today that I felt my cheeks starting to hurt. Wilma reminded me of my grandmother, my father’s mother, who was quick like her, feisty, and would give those big, toothy, loud laughs when something amused her. I tried my hand at crocheting on a loom, and admired all of their handiwork, beautiful hats, scarves, blankets, afghans, quilts. All made with ancient hands and carefully stored away to be sold at a craft fair to raise money for the senior center. I told myself that I would be there and purchase Wilma’s Christmas quilt.

Every time my eyes met someone else’s I gave them a genuine smile and received one in return. Here were folks who had spent most of their lives, if not all, in North Georgia and spent their days at the same center with the same people and I could just feel a current shift by my presence. They were happy to see me. They wanted to tell me their stories, and hear mine. They were pleased to hear I was in nursing school and that I was a Christian. They were not stingy with common affection, touching my arm, patting my shoulder. They talked about the children at the local school where they sometimes go to read books with the first graders. They are proud of those children, praising their intelligence, as if they were their own. They would like Faith, I think, with her quiet manner and polite ways. They would like James, with his charming smile and his crinkly eyes.

It was time for me to go, it came by too quickly. I went to get my purse and had the director sign my paper saying that I had indeed spent time there, and as I walked back to Miss Wilma to say goodbye, I saw dismay in her eyes.

“Are you leaving, honey?” she asked.

“I am,” I replied with some sadness. “But I’d like to come back and see you again. May I?”

And she smiled and pulled me into a hug and kissed my cheek, said that of course I could, and then told me goodbye and that she loved me.