Happy Birthday Janine!
Friendships start because of a common bond. My longest-standing friendship started in kindergarten. The bond? Our birthday. When you’re six-years-old, having the same birthday as someone else is just way cool. We grew up doing our parties together (we even rented out the local roller skating rink a few times and invited our entire grade). Since she grew up with a divorced, working mother, she would stay at my house most days after school. We were like sisters (for good, or bad) as we grew.
It is amazing how lives that have been shared for the past 25 years can be so different. We graduated high school together. I went off to get my bachelor’s in English, came home, married my high school sweetheart, and started my family. Janine got her bachelors in (oh shoot, I forget exactly) something scientific and pre-med. Then she got her masters in ethnomusicology (the study of ethnic music–she plays a wicked steel drum). Now, she is working on her PhD dissertation (also in ethnomusicology). She has traveled the world, learning its instruments and dances as she went. She has probably already seen more of other cultures than I ever will in my life (I’m not trying to sound depressing, especially since I’m certainly not that old–but, well, when you hate flying your options become more limited).
Our lives have turned out completely different, but I think we are both pleased with where we are. And, thinking about it, I’m amazed at how far we have both come. There is so much of life ahead of us still–I can’t wait to see how far we will both go.
With my mother-in-law in town until this afternoon, yesterday was a full day. It started with her, Sean and his brother taking all of the kids sledding in a local park with a huge hill. Sean said that I would have been amazed to see W~. From the description, honestly, I think it was probably a good thing I didn’t. He said that W~ would sit on this flexible little sled (designed to fly over the ice and snow), get himself going straight, then lay back like he was on the luge and steer himself with his feet. As soon as he reached the bottom, he would trudge back up this big, ice-covered hill and do the whole thing again. Over and over. They said he was like a machine. The kid just scares me sometimes. He is incredibly determined and fearless. And he’s only three! We have a picture of him (from this summer, when he was still two), wearing water wings and jumping off of a diving board into a pool. He has the most enormous grin on his face. He did that the same way–over and over, until he was exhausted.
The other kids had a blast sledding, too, and by the time I met up with them they were all visibly tired. They napped as we took an hour drive to one of the closer big cities in our state to have lunch at Dave and Buster’s. What, you’ve never heard of Dave and Buster’s? Think Chuck-E-Cheese for adults. With good food. We had lunch, we played, life was good. C~ had his grandma actually paying (over and over) to ride a car race game. Apparently, he quickly figured out when it was truly going and when it was just in demo mode. As soon as the real game ended and the demo came on, he would insist that she start it over. Not bad for a 23-month-old. N~ just enjoyed the whole experience, hanging out with his older cousin and obsessing over the tickets they had won.
The rest of the day was spent at home–hanging out, eating leftovers, and trying to tune out the cacophony of kids and cousins tearing through my house. I managed to sew together the head to C’s teddy bear–a process that was, at one point, interrupted by his intense interest in it. I am pleased with the result so far.
One birthday, obviously, has not yet occurred. As much as I would have loved to, I have not been able to fulfill my mother-in-law’s desire to see her grandson before she leaves today. Even though my actual due date isn’t until tomorrow, I’m getting antsy. I know I wasn’t this bad with the other two. I just want to see him, know that he is healthy, and get on with adjusting to all of the new challenges a fourth child will bring.
And be able to lay on my stomach again. That would be nice, too.