"Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is.
Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!"--Tasha Tudor



Friday, December 12, 2008

Where does the time go?

I love this picture. I know it is faded. I know it is fuzzy. It was probably taken with a disposable camera back then. But I love it just the same. It is of my kids, Johnny and Laura. I found it last night while going through some boxes and papers. I'm thinking this must have been taken in 1995? (I had Johnny when I was barely 21 so by their ages here that seems about right.) I remember stringing all of that popcorn with them. I was just reading a post by Liz about her lack of sleep and the neighbors seeing her out in her pj's. (She just cracks me up!) The combination of reading that and finding this photo made me think of times when I couldn't sleep. I'm not talking about my usual insomnia. I'm talking about when Laura was born. She was a preemie, 3 1/2 mos. early born at 25 weeks weighing 970 grams. Just under two pounds. 8 sticks of butter. Her fingers were the size of those little plastic things on the end of your shoe laces (did you know they are called aglets?) In the NICU for 2 + months with many ups and downs. For the few hours we left the hospital each day, there was no such thing as a restful sleep. A cry-yourself-to-sleep sleep, yes. Restful, no. The doctor came in one day after two months and simply said, "paint her room." It was his way of telling us she was going to be OK. She came home on a heart monitor which she had for about a year and a half. It would beep if she stopped breathing. Restful sleep? Mmmmm....not so much.

Then there's Laura's older brother, my dear sweet John Jr. What can I tell you about John? He is like the mayor. Always has been. Knows everyone, likes everyone. The most empathetic person I know. And stubborn! Good Lord is he ever. And, excuse the expression, but he could argue the pants off of the Pope. His teen years seriously contributed to my lack of sleep; as I'm sure mine did to my mother. Those with teenagers know what I'm talking about. ( Those with young babies, well, just wait. ) It was great when they'd just all come over. Food in the fridge = teenage hangout. Sleep was reasonably peaceful until some of the older kids started driving and curfews got later and later. John was pretty good about letting me know where he was when he was out. There was a point there where he wasn't so good about coming home on time. One night, he hadn't come home. It was about 2 AM. The Mister had just worked like 8 hours OT and was out like a light. I heard sirens. Wild thoughts started filling my head. My car was snowed in, so I grabbed my husband's keys to his work van and threw on my coat and headed out to find Johnny. I drove all over town until I recognized one of his friends smoking a cigarette outside the local 24-7 diner. I pulled the van up, (the friend had vanished) and walked into the diner to see if Johnny was there. Did I mention that I had on hot pink flannel Sylvester and Tweety pajamas, un-brushed hair sticking out like Medusa, a giant spot of green "Mint Julep Queen Helene" mask on a zit on my cheek? I went back outside, got into the van and saw Johnny and his friends sitting on the guard rail. I pulled the van up to the rail and opened the passenger side door without saying a word. Johnny and the whole motley crew piled in. It was so quiet back there, you could have heard socks drop. One by one I dropped them off at their houses until the last one just looked at me as he got out of the van and said, 'you know Mrs. S, you are a little scary sometimes.' When we got home, I was able to finally sleep knowing all of my chicks (and everyone else's) were back in the nest.

When our kids would do something stupid, my friend Tracy always would say, "They'll all be 25 one day." How right she was. Time flies. I wish I could clip its wings. -CS ^..^

12 comments:

Linda said...

Amen to this! Many of us have walked in these shoes.

Anna M said...

Now I fully understand why you have a herding breed. They probably train with you!!!

Corgidogmama~ said...

Cat~you're feeling nostaglic too. This month has been a killer for me, remembering when my kids were home...now 32 and 34.
I miss those days so much. I was a single parent for 15 years, so we were tight.
Thanks for sharing your story. I would have gone out in my jammies as well. Moms do stuff like that!

Michele said...

Esp. this time of year, its easy to wish them back into their footie pajamas and watch them open their stockings with looks of wonder and excitement. Then tear into every gift that has a name on the tag even barely resembling theirs! So fun and adorable. I guess I'll just have to wait for grandkids so I can relive those days! At least my dogs are still excited when they get their Christmas toys!!

Marissa said...

I did the same thing to my mom as a teenager. My little brother is going through it right now and I am the one taking the kid herder role for him and his friends. When I have kids there dad is staying up, and he already knows it.

a corgi said...

such a cute picture of your kids when they were younger

I've had a few restless nights too; thankfully my teen made curfew more than he didn't but I always remember waiting and watching the clock, getting anxious as that time came closer and closer

you are right about where does the time go? I always tell young moms to not rush things and to enjoy the days they have now because they'll be gone so soon

betty

Anonymous said...

OK my dear friend. I just put mascara on and now it's all smudged and full of tears. The photo is a treasure. Love, Steph

Lorie said...

Cat-I too am tearing up, my oldest is 11 so I am just on the cusp of those teenage years-w/4 girls It will be sure to be a bumpy ride. I already am missing them and wanting to keep them right where they are, did you ever know you could love something so much?
XO Lorie

Ivy@PaperElixir said...

My sister was also born very premature, at 26 weeks and 2.2 lbs! I was only 2 then so I don't really remember, but I remember how tired and sad my mom looked back then... Must be tough. And I was that teenager like your son when I was young, I'm eagerly awaiting payback some day :P

Elsie said...

Just found your site through a link from margaret and helen's blog thru Moon Mystic, somehow. (?) Loved what you wrote about the teen years. My girl is now 20 and doing well at her university, but we went thru hell with her, at times. Bipolar depression was a major reason, but she's on the other side of all that and doing well.

But when she's back home from school on weekends or, like now, for the holidays, then stays out late, and if I awaken at 3am, even now, I go check to see if my little chickie has come back to the nest. It's what moms do. Amen.

Heather said...

what stories! I cant imagine all you went through with your little premi daughter...my little one is almost 2....cant say Im anticipating the teen years, lol!

The City Farmgirl said...

I so enjoyed this post. I have those days to look forward to...