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 ^..^