Sketchy background details before the
meat emotion of this post:
1. "M" and I met nearly 15 years ago when I was hugely pregnant with Ian.
2. Immediately after meeting her, I went into pre-term labor and was put on bed rest for 6 weeks.
3. Melissa did all my laundry, loaned me her cordless phone, brought me books to read, visited me daily and made my lunches for that period. She also cleaned behind my refrigerator when we moved from one side of our duplex rental to the other. We've been bonded ever since.
4. We had our second babies, our daughters, within 4 months of each other. I got to be there for the birth of hers. It was an outstanding opportunity and an amazing experience to share.
5. She and her children live in our house in Arizona. I miss her everyday.
These are her emails to me this week, as she has been the host to my traveling family:
I can't stop staring. I can't stop staring. I can't stop staring.
These young adults in my house are so fun to watch, and I really can't stop staring. It's especially surreal to see John and Ian together. Every time I look at them together, I get this very vivid picture in my mind of them playing in your apartment in North Phoenix when Ian was still in diapers. They are all getting along so well. Emma and Megs are upstairs trying on all Megs' give-away clothes and Emma appears to be finding quite a stash. Ian and John are at the video store renting a game so Ian doesn't get totally bored tomorrow while John's at school. Megs is opting to stay home, but John feels like he needs to go.
Emma and Megs were in heaven earlier because my niece brought her 6-month old baby over for them to babysit while they went to a Diamondbacks game. They did a fabulous job -- the girls, that is. He's now sleeping thanks to Emma's bottle feeding expertise. I thought she had gone upstairs with him to put him in the bed, but when I walked into the front room she was lying down on the couch and he was cuddled up asleep next to her. I told Megs to take a picture of it, but I'm not sure she did. If she did, I'll email it to you.
Now the girls are out in the rain (Monsoon) getting soaked and John and Ian just came in, so I'd better run. After all, I need to stare some more!!
I can’t help comparing; I can’t help comparing; I can’t help comparing.
Our kids have all grown up so nicely. I can’t help comparing the people that they are now with the little people over the past 14 plus years. From my observation, they have not skipped a beat with each other. My John, who is sooooo completely enthralled with spending time with his high school friends right now, was not one bit distracted by them over the weekend. He opted to stay home from school on Friday after all, and enjoyed being with Ian so much. I can’t help notice how much he and Ian have matured. But all in all, when they get together they laugh and do stupid stuff and have a lot of fun. Now the girls – how much they’ve matured. Alas, even girls who live thousands of miles apart get tired of each other after a couple of days, but the way they handled it speaks to how much they’ve grown up. There was no pouting involved (okay, maybe there was pouting for a couple of seconds) and they just took some deep breaths and went on with the day.
Anyway, what’s not great about comparing the here and now to the there and then when it’s all good?
Finally, thank you so very much for being brave enough to let them come. I’ve done that with my children several times; I know it’s not an easy thing. I know the longing that comes with also wanting to be there and feeling like you’re missing out on so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me bask in their presence, delight in their laughter, be brushed by their kisses, and be enveloped by their hugs. You are remarkable – something I hope you truly know deep down inside. I’m so blessed to call you friend.
My personal postscript:
I am blessed.
I miss my kids.