Friday, March 23, 2007

I don't like you!

The weather has been so amazing here that I cannot stand to be indoors. Each morning the boys (minus E) and I have headed off for some adventure. The zoo, the park, the library...etc. It is great to get them out and moving in the morning, and I do so much better being out of the house.

Tuesday I took the boys to a local park. This park is wonderfully huge and has so many different playgrounds that you can easily get away from the crowd. I've been consumed by a wonderful book lately (The Other Boleyn Girl- I finished it yesterday) so I wanted a playground where I could watch the boys play without too many other big kids pushing them around. Of course this part was wonderful for that, but I couldn’t resist playing with them.

About twenty minutes into our play another kid showed up. I get a little territorial when it comes to my boys (all three of them) so I watch this kid to make sure he's going to interact well with W&W. He climbs up by where I am standing, looks at me and says 'I don't like you'. Now this is within two minutes of his arrival. No reason for him to not like me, yet. I smile and say 'Well that's just too bad now isn't it.' trying to take the 'high road' against an eight-year old. He scampers off, comes back and says to me again 'I don't like you'. This time, instead of being a polite mommy, not to mention the fact that his Dad was twenty feet away chain-smoking, I turned to him and said 'I don't like you either'. I followed this by the classic sticking out of the tongue. He scampered off again and I just laughed...and laughed...and couldn't stop laughing!

Of course it was sad that I stooped down to an eight-year old's level but it was so refreshing! I wanted to start walking around and just say 'I don't like you' to random people on the street, just to see their reactions! The truth is that I like more people than I do not. And I try very hard (some would say too hard) to like those who do not initially catch my favor.

However, the people (and I am talking about a specific group - none of whom would be reading this) that I do not like are really starting to drive me crazy. Crazy enough that I really want to say 'I don't like you'.

Now I know at least one of you, and I can guess who that would be, is going to say that I should just say it. That I should just step away from the people and stop worrying about trying to like them, or trying to please them, or trying to change them.

I cannot say it. Not in real life. There are many, many reasons. None of which I can really share without starting to share facts that would link to specific individuals. And to be fair, they aren't necessarily doing anything on purpose to make me not like them. Goes back to the old saying, 'it's not you, it's me'. Like 8th grade break-ups.

Too bad this isn't 8th grade. Well, actually I'm glad it's not 8th grade. I did like my English teacher (Mrs. Hall) and I loved getting in trouble for talking with Autumn in class all the time. We made lots of fun movies for projects, ones that cause red cheeks and tears of embarrassment now. 8th grade overall was hard though, mostly because you could still say or be told 'I don't like you'. It was usually combined with something like 'I don't like you, and neither does Katherine, Anne or Mary*. We think you should sit at another table'. It would have been better if I was the one hearing it, but usually I was the snotty brat saying it.

Which is why my behavior at the playground was so funny. Here I am, significantly older than I was in 8th grade, reverting to youthful antics.

And yet, in the end, I still wouldn't mind gathering a group of people together, and saying 'I don't like you', oh, and 'Have a nice day'.

*Catch that?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

the kiddos

I sent an email to a friend today with an update of the kiddos, and figured that some of you might like to read it as well! These two sure keep me on my feet. When I'm done doing a back-up of iPhoto I'll post some up here. Here is the news about the terrible two-some that I sent her:

Our Will turns three next month. Can you believe it? I'm telling you what it goes so fast. Last night I went in and sat in their rooms and just watched them both sleep. It feels like any moment they'll be 30 and I'll be visiting their homes and their families and such. Any way, Will turns three...gotta stay focused :) Hard to believe that is he going to be three and then there are times that it is hard to believe is ONLY three. He is very talkative and has a memory that holds on to everything. Some of my favorite things about Will or Will-isms are:
~ He is totally fascinated with wheels and fans. For example, we went to the zoo this week and he kept begging me to go to the giraffes. Of course I think this must be because he loves giraffes (they are his power animal, right Noonie?). Quite the contrary, he remembered that there are huge ventilation fans that he wanted to stare at. We were there for twenty minutes.
~ When he is sick or gets an owie he usually asks for something, like a Band-Aid or food or something. When I give it to him he says 'It feels me so better'.
~He lines up his cars in order from smallest to biggest, and then will rearrange them several times.
~At almost three he is still small enough to fit in clothes for a two year old! Yet he eats like a horse.
~When he says goodbye he doesn't just say bye, he says (and does the corresponding signs) 'I love you. Rock on. Hang loose. Okie-dokie, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Goodbye!'
~ He is smarter than I know what to do with. He has now started to read. We went for a walk the other night downtown and he found where it said 'Walker' on a building. Figured it was a fluke until he read me the exit sign. He can spell Mom, Dad, Will, Walker, stop, no, and a few others.

Walker is a definite 'Walker'! He is now eighteen months. It is funny because when I look back at pictures of him from his birth he is the same! Except now he is full of personality and trouble! He learns everything through physical trial and error. Some of my favorite things about Walker or some of his Walker-isms are:
~ The child can eat anything in less than five minutes flat. I'm not talking about eating a carrot in five minutes. I'm talking about eating an entire banana, or sandwich, or bowl of noodles. Five minutes flat.
~ He loves shapes. His favorite song is one about triangles, circles, and squares. He'll dance to it around the house and he'll find anything shaped like a common shape and twist it around in his hands. His favorite shape is an oval and he points them out everywhere. One of his first words has been 'diamond'.
~ When he gets really mad (which is often since we can't understand what the heck he says most of the time), he raises up his hand and then smacks the nearest table.
~ At just a year and a half he fits into the same clothes that Will does! He's in the 50th percentile but compared to Will he looks so big.
~ He is pretty headstrong (wonder where he gets that) and when he is doing something he knows he shouldn't and you try to get his attention, he closes his eyes. I need to catch it on camera because it is hard to describe. He takes his eyes, closes them, and then kind of rolls them around to try and peek at you.
~ He is always ready for a cuddle, a hug, or a kiss. He'll ask to walk only to come back two seconds later and want to be carried.

---note to reader, I bet your kids aren't as cute as mine (wink, wink)--------

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My Letter Box

After a conversation yesterday with my best friend, I went into my closet and pulled out my letterbox. You know, the one with all the letters that I have received over the years. My letterbox also has emails that I've printed out - mostly from my college years.

So I sat down last night and started to peruse through the letters. Mostly looking for correspondence with TJ - who has been my friend for twenty years. I found some pretty interesting stuff!

I found a newsletter that must have been from 1993. She claims, as I read it to her, that it must have been something I wrote. I have a vague memory of the two of us sitting down at my computer and writing it. It's all about the life and times of Miss Me and Miss Her. It is funny to read through the names of our crushes and know now what happened with each of those.

This box is hilarious though - I have letters or emails from lots of people - including many people who read this blog. Since I have a funny memory (meaning that it chooses what I remember and when) it was great to read through some of them (I have two-thirds of the box left) and have this sudden rush of memories -and of people who have meant so much to me for different reasons.

Some of my favorites thus far include:

~ a letter that says 'Do you realize that a year ago I was dating jackass and you were dating bastard?'
~ a letter from one of my coaches in high school apologizing for handling his stress badly towards me 'The stress that I have been experiencing lately has little or nothing to do with you.'
~ a letter from my sister that she wrote in church with the 'Annoy Alan Song' lyrics in them. This song was brilliant in making my brother Alan full of rage. Her letter is also written with each line in a new color of marker making the overall letter look like a rainbow. I have several from her during this color phase.
~ a letter from my college crush apologizing - 'I turned around and you were gone'
~ a note from an employer (not mine) when I worked at an employment agency. He developed an enormous crush on my just based off of one meeting and a telephone call. He was saddened to learn that not only did I not return his feelings but that I was engaged. His letter, which makes me laugh and feel sick, is written to 'My sweetest Rochelle' and contains such blabber as 'I never had any intention of falling in love with you' and 'I (wish) I had known sooner so that I could sweep you off your feet.' Ha ha ha. Poor guy. What a heartbreaker I was (smile).
~ letters from my mom full of love, admiration, and chiding. One in particular was written shortly after I got engaged. I cannot read it all the way even to this day.
~ an email from my cousin and I, to my parents, about a particular crush, where they two of us wrote the email together, one in all caps, to distinguish our words. One of the best lines in here is from my cousin and she says 'he's cute, she's cute, together they're cute. according to us girls who are witness to the cuteness it makes us puke!! but that's ok, it keeps her out of my our faces in the wee hours of the morning.'
~ a letter from my younger brother written to 'Baby Shelly', that mentions that I am 'the bestest sister'. My favorite one from him is an email that comes much later in his life that says 'How are the boys? the girls are same old down here. So far I have had a lot more fun just going out with different girls then trying to stay with one girl'.

I could go on and on. Even reading through them now makes me laugh again. I am sure the next two-thirds will bring more laughter, and knowing me, more tears.

Regardless it was a wonderful way to reflect on the past - and to look at some of the relationships that I have had (and still do). One of the things I found in my letterbox was a saying by Kahil Gibran that I had in my dorm room and all of my subsequent college apartments. It really sums up what these letters mean in this collective little box:

'Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field, which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and fireside. For you come to him with your hunger and you seek him for peace.'