Saturday, July 19, 2014

Memory Hoarder

I realized something about myself while I was deflating a "Congratulations, Grad" balloon to put into my son's graduation memory book--yes, his party was in June but we have been testing the Party City    claim that their balloons last a long time and they do.  I am a memory hoarder.  I cannot let go of one single, seemingly inconsequential picture, craft or event that pertains to my children.  While I am certainly not suggesting that my son's graduation from high school was a mere blip on our radar screen, I seem to hold all things child-related with the same amount of intensity and a fervent need to hold the memory as a keepsake.  For instance, I am certainly an anomaly amongst my friends when it comes to photo albums for my children as each of my children have a large number of albums with photos placed in chronological order, labeled with with the event and any anecdotical comments I may have had at the moment.  I have never missed an event from birthday to classroom party...times four.  Each and every memento brought home is either saved or photographed to be saved...times four.  Interestingly or perhaps scarily, I can remember in vivid detail the situation or event surrounding the picture as well and those key dates that I am fearful of forgetting are written down in memory got it, times four.

Braces on?  I can tell you the date it happened.  Taken off?  Got that, too.  From first haircut (with first cut locks saved, of course) to permit test, I have it documented in each child's book.  I have been laughed at and mocked because, honestly, who in their right mind will care about the exact date that my youngest slept through the night, but I am terrified that I might.  I simply need to remember these things to keep the memories safe.

This summer has been incredibly bittersweet for me because while I am happy to sharing this time with my children, my focus is on summer's end and my son heading off to college.  Memories have taken over my thoughts and this enormous change in my family has me thinking about all the firsts he had taken and the firsts yet to come and the inevitable sadness that I feel that those new firsts will not be documented by me.  Yes, I am fully aware that some of those firsts should not be documented at all.

One of my closest friends told me that while this will be a difficult summer because of the obvious countdown to his departure, once he goes, the focus will be on the countdown to his return and the new memories we will make.  All I know is that I will be there happily documenting those times, memory hoarder that I am.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Unkind Summer

Since the last week of school, my oldest was sick then lovingly passed the bug to my husband who held on to it for a few days, then decided my other son was missing out so he shared it with him. Simultaneous to this germ-passing event, I faced two health issues myself (small, but impossibly annoying and long lasting) before catching that lovely bug from my son who apparently did not want me to feel left out. Thrilled to have received this 'gift,' I sweetened the pot by adding the longest lasting sore throat to the cootie before sharing it with my youngest.  Nice twist, no?  We decided to keep illness for as long as is humanly possible and so we are just now recovering.  Just not a fun start to summer at all.  I was hoping to put all of summer's initial annoyance behind us when we awoke this morning at 5am to the deafening shrill tone of our carbon monoxide detector.  The good thing is that we would have been getting up in 25 minutes anyway, but the bad thing is that no one needs to be startled awake quite like that at any time of the day or night.

My first thought after I was able to calm myself down enough to think was that I had better get out of the shortie pj's and put on some clothes while my second thought was that no one should see what my short hair looks like in the morning before a shower.  Crap, this was going to be ugly, very ugly.  By this point, my husband and the children were in flight mode and with me yelling 'grab Phoebe and get out of the house,' I made my way down the stairs taking my keys and phone (I was later berated by my daughter for not having the decency to have grabbed her phone as well) and jackets for everyone as I ran out the door.  What a fun way to start the day!

While we waited for the fire department to arrive, praying all the time that their sirens would not be blaring, we did what any normal family would do when wrenched from their beds at an unkind hour.  My boys played lacrosse, my husband was on his phone and my daughter chattered on about the morning's events and how incredulous she was that she had seen her phone but not taken it. There you go.

Long story short, the fire department finally showed up only to take a look and deduce that they had no idea why the alarm went off. They took a reading and there was nothing to be concerned about.  Seriously?  I wanted something to be wrong on some level.  We earned a better answer than they had no idea, right? Now I am paranoid this will happen again, randomly. Let's tick another box for additional stress for this mommy.

So summer is bugging me right now.  I had hopes of relaxing and enjoying beautiful weather...don't get me started on that subject either.  That said, I hope summer takes it sweet time coming to an end as my son heads off to college in August and I want to face that even less than I wanted to face those firemen this morning, not showered with crazy hair, mismatched clothes and a bad attitude.