September 11, 2010

High School Reunion, Skipped

High school has been on my mind recently. To begin with, I recently discovered Sarah Dessen, and I've been plowing my way through her books the past two weeks. She is a YA author and writes mainly about teenage girls and all the chaos that surrounds that time of life. I LOVE them. (It doesn't hurt that she shares my great love of Friday Night Lights AND Gilmore Girls. She also lives in North Carolina. The more I learn about her, the more I'm beginning to wonder if she is the girl version of my soul mate.) I just finished The Truth About Forever and I've been wishing I had a sweet high school relationship to look back on all day. My experiences with high school romance revolved mainly around unrequited crushes that lasted for years at a time, before finally crashing and burning, usually in some typically over-dramatized teenage fashion (That's right, John Hreha. I'm talking about you. French Lick, Indiana. High school ski trip. Broke my heart. Not sure I've forgiven you for that one, yet). My first legit date didn't happen until just weeks before graduation, which is just lousy timing all around. Not the stuff of swoony YA fiction. Oh well, life certainly got better from that point on.

The other, much more predictable, reason behind the reminiscing is that my 10 year high school reunion is happening back in Tennessee as I type this. For many various reasons, I chose not to make the effort to go back to Tullahoma for the reunion. Most of the people I'd like to see and catch up with were not able to attend, and if I am honest, the only reason I'd be there tonight would be to people watch. To compare and judge, feel inadequate and bring up all those lovely high school feelings all over again. Although, I do admit, it would be nice to see the beer bellies in person. Facebook, I'm sure, doesn't do them justice....One of the few instances of pure justice in this world, when those guys end up with a gut the size of Mississippi (and we all know who those guys were).

When I was graduating from high school, I just knew that nothing would keep me from coming back in 10 years to see everyone. And yet, here I sit, on my comfy couch with my pjs on, miles and miles away from the reunion, and totally content with that outcome. The farther away I get from high school, the less important it all seems. I wasn't a social outcast. I wasn't popular. I was a nerd and an overachiever, and I spent most every weekend staying in. I didn't have a boyfriend, didn't drink alcohol until college, never broke curfew, spent a ridiculous anount of time at church, and generally did what I was supposed to do. I have never felt like I had a typical high school experience, but I'm not sure I would change it, if given the chance.

I haven't kept in touch with many people from my graduating class. If it weren't for social media, I would only know the whereabouts of maybe 4 of them. High school just wasn't where I ever found a niche. Going away to college ended up being the smartest decision I ever made. Now that reunion I may make an effort to go to!
So, how about you? Did you go to your 10 year class reunion? Was it worth it?

September 3, 2010

Year 1, Survived!

Dear Luke,

Today is your first birthday. Yay! While I'm sure your birthdays in years to come will most likely involve more craziness, the current Disney It-character, and much more sugar, we celebrated today with the timeless tradition of letting you eat cake with lots of icing while almost completely naked. After being a little hesitant about what exactly you were supposed to do with the giant chocolate cupcake we placed in front of you, with a little help, you finally got the idea and embraced the cupcake with both hands. Literally.

I've spent most of the day reminiscing about what we were doing at that specific time a year ago. At 9 PM last night, I was watching a stupid reality show about crashing cars when I laughed and thought I'd peed on myself, when in fact, my water had broken. At 2 AM this morning, we gave up on starting labor by walking the halls of the Maternity Ward, I took half an Ambien and got the last good sleep I'd get for about 10 months. At 9, your father and I were watching Season 1 of The Office on DVD, courtesy of your Uncle Sam, while I was hooked to an IV that pumped me full of Pitocin. At 3 PM, I was READY for an epidural. At 4:00 I was REALLY READY for that epidural to start working. And finally, at 5:21, you arrived. Cone head and all.

This past year has been so many things. And while exhausting is probably the most apt description, it's also been the most rewarding, exciting, and challenging year of my life to date. I know those are the typical 1st year feelings. I was expecting them and they came just like clockwork. What I wasn't expecting was the real sense of accomplishment I'd feel today. You are one year old today. You have been (mostly) healthy, (mostly) happy, and (definitely) ALIVE for one whole year. You eat well, you learned to walk early, and thank the good Lord above, you FINALLY sleep through the night. And to top it all off, your father and I love you more today than we even knew was possible. I feel like I should be pumping my fist in the air while saying this. 'Cause it truly is an accomplishment, and a blessing, that I get to say it at all.

I can't say that I ever doubted that we'd live to see this day. You weren't a terribly difficult baby, based upon what I've learned from other moms. And yet, making it this far seemed so impossible all those many months ago when you wouldn't gain weight, when you wouldn't sleep more than 2 hrs at a time, when I was so sleep deprived that I turned into a different person. Being your mom was, and is, truly the hardest job I've ever had. There are no sick days, no paid vacation, no mandatory break times...just sore boobs, diapers, and lots of bodily fluids.  

But the good still outweigh the bad...and not by just a little. Your personality, that has been showing itself slowly more and more in the last few months, is so stinkin' cute. You are such a happy guy. You love "sneaking" up behind me and shrieking with laughter when you hit me on the back and I react with total shock and surprise. Ever since the day you figured out how to go from sitting to crawling, you have rarely held still for more than a second at a time. Now that you are walking, this had created quite a challenge for me...you are never where I leave you. I feel like I spend all day just following you around.

So, here we are. One year of your life is over. While I don't feel especially weepy over the fact that you aren't a baby anymore and are instead in a dead sprint to toddlerhood, I am overcome with emotion just the same. I am so thankful that I get to be your Momma. That you are so healthy and so happy and so alive. I love you, little man.

And so, for all that, I am celebrating today. Here's to you and me, kid. We made it! Let's eat cake!