Posts Tagged ‘friendships’

On August 3rd, my friend D. gave birth to healthy and beautiful twin boys.  She carried them to 34 weeks, defying the odds with each passing day.  Her pregnancy was high risk (extremely high risk), which is still putting it mildly.  High risk for the babies, ‘course, and high risk for my friend.  I can tell her now that I was terrified for her throughout.  Spending weeks early on seeing her name on my caller ID and thinking “Oh no.”  Then, relieved to hear her tired but still strong voice.  She held on.  They held on.  The three of them a daily miracle.   I’m so proud of her.  Of the babies.  Of her husband who, no doubt, felt the same struggles and worries I felt only about 9 million times more strongly and 10 million times more often.   And of her beautiful 3-year-old daughter, who thought Mommy ate too many strawberries and got a big tummy.  They’re a big ole’ family now.  A party of five.   Congratulations, D.  You are, without a doubt, the strongest, kick-a** Mommy I know.  I love you.  Can’t wait to hold the little men.


Also on August 3rd, my friend E. gave birth to a beautiful new baby.  (I mentioned her pregnancy in an earlier post.) While E had, by most accounts, a very “normal” pregnancy, she was never all that comfortable with the idea of another (holy sh*t) person living inside her body.  A masseuse, an athlete, an active Montana girl, E. has always (well…almost always. *wink*) taken care of and been in tune with her own body and its rhythms.  And, for roughly nine months, there was a little pirate aboard the ship.   A welcomed pirate.  But, a pirate nonetheless.  I’m sure she was happy about the slightly early eviction.

It wasn’t that long ago that E.’s father lost a hard-fought battle with cancer.   The loss was, of course, terrible for her.   Her father was a funny, kind and good man and, while the physical distance between them (Montana to Vermont) may have been great the emotional distance was not.   I imagine that when E. learned she was pregnant, she felt her father’s absence ten-fold.  And thought of him often throughout.

E. had a baby boy.   And that beautiful little baby boy carries his grandfather’s middle name with pride.

A Circle of Life

Congratulations, E.  I suppose, being a boy and all, it means we’ll just have to teach him all the words to the Billy Joel Glass Houses album rather than the show tunes from Annie?   Right?   xoxo, Lucy

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I wish I could remember which one of my fabulously smart Mommy friends recently heard me complain about the copious amounts of dog hair wafting around in my house and my resulting compulsion to vacuum every twenty-five seconds.  Whoever she was I do know that she, with a knowing smile, suggested I purchase a Dust Buster and turn it over to the small people.


I swear, they fight over the thing.  They like it so much I have to charge it nightly.  We have to set a timer so they can take turns every two minutes.  Wouldn’t want anyone to get robbed of their own precious cleaning time!

Gotta go.  Children approach.  Must lift my feet.

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I recently learned that my matron-of-honor was pregnant when I read about it on Facebook.   And, I was really, really happy for her.  But, I gotta say, reading about it like that before I had heard it from her just hit me like a ton of bricks.

She was my matron-of-honor when I married in 2002 (she is since divorced and happily remarried) but, more importantly she had been my friend (has been my friend) since we were little girls.  She was that friend who, while we never went to the same school and often went long stretches of time without seeing each other, I just always felt was to be counted as my lifetime best friend.  One of those people who, while the day-to-day updates wouldn’t be shared, the big life events would always inspire us to connect.

Unfortunately, the big life events of late (until the pregnancy) have been sad ones.  My mother’s aneurysms, the death of her father and then her uncle.   But, we found each other.  And found comfort.  In each others voices and, when in the same place, each others hugs.

To be fair, she sent me an email sharing her baby news after her very first OB appointment.  Somehow, I missed it.  Never saw the email and, therefore, never replied.  She assumed I was just too busy with my own life and figured that, while I probably meant to write back, I had let it slip through the cracks.

Isn’t that so damn sad?!  On so many levels, it crushes me.

That she thought I didn’t care enough to acknowledge her huge news. News that I knew she had been praying for.  She will be an amazing mother and we had discussed how kids just had to be in her future.  And, would be.  And wouldn’t that be an amazing day?  We couldn’t wait.  And, she married her Knight.  And, then it happened for her.  A baby!  And, she emailed me.  And….nothing.

That she believed it was possible that I would be so wrapped up in my own life not to get in touch. Never.  I just would never, ever be that sh*tty a friend.  Especially to her.  I hate that she thought I might be.

That she may have felt even the littlest twinge of sadness over my sh*tty friend-ness.  In the moment that was to be so exciting…sharing the big news!  And from her supposed long-time friend.  No reply?   No way.  I hope she wasn’t sad.

That the friggin’ Facebook world got to share her happy news before I did. That I never had that insider feeling you get when someone you love shares something before the news can really be out.  Selfish, I know, but true.

Of course, I don’t think for one minute that this whole miscommunication event was that big a deal to her.  I hope that I’m right that she was happily basking in her new marriage, the amazing man she married, the love of her other friends (surely more intimate friends on a day-to-day basis than I am) and the incredible life she was building inside of her.   (Not to mention the distraction of frequent vomiting.)  And my conspicuous absence from this joy was merely an unexpected blip for her.  I truly hope that it didn’t matter for her.

For me.  It matters.

Am I so wrapped up in my life?  Have I become that person that would miss an email or, worse, not even bother to reply?

I used to roll my eyes at technophobes.  Those archaic dinosaurs who say email is so impersonal.  That we should all be picking up the phone more often.  Writing notes.  Visiting each other.  Touching each other in a way that doesn’t involve a keyboard and DSL.

Now?   I just really wonder.    What’s technology doing to my relationships?  I may have 415 Facebook friends but how many of those people actually give a rat’s a** about me?  When push comes to shove, I mean.  Probably ten?  Six, maybe?  Really.  Not many.

And, one of that small collection of real friends?   She’s having a baby and I had no idea.


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These cards kill me.  Dry, slightly bitter, wickedly smart humor.   Enjoy.

Left side is the cover.  Right side the inside message.

I can’t wait to use my next one.    Here’s the Bald Guy Cards website in case you liked them, too.   

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Question: I need to buy a birthday gift for a five year old girl today.   And, I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

So, should I go to :

a) the boutique toy shop in the high-rent district of downtown Marblehead where no single toy is less than $25


b) Target?

And the answer is…..(drum roll)….A!

Because I need one toy.  And maybe a card.

I do not need a cart full of diapers, a six-window picture frame, juice boxes, spicy snack mix,  a few pairs of 5T blue jeans, Winnie the Pooh bath toys, scented candles, a cute new top and a six-pack of Right Guard.   And that’s exactly what I would get if I went to Target.

You hear me, girls.  I know you do.

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Thank you.

I follow a number of blogs lately.  I’m sort of immersing myself in this weird, new culture and unless you are in it you probably have no godly idea how ridiculously huge the blog world really is.  Huge.  I’m something like two years behind the trend, too.  Women like me (and women not at all like me) have been blogging away, sharing thoughts and deep feelings and humor and intensely private things to total strangers across the world for a long time now.   (Men, too, but whatever)  There are blogs I read in which the writer has well over 500 readers, whose comments sections alone are much longer than most of  my entries.  I can’t decide if I’m jealous of those writers or if having that many people paying attention would totally freak me out.  I know it would freak my husband out.

Writing has always been something I love to do.  It’s in my blood.  My mother, who dabbled in some journalism, is a very talented writer.  Her own sisters’ resumes include Editor, The Boston Globe and Emmy-Winning Writer, All My Children.

I’m also an only child which means that while I crave attention I also crave my secrets.  I need something I can call my own (mine! mine! mine!).   And, as Husband has strongly suggested to me, there are just certain things that shouldn’t be shared to the larger audiences.   To me, these include intimate details of:  sex, someone else’s (read: Husband’s) career, true and scary marital issues…oh, and when you’re going on vacation.  Because you might get robbed.  Right?

Yesterday I read a blog titled “…and the horse you rode in on” in which the author talked about how much she couldn’t stand her husband.  And, I judged her for that.    Then, today I read a blog in which a woman stated that she and her husband “never fight”.  And, I judged her for that, too.

So, I guess my point is that blogging is a weird, weird thing.  I think that those who do it (including myself) are desperately seeking …something.  Listeners?  Validation?  “Followers”?  Feedback?   A voiceless Sounding Board?  It’s an intensely vain yet altogether vulnerable practice.

Do they like me?  Do they think I’m funny?  Annoying?  Full of myself?

Do I care?   Probably.

Either way, thank you.  All five to ten of you.  For being there.  For reading.    Thanks.

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We’re done having kids.  Officially.  We made the decision to call it quits after our second and, as I was having a scheduled c-section, the logistics around closing up shop were simple.  My family is complete.

Two boys.  Three years apart.  And, at ages 5 and 2, they are becoming closer friends every day.  They worship Dad but need Mommy.  They snuggle and love and climb up onto my lap and they give me everything I have ever needed and allow me now to sit back with a contented sigh and say, “Yup.  This is it.  All I need.”
And, really, I have not for one honest moment, had a second thought about the decision not to expand the clan further.  I mean, sure, I love the feeling of a sleeping baby on my chest, the smell of their hair, the sound of their gentle breath.  But, most of time I remember that I’m terrified that their gel-like necks will break, that they’ll wake up and wail or that colic will force me to the local pharmacy for Xanax.  I adore children but babies, more or less, terrify me.  And, frankly, Ross and I are finally getting real sleep again (until 8 am on Saturday!).  We have trusted sitters and can go out to dinner without worry.   I can take a shower when both kids are awake and know that they won’t choke on a marble while I’m gone.  We’re about six months from never changing a diaper again.  We’re in the groove.  Start over?   No, thank you.
But, we went on vacation last week with some friends.  They also had two kids.  A little boy who was all boy.   Like, banging into walls, rough and tumble, crazy, funny little man.   A boy.  
But.   They also had Alex.  And, Alex is “little girl” without being excessively girly.  She’s sweet but not wimpy.   She was chatty but not precocious.  She was 3 1/2 but kept right up with my 5 year old.  She took a liking to Ross, which melted my heart over and over again — snuggling up to him on the couch, dog-paddling him down in the pool, giggling at his attention.  I don’t know how many times I picked up teeny, tiny little princess doll shoes and scooped them into a small pile and I loved it every time.  A little girl.  Cutie pie.  Her parents have done a nice job with her.  And, I was, admittedly, a little jealous.   
I bought her a little pink princess bracelet at Disney and could have gotten her about a million other little things throughout the trip.  Because there are so many cute girl things out there in little person land.  And basically nothing for boys if you aren’t desperately seeking some ridiculous sailor suit or a black t-shirt with hideously gaudy designs.
Still, I’m reminded of one of my very favorite lines about having boys versus girls.  It came to me from a male friend in Vermont who has only daughters.  A father of two boys once said to him:
“You know what, man?  I have to worry about two penises.  But, YOU have to worry about the rest of them.”
I wouldn’t change my mind, of course.  I love my boys madly and they (in the cheezy words of Jerry Maguire) complete me.   They have completed our little family.  But, last week, for just a few moments…
A girl.  

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When you go to Disney World without kids, as Ross and I did before we were married, all you notice are the people with strollers.  They’re everywhere.   Ev-er-y-where.  Without a stroller, you are the outsider.  And, while we still more or less enjoyed ourselves at the time, we sort of felt (not sadly) that we didn’t really belong at Disney World.  In hindsight, we had no idea how lucky we were.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  It’s delightful to hear your children squeal and point when they first see Mickey.  It’s beautiful to watch their eyes turn teacup as they glide through the magical “It’s a Small World.”  Blah, blah, blah, blah.


See, I’m a roller coaster person.   And, in the land of the world’s coolest roller coasters, know how many I went on last week?

Zip.  None.  Nada.      


When you’re there with your two year old and your five year old, there’s no Space Mountain, there’s no Big Thunder Mountain and there’s no Splash Mountain.  At Sea World there will be no Manta and at Animal Kingdom there will be no Everest.   Harumph.   I’m already looking forward to when we go back in four or five years and my boys will be so psyched that their Mom wants to go on these rides.  Over and over, please.

Ross and his buddy, Bill, made it onto one cool ride, though.  Bill’s wife, Katie, and I encouraged them to hit a water-ride roller coaster type thing while we watched the kids.  The line looked shortish and there was a good spot where we knew we’d capture their faces with our cameras as they came down the steepest incline towards the water.  Kids at heart, they took us up on the opportunity.

Here’s the shot:

The guys are in the back.  Ross is on the left here with his arm in the air.  
They came off the ride wet and laughing like children.  It was great.   
“So,” we asked, “was it cool?”
“Oh, yeah!  We were laughing so hard.  Did you see our fellow passengers?” Snorting laughs to each other.
“Yeah, I mean, I guess so.  Kids, right?”
“Yeah…”     More snickering together.

It wasn’t until we were home and looking at the days photos that we took a closer look at all the shots from the water ride and really looked at the rest of the people in the boat.  And then, for some reason, we were all snickering.  Then, those deep belly laughs.  Then tears and hold your stomach doubling over laughs.  All four of us.  I don’t exactly know why it was so darn funny when we saw the actual kids.  The fellow passengers.  Their faces.  Ross and Billy sitting there behind them.  I don’t know.  But, damn, we laughed.
You be the judge.  

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I had lunch yesterday with a girlfriend of mine.  One of those friends with whom I can discuss anything, say anything, do anything.  We lived together in Boston once upon a time and, while our other two roommates were off at their own jobs, she and I spent all day long in pajamas, playing hooky from work, watching ridiculous television, eating like pigs, laying around like sloths and laughing….our…asses…off.   She does that to me.   Every so often she makes me belly laugh so hard that I can’t breathe.  Isn’t that the best feeling?   We all need more friends like that.

Anyway, the point is, we can talk without any screening.  Which makes me somewhat hopeful that I wouldn’t actually have the following conversation with anyone else.

Me:   So, how’s she doing?
Friend:  Oh, terrible.  She’s so lazy.  I don’t even know if she has a job.   She has no motivation.  Living with her parents.  It’s pretty bad.
Me:   Oooh, do you think she’s ON DRUGS?

I mean, really.  It was barely out of my mouth before I realized how I sounded.  OLD.  O-l-d, OLD.  Christ.  It rattled me.

I think I need to get out of my Mommy cocoon, score a joint somewhere and collect myself.

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…to get with the program again after two long weeks of not Watching my Weight. This includes but is not limited to refusing any and all invitations from my sweet children to “have some, Mommy?” when the item in question comes from the frozen foods section or comes with a packet of bright orange powder.

…to get out all of my thank-you notes all my non-family thank-you notes by the end of this week. Firstly, this includes the friends who love me best and do not give my children presents with 750-easy to assemble pieces or anything with sand, doh or marbles in the packaging. Secondly, I suppose, it will also include the friends who my children love best because they didn’t give a damn what I thought about the mess their awesome gifts would create. To those devil woman friends of mine who fall in the latter category…just wait ’til next year when your kid gets a drum set from Aunt Swooper.
…to hug more, yell less. There were many, many crazy moments over the last two weeks in which my boys were racing around the house like whirling dervishes, chanting synchronized nonsense at the top of their lungs together. Together. And, much of the time I was shushing them or telling them to stop touching each other. Touching each other. And when it got really “bad”, I was even threatening time-outs to separate them. Separate them?   No.  Perspective.  Deep breaths.  Perspective.
…to wear lingerie, matching, prettier under garments.  ‘Nuff said.
…to do something other than home chores on my child-free Tuesday and Thursday morning. Ideally, something at the gym that involves sweat, my iPod and sneakers. Where are those things, anyway?
…to host a party little get together.  Because we owe people and because I’m social. Best start working on Husband now about that. (see resolution listed two up from here)
…to forgive. And realize that people are rarely capable of dramatic personality change (particularly those of an older generation). Faced with too many untimely deaths of late, it’s time I get a clue and take the hint. It may not be the conventional relationship but he loves me. He does. And, I him.
…to stop giving a hoot about Facebook, Farmville, Fish World and Cafe World and pretending that Big Brother is the one most interested in them.  “Hey, Big Brother!  It’s almost bedtime!  Have you harvested the watermelons?!”   Really, Swooper?

…to be more grateful for the life I’ve been given.  To look my husband in the eye every day more often and let him know how much I love being a stay at home Mom and how much I appreciate how hard he works to make this life for us.   To look at my boys and really see them.  Their innocent faces, their tiny hands, their boundless energy and their completely distinct and loving, little personalities.   To embrace them longer, close my eyes and really feel them in my arms.   It won’t be long before they decide I’m totally so uncool.

Happy 2010, everyone.   I wish you all the best.

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