Remember this guy? Probably not…I wasn’t blogging when he was born last year. It’s my pal, Jack – son of one of my closest friends, Anne Marie. (Currently thinking….will Jack sue me for slander? I’m pretty sure Anne Marie won’t…but you never know what babies are thinking.) This picture is actually from last February when I met Jack for the first time. He didn’t plan well and came at Christmastime, so by the time I got up to see him it was already Valentine’s Day. BUT….we did some real bonding. I didn’t realize at the time that it would be a whole year before I saw him again – but time does fly.
Last year, Jack’s mom was in pure New Mom mode – that place where outsiders might look at her as being a little cooky. Especially outsiders, like me, without children of their own. I was really patient though – even though I might have let it slip once or twice that he probably wasn’t going to break (ps…he proved me wrong by allowing us to spend the first full day of my visit last year in the ER).
So…a year later…and we are here. Holy Sweet Little Buddy. Kind of uncool of Jack to grow up so much in a year without waiting for me to be there to witness it. Yet totally cool of him not to forget his Aunt Jyl. And Anne Marie – well, she’s changed a whole lot in a year too – in all the best ways. Jack is all boy and she knows it (just ignore that moppit of curls, it’s too darn cute to think about cutting). No more shadowing him with a pillow to catch his fall, no more sleeping with her arms wrapped protectively around the legs of his crib. In fact, Jack’s first word appears to be “Uh-oh.” Anne Marie also has Jack smartly trained to have start the morning slow with some kid-coffee (well, milk, really).
I’m pretty sure Jack’s mom has no idea of how impressive she is – essentially a single mom with this 14 month old who wakes at 6am ready to take on the world. He is so wide open it makes me wish I was around when he discovered the speed he carried in his little legs. He must have looked down, realized he was mobile and watched Anne Marie’s life take a serious turn.
Not to be outdone….here’s my child….Kylie. She was shocked and appalled to wake up from a four hour nap in the back of the car (thanks for all your help navigating I-95, co-pilot) only to find herself so close to the North Pole. Without going too far into the details…Kylie’s legs are about 7 inches high. Which means her, um…exhaust system is about an inch above that. The snow here was still 18 inches deep. Ergo…squatting was not only treacherous, but also butt-chilling.
Like any good mom, I fixed it. Yes, I had just spent five hours driving north. Yes, my shoulders already hurt from gripping the steering wheel. Yes, my back hurt and my butt hurt. Yes, I was super tired from getting up so early to beat the Friday traffic through Richmond, through Fredricksburg, through anywhere nearing the D.C. metro area. But, my child comes first….so I unloaded the car and grabbed the shovel off Anne Marie’s front porch and headed to her back yard.
An hour or so later…Kylie was able to uncross her beagle legs. Or as I said to myself over and over in a motivational chant….”If I do my mom duty, Kylie can do her dog doody.” Hey, it made me laugh and kept me going. Needless to say, the dog was thrilled at my efforts. My child may have four legs, but she can kiss the heck out of you when she wants to say, “thanks!”
Back to Jack – our big Saturday project (sort of unplanned) was buying a new-to-Anne Marie Honda Odyssey. That’s right, my friends…I am now friends with mini-van people. Actually, she’s not the first, but this is someone I’ve had a lot of late nights with… and that was pre-Jack.
So now she owns a mini-van. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a pretty sweet ride…DVD player (Jack will never get to see this in action), automatic doors, seating for the entire Brady Bunch…I guess I just thought that my mini-van friends would never be the same as my late-night-out-all-dolled-up friends. Or that I’d be pulling up to a bar on a Saturday night in a van without the word ‘Taxi’ on the side.
Ah, the sacrifices of motherhood…mini-vans…shoveling potty spots…we may have taken different roads, but Anne Marie and I are still linked by all the things that matter- the most important of which is our children.