Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Home

We had a great time visiting family and friends in West Virginia last week. It was made even more special by meeting fellow feeding choices debate board cohost, Lisa, and poster, Jennifer. The week was so great, in fact, we discussed the possibility of moving back during our entire trip home but as much as I would love to be close to so many people who mean so much to me, I also would love to be able to provide for my family and there is no way I could do that in West Virginia. I wish I didn't have to worry about money and could take a job working on soft money doing what I do best- community nutrition in rural areas- but I had a graduate assistantship doing that kind of work so I know the long hours, the grant writing, the traveling even in several feet of snow, and unfortunately, I also know the extremely poor pay. I worry about money making what I currently make so I can't imagine supporting a family on half that while residing in an area with a higher cost of living. Oh well, it gives me a place to visit and to miss, right?

This was my longest trip home since I moved back in 1999 so there was plenty of time for me to do everything I wanted to do and see who I wanted to see and you would have also thought it was plenty of time to get annoyed by my family and remember why I moved away but surprisingly enough, I found them enjoyable as well. The Zoloft must really be working. My grandma (who is 82 years old so I will forgive all of her parenting advice faux pas) was the worst with her constant complaining that Gavin wasn't potty trained (You mean he uses the bathroom in his pants? Maybe if you took him to the toilet he would go there!), Gavin's hair was too long (I can't see his face!), how do you know people you haven't met (what's the internet? What's a bulletin board??), and how long was I going to nurse Grace (But she has teeth!!!)!?! My bother and his family were visiting, too, and his almost two year old son is about .001% as active as Gavin. He was an extremely easy-going, laid-back little fella. Looking at him and Gavin next to each other was like watching a this is your brain (zoom in on Colin quietly playing with Thomas the Tank Engine), this is your brain on drugs (zoom in on Gavin running, screaming, and spitting for the 15th hour in a row) public service announcement. I overhead dad telling my brother that it is obvious from Colin's behavior that he is a really good dad. As I had just dragged Gavin upstairs kicking and screaming to bed for the fourth night in a row, I popped my head around the corner and said "well then I must be a really bad mother then, huh?". You could have heard crickets. Dead silence. I know I'm not a bad mother and I know Gavin isn't a bad kid but it's the whole sibling rivalry thing I suppose. Not that I actively engage in any sort fo rivalry, I just would have liked to have heard something other than "wow, he sure is wide open, isn't he?". Just what the hey does wide open mean?

Hanging with girls was just like old times. On Thursday, Peggy and I went to Sarah's house and took both sets of twins and Grace on a walk around Edgewood. Unlike the old times, double strollers and fat babies in a Bjorn are much more difficult to maneuver around the narrow streets than cans of Coors Light stolen from our parent's refrigerators and instead of talking about boys we talked about architecture of the homes, landscaping, and poopie diapers. On Friday night we went downtown and I managed to stay out until 12:30and only have one drink. It was a far cry from the days of rockin' until 3 am and drinking Jack Daniels on the rocks and countless Jager shots but it felt liberating to be out when the moon was up and without babies in tow. Sunday I went to see Emily and meet her new son and then later we had a get together at Peggy's. Our conversations were more about baby milestones, diaper preferences, formula preparation, and dealing with breastfed babies who bite than anything else but the baby talk was punctuated with moments of our constant stupidity that shall forever remain timeless. We had a good fifteen minute conversation about Mike "tapping" that ass. The ass being Cathy's, of course, and the point of the discussion was lost on everyone involved by for some reason we went there. It is amazing to me that after all these years, everything was exactly the same yet very different. It is not only a blessing to have the same friends I have had since I was 11 but also to watch them and their families grow and change and share in their joys and experiences. When good things happen to people you love, it is like they are happening to you, as well. In looking at our beautiful kids and wonderful husbands and families, it is easy to see I have a good life and I owe part of that to them.

One of the biggest highlights of the trip was meeting the Babycenter girls in real life. It was so cool to feel like you know someone even though you have never physically met them. They and their children were exactly and even more than I had ever expected. We got along so well and the conversation flowed. It really is fascinating how much you can learn about people by participating on online bulletin boards. We had dinner and drinks on Friday night before heading downtown and then they came to the cookout at my Dad's house on Saturday. While I got along with them as well as with my old friends, these women only know me as Gavin and Grace's mom. I didn't start posting on the feeding choices debate board until Gavin was three months old and that was when our online friendship started. I had lived a whole lot of life before my first child turned three months old but so much of who I am now and even how I look back on who I have been has been shaped by being a mother. So while they mostly know me as a mom on a computer, and likewise, that is how I mostly know them, it was easy to see we knew much more about each other than our feeding styles. It sure is going to be difficult to debate with them after meeting them. Good thing we usually see things the same way!

I find it odd that in the same trip I can see my old friends who I have known my whole life and my new friends who up until then I only knew online. It does get difficult to make relationships as we get older. While I have made a few good friends here in SC, it certainly doesn't come as easy as it did when I was younger. I remember my dad always telling me that I would never have friends like the friends I had growing up and he was sort of right. Of course, he didn't have the internet.

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