I just finished watching the Nik Wallenda tightrope walk across Niagara Falls.
Even though he wore a harness, it kind of gave me a small heart attack.
However, the coverage highlighted the actual falls in such a beautiful way that it made me wonder why I’ve never visited Niagara Falls. Such an incredible place!
Here are some other places in the United States I’ve never visited but hope to see one day. This small list is in no way complete or comprehensive . . . just the first places that popped into my mind.
1) The Grand Canyon
3) Washington DC
Is it weird that I can’t think of other places? Tell me what attractions or places I need to visit.
I have been to every state except for these:
What am I missing? Give me your best recommendations . . .
Most nights, I finish working and click over to this blog and try to think of something to say. Then I yawn and rub my eyes and stretch a little.
My days are not all that exciting and my brain is dull from the strain of thinking all day long about work-related issues.
But I am trying, really trying, to write in this blog regularly.
So here goes.
This morning I woke up (after a restless night) at 6:50 a.m. This was the day my boys flew across the country to visit their buddy. I was able to wake them fairly easily, proving that even a sluggish teenager can wake up early for something he really wants to do.
I didn’t take into account traffic–I’m not sure why–so I was a little concerned when we ran into some slow-downs while cruising down the freeway. But we arrived in good time. I parked the car in a lot and we rode a shuttle to the airport.
Then I did my very best to let them figure out how to check in their luggage without my help. I ended up directing them a little–old habits are hard to break–and once the bags were checked in, we walked inside the airport.
“Now where?” I said.
“Um, to the right,” he said.
“Okay, look at the sign. See how it says All Gates? Those are key words. So, go left.”
Once they were safely tucked into the security line, my 9-year old and I left them and headed back to the parking lot via shuttle bus.
I’m happy to report that they managed to board the plane, fly safely to Atlanta, find the gate for the connecting flight, board that plane, arrive in Chicago, find their friend and his grandfather and end up at their final destination in one piece.
I’m also happy to report that my kitchen is still clean and the sink is free of its normal 34 dirty glasses. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Those two boys only actually produce an extra dozen dirty glasses or so a day, despite my many attempts to introduce to them the concept of using the same glass all day long.
I’m so happy to be going to sleep now and so happy that I don’t have to get up early to drive anyone to the airport.
And that concludes tonight’s episode of My Blog is Boring.
Thank you and sweet dreams!
Tomorrow I’m driving my boys to the airport. They’re not really “boys” any more since they’re 19 now, but they’ll always be my boys, I imagine, even when they’re 63. (I will be a young and svelte 91 years old, for those keeping score at home.)
They’ve never flown by themselves before. I’m not really nervous for them, but they are a little apprehensive, I think, and their dad is, too. (I don’t call him Mr. Safety without reason!) They are just going to visit their friend in Illinois. Only a few months after we moved here, their buddy moved to Illinois, so it will be a reunion quite likely involving loud music, Mountain Dew and late night laughter.
It’s weird to think that when I was their age–younger, actually–my dad put me on a Greyhound bus and sent me off to college. I rode by myself three days and nights on that bus WITHOUT A CELL PHONE. Ponder that. I was a little scared, especially when the bus would stop at seedy bus stations and the bus driver would ask us to leave the bus so they could clean it (or whatever they were doing).
But, hey! I survived! Mostly, there are nice people in the world, even on Greyhound buses.
I hope my boys will discover that flying alone is fun and not scary and that most people are really very nice and helpful. Let it be so. Amen.
I feel like summer is slipping away.
The kids have been out of school for two weeks or so and why aren’t we having lots of fun? You know what will rain on your proverbial parade? A full-time job. I am chained to my desk from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and again from 9 p.m. until midnight. I am not a fun mom. I’m a working mom.
The older two kids are heading out to visit a friend on Thursday. So tomorrow I will be working and then getting them packed and ready to travel for the first time on an airplane without me. One of them will return in time for his girlfriend’s visit. Her sister will also be here for a week . . . then the sister leaves and the girlfriend stays for a few more weeks. People will be coming and going a lot this summer.
Maybe when we have house guests we’ll have some fun. I don’t want the whole summer to zoom past before we have enough fun.
In the meantime, between soccer and lacrosse, we’re sitting at kids’ practice fields four days a week.
And my kids are starting to look bored already when they wander into my office for various reasons during my work-day. I do believe in the power of boredom.
In fact, I’d like to experience a little boredom myself right about now.
Wait. Do I want fun? Or boredom? What can I say? I’m just a paradox. I’d like to go to a movie and the beach and Sea World. I want a nap and time to read. And more.
I was lamenting to my husband tonight about a disappearing friend.
He said that I should put that friend into a compartment where you keep friends like that, the kind that come and go in your life.
I don’t have that compartment.
So, instead, I torture myself by trying to figure out what I might have done. I blame myself for some imagined slight or insult or poor behavior. The only thing is, I can’t understand what I could have done. I still decide secretly that I am a horrible person and a failure at life. Because I am dramatic like that.
I’m tempted to contact the missing friend but that would end badly–at least it does in my overactive imagination.
I miss my friend.
I hope I didn’t do anything to hurt my friend.
Why does life seem so much like fourth grade sometimes?
Yesterday, Grace played as a substitute in an arena soccer game. I was happy to see familiar faces when some other parents that I knew showed up. Her old teammates (sisters) were there along with their parents. I had someone to sit by and make small talk with. They probably sense my desperation, though. How could they not? I am still trying to make friends here, which is pretty tough since I work so much and don’t have time to meet people or get to know them. (That’s how it feels.)
The weather was lovely. Sunny but a little breezy. I wonder if I will ever take this lovely weather for granted? Every day that I wake up to sunshine and blue skies and seventy degrees feels like another small miracle.
My husband’s birthday was yesterday, so I spent time cooking his birthday dinner and then we had a nice family dinner. We gave him books that he’s specifically requested.
Today was church and for some reason, it’s even harder to get out of the house with teenagers than it was when I had babies and toddlers. They move slower than I ever anticipate and no matter how early I wake them up, we always walk into the church foyer five minutes late. Would it be dramatic if I said that’s just another reason I feel like a failure as a mother?
The rest of the day was kind of lazy, though I did some laundry and some work in the kitchen and took the dog for a walk. If she doesn’t get a regular walk, she has too much energy. I worked tonight, as usual, and it was busy. I’m just now finishing up at 1:30 a.m.
And even though school is out, the week will be busy again since I still have work and the kids have lacrosse and soccer.
I wish there were more interesting news to report, but it is what it is.
Lola was six weeks old in this photo, two weeks from joining our family.
My husband chose her because she was more feisty than her sister.
She played tug-of-war with our clothes when she first came to our house. I’d have to pry her mouth open to save our clothes. I have puppy-tooth holes in my jeans from those days.
She did not sleep well at first. I did not sleep through the night for a month at least.
But she was so cute! When we took her for walks, strangers would take her picture and go crazy petting her. It was like going out with a celebrity. (In my mind, that’s what it would be like to hang out with Kim Kardashian or Tom Cruise.)
She likes to eat paper towels and any sort of human food left too close to the edges of the countertops. I would tell you she eats her own poop, but you might be grossed out. But I must mention that the other day she came into my office with kitty-litter encrusting her lips.
She’ll feign sleep in the mornings until I seem awake. Then she greets me with two front paws on the covers and her dog mouth in my face. This morning I played dead and so she jumped onto the bed. It’s getting pretty hard to wrestle a 50-pound dog off the bed when she does not want to go.
She goes nuts when we return home from anywhere.
She’s afraid of the cat, with good reason. Every once in awhile, the cat will chase her with unfurled claws. The cat’s a little crazy.
She does not fetch. So don’t ask.
Our puppy is a rowdy teenager now. I don’t mean to wish away any time, but I can’t wait until she’s a lazy adult like me.
Another busy day here. But I’m blogging!
Worked until 3 p.m.
Stopped by sporting goods store to buy replacement lacrosse gloves.
Delivered son to lacrosse practice.
Stayed for parent’s meeting.
Went to (free!) dinner at Rubio’s with Grace.
Fulfilled promise and went to Little Cakes cupcake shop with Grace.
Picked up son from lacrosse.
Home by 7 p.m.
Chatted with husband.
Read more Secret Life of Bees.
Worked from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
And that’s a wrap.
Today, my kids are the following ages: 19, 19, 14 and 9.
One year ago, I was frantically packing and preparing to move from Washington to California. I hope to never, ever move again. It’s so much work. The upside? Getting rid of stuff you don’t really need but have somehow collected.
Five years ago, I had a 9-year old. I wrote this about an unfortunate experience. My kids were ages 14, 14, 9 and 4.
Ten years ago, I had two 9-year olds. (Are you sensing a pattern?) I was 37 years old and six months pregnant.
Fifteen years ago, I was 32 years old. My twin boys were four years old. We lived in northern Michigan. During a summer trip to Washington state, I discovered I was pregnant.
Twenty years ago, I was 27 years old. All I wanted in the world was to be a mother. (Well, that, plus I wanted to fit into smaller pants.) I had no idea while I was dreaming that motherhood dream how difficult the journey would be, how much it would cost me and how unexpected it would all turn out. We were waiting to adopt.
Twenty-five years ago, I was preparing for my wedding. I was quite likely stitching together taffeta this very day, wondering why I thought I could sew my own wedding dress. I still tend to jump into projects while thinking, how hard could this be? I worked at a daycare at a women’s health club.
Thirty years ago, I was finishing up my junior year of high school. I worked at Taco Time and didn’t look forward to my senior years as much as I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I went to Jamaica on a missions trip that summer and ended up somehow being a rebel and causing trouble for the leaders because I disagreed with their leadership. (What?!)
Thirty-five years ago, I was twelve. My parents had divorced and remarried and my brother, sisters and I moved into our new house by the cemetery in Marysville. That was the summer Elvis died.
Forty years ago, my mother was pregnant with my youngest sister. (She would be born in October.) We lived in Whispering Firs where I rode my banana-seated bike everywhere and walked around the neighborhood greeting each dog along the way. My second grade teacher was Mrs. Dyre and I still don’t think she liked me very much.
Forty-five years ago, I was two years old. I have no memory of it. However, I was a younger sister and an older sister. My brother was 16 months older than me and my sister was 16 months younger. I was a middle child already.
Five years from now, my kids will be 24, 24, 19 and 14. And I will probably still be wishing I could fit into smaller pants.
Beyond that? Who knows.