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No Knock-knock Jokes Here

I think I get nostalgia a lot. Hmm, that makes it sound like a bad rash. It's a strange sort of emotion for me. I have this weird feeling of longing for how things were, with certain memories that come up---mingled with this sense of wholeness and complete satisfaction with where I am, and it makes for some bizarre moments as I get nostalgic.

Some of my memories, I wouldn't go back to that time for anything (ie, 7th grade, growth spurt, bad skin, one bad day wearing culottes, annoying orchestra teacher) and other times, I long for the comfort, security, simplicity, innocence of the time.

Last night I was standing at the stove frying up some meat for dinner. The smell wafting through the house, the windows open to a cool breeze and the sound of children playing outside, take me back to the days when I was the child outside playing. I hated coming in for dinner. I hated coming in to practice the piano. Memories of family dinners and the ability to play the piano are two cherished things I have today.

I can still see my mom standing at the stove, dumping who knows what into the pot to thicken and make it go further. Sometimes the phone cord would be stretched across the length of the kitchen and wrapped around her body a couple of times as she talked on it. On the cupboards above her were taped comics my brother's had drawn, or she had cut out, permission slips, lunch money, chore lists, and "reminder" notes that said things like, "If Angela asks to go to her friend's house on a school night the answer is 'NO NO NO'. She does not keep her end of the bargain she makes to be able to go." That's just a mild example of the kind of things my mom liked to be reminded of in taped up notes. These notes served the dual purpose of a sort of 1980's ghetto planner, and a scarlet letter for the kids. How could I convince anybody that my word meant something when there was proof right there on a duct taped piece of scratch paper.
On the other side, I'm certain was 25 sentences of "I will not call my brother a pissant" or other such loveliness from me.

While my mom stood at the stove, my brother and I would dash through the house as fast as we could to try and get out the front door before she said our names. We learned early that close proximity to the task-giver was not wise. If I could get out of earshot quickly she couldn't ask me if I had practiced yet, or if I had homework, or to go downstairs and get bag of carrots. And I could get back to the absolutely vital game of touch football in the street.

When I came in the house, my biggest concerns were avoiding vegetables, doing dishes, taking a bath, and bedtime. Sometimes I do long for those simple concerns. My heart starts to feel that longing and I can feel some discontentment creep in to accompany it. The sounds I hear outside are the same sounds of when I was playing in the streets, and I begin to drift to a simpler time...

Then I feel a tug on my pantleg and look down to see a tiny little girl with big blue eyes looking straight up at me. The thing that will make her happiest is to be in my arms. She just wants to be near me. I see my smile on her face, and her daddy's nose. She pleads, "momomomomom--UP!" and I lift her to see the fascinating browning meat. "ohhhh cool" she says when she sees it. I laugh and suddenly feel like my life wasn't complete before she learned to say those words. I breathe out the longing that tried to creep in and pull my baby closer. I feel love like I've never felt it before.

I've married a man who is more than I ever dreamed I'd get to spend my life with. I have children who bring me joy like I didn't know was possible. I look at them and see a perfection I didn't know existed before they were born.

I have made friends over the last 15 years that have helped shape who I am, and continue to inspire who I want to become.

I like the adult I have come to be.

There are things I'd like to change---and I can.

There are things that I miss---but I'm glad I got to experience them in the first place.

There are dreams that have been put on hold. Or altered.

There are realizations I have made as I have gotten older, that make me cringe for how I have behaved in the past.

But I believe when you know better you do better.

Nostalgia will probably still get me now and then, the kind that can make me discontented.

But I'm certain that my 3 year old can come tearing across the house when he hears me come through the door and yell, "YES!" When he leaps into my arms and says, "that wasn't long at all mom!" and promptly pulls up my top lip to examine my gums, I know that discontentedness can take a hike. Some things just couldn't be more perfect.

The answer is NO NO NO NO....a 1980s ghetto planner...so funny.

I wallow in nostalgia. It's good for the soul. :)

But I do love getting my gums examined daily - how do you think of those things? They are so random, but so typical. :)

Loved, loved, loved this post. I think I will have to come back and read it eighty more times. Especially when I am grouchy.

"1980's ghetto planner" made me laugh, too. Winning post.

That was really a nice post. I remember magically having to go potty each time it was my turn to do the dishes.... My 12 year old has learned that handy trick.

(and I just wrote myself a note on my blog to remember not to let her sleep over at her friends' house because she is a grouch) I think I am turning into your mom - my blog = your mom's notes!

I know I have become very much like my mom, and it turns out that she is pretty cool!

Your mom is a smart woman. I gleaned quite a few parenting ideas just reading this post.

So you're saying it's NOT OK for Ben to call Avery a pissant. Got it.

Sweet, sweet, sweet. We were talking about this post on the way up to Tacoma yesterday. Good stuff.

It was way too late and I was too tired to comment Friday night when I read this.
Millie and I talked about it yesterday on our field trip, she had not read it, but was telling me something similar to it, so I recap it for her.
Later at TOFW one of the speakers said something similar...anyways, what I’m trying to say is: excellent post!, loved it, so true, gives me a feeling of comfort and joy.
Thanks Angela.

PS: your mom's notes are a LOL

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