I was lucky enough to have all my kids home for dinner on Mother's Day. We sat at the table long after the meal was over and laughed and laughed. It's comforting to know that even as the kids start to leave the nest, some things will never change.
After Nicole, our eldest daughter, left to go home Sunday night I thought about how much she has grown and how amazing it is that she made it to adulthood. Believe me, her Father and I weren't too sure that was going to happen since we had contemplated several times how to hide the body. After all, they can't search every inch of 10,000 square acres of state land that we live next to, can they? It was an oh so tempting daydream at times. (especially between the ages of 13 and 17) Still, she has turned out to be a pretty good egg so we are very glad we resisted that temptation.
It seems as though it was just yesterday when we brought her home from the hospital. That's when life started to get really interesting. Her father and I would carry her everywhere. (First baby syndrome) We finally realized that she wouldn't go to sleep unless we were walking around and talking to her. She was too young to understand anything said but the sound of our voices seemed to be soothing no matter what we said. But there was one day in particular that I will not forget. Apparently, there was a monster in our basement...
I had sent my husband to the Base Exchange to pick up something. (I think it was diapers) We lived in military housing on Guam at the time. Anyway, Nicole was about six months old and very fussy. As her father waited in line at the checkout stand he started to talk to her, to comfort her. So he told her that if she didn't stop fussing, he would have to put her in the basement with the monster and did she remember how much she hated being in the dark with him growling? Then my husband heard a gasp behind him and turned around to see a horrified look on this woman's face. Realizing what she must have heard and thought he said, "Lady, we live in base housing. They don't have any basements!"
He came home and described the look on this poor woman's face and all I could think was that I had better clean the house before the base social services showed up. (and just in case you were wondering... no, they didn't show up)
I still laugh when I think about the poor, unsuspecting, uninitiated populace of the world who have been caught within hearing distance of my husband. He always seems to be in the thick of things.
Take for instance, the time he was (again) holding Nicole. (although, strictly speaking, this was not truly his own doing, but over the years we have learned that the apples did not fall far from the tree and surviving the childhood years is not to be under-rated) She was probably about two years old at the time when the two of them were in an elevator at a hospital. In the elevator with them was a VERY large Samoan gentleman.
Nicole, while looking over my husband's shoulder said, "You're fat!"
Again, my husband came home and told me of the incident and said that HE must have had a horrified look on his face when he turned around and looked up.... and up... and up at this man. He said he saw his life pass before his eyes! Luckily, the gentleman in question just laughed and then growled a little at Nicole just to tease her. She, of course, flashed him her dimples and giggled at him not noticing the white, pasty complexion on her father's face. (nor the prayers he was very likely muttering under his breath)
It's hard to believe that she is a grown woman now, living in her own apartment, paying her own bills. (although her dimples are still in evidence every time she smiles) Someday, I'm sure, she'll warn her own kids about the "Monster in the Basement" whenever they start to fuss and she'll realize that karma has a way of coming back around to make you pay for all the grey hair you give your parents...
QOTD: "We do not remember days; We remember moments." ~ Cesare Pavese