Thursday, June 30, 2011

One of Those Things

Today I had my yearly 'womanly' exam.  Ahem.  You ladies know just how exciting those are when they roll around each year.  Anyhow, I really like the female doctor I have seen for the past three years, but having not gone through a pregnancy with her, she doesn't really remember much about me from June to June each year.  We've talked the past couple of years about M and his disability and she has shown remarkable empathy and care toward me in return; offering up lots of encouragement and telling me that I was doing a great job.  It never felt like b.s.  She's a no-shit, genuine kinda gal from what I can read.  But this year the kids didn't come up in the conversation, so the joggling of the ol' memory to remind her I had a child with special needs didn't naturally happen.  And so, at the very end of my exam she asked me how old my kids were now.  I replied that they are seven and four to which she responded, 'I feel like that's when life really starts getting a bit easier, don't you?  At seven, they're becoming so much more self sufficient and easy to care for.'

I don't hold these types of comments from people against them. No, I simply try to tuck away that urge to let that little sound escape my mouth...the one that is mixed of sadness and a tinge of envy...and I chalk it up to another one of those things that make my new normal a little bit different from the rest of the world's.  It really is okay.  It just sometimes hurts a little more than I'd like to admit.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Big Montana Sky

We recently returned from our yearly trek with my best friend's family to Flathead Lake in the northwestern part of Montana.  It's a great trip that always ends too soon.  (which is why the trip becomes longer every year)

The menfolk garner great pleasure from building the best fires in the pit each night, after amazing, home cooked, themed dinners, great bottles of wine...and, well, even more wine after that.

Both of our families dream of building homes on the lake one day.  We've each joked about our stash of kitchen appliances and the errant piece of furniture that has, for now, been relegated to a storage area; labeled for years to come: 'Lake House.'

We rent a pontoon boat.  We rent sea doos.  We freeze our asses off on both, and don't really care because it's that much fun to ride on a massive lake even if you're wearing uggs, winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves.

 We take a day trip to Glacier National Park and go for a walk in the freezing rain.  Because it's THAT spectacular anyway.

We yell at our kids to not run on the dock.  (okay, so that part may be more me than anyone else)

We take a whole seven days to get into the groove of traveling with children---a point we kvetch about at night with hopes it takes zero days when the kids are older.

We go to bed too late and wake up too early.

We make friends with the locals and mean it when we tell them we hope to see them next year.

A little brother laments the big brother he wished would play with him the way the two sisters do...and his Mom hopes that their frank discussions help him realize how special their bond is nonetheless.

We shop for things we don't need, and realize we forgot to pack things we did need.

We get to reunite with middle school friends we haven't seen in a decade--who live nowhere near the neighborhood, but because it's Montana, a five hour drive seems like nothing.

We have the good fortune of a couple of grown up-only nights out because a good friend back home has family in the area that is happy to babysit!

And two old friends who've changed leaps and bounds since their high school days, can talk openly about how different their parenting styles are--how different their children are, and yet still know that it is worth it to spend this invaluable time with each other summer after summer.  And every once in awhile, they might just find themselves doubled over in laughter like they used to when their lives were a bit simpler, their stomachs a bit flatter, and their ability to stay up all night a bit more fine tuned.  But make no mistake...they've still go 'it!'