Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abi's Reflection on Lima, Peru

Dear Friends,

 My ship did not get bitten by a shark but I saw lots of jellyfish.  On the ship I went to the snack bar.  I went swimming too.

In Peru I tried on a white coat and I went to the mall.  At a park we saw so many cats that lived at the park and lots of pictures.  And I played at the park.  At the SanFranciscan church I saw real bones in an underground tomb called a catacomb.  There were over 25,000 people from Peru buried there in the 1600's and 1700's.  We chased doves outside the church.

The flag in Peru is red and white.  The people spoke Spanish but many people also speak English.  Peru was a nice country.  To travel we rode in a bus, in taxi's, and I walked a lot.  I tasted good chicken.  The air around Lima smelled polluted.  It felt hot outside, but it was fall there.  There were large mountains near Lima.  Lima was really really loud.  There were lots of cars and people.  The tomb under the church was very quiet because people were listening to the guide. 

I had a really good time.  Love, Abi

To my friends

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disneyland Comes to Shawnee, Oklahoma

So it must have been late 80's early 90's - I was in the 7-12 age range I would guess.  And I was in the neighbor's Astro van - which, side note, I believe vans are cool in proportion to the likelihood your family has one.  There was about a 1% chance my parents would ever own a van, so this Astro van was the coolest vehicle I had ever seen, aside from a limousine I saw once.  But no kid has parents with a limousine.  The neighbor girls and I were rolling in the back seat.  Life was good.  Somebody said "I heard they are going to build a Disneyland by the Shawnee Mall".  My immediate thought was - of course!  Why wouldn't they?  Where else on earth could you get Esprit shirts and Guess pants than Shawnee, Oklahoma?  (Or, Oklahoma City...but they had Frontier City there with two roller coasters.  Disneyland could never compete with that.)  It was obvious Disneyland would never make it in Seminole, Oklahoma.  Despite the awesomeness of my hometown and my ambitious imagination I knew that Disney would never be coming to Seminole.  But the Shawnee Mall had only been built months earlier - and having a mall just 30 minutes from my house made me feel like a rock star.  Who has a mall 30 minutes from their house?  Probably people that live next to Disneyland, am I right?

Looking out the van window I could already see it in my minds eye.  The vacant prairie land beyond the Shawnee Mall was practically made for Disneyland.  It would be the best thing ever.  Everyone would come to see it, and my family would go there once a week.  They would have like three roller coasters and then when you were done at Shawnee Disneyland you could go to the Shawnee Mall food court and get Sbarros Pizza and Dippin' Dots.  How lucky could a girl be?

Months went by, and Disneyland wasn't built yet.  When I asked my mom when the building was to start, she resolutely told me that there would be no Disneyland in Shawnee.  I asked her what went wrong?  Why wasn't it coming?  And she was so puzzled - as a parent, I now realize she had no capacity for even imagining a Disneyland in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  She didn't even need to research this intriguing fact at all - she just knew, intuitively, that there never will be a Disneyland in Shawnee.  Me, on the other hand, I was just as intrigued by how little she cared about this exciting news.  Didn't she want to go read the paper and find out for sure that Disneyland wasn't coming to Shawnee?  Didn't she need to demand answers?  (There was no internet at this point people.  Just think about that for five minutes.)

I bring this up because last night I took my 6 year old swimming.  She started playing this game where she was pretending to be an animal in the water and I was supposed to guess it.  She started with shark.  It really was beautifully executed.  I think she was pretending to maul some kind of prey and shook it until it was dead...I mean, that is what I would guess that was.  The next ones I couldn't guess.  I kept saying dolphin...she was apparently a drowning baby bunny rabbit, a kangaroo that was doing flips, and a shark again.  But it wasn't like she was "pretending" to be a drowning rabbit - I could see that in her imagination she was totally transformed.  She was really irritated - genuinely thinking I was probably the dumbest person on the face of the planet because somehow I was missing her perfect execution of "drowning rabbit".  She grew tired of the game not because she doubted her abilities to perfectly pretend to be any animal, but because she didn't want to play with someone who was so seriously impaired that they couldn't even guess her very literal translation of flipping kangaroo.  I love that kind of imagination that says everything is possible.  I just think that kind of thinking must make life incredibly fun. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Did Anyone Ever Tell You They Grow Up Fast??

I remember in July 2005 when I brought home baby Abiona Grace Jones.  She smelled so good.  Luke took 200 pictures of her toes, fingers, and facial expressions.  It took two of us to give her a bath, each of us so unsure of our ability to manage a floppy little baby in two inches of water on our own.  Fast forward a bit, and there was night waking, the realization I might never pee without someone watching again, and that uncomfortable manic feeling that life was equal parts too incredibly good to be true, and more sacrifice than I believed I could bear.  For several years everything spun so quickly that it all blurred together.  Older moms would say silly things like, "Enjoy every moment - they grow up so fast".  I couldn't imagine how I could possibly enjoy every moment - my mind was always ten steps ahead, wondering what was next, or all consumed by the worry of the moment.

Now in 2011 I am a little less than a month away from bringing home our first baby boy.  I can't believe we are about to do this again.  But what is more unbelievable is how quickly it all vanished.  I honestly cannot imagine, or even recall, what it is like to have a little baby at home.

Tonight I am sitting at home watching my three year old paint her nails "all by herself", while her big sister that we so recently celebrated for gaining control of her neck muscles hones her pitching skills at t-ball practice.  When she comes home, she will snuggle up and READ her little sister a story all by herself.  In the morning she will dress herself and ride on a bus to kindergarten, where she quite comfortably spends seven hours a day completely independent of us.

At the moment, Lily most certainly still is our baby, yet despite the fact we call her "baby" she doesn't need the stacks of diapers collecting in our basement anymore.  Our baby speaks in sentences, develops complex imaginative stories that she plays out with dolls and stuffed animals, and gets her own water from the sink. 

I've always been a bit impatient.  A bit controlling.  A bit eager to move things along in life.  But I can honestly say I am looking forward to enjoying every moment this time.  Life really does happen so quickly.  So while it feels like the next 27 days until my due date couldn't possibly pass by any slower, I now know that is the great illusion.