Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On Birthdays, School, and Books

We've had the last of the summer birthdays, which means in our family, fall is officially here. My birthday is August 25 -- here in Wheaton, school actually started on August 22 -- earlier than I remember it.

For the first time in 26 years, we have no one going to school. No "first-day-of-school" pictures (which I've carefully preserved from kindergarten through senior year of college for all three children), no lunches or lunch money or shopping for going-back-to-school clothes. No backpacks or 3 subject notebooks or new pens or crayons. No after school talks to find out who is in their classes, or which teachers they got, or how much homework there is going to be.

Now with college over for Tim, and no one even in grad school this year, it is truly the end of an era. My office overlooks the street our grade school is on so I get to watch the moms and dads walking their kids to school, and see the older ones go bounding by on their bikes. It's a sight that never fails to stir up memories of my children doing the same thing.

We move on, don't we? And now we are completely empty nesters (is it still considered an empty nest if the last child saves his laundry to do at home after church on Sundays???)

Anyway, my birthday this year it was a BIG ONE. Never mind HOW big. Just know that it was BIG. Has a zero as the second numeral. 'Nuff said.

Torrey, Chris and Tim met up with us at Alfie's. Life would have been perfect if Jill, Derrick and Deven could have been with us too...but part of parenthood is giving up those special occasions. Sigh. They forgot to tell us about that part when we signed on for this parenting stuff. Anyway, I was surprised with a birthday cake and balloon served by the wait staff, and then to Tim's apartment to open gifts. Torrey and Chris gave me a fabulous something something glass necklace in pinks and purples (I can never remember what it is called, but it is stunning). Tim gave me a walkman sort of cassette recorder with earphones so I can indulge in my latest passion -- and Bob gave me the complete set of Narnia books on CD.

Yup -- that's my latest passion -- Audiobooks. I simply can't believe I've lived this long and have JUST NOW discovered them! What a waste of (mumble mumble) years! Actually, Torrey and Chris mentioned they listen to books as they are driving up here from Indiana, but I didn't really think much of it until I realized that as much as I like Michael W Smith, there is only SO MUCH of his music I can listen to as I'm driving back and forth to Indiana for speaking engagements (three times this month alone). So I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Oh.My.Goodness! I'm hooked. Completely and totally hooked. I'm trying to figure out how to work on the computer and listen to them at the same time (I can't manage it -- back to music while I'm working -- XM Classic Pops being my current fave). Right now I have an Elizabeth Peters' Vicki Bliss mystery going in the car, an Agatha Christie on the boom box in the office, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on my cassette recorder. Bob and I listened to an Alistair MacLean on the way to a wedding in Sheboygan WI earlier this month. He really enjoyed it, but was quite annoyed that the book was longer than the trip, thus necessitating sitting out on the deck finishing it when we got home. So he won't listen any more unless it is a LONG trip and a SHORT book.

A trip to the library is in order before I leave for the Outer Banks (Ernesto permitting) on Friday. I need to take a couple with me, and take back the three I've finished -- including To Kill A Mockingbird.

Maybe I'll actually start walking. Wouldn't Dorothy be pleased?



At 10:31 AM, Blogger CuzNuz Ruth said...

Jan, this is interesting - reminiscencing about early childhood memories of your kids. Yes, I remember those days of seeing my kids walk down to the bus to take them to school. Thanks for adding the pictures - special touch.


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