Monday, August 30, 2010

Mommy is not a vixen

On my latest trip to Target, I ventured down the nail polish aisle. I was getting tired of my bright pink toes & was ready for something a bit more autumn. I scanned the dark-cranberry colors & grabbed one that looked good.

Fast-forward to Friday night. We had dinner plans with friends & I had cute sandals to wear... so newly painted toes were a must.

I don't think he noticed that night, but the next morning Jack asked me what I did to my toes. I looked down expecting to see a cut or bruise of some sort, but saw nothing out of the ordinary. "What do you mean?" I asked him. "Your toes mom, I don't like the color of them." It seems the new toe polish had gotten it's first veto. "You mean this color? You don't like the darker color?". "No" says Jack, "Why don't you paint them red or something".

As the mother of two little boys, this isn't a conversation I ever thought I'd have. Pointing out trains & big trucks on road trips, yes... but this was new territory. Though I admit, part of me loves that he noticed.

To be honest, the color is a bit dark for my taste too. Just funny that Jack brought it up first.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The decisions we make

The heat of August in Indianapolis always brings back the memory of our big move here a few years ago. I remember how hot it was when we packed up the old house in Evansville & the musty warmth of the new house, as we worked on getting it ready for a family of four. I remember how wonderful the freezing cold hotel room felt when I would bring the boys back for naptime & a much needed break from flooring crews & painters.

That move was huge, on so many levels. The more time that passes, the more I realize how much we changed our lives that summer. It wasn't until just recently though, that I've come to appreciate what a big decision it was to pick up & start over. Leaving my job & finding a new version of myself, beyond the world of television, was only part of it. That was the part that felt the most real at the time. What seems more real to me now is the effect this move has had on Jack & Charlie. While so much of it is absolutely for the better, other bits & pieces still tug at my heart.

A recent trip to Evansville brought a lot of this back to the surface, making me think more about our decision to leave. I was actually taken aback a little by the amount of homesickness I felt when we were there. Having our favorite pizza, going to the movies and watching Jack sit next to his very first best friend (laughing as if they hadn't missed a beat) and loving the fact that this little guy's mom is one of my best friends. Catching up with a dear friend over coffee at our favorite donut shop, talking about things so much deeper than the glazed treats in front of us. These are all things I miss so much. We ended the weekend sitting on the back porch at our friends' house, holding their newest addition & watching our other kids have a ball playing flash light tag. These are people we were with weekly, rather than every 4-6 months. The great thing is, when we're together, it's still as if only a week has passed. The comfort & familiarity of these friendships brings us right back to where we left off. Even that is little comfort though when it's time to say goodbye. I ache for my kids to play with their kids & to know them well in the years ahead. I know Jack misses them too & often has just as hard of a time leaving as I do.

How can you be so homesick for a place that isn't your home? We have no family there, only dear friends & wonderful memories. I suppose I did do a lot of growing up there. I moved there as a single 23 year-old & was a married 31 year-old mother of two when we left. In those 8 years I met my husband, planned a wedding, bought my first house & gave birth to both of my boys. Those are some of the biggest memories of my life, which is why I suppose no matter how much time passes, I'll always get a little choked up when driving away from Vanderburgh county. It's the same way I feel when we leave my mom's house. I'm always wondering when we get to go back.

These decisions... these big, huge, life-changing decisions are hard. I guess that's why so many people resist change. But here's the thing, for as much as I deeply miss my friends in Evansville & think back often to the great times we had there... nothing compares to what we've gained by making this move. I think the best example is from a few weeks ago when Jack was asked who Violet was. He paused for a minute, before turning to me to confirm that she is in fact his cousin & not his sister. They spend so much time together that I think the line is blurry to him. Our boys get to grow up knowing their family, which is everything. And since Indy is much closer to Cleveland, my mom's house is practically a second home to them. Andy & I certainly benefit from these family ties too. Sunday dinners with the Schroeder/Pierce clan & sitting by my mom's pool refuel us.

So for as nostalgic as I get on our trips to Evansville, deep down I know I would make the same decision in an instant. We took a leap of faith, and I haven't regretted it for a single day.