Some Things Never Change

 

Ben and me

There are ten years between my little brother and me and even though I am now thirty, it is not easy to accept that he is twenty. I still often see the boy who always made me laugh, always gave me a hug, and was always by my side.

Sometimes when we think fondly of our family members there is so much one could say but where to start? Or which story to share? I love quoting the cute things the kids used to say.

After school one day as a teen I recall laying on my bed complaining to my siblings that I had never gotten flowers from a boy before. Then I asked Ben, who was about seven at the time, “if you were going to give a girl flowers, what would you give?” Straight away he replied, “white carnations with the pink tips.” Really? He had an answer that quick? I was impressed!

Years later, Valentines Day rolled around and I had no boyfriend, no date. Ben and I went to WalMart and with his arm around me he says, “Nancy, I am going to buy you anything you want ok? Just make sure it’s under ten dollars.”

Ben is my little brother. Ben has been taller than me for a long time. Ben was the best man at my wedding. Ben is now a Marine.

There is a special bond between us and no matter what happens during our lives, I know that some things never change.

Teaching Ben bubbles!

 

We share a love for shopping at Camden Market, we also share a dislike for waiting

 

Ben and me after the wedding

 

Ethan's first Christmas with uncle Ben

An American Marine

 

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The Girl I Once Was

This is one of few childhood photos I have with me in UK

 

In a 1989 elementary school class photograph stands a short girl in the front row. She is wearing pink shorts, a loose teeshirt and her dark hair pulled back. She isn’t smiling. Maybe she forgot. Maybe she couldn’t figure out what the photographer was saying. Who knows. And I don’t remember. However, there are other things I do remember about that girl. Her heart, her insecurities, her goals and her fears. I remember because she was the little girl I once was.

Her teacher at school (a pretty Mrs Bosko) had assigned the class to write down three things they desired for their life. The little girl knew exactly what she wanted. One: that satan would be no more, two: that she would marry her current crush (Ed), and three: to get her ears peirced.

Marriage was often on my mind, a hopeless romantic little girl. Not the wedding and frills, but who? Who is he? Where is he? When am I going to meet him? Can I get married before I am old and twenty? I pictured myself happily married to a handsome man, living in the same town, shopping at the same stores, eating at the same restaurants I knew so well. Our children would attend the same school and have the same teachers as me so they would love school as much as I did. Perhaps being so caught up in that dream is a reason why I get so homesick these days. I am not living that dream, I am not even in the same country.

There are other things I remember about that little girl in the pink shorts. She had a great fear of bears because they were bigger than houses. Sometimes dogs were as big as bears. She wore stickers on her ears pretending they were earrings. She thought a witch stood in her closet at night and she’d wish the closet had a door. She had a Care Bears clock that purposefully ticked an hour and seven minutes off the correct time to help improve her math skills. Whenever she sat in front of the mirror, an ugly duck stared back. Before the school year was over, she hoped to learn the english word for “avundsjuk”.

Even though over 20 years have past and I have since learned that witches prefer flying broomsticks to messy closets, avundsjuk means “jealous”, and bears are smaller than houses, there is a part of me that is the same. I still love earrings (my ears are peirced), I still sometimes see an ugly duck staring back at me in the mirror, and I’m still not that great at math. I happily now know who my husband is (we married 3 years ago) and it was not Ed.

When I have moments of serious homesickness, I often think back to my childhood. There is a huge need in my soul that has to remember as much as I can. To not lose myself. The past has shaped my life. Why I think the way I do, the way I react to certain events, why I am so nostalgic and sentimental towards particular belongings.

I may not be in Ohio, but I can be ME anywhere in the world. I just need to remember who that is.

How a Little One Takes Care of His Mommy

It has been quiet several months here on the blog and recently I started to recover from the rough beginnings of my second pregnancy.

As I lay sick in bed, what felt like half death, I left my bedroom door cracked open and listened to the sounds in the living room. The sounds of a one year old opening and closing books, climbing up and down the couch and crashing his toys together. Every so often the little one would walk into my room, poke my eyes to make sure I reacted and then happily went back to playing. Was he making sure mommy was still alive?

One day while daddy was at work and mommy in bed, he politely dragged his diaper bag into the bedroom and waited for me to change him. Other times when the living room went quiet, I snapped my fingers (unable to talk as it made me more sick) and he would come. He must have been alert for sounds from me as well. What a good little boy.

A month later daddy was out running errands and mommy sat on the floor with her head on the couch and eyes closed. How does a one year old take care of his mommy? By stroking her hair, tapping her back, and leaning his warm body against hers while he drank his bottle or watched his movie letting her know he was there. And of course his favourite, crouching down to look up at her hidden face and poking her eyes making sure she still reacted. When bedtime neared and if daddy still wasn’t home, he’d climb up on the couch, lay his head close to mine and fell asleep. What a lucky mom I am.

Nearly 3 months have passed and I am up during the day. It didn’t take long for this one to realise mommy was no longer so weak and oh the hugs I have been smothered with! I love my son and grateful that he cares enough to help when mommy is sick. x

(note to the reader: my child is not perfect)