Everyone Should Have A “Dayna” In Their Life

Dayna

Dayna and her husband Chris

Being a teenager is no easy task. Being a teenager in high school is hard. Being a teenager, in high school, and being the NEW KID IN CLASS, is the worst. If you’re lucky, like I was, there will be someone there to help you along. Everyone should have a Dayna in their life.

Being NEW is very challenging. When I moved high schools, I was very unhappy. I had left behind lifelong friends, a school I loved, a neighbourhood I loved, everything I loved felt gone. As I sat in my new classes, surrounded by new classmates, teachers, and a new school culture, I was at the mercy of others’ acceptance. And the dreaded question that hangs over every new kid’s head- Where and who should I sit by at lunch? Has anyone taken their lunch to the restroom and eaten in a stall to avoid the humiliation of eating alone? And then, there is that one person.

She walks right up to you and says, “sit with us!” and you do. Because she said it like she knew what she was talking about. She knows where you belong so you let her guide you. She takes you under her wing. Introduces you to everyone, quickly lets you know where NOT to be, and updates you on the latest gossip within five minutes. She also makes sure you both think the same guys are hot.

She becomes your friend. You now feel a bit more secure by having a place in this new world that still makes no sense, and as long as she is there next to you, you feel safe in her care. I will never forget her kindness and forever thank God for blessing me with her.

I am grateful to all those dear friends I have made through the years who have opened their hearts and befriended me. I am 30 years old and have had about 30 addresses to my name since the age of 4. I believe in the saying that God places people in our life at certain times when we needed them. And then we choose to keep them. Or they choose to keep us.

The best part is knowing that I can look back, 14 years later, and say, Dayna was being a true friend because she is still my friend.

The Space Between Us

(photo via)

I have written a few posts already about my brother Ben. There is something about our memories from Ohio that keeps tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me they’re there. Today it was the time we went on a rollerskating date.

I was probably having one of my teenage whines about not having a boyfriend to take me out and have fun for the weekend. Ben decided he would treat me to a date of rollerskating. I was 18 years old, he was 8. We stood in line and as our turn came, the guy behind the counter seemed surprised it was Ben paying for both of us. We got our skates and off we went around the roller rink.

It was a Friday night so it was full of other teenagers. There was this one dude who kept trying to chat me up. Whenever he did, Ben would sit down and wait for me. He was only 8 remember? I was annoyed that ‘the dude’ was rude, butting in on our date. He even said pointing to Ben, “Does he have to be around you all the time?” I remember this moment so clearly. Looking at Ben, this young boy who loved his sister so much that he wanted to take her out, he had even insisted on using his own allowance money! He sat with his elbows on his knees, head hanging down a little but his eyes were truly as a little child depending on their guardian to make the right choice. Pleading eyes that said, “please don’t leave me”. There he sat waiting, watching me, who would I choose? I am no idiot. The dude was was blown off, I took Ben’s hand and we skated off together.

I remember how much fun we had. We laughed, we fell and helped each other up, showed each other our skating “skills”, half dancing to the music, totally singing along to all the songs we knew, we shared a popcorn at the snack bar, made fun of the weirdos, and then told mom about it later when she picked us up.

In my ignorant naiveness I probably thought we would be creating memories like that forever. That we would always be together somehow, or close by each other. It never once dawned on me that we would be so far apart. And that’s what hurts me now. That I didn’t create more of these wonderful memories before we all grew up.

Sometimes I wonder why I left. Other times I think I know why I left. And even though I was the one who did leave, part of me feels like he was taken from me. That little boy. Because the next time I saw him, he wasn’t so little anymore. I had missed so much of his growing up. Things I thought I would be a witness to. I thought I would always be there. I feel so sad knowing that I wasn’t.

Now, there is this space between us. The space that can be measured on a map. The space of time we’ve been apart. And the space our memories take up in my heart.

I am in my living room, in England, but my mind has wandered back to Ohio, 12 years ago, on a Friday night, in a rollerskating rink with one of my favourite people in the world. And I wish I could go back and relive it again. If I could, I would pay more attention to everything. What we talked about, what we laughed at, what we were wearing, all the details one holds dear when you feel like something has been lost.

Lost in the space between us.

The Competition Between Husband and Wife

(tired) I’ve been working all day.

(rolling eyes) If you were single and on your own, you’d still be working all day.

(annoyed) I’m tired.

(giving the “I dare you to take this further” look) I’m exhausted.

(glaring) I work long days.

(glaring back with a raised eyebrow) My days have no end or beginning.

(defensive) I don’t get much sleep around here and still have to work all day. No breaks.

(sarcastic) Sleep? What’s that?…. (whispering loudly) I’m lucky to get 2 straight hours of sleep!

(explaining tone) My work is physical and my body feels destroyed. I’m in a lot of pain.

(matter of fact tone) Try a round of pregnancy, a day in labour and at least 6 months of breastfeeding, times TWO! My body feels beyond repair! Pain is my constant companion.

(despairingly) Everything went wrong at work today! It’s so stressful.

(in a zone tone) I don’t remember when I last peed, I should go now that you’re home…..I’ve hardly had a chance to eat, I’m hungry. There’s been spills, poop dramas, tantrums and timeouts, all of us crying for different reasons, and everyone goes to mom for comfort or to complain. What about me?

(sighing, defeated) Sounds like we need a big family hug….. By the way, what’s for dinner?

(exasperated) Oh the added guilt of the less-than-perfect housewife, I have no dinner prepared! You want dinner? Me too! And a shower please.

Then there is silence. The kind of quiet that couples understand after being together for a very long time. It’s not awkward, it’s not tense, it is just there. The argument isn’t really an argument, just how-was-your-day chatter. We then look at each other with tired half smiles and eyes that say ‘I love you’.

Ok, I’ll order a pizza.

And pepsi please. Thank you babe….. Hey, who won tonight’s competition?

You sweetheart, always you.

(smiling) I love you!

In My Treasure Box I Have This Pendant

One of my favourite pieces in my jewellery collection is this pendant. It is brown with an unusual picture of a turtle with swirls above it. I have no idea what it means. Nor do I have any clue that it is actually a pendant. I just wear it as if it were one.

This pendant once belonged to my grandmother Eva. After she passed away, we inherited  a number of interesting items. The ones I am most keen on are the things she kept from her years living in Shanghai. This might be one because it was with a bunch of cool oriental jade stuff.

This pendant has a sense of holding secrets, the untold stories that I’ll never know. Like how it came to be in my grandmother’s possession. Was it special to her? What is it really, if not a pendant?

Each time I wear it, I am connected to the mysterious past.

A Day In London

(via)

Yesterday I had the great adventure of going into London. I wanted to tell everyone all about it.

The day started off with me getting on the bus and the driver not having any change. A scruffy looking guy paid for my single fare. I was so grateful! Note to self: do a good deed today to pay the kindness forward.

At the Chafford Hundred station I dropped my sunglasses and a businessman picked them up for me. I thought about my prayer the night before, “Please help people be nice to me when I travel tomorrow.” Or do I still look pregnant and these are sympathy acts?

On the train after a few stations a girl sat next to me. Her hair was thick and long to her waist, AND it smelled bad. I could smell her scalp. I was glad when she moved over and someone else sat next to me.

At West Ham I changed trains and bumped into my old friend Bruno! He patted my belly with awe (only for a second). It must feel amazing for people to touch a pregnant woman’s bump thinking about the life growing inside. The miracle of the whole process and the quiet hope they might feel that life moving under their fingertips. Then the woman has to break that beautiful thought by saying, “I had my baby almost 3 weeks ago.” and suddenly realising the absence of that special life and that the bump is the woman’s guts flobbing out. It was so nice to see Bruno! Made me smile.

On the Jubilee line a bunch of girls sat on the floor in short dresses with their legs open. I couldn’t help but notice how many men were trying to be sneaky looking over at them. The girls kept asking the same question over and over again, “where are we getting off?” and then they broke out into a shamelessly loud song. They were cool.

Had to change trains again and on this one I ended up sitting in front of an old work colleague from centuries ago. She blanked me so I went to sleep. She must still be mad that I un-friended her on facebook.

Everywhere I went there was a girl touching her chest. That was me. They felt like bricks! Why does my body make enough milk for ten kids? I hurt! I probably looked as miserable as my fellow commuters.

Finally at the embassy- the whole reason for my trip- was quick and uneventful. Drop in service for passport pick up ends at noon and I got mine at 11:55. My passport picture looks like I just saw a ghost.

As I walked back to the Baker Street station I passed a shop with some big delicious-looking nectarines. My favourite fruit. But I didn’t get any. My legs kept thinking, “go home to babies, go home to babies” and I couldn’t stop them.

At the station I saw two kids about ten years old tossing a tennis ball back and forth. Not a good idea, thought I. The one kid slid to catch the ball and nearly fell off the platform. He caught the ball but he got a serious ear pulling from his mom.

At Tower Hill there was an old man needing directions to the DLR. I showed him where to go. He says, “nice to be shown directions by someone who isn’t English.” I did not understand that comment. Was he being sarcastic? He was English. Anyways, good deed done.

At Fenchurch Street station I saw a poster with Liam Neeson’s new film, Unknown, available at Sainsbury’s. For an older man he is quite good looking yes? I ate MnMs.

Finally back at Chafford Hundred I met up with Emma who came home with me and I was so happy to see my babies again!

London is good fun but I’m happy where I am in life right now. Home with my family. x

A Diary Entry

I once had a diary that I never wrote in. I was later given another diary that I wrote stupid stuff in. I have a small collection of diaries that remain unwritten. Tonight I thought I’d write a ‘diary’ entry on my blog.

I woke up tired. And emotional. With such little sleep how can I not have a cow when the toddler starts my day off with constant whining. He started his day in time-out. When he was in a better mood we played on photo booth on the computer. A few hours later my sister came over and had Axel so that Ethan and I could go for a walk. I love our walks together. He talked to me in his animated toddler language throwing in actual words that make me feel like he’s a genius. He pointed out the flowers, the rocks, the cars, the bugs, a cat, and today he said “dirt”. I found Axel’s bootie that I lost from yesterday’s walk and tucked it in my back pocket. Today I did not limp, maybe carrying Axel in the sling is not good for my hips.

Back at home we had lunch and took naps. Considered new facebook status update: “True friends come over and take over so you can take a nap.”  My sister has always been one of my best friends.

I looked at my sister and thought back to the time before she left for America. Every Monday had been my day off work and it was our sister day. I chose a place in London to go to for the day and we would shop and hang out and eat. I chose where we went because I knew the best places to shop 🙂

Strange to think how much life changes in just a few short years. Size 8 to a size 18. Single to married. Becoming a mom of two. Conversations change from world news to family life updates. Resume content would no longer include achievements such as university degrees and travelling to a number of countries. Now it’s more like: I know by the way my toddler whines and my baby squirms when they need to poo. Or, I managed to get my toddler to eat something other than a biscuit or yogurt! Each time my sister comes over, I see this difference and hope that she still considers me to be “cool”.

After naps we watched ‘Horton Hears A Who’ for the second time today. Ethan got his chocolate milk and cuddles to help him settle from his tantrum of waking up.  Tesco delivered my groceries today. I really don’t recall ordering 4 whipping creams (I thought I ordered 2) but that’s fine. I love cream. Ethan helped unpack and brought me most of the groceries again. Such a good helper. Of course Emma helped too. I tried to not be too irritable even though I’m having pains from nursing. Must stay positive thinking and persevere.

It is now 8:30pm and I am no longer recalling the rest of my day as it’s a bit of a blur. There was dinner, a realisation that I’ve gone through 72 newborn nappies in the last 16 days, Kung Fu Panda, daddy came home and then left for the gym, Emma went home and now the house is quiet with the boys asleep and I’m writing all this on the computer, my blogged diary entry.

 When my world is still, like it is this very moment, I reflect on my goals and plans. It’s almost halfway through July already! Now I can start my new years resolutions. Checking my checklist.

1. Make 9 dresses.

2. But first I need to find the fabric.

3. Before that, I need to find “the” store that may have the fabric I have in mind.

4. With the patterns I already have, make 9 dresses. 3 different styles, 3 sizes of each.

5. Finish making the dresses by November.

6. Lose 20lbs.

7. Be happy and make my boys laugh everyday. Capture their smiles.

8. Be better at everything. A better mom. A better wife. A better cook. A better writer. A better person. A better friend.

9. Do service to others each week and to family everyday.

10. Express my love more.

My mom and I email almost everyday, and everyday she lets me know about the weather. (She knows I haven’t been able to get out much, just look out the window) Today was a nice breezy day. Perfect for sandals, jeans and a cardigan. The sun was out, clouds kept close company and I would love to go out into the evening air for another walk. But I’m tired so I will probably just have an early night.

Thanks for listening diary. x