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Standing and giggling on the couch with daddy

Standing and giggling on the couch with daddy

Showing off all his new tricks

Showing off all his new tricks

It's never too early to give him chores

It's never too early to give him chores

Chillin' in his chair (OK, so this only lasted about 6 seconds)

Chillin' in his chair (OK, so this only lasted about 6 seconds)

{In reference to the last post}

As a young girl my family travelled each summer. We stayed in the US and we drove to each destination, stopping along the way to see various historic sites and monuments. My parents believed that travelling (especially by car) was one of the best ways to educate yourself. We visited obscure places that most of my friends had never been – Lititz, PA (the home of the first commercial pretzel bakery in the US), the Cumberland Gap, the Appomattox Courthouse, and so on.

Some of my favorite memories were of us driving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There was something about that drive that spoke to me. The Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. The green hills. The rural towns. One afternoon, we pulled off into a small town in Virgina (small as in a population of only about 1200)  so we could fill up the car with gas and get out to stretch our legs after a long drive. Everything seemed so small. So simple. One gas station. One grocery store. Every home had a front porch, and every porch had someone sitting on it. I was 16 years old at the time, and in that stage in life when I wondered about my future. What would I do for a living? Would I get married? Have children? Where would I live? I envisioned life in this small town. It wasn’t the quaint town with a bustling Main Street. It wasn’t the small town where people hang their American flags and celebrate the Fourth of July with a big parade and picnic. Norman Rockwell it wasn’t. It was just…small. The men worked and the women raised the children. People drove rusted pick-up trucks and shopped at the nearby K-Mart. There was no mall. No fancy clothes. No upscale restaurants. It was the epitome of a rural, southern community.

As we waited for my dad to finish up at the gas station, I rolled down the window to get some air. In the distance, I heard a train roll through town. I imagine people heard that on a regular basis as they went to work or played with their children in their front yards.

I don’t know why this image – this town – stuck with me for all these years. It has remained a symbol of a simple life, a life that I don’t lead right now. Yes, my life is a lot simpler than it could be, but I still deal with the daily stress of work, parenting, and financial obligations that have gone off track. The competition with neighbors about who has the nicest lawn or cleanest garage. The competition with friends about who has the nicest clothes or car. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do.

When I heard the train early this morning, I closed my eyes and imagined that small town in Virginia. I imagined a simpler life – rocking Griffin to sleep on the front porch, in the early dusk of a warm summer night. For that brief moment I forgot about bills and grants. I forgot about the mess in my kitchen and that we once again don’t have enough money to pay our mortgage. Instead, I imagined living in that town and listening to the train pass through as we sleep with the windows open, a light breeze blowing the curtains. Babies safe and asleep. No worries. A simple life.

Griffin has his first cold. He woke up this morning with lots of coughing and sneezing. I worry about him because both Patrick and I have asthma and are really susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia. He’s at day care today because, despite his symptoms, he had no fever and was a very happy and silly baby this morning.

I’m just chalking this up to another new experience in parenthood.

Dear Insulin,
I hear that you and I are about to become new friends. I was hoping that I could get through my gestational diabetes without having to meet you. Please don’t take offense to that, because I’ve heard so many wonderful things about you. It’s just that I hoped my body would respond to my diet plan and an increase in exercise, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
With two more months to go in this pregnancy, it looks like my need for you will only increase and injecting myself is the only way to keep my blood sugar in check.
I promise not to resist this treatment if you promise to help me out – to stabilize my blood sugar and keep the Bambino safe and healthy. Do we have a deal?
Sincerely,

Tracy

I normally don’t post about politics, but this is a special case. Barack Obama gave a speech this morning only 2 miles from our house. Patrick and I attended and it really was an amazing opportunity to be a part of the political process (no matter who you support). I got some great pictures:

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