Last night, when my head hit the pillow I had accounted for something that stood out in my memory from each year of my life. I had written up something from 1973 through 2005. I went to edit a grogglily made mistake - something done foolishly with a toddler on my lap. Poof! Gone. Meg hit the space bar just as I hit post. Gone. I was able to retrieve half of my old post. And so now I attempt to recreate:
May 23, 1973 - Birth. Now really, can there be a bigger event in one's life?
1974 - I don't recall much obviously, but surely it was a year peppered with milestone achievement.
1975 - I got a dog for my birthday. For a small puppy, Heidi could knock little me over. When I bought my first pet as an adult, I pinned all my expectations of dog ownship on the border collie I grew up with.
1976 - I remember living in a duplex. We lived on the left side of the mustard yellow edifice. My friend Tayna lived on the right. I'd walk over to her side to play and rush home to see Casper the Friendly Ghost on our color TV - even though it was a black and white cartoon. Go figure.
1977 - I became a big sister. I actually have very clear memories of climbing into my brother's playpen to hang-out with him. I remember the joints of my big toes getting cut up by the mesh I was scaling.
1978 - I turned 5 that May. We moved from our little duplex about 10-15 miles "up the road" to the house my parents live in now. I started Kindergarden that September. I rode on the school bus next to a little girl that wore navy blue lace-up shoes. I wore black patent leather Mary Janes. We never spoke.
1979 - Blue shoes and I were in the same 1st grade class. Alphabetical seating put our desks smack dab next to each other. We didn't want to face another year of silence. She's been my best friend ever since.
1980 - I met another very dear friend of mine. We were in Brownies together. Wave to her now, she's reading my blog.
1981 - My third grade teacher stunk. Seriously. That class bored me out of my mind. About half way into the year she figured it out. To keep me entertained she had me write out all the posters and signs she hung in the classroom. As a result I can print incredibly neat when I feel like it.
1982 - I was the flowergirl in my cousins wedding. I had a huge crush on the groom. I got Beveraly Clearly's book "Sister of the Bride" out of the school library completely on the premise that it had to do with a wedding and I was all about weddings for obvious girlie-girl pink-dress and flower basket reasons. I read a few pages and then decided I didn't like it. My 4th grade teacher was mean - she looked like a witch with her white hair pulled into a tight bun. She would quiz us on our books before we were allowed to return them to the library. I couldn't answer the questions she asked me. She made me renew it and read it for real. I hated that book, but I think it had more to do with Mrs. K than Clearly.
1983 - My fifth grade teacher is easily my favorite of any teacher throughout my school career. There are songs that trigger a smile on my face as I rememeber her humming them at the front of the classroom while she danced with our principal. She made school so much fun that we all hated being home sick. Every kid ought to be blessed with a teacher like her at least once in their life. My grandmother (paternal) died at the end of this year. It was the only Christmas we spent away from home as kids. The whole family converged on her little Florida retirement home. She died a week later.
1984 - My grandfather (paternal) came to live with us while undergoing treatment for lung cancer. He eventually moved out to Seattle (my uncle's house) and passed away from brain cancer.
1985 - I entered 7th grade and joined the student newspaper. It was the first time I dabbled in journalism. It set me on a career path I didn't diverge far from.
1986 - My mother used to drive my brother to school, pick up a friend or two of mine while she was there and then shuttle the gaggle of us to the Intermediate (what they call Junior High here.) Instead of hanging out with the crowd of other early arrivers at the end of one of the main hallways, we'd hustle in to the Orchestra room. Mr B would let us have at the various instruments - something we did while generating a fair amount of mayhem. We took such advantage of that man. He was a push-over that loved teaching, and we loved him for it.
1987 - I graduted 8th grade in June and entered High School in Septmber. Over the summer I started babysitting a 9-month old boy. He's now a freshman in High School. That makes me feel old.
1988 - I joined the JV Tennis team. I sucked. The little white wrap skirt sucked. Running sprints sucked. Don't be fooled though, I had a blast.
1989 - I disliked my sophomore English teacher and frankly, the feeling was fairly mutual. Mrs M was not a fan of mine. I'm not quite sure why. In the Spring of '89, she refused to endorse my application for Junior AP English. She told me I couldn't handle it. My dislike moved to teenaged-hate. I took the final exam and earned a 98. Mrs M checked my paper while I stood at her desk waiting for the results. She shook her head in disbelief when she realized how I'd done. She checked it two more times to be sure. When I walked out of the room I cracked to my friend "And I didn't even study." In September of '89 I continued my brief tennis career. I didn't suck as bad. Still JV but this time I was half of the "first" doubles pair. We kicked ass. Still hated those skirts and sprints though.
1990 - In May of 1990 I got my driver's lisence. I nearly broke up with my High School boyfriend over a battle about my junior prom. He was a year younger. It was so not up to his mom to dictate where we went before and after the dance. But hey, I'm over that now. Yet another English teacher doubts my ability to thrive in AP English. She tells me I have the grades to qualify for the class but she's wondering if I can handle just one kind of testing. She liked to give us both essays and multiple choice. I did well on both. AP was only essays and reports. My guidance counselor thinks my teacher is nuts. She puts me in AP English and AP History.
1991 - I take my AP exams. They are graded on a score of 1 to 5. My English teacher tells us, "A 1 translates to 'did you show up to class at all this year?' A 2 means you came but must have slept a lot. A 3 means you're about average. 4 indicates you clearly know your stuff. Great job. A 5 means you should have been teaching the class." I score a 4 on my AP History test and a 5 on the English. I stop by Mrs M's room the day the results came in to tell her. Yes, I did. I graduate in June of 1991. It rained that day. The ceremony takes place in the gym where the lights make everything yellow tinted. Blue Shoes and I have a ton of photos of us looking slightly jaundice with very big hair. I start college that September.
1992 - It occures to me, as I'm starting my 2nd semester of college, that I'm 16 credits ahead of where I ought to be thanks to my AP exams. That's a full semester. I briefly entertain a double major in Print Communications and Political Science. I figure it'll help me on my way to my destiny - being the next great Woodward. I settle for early graduation and a minor in Poli Sci.I get a call over the summer from a friend of mine. She had been on a waiting list to get a room in The Castle - yes my college has a castle on campus. A real, honest-to-goodness castle. Would my current roommate and I like to share a quad with her and her roommate. Hell yes.
1993 - I'm now scheduled to graduate a full year early but the way my credits are accrued, I'm ranked as a 2nd semester Junior when we start the year. I miss the Senior classification by 4 credits. This means I don't win the housing lotto. Another friend does, however. Five of us get to live in the best housing on campus - our suite in the Castle is coveted. It made my last year unforgetable.
1994 - I graduate college 3 days before my 21st birthday. I can't even drink the champagne toast at the reception the night before. A short time later I land my first "real" job as an associate editor for a trade publication in the oil industry. Yes, it is about as exciting as it sounds.
1995 - I leave 'excitement' behind to take on my first marketing job for a small pharmaceutical division. Actually I work for it's even smaller division. I'm the maid-of-honor in a friend's wedding. She, her mother and my mother harrass me into asking the "man in the basement" at work to be my date to the wedding. He's a really nice guy, a good looking guy, that happens to be older. Like over a decade over. They wear me down (it wasn't hard, I had a crush on him anyway and I knew he had one on me. He asked me out several times even though I had a zillion excuses not to go.) I ask. He agrees. He insists he never heard his phone ring while I was down in that basement office talking to him even though he had a voicemail message when I left. I heard the phone. We start dating the month before the wedding.
1996 - I get laid off. Take a new marketing job for a technology industry - I've not left the industry yet. I'm still dating the good looking older guy. He gets me hooked on baseball and golf. (I'm still a big baseball fan. I've not touched a golf club in 4 years.) He nags me into golfing one night after work even though I'm beyond exhausted. I wrench my back 6 holes into the 9 hole course. He makes a big fuss until I agree to play just one more hole. He makes another fuss until I, very pissily I must add, get my own damn ball out of the hole even though it'd be much more comfortable for my back to have someone else bend over and get it. I start to complain about how some idiot has left a box in the hole. He grins sheepishly as he's down on one knee. I open the box. I stop complaining. I call my mom from a payphone at the beach to tell her I'm now engaged. We buy ourselves a Siberian Husky as a gift to one another. We name her Tasha. She is spoiled rotten.
1997 - I marry my soulmate. It's like a rebirth. My life has not been the same since and I'd have it no other way.
1998 - We buy our house. We start thinking "family."
1999 - We realize we're not getting anywhere fast on the baby quest. We talk with the doctor. We start treatments. Clomid sucks.
2000 - Give up on Clomid. We go to the specialist. We attempt IVF. It fails miserably. We give up completely, sell stock options and head for a dream trip to French Polynesia. 10 days of tropical heaven -- Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea. To this day, the smell of coconut can whisk me back there.
2001 - Terror reigns in NYC. Buildings fall. Our lives carry the scar of knowing the skyline will always look forgein to us now. A few months later I head into Philadelphia for a fitting of a bridesmaid dress for a former college roommate's wedding. Two days later I take a home pregnancy test. I don't believe the double lines are true. I take four more tests. They can't all lie, can they?
2002 - My son is born on June 30th. I never knew someone so tiny and helpless can teach a person so much. He's changed my life in ways I've yet to even discover. I adore him. When he's 3 months old, I reach out to my boss to talk about how I'm returning to my job. My boss is demoted. I finally get to talk to the new boss. He's willing to take a chance. I quit my job and return as a freelance marketing consultant working 12 hours a week. It occurs to me that perhaps not having a child when we first wanted, leaving two failing companies and being laid off for the 2nd time might have all been for the best. I've lucked into a gift situation.
2003 - I add one extra day to my "in the office" schedule. I work two days a week. It's not often easy to juggle, but it's worth it. We start talking about trying for a second child.
2004 - My daughter is born on September 12th. From her first breath she's an absolute firecracker. She's a constant light and ball of energy in our world.
2005 - At 3 years and 1 year old, my children have reached the age where a real sibling bond is forming. This morning (before deleting an entire blog post for me), my daughter sat on her brother's bed bear hugging him and kissing him until he finally managed to squeak out "Meggie stop!" between his fit of giggles. The break lasted all of 30 seconds. At that point he looked at her, toussled her curls and said "I love you, silly baby sister." I'm not sure she understood all that, but she understood enough. She knocked him over again and bear hugged him.