Monday, March 15, 2010

Memories and Sleep Deprivation...All in the Name of F-U-N!

Oh, what a weekend we just had. We started the weekend with a bittersweet sleepover. Bethany's best friend is moving over 2000 miles away, and we were blessed with the opportunity to have her over just days before the big move. While Bethany was ecstatic to spend some time with her BFF, she was devastated when the time came for her friend's father to pick her up. The family is hoping to return to Michigan in the near future; in the meantime, Bethany will have her first real pen pal. Memories of my own 2000-mile move in the third grade have come flooding back to me. It's funny how our past lies dormant inside us until something happens to make us remember.

Like Bethany's friend, we moved rather abruptly. Also like her family, we could only take what would fit in our car; the rest went into storage. And another similarity - we moved in with my grandparents, just as her family will be doing. I was eight years old. We were living in Arizona with my mom's boyfriend. As it turned out, the boyfriend, who was also from Michigan, was a fugitive. The law caught up with him and hauled him back to Jackson State. For whatever reason, my mom decided to follow him. I think she was afraid she wouldn't be able to make rent on her own. She was so happy living in Arizona. What might have happened had she decided to stay on without him? She would have saved herself years of heartache with the boyfriend. But I might not be here, with my beautiful family, had we not returned to Michigan when we did.

I don't clearly remember whether I was upset about moving back to Michigan. My mom's brother Kevin and his then-girlfriend-later-wife-now-ex wife took the bus to Arizona so they could drive us across the country. He and my mom took many of our belongings to the flea market to sell before the trip. I remember my babysitter, Vicki, coming over to see us off. I remember a long, hot, uncomfortably crowded car ride, and even sleeping in the car at least one night. With four of us in the car, we couldn't have had much stuff with us. I don't know if I had any toys at all. How odd to think that I had essentially nothing in the way of material things. I did, however, have a pet hamster who made the journey with us. I vividly recall being very self-conscious about starting a new school well into the year. To make matters worse, my uncle's dog bit my face and I had nasty stitches for my first day. My mom and I shared a twin bed in my grandparents' spare bedroom until the boyfriend was released from prison. I think the whole prison thing was pretty embarassing, and I was careful not to share that information with anyone. At that point, the three of us moved into a rental house together. This meant yet another new school. After going about a year without our stuff, we finally had a truck deliver our belongings from storage. I remember standing outside and watching that truck coming to the house, and being disappointed that there was even less stuff in it than I had thought. We were poor as always and my mom had to take out a loan to pay for the delivery.  It has been a long while since I've thought much about that time of my life.

Aside from Bethany's sleepover and my little trip down memory lane, we celebrated Connor's birthday over the weekend. My boy is now seven years old, which is utterly unbelievable. So we cleaned like crazy to prepare for his birthday party on Saturday afternoon, which included both family and friends. Four friends stayed the night. I was not expecting this to be a problem, as Bethany has had that many girls sleep over and they caused us no grief whatsoever. But these boys did not want to go to sleep. They had fun, which is the most important thing, especially because Connor had been looking forward to his birthday sleepover for months, but did they ever wear us out. Lucy also came down with a bad cold that day, and did I mention it was spring forward for daylight savings time too? Sunday was rough.  I think my body will be catching up for awhile.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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