11 years already? So where did it go?
Somehow, 11 years have passed since my first column was printed in this newspaper. So many things have happened in that time it boggles the mind to look back and reflect.
But of course, that's what I do.
Last week my best friend's daughter had a baby. I went with another friend and both my daughters to the hospital, where we had a delightful time holding that baby and carrying on about the past.
I told the story that I had never changed a diaper until I had my daughter. In fact, when that first dirty diaper happened, I waited until a dear friend came to visit, who gladly accepted the honor of changing her, much to my relief.
Anyway, that day we brought my firstborn home from the hospital, I remember being mortified over a particularly nasty diaper and calling the nurse at the hospital to make sure something hadn't gone terribly wrong. She assured me there was nothing unusual about the horrific color and consistency and rejected my offer to drive it back up there so she could have a look.
Fast-forward to last week, holding my friend's grand-baby, watching both my girls holding her, one scared to death, the other girl wishing she had one.
Yes, time certainly does fly.
Over 11 years you have allowed me to share my stories, some of which may have interested you, some of which I know were surely tiresome and dull, but all along you've made me feel heard and loved, and for that I am grateful.
You've endured countless dog stories, donkey anecdotes and random bizarre accounts about bobcats, working out, cardiac arrest, beer drinking and giving up beer drinking.
You've jumped on board with coats and blankets, canned goods and cold hard cash when it was time to give; shared your feelings with me, with fond reminiscing of raising your own children, blunt comments that questioned my sanity and writing ability; and offered me many, many prayers along the way. And I have prayed for you, as well.
You've endured countless sarcastic jabs at my poor children, who to this day do not read my column. Bless their hearts, they accept the fact that Mom writes a column, but naively assume that I'm just sharing how wonderful they are and that I never mention their high-maintenance brattiness, because they JUST CAN'T SEE IT.
God, I love those kids.
You've seen firsthand as several life-changing events have struck my life, just as I know that such events are happening in yours. Death, divorce, health issues are a way of life, and I thank you for your concern as you allowed me to share those tough times.
Sometimes I feel like now that the kids are gone, and I'm busier than ever with my bread-and-butter job (which is off limits here), I'm running out of things to say. Somehow it's gotten harder, not easier, to find the time to do this. While I'm definitely still scattered, I'm not so much smothered anymore. Perhaps, in following with the Waffle House lingo, I should change the name to Scattered & Covered.
Nothing really ever stays the same, does it?
Anyway, thanks for your support, even at those times when I'm actually writing about nothing at all. Eleven more years?