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Stacy's Parenting Journal

Entry 3 ~ May 11, 2009
Mama Sue Where Are You?

Mama Sue, Brody and the elephantLast week my dear, dear friend Sue came to visit for a long weekend. Sue was a professor of mine in college and I also worked in her office on campus. Our friendship has grown through the years, and I consider her (and husband Bill) one of my very cherished friends. Sue does not have her own children and has not spent a great deal of time around little ones. The really fun part, is her utter and complete awe with my little ones.

The first day of our visit was a trip to the mall. I packed a diaper bag, extra clothes, a lunch box and drinks, bottles, a double umbrella stroller and a single umbrella stroller. Off we went. Brody discovered the escalator and hauled "Mama Sue" up and down several times. They ran through JC Penney and caused a scene. They saw the alligator and heard the thunderstorms at the Rain Forest Café, and she tried to convince Brody not to be afraid. They played in front of mirrors. The two of them ran the mall like they owned it.

Ultimately, we decided to have an early dinner at the Rain Forest. Sue held Brody when the thunderstorms came and held him up close to see the elephant. They bellied up to the bar (yes, the bar!) and sat on each and every animal bar stool. And off they went to play on the escalator again.

It struck me how different life is, "with" children, and "without." Mama Sue got a triple dose, albeit brief, of life "with" children. I bet she never dreamed that she’d belly up to a bar with a three year old.

Mama Sue and BrodyDo you remember grabbing your purse and keys and taking off, rather than spending 20 minutes packing snacks, drinks, wipes, extra clothes, and so on and so forth? Do you remember parking anywhere in a parking lot? I used to never think twice about it. Nowadays I look for a spot where I won’t have to cross the parking lot, a spot that has plenty of room for me to open the door to get the kids out. And when buying a car back in pre-children days, it was all about me and only me. Now that I am car shopping again, I am looking for a vehicle with plenty of space, sliding doors, room for three car seats, a third row, oh my . . . a mini van. I never thought I’d see the day.

Sometimes I wonder how Mama Sue sees me. She knew the Stacy that was young and single, and has suddenly gotten to know the married-with-three-children me. In infrequent moments, I yearn for my younger, simpler, more care-free days, where I slept through the night, every night and didn't have to wait up for one of the teenagers to sneak in four and a half minutes past curfew . . . but a "yo" from Kristin or Kassie (that is good morning in teenager-language), a snuggle with Reese or Reagan, a big hug and an "I wuv you mommmmm," from Brody snaps me back to the reality that I wouldn’t change a thing about my life.

Mama Sue, it might be chaos, but I love every minute of it!

~ Stacy

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