Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Evolution of Thankfulness

Age changes things. 

I remember being very small and being thankful for Popples, the Young Authors program at school, older siblings and days when the metal slide attached to the swing set wouldn't burn my bottom. 

I remember becoming less thankful for older siblings, but rather thankful for older siblings who were active in school activities and forgot I was around most days. 

I remember being thankful for a down-hill bike ride on my way home from my first job, a front seat view to watch a tree grow and cows

Time moved quickly and I remember being thankful for a few good friends, small engines class in the back hall and making the cheerleading squad again, despite not being able to do a back handspring. 

I remember being thankful for a brother with a parking spot at Purdue, a whole new set of sisters which arrived with endless wardrobes and being able to fit back into my jeans after my sophomore year. 

I remember being thankful for the 4th of July in Washington, DC, co-workers that would become family, the adventure that age 23 brought and a direct flight home for Thanksgiving. 

I remember being thankful for my amazing little home, a kinda-good dog, cows and a strange yet satisfying unrest in the idea that I still hadn't found what I was looking for. 

Age changes things. 

Today my thankfulness comes from a life less grandiose.

Less travel but more miles of adventure with a carseat full of Cheerios in the backseat. 

Fewer business dinners but more time spent cutting ribeye into tiny pieces and filling sip cups with milk. 

No days of being unnoticed at home, and many more days of going to the bathroom in pairs. 
Caroline and I. Not Cody and I. 

Today I'm thankful for a good nights rest, comfortable shoes and finding Kleenex in my purse that doesn't have a peppermint stuck inside. 

I'm thankful for a child that eats anything - including 4-day-old-peas-from-the-couch, a barn cat that cleans up scraps so I don't feel so guilty about trimming the fat and a good hay supply. 

I'm thankful for parents aging gracefully, Saturday afternoon visits with the Original Jean and friends from coast to coast who care. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. 
What is typically my favorite holiday, I wake this morning and wonder what I'll make, when I'll go to the grocery and if I have any blue cheese hiding out in the back of the refrigerator. What is the true shelf life of blue cheese? 

Age changes things.

But it doesn't change the fact that with age comes true thankfulness for a warm home because I know folks who don't have one, thankfulness for a full refrigerator because I've seen people go without, and great thankfulness for family because I know the lonely. 

When you look back on your life 
- whether twenty-one or eighty-one years - 
how has your thankfulness evolved?

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from the Sankey family. Thank you for spending a little part of your day with me. 

Now - who wants to send me a salad recipe that will impress my mother? 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Why I Don't Leave Home

Last weekend Cody and I traveled to Ft. Worth for the 2017 Angus Convention

Two people. 
Two suitcases. 
No diaper bag. 

You guys - I darn near had an anxiety attack traveling without Caroline. 

It was during those brief three days that I remembered why, now that I'm a mother, I no longer leave home. Unless we're out of milk. 

1. I updated our will. 
I'm serious. After retrieving Caroline from daycare to take her to my sister's, we took the updated will to be notarized at a local business. We were flying to Texas, not Tonga. This is the state of mind I was in. 

2. I found the best sitters money can't buy. 
My sister and brother-in-law, Laura and Scott, watched Caroline for the weekend. Let's talk about the list of instructions I left for them. I put a lot of thought into the instructions on how to love our child, and I have a really bad feeling that they never even read the document before throwing it into the trash. 

I also continued to think about all of the guidance two grown adults - who have fantastic children of their own - would require when managing Caroline. So, as the weekend progressed, I sent more instruction. Least I could do. 

3. Airline travel is ridiculous.
Cody and I split ways when we got to security because he goes through TSA Pre-Check where he just bypasses all lines and walks through, iPad, laptop, boots and all. 

I, on the other hand, still mingle with the snow birds. I was moving along the security line quite well until a line of 5 (FIVE!!!!!) wheelchairs scooted up to the podium. There, the snow birds had a heck of a time remembering that they had to have their license (the one that was revoked four years ago) to go further into security. 

Because of the wheelchairs, they were able to bypass me. This took several minutes. Then, a TSA employee called for attention and loudly asked this simple question: "Do any of you have metal in your body?"

Some people just like to hear themselves talk. 

It was then that all five raised their hands and the interrogation proceeded quite quickly. The snow birds went on their merry way to head south and I jumped back in line to throw my iPad onto the security belt. 

4. I like my personal space. 
I'm not sure if it was the furry vest or the fact that the tray table was not down, but my row partner had a burning desire to rest her sleepy head in my lap. For the entire flight. I tried bouncing my leg, faking a sneeze, and reclining my seat, but girlfriend must have needed some serious rest. I get it, girl. 

5. Look Ma, No Hands
I had no idea what to do with my hands all weekend. I didn't have a kid on my hip. I wasn't carrying buckets. I wasn't pushing a stroller. I wasn't picking up sticks or toys. I was basically a big bag of skin and mascara, wandering around a massive crowd of Anderson Bean boots and Bar None hats, hearing to people ask me: Where's the baby?
"Well, good question," I constantly replied in my head. "I should probably call home immediately." 
Which leads me to #6. 

6. My phone rang off the hook. 
I thought. 
I cannot count the times I thought I heard my phone ring, beep or buzz. 
Caroline needed me. 
She had swallowed a sequin. 
She had developed a rare and severe allergy to beef. 
She was trapped in the car seat because technology had changed so greatly since Laura had kids, that Laura could not figure out how to remove her. 
I think I checked my phone something like 697 times throughout the weekend. 
My phone actually rang four times. Total.

However, there were four great successes of the weekend:
1. I spent really good quality time with my in-laws who I see every couple of months. 
2. The event I was there to help facilitate went quite well and I'm even better prepared to do it again 2018. 
3. I learned that Caroline can survive for several days and have a wonderful time without me. This made me smile and cry. Roots and wings, right?

4. Lastly, I had four (4!!!!!) strangers approach me and tell me that they read and enjoy this blog. I wanted to hug them and visit with them and ask them how they stumbled upon my writing. 

But then I had to excuse myself because I thought I heard my phone ring.