Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ode to the Front Porch

On the next street over from me lives an elderly widow, who lives alone. Her name is Mary Lou. I pass her house frequently as I come and go- sometimes several times a day as I take kids to and from school, errands, etc. On nice days, she is almost always sitting out on her front porch, sometimes reading or chatting with neighbors, but often just sitting and watching the world go by. I find myself jealous of her at times. With 4 small children, I often feel I am losing control of my life- constantly running from one thing to the next and constantly having a huge list of things to do around the house that never gets done. I so strongly wish I could find more time to just sit on the porch, watch the world go by, read and chat with neighbors. It would especially be nice to be able to do so without feeling guilt over what I "should" be doing. Everyday, when I pass her house and see her sitting there, I always smile and wave. On days when I am especially busy and extra tired, I always feel that longing to not have to do whatever it is I have to do and just go home and sit on my own front porch. Sometimes, when I pass her house several times in a day from multiple errands and she is sitting out front watching me come and go several times, I have to wonder what she is thinking about me.

However, there are two sides to every story. I have gotten to know Mary Lou a bit. She is a very sweet, and somewhat feisty, woman. Sometimes, when I go on walks and she is sitting outside, I stop and visit with her. My kids and I have made cupcakes for her and taken them to her in the past. We have also exchanged phone numbers and she calls me from time to time, just to chat. I suspect she is lonely. Her husband died about 10 years ago, I think. Also, I know her only child, a daughter in her 50's, has been dealing with breast cancer and has had several surgeries. Mary Lou goes to stay with her from time to time, especially after a surgery, to help her out. That daughter has no children and is not married, so I know Mary Lou has no grandchildren which is probably part of the reason she likes my kids a lot and likes it when we stop by and asks about them when she calls. So, though I am sometimes jealous of her being able to enjoy the weather on her front porch, I know it comes with a price.

I truly love my life and don't want to trade it. And, really, I know that the time will come- probably all to soon- when the kids will be gone and my husband is retired when we will find ourselves sitting on the porch watching the world go by and wondering where all the craziness went. So, I really don't want to change things in my life- it would just be nice to occasionally find that time to just stop- sit outside and enjoy the weather and watch the world go by on the front porch.


Lauri said...

This is a great, reflective post. Isn't it great that we have different times in our life that allow us to experience the joys of that season? You're right, one day you will be the woman on the porch.

Breezi said...

Check out this posting from one of my friends in blogger-land

It's totally along the same lines.

What a great post Amanda :)

Mom Janet said...

You are a gifted writer, mother and wife. Such a lovely outlook on your neighborhood and the simple relationship and friendship that you are developing with the kids and Mary Lou. I too, wonder about where all the time has gone and just what the next years will bring. My love to all of you. This was my last day working at ACV. YIPPEE!!!!!

Rachel H. said...

OOOOOOOH! Thank you so much for coming to visit my blog! I am so glad Breezi told you to stop by. I love making new blogger friends! LOVE IT! And i love your post. HOW TRUE it is...both sides of the story. Makes so much sense. I love how you put that in persepctive!!

The Cochran Family said...

This is such a great thought! We think we would rather just sit and chill, but would we? I have been thinking about family a lot lately (or my lack of family close by) and have just decided it totallyt stinks! I try all the time to have a posistive attitude and most the time it works, but every now and then I JUST WANT TO GO HOME! I think I am just ready for a visit! We leave June 1st!! Yah!

You are so sweet to brighten that ladies world. I'm sure you are a bright light for her!

trentnjeanmorello said...

If I had a porch you could come and take a break and sit on it...but I don't. I am sure with four kids sometimes you do wish that you could just sit back and relax and watch the world go by...I think if I had four kids I would feel the same way!

And it's very nice of you to get to know her and let her enjoy getting to know your family. I know my grandparents love when their neighbors come over when they are sitting on their porch.