When my middle-little-brother-who-actually-seems-like-an-older-brother and his lovely wife had their first baby…
My first baby. My beautiful, widely talented, brown eyed little girl is embarking on a new chapter of life that will change her life maybe more than anything since leaning to walk. She is learning to drive.
And not just the old pickup truck in our back field or her little go cart up and down the long driveway, which were excellent precursors but obviously not the real thing; she is enrolling in actual, real life driving school. Which means that within months she will likely be seen around Oklahoma City, happily giving all of us pretend heart attacks while we secretly celebrate her growing independence.
When she learned to walk, it was such a happy time! She was absolutely joyful about it, like she knew in her wordless baby mind, “Whoa. This is a big deal.” She still enjoyed being held, carried, and cuddled, but walking was the shiz-nay. Her tiny fists could grip an index finger like no body’s business, affording her all the extra balance she needed to make it from couch to chair, etc.
Her chubby, wobbly little legs, that soft, feathery brown hair framing Mary Taylor’s face (her great-grandmother). Glossy, rosebud mouth. And those eyes.
Oh my goodness, she has always had the dreamiest, most liquid brown eyes you can imagine. She still does, and these days they are tastefully accented by some very grown up swipes of black mascara and silver eyeshadow. How I miss watching her animated eyes when she tells a story.
I know that in the future, if we get to hear from her One True Love about why he first fell for her, it will have something to do with her eyes.
Oh, back to driving… This is the summer between her Freshman and Sophomore years in high school, and around here that is just the perfect time to take driving lessons. I couldn’t be happier!!
Having long ago abandoned the idea of sternly not allowing my children to grow up, against my Dad’s strong recommendation, this is a time to celebrate! So celebrate we will.
My hope is that, in addition to staying safe every single minute of every single journey, my almost grown baby girl will make happy memories, gain confidence behind the wheel and around the city streets, and maybe drive out to see us now and then.
She may or may not want me there for her first official trip as Driver, time will tell, but I was there when she took her first step. And I can feel her belly laugh in my own belly when I remember it. And I am so thankful for every bit of growth that has brought her this far. xoxoxo
No? Eh bien… I am content to claim Oklahoma as home and visit Louisiana from time to time.
This isn’t the same building, but it is a New Orleans building with some elusive magnetism.
The Feast of All Saints had three big things going for it even before I swiped my debit card:
- Local author in my very favorite city
- Relatively limited circulation
- Historical fiction off the beaten path
They like to stay with people in their private homes rather than in hotels. Or, they like to host such travellers. Or both. I guarantee this is happening in your city, and it is happening all over this colorful world!
On we go.
Oh, and you get to upload photos. Nothing like posting a photo of your home online to make you want to beef up the flower beds! Public shame is the mother of improvement, after all. Do you think I need more gladiolus here, or more spiralling ivy?
Deep breath. This is what we’ve been excited to do, right? So after finishing our “very important errands” and just in the nick of time, Angela & I swung by a super classy giant chain store (starts with a W) to stock up on not only guest-worthy dinner ingredients but also a few spontaneous creature comforts like a new polka dotted body pillow, extra toothbrushes, and vanilla candles.
Looking back, the body pillow is difficult to explain. When I saw it in a center aisle though, it stage- whisered to me, “COUCHSURFERS WILL NEED THIS!” So it became part of our home’s pillow arsenal for a mere $9.
One extra word on dinner prep for couch surfers: Handsome and I had the notion that lots of our visitors might never be exposed to Oklahoma except through this experience, so we (meaning I) really wanted to make a splash. We (meaning I) really wanted to make a Land of the Red Man-Prairie Life impression, ya know? So lovely pasta dishes, Tex-Mex, and take out Chinese were mostly out of the question. We were going for an authentic Okie menu, and that proved to be tricky. What would you have served?