Monday, April 9, 2007

My Whole Life Changed When...

I just read an interesting blog post from a blogger I stumbled on while reserving books online at the Public Library. She is an author and a blogger, and her post was about the topic "My Whole Life Changed When". It got me to thinking. When did my whole life change? And has it? I tried hard to come up with one life-changing event and couldn't do it. I was a little disappointed in myself. These people had changed their lives overnight when something important happened to them or someone they knew. And then I realized.

There was no life-changing event for me. There were dozens.

When I met my husband. We have been together for thirty years. There have been ups and downs, but he is a better man now than he was then. I like to think I had something to do with that. There is no one else in the world who can make me laugh so hard, without fail or who has so many shared memories with me. He is always there for me. I can count on him. I had a boyfriend in college who absolutely hated it when I interrupted him when he was talking. This is a common failing in my family - we are so knowledgeable, so smart, so full of information - we just have to interrupt each other to get it all out. When we are together, we are constantly talking over each other. Tom never minds. He just waits patiently, then continues with what he was saying. What if I had married that boy from school? I would have had to change my whole personality. Tom likes me just the way I am.

When my children were born. Some people hesitate about having children. Never me. I always knew I wanted children. I loved them from the time they were newborns to their present state as adults who are wonderful, funny and close to their family. What would my life be like without them? Just Tom and I. Sort of lonely.

When I went back to school to get my education degree as an adult. In hindsight, I often wish I had done this the first time I went to college - I would certainly have a lot more years to count for retirement! But then I realize all the experiences I have had in every other job prepared me for this job. To experience it, to appreciate it, to be the mature adult who could handle it.

When my grandson was born. I had almost forgotten the joy of making a child laugh. His guttural belly laugh just makes my day. And he likes books. He brings them to us to read to him. Maybe that came from me. Some reading gene passed down through the ages. His great-grandmother likes to read as well. So when we are gone, something of us, some small part, will survive. And maybe he will share books with his children.

We all have these experiences. Some of you may have had a life-changing event. I would be interested to hear about it. But most of us probably have had the same experience of several life-changing events.

I took Wes out for ice cream yesterday. He had tasted ice cream, but never sat and shared a whole cup with someone. It was chocolate, my favorite. Maybe his. He hasn't had enough yet to form an opinion. He knows he likes chocolate. We sat outside on a beautiful spring day, me on a bench and him in his stroller. We watched people passing by and shared bites of ice cream. He smiled at me. I smiled at him.

It was not a life-changing event. But it was good. Very good.