Monday, March 31, 2014

Experiencing Milestones

There are certain things in life, that until you actually live them / experience them, you simply don't understand. For example:
Having children. We had a pediatirician, well educated, Harvard everything, no kids. Our first two kids were 15 months apart. When she felt it was "time" that our eldest "slept through the night" she instructed me to "let her cry." Ok, cry for a few minutes is one thing, but when they really get going, the whole house, including the other baby are UP! No one is sleeping! I stood in the shower with music blaring at three in the morning one time, trying to drown out those cries, hoping that when I came out, miraculously she'd be asleep, and so would everyone else. NO SUCH LUCK. So much for that idea. I said to our pediatrician. "It might say in your books that allowing a 16 month old to cry is the right thing to do, but....I can't WAIT until you have children." (Let me know how that goes.) Years later I saw her and she said, "Mrs. Cerf, there were many times when I thought of you, in the middle of the night and the things you said about letting a child cry, WAIL. I've got kids a year apart. What was I thinking!"
Empty nest. I watched my friends go through this, everyone handling it in their own ways. Some maybe better than others. Until you're actually living it, you don't "get it."
Death of your Mom. This one I really thought I could empathize, sympathize with. I'd written many sympathy cards, rubbed so many backs listening. But until I actually experienced it...someone actually said to me recently, "Oh my gosh, it's been over three years, you're not over it?" Really? (Her Mom is still alive.) And having your daughter getting married, don't get me started on missing Mom! Geeze! Tears, when you least expect them! I did not get that memo! 
Planning a wedding. I've now watched both the Spencer Tracy (1950's version) and the Steve Martin (1990's) version of "Father of the Bride," for the third, OK maybe fourth time. Until now I hadn't been in the wedding planning stages. Can I just tell you, I now view it as a whole other movie! New eyes, new appreciation. George Banks' line asking his son's young friend if he eats, referencing the price per head, hilarious now! (Or the relatives from Scandanavia attending.) The other interesting aspect of being involved in wedding planning, is good old fashioned etiquette. As my soon-to-be-son-in-law said this weekend, "I am going to RSVP to weddings with a whole new understanding." aka:
1) I'm going to RSVP in a timely manner.
2) I'm going to actually READ the addressed envelope to see who is actually invited, if there is only my name, it's just me who's invited. If there's my name plus my fiance's name, then the two of us are invited. If there's my name and "guest" then I can invite a guest to join me. And then I will respond with the number of accepts and the number of regrets, accordingly. Read the envelope! What a novel idea! Amazing the number of people (of all generations I might add), that either don't know this bit of etiquette or choose to believe it couldn't possibly apply to them! The hosts must not have realized they ommitted a "plus one" or the kids or the roommate or....???  Really? Really! Amazing. And what's more amazing is the texts, Gchats or phone calls to either the bride or groom asking if they can bring "X". I know people look at these events as a perfect opportunity to introduce whomever to others, but this is neither the time nor the place. And though we've not had our wedding yet, I understand from other parents of the bride that we'll be amazed to note those that attend the wedding that didn't rsvp. Yikes! I'm hoping that everyone reading this: Reads their envelopes ANDRSVP's! (To whatever event you're invited to).
This milestone list goes on:
ie., "Grandchildren"...    :)
But until I actually experience them, I really can't comment with true understanding!  :)      
This much I know!

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