oh boo... i did it. i wanted so badly to be on top of the daily posting of gratefulness... and then only a week in, i botched it.
but i'm here now... and today, you shall have two postings. a morning posting and an evening posting... aren't you happy to hear that? grateful, even??
yesterday was something of a strange day. a gentleman from the moving company came to look over our stuff, so they'll have a sense of how much work lies ahead of them next week... how many hours to pack, how big a truck to bring, etc...
he arrived about half an hour after my husband, who had just come off a 12 hour night shift, had gone to bed for the day. i mentioned this to him, and asked him to start in the bedroom so that my husband could get up briefly before falling asleep, and then go back to bed while the guy looked over the rest of the apartment.
now, you may already know that my husband drives a bright yellow land rover. it was parked right in front of the house. i just happened to be wearing a t-shirt, given to me by my husband's mechanic... advertising his shop. not because i'm land rover crazy... but because i have packed most of my clothes and left this one out to clean the house in...
so, the minute my husband groggily crawls out of bed, the guy starts talking truck.... loudly, with great enthusiasm and elaborate detail.... the elements of his home work shop, the myriad to vehicles he's purchased and chopped up and put together, stories of off-roading...
my poor husband can barely keep his eyes open... but nods in the appropriate places in the stories for about an hour before he excuses himself to go to bed.
we move into another room where the guy continues to regale me with stories, at high volume, for another hour.
nice guy... kind of annoying. made me late with all his story telling....
then, i went to visit a friend who struggles with depression. her husband is away until just before Christmas, and she has two kids... so i thought i'd take advantage of the free afternoon and hang out with her for a couple of hours.
somehow i got maneuvered into talking with her kids about sex. i don't quite know how that happened. we were talking about how i run marathons to raise money for people with blood cancers, and how her youngest (a girl aged 9) grows her hair long and then donates it every couple of years to makes wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. from there the conversation went to organ donation, to donating blood, to screening blood for diseases, to what is AIDS, at which point the mom said "megan can explain that to you".... which is true, i can... that was my field of work for many years... but not normally with 9 year old girls... (and i don't know if they've had the birds and bees talk with the 12 year old boy yet! never mind the 9 year old, although i now assume they have... )
so we're talking about how HIV works inside the body, and how there are lots of medicines now to help people so they don't die from AIDS the way they used to years ago when nobody knew what AIDS was... which the mom later contradicted when we started having the "safe sex" part of the conversation... when she said, if you have sex and don't protect yourself you could get HIV and then you'll die... oof! scary stuff at any age, but i'm there thinking "is it really appropriate at age 9??"
and then, it turns out that maybe it is....
because while we're having the big talk about needing to be grown up enough to understand the consequences of your decision before you start to have sex, and about how you need to know that you don't have to do it just because your friends or your classmates tell you that they are doing it, or tell you that you're weird if you're not doing it, or tell you that you should be doing it.... the little girl says something along the lines of "like when the kids are playing truth or dare at school?"
when i was 9 truth or dare involved dares like walking across the railway bridge (with the scary huge gaps between the supporting beams and you can see the water flowing underneath, and you know your dad's gonna kill you if he finds out you did it)... or going into the creepy old tumbled down you-know-it's-haunted-house by yourself.
when i was 9, having a crush on someone meant you threw snowballs in their face, or put spruce sap in their hair, or made them an extra special valentine card so they would know you liked them without you having to say it.... it did not involve "i dare you to touch his...." or, "i dare you to show me your..."
and so... yesterday's moment of gratitude had three parts.
one, i'm enormously grateful for growing up where and how i did, where i was able to remain a child while i was a child.
two, i'm grateful for having had this eye opening experience now, while i'm not yet a parent... because now i know what my children will be experiencing as they grow up. i can't assume that their lives will be as innocent and safe as mine was. and, i've already had the awkward sex talk with someone else's kids.... so hopefully it won't be too difficult to figure out how to have it with mine.
and three, i am grateful that i am aware enough to know when people don't want to hear my stories, either ever... or just not at that very moment...