Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Family Moments

For most of my life I have had a 'maternal instinct'. While at this point I have no children, I do tend to be the one with a purse full of granola bars, directions laid out, and tickets pre-ordered. It's what I do. I think I've said it before that I want kids but find it hard to tell people because they assume I mean NOW. Are you kidding me? Why would I ruin what I have going right now with a baby? Not a chance. Kids, family.... SOMEDAY LATER. I feel there is no harm or threat in saying that.

Tonight I saw 'The Blind Side' with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. I feel it necessary to mention Tim as he is primarily a country music star but nailed one of his first large acting roles. That and, well, he's hot. Moving on... not to give away too much of the plot but at one point the family is preparing a kid to go to university. They are at the campus and showing them around, explaining the cafeteria, how much to study, etc. It was a really sweet moment, sending the kid off to the big world of University, leaving his family. It got me thinking about when I started university. I didn't have the grand drop-off and move-in experience with my family. It's not exactly a life-changing moment, after all, I turned out fine-ish. However, it was a pretty big moment in my life, the type of thing that, while I didn't need the HELP of my family, would have been nice to SHARE with my family.

My family is not from around here and so I was packed up at home and my brother and I drove halfway across the country together. My brother had already started school and so he was returning after a trip home and I was going to start school for the first time. I imagine my parents figured I had my brother, who was attending the same school, to show me the ropes and so I'd be fine. My aunt helped out and we all carted ourselves to my residence to move me in.

At this point, I had been to campus once to see my brother, but that hardly counts as I saw nearly nothing. I had no perception of what a university campus was like and what to look out for. There had been no build up to choosing a residence and emailing my Don or my new roommates. It wasn't so bad to figure out but it's not something that's fun to do alone. I really had NO CLUE what I was getting into.

Back to my maternal instinct. In the movie, it's a really precious moment when the family is so proud and attempting to send their kid off with as much preparation and advice as possible. I would have really enjoyed having my family with me that day, merely as support as I started something very new and foreign. I have no remorse towards my parents as there was really no way they could have been there. I just know that when it comes time for my kids to start off at a big new school, that I will try to make it as easy for them as possible and that it is important to me to see them off on the start of their massive journey into (attempted) adulthood.

What pinnacle moments in your life did you find it was especially nice to have your family there with you? What moments do you wish your family was or wasn't there for?

Monday, December 07, 2009

How do you feel about your embarassing moments?

A few months ago I decided I was going to cut back on partying a bit. I was thoroughly sick of hangovers (you'd think I'd learn after the first one...) and I was also sick of waking up the next day and remember what stupid things I had said or done. Not that I was off the handle or anything, just a little too relaxed with the brain-to-mouth filter. While I have had many more productive mornings as a result, I'm still finding myself cringing over things I've said or done. I don't think I'm doing anything especially out of the norm, I just feel that once I'm in public in a high-intensity situation (packed bar) I tend to just talk without thinking. It's a terrible habit and I have no idea how to stop it, if it's really that bad, or if I'm completely out in left field.This started on a long train of thought back to first year university and all the stupid things I did as a 17 year old. While part of my brain is saying "ugh I can't believe I did that!" the other part is saying "...how likely is it that anyone else remembers it?"

To compare that last thought I tried to think of stupid things I might have witnessed my friends doing or saying to see what I remembered and how I felt about it. Honestly, I came up pretty empty. I love my friends to death and I'm certain they've done ridiculous things that are embarrassing and cringe-worthy but I honestly don't remember them as such. I had a friend rock star* the hallway outside of my apartment one night and I don't remember it as embarrassing but hilarious and with sympathy.

So, is every silly thing I've done remembered completely differently by my friends than it is by me? Is my unnerving urge to apologize to the world completely unwarranted? How do you handle your embarrassing moments and how do you get them to quit haunting you?

* the verb "to rock star" means to do to a room what a rock star might do after a big show and heavy drinking...usually involves projectiles and bad smells.