You have followed in Jack's footsteps and round out the Morrow crew with more politeness, more funniness (if that's a word) and more kindness than I think I've ever found in one family. You are both old souls. I have a very vivid memory of picking you up at Knollwood once and taking you straight to Mayberry for ice cream, and at 4-years-old you both sat right down in the booth, opened up menus (which was funny) and ordered your ice cream with 'pleases' and 'thank yous' and had a very adult conversation with me while we all enjoyed our after preschool snack.
Will, I can remember doing countless puzzles with you in the basement of the old house and you telling me very matter-of-factly the best way to go about the process. You are such a thinker and I have always loved that about you. I'm also pretty sure you are the next Michael Phelps. I've watched you go off the diving board at the pool no less than 29,394 times. :)
Fordy, you were born a 16-year-old and have always run with the big boys. I can remember seeing you at the pool when you were 3, in water wings and goggles, kicking back with the high school boys and not having a clue in the world that you weren't just as old as they were. You are always such a cool cat and are always just flat out happy.
My favorite memory of you both, though, was from one of our date nights a couple of summers ago. I got to the house to pick all 3 of you up and Jack came on out to the car, but your mom let me know that you'd be out in a minute, you were inside putting on some of Dad's cologne for the date. I thought I might die and go to heaven right there in the driveway.
And, of course, you are just as studly as your older brother.
Jack Morrow, you are TEN years old today. You are the first of all of my favorites to turn ten, and I am currently a little weepy about it. I cannot imagine how your mother must feel. :)
I remember the very first time I met you - and your whole family - when I brought Spencer to your pool party at Forsyth for your 3rd (?) birthday. I stayed for the party and instantly knew I had new friends in the Morrows. And all these years later y'all aren't friends, you are family.
Jack, you are the best. You are a heartbreaker and you have no idea that you are. Girls will be chasing you around any day now and I have a feeling you'll be surprised, because I don't think you know how cool you are. You are kind and funny and polite and loving. You have a big heart and you care so much for people. It only takes about five minutes of being around you to figure that out.
You've always been a picky eater, so I've always just stuck to spoiling you with donuts and cupcakes and ice cream. That has worked out just fine. :) You wiped the floor with me in air hockey when you were no older than 5, and melted my heart when you fell head over heels for baby Lulu at last year's Halloween party.
You're one of my favorite dates. Dinner with you is nicer than dinner with some people I've gone on real dates with. I hope you never outgrow our dates because boy would that make me sad...
So, over the weekend I spent a LOT of time at the pool - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. When you are weekend babysitting for two HIGH energy boys and it is Summer, you go to the pool... I did great ALL weekend until Sunday, when, for some reason, even with plenty of sunscreen, I got cooked. And this decided to then kick it up with a nice 'intensified' burn/reaction because of some medicine that I take. I was in more pain that night than I have been in in a VERY long time. I like to think that I have a high pain tolerance, but on Sunday, whew, I was not feeling good at all.
All of this sets up the fact that last night, Ann Parke told me that Spencer had a baseball game Tuesday night if I'd like to come. I told her that because even being out in the heat for a minute or two made me feel sick because it heated up the burn again, I didn't think I could do it. I felt guilty because I haven't been good at all about making out to see these games this year. Then this morning Mary told me that Will's team was the one playing Spencer's team tonight. Now I knew I had to go, sunburn or not.
So, I came home from work this afternoon, slathered myself in some 'nothing's getting through this stuff' SPF sunscreen, put on long sleeves, jeans and a baseball hat (in 90 degree weather) and headed out to the Little League fields. I would do anything for these boys, without a thought.
Well... I was that dumb looking girl that must have seemed like I didn't know what was going on, because I cheered and clapped and hooted and hollered for both teams. I got to see Will catch, Spencer pitch, both of them each have a fabulous, clean hit, and watch both of them round the bases and score a run. Did I maybe cry a little? Absolutely.
Mary emailed me tonight to say that she knew I had to have been feeling pretty bad out there, but that Will was so happy to have a cheering section at the game... It dawned on me that the whole time I was out there I don't even think I noticed that I was hot or uncomfortable because I was just so wrapped up in watching two of my favorite people ever out there doing their thing - and killing it!
I still have, in two matching little frames in my apartment, their T-Ball pictures from the first year they played and I just can't believe how big they are now...
Oh, and don't worry - Frick & Frack were there, too. :)
As time goes on, it naturally becomes harder and harder to try to keep up with all of the people that are important to me. People are busy and live all over and (at this point in the game for folks my age) are immersed in having kids and raising some great little people.
But, a little effort to try to keep up with folks and touch base with them when possible is so important to me. It may mean some crazy coordinating of schedules, some time in the car, some busy days and a little more gas in the car than I like to think about the cost of, but it is ALWAYS worth it.
This past weekend I hit the highway and made all sorts of stops and visits.
The first was lunch in Durham with my dear friend Eric, his wife Allison, and my friend Mark on Saturday. (Poor Mark took the photo so he doesn't get any exposure. Sorry Mark! And thank you!)
Eric and I have been friends since high school and even though we managed to attend rival schools over the years (Go Spartans, Go Pack!), he is still one of my favorite people. He is married to the sweetest, kindest girl and I have loved getting to know her some over the years as well. And Mark is the younger brother of my best friend from college, and he has gotten to know Eric and Allison in Durham. Worlds colliding for me! I love when that happens.
Next it was off to Amanda's wedding in Durham that night. I met up with Amanda right after lunch to help with photo duty and had no idea I'd get the chance to be one-on-one with her almost all afternoon. It was such a gift. She is one of my favorite people and was a true guiding force for me in high school (when you go through that yucky time of not knowing who in the world you are) and has been one of my dearest friends ever since. We had a fun old Spartan crew at the wedding complete with Belton coming from Tennessee for the fun for a total Mt. Tabor flashback. What fun!
Then it was off to the beach for a few days with Mom, where I promptly arranged for a few other fun visits with folks down that way!
First, I went to see the Lillys, who I babysat for in college. Before there were ANY of my kids in Winston, I had the Lillys. Through the most random connections ever I ended up starting to keep Chandler and Collier, who at the time were almost 3-years-old and 8-months-old. I had no idea how I would fall in love with these kids and their parents. Right after I graduated they were joined by a baby brother, Steven, who is equally as precious as the first two. The Lillys were in Wrightsville for the weekend and I couldn't wait to see them.
It had been AGES and the kids are now 10, 8 and 6. I could have fallen apart crying when I saw them. Even though I have watched them grow in Christmas cards over the years it was still insane to me to see how big they all are. And SO sweet. Hugs hugs hugs for Becca. I was in total heaven.
The next day I headed into town to visit with Matt, Liz and Matthew. Matt is my best friend from college, and he and Liz - and Matthew! - are like family to me. Matthew is getting so big and he is so busy. It was so great to see them and catch up for a little while. It is a big big big deal to me to know the children of the dear friends that I have, so I was thrilled to get to spend a little time with this little (big!) guy.
And, I can't not mention dinner with sweet Blair on the way home last night. We didn't get a picture, but here we are from Elizabeth's wedding just so she doesn't get left out! It was, as always, great to see her as well.
So yes, the miles are on the car and I am totally beat, but in a great, sweet, happy way. My heart is full after ANY kind of time spent with people I don't see often, so it's all but about to explode after the past few days of love love love. So worth the effort! How great is that?!