Posts tagged ‘New Jersey’

August 24, 2011

In Case There Was Any Doubt

So maybe it’s a bad idea to wear a t-shirt sporting my high school’s name around my hometown.

 

On a recent cooler morning, I was home in New Jersey running errands, while one of Jacob’s aunts watched him.  Because it was chilly, on my way out the door I grabbed my long-sleeved field hockey t-shirt, without really giving it a second thought.

 

Maybe I should have.  When I was going into my senior year of college, I wore a high school sweatshirt to the local grocery store.  Just outside, a man asked if I was looking forward to going back to school.  I said yes and went on my way, but something about the way he said it convinced me that the dude meant high school, not college. It’s nice to look young, though, right?  This will be good news when I’m forty.

 

Around town recently, I had a similar experience.  Except this time, I’m not only out of high school, but I’m also out of college.  As the cashier at the first store rang up my purchases—frames for our living room wall; pictures coming soon, really!—he asked me, “Goin’ back to school, huh?”

 

“No,” I answered.  “I’m out of school now.”  I’m used to people thinking I look young, but I don’t really think I look like a high schooler.  The wedding rings are a giveaway for me.  Apparently not for him. I decided to press on, just for fun.

 

“No, I’m married,” I told him, “with a kid.”  That threw him.

 

He asked how long I’d been married, and then asked if I was a young mother.  I thought of this blog, and thought his was a silly question.  He knew I looked young and he knew I was a mom.  What was he getting at?

 

It was only after I answered, “I guess so” that I realized he probably meant to ask whether the marriage or the baby came first.  And I think I led him to believe the latter.  Oops.

 

I went on my way, continuing to hop from place to place, doing things that are just a little easier in NJ than they are in Brooklyn.  Again, someone asked me, “Goin’ back to school?”

 

“No. This shirt’s about seven years old,” I answered, as I silently promised myself to leave it in Brooklyn from this point forward.

 

Oh, dear.  Do I really look seventeen?  At least this is confirmation that the baby weight is gone!

 

So in case there was any doubt about the “young” in “YoungMarriedMom,” I hope I’ve put it to rest.

July 26, 2011

Junior Prom, Revisited

This weekend, at the wedding of one of my best childhood friends, I was reminded of why I love John so very much.

 

The wedding was held at the same church where I received First Communion and Reconciliation, and where John and I together received Confirmation and Holy Matrimony.  It’s the church where we met and the church where Jacob was baptized.  But as beautiful and reminiscent as the wedding Mass was, that wasn’t what brought me back.

 

It wasn’t until we got onto the dance floor at the reception that I was struck by what made me fall for my guy.  The DJ was playing a series of Motown-y-type oldies (my very favorite kind), and although there weren’t many people out there, I wanted to dance.  Other couples weren’t dancing yet; other guys really weren’t dancing yet.  Just my mom and a bunch of her (awesome) friends.  But because John knows what kind of music I like, we were on the floor as soon as our little feet could get us there.

 

All of a sudden, I was back at my junior prom—the prom I asked John to because we were kind of getting to be friends and I wanted to go with a date.  Sometime after dinner, a song I liked came on, and I wanted to dance.  I didn’t think anyone would want to come with me, and I wasn’t going to dance alone in front of my entire class.

 

I was surprised when John said he’d dance with me (yes, he was my date, but this wasn’t his school, and how many guys really volunteer to dance to a fast song?).  I was more surprised that I agreed, and then even more surprised at what a good time we had.  I guess we were both surprised and didn’t yet understand what kind of seed had been planted between the two of us.  It wasn’t until the start of the next school year that we started to hang out in a group of mutual friends more often, and it wasn’t until the following February that we became an official couple.

 

 

But something started at that dance, for sure.  For some reason, we were just plain comfortable with one another.  We could dance for hours, we could talk for days, and more and more we found that we wanted to be with one another.  The carefree, fun-loving, and love-filled nature in John that made that dance so much fun is the same spirit that made me fall in love with him, that keeps me falling in love with him over and over again.

 

No matter how many proms/semi-formals/weddings we go to, I know I’ll always have someone to dance with.  Isn’t that what marriage is all about?

July 4, 2011

The Fourth

I wouldn’t label myself patriotic, but I can say I am happy to be an American citizen—and more accurately a New Jerseyan by birth, and a New Yorker by choice.

 

This Fourth of July, I’m thinking about two people.  The first is John’s cousin Tim, who is serving in Afghanistan.  Shortly after he shipped out, Tim’s mom gave us a small, framed photo of Tim to keep around the house—nay, apartment.  It’s in the living room, and I see it every day.  We pray for Tim every night when we say the rosary, and with the help of that photo, I’ve had him more in the front of my mind in this time he’s been away than any other time I’ve known him.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to think about such a great guy every day, and I hope God will bring him home safe and soon!

 

The other person I’m thinking about—surprise, surprise—is Jacob.  His citizenship is something we easily take for granted.  Born in a New York City hospital to New York residents, Jacob was given the precious gift of American citizenship from birth, and it’s incredible to think about how much that will shape his life.  I don’t mean to make any sort of comparison between the U.S. and any other country; I only mean to consider the opportunities this—not to mention the fact that his native language is English—offers him.  I hope we can help him to put them to good use!

 

Today, I am grateful for my family, my faith, and my country.

 

And hot dogs.

 

Happy Fourth!

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