- My dad helping me (or was it me helping him?) build a schoolhouse as a class project when I was eight. It had trees and a bell and received the most attention of all of the schoolhouses. I was so proud of it.
- My mom walking my brother and me to the beach during our summers when we lived in California. I was about ten and we'd go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf.
- Dad taking me to get my first military ID card when I was ten. We had lunch and talked a little bit. It was special because we rarely did anything alone, but I also remember it feeling somewhat awkward too. (Note to self: keep relationships with the boys strong even this young, because as early as ten the uncomfortableness begins to seep in if the relationship isn't well established.)
- Dad bringing home my 5th birthday present: a teddy bear named "potbelly bear". I don't know where he got his name, but it stuck longer than his little plastic black nose. Harrison has added him to his nighttime collection of stuffed friends who watch over him at night.
- Getting a rubber band flicked at my bare arm by a bully when I was eight. Ran home to mom crying in hysterics. When the bully came to the door to "defend his position" mom didn't do much to defend me. That hurt more than the rubberband sting.
- Going to a strawberry patch to pick fresh strawberries with a friend, Krista, when I was seven. I realize now how special that was. There isn't anything like that around here.
- Going to a neighbor's baton recital when I was five. I wanted a baton for Christmas after that, but that girl would never play with me. She liked boys better so preferred to play with my brother.
- Making Christmas cookies every year with my mom. Mom was always so patient with my brother and me, especially when we were fighting. When she lost her patience, we went to our room and usually "made up" by playing in our adjacent doorways.
- My brother climbing into bed with me when I was seven and I tried to cover him up like he wasn't there when mom came to put him back to bed.
- Riding my first upsidedown roller coaster with Dad when I was seven. I was so scared, but I didn't want to let Dad down, so I went. It was the beginning of a new love.
Gosh, I could go on and one, but I realize now that a lot of my early memories are between the ages of 5 and 8, so Jake is right where memories really begin. I'm thrilled to be going home to begin participating in the creation of those memories.
Jason says he's jealous of my option to be home with the boys. I'm starting to think he should be.