Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Which I Think Back On The Last Decade

So today is the last day of the decade.

What a crazy, crazy ride.

Let's review, shall we?

In the year 2000, I was a senior in high school. There's me all ready for prom-- wasn't I ridiculously fresh-faced and cute? I planned to join the military after college, travel the world, and not marry or have any children until I was at least thirty and had a doctorate degree. We can all see how well that worked out.

Now ten years later I've been married for five and a half years, been a mother for three and a half, still haven't started my masters but have received a BA in English and a stellar education in extremely rare medical conditions, and have performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation over thirty times. I've been to Ireland, England, Canada, Mexico and Belize-- a sad total of one new country every two years. I've attended twelve weddings and eight funerals, moved five times, and owned three cars and one house. I've read over three thousand books and been published twice. I've seen the interior of my husband's left calf and the adrenal gland of my son. I learned how to do needlepoint and sign language (though not at the same time). I adopted two cats, one frog, one snake, and one enormous tarantula.

Jeremy in 2000 planned to join the Marine Corps and was waiting to see if he'd be accepted to college or if he would enlist straight out of high school. In ten years he expected to be an infantry enlisted man or officer (still in the Marine Corps), unmarried, and that was about the extent of his planning. You can see that worked out pretty well for him, too.

He graduated from high school, got married, commissioned into the army, became a father (Jeremy says he impregnated a woman but this is my blog so I get to say it how I want to), moved, got promoted twice, deployed, got half-blown up, came home a bit worse for wear, and learned how much fun it is to drive a wheelchair down a grocery store aisle at high speeds. He has been to Canada, Mexico, Belize, Iceland, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan and has been admitted to six hospitals. He's had eight surgeries and broken five bones. He's played over 7,000 hours of World of Warcraft (which is kind of scary but probably less than the amount of time I've spent reading books), owned three cars, and consumed about twenty alcoholic beverages.

Connor spent the first six and a half years of the decade as a twinkle in God's eye. Then he rapidly made up for lost time. In the past three and a half years he's had four major surgeries, five stints in the ICU, two months of in-patient time, over 200 doctor's appointments, and been admitted to five different hospitals. He's been under anesthesia seventeen times. He's learned fifty-eight signs, how to lift his head, sit on his own, eat solid food, and stand with help. He's graduated from early intervention and started preschool. He's owned zero cars and been to zero other countries. Glad to know someone is behind me on the amount of traveling they've done.

We don't really do New Year's resolutions around here. As Jeremy puts it: "Why would you wait until December 31st to make a resolution?" But I do have one wish for the next ten years. I hope it's sort of boring.

No really. I'd like to look back in ten years and write things like "I organized my Tupperware collection" and "I won an award for prize-winning petunias." I mean, I'm okay with a few exciting things happening, like Jer walking again and Connor walking for the first time and us adopting another kid and moving into our first non-rented domicile, but I'd rather skip the other drama that tends to follow us around. You know, drama that includes things like explosions, bleeding, people turning blue, emergency rooms-- the list goes on. With any luck we'll be able to look back on the first decade of the new millennium as our "wild twenties" and our thirties will be much more sedate.

I'm not placing any bets on it, though.



Anonymous said...

Love you two! Happy New Year! I do admit, I cyber stalk you via your blog. I'm so glad you are doing well. For the record, my other country count is only 2 -- Mexico and Ireland and the Holland airport (but airports don't count). So you are beating me. Happy New Year

Jax said...

Happy New Year to the three of you.

I might wish excitement (hopefully of the good kind -- but there's that alleged ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times" to keep in mind) on some people. But for you, I hope life is boring. In the good way.

I look forward to reading Connor's new triumphs as you share them with us. I look forward to Jer getting back on his feet. I really hope you get to bring a new person into your family, you seem like fantastic parents, and seeing what Connor thinks of being a big brother will be wonderful.

And hi to Jer from a fellow World of Warcraft player, from Illidan Hordeside. I don't know where he plays, or which side, but I hope he keeps enjoying his time there. I know I will.

(Long time reader, probably never commenter. I guess it's the combination of new year wishes and "omghi WoW player" that drew me out.)

Anonymous said...

Does Jer mean 'six different kinds of alcohol' or only 6 drinks? ;)

Ridiculously, yes. But there is nothing ridiculous about having a plan like that when you are 18 and then living your life as it comes to you. All three of you have.done.well.

I am predicting your next 10 years to be as boring and interesting as you and God will make them.


Kristin said...

Love the recap. I hate to have to bring this up, but its been nagging at me for the three and a half minutes since I read it. Wasn't there also an adoption of a hedgehog? he might have lived in a dorm for some period of time?

I hope things slow down in all the best ways for your family!

littleterr said...

The last decade has held enough excitement for a lifetime. I can't vote for boring, but I will go for calm days of growth and controlled change without dramatic surprise. The shear opportunity plan & to actually work that plan would be nice.

Happy New Year, Sweetie, with wishes for time in 2010 for gardening, reading, writing, tea drinking, thrift shopping, visiting friends and family & loving your menfolk. Love you & am proud of you as always.

Galen said...

What a fascinating and humorous account of your decade (even though much of it wasn't humorous at the time). Your plans might not have worked out exactly as you conceived them, but the life you've created together exceeds your plans in many ways. I hope this next decade brings health, much happiness, and success in your personal endeavors.

Lin said...

Here's to boredom, Jen. I wish peace, mobility, a yard free from ivy, and health for you all. It's been a wild ride reading your blog each day, but also joy in seeing your successes over each obstacle. I think you've earned some rest from it all for awhile, may God bless you all this coming year with less excitement. Cheers, pally. You are one hell of a survivor.

Julia said...

Happy 2010, and I hope it is a sweet and peaceful year for you and your family, indeed for everyone around the world. Here's to no seizures, impacted bowels, or IEDs. I always love your blog -- your experiences, spirit, and message are an important part of my day. Take care!

Katy said...

Man, when you put it like that, its' a lot. Also, I now know that I am three years older than you are, relatively speaking.

Terena said...

lol! Oh yeah, I hear ya. I'd really like 2010 to be all about my stamp collection. I don't have one, but maybe if I did some of the drama would go away?

probably not.

Niksmom said...

Wiahing you a year (and a decade!) full of mundane. Yes, mundane. Nothing more exciting than moving into your house, Jer walking, etc. But, well, it's not in our hands is it?

Wishing you all a very wondrous new year.

leah said...

Happy New Year! You've had an amazingly interesting ten years- here's to the next ten being interesting, but only in good ways!

I can't wait to see what 2010 brings for you- Jeremy up and running, Connor thriving, and the ivy disappearing forever!

Lora said...

Happy New Year to you all! May your days be as boring and as calm as you can possibly stand! Seriously, I wish you all the best and always have my fingers crossed for the three of you. You all have been through a lot and I admire your positive attitude and that you have a sense of humor left despite it all.

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