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Archives for : February1956

A Love Of Letters

My recent experience with Abigail’s letters left me thinking that maybe I should start small. Her thoughts were powerful and personal and helped her husband endure the absences. For Valentine’s Day, I decided to write a letter to my sweetheart. Except for a childhood penpal, the obligatory thankyous, and notes from camp, I wasn’t a big letter writer.

But it had been so long since I had written a letter to Steve, I had trouble starting. It was true that I loved Steve but I think the everydayness of our lives sometimes interfered with remembering how lucky we were to have each other. Putting him first everyday was difficult with two children who demanded more attention. And the children were louder.

When we were first married, it was so easy to plan every day around Steve. His favorite foods were always on my mind, his clothes were always clean and pressed for him, I would gladly watch whatever show he wanted to listen to. Just being with him made me happy. I needed to recapture some of those feelings. I flipped through our old albums. We were so cute. My hair was perfect in so many shots. I must have spent more time on it then. I dressed a little better. I could certainly do that again. I saw more me – an extra piece of jewelry, my beloved shoes, the matching purses. All me and still me but now there was less often me.

Before I wrote this letter, I need to reclaim myself. I would dress a little more like the “old” me and see if that would help. A few days after starting my experiment, I saw some changes. Steve loved the way I smelled; I had started wearing cologne again. I brought back some of the old me that made me feel younger again. I inadvertently smiled more and even caught myself humming while dusting. Mags mentioned that I seemed a little different but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. It was nice to reclaim some of that power.

Eventually, I wrote my love letter to Steve and it was easy. I easily recounted that I had fallen in love with him for all the good qualities he still had. Even better than that, I fell back in love with myself along the way.

If Women Ruled the World

I am completely convinced that if women were allowed to rule the world, all things would run more smoothly. Needless to say, we didn’t play cards at Gail’s. There was bound to be a different experience after Gail and Edie emerged fro the kitchen with their splotchy faces. Edie looked adorable. We all have different faces when we cry.

After everyone realized that something was wrong, they turned their full attention to Gail and Edie. For an hour or two, we heard the plight of two women who both wanted babies. There was less sympathy for Gail since she already had a few children and every mother understands baby fever and what that need feels like. The pros and cons were discussed thoroughly. The cons didn’t seem to dissuade either of them. Labor is serious business and it was important for Edie to understand the changes that occur in your body when pregnant and have to think about enduring labor. Nobody was too graphic; just enough to insure that Edie would give it ample consideration.

I think I saw Edie mature a little that afternoon. She also became more a part of the group. It was lovely to see everyone try to help her make a good decision about becoming a mother. With Artie away so much, Edie would have to be lucky also. The ladies prioritized what was important that day; the cards could always wait. In a way, it seemed as if everyone’s future was in the cards.

Baby Dreams

Having female friends is a priceless gift in life. The group I play cards with – Gail, Mags, Judy Anne, Sarah and now Edie – would tell me the truth if I really needed to hear it. The years we lived here in Montgomery Park have allowed us to see our children grow up together as we bloomed as wives and mothers. Although Edie is a little younger than us, she is fitting in well. Actually, her youth motivates me to keep up with my beauty regime more faithfully.

This week’s card game was at Gail’s house. Due to her brood of littles, there is always a wayward toy part or pile of crumbs somewhere it should not be. I always arrive early to help her with any last minute chores. Gail seemed quieter than usual; a sign I know that something is bothering her. I stopped her for a moment and asked if we needed to talk before the others arrived. Proper protocol for our group is to arrive 5 minutes after the stated start time so we had several minutes before the doorbell would ring. Gail was still stinging in her heart for another baby and every month without one made her a little sad. It’s hard enough to feel chipper at that time of the month, but an extra burden for Gail. We talked it through a little and Gail eventually had a little sad smile on her face. The doorbell rang suddenly but it was too early for our group. I went to answer it and Edie was at the door. I invited her in and she followed me into the kitchen. I have to remember to let her know about the 5 minute rule.

Gail greeted Edie and Edie’s eyes moved to the pictures of the three children on the wall. Gil had hung pictures of each of the children and next to each baby picture, Gail kept an updated picture of the kids. They were all adorable. Edie kept staring at the wall while Gail and I set up the food on the dining room table, moving quickly back and forth to finish the set-up. Gail has beautiful silver and loves to use it when she is the hostess. When we finished, Gail pointed at Edie’s back to get my attention for her to look at Edie. Edie was still staring at the baby pictures. We both moved toward her slowly and when we stood at her sides, we could see tiny tears under her eyes. Edie apologized when she realized we could see her crying. Of course, we both told her not to worry about it. Edie turned toward Gail and burst out in tears that she wanted a baby. She fell into Gail’s arms crying as the doorbell rang.

I excused myself to answer the door again as they hugged each other. It slowly dawned on me that two baby-dreaming women had found each other. After everyone arrived, we stopped to eat and Gail and Edie moved themselves to the side to eat together. They looked very cozy with their heads together, especially when they laughed. The group spent a long time discussing the pros and cons of becoming a mother. That would make a good story all by itself.

Reminiscing about babies always makes me wonder if I should have had more myself. My children were a little old now and there would be a gap between the first two and a third. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through it all again either. My life was getting more free with Daisy in school now. Maybe I was being selfish, but I didn’t think I wanted more children either.

From the looks of everyone after we finished eating, the decision on babies was to relax. That’s what I mean about women. When a decision is needed, we know what to do. Discuss the issue. If a decision isn’t needed, wait for more information.