19 August 2008

Playing For Keeps

For several months, I have been getting "Hallmark Magazine" in the mail and I have no idea why. I've never subscribed to it, and don't know how I managed to get on their subscription list because, well, I'm just not really a "Hallmark" girl. I guess in my mind I equated it with a brand of domesticity I've never really had a yen for.

Leave it to my mother. She called me over to look at something and when I saw what she was holding, that silly magazine, I thought..."what in the world would be of interest for me in there?". I mean, I'm much more likely to have my nose stuck in "Cruising World" or "Latitudes and Attitudes" but that "homemaker magazine" has something I might find interesting?

She knows her daughter well. Here's what she shared with me...

I have tons of Lincoln Logs. Pieces left over from many sets of "Monopoly", "Sorry", checkers and backgammon stones and even an old backgammon board that's beautiful, one that Justin used to carry around as a brief case - the one his Dad bought me when we were dating. Now I discover that I can make art of these "treasures". Yes! Oh what I'd give for an old tin Chinese Checker board. Oh well, my imagination is running full-throttle. How cool to have a few of the things my kids' toys hanging on the wall in a rather eye-catching way. What fun!

This should keep me out of trouble until my ship comes in, right? :-)

They Grow Up Fast...

Justin and Stephanie came in for a fast weekend visit. Justin came in to visit with his friends, but we managed to sneak a little time in with him.

His Dad reports he's doing very well. Justin has memorized the script and has closed on three sales in one week. Not bad for a former cook!

I talked Justin into pretending that I was a prospect and show me how he handles it. I was amazed. If I'd had the hefty membership fee, I would have written a check on the spot.

What I loved most, was that Justin told me that his father had pulled him aside more than once and told him how proud he was of him - of his ability, his work and his dedication to learning his new role in a totally foreign (to him) industry. The light that flashed in Justin's eyes as he relayed his father's pride in him obviously meant a great deal to our son. He spoke warmly of it. I'm so happy he's spending time learning from his Dad. This is a very good opportunity for both of them on so many levels.

In fact, Tim called me late the other evening to share with me his impressions of Justin's work and I detected the very same brand of pride. They're working together as men, who happen to be father and son, and I am so pleased for both of them.

Of course, we miss him like crazy, but this is such a good time for him to spread his wings beyond Wilmington. My friends have been at the ready with lots of phone calls, lunches, coffee, meetings, dinners and my parents have been extra funny and attentive because they know this a challenging transition. I appreciate all of it. I'm blessed to have the loving support. I'm a lucky Mom.

Katie is doing well, too. She's about to launch a new website on a topic she is passionate about and loves. In fact, one of her photos got picked up this morning by "Gothamist". (Way to go, Katie!!).

John and Katie spent last weekend in Litchfield, CT at John's Aunt Daria's country home. Next week, Katie will experience a big transition - she be busy turning 25 on August 26th! That's a significant birthday - a quarter of a century. I love teasing her about it. On 5 September, Katie and John will fly to Paris, France for seven days and then onto London for three. She's so excited and I'm certain John is, too. What a great time to be in Paris and to be there with someone you love. Magic.

Things have fallen into a bit of a manageable routine. The house is quiet, but it's OK. It's a time to reflect on how much fun it's been to raise these two kids and consider the next phase. But for now, I like remembering all kinds of warm memories and Justin and I made a new one this past Monday Evening - we shared a platter of snow crab legs on the pier at The Oceanic, went for a walk on the beach and yes, my dress got wet and I couldn't have cared less. Justin laughed and grabbed my purse before it got knocked over by an incoming wave. He wasn't quite fast enough to save my iced tea. After that, we went to Barnes & Noble and then took in a movie. Just the two of us. It was wonderful to share his company for the evening, walking around Wrightsville Beach with a young man who's taller than me, who opened the doors, made me laugh and behaved like a gentleman.

Can you tell I'm kind of crazy about these two kids?

Today at work, I spent about 45 minutes holding the two week old son of one of our newest employees. He was so precious. My eyes actually welled up when I thought of my own "babies", and then realized how fast these tiny packages grow up and all of the adventure packed inside of such innocent forms. Whew! I smiled as I handed little Christian back to his father, thinking to myself...you have no idea what you're in for.

Don't blink and hold on tight.