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I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

The Older Woman

The other night, while changing out of her work clothes, a woman looked in the mirror. Her hair was flattened against the side of her face. Her eye liner, slid from under her lids, resembled a raccoon. Her makeup had long faded, revealing deep creases around the edges of her eyes. The skin on her neck, like the eye liner, looked as though it had slid down her body, little rolls and folds where there used to be tight flesh. The veins on her skin popped up from her hands and feet, uncovering the wear and tear of time. Her naked body exposed years of use, of growing children, of nourishing children, of lifting children, of carrying children. Her breasts, her belly, her thighs and hips all rounder than they once were, all no longer able to fight gravity, their weight heavy on her frame. Her body had stretched and grown and given and been forgotten and neglected and loaned as a tool, as a vehicle, as a mechanism, as a means to an end and that end was giving light to others while she fell …

Socially Acceptable Avoidance Techniques for All

This morning, while in the shower, I heard the door to the other bathroom close and I cringed. At first, I thought it was odd to have such a visceral reaction to something so benign. Then, I realized why the clicking of the door closed bothers me so much. The only person in the house who actually closes the door to the bathroom is Andy and, when Andy closes the door to the bathroom, he doesn't come out for a very long time. Without getting too much into TMI, I know that the important work of the potty takes more time for some than others but NOT. THAT. LONG! After 25 minutes pass, when I can do nothing because asking if he is ok or done is awkward, I start to wonder what exactly is going on behind that door and why being in there for so long takes priority over spending time with his family. But again, it's silly of me to be sad and missing my husband while he is in the bathroom because everybody poops. In addition to time in the bathroom, Andy dedicates much of his time to w…

The Five Stages

We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We have read books about how to successfully live with someone who's from another planet. Andy, unfortunately for me, is not from Mars nor Venus, but another planet altogether. Sometimes, I find him to be so unique that I'm sure no one else lives on this planet but him. I'm not much of a astronomer but I'm also sure that all the other planets in Andy's solar system do not orbit around the sun but instead his very unique, solitary planet, or, to be scientifically accurate, his own star. The girls and I are on the lightest planet, Planet Family, which orbits the heavy hitter, the heavy weight, the brightest of them all, the star with the strongest gravitational pull- known as Andy's Sun.I'm pretty sure that Andy's Sun thinks it's characteristics mirror the Sun that the Earth orbits -near perfect, most important, responsible for all life. (Interestingly, I learned that the Sun is middle-aged…

For Granted

When we received Caroline's diagnosis, Andy and I decided not to hide the information and instead chose to educate friends and family about her rare genetic condition. We hoped this information would assist others in understanding her better and selfishly, for me, I hoped it would get people off my back about how we parent her. In some cases, our openness about her disability has helped others, or at least it has allowed our community of people the opportunity to ask more questions without feeling rude or embarrassed."Does she take any medication?"Does she attended regular school? Is she in a special education classroom or is she mainstreamed?Will she be able to go to college? What does Charlotte say about her? Will she outgrow it? She doesn't look like she has a disability so how did you know? I'd be lying if I told you that some of these questions haven't bothered me but ignorance is bliss and, when it comes to learning, no question is stupid, even if it co…

Becoming a Gambler

"You've got to know when to hold 'emKnow when to fold 'em Know when to walk awayAnd know when to run -Kenny Rogers Seventeen years ago, my college roommate suggested I run on the track with her as a way to shed unwanted college weight. I could barely run one lap around the track before walking but I continued returning to the track until graduation and then, after college, I took to the streets. I have dedicated several posts to my love of, and history with, the sport of running and my journey to defining myself as a runner. Running has been a constant and consistent piece of my twenties and thirties, a safe space in times of uncertainty and a place for me to channel my energy and goals. I use those words very intentionally: space, place. Running is not a thing, it is an action, but for me the action of running has a physicality beyond my body moving in time and space. Running is tangible; it's impact on my mind is as concrete for me as the way it has shaped my mu…

While You Were...

Many years ago, when we were first married, I was one wink away from passing out on the couch when Andy jokingly told me he wouldn't have married me if he knew how much I slept. I've missed out on a lot of things due to my love for sleep. As a kid, I was up when the sun rose and down with the sun set, so sometimes that meant I was ready for bed as early as 5 o'clock. College is a place for night owls but this didn't change my sleeping habits. While most of my friends were chatting and putting in extra study hours, I was sound asleep in room, even if that meant my roommates and their friends were hanging out with the lights on while I snoozed in my twin bed just a few feet away. I can't say that I ever pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper or project. Being a college student is exhausting, and also a time to make one's own schedule. In addition to going to bed early, I also fit in several daytime naps. I followed a similar pattern in graduate school, althoug…