Pickin' Friends and Pickin' Noses

"You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose.  But you can't pick your friends' noses."  An internet search attributes this quote to many different people.  I first heard it on Saturday Night Live.  "Pick Your Friends" first aired in 1986.  Wikipedia says it is a popular saying in English speaking countries.  I find the phrase pretty funny, no matter how many times I hear it or repeat it.  Can you imagine the absurdity of reaching over to pick that hanging booger out of your friend's  nose or vice versa?  Saturday Night Live did.  And  it is just...ewwww!

There are plenty of other things we can't pick...someone else's pants out of his/her crack, spinach out of someone else's teeth, how much tax we pay, our parents and other family.  There is absurdity in all of those things, should we be given the opportunity to choose.  How much tax-who wouldn't choose to pay nothing?  Choosing family-how about that couple with the 7-figure income?  Life just doesn't work that way.  Some things just are, whether we like it or not.  Picking our friends is one thing we can control.  Choose well.

So, we don't get to pick our family.  Pick your haircolor, pick your job, pick out where you live, but  not Mom and Dad, brothers and sisters, etc.  Like them or  not, they are yours (I'm talking the family you are born into, not the one created with a significant other).  As a kid, there were times when I wished my friends' parents were mine.  You know the ones.  The parents that let you drink as much soda as you wanted, eat junk food, let you stay up past bedtime when you spent the night.  Other people's parents were always so much cooler (you know you had those times, too)!    And when a friend would say how cool your own parents were, you gave him/her a look like, "what drug are you on?" 

As adults, we can pick how much time we spend with our "born-into" family.  Some people move out and never see their family again.  Others move away and visit as much as possible.  Still others never move out at all! 

I'm one who moved away.  Our visits to our families are few and far between.  But we are not totally isolated from them.  Facebook, e-mail, cell phones (with texting) keep us in touch.  What we lack in actual time together, we make up for virtually.  We see each other's children grow up through pictures and posts.  We even sometimes still argue over petty differences.  One nice thing about being with my family virtually:  there is time to think things through before posting something that may be regretted later.  Live visits, not so much.  I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers.  When we are all together, the competition to be heard and understood still exists!  Some subjects are avoided completely (religion and politics-know what I'm saying?).

Love them, hate them, your family is all yours.  I didn't pick them, but I'm keeping mine.

I Did

For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad.  I do. 

20 years ago, my husband and I looked into each other eyes and proclaimed before God, family and friends that we do.  There have been times in these 20 years when I thought we would never celebrate 20 years of marriage, yet here we are.  We have weathered the worse, the poorer, the sickness and the bad times.  The better, the richer, the health and good times have enabled us to keep our marriage thriving and intact.

Our marriage is richer and healthier than it could have ever been without the worse and bad.  That which does not kill, makes one stronger.  It is because of the tough times and our willingness to keep at it instead of giving up that we are here as a couple to celebrate.  Our bodies and minds become stronger and better through challenges.  Marriage is no less a challenge to one's sanity and well-being than an inquisitve toddler that doesn't like to nap, especially when Mommy needs one.  Living with another human being that is not a parent or sibling and trying to figure out each other's likes/dislikes and getting used to his/her habits is enough to test anyone's mental health!  So, here we are, having survived the storms of marriage.  For our daughters, witnessing Mom and Dad face and survive the turbulence and still love and enjoy each other, we are setting the example for them.  Our relationship will affect all relationships they have, have had and will have. 

20 years used to seem like a long time.  20 years ago, I graduated from college, married the love of my life a month later and bought my first brand new vehicle.  19 years ago, we bought our first house.  18 years ago, our oldest daughter was born followed by a move to another state just 2 years later and the arrival of her little sister the next year.  How could time have passed so quickly and yet so much happened?  One thing I know for sure:  I am supremely happy to have shared these 20 years with my husband.  God set each of us aside from our births just for each other.  Who better to spend the rest of my life with than the one person in the whole world saved just for me?  Ask me again, Handsome; I know exactly what I will say:  I DO!!

RIP Fr. Kendall

The Graduates

19 years ago, 2 sisters found out they are each expecting a baby.  The due dates for the babies were one day apart. The 2 sisters spend the next 8 months sharing pregnancy woes and joys.  Their husbands just shake their heads at the silliness and sometimes weepy moments the sisters experience in the 8 months.

One baby makes her appearance 3 weeks early, small, but healthy.  The other baby arrives 5 days past her due date, also healthy.  The early baby at 3 weeks and 4 days old is smaller than her newborn cousin! 

The sisters and their families spend many happy times together over the next years, raising their daughters and reveling in the babies' delight in the many discoveries the 2 make as they grow and develop.  Then one family moves 1200 miles away.  Distance keeps the girls apart, but visits home and phone calls keep the cousins close (ever listen in on a phone conversation between 3 year olds?  It's a hoot!).  Eventually, technology advances and Facebook comes along.  The cousins keep up with each other just about daily and share many common interests.  When face-to-face visits happen, it is almost as if the 1200 miles and the time between visits doesn't exist.

Now, here they are, 18 years old, high school graduates.  Time for the 2 cousins to move on to the next act.  What will happen next?  Whatever is in store for them, the 2 sisters hope the 2 cousins will stay just as close as ever.  Watch out world, here they come!