Summertime

image

Growing up moments can be happy and sad at the same time. My big boys’ last full week of kindergarten is this week. Sometimes the habitual, daily routines like getting boys ready in the morning can become hum-drum tiring. I have tried to embrace and appreciate the morning moments before dropping them off at the back “kindergarten” entrance. Next year, they will not be the littlest there. They will enter the school, perhaps getting lost in the crowd with gigantic fifth graders. I will not get to pick up their busy bodies at noon. They will go to school all day long. That makes my heart hurt a little. And I already start to miss them and worry about them…next fall. When they will be first graders. Then, obviously, I start to miss them when they head off to college. And then I stop and remember that they are only six and a half years old. The hours in the days of parenting can be long, really long sometimes, but somehow the years seem to soar by. In a blur. So fast. It can’t be right. Didn’t my boys just learn to walk? With their arms up in the air, giggling, rocking back and forth, side to side, taking those tiny shuffle grandpa steps. I thought that happened last week. Or maybe it was the week before.

My kindergarten boys are excitedly counting down the days until summer break. Eight days left. Woo hoo! School is out! Summer provides the perfect setting for a kid’s dream life. Swimming in the pool, in the lake, in our backyard. Non-stop playing. Baseball. Water balloons. Lemonade stands. Ice cream, popsicles, and snow cones. Straight up outdoor life. Long hot summer days. Bedtime: optional. Sleeping in….until August rolls around again. When the reality of my kids getting older and life moving at a quicker pace than I can sometimes emotionally keep up with sets in.

All you want to do when you’re a kid is grow up, be bigger, do more. My boys keep talking about all the things they will get to do when they “turn eight years old.” I think I told them they would be responsible enough at 8 to get a pocket knife. Probably for zombie attacks. Whoops. It’s quite the opposite for me, as an adult. I want to pause time, “grow down”, donate my responsibilities, and re-ignite that careless, instinctual child-like ability to live in the present moments. One of the greatest gifts kids unknowingly offer is the pure joyful and innocent ability to live precisely in the moment. Only the present moment. Completely engrossed in the rolly poly crawling up their arm. Totally focused on climbing up the branches of a tree. Wrestling with their daddy, not thinking about anything else, giggling those contagious hysterical laughs the whole time. I want to capture it all with my eyes, my ears, into my thoughts, and sadly, on my phone. So, I can replay it over and over.

It can be difficult to let go or loosen up the grip when you’re juggling bills, jobs, housework, the future and all the rest of the grown-up stuff. Some things are going to slip, slide, and not get done in the most effective and timely fashion. I have tiny summer goals to not let my boys’ reading skills, math or handwriting skills decline. I’m going to think of some fun learning games too. Or I may ask experienced friends for help. I’m also going to try to put my phone down, and away, until night-time when they go to sleep. If they ever go to sleep. That’s my summer goal to help me be more like a kid. To be truly present and engaged in the fun, happy summer moments with them. Asher says occasionally, “MAHHHHM, your phone is mind controlling you.” A lot of times, I will be texting someone, but other times I will be on Facebook or Instagram or writing something down. I don’t really even know where he learned the term “mind controlling.” Probably from a super hero show. Sounds like something one of the bad guys would try to do to stop Superman or Batman. Anyways, I don’t want to be mind controlled by my iPhone. Or my kids to think that way anyways. I would much rather it just be lost somewhere with my keys. Maybe I will have one of my kids hide it everyday. I’d like to think that’s how things usually get lost anyways. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t put my keys in the deep freezer with the Popsicles. That would just not make any sense at all.

Overwhelmed

image

“Mama, can I sleep with something that smells like you?”

Ahhhh. My heart so full, yet so painfully aware of this fleeting moment. This overwhelming, outspoken love my boys show me everyday.

“I get to sit next to mom when she reads my book.”

Pushing and shoving to be closest to me. One of the only forms of fighting I gladly tolerate. A competition for my affection. I rearrange these three lanky boys, in hopes of making them all feel as loved as they make me feel. I wrap an arm around each, one on my left and one on my right. Then, there’s the youngest that gets to sit on my lap. And somehow, I can still manage to read the book, and turn the pages. God gifted me with these awkwardly long arms and big hands. For holding these three boys all so close? Yes. Tonight. They used to be one of my strengths on the basketball court. So useful for tipping rebounds in my direction or deflecting passes from going where my opponent intended. But now, they gracefully maneuver these oh, so lovable boys on my lap. By my side. Growing up much too fast. Pause time. Please, let me indulge in and remember these moments where I feel overwhelmed. In the most beautiful way. Overwhelmed by love.

Most days, I rush them to grab their shoes, get to the car, buckle their seat belts. We are always running late. Slow down time. Let me live in the moments where words can’t begin to describe what my heart feels. Where big soft tears trickle down my face. There’s not enough time to wipe them away because the next round comes too quickly. So, tonight, I sit here listening to their deep sleep breathing. Needing to move them to their own beds.

But, it’s hard. Lately, every time I move their sleeping six year old bodies to their own beds, I wonder if this is getting close to the last time I will carry them. Without waking them. Tonight, they sleep clutching a shirt of mine that I have sprayed my perfume on. So, that it will smell “like me.” The funny thing is since having these boys I rarely wear perfume, except to go on dates with their dad. So, maybe they associate the smell with me leaving them. Rushing around to make dinner and get ready to go out.  The babysitter arriving. Us leaving. The smell of my perfume lingering?

I just can’t move them. I won’t move them tonight. “You have a really big bed.” They always say. Little bed thieves. Well, they are right. Afterall, it is a “king size” bed. They can sleep in their own beds tomorrow night. I just need to listen to them breathing a little while longer. And just feel. So overwhelmed. In the best kind of way.

Hummingbirds

image

I love having friends come over to our house. The problem is that I am not the greatest housekeeper. In other words, I would rather do a million other things than tidy up. When I set out to clean the house, my brain thinks of a lot of other things I should be doing. More fun things. As a matter of fact, when the house is a disaster, I tend to escape. Go somewhere else. Everybody out….we are going to the park! Maybe it will magically clean itself while we are gone. This hasn’t happened. Yet.

The little rascals running around don’t help much. They like to get every single toy out of the room that I just got finished picking up. Or they spill drinks on the clean kitchen floor. How rewarding, that lasted all of two minutes. Ahhhh! Why can’t they just sit still and not play with anything for a few hours? Doesn’t seem like too much to ask of two six-year olds and a three-year old. All boys. My mom offered to come help me out. She knows this routine, having had seven children of her own to destroy the house on a daily basis growing up. And now she has close to a bazillion grandkids. When we were young, my mom used to have us all pick up one hundred things. Yep. That’s 700 things. I usually cheated. I think the rest of my brothers and sisters did too. Come to think of it, maybe I’m being punished for all of those times I dumped the unsorted sock basket over and then (re)picked them up, counting all of the sock misfits as my “hundred.” 1-2…skip a few, 99-100.

“Hello. Is this Amelia? It’s Karma calling.”

Leave me a message, please. I’m too busy trying to clean up my house.

I asked my mom if she would take my boys out for lunch. That way I could focus on getting the floors cleaned. My boys always harass me while vacuuming, by either asking constantly, “Mom, when are our friends coming? What time will they get here? Who is coming? Do they have kids? What are their names?” Or they love to play this painfully annoying (but kind of fun)game where they all try to “battle” the vacuum. They use their swords, legs, Nerf guns, and whatever else to attack the vacuum. With the dog barking, trying to bite it with his scraggly teeth and the three boys going ape-shit, it’s just too much. These factors are the sole reason my boys rarely see me get out the vacuum and when I do, they automatically say, “Who’s coming over?” Sad truth.

My mom arrived to our house in the midst of me filling my hummingbird feeders with homemade sugar water. Another attention-deficit cleaning up trait I possess is that I tend to hyper focus on things that guests will surely never notice. “Oh, you have a hummingbird feeder…I hardly noticed the urine all over your bathroom wall.” I asked my mom where she thought I should hang the hummingbird feeders. Then, I realized something as I walked around the backyard with my mom, trying to find the best spot for the hummingbirds to hang out while sipping on their sweet life juice. The older I get, the more I become like my mother, in a lot of ways. My siblings and I have always poked fun at my mom’s passion for taking care of the birds. Often times, she asks one of us to water her plants and feed her birds when she is out-of-town. I can’t sew to save my life. Stapling is how I hem pants. I can’t cook like my mom. I can’t keep plants alive, especially the pretty non-weed like plants. But, I have grown to love playing hostess to the birds coming to eat at our house. They are gracious guests. Always hanging outside, not ever staying too long. I got to thinking how my boys would fit in really well as hummingbirds, if they ever needed to change species. They have psychotic amounts of energy, they are constantly moving and they absolutely would love a diet that consisted of sugar-water. A dream come true. They would fly away and never look back.

My mom helped me hang my hummingbird feeder while talking on the phone to the nurse who cares for my grandmother. She then loaded my three boys in her car to take them to eat lunch and go to the bookstore. Master multi-tasker. No one can do what she does with a smile on her face and that pep in her step. Grace oozes out of her and we all sneak up next to her, in hopes that it would somehow rub off on all of us.

I had the whole house to myself. I started vacuuming the floors and the tears moved to their starting blocks. No boys attacking the vacuum. No dog barking incessantly. Just me and that vacuum, that appeared to not be sucking anything up. The filter! Yuck fest.  I started crying. Just feeling completely humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude that slid down my face in the shape of happy tear drops. I just love my mom. I’m not quite sure what I did to deserve such an unselfish, generous, and loving woman. For my mom. Why would I not hope to be like this woman? To this day, I have adult friends who meet my mom and tell me how awesome she is. And it’s true. Her face and name should be in the dictionary under “mom.” She’s that good. She mothers the world. Her own children, her grandchildren, the mothers in the grocery store, the children in the hospital, the frogs, birds, opossums, rabbits and creatures that come to her yard. Every child deserves a mother like her. And if every child had a mother like her, the world would be a more loving and joy-filled place.

So, I’m a little excited now. A lot. I can’t stop staring out my kitchen window.  I just cannot wait for my first hummingbird to come. And when that spunky little bird comes whizzing up to my feeder, I will remember the strong sensitive woman who taught me to love on and nurture the beautiful tiny creatures that God has so graciously put on this earth. With us. I will also probably say, “Hurry, boys! Come quick! There’s a hummingbird at our feeder.” And I will quickly kneel down, put my arm around them, pointing to the feeder, touch their hair and hopefully remember the moment until I die. I will be forever grateful of a mother who loves everyone, and every creature, in the way that God intended. Unconditionally. Generously. Selflessly. Beautifully. In an exhausting and whole-hearted way. I love you, Mom.

Nurses call button

nurse button

I love, respect and admire a whole heck of a lot of nurses. They just so happen to be some of my most favorite people. In the world. A sister, an aunt, a cousin, best friends, babysitters, and coworkers. And also the ones who have taken care of me. In my own experiences with surgeries and hospitalizations, the nurses who have cared for me have often held the power to build me up or break me down. Many times, they had no idea how much influence their interactions had on me. It’s a tough, stressful, physically demanding and exhausting job for even the thickest skinned person. Lives, both physical and emotional, are literally at stake. I have become so attached to some of my compassionate, shame-reducing, guilt-extinguishing and encouraging nurses. They often carried knowledge about my emotional state and overall well-being that even my closest family members didn’t. The good ones were safe. They saw me vulnerable, weak, and dependent and showed me, a complete stranger, self-less love. I would often dread the approach of the end of their third shift. “When will you be back?” I would ask, selfishly. Because let me tell you that there are some phenomenal, life-giving, utterly selfless and sacrificing nurses, and there are irresponsible, unkind and wreck less nurses too. You have to experience the worst to recognize and appreciate the best, right? I have relied heavily on my nurses in so many ways when I have been in the hospital. They advocate for me, encourage me, clean me up, hold my hand, listen to my story, and comfort my family. These characteristics don’t begin to address the medical side of nursing. All throughout the day they push aside their own discomfort, problems, tiredness, etc. to take care of me. They barely ever get to pee or eat some days. I didn’t even recognize everything they did for me a lot of times, until I was out of the hospital. When I witness, firsthand, some of the most amazing nurses in action, that I have the privilege of working with, I get it. A little.

These nurses that I’m raving about get down on their patient’s level. They listen. They explain. They gently touch their patient’s arm, shoulder, or hair. They possess an unexplainable energy that exudes hope, understanding and love. They do all of these instinctual little things that truly add up to make a huge difference. They feel, and they sympathize with what their patients are going through. They get spit on, peed on, thrown up on, pooped on, and then they change their clothes and go back into their patient’s room. With a genuine “I already forgave you” look on their face. They don’t ever minimize what a patient or family is going through. They recognize that every single person and family is unique. They want to do what’s best for the patient, not what’s most convenient for them. They love and respect people. They don’t judge. They relate. They sacrifice all-the-live-long-shift long. They don’t get to process their day until they’re done. So, when they clock out of work physically, they’ve completed their twelve-hour (plus) shift, but mentally and emotionally their shift begins. They don’t get paid for all of the hours spent processing their day. Thinking, worrying, wondering, hoping, crying, and praying for the people they’ve invested their energy, skills and hearts into helping that day.

Nurses, like many other self-sacrificing, emotionally and physically exhausting, helping careers don’t get paid nearly enough for all that they do. They don’t get to take large amounts of vacation time. They work crazy hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays. If one of their own family members dies, they get one week to grieve. Just one week. Seven days before they armor back up to come save lives. Lives of those they’ve only just met, who have no idea what they’ve endured outside the walls of the hospital.

So, if you know a good nurse, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Thank that nurse, hug that nurse, appreciate that nurse. They deserve so much more than one week of recognition a year. They often don’t get built up, refueled, recharged or thanked by their patients. Or even their management. But that’s not why the good ones do what they do. They do it, I think, because they understand that they possess a gift of connecting, strengthening, encouraging, and loving a complete stranger in a way that can leave a life-long impression that there is good in this world. Through the unfair, unfortunate, horrible, and painful parts of life, nurses are often the first genuinely caring face displaying empathy, kindness, hope, perseverance and strength.

Go on and love on a nurse today. And maybe next time you are in a hospital, just press the nurse call button to genuinely say, “thank you so much for everything you do.”

Then, maybe you can ask for that coffee with sugar and cream.

Thick gooey guilt

blackstrap-molasses

I vividly remember holding one of my boys on my hip, letting the dog outside, then slamming the sliding glass door shut. Crying erupts. I looked down to see my son’s little tiny finger stuck in the door. I quickly flung the door back open. He was probably 18 months old. Or less. It was an awful feeling. I desperately tried to comfort him while looking at his finger to see the damage. That I caused. I did it. Just Me. I hurt my sweet boy. The guilt set in fast. And hard. Over the course of the following weeks, maybe eternity, the nail on his little finger turned black. How nice, a daily reminder of the accident caused by yours truly. Cue the “Mom of the Year” music. Ahhh. I haven’t gotten my speech ready. Oh wait. I wasn’t even nominated. I’m sure they attempted to contact me, but I probably couldn’t find my phone.

I felt horrible. It didn’t help that every person I knew and didn’t know saw his strikingly black fingernail and asked, drumroll please….”What happened?” Or some more like (insert gasp)”WHAT happened?” Oh, I slammed his finger in the door. On accident. Yep, me. Not the twelve pound dog. Or his twin brother. Or his dad, although I’m sure the thought of throwing him under the bus surely arose. Numerous times. I would like some guilt to go on top of my guilt. Ask again. And again. And. Again. One more time, please.

The sad truth is that it would take forever to list all of the physical and emotional accidents that were mostly, well, 100%, my fault. I’ve hurt people with my accidental actions and intentional words. A rude tone, an unreasonable expectation, or an over-reaction resulting in damaged spirits. Especially the littlest and most innocent ones in my life, my little boys.

Not too long ago, I got so upset with one of my boys for kicking his brother. It was a repeated offense. I put his cowboy boots away. In my closet. And sent my son to his room for a break while I consoled his injured brother. A little later, we were leaving the house. Dragging his feet, through hunched shoulders and a lowered head, my boy barely got the words out. “Am…I…not… a…part…of…the… family?” What??? My heart dropped then quickly responded, “You will ALWAYS be a part of our family. No matter what you say or do. There’s nothing you ever could do to make us not love you.” And I continued on and on to really drive the point home. But still, I will most likely always remember that moment. That exact location. And that awful feeling. I wanted to rewind and react better, differently.

I just today shared about the time that I pushed one child too hard and fast on the slip n’ slide. A collision of my sons occurred. Two year old versus 5 year old. Two injuries resulted. Busted bleeding lip on the catapulted-by-the-mama younger child and bite marks to the back of the older, yet scrawnier, rear-ended child. So much for happy summer memories of slithering down the old rummage sale slip n’ slide. And let me not forget those times that I’ve bonked all of their heads, on door frames, cabinets, and walls while carrying them around the house. All of my boys have been little monkeys, they would rather ride than walk. This mama monkey tries to do too much with too few or full of hands.

We’ve had uber amounts of playground accidents. My boys have always been climbers. I have encouraged them, while many times, holding my breath. Little Spidermen. One time, one of my boys tumbled off of a wall, looked up at me and said, “But you didn’t catch me.” My thoughts exactly, yet falling gently out of the mouth of a three-year old. Ouch. Dagger is in. Just twist it gently.

Now is the time to stop reading and report me. Just call Division of Family Services, Kansas. I have some social worker friends who know the number, sadly by heart, if you need it. They might be busy though. Really busy. You will probably just have to leave a message. Because unfortunately, there are too many people neglecting and hurting children. On purpose.

“Accidents happen” doesn’t quite offer the reassurance or peace that it is intended to. What about the dreadful nearly or almost-accidents? A lot of summers ago, I stood at the faucet, turned the hose water on. Two 9 month old boys sat happily in an empty baby pool in our backyard. Freedom. We had made it out of the house. But it was so stinking hot. Summer cabin fever. I began to fill up the plastic pool. My baby boys began crying awful, painful, help-me cries. I ran over to them. Please, God! I quickly lifted them both out of the water, the hose water had been trapped and heated by the sun…all day. Why wouldn’t I think of that? I remember spitting out the first nasty hot sip of hose water as a kid growing up. You have to let the water trapped in there out first. I knew that. I beat myself up. Kept replaying the scene. Over and over again. And my boys didn’t have any visible lasting burns. Slightly pink skin for a few minutes. It could have been awful, head-to-the-hospital kind of bad.

As I write about these accidents, some years ago, I recognize that’s what they were. Not-on-purpose. No premeditation. My only motive was to try to be a good mom, survive, and offer my kids an outlet for their endless energetic busy bodies. That’s it. But even today after thinking on a few of these accidents, and every time I see a friend or caregiver who has that painful look in their eyes, I get it. I feel it. The guilt that can be suffocating. Debilitating. Hopeless. And typically unproductive.

I know from experience that you can only tread your arms and legs for so long in that guilt. Thick and gooey, it’s dark and painfully sweet, similar to molasses. It entices you, lures you in. First, one bad thought. Then, it’s a pile on. What you should have done differently. How you should have known what was going on. You should have lived closer. Been there. Paid more attention. What you should have said. Or what you shouldn’t have said. Every solution is always so much easier to see in the aftermath of the disastrous guilt-producing episode. A good mom wouldn’t have been so impatient. A good mom would not have locked herself in the bathroom or the closet. A good wife wouldn’t have said that. Done that. A good friend would have called. Visited. Communicated. The list goes on. And on. We can be the toughest competitor when we are in the ring alone. We know our own weak spots like no other. And we take full advantage of them. We can take little short dips in the guilt or sometimes we can get all creepy and wrinkly from hanging out waaaaay too long in that nasty, gooey, dark guilt bath.

There are the small, though they hardly feel that way, accidents that one can quickly recover from, and then there are the tragically deeper, more lingering, life-altering events. Survivor’s guilt. Why do I get to go home and hold my children when she leaves with empty arms? Why did I live, but she didn’t? Why couldn’t I protect my brother? Or sister? If I would have only known. If I would have paid better attention… Not getting to say sorry before it was too late. Once you’re submerged in that yucky, thick pool of guilt, it is so hard to get out. You need some time, though not too much. Your thoughts can feel like a broken record repeating in your mind. Over and over. Somebody move the needle. Change the song. Turn it off.

You need encouragement. Someone to tell you that you love on purpose, not hurt on purpose. Don’t balance on the edge. Don’t try to throw a friend that life saving device. As a certified guilt lifeguard, you have got to get in the nastiness and help carry your friend, sister, or brother out. Tell me what I’m really good at. Fill me up with truth. Tell me how I can change, be better and live differently. How I can remember and honor loved ones. Drown out those awful, untrue thoughts that got me into that messy molasses in the first place. You are a really good person. A good mom. A good friend. A good wife. A good coworker. You’re just not perfect. And that’s okay. Nobody is. You’re here, you’re alive and you’ve got to make the most of it. Even in the midst of so many unanswered questions and so much pain sometimes. You probably will dip your toes into the guilt again, in a weakened state, but you know that the sweet smell turns foul quickly. Get out. Stay away.

I just finished reading this book, “Falling Upward.” I think I practically highlighted the whole book. It may just be perfect timing. Richard Rohr’s wisdom and ability to articulate his thoughts made me feel like he was writing a letter of sorts, to me. Two quotes I highlighted popped into my head when working through how to deal with this guilt, or these imperfections. That I think we all have.

“If you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can now do it for just about everybody else. If you have not done it for yourself, I am afraid you will likely pass on your sadness, absurdity, judgement, and futility to others.”

We have to forgive ourselves. First. The old “put the oxygen mask on yourself before you attempt to put it on others” theory. Ahhhh. But I want to put it on everybody else. I will get to myself, eventually…..More like, I will most likely get to nobody. Including myself.

“If we know anything at this stage, we know that we are all in this together and that we are all equally naked underneath our clothes.”

I believe that we were all created by the same loving, forgiving, and grace-filled God.

Sometimes, you can be treading so hard and going nowhere. The once tempting smell that drew you in becomes nauseating. A guilt fest can be lonely, sickening and alienating. We’ve all been there. We all would love to do anything not to go back. But yet, we do hop in that gooey guilt tub. Time and time again. It is a rare occasion that guilt fests change what already has happened. Only, well, never. We need each other to get out of the funk. Been there, felt that. Didn’t like it. Help me get out of the gunk. Tell me something good, actually, convince me. Get me out of that yucky molasses. Nothing good happens in there. Ever.

Goodbye Lou and Will

image

I broke a promise to myself this week. It was not written down, it was more of one of those mental promises. Lacking accountability. Since I was the only one who even knew about it, I tricked myself. I did a little negotiating, some bargaining and the next thing I knew, I was a promise breaker. Oh, the guilt. The disappointment. It wasn’t anything über exciting or dangerous. The promise I broke was that I started reading a new book. I’m currently reading five different books, all different genres. I promised myself that I could not, would not, should not start a new book until I had finished at least two of the five I was currently reading. I don’t want to an irresponsible book reader. Leaving books unfinished, feeling unimportant. The problem is that I never know what kind of mood I will be in when I get the chance to do a little reading. Or a lot. In my defense, I didn’t have a novel in my line-up. I felt that it was just unfair to deny that “fictiony” side of myself. Why would I not think of that? Pure justification, no remorse.

I should  mention the weather has been absolutely beautiful, sunny and incredibly spring-like this week. Everything is the happiest green color. My kids love playing outside for hours in this season. And it’s just best to take a novel to the park, in my opinion. We went to a lot of parks this week. I just couldn’t put down my new-ish book. I began falling in love with the story, the setting, the characters, and just turning the pages of that promise-breaking novel. My boys played so well together, for the most part, and didn’t even ask me to be the “Dog Monster” aka chasing them around crazily. All of these conditions resulted in me finishing this “new” book. In a few days. I stayed up into the late hours reading, hoping, and wondering how the story would end, but now I am a little sad. Actually, a lot sad. I already miss the characters in this book. I didn’t really get to formally say goodbye to them. The book just ended. It seems wrong.

I started thinking how fulfilling it would be if authors of fiction novels could find the real-life people who best represented the fictional characters in their book. Then, when you finished reading the book, you would be cordially invited to a party to meet, talk with and say goodbye to your short-lived novel friends. I just loved Lou and Will, characters in the book I just read. And I want to meet them. Honestly, I think Lou and I would be good friends. I would be up for meeting in Paris. Though, I’ve still got to get my passport. Until then, a Starbucks in Kansas will do. Or maybe Parisi would be better. These novel friends would be welcome to come hang out on my back porch. I could make them a margarita or two. I would probably cry and give them a long, awkward hug when they had to leave, but it would be a lot better than just closing the book. Knowing how the story ends sometimes just doesn’t offer much comfort. I’m not much of a re-reader type of person. I will most likely give this book away to someone who will take good care of it. Someone who will love it. The (fictional)people in it really mean a lot to me even though we just met a few days ago. Goodbye, Lou and Will. And all the rest of the likable characters too. Sarah Mclachlan, I need you. Or just your song…..”I will remember you.” Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. Na. “Will you remember me?” Probably not, seeing as you’re fictional characters. Goodbye Lou and Will. Maybe I should just start another book. Or finish one of the ones I started.