Friday, December 21, 2012


A few (many) years ago....when I was twenty-five, I lived in an apartment in Seattle. It was a one bedroom, where, for the first time in my life, I lived by myself, with my cat, Eddie. At first that apartment felt strange and spacious and sort of decadent, since I had only lived with groups of others up until that point: a family of seven, a dorm, college and post college houses and apartments full of friends. I paid affordable rent for digs that had a view of Lake Union, the Space Needle and Queen Ann Hill. From my large window I watched morning light, sunsets, a famous lighting storm that I think the Seattle Times still sells photos from and lighted Christmas ships pass by throughout the holiday season. The building was in a neighborhood right in the city and had an actual asphalt parking lot where I could park my car. I started my job at the hospital at 7 and made it home by 4, which left plenty of time for an afternoon walk around Greenlake or to Pete's Market to see what sounded good for dinner.

At that point in my life, my sister and one or two other friends met up nearly every weekend for Breakfast at Julia's Fourteen Carrot Cafe which I could walk to. Their Tahitian Toast with a side of fresh fruit and yogurt was, and still is, one of my very favorite breakfast food memories of all times. For awhile, on Thursday evenings, my sister and one of these same friends took turns making dinner, after which we would tune in to the latest episodes of Family Ties, The Cosby Show and of the very best TV lineups of all times. 

At twenty-five I took the occasional weekend trip, understood I had never met someone like Marc before (we had been dating for about a year and a half at that point) and dreamt of going back to school. I enjoyed my friendships, loved to cook, walked for exercise, read and made things. I chopped enormous salads topped with cottage cheese, shredded cheddar, raisins and crushed saltines many nights for my dinner. I drove into downtown Seattle to shop and look and dream. I loved all kinds of music but had a special passion for classical. I knew I loved the out-of-doors, writing and taking pictures, and had a sense of adventure. I liked where my life was and where it was going. I didn't know exactly what the future held, but didn't really feel the need to either.

At twenty-five I didn't know that within the next five years I would be married, move all the way across the country and then back again, or have twin boys. I didn't know I'd have a husband who would give me flowers the day before our anniversary (which is, by the way today!) so that I could enjoy them the entire day of, or that another baby boy would come along. That I would explore my political views, quit a paying job to stay home and raise kids or exchange a vibrant city for the suburbs. 

About a week ago, my older boys turned twenty-five and I am (blank) years over twice their age. I think they live in a more complicated world than I did at that age.....but perhaps my parents felt the same way about me and their other children.  The one thing I do know is that certain themes have carried on throughout my life: my interests, what I value and the purposeful ways I spend my time. I can look back and see a similar pattern in my boys; activities each of them showed an interest in from an early age and the ways those have translated into how they currently choose to spend their time and energy. 

Have they noticed this pattern? I'm not sure and I don't really want to point it out....just to encourage them to pursue whatever it is that they're interested in. I want them to have the same sense of discovery about their own lives that I did and still do about mine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I miss those days, Margaret! So fun -- not that life isn't interesting and fun now. Those dinners helped me learn how to cook, and Julia's was the best place for breakfast. And Eddie-- he was such a presence! Nice post-- Michele

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