In an effort to get myself caught up, here are a few recent happenings.
The James Taylor/Carole King concert was incredible. My mom, sister and I had such a great time. It was a pretty emotional experience for all of us, but the best part for me was when my mom leaned over, grabbed my arm and said, “I can’t believe this is actually happening. I never thought I’d see them together. And with the two of you.” I don’t know if I’ll share that kind of a musical connection with my kids, but I sure hope I do.
Lukas had surgery to have tubes put in his ears at the beginning of June. Yes, I realize I wrote an entire post chewing out an urgent care doctor when he suggested tubes, but it really wasn’t about the tubes. It was about his terribly arrogant behavior. We knew tubes were a definite posibility and when Lou hit seven ear infections in about nine months our pediatrician decided it was time. I wasn’t nearly as worried about the surgery as I was about not being able to feed or water my child for six hours beforehand. Lukas is an eater. The only sign he’s ever used is the one for milk – and he does that while he’s still laying in his crib in the morning. How in the heck were we going to avoid major meltdowns? Fortunately he was so distracted by everything going on around him that he didn’t even notice the three hour delay caused by an emergency c-section in our operating room. He handled the surgery wonderfully and spent the rest of the day eating like a frat boy. It was actually kind of hilarious to see everything he packed away. Poor kid probably though we were going to starve him again.
The thing that’s been occupying most of my brainpower for the last several weeks (months) is the fact that we were preparing to buy Bjorn’s great aunt’s farm. We officially closed on Monday. This is very, very exciting for Bjorn and I’m excited for him. Unfortunately I’m not quite as enthusiastic about it. I think the farm part will be okay. I’m definitely a city girl, but I’ve known all along that it will be much easier for me to live in the country than it would be for Bjorn to live in the city. I’ll learn my way around. My problem lies in the moving back to our hometown aspect. I never say never because it always seems to come back to bite you but I honestly never wanted to move back home (a fact I wasn’t 100% upfront about because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings). I love my family and my inlaws and am really looking forward to being so near to them, however it adds a new set of challenges to creating our own life. In a small town six degrees of separation drops to about 3. I’ve had people come up to me and tell me they know my parents, shake my hand and never tell me their own name. I often get “Oh, you’re that Hoffman girl” or “You married that Olson boy” and while they’re both true and I know these people don’t mean any harm it’s still very frustrating to me. I feel like I’ll always be someone’s daughter or daughter-in-law or wife or mom or sister or cousin, never just Anna.
One of the things I’ve liked best about living where we do now is the anonymity. In a small town with so much family nearby it’s going to be next to impossible to do anything without everyone finding out. The other part of this is that I’ fear running into people that still expect me to be the person I was in high school. While I’ve always been me, I made decisions back then that I’m not proud of. I’d hate for people to base their opinion of me or my extended family on a past mistake. I was a very shy and insecure person and while I’m still insecure I’ve come a long way in breaking out of my shell. It seems that shy people are viewed in two ways – sweet or stuck up. Sadly, I think I fell on the stuck up side and it really impacted my relationships.
Bjorn made a very insightful comment the other night (and I have to tell you he has been incredibly supportive of my feelings throughout all of this, if our roles were reversed I can’t say that I would have the same level of patience) that most people aren’t able to be their true selves during high school. We’re too focused on fitting in that we change aspects of our personalities to better suit the people around us. I think this is especially true in small towns where there are fewer activities and fewer people to engage. I couldn’t wait to go to college and meet a whole new set of people that were maybe a little more like me.
Don’t get me wrong, we have friends there. People we love that love us back. People that will accept us no matter what. I’m looking forward to growing those friendships. While people that live in small towns might like to gossip and they can be catty, they are also the very first to show up when you need help and they never expect anything (except maybe a few beers) in return.
This went off in a much different direction than I intended but it feels good to have gotten it out. You can expect to see pictures of the renovations happening at Green Acres (“good-bye city life” and yes, that’s what we’re calling the farm). We have a lot of work to do.