Whenever Adrienne calls to tell me she is thinking of coming into town for a visit, I am always delirious with excitement. We grew up closely together, thanks to our wonderful grandparents, and now that she’s moved away, a little piece of me is gone too. When she comes home for a visit, I get to relive my childhood. But now that I have children, I find I am assaulted with “Adrienne this and Adrienne that” once she’s gone. I quickly begin to wonder if my kids value me as much as they do Adrienne?!?
After her most recent visit, my husband & I were putting our oldest daughter, Ella, to bed. (She is currently sleeping with us because her baby sister is on a heart monitor and we can’t be two places at once-) We are all laying in the bed with the lights out; the sound machine is turned up as we slowly drift off to dreamland. The prayers have been said & songs have been sung, typically this is a piece of cake. But after having a visit from Adrienne fresh in her head, my daughter begins a very long soliloquy all about Adrienne. “Adrienne takes my pictures. Adrienne makes me corn. Adrienne takes me outside. Adrienne brushes my hair….” This goes on for ten minutes before I decide ignoring her simply isn’t working.
“Ella, I have heard enough about Adrienne. I know how great she is, now go to sleep!” Her response quickly comes, “Mommy! Adrienne my friend!” After a very short pause, she resumes where I interrupted, “Adrienne loves me. Adrienne rocks me in the chair. Adrienne takes me to see cows…” and this is how I drifted to sleep. I have no idea how long her “Adrienne” talk lasted because she outlasted me.
The next day, I’m getting all of the kids ready to go outside & play. It’s a nice day but still a bit cold. Hayden, four years old, asks me if they have to wear shirts. I respond, “Of course you have to wear shirts. We’re going outside and it is a little chilly.” Hayden’s answer, “But Adrienne lets us play outside without shirts. Why won’t you let us play without shirts like Adrienne?”
After my night of enduring Ella’s speech on Adrienne, I’ve had enough! “Because I’m not Adrienne!” Hayden looks at me with a grumpy expression, his arms crossed and replies, “I guess that means you’re not going to take us to feed the cows like Adrienne either.” Seriously?
Last night at dinner Hunter, five, asks me if he has to finish everything on his plate. I reply: “We always eat everything on our plate. It makes you big and strong and healthy.” Hunter then tells me, “Adrienne doesn’t make us eat everything on our plates and she still says I’m strong and healthy.” At this point I just roll my eyes and tell him to finish eating. “I wish Adrienne lived here,” he says as he shovels the remains of dinner in his mouth.
This morning I’m watching my beautiful newborn, Rubye, as she stares up at me from her bed. I am always amazed that I am blessed with such beautiful children. I was taking a moment to be thankful when all of the sudden a noise comes from her mouth that I would swear was the word, ‘Adrienne.’
Am I letting all this Adrienne comparison go to my head? Adrienne did hold her, rock her, and feed her a lot… but surely my four week old isn’t talking???What have I done by allowing Adrienne to visit my children? Am I doomed to hear about her greatness for the rest of my life?
I get my answer today as the kids are running around with their toy cameras. Ella tells me to say cheese and “snaps” my picture. I tell her she is adorable and I’m so lucky to have her.
She crouches in position to take her next photo, “Yes Mommy, I am Adrienne and I am beautiful.”