Friday, August 2nd, 2013

A long time ago…on August 2, 1959 to be exact…something amazing happened. In a tiny, one traffic light town in North Carolina, a city girl pledged her troth to a country boy. Helen Graham and Felix Yarboro got married. And the story of me began…

37 years later I stood at the altar with my soul mate and did the same thing.

4 years after that, Robert and I welcomed the first of our three lovely daughters into the world.

So August 2nd is something of a phenomenon in our family.

As a young Southern girl, I thought about my wedding dress and all of those things that little girls daydream about but, as I got older, those thoughts gave way to opinions on friends, school, music and all of the randomness that fills a teenage mind. I was dating someone who talked of spending our lives together but deep down I knew that my heart wasn’t in it. (My parents should now be smiling since they were right all along!) Enter Robert Donovan. Within a few weeks, I knew. He was the man for me. I found out later that he knew too. Strange how that happens, isn’t it?

Shortly thereafter, the marriage word came into play and at some point, the calendar was consulted. There it was. Plain as day. August 2nd fell on a Saturday. I still remember the tingling feeling in my stomach. We could share the day with my parents. There was no question. So, on 8.2.97, I put on my mother’s wedding dress and became Mrs. Donovan.

Four years later, largely pregnant with our first child, my OB said, “What about next Thursday?” I was completely calm until I realized the date of next Thursday. August 2nd. More stomach tingling. Abigail arrived perfectly according to my OB’s plan, making us parents and forever catapulting the date into the Yarboro/Donovan Hall of Fame.

It is not just that we share the date with my parents and the birth of our first child. It is so much more than that. My parents have been a great example of what a marriage should look like, from both the outside and inside. Their relationship is not without fault or flaw but its about as close to perfect as it can be. My husband and I have an amazing relationship. I am grateful each and every day for that. Our daughter is an incredible person. She is a lot of me and even more of my husband intertwined into a young girl who is smart, beautiful, kind and capable of anything.

So, on this, the second day of August 2013, I wish my parents a happy 54th, my sweet husband a happy 16th and our darling daughter a happy 12th.

Happy happy happy!

the first 50….

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

I’ve just returned home from a visit to my parent’s house.  While we were there, my entire family congregated to celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary.  That’s right, 50 years!

The importance of this anniversary is not lost on me.  In a time when marriages are thrown away like used tissues, having parents that are still together after 50 years is becoming more and more unusual.  My parents have experienced many of the things that now tear couples apart.  Financial strain, the loss of a child, moving away from everyone you have ever known to start a new job, the ebb and flow of friends and family.  They have also weathered the inevitable storms that arise when raising children.  Especially the 3 headstrong, highly opinionated, sassy children like me and my brothers!  Through it all, my parents have remained true to each other in every way.

We weren’t able to be together on their exact anniversary because my parents were on an Alaskan cruise as their gift to each other.  As we were all around the table last night, my brothers mentioned how giddy and childlike my parents acted in the weeks before their trip.  In talking to them, they sounded like little kids excited about a week at the beach.  For me and my brothers, that was the best gift of all.  Not only are they still together, but they also still enjoy being together.

I can only hope that at our 50th anniversary, Robert and I are still happy just being together.  12 down, only 38 to go!!

…and then she was eight…

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Today is Abigail’s eighth birthday.  It’s also my 12th wedding anniversary and my parents 50th….but that’s beside the point…

I can’t believe that the oldest of our three daughters is already eight.  She will be starting third grade in a mere week.  It seems like only yesterday that I was presented with my first child after 13 hours of labor.  What a moment.  I was crying with joy while my husband was overcome with love at first sight and the responsibility of another human being.  Some people swear that having children doesn’t change your life.  It sure has changed ours…

It has been wonderful.  The sound of my children laughing is the best sound on earth.  I love watching them when they make a new discovery or grasp a new concept.  I love their creativity.  If I had written down every imaginary conversation they had when they thought they weren’t being watched, I would be a best-selling author.  Some days are glorious.  Of course, there are also days that I’m ready to pull my hair out and evenings when all I want is to have a quiet dinner with Robert and times that I am frustrated to the point of insanity.  But having children has taught me a lot about myself.  More often than I’d like to admit, I’m not as patient as I need to be.  I love kid’s movies…Finding Nemo and Over the Hedge still make me laugh every time.  I can make a righteous birthday cake and an equally fabulous Halloween costume.  I can calm a screeching two year old in less than a minute. I know the value of a trustworthy babysitter…but I still can’t make the two and a half hours between snack time and dinner time go by any faster…

For the first eight years, I have tended to Abigail’s every need, solved as many of her problems as I could and butted heads with her often.  I’m no idiot – I know the head butting will continue!  But I also know that she is entering a new phase of her life.  She is becoming more and more independent every day.  She knows people that I didn’t introduce her to.  She doesn’t need me to pick out her outfits in the morning. She has issues at school that I can’t deal with for her. I can’t solve the quarrels between her and her friends.  I can only be there for her to talk to and hope that she still wants to talk to me at all after the age of 12!  By now though, she knows how to be polite, how to consider others’ feelings, how to work the DVD player, how to call home if she needs me and how to follow our “house rules”.  She went down a huge, fast, twisty water slide for the first time a couple of weeks ago like she had done it a million times before.  She is still a child but she is no longer a little kid.

I am good at little kids.  I am a pro when it comes to babies.  I can manage 3 kids ages 5 and under with one hand tied behind my back.  But an eight year old?  Only time will tell….