This weekend I'm off to a wedding. It's completely bizarre that I am now at a point in my life that I'm attending weddings of "kids" I used to babysit! Pass the Geritol. On Sunday, dear, dear Saralyn Ward will be marrying her beau, Tom Ciolek.
The beautiful Bride & Groom:
To honor her, five memories/thoughts/ponderings about the Saralyn I know best: Young Saralyn!
1. Saralyn's parents lived right next door to my house when she was born. (She, in fact, lived in a house owned by my parents that my Grandma VanScoy had occupied until her death the year before). I was not-quite-7 and this was the first baby I was really going to get to know. Since I was number 6 of 6 siblings at the time, I yearned for a chance NOT to be "The Baby". I remember asking if I could feed her when she was just a few days old and being completely humiliated when the adults chuckled that I couldn't really do that... I knew what nursing was but I forgot and wanted to feed her with a bottle!... Oh, the horror! Did they think I wanted to breast feed her?? (Thinking of it now, I bet it was actually totally adorable and everybody forgot about it immediately. Funny what sticks with you, huh?)
2. She had a blankie. She LOVED this blankie. It was a MUST-have item for her until she was about 5. I loved smelling it because it smelled like her.... Mmmmm baby smell! I remember her Mom, Cindy (who used to be our babysitter), got it at her baby shower from Shirley Telford (who happened to be my first grade teacher at the time)! I THINK it had ABC and 123 written all over it, but from so many washes by the time the blankie went bye bye it was pretty much a dingy-ish white.... but still great smelling!
3. She was (is) SMART. Like SCARY smart. I remember her being able to talk in sentences and sing the alphabet and tie her shoes and read LONG before a very small person should be able to. I was, of course, not familiar with benchmarks in child development, but she was out of control ahead of the curve. Super super smart.
4. Beyond the brains, she was (is) just beautiful, inside and out. When I was in college and she was in high school, I was lucky enough to live close enough to spend good chunks of time with her when her Mom had to go out of town for work. I got to know mostly-grown-up Saralyn pretty well and I was amazed at her poise, maturity and focus. In addition to being a top-of-her-class student, she was a brilliant dancer, actress and singer. When she was a senior she played Laurie in "Oklahoma!' and honest to God, she made that role - one that I had always kind of found blah, at best - so REAL! I don't think her life in its current form allows for her to pursue musical theater as a performance outlet, but I sure hope she finds a way back to the stage on a regular basis. I have a mental list of roles she ought to do...
5. And, finally, one time... I almost killed her. On accident, of course. But it's true. When she was a toddler, she was spending the night at our house in the bedroom I shared with my sister, Heidi. We didn't have a nightlight and it was too dark/scary for her when it was time to got to bed. Ever resourceful, Heidi and I grabbed a t-shirt and draped it over the lamp. PERFECT amount of light and dark. Then, a few minutes later, sniff sniff.... What's that smell? Yeah, the t-shirt was SMOKING! So, we quickly took that OFF the lamp and enjoyed the stink of burned cotton for several hours. I can't for the life of me recall how we solved the "it's too dark" dilemma that night. Maybe Saralyn, young as she was, was wise enough to know that dark was less scary than fire!!
Saralyn and her also-awesome mom, Cindy, at her bridal shower in May.
A photo... that's equally awful of both of us... from about 1992.