Monday, October 13, 2008

I miss Atco.

I know this might make me sound like I'm a baby - but I miss Atco.

As I mentioned in a previous post (or as you may already know if you know me at all), I grew up in Atco, NJ and just recently moved to Clifton after graduation. Clifton is amazing - don't get me wrong. But there's nothing like the town you grew up in. I'll be 70 years old and I'll still profess my love of Atco.

I haven't been home since September 26th, when I stopped at home for literally 10 minutes en route to Philly for a girls weekend with some friends. The last time I actually spent the weekend in Atco was Sept. 20, the week before - which in reality isn't all that long ago but it sure feels like it.

I miss my family. I know I'm playing this grown-up person role being a recent college graduate that actually has a (wonderful) full-time job. But sometimes a girl just misses her mom and dad (and brother for that matter). Last time I was home my brother was fresh off a break up and now he has a new girlfriend. What is going on???

I miss my kids. Relax, I don't have any children of my own, but there are three kids that live in Atco that might as well be mine. The amount of love I have for the three of them is insane. When I picture my future life and my future children, I know I'm going to love them a lot. But the amount of love I have for these three goes above and beyond that. In high school, I worked at Wawa for three years. On the day of my high school graduation, I quit for various reasons. Desperately needing a summer job before going away for my first year of college, I got lucky. My brother had a friend, Nick, who he often shared rides to and from school/football practice with. Nick just happened to have a younger sister, Madison, who was 2 at the time and a baby brother, Jake, who was only 5 months old. and they just happened to need a babysitter. Enter me. I babysat them in between going to school for three years. In the midst of all that, Denna (their mom) had another son, Luke. Last summer, my brother and I became Jake's godparents and over time our two families have meshed into one.

Last time I was home, their family was in Hershey Park for the weekend, so I haven't actually seen them in almost two months. Two months is a long time in little kid years. Madison's cast has come off her broken (now healed) arm, she's started first grade (!!!!), Jake's started preschool and Luke has gotten even cuter (I know I haven't seen him in 2 months, but I'm positive of this one). Whenever my mom is over their house, she'll put one of them one the phone. They still have trouble comprehending that I'm not right down the road anymore. When I talked to Jake on Sunday he said "Hey shan, what are you doing?" I said, "I'm just at the mall." He replied with, "well I have a great idea. why don't you go home and pick up Oscar (our puppy) and come to my house?" What's not to love about these kids? I am beyond excited to see them this weekend.

I miss my dogs. I have a 14 year old Sheltie/Lab mix, named Jinx, that is my best friend. This might make me sound like a real girly girl but I literally get teary whenever I have to leave him. Also, two days before I moved to Clifton, my brother bought a long-hair dachshund, Oscar, that is unbelievably cute. It took me a bit to like him to be honest. I think it was really just my brother's way of coping with me moving out, but I felt like Oscar was replacing me (I know, I'm crazy..) and not to mention Oscar's puppy genes mean that he constantly wants to play with Jinx. Being 14 years old (or 98 in dog years...) Jinx is not a fan of constant playing. He's more of a fan of sleeping. Oscar picked on Jinx and I didn't like it. But now they get along and everyone's living happily.

To make a long story short (or not...) I'm unbelievably excited to go home this weekend.

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