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LAST Words My babies growing up is freaking me out. This year I have more milestones happening than I care to count, and they have sent me into some kind of wild tailspin. If there was ever a good time to legitimately be on medication, this would be it. I have thought quite often about what I would do differently during the last 20 years – you know, the whole hindsight thing. If 53-year-old Ann could go back and talk to 33-year-old Ann (and if 33-year-old Ann would actually listen), I would tell her these things: • Don’t spend your money on all of those school pictures because you’re not going to distribute them. In 20 years you’re going to have over 3000 pictures with various and horrible fake backdrops that you will struggle to part with. There will be these really cool telephones with cameras on them and you can take their pictures continuously if you choose (and you will). Save your money, Ann, and take your own pictures because college and cars and retirement and twins are coming. Yes, twins. BAM! • Speaking of those telephones, they will be a HUGE issue with your kids, and they will want one because they will be the “only one” that doesn’t have them. Don’t fall into that trap. Telephones will suck the verbal communication right out of them after all that time ANN OWENS IS A WRITER, CREATIVE GENIUS, ENTREPRENEUR, MOTHER, AND WIFE WHO ENJOYS PONDERING WHAT MAKES THE WORLD CLICK. READ MORE FROM ANN AT HER BLOG HTTPS://DANCINGECLECTIC.WORDPRESS.COM you spent teaching them to talk. • Take your vitamins and make exercise a part of your life. You think you’re fat now? HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, girl, you just wait!! • You’re going to lose some folks in your life, so love your people while you can. • Don’t buy a bunch of stuff you don’t need because “hoarding” will be a thing, and you have the potential. Walmart is the devil. Budget, always budget. • Take care of your teeth. I know you’re tired and just want to go to bed, but floss, woman! • Popcorn is an acceptable dinner food, so don’t beat yourself up about it. If mold is on the corner of the bread when you’re making that last minute lunch, just cut it off and go with it. You’ll never go wrong making them try new foods, and don’t let them whine their way out of it. Remember, mom made you eat beets and now you love them. • Lice will be in your future – twice. Skip the poison shampoo, and go right to olive oil, hairspray, and a shower cap. Yeah, I know, my head’s itching now too. • Go ahead and make their dad do ALL driver training. Refuse steadfastly to even get in the car with them until they’re two years into it. Save yourself. • Karl is going to gag while changing stinky diapers and swear he can’t do it. He will sleep through pukers in the middle of the night and be late for or miss some school functions. You will swear he has no idea how hard it is for you to juggle all that you do and that he doesn’t understand why you feel that you’ve lost yourself somewhere (and you will feel this way). And he’s not going to tell you how awesome you are 24/7. Get over it. You’re both figuring out this thing called ‘life’ on the daily, and you’ll both make mistakes. Love and respect him, and you’ll get it back. You picked a really, really good guy to travel with. • Stop coloring your hair and putting straightener on it. Be you, just be you. You really are ok. And here’s one last secret, Ann. Twenty years from now, you’ll find yourself in an unusual place, a place that feels ethereal. You’ll be sitting in an auditorium and next to you will be a handsome man with gray in his hair and callouses on his hands from years of hard work. Yes, it’s Karl, and he actually didn’t run years ago. Thank you, Jesus. Next to him will be your beautiful and fabulous Emma Kate, and next to her will be a wonderful man that has promised to make a life with her forever. You’ll be surrounded by loving family and friends, and suddenly Pomp and Circumstance will begin to play. You will stand up and turn to look up the aisle to see your Hannah and Abbey walk toward you in a cap and gown and the life will be sucked out of your body. Your head will spin and 20 years will flash before your eyes - mistakes, fights, diapers, money problems, Christmas mornings, Disney World, endless homework nights, ball games, little hands, the smell of their hair after a bath. You’ll keep it together then but fall apart all alone in the shower later, and you’ll realize that they survived you. It will be overwhelming. I could tell myself more, but those are the highlights. Tonight I’m going to sit with a box of wine (box because of college and retirement) and try to conjure up 73-year-old Ann in hopes she’ll have some words of equal wisdom because I have no idea how this next 20 is going to go down, and I am not a champ when it comes to change. This I know for sure, I hope it’s going to be as crazy as the last 20 because that was some amazing stuff. Life Goes On  years in the making reveals who we truly are and what makes us strong. Abbey, Emma and Hannah Owens 144 Toombs County Magazine


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