One Cool Looking Dude

I have known for years that I suffer from a condition that influences many parts of my life.  It is not necessarily a life threatening condition, although if not managed correctly, it could be.  It is a condition that defines me in many ways, and sometimes when I am not vigilant, it can control me.  At work today someone mentioned this condition and I thought “Finally, I can give it a name!”  It is, FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out.  (Sorry mom and dad, hope I did not scare you too much.  I figure I owe dad for a few tricks he has pulled, and mom, you were just collateral damage.)

I am the youngest of 4 kids.  Three were born fairly close together.  I came along a little over 4 years later.  When we were younger, Holly would say I was 5 years younger.  For a long time I would say I was 5 years younger…then I realized I was only 5 years younger for about 2 months.  I am slow at math.  But 4 (or 5) years is not really very many years.  But when you look at it from the perspective of school years it can really make a difference.   Steve, Becky and Holly were in school together pretty much their whole lives…including the same college.  There were many things they experienced together that I would never be able to share in.

One of the things I missed out on was being part of the church youth group while our dad was the minister.  I remember Sunday nights when my siblings would walk to the church for BYF and being left behind.  They were all in High School and I was still in Elementary School.  BYF would sometimes go camping and I know my dad went at least once.  I envied them, to be able to have this different relationship with dad that I never had.   Another time I remember waking up to find dad, Steve, Becky and Holly had all gone fishing on our boat.  I was devastated.  I could not figure out why I didn’t go.   In 1990 dad told us he had cancer.  As the years passed I constantly worried I would not be married before he passed, and that would mean I would be the only kid who did not get married by dad.  Frankly, if that were to happen I don’t know if I would have bothered to get married…I would have continued to live in sin with Chris (again, sorry mom and dad).  But I think the biggest thing I missed out on is not having kids so that I could have the relationship with my parents as grandparents to my kids.  I love watching them as grandparents.  I know they worry as much about their grandkids as they did (and still do) worry about us.  But there is also a freedom and playfulness in them that is a joy to watch.

Becky said something to me once, I think on our trip to Yellowstone (, that after they went to college I had several years as an only child.  I had not thought about those years quite like that but she was right.  And being the only child and not part of a pack, I had very different experiences with my parents than my siblings did.  Things they missed out on.  Like driving with mom from North Bend to Issaquah every day to go to 9th grade, not many kids get that much alone time with a working parent.  I also got to work with them and did not have to compete for attention with other siblings (I won’t count having to compete with football, golf, baseball, boxing, etc.  I mean really, who could compete with TV sports?).  I could also be more outspoken than they were allowed to be.  I call it outspoken, my parents called is “snippy” and would hold up their fingers like scissors.  I believe I was allowed to express myself this way because I was the only child…they could not let 4 kids get snippy, I mean outspoken…that could have led to a mutiny.

By now you are probably wondering what this title has to do with having FOMO.  This is one of my all time favorite pictures of Steve, I think from the late ’70s.  This picture speaks to me, gives me peace, centers me. scan0135_edited-1

For work I make these notebooks that I put pictures on.  I have 3 so far and I always have at least one picture of Steve on it.  The one I am using now has this picture, and some pictures from our vacation this year.  A coworker saw the picture of Steve and asked “Who is that?  That is one cool looking dude.”  And you know, he is right.  Steve’s coolness transcends time, wild hair, bushy beard and oozes from this picture.  I could list many cool qualities, in fact this blog has many examples.  But this post is about one specific cool attribute, his ability to notice something you need and find a way to give it to you.  Maybe Holly, Becky and Steve all planned this…I don’t remember.  Maybe it was not even his idea.  What I do remember is Steve convincing mom and dad to let me go back to college with him after his spring break one year.  I was 15, in 9th grade, and they were all at Linfield.   I don’t know how much convincing he had to do…how many parents would let their 15 year old spend a week on a college campus with just other siblings as chaperones?  Somehow he convinced them and I spent a week attending college classes.  I stayed a few nights with each sibling and went to a few parties (and no, I did not drink, only danced). From my growing up years it is one of the best weeks of my life.  Nerdy, I know.  But I will never forget that week and how it felt to be almost like an adult and like a peer with my siblings, not just the little sister.  For that week I definitely did not suffer from FOMO.

Is he one cool dude?  Hell ya.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Holly Birdsall Fellows
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 05:43:27

    This is one of my favorite posts, Lisa. I remember that week you spend at college well. It was fun showing you around and showing you off. I love this picture of Steve too! Love you, Hol


    • grumpybutterfly
      Nov 27, 2013 @ 08:28:25

      Showing me off? What? I know we shocked a few people, I did not look 15. Glad you like the post…I wasn’t thrilled with it, almost didn’t publish it. Glad I did now. Love you.


  2. skinhorsereal
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 09:00:07

    Your best piece yet—— and that is saying a lot! Thanks Lis, for writing this, It is a wonderful gift when your adult kids still open their lives to you. I did not know yiou suffered from FOMO, I guess we all suffer from that at one time or another. By the way that is my favorite picture of Steve as well. He must of inherited my good looks! But this is not about me is it? Darn. Love you, Dad


    • grumpybutterfly
      Nov 27, 2013 @ 09:28:10

      Thanks dad. It’s funny, I think this is one of my more boring posts. I nearly didn’t post it but then thought, what the hell, why not. And for others this is their favorite post. Interesting. That happens with my hair as well…days I think my hair looks terrible people will tell me it looks good. I should be thankful my hair does not look as bad as I think it does, but all I can think is, “How could I be so far off…and what in the world are people seeing when I think I am having a good hair day?!” Anyway, back to you. Parents probably do have FOMO…wanting not to miss out on their kids life. It is also a gift you give to us when you share you life and feelings on your blog. There is a lot I learn about you, mom, your relationship with each other, me, life, etc.

      I wonder what Steve was thinking when this picture was taken. Whatever it was it reaches out and touches us all. Like the picture of Fred and his hands, it draws me in and hypnotizes me. If I didn’t know Steve or Fred these two pictures would make me want to know them. And since I do know them the pictures make me grateful that I do. We should all have a picture like this of ourself, something that truly captures our inner being.

      Love you and mom.


  3. Winnie Sheeran
    Nov 27, 2013 @ 12:17:31

    Wow!! Your blog was amazing!! Made me teary eyed too! You are one amazing woman!!


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