Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Buzz and Woody

I have on my lofty To Do list the project of scanning all of my film negatives into jpegs. I know it sounds crazy, and it's not an easy task and that is why I haven't yet started it. But, it's moments like the one above that make me want to. I have a big stack of negatives and would never have the patience to ferret through them to find that photo. I ended up popping it out of one of my albums from 1998 and scanning it. It's grainy, and that makes me sad, but in a pinch it'll do. The memory comes through. Maybe one day I can reprint this picture in its full glory.

We were never too big on Halloween. I told my husband the other day that I was really glad I wasn't living in the Pinterest-DIY crazed days. These gals today really are under the pressure to put out the dog, so to speak, on anything children related. I saw on my Facebook feed last month some amazing over the top Valentine boxes. I don't think I could have held up under the pressure! Now, the first Halloween for each of my sons my mom did sew the costumes. But, after that, I was walking into brick and mortars, like everyone else, and looking for something halfway striking on the shelves.

The year that Disney rolled out the Buzz and Woody play suits, I knew to snatch them up. I don't recall so much the night of Trick or Treating, per se, but I can tell you that the costumes stayed around for awhile and the boys played in them countless times. Andrew had this funny deep voice he developed to talk to Buzz. And when Philip was wearing the costume, Andrew only called him Buzz. Boy, did he stay in character. I think that hat is still in my attic. I'm not entirely sure. I have a hard time letting go. In my mind, I never would have said yes, but sometimes Steve vetoes me based on the condition something is in. So, if it's not up there, he pitched it. I put that hat away many a time.

The boys have always played well together. We moved them four times - four cities, four houses - and they are 16 months apart, so it was natural for them to have each other to play with, and those bonding moments when we were somewhere new and knew only each other were pivotal, I think. There was a short span of time here and there where they took some breathers - time they needed to adapt to the ever changing person they were becoming. The end of the middle school years got a little rough. But, they were rough on us all, and I am so glad we all got through those years, intact and still loving each other.

When they were younger, they were tow-headed blondes. As infants, you could see slight traces of red at the roots, but it gave way quickly to blonde, and I never dreamed they would both be redheads. I loved them as little blonde boys, and I love them more as redheaded young men. The oldest is in Nashville now, about to wrap up his second year of college, and the youngest is in Denver, about to wrap up his first year of college. We are all adapted now to this new normal, I think. Oh, of course, I wish I saw them more. I try with grace to accept the time we are together, and I try with grace to accept the big lulls in between communication and not take personally the unanswered texts. I keep thinking they are working their way through another phase, finding themselves in a new normal, and they'll come back around. {They will, won't they? Someone please say yes.}

Philip is headed to Chicago and Toronto for spring break, and Steve is flying up to do a Colorado road trip with Andrew. See, they are in different schools and have as such different calendars, and their school breaks are off by one week. Philip got home one week before Andrew at Christmas, and Andrew was home one week without Philip, and now, of course, their spring breaks are one week apart, too. I think that is one of the worst facts - that the week we all had together in the spring is no more. But, we have our family vacation planned for May, and I am looking forward to that.

The one 4x6 photo below, the photo of them walking arm in arm, was taken on our family vacation in 2013. It was impromptu, unstaged, in fact I'm sure they weren't aware at the time that I took it. They usually walk ahead of us. I can't keep up with their youth and their long legs. And the other day I was looking through these vacation photos and stumbled upon that one, and knew that I wanted to tell a story of my own Buzz and Woody, and so I went looking through time to find the pictures. 

There is a picture of them at every house they have lived in. They are washing cars at our home in The Woodlands. The Halloween photo was our San Antonio porch. The bluebonnet photo was taken while we lived in McAllen. And that little photo where they are peaking out from the quilt was a moment in this house, when they built a fort upstairs and laughed when I found them. At each phase of their lives they have been there for each other. It makes my heart smile to remember the shows they put on for us, the times I would peer through a window and seem them deep in play outside, the times they would head out to Bible study together, or run to the comic book store together. 

Their running days are limited now to when they are both back here. I know they wouldn't easily admit it, but they miss each other. The day before I stumbled upon that 4x6 photo, we had a text from our younger son, asking to go see his brother on his birthday weekend. And the day after I printed this photo, my oldest son changed his Facebook cover photo to a picture of the two of them playing in the Destin sand in 2007. I didn't even know he had access to that photo. Both incidents warmed my heart, and let me know that, across the miles, through time, and space, they are there for each other.

They have the gift of a natural friendship, the bond of two shared decades, the mix of some common interests and ideas and quirks. No matter what, I think, they will always be that grown up version to each other of Buzz and Woody. You know those two had their strong personalities, too, and made it just fine. I know my boys will, too. Friends from the beginning, and friends to infinity and beyond. They have been my favorite boy story now for two decades. And there's no end in sight for that either.

Boy Story ~ Friends for Life ~ Photos span 1997 - 2013

Sketch Credit: Scrapbook Generation
Paper: October Afternoon, Monbonbon, Kika Digital
Title Font: Gil Sans, Slapstick Comic


  1. I really love this one. You did a great job on the title work. Precious photos. If Philip needs anything while in Toronto, you let me know.

  2. LOVE this layout Penny. The title is fabulous. You do such great work!

  3. Talk about tugging on the heartstrings...this blog post really connected with me as I watch my boys grow far too fast. Gone are my little Buzz and Woody, replaced by gangly teenagers. Wonderful layout with a wonderful story behind it.

  4. Another STELLAR layout Penny! I just adore the papers and color scheme you choose, just
    screams little boy. A tremendous job with your story and do you plan on copying your blog post
    to place in a binder or in album with spread. You really should- your writing adds SO MUCH to
    the story. Hope all is well. Hugs ~ Janet