I was studying this picture of the Earth at night (and you can look at a much larger picture here). I was getting a lot of deep thoughts about the Earth and all of its inhabitants. Then I switched right over to the very simple thought, "Man! The U.S. sure does burn a lot of electricity at night!" And then THAT reminded me of something that happened many years ago. My second husband had a best friend named Gary. They really liked to get together at Gary's and jam on guitars, bass and whatever. I got along great with Gary. He was 10 years older than me and had served in Vietnam and told some fascinating stories about his experience - unlike a lot of Vietnam vets. What I mean by that is I've met a lot of vets that would not discuss their service AT ALL. Gary had all sorts of stories to tell. Granted he did not have a terrible job title like "search and destroy." His outfit cleared jungle for helicopters to land. Gary and his wife Karen were VERY close. They fell madly in love with each other at the age of 14. Two years later they wanted to get married and their parents would not hear of it (and this was Arkansas) so they got pregnant ON PURPOSE so they could get married. They had a son and two years later they had another son. Gary went off to Vietnam for two tours while Karen raised the two boys. By the time I met Gary and Karen, their sons were both in their early twenties and still living at home. They were a VERY tight family. They were such a tight family that when several years later, Gary and Karen were transferred to Iowa after a big company shake-up, both boys went to live with them along with their Texas wives.
But I need to get back to what I was talking about. We would visit G&K often enough - mostly for the guys to jam and once or twice to watch a movie. Karen was very old school and was mostly interested in serving snacks and making sure everyone had whatever they needed. She never chatted or made small talk. She would be quite talkative with her boys when they came through the house, but never had much to say to me or my husband. One day I decided that this lack of communication was my fault and decided to really engage Karen in a deep conversation. I turned to her and said, "I've always wondered, as women, if the children we have shape our personalities. Do you think that you turn out differently if you just have girls, just have boys, or have some of each?" I thought for sure this would start a long and deep conversation. She sat thoughtfully for several minutes, then turned to me and said, "Well, just having boys, you sure learn a lot about football."