And then they leave

Forgive me while I get purge some my motherly and auntly (?) angst.

This weekend my oldest nephew graduates from high school and it’s stressing me out a little. Can you imagine what my sister is going through?

He was the first little guy to enter our family. The tiny guy in the converse high tops at our wedding. The one who wasn’t actually old enough to walk in them but he sure was cute.

The little one who rode on SG’s shoulders as we walked through Central Park when they came to visit. The little guy in the batman costume in the picture outside the Today show on Halloween. The sweet 3 yr old who sat on my enormously pregnant belly in the hammock chair.

When D1 kicked him, he jumped then put his fat little hands on my cheeks, stuck his face in mine and said “How’d that baby get in there? Did you eat it with your big teeth?” He was my little friend and is my god child.

That kiddo is graduating this weekend and in July, he’s leaving. To become a Marine.

We have never been a military family. It is not a follow in his dad’s footsteps kind of deal. It is a “make his own path” kind of thing. Which is a good I guess. The last couple years have been a struggle and he’s made some mistakes but he’s always been a good, kind, thoughtful person. Someone you knew would eventually find his way.

This is the right choice for him no matter how much it scares the bejesus out of the rest of us. And it does.

It makes all of us think. And worry. My poor sister!

It makes my kids think too. About their futures and growing up.

On the way to the store with D1 to look for a dress for 8th grade promotion, she looked over at me and said: “Wow mom, it’s weird to think I only have probably 4 more birthdays at home.”

Wait what????? Take that back or I’m going to pull over and make you walk home!

I asked her where she’s going and she said: “I’m going to college someplace warm.”

I had only 3 words for that – full ride scholarship. Actually my heart was in my throat and panic started to set in but I guess at least she didn’t say the Marines.

But that’s not the point.

The point is, they leave us. My baby who once sat on my lap and told me she’d live with me forever is already planning her escape. She’s looking towards a future that doesn’t involve waking up with me. Towards one where home is a place she visits instead of lives.

I know that’s how our lives work and I’m glad to be a part of hers, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I know I will continue to be here to watch it unfold. To help guide her when she needs it and to figure out when I should step back and let her figure it out on her own. To let her make her own mistakes but be there to help her back on her feet if she needs it.

This is not an easy process.

For now, I guess I’ll just hang on to every moment. I’ll keep track of both my nephew and my daughter. When I start to worry about either of them, I’ll get out the picture of that little batman on the bench with his arm around the tiny red m&m in the stroller next to him and I’ll remember how it was before they left.

(And I’ll start trying to convince my other 2 how nice it would be to go to college HERE!)

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Hello

Hi! My name is Luna and I’m going to be coming to live with my new family in June. I’m sure you’ll hear more about me.

I’m hoping the current dog of the house doesn’t eat me. I’m thinking if I look cute enough she’ll tolerate me. It also might not hurt that I look a lot like what one of her puppies might.

So anyway, Hi – this is me:

Aren't I cute?

Good lord, did I really just write a post pretending to be the dog? This blog has clearly jumped the shark! I’m so sorry – I think the ridiculous cuteness did it to me.

PS – you know that post down below where I stressed about D2’s solo day? Well, she came home with a blue ribbon and comment sheet with a SUPERIOR rating!!! This is how I got cancer – stressing about things that usually turn out just fine! Don’t try it at home.

PPS – next scan is June 8th. I get the results June 10. Yikes!

I suck at secrets

New Dachshunds

So you know that big secret I hinted at one day when I’d actually gotten off my ass and posted? Yeah I know, that was ages ago. It finally stopped snowing and I got spring fever and lacked enough focus to write anything.

I’m kind of like my elementary age kiddos, but not nearly as mature.

Anyway, a tiny little dachshund puppy was my surprise. My parents found, and bought, one for us. I’ve had to keep it from the girls because she’s only 5 weeks old (as of today) so she needs more time with her mama. It’s been killing me!

I have tried so hard to keep the secret but then as usual I told a couple of people. Then I got nervous they’d accidentally tell their kids, and they’d tell my kids and it would ruin everything.

So I cracked. I told the girls after school yesterday via tiny tiny dog toys and a book on dachshunds.

They’re SUPER excited but also a little pissed because they have to wait until June to get her. When I explained that I told them early because I didn’t want them to hear it from somebody else and have the surprise ruined, D2 looked at me like I was the biggest moron ever and said:

“Well then you shouldn’t have been telling everybody in town.”

Yeah, whatever!

Broken keys broken heart

*** UPDATE: She rocked it!!! I was chatting with the fine arts director before hand and mentioned her bassoon needed a key or two repaired. Turns out it was bent and he fixed it. She played pretty much flawlessly! Not a wrong note in the whole song. The adjudicator commented that her timing and dynamics were amazing – especially at this level. Yeah, that’s MY girl!!! (The one with the psycho mom with hives) ***

Alright I lied. I said I’d be too busy to write but I was wrong….haha….get it? Write but wrong. Yeah, I need more coffee. Or a whole lot less.

Actually I’m back because it’s one of those “if I write, maybe I’ll chill out” sort of mornings.

I’m worried about D2 and I can’t focus on anything else. I tried eating the leftover fudge from the batch I made for teacher appreciation week. I made a coffee run. I did another load of laundry. None of it took my mind off my beautiful little redhead. I’m really wired though.

It’s solo day for 5th graders and she has to play her bassoon for an adjudicator. In front of classmates and parents. It’s terrifying me, not because I don’t have confidence in her, but because she lacks confidence in herself.

To make matters worse, she missed both meetings with the band director this week because she was sick and then had a field trip.

The whole sick thing doesn’t help since breathing is handy when you’re playing an instrument. Especially one as difficult as the bassoon. Oh, and did I mention it’s a school rental and a couple of the keys are sticking?

No matter how much she practices, a couple of the notes just don’t sound right because of the keys. It needs to be repaired but it won’t go back until the end of the month. Too late for her solo.

If it were one of the other girls, it wouldn’t concern me as much but this is my kiddo who has never had the faith in herself no matter how much we tell her she rocks.

Where D1 and D3 turned to me the first day of kindergarten and said “I got this mom”, she wanted me to walk her to her line most of the school year. Days that I helped in class she’d ask me to go to recess with her and she’d hold my hand through the whole thing. Even now she runs right up to me on the playground even if she won’t kiss me goodnight anymore.

I remember one day watching kids on the playground when she was in about 3rd grade. I looked across the field trying to find her from the window and I saw her standing all by herself, too shy to ask anyone to play. These are the things going through my head today.

 Or at the end of 3rd grade when they filled out papers saying how their year went. Under the part where it asked the highlight of her year it said, “I made a friend.”

When she was in 1st grade she had little tears daily because she thought she should already know how to do everything and she’d panic. She was so shy her teacher jokes that when she finally got talkative one day around Christmas time, she didn’t recognize her voice in class.  

This teacher was amazing. When D2 was panicking because she had to “write a book” the first couple months of 1st grade, her teacher worked with her and convinced her she could do a picture ABC animal book.

She’s my artist – always has been and that is the one place she will express herself. Her giraffe drawings were so good, the teacher showed them at parent night and told her about how much we all loved it. She has a huge stunning smile and it was ear to ear that day. Unfortunately, she can’t draw her way out of this solo.

Her lack of confidence has improved a little over the years but it has been hard to watch.  5th grade has been a better year for her but I see the doubt creeping back in this week.

She’s never volunteered to read aloud or be in the spotlight and I can tell by how quiet she is that it’s scaring her. Last night, out of the blue and from across the room, I heard her say “I’m going to sound really bad tomorrow.”

I will be there to watch and encourage and be a friendly face in the crowd but I can’t take away that fear. I can only smile and hope that somewhere in her heart today she can find the strength to get through it and that I don’t see a hint of tear because that’s where I’ll lose it and she doesn’t need that!

This sweet girl who was replaced too soon as the baby of the family, sandwiched between an amazing musician older sister (she’s had 4 more years to practice) and a younger sister in the gifted academic program, who expresses herself silently through her art, has to somehow find it in her heart to perform today.

I know she can do it. It breaks my heart that she doesn’t.

The thing is, she really is good. She’s just where her older sister was at this age and D1’s now playing oboe with the all city group. Her band teacher is thrilled with her progress and is so encouraging. The head of the double reed dept at the university met with her early on and said she has amazing potential.

The bassoon is one of the hardest instruments to play – along with the oboe. My children don’t seem to want to make it easy on themselves. D3 is talking about playing the french horn. I guess the upside is there aren’t double reeds with that one but still.

I will smile through my nervousness today and cheer the loudest when she makes it to the end. My heart will break with any missed notes but we will do this.

She can do this and so can I. This kind of day is the reason I’m still here.

So why am I such a basketcase?

I’m sure you’re asking yourself, am I dead or just lazy?

Well, hello.

Turns out it’s been a while since I’ve showed up here to write anything. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Some weeks just don’t lend themselves to blog posts. This apparently, has been on of them.

For the record, I can also be bad about emailing. I finally emailed an old friend last week and got this immediate response:

“Dammit girl, I emailed you months ago and you didn’t reply. You scared the bejesus out of me!!! Don’t do that again!”

Turns out, when I disappear for a bit, people think I’m dead.

So to reassure you all. This is where I’ve been and where I will be in case I don’t make it back before Monday:

Sunday – 2 soccer games (D1 and D3) at the same time plus a sick D2.
To make a things even more interesting, D1 has a pretty severe grass pollen allergy. Why she’d want to play soccer in the spring is beyond me but what do you do?

Anyway, Sunday I was at her game while SG was at D3’s game. D1 was playing goalie and doing great until right before the half when she started to slow down and a couple of balls got by her.  It wasn’t at all like her.

I’d brought along extra Motrin in case she got a headache from the pollen so I walked over to her at the half, tapped her on the shoulder, and asked if she needed one. She looked at me with the same gorgeous hazel eyes as her father and said:

“Mom, I can’t breathe” – and then she started to cry. Are there scarier words?

I freaked (on the inside) because I could see she wasn’t lying. Then she said:

“Everything is blurry and I can see lots of little lights.”

I looked at her coach and said, “we’re leaving” without leaving any room for arguing. We left her ball, her watch in her coaches pocket and who knows what else and got the hell out of there.

I considered taking her over to the ER since the field is next to the hospital (handy right?) but she said she could make it home. She sipped water until she got some of the pollen rinsed out of her throat but I was all ready with the epipen if needed. Not that we’ve ever used an epipen for grass pollen but I would have tried anything!

It’s kind of amazing though how calm on the outside when it comes to our kids. I know freaking out myself wouldn’t have done her any favors.

When I got her home, she actually ran into the wall coming in from the garage before I could grab her and help in her. It was bizarre! She’d never had a reaction like that from pollen. We think it’s because she was handling the ball so much then wiping her eyes and her face as well as pushing her hair out of her face.

She downed some Benadryl (she had Zyrtec before the game) then took a long hot shower to get every bit of pollen off her body and she was ok. I on the other hand, was an adrenaline hyped up mess. She’ll never play goalie again and I’m pushing her back to volleyball and swimming!!!!

On the other field, D3 had a great game and scored a couple of goals. Whew!

Monday – D2 was home sick. I got nothing done but I did beat her in Zooreka and we watched a million episodes of Wild Thornberries on Netflix.

Tuesday – See Monday

Wednesday – D2 back at school but I’d agreed to be a chaperone for their Forest Discovery days so that’s where I was and why I wasn’t here.

Today – I’m working through the 652 loads of laundry I neglected while I stared at D1 to  sure she was breathing and hung out with a sick D2.

Tomorrow – Solo day for D2’s band class so I’m watching that then doing my Friday volunteer time at D3’s class. THEN, I’m watching D1 at soccer practice with a new inhaler in hand.

Saturday – Farmer’s market then the spring dept. picnic for SG. There will be great locally brewed beer. That’s really the only important point.

SundayHappy Mother’s Day to all of you!! D2 will be in a parade in the morning to kick off the wildlife film festival in town then D3 has a soccer game. Thankfully, D1’s game is preempted by a rugby tournament on their fields! Oh, and my mom and dad are coming to town. Maybe I should clean before I drink on Saturday? Nah!

I thought someone once told me things would be less hectic once the girls got older?

She was a stinkin’ liar!

If somebody tells YOU that? Don’t believe them.

Oh hey, I have a HUGE secret. Want to hear it? No?? Ok, nevermind.