Friday, April 30, 2010

Wind Down to Graduation

Time is growing short and Word Girl is gearing up for graduation. It is hard to believe that this child of mine will be graduating from High School in three weeks. Yes three weeks. May 23, 2010. Sometimes I just feel old.

But all the exciting things are starting to happen, awards banquets, prom, senior breakfast and of course the all important graduation party. Word Girl will be having an afternoon party over labor day weekend. Since we don't have a lot of room we will be having the party at a local park. I am just hoping for a cool weekend. Here in the Chicago land area Memorial Day can be cool, muggy, hot, rainy... we never know.

Word Girl is the original I can do it all by myself girl. Coming as she did after two older brothers and yet being very close in age, the three of them are barely 3 years apart.. 20 months each, she tended to tomboyish behaviour. While we did have the request tea parties and such it was just as likely that she could be found climbing on the top of the RV (at 2) with her older brothers.

My favorite story about Word Girl is when she was learning to ride a bike. She was just three and she wanted those training wheels off. Both of her brothers could ride without so she should be able to as well. I agreed to let her try and took of the training wheels. All prepared to hold the bike and run behind her as I did for her brothers but no.. she looked up at me all earnest blue eyes (she claims they are green) and said "no mommy I can do it all by myself". Sure enough she learned. That was on Friday, on Saturday we all rode our bikes into town, I had her sister sitting in the baby seat (so believe me I was glad she was riding on her own since before that I had Blond Girl in the baby snugly and Word Girl in the child seat.. it was work), and the three of them rode along side me. It was a couple of miles. We went to a pool party and had a blast I was soooo proud. The problem came on the way home..This poor baby was so exhausted there was no way she was going to be able to ride her bike home. We had to have a friend throw our bikes in the back of the truck and drive us home. Where I carried this poor exhausted child up the stairs and put her to bed.

It was a long day but she definitely did it all by herself. I am going to miss that determined little girl, I already do.

PS.. just in case there was any doubt she's the crazy one on the left Hair Boy is the crazy one on the right.. Since he was her first influence I decided to include him in this blog.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Doing It Right

As half of my teenagers no longer qualify to be called such, I have to take the time and really think. Did I do ok? Are they going to be able to follow their dreams? And if those dreams don't pan out do they have the perseverance to find a new one?

An interesting thought. I know Hair Boy in his own meandering way has slowly circled back to what he wanted and is back on path to becoming what he wanted to be. I was worried for a bit because I knew his choices were wrong, I saw him making my same mistakes and I just grimaced. But, I offered him time and space to get it together and now he is off, soaring working on his education and confident in what he is doing.

Pita Boy, right now he is the one I worry about. He has such big dreams but no push to go for them. He keeps wanting me to do them for him. I can't He needs to step up and do something instead of just dreaming all the time. I am on the verge of pushing him out the door and that scares me because that was done to me and it was the wrong time to do so. I am looking at one more way to help him get going but I think it may be the last time. He may need to be pushed out of the nest so he can fly. I know he CAN fly, he is just so afraid to try.

Word Girl, well she just knows what is best about everything... She knows where she wants to go, she knows how she is going to get there and she thinks she is so far beyond us. She seems to forget all the little things that the family provides for her and how little is asked of her. But she will learn that lesson as she gets out on her own. I mean if she does it all herself and falls flat on her face because she relies on support that is no longer there, she will either learn to do things or not. Either way she will have her choices to make.

Blond Girl, she is just getting there, just starting those last few years of high school, where social is way more important than

Of course she will, as will Hair Boy they have the benefit of what society says are good looks, charm and charisma.. Pita Boy is one of the hardest workers I know all he needs is to find the right direction and he will fly and Word Girl, well she has it in her to convince the world to do it her way. Honestly I think the girl should be in fundraising rather than marine biology but what do I know.

Oh well, just a few more weeks until Word Girl Graduates..

Friday, April 16, 2010

An Interesting Conversation

Word Girl is getting closer and closer to graduation. She is the one who will fly the nest and I may not see her for a while. Hair Boy has that oldest son complex he is gonna feel the need to take care of me whether I need it or not. Pita Boy, well... seriously though he has a strong need for family connections and I may end up hanging up on him way before he hangs up on me. Blond Girl, she and I have a good relationship and do a lot of the mom/daughter things. We enjoy a lot of the same things and have a pretty good bond. But Word Girl right now she wants to get as far away from me as fast as she can. She sees all of my faults very very clearly, oh eventually that will fade but for now she holds a pretty big mirror to my faults constantly pointing them out.

Consequently having a conversation where I didn't do something wrong is amazing. The other day we were talking about her graduation. I told her that I would mail her father's graduation ticket and announcement to him as I had no desire to speak to him at this time. Please understand I have spent many many years not only not badmouthing him but protecting him. Oh not in the physical way rather protecting his relationship with his children. Making it so they accept him and are not angry at him. That they don't hate him and can have some sort of a relationship with him. He on the other hand.... Recently I have stopped doing that, I have been telling my children three of which are now officially adults some of the realities of our "relationship". Hence the reason I pointed out that I had no desire to speak to him.

Word Girl was ok with that but I then said that I wasn't inviting him to her party and was not going to mention the after graduation lunch we were having. She was a little bothered by that. She wanted him to come to the lunch... If the man actually comes to graduation and then asks what we are doing after he will of course be welcome, I am just not going to tell him about it. I explained that to Word Girl, I also pointed out that I have not and will not ever embarrass her like that. I will never put her in a spot where she feels she has to exclude her father. I will also never bring a battle out into public that could escalate and cause a scene. I never have and face it I have spent way to many years making sure they have a relationship to have any desire to ruin it now. After I told her this she looked up from the computer, kind of stared at me quizzically and said.. "Thanks" then went about her business.

Now that may not seem like much to you but this was monumental, she was thanking me for any number of reasons but she was also acknowledging what I have spent her entire lifetime doing. In one word she validated all of my choices at least regarding him. And believe me that is just what she intended. At that moment I was so proud of my contrary girl