Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Football Fever

Every fall I sign up the kids for 200 after school activities and then we kick off the after school schedule and I remember suddenly, "Oh my goodness... that's right I'm terrible at being a responsible mom.  I'm terrible with schedules, school  responsibilities, and homework...   What on earth have I done?"   Isn't this the definition of insanity?  
This year Mr. Boy wanted to add football to the mix.  I was very leery, but it's flag football and I thought Mr. Boy would hate it. I was wrong, very wrong.  He loves it, loves the 7am Saturday Morning practices, and counts down the days until his next game.   AK became a cheerleader for his team, a job she takes seriously, along with her doll, so it's like I'm killing two birds with one stone.   
I don't really understand football, but I'm trying.   I sit on the sidelines with Zoey and watch, but there is all these "downs" and the refs keep making all these hand gestures instead of using their words and I'm constantly asking the other mom's "Does that count?"  
When Mr. Man and I were beginning the adoption process, our social worker said, "Well, what are you looking for in a child?  Caucasian, Mixed Race, Gender?"  and Mr. Man jumped in, "An athlete. I just want an athlete.  Even if we could have a biological child, there are no athletic genes. We both come from a long line of uncoordinated nerds.  This is our chance to inject some athletic genes into the family gene pool."   Low and behold, Mr. Boy arrived into our family, descending from very athletic biological parents.  He is a natural out on the field regardless of the sport.   
Case in point:   We had only been able to make one practice prior to our first game, but that doesn't matter to this kid.   The game is tied with less than one minute left. Mr. Boy is playing cornerback on defense.  The ball is thrown by the other team and Mr. Boy intercepts the ball at the 70 yard line! He runs it all the way to the end zone...  Game Winning Touchdown!!! 
"Wait.. What?  Mom, There is no 70 yard line!  That was the 30 yard line.... seriously, do you even know how to play the game?"  Actually, Son, I don't really know how to play the game, and it was only after bragging to my client about my athletic child that I was corrected that there is no 70 yard line.   How embarrassing!  
Oh Mr. Boy, you may be a natural born athlete, but forgive us,  your parents are nerds. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Projecting: A conversation with Jane Doe

Hey Jane, What's up? Where is Lucky, your sweet little fawn? 
 Wow, he's off to school already.   I know.. it just seems like yesterday he was a polka dotted new baby deer.   You're right... it is kind of quiet around the hills these days without the babies running around chasing each other.  I know, they grow up so fast. Do you find that you even miss the bickering?  
No, no, Jane don't get upset,  Lucky still needs you.   You're his mom!  You never stop needing your mom, no matter how old you get.   Just think of all the time you will have to get things done and remember your  "someday list"!  Finally, you can work on all the stuff that has been on your list for years and get your house organized.   Maybe even indulge in a little free time of lounging around and reading.   You deserve it, you've been raising babies forever and now it's your time.  I know!  It still feels weird to be alone... but you're going to be okay, I'll always be here for you if you need to listen.   
 After all, we're friends... right? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On the first day of stupid school...2012

Dear Children, 
Today you went back to school and our Ultimate Mega Super Summer Part Deux came to a close.  I'm not ready for this.   I am not ready for homework, after school activities, packing lunches, and having our schedules be rigid.   
AK as you walked into your first grade class I thought about just how far you have come in your little lifetime.   You have already shown the world that when the odds are not in your favor, you don't really care, you persevere and succeed anyway.  It's something I have learned from you.   And now for the first time, AK,  you will go to school all day!  All day... *sigh* I'm not ready for that either.  
Mr. Boy, I cannot believe you are in 4th grade, where did the time go?   You had a tough year last year when it came to school.  This year you have a fresh start, a clean slate, and I am thrilled for the opportunities we have in life to "reset".   You will thrive this year and already your attitude for school has changed.   You woke up excited to go to school, something I haven't seen in a several months.  You have no idea how much I have pleaded to the powers above, "Please let him have a great teacher."      
If your attitude is going to change, Mr. Boy, then I guess mine should too.  I don't like this one bit, I don't like that you will both be gone so much.   I am not going to lie, I looked at both your teachers with envy and thought, "You are so lucky, you get to have them for most of the day."     I don't like having you out there in the world without me.   I feel like a mother hen, who just wants to gather her chicks under her wings and say, "Okay, we can go out in the world now, but stay under my wings where you are safe."   
After I dropped both of you off, I stood on the playground and cried into Daddy's shoulder.   I am going to miss you so much during the day.  I cried because it had been less than four minutes and I already missed you both.  I came home to the empty quiet house and cried some more.   I missed the noise of hands sifting through the lego box, the sounds of barbies in peril, and the sound of your small bodies running through the house.  
I couldn't take the quiet house so I met up with some friends for breakfast, where we laughed and cried.   This "mom job" is harder than it looks, and it has all these weird twists and turns.  When you were toddlers, I couldn't imagine I would be sad sending you off to school.   Back in those days, I longed for a moment by myself.     I wish I could go back and visit me as a toddler mom and say, "Oh my goodness, just wait, it gets so much easier, but it also gets so much harder.   You won't feel anxiety just trying to wrangle your brood at the grocery store, but you can't solve their problems with a snack or a hug anymore... It's a tough trade off."     

I think every year I say this, but these past few months have been my favorite.  I love this age, I love spending time with both of you and I love being your mom.   


Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday, AK-47!

 Dearest AK,
On the occasion of your 7th birthday, I sit to write you a note to let you know how proud I am of you.  You are growing up so fast and I keep wanting to say, "Whoa, let's slow this down!"  It seemed like yesterday you were this tiny little infant and then I blinked and you turned into this sassy, fashionable, rock start of a girl.  You have an innate style all your own and I love shopping with you..   Every day I look forward to seeing what ensembles you come up with to wear.   One of the things I love most about you is that you are so confident and I hope your confidences never fades. 
There have been challenges this year in school and you have struggled with some concepts of reading and math.   It has been hard to try and figure out the best way to help you.   I'm not sure, maybe these aren't your fortes.   Here is what I know for sure and what I want you to remember forever.    There is always more than one way to do things and never apologize for marching to the beat of your own drum. 
You have the most intense and  largest imagination of anyone I know.   Everytime I pick you up from a playdate the mom pulls me aside and says, "Wow, AK has one very big imagination!"  I always smile with pride and say, "I know, it's amazing, isn't it?"   I am confident that your imagination is going to take you very far in life and your imagination is going to be the key to your success. Many times people will be over and think you are screaming for help, but in reality one of your toys is in peril and you are trying to save it.   We often joke that we can take you anywhere, stick you in a corner with two objects, and you can play for hours making your toys yell at each other.   It's not that they are really yelling at each other, just that when you play, you play at one volume, and that is loudly!  
I give thanks each night for your feminine nature, you are a girly girl with a healthy side of tomboy.  You can hold your own against your strong willed brother, but you do it with such a natural grace.   You love ballet and have been born with "dancer's feet" which makes your ballet teacher giddy.   Even when you are just standing around your feet are in some ballet pose, and your back is straight and tall.   You are picky with your dance teachers, and we are lucky to have Miss Raquel who we love so much.  I love doing a load of pink laundry each week, pulling your unruly hair into a bun, and watching you dance across the room.  I love that there are often barbie shoes and legos stashed in odd places around the house, and I love having a girl.
A little over seven years ago, I sat across from your birthmom in a crowded resturant.  You had demanded Mexican food that day from inside your birthmom's tummy.   It's amazing to me that you already knew prior to being born that you liked tortilla chips and bananas.   I swear you would be content eating those two things solely for years on end.   On that day, your sweet birthmom showed me an ultrasound picture with the words, "It's a girl!" written along the top.   Truthfully, I was hoping for a boy,  I thought my talents were being a boy mom, but my soul knew otherwise.   I burst into tears of joy and gratitude, and a whole wardrobe of pink clothes flashed before my eyes.    On the way home from our meeting I called your dad and we both laughed and cried saying, "A girl! A girl!  It's a girl!"  Then I proclaimed to Daddy, "I'm going shopping for a closet full of pink clothes"  and Daddy swears I have never stopped.   In reality I called the sitter and told her I was going to be late and bought a small arsenal of pink clothes.  I told everyone in the store that day, "I'm having a baby girl, A GIRL! Can you believe it?" 
Then you were born with these crazy gorgeous doll-like features.   You have such an amazing face, with delicate features.   I had a man stop us once and say, "When they make dolls, they base it off a face just like your daughters. She is beautiful."   There is nothing in the world like the sound of a little girl's giggle. I could listen to you laugh all day long.

You have such an amazing joyful personality and you have a natural talent with people, especially adults.  You often chat with the neighbors from your bedroom window when you are supposed to be sleeping.  Our neighbors love it, and we look the other way.  We love that you invite them over regularly for "surprise parties" which translate into "Mom, surprise! We are having our neighbors over!"   

Sweet AK, I love you with all my heart.   You bring so much joy to our lives and I can't imagine my life without you.  When times get tough, remember you have a huge support team behind you.   Most people just have one family cheering them on, but because of the miracle of adoption, you have two giant families rooting for you, plus a whole neighborhood full of fill in Grandparents.   There is something comforting about having a huge team cheering you on.      

I love you, 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ya Ya Wisdom

One of the perks about my "Yes Trip" to Utah was getting to hang with some of the Ya Ya's. The Ya Ya's and I met ages ago at Book Club where we read "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood".  We have a bond that is deep, unbreakable, and unique.  We have had babies together, shared triumphs and devastation.   We have held vigils in hospitals, prayed for good news, and buoyed each other up in the darkest of times.  I love these girls, and I love that Mr. Man gets my relationship with them.   When I have struggled he has said, "Ask the YaYa's, they'll know... "  
Bob, Moi, Booboo
One of the legendary YaYa moments is with Booboo.  Several years ago, I accidentally backed my car into Mr. Man's "Beloved" car.  More like slammed my car into Mr. Man's.  Even worse Mr. Man ran out hearing the noise only to see my car and his car had become conjoined into one lump of metal.   I had to punch the gas to pry the cars apart, and peeled out of driveway.  I will never forget the look on Mr. Man's face, it is one of the few times I have ever seen him mad.   I picked up my cell phone and called, Booboo.

Moi:   Booboo, I um... I backed into Mr. Man's car.  
Booboo:  Wait, What? His beloved blue car?  The one he says goodnight to before bed?  
Moi: YES!  Oh my goodness, what am I going to do?   I think I'm just going to keep driving and move to Texas and become a blonde.  That's the only way.... he is gonna kill me!
Booboo:  Wait, let's calm down and just think for a moment.   Okay, are you sure his car wasn't already all smashed up?  I mean, it could have already been like that and you didn't really hit it at all!
Moi:  I guess that's possible, but I had to slam on the gas to unhook them. 
Booboo:  Hmmm, I think I've always pictured you as more of a redhead than a blonde. 

Ah, bless the Ya Ya who always assume your innocence in all situations, that is a good friend.  I totally get what those Sex and the City gals meant when they said, 
"Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and boys are just people to have fun with."
As I sank down on the couches at the Ya Ya's house, I felt instantly at ease.  We talked, we laughed, and we watched the Petit Ya Ya's play.   One night at Bob's house, I couldn't help but notice the clock was striking 10 and her house had no signs of slowing down.  In fact a meal was being fired up in the kitchen for a late night snack.  I was baffled, because even as the self proclaimed Queen of the Ultimate Mega Super Summer, everyone under 5 feet tall is in bed by 9pm during the summer.   Bob imparted her Ya Ya wisdom, that these were the best times during the summer for spending time as a family.   Dad was home from work, the blazing sun had set, and the lazy evenings were sacred family time. 

The whole way home I kept wondering, "Am I doing Summer wrong?  What if I'm missing the best part?"   Last week, I decided to try the YaYa way and let bedtime slip by.  My children who bickered from sun up to sun down, got along and constructed a Lego city together.   TOGETHER!  They never do things together unless bribed or forced.    
We talked while they built their city, and I cherished this time with my kids.   There wasn't a ticking clock on the time we were spending together, it was just going with the flow, something I'm not very good at.   It was nearly midnight when the yawns became more frequent than words, and we tucked the little ones in bed. Unfortunately, the next day AK was in tears the entire day due to her late bedtime, so maybe we need to adjust this a bit.   But I don't want to forget the lesson I learned of turning my back to the ticking clock, the schedules, the routines every once in a while to make time for some cherished memories. 

This is a lesson I needed to learn before we jump into fall, with it's crazy sports schedule, and the demands of school.  I needed to remember this time is fleeting and it is the family, not the schedule that trumps everything.