Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Pause {Three Weeks and One Day}

A beach post would be nice this morning, but it just ain’t happening.  {It’s refreshing to know that spellcheck doesn’t recognize “ain’t”.  Some things are really just still wrong.}  I’m in a bit of denial that beach week is over.  Looking at the empty lot of dirt {not sand} next to my house and the fact that I am responsible for dinner every night is bringing me back quickly.

Julia and I were at a Noonday Collection party last night and the host, Jessica, my sweet friend, handed her phone to me and said, “It’s Jeff.  He’s had an accident on his bike.”  So in like a millisecond as I take the phone, adrenaline runs through me, touching the tips of my fingers and toes, I hear his voice and he’s fine but it always shakes me up when someone I love is hurt or had the potential of really getting hurt.  He had cut his hand and needed insurance information so of course, I grabbed Julia and we left.  Emily had taken him to a clinic which wasn’t working out for us, so Julia went home with Em and we made our way to the ER, a true adventure for a Thursday night.  Sidenote: {like this whole post is not a “sidenote”} So after Em’s long day at work, she turned into somewhat of a sitter/parent as she hosted a BOY sleepover.  I emphasize BOY because it’s in a whole OTHER category than GIRL sleepover.  I won’t go into detail but just trust me. We owe Em one.  My favorite text from her was, “Things are a little less structured when you’re not here.”  Glad I am good for something.  Jeff and I chatted while we waited, gave up on our plan of going to the lake on Saturday, and watched the clock hoping to get home in time to have coffee and watch the season finale of Person of Interest. {Nothing live-- just from the library.  Do you know how much I LOVE the library?}  We wanted some normalcy in our night!  Neither one of us are too keen on needles even though I use them on people every Wednesday night at work.  Immunizing has done nothing to help me get over the heebie-jeebies I associate with them.  I watched Dr. Corwin draw up the lidocaine-- and it took him forEVER-- and I realized he was going to put ALL of that into Jeff’s hand.  Jeff knew it too and I sat there like a chicken and couldn’t watch.  I kept my eye on Jeff, the wall, the clock and at times threw darts at Dr. Corwin with my eyes willing him to  STOP already.  People, it took a good 5 minutes and the needle was CROOKED he dug into the wound so much.  Okay, enough of that.  After 10 stitches and 10 different people, we were ready to go.  We came home to a very active home for 10:30 on a Thursday night.    We ate the kids' cold pizza, told everyone the horrors of the lidocaine and made everyone wiggle and scrunch up their faces.  Then we sent them all to bed, made coffee and watched our show.  Yes, we did.

Three weeks and 1 day left of summer and I’d prefer not to do the ER again.

WHERE IS IT GOING?  IS THERE A STOP BUTTON ON SUMMER?  A pause?  Or at least a “slow down” button?   I am finding it very helpful to review with myself and with the kids all that has happened and all the side splitting fun we’ve had. {“Side splitting” might be a stretching it a bit.}  They are like, “Oh yeah.... I remember that,” it was 2 years ago and not just 2 WEEKS.

I feel like the kids are at the ages where things start changing FAST.  I remember watching my niece and nephew go from darling middle school kid to, oh my gosh, LOOK at them, they are little adults.  We’re not there-- not so drastic yet-- but it’s coming.  My mental list includes wrapping up the Passport2Purity with Julia before next week’s end--{No, I didn’t do it like they recommended-- over a weekend.}- with a few added conversations that have been brought to my attention over this last month of summer.  I want to be on the offense on so many things-- talk about them BEFORE they happen or before I notice something could be a weakness-- Lord, help me.  It’s a complete change of mind set, a totally different set of conversations-- from little girl things to full out teenage things.  These things will take some time to process and I hope to write about them at some point, and at the same time, to be sensitive to her in what I share.

We get a lot of this.  Digital cameras are a blessing.
As I am typing, I am receiving texts from her asking me if I like “these boots”.  Well, absolutely NOT for me.  They’re awful but there is nothing really WRONG with them.  I would just never wear them.  But then I have to think about a few of my outfits in 7th grade and on.  Ugh.  Of course my mother would not have worn orange and white striped pencil pants with a spray painted t-shirt. {Esprit, my 40 plus friends.}  Like, gag.  The boots she wants are a really good deal.  And I can’t expect her to think about fashion at 12 like I do at 43--longevity, versatility, comfort-- which these boots will last about 3 months, worn with maybe 2 outfits at best and comfort?  Joke.  {You young sweet mommas- enjoy dressing your little jabbers while you can.  It’s really fun.}

Just yesterday as we walked behind Brighton into a meeting, Julia asked me, when will Brighton start to care if he matches?  It comes and goes with him.  It’s important about 5% of the time.  I am more concerned about personal hygiene at this stage of the game.  I don’t really care if he has on 2 different shades of red as long as he smells good and the strands of his hair separate.  Of course, we encourage him and sometimes MAKE him practice these things, but I look forward to the day, we don’t have to ask him and that day I hear him walk over to Julia’s room and ask, “Does this look okay?” just like my brother did.... a few times.

We are whittling away at the kid’s summer lists-- have a few more spend the nights to plan, more Sonic stops to make and a little more reading to do.  Three weeks and one day left.  Pause, please?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Missing Them

It’s good to miss your kids.  As a stay at home Mom all these years and a home schooler, I haven’t had many opportunities to miss my kids.  Oh, sure, they’ve been with our families without us and even friends for a couple of nights but this camp thing— it’s different.

We dropped them off last Sunday in New Braunsfels at T- Bar M for a whole week— just the two of them.  No friends in tow.  Just Julia and Brighton with a slew of kids they did not know.  They weren’t exactly excited.  And maybe I wasn’t either, but Jeff and I knew it would be a great experience for them— at least that’s the plan.  We pick them up tomorrow— haven’t heard hide nor hair from them.  That’s camp culture, so they tell me.  I told my nephew this morning I hope we haven’t scarred them for life.

“Get kids ready for camp” on my list last week was more daunting than I thought.  It was a line item among other things.  “Other things” are still on that list.  Then, while sipping coffee with a friend on my porch, she spoke of daily care packages.  Daily.  “Get kids ready for camp” began to look like a research paper outline.  I gave myself to it and bought some of their favorite things, some things I thought they might need, some things I was going to buy anyway and packed them all in ~ daily~ envelopes, along with notes from Jeff and me.  I combed the “Things You Need” list we got in the mail and counted and labeled and folded.  Trunks ready, care packages sealed.  Not pretty but fun, right?  {Some in their trunks, some to deliver as surprises}

Once the car was loaded, I was walking out turning off lights and such, I grabbed the almighty list T-Bar M had sent for some reason— to torture myself on the way in case I had forgotten something and realized I hadn’t spent much time on the “Things That May Not Come to Camp”.  I saw “Candy, gum etc.”  Oh.  It makes complete sense to me now but right then, I realized my care packages weren’t going to be nearly as fun—- nor nearly as cute after I had to rip them all open to rid them of contraband.  How sad.  But how smart of Tar- B M.

The kids were given a grand welcome to the camp as first timers.  We got a quick tour by Johnny Polk, camp director and met a thousand smiling folks along the way.  Goodbyes were quick— and possibly awkward as the kids were being brave and we were trying to be considerate of the kids with all these peers around them— and brave too.  No time for emotions.  Johnny was ready to show us something else!

He was literally waiting on us at the entrance and rode our side rails in.
When I saw this picture after we had dropped them off, Julia’s body language concerned me!!  And B’s smile is not his normal “bright” one.
The ONLY story we’ve heard was Wednesday, I think, and Brighton had sought Mr. Johnny out.  He’s the BMOC-- like, you find him for real serious stuff-- blood or bullying.  So I think Johnny was a little concerned when B came after him.  So after asking Brighton what was wrong, what could he do for him?  “Mr. Polk, I can’t find my pillow.  Actually, I haven’t had it since I got here.”  {They found it “in two shakes” the BMOC said.}  I am guessing if his pillow was his main concern, he’s just fine.

We got these pictures the very next day and I felt much better.

We loved the grounds— small enough for my kids to learn their way around in 10 minutes.  Things seemed close and the staff, well, they had more energy than I EVER remember having at 19 as a camp counselor.  Johnny promised to check on them and send pictures and he did.  As mom— of course I noticed B having on the SAME UT shirt two different days.  Can you IMAGINE?!  And WHY, when I counted TEN t-shirts in his trunk?!?  I have a serious mask to wear for when I open his trunk next week.  And Julia— as helpful and sweet as she is— everything I put in her trunk, I let it go. {That means I said goodbye for good.}  I wonder what we will never see again, what will come to us that does not belong to us and what I might just throw away.  

And guess what?  I don’t care.  I just can’t wait to see those two little jabbers.  I know they are exhausted— and I will let them rest and maybe whine a little.  But I can’t WAIT to see their faces, hear their voices, listen to their stories and have them sitting RIGHT beside me.  They can even argue a little on the way home if they want to.

As I was saying, it’s good to miss them.