gratitude…in whatever form

hand

Today is just one of those days. I set out to be super proud that I made it through last week, but to celebrate, I’ve burned the crap out of my hand, somehow put a scrape on my leg and bruise on my arm and stubbed the hell out of my toe. I have very little makeup on which means I look like leftover hell. The “brown football helmet” I’m sporting doesn’t help things.

Maybe it’s just better if I check myself in to a plastic bubble and also, please don’t look at me, I’m hideous.

I mean…well, it’s kinda funny when you think about it.

I think.

At least, it will be.

When I looked at the calendar, gearing up for last week, I actually got a little concerned about how I would fare. So, quite honestly, a burn, scrape, bruise and stubbed toe is probably my body’s way of telling me that last week kicked my ass. But last week? Well, it also kicked all kinds of ass.

lastweek

 

There was Stanford. There were work deadlines. There was my nephew’s birthday. There were practices and lessons. There was a midnight showing. There was two hours of sleep before getting up for a (wonderful) food drive. There was being so proud of my cute little sixth grader and her school play. And then her school band was in a parade. And then I took the girls to the movies. Again. And then we celebrated Thanksgiving with my inlaws. Which was LOVELY.

And we survived. And my house is only in a tiny bit of a shambles. And I’m thankful and grateful and apparently so excited about it I’m a hazard to my own well-being.

But we crossed off things on the College Bucket List. We did good, you guys. We helped people. I watched my kid blossom…and I could see how much she’s enjoying herself. Which was amazing and wonderful and I’m so stinkin proud of her.

It was a good week. A week to be proud of.

And I’m just so glad that I have this place to write it all down and remember how wonderful and insane it was.

My life is (overly) full. And you know what? I just wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Ramona the Brave

I cannot believe the difference in Ramona the past couple of weeks. I mean, they are subtle differences, but I can see the changes in her every day. I’m grateful that she’s doing better. I love that she loves certain parts of school. I’m relieved…well, I’m relieved that she doesn’t hate life.

thumbs up, baby
thumbs up, baby

She’s making friends. She’s enjoying school more and more. At least most parts of school. Homework and test taking are a struggle in a couple of her classes, but we’re working on that. We’re trying to figure out what works for her. I haven’t said anything, but I’ve been wondering about a slight learning disability and maybe even some sensory issues that I didn’t realize before. I’m not get into that right now, but she works so hard studying and yet struggles so hard on her tests and quizzes. I’m not quite ready to give her a label. I’m also not sure that I’m right. But let’s just say that this mama is working on doing a lot of research to understand the way she learns. (For the record, I still have don’t really know.)

What I do know? She loves band. LOVES it. I had no idea that she would take to it so well. She’s playing the flute and can play Mary Had a Little Lamb like a BOSS. Her close friends have come from meeting them in band class. I even got to meet one of their moms at last week’s school event. Which makes me feel like we’re actually getting to be part of the community. (Bonus!) And these friends seem so nice! Like, really nice! I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, but no drama! (4th and 5th grade was fraught with drama. It was not my favorite.) She is thriving and absolutely adores her band teacher.

firstdayofsixthgrade

Last week my dear child got in trouble for her attitude and then grounded from her iPod and TV. Quite honestly, it’s the best thing that ever happened to her. I think she’s sleeping better. She’s not as distracted. She’s reading more. I’m not saying it solved all our problems, but my goodness she’s different without those two things. The Dude didn’t give her a time period of how long she’d be without the iPod and TV privilege. I don’t know how or when we’ll even start talking about it. But for now? It’s better for her not to have constant and easy access to them. It’s almost like her mind is at peace without them.

And in completely unrelated news, she got her very own razor this past weekend. Yeah…leg shaving milestone. Leg. Shaving. Milestone. Super not ready for that. I mean, she spent the day wanting everyone to feel her legs so that helped to bring things back a little bit, but yeah. These kids of mine are making me feel old.

Of course, it just took me several (SEVERAL!!) tries to spell “subtle” in that sentence up there so who knows? Maybe I’m just getting old all on my own. Looking into convalescent homes is next on my to-do list. Because of course.

updates and school supplies and saying goodbye to summer

summer2

It’s the fourth day of school and I guess I’m just glad Ramona doesn’t hate it.

I feel bad for her. She’s met a couple of friendly kids, but it’s still so new. It’s not like they’re super close best friends. She eats lunch alone because she doesn’t know anyone well enough yet. You want to break a mama’s heart? Tell her that her kid eats lunch alone. And then top it off with listening to this kid tell the story of how nervous she is as she walks into each class wondering if she’s always in the wrong class. (So far, she’s been in the right class.) (Thankfully.)

My brain knows that it’s going to be fine. She’s going to make friends. She’s going to have wonderful experiences. Switching classes won’t always be so nerve-wracking.  She is going to be great. I know this. But my heart hurts because she’s lonely and she’s scared and it’s so far outside her comfort zone.

And, hey…since my heart is already living outside of my body, when is it going to get easier to say that Beezus is going to be a junior in high school when she goes back on Thursday? JUNIOR. Because, each time I say it, I almost don’t believe my own words. It just sounds…weird. And not possible. And weird. (This may also be compounded by the fact that her sixteenth birthday is this week. Probably.)

This school year is already killing me a little. And one of my kids isn’t even back to school yet.

I need to stop trying to hold on to summer so hard. I need to jump into this school year with a better attitude and not be so resistant to change. But I really don’t want to. I don’t. I’m not ready for the rigid schedules and practice times…and holy crap I hate homework. I just really, really do.

But I know that my kids need me to be all in. Because even if I don’t verbalize to them how much I hate this, I know they can feel it. I KNOW it. And that’s not fair. Because even if I wish I could just hold on to them and hold on to summer just a little bit longer, they have to be ready for all that the new school year throws at them. And my moping about it isn’t going to do any of us a bit of good.

I may have to resort to buying my own school supplies. I love a new notebook to fill and the perfect pen to go with it. And it just might be the thing to pull me out of summer and into this current space of being a mom to a sixth grader and a (sigh) junior in high school. It’s time for me to be excited for what’s in store for both of them. And for me. For all of us.

If I’m too busy holding on to summer, I’m going to miss everything that’s happening right now.

We still have a few more days until Beezus heads back to school and we’re also getting ready as we celebrate her sixteenth birthday. There are a couple of Campfire Wednesdays to look forward to and a few other family gatherings to enjoy. So I’ve kinda given myself this week to phase out of my summer mindset. But I’ve also reminded myself that Ramona needs more structure and more focus to make sure that the start of the school year isn’t any harder than it already is.

A little balance? Yeah…I guess that’s what we’re looking for. Or really, a slightly more balanced wibble-wobble.

If there even is such a thing.