I am the mother to a teenager as of today. As of today, I only have one child who’s still a child, still a tween. One child who sleeps in the home, who creeps in my bed. Another who has set her foot on the twisted and dark path, through the forest.
As of today, I don’t have two children gamboling under foot. Today I watched a father who did, who had a little one. Those days are gone, they slipped through my fingers. I enjoyed every moment, every bit, but that doesn’t mean I was ready to see them go.
Today, I have a daughter who is a young woman. Never again will her fields contain childhood until the day, perhaps, she stoops to catch up children of her own.
Today is auspicious indeed. It marks that blossoming of hope, that cause for celebration: a child who’s survived childhood. Intact, with a lot of fierce love blooming in her chest, with a lot of laughter.
My daughter is my hope, my strength, my roots but then she is the green shoot out of the wet earth. She is my strength and grows tall like a tree. She is a fierce prickly thorn in a rose and she is the sunset when its impossible beauty takes your breath away. She is stronger, kinder, more intelligent, less spoiled than I and than anyone I know. She is my heart.
She is my heart!
We took a page out of Phoenix’s 2013 birthday trip, and headed off to Tacoma today. We had a carload of rumpus!
I seriously cannot with five preteens. As in, cannot believe how wonderful they are! Here I’m just ordering them buckets of chocolate milk because we were on the first leg of the trip and had to get from point A to point B etc.
They were all grownup and ordered salads with their meal! Instead of applesauce. One child ordered applesauce, then hid it from view when this choice was remarked upon. Can you tell which child?
And then – off to the zoo!
So like, in no way was our sole male attendee shunned by the girls… but neither was he particularly invited in when they’d cluster up like this. Which gave me no small amount of amusement!
Rarely do I regret having just a phone camera (and no training) – but failing to capture the African Red Tip Starfish is one of these times. Gorgeous!
Six tigers sighted – including these little tigers. Some feistiness in the tiger enclosure. They are wonderful animals!
So, this lobster was massive. I found the other zoo attendees comments about eating him quite insensitive. Isn’t it exploitive enough he’s in a cage being bored off his ass – or whatever lobsters have for asses?
UM A DADDY SEAHORSE, PREGNANT
Her last day of being twelve. Excuse me, I have something in my eye!
And after the zoo – I got us to Krispy Kreme. Because, hello!
Home to yoga, and delivering a meal to a new family with a brand-new baby, and unwinding a bit before crashing into bed.Read More
Today I finished a birthday dress for my sweet soon-to-be-thirteen-year-old daughter. I traced a tailored garment template for my super-secret relatively-ambitious large sewing project. I got through our laundry pile and attended two back-to-back yoga classes. Ralph took a final test and got his second A+ Certification; he’s on his way to a Bachelors. When he got back in tow, we had lunch together – and helped a friend out with a wee errand.
I am feeling better. Can you tell?
Not everything is in tip-top shape. Incredibly, my cough still hangs on – and it if wasn’t for a recent chest x-ray I’d be worried. My shoulder injury affects my yoga practice a great deal. I am learning patience – and humility.
My children are cheerfully growing up – I am relegated to a support position, mostly. My son is entrenched in afterschool basketball. This week he gets a 98 on a big math test – and tonight he asks if I’m proud of him. Of course I am. He went from having absolutely-no-formal-math ever, to acing a math cirriculum so controversial and oblique that the untrained adult can’t figure it out.
My daughter is looking forward to her birthday. She probably doesn’t realize just how many special little things we have planned for her. Tonight we’re watching “The Venture Bros” and she’s snickering at my shoulder. But after one episode she stands and says, “Mom – I love watching with you, but I have to respect my body. I’m going to bed [early].” She shakes her hair out of her eyes and exits. I’m left here with a bed full of cats – Ralph off in Nels’ room, putting our son to bed.
I’m thinking family life, I stressed way too much when they were younger, my little ones. I’m only glad I started easing off a bit while they were still in the home.
My child has a standing group-counseling event miles away once a week; this means I drive even more than normal to pick the child up, early, from a rural school. As well this week I am running back and forth for a sporting season (basketball: Nels). I am logging hours on a backwoods road which regularly yields heron, bald eagles, elk, and the occasional owl – but rarely-to-never deer or hawks, more often seen alongside the thoroughfare highways.
I have not yet adjusted to having the children out of the home during daylight hours. I have been working on sleeping more – discovering, half a year ago, that even when I did not need to rise at a particular time, I could only sleep six hours at a stretch. (Thanks to practice, patience, and some supplements – calcium, magnesium, wild lettuce, and melatonin – I’m up to nine!)
With more sleep comes a (seemingly) less productive schedule. Made (seemingly) less-productive still by my practices of meditation, volunteerism – and resting while I recover from a deep cough.
My son wants me to take a job at his school: his idea of paradise is to play kickball (or this week’s fad: sproutball), selectively partake in hot lunch, play with friends, and get cuddles from his teacher/playground-aide mama. His simple demands for childlike needs tug at my heart. My son is remarked upon by strangers often for his advanced vocabulary and speech patterns, his good manners, his dress – but at the same time, his younger nature. While other boys have followed suit of their peers and the television programs in their home, Nels is still childish in some ways. He dresses his own style; he is quick to cry publicly. Gentle at heart with animals and small children. As excited today as he was years ago – at a common snail or dun-brown snake:
Is it special, when you’re lonely?
Will you spend your whole life
In a studio apartment
With a cat for a wife?
On my mind today is a sense of illness – it steals upon me during a perfectly sunny walk in the woods this afternoon, and creeps through my belly, blooms in my chest. My head swims a bit. I want nothing more than to rest, to lie down. Instead I get to drive and haul children, a dog, a friend or two.I get to do the minimum amount of housework at home so we can visit a new family with a new – brand-new, as in born today – baby!
My children’s interests, activities, appetite, and clothing consumption seem to have escalated here, in their pre-teen years. Their needs for scheduling, and for talking out peer issues, and our plans for their upcoming birthday celebrations, do not make for idle time. Tonight I sit on bleachers in the rural school’s immaculate gym – splashed everywhere with the school colors of black, orange and white – and watch my son and other boys dribble basketballs, run pass-drills, and work on shooting form. I feel a softness in my chest for these boys – the little boys, and the “boy” coaching as well. I stand up and pocket my phone at four as Nels proudly hauls his backpack up his shoulder – before asking if I’ll carry it. My son puts his arm around me when we leave; he is growing so tall, so fast. His neck is flushed and his body elastic and warm from practice.
Today’s exertions have left my cough a little deeper than it was this morning; my neck and head ache. My body feels ill-used, and misses the weekend-night cuddles of my children, who go to bed before I do on school nights.
But tonight I am grateful to have once again discharged the day’s duties; to have remained true to the purpose. To have walked the dog and pet the cats and helped the children and held hands with my husband and looked into his eyes deeply and when he asked me how I was, to tell him, “I love you.”
Life is a gift and today although my bones are cold and brittle I’m grateful to get the chance for another 24. Breathing in, breathing out.Read More
I’d conceptualized this garment a while back – probably after listening to A Princess of Mars on tape. Not that this particular babycreep is inspired by any particular bit of Burroughs’ descriptive prose, but more like an idea that banged around in the ol’ braincase for a bit.
I had this wonderful 50/50 heavy duty knit in a heathered plum… and of course a high-quality poison-green faux fur. Perfect!
Believe it or not, faux fur – a good quality one – is a great fabric for baby and child use. It is rugged and withstands washing well, is warm, and most people enjoy the way it feels. It is also surprisingly unfussy to sew with – once you know a few tricks.
I had to include some star-shaped ear-tabs because this is a Space Baby, of course. These were a wee bit tricky to get just right, but I know my knits. Interface first for best results!Read More