Friday, August 23, 2013

Spread Her Wings

We seem to have reached a stage were Caroline is going off more and more. She has less need for me (except for funding and transportation). We are getting along really well and enjoy each other's company, but she wants the company of her friends just as much or even more often. Her boyfriend has become a semi-permanent fixture in our house (so much so that he now feels comfortable enough to come into our house and head to the fridge first thing to find a soda).

Last weekend she was invited to a friend's Sweet Sixteen party. She asked her boyfriend to go with her. He told her that he wasn't able to do something on two Saturdays in a row (they are going to King's Dominion next Saturday). An hour before I was supposed to pick up her friends for the party, she texted him and told him that all of her friends were bringing their boyfriends. He responded "Oh, I should have asked my mom then." She bit her tongue, he asked his mom, and was ready to be picked up in an hour. I picked up Cristhian and teased him about waiting until the last minute. Then I went to pick up Caroline's best friend (and my scout daughter) and her boyfriend. After a brief photo session (I wasn't the only mom with a camera), we piled into the car. I am used to teenage girls and the silliness that accompanies them. My ears have adjusted to high pitched giggles and screams.

I am not used to teen aged boys. Truly my expertise in all things boy mostly ends at age 7. Suddenly, I was in a car full of after shave and rumbly voices. Both boys carried on parallel conversations. Caroline's boy friend kept turning around to talk to her about a band or tease her. Her friend's boyfriend waxed poetic on topics such as the importance of having two suppers a night, guns, life guarding, and his worst injury all summer. Both girls listened and nodded. This girl, tried very hard not to tease or laugh. At one point, I dug frantically through my purse searching for gum so I could do something with my mouth besides laugh.

We finally found the club where the party was being held. I wasn't sure which entrance they should go in, but they assured me they could figure it out. As I watched them walk away,I felt a pang of longing. I watched my oldest child move one step further towards adulthood. She looked so beautiful all dressed up. I watched as she grabbed her boyfriend's arm and pulled him along away from whatever distraction that had caught his eye. I watched her move that much closer to making her own path through life.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I took the dog for a not so brisk walk and in the process, thought of an awesome blog idea. Unfortunately, the very moment I stepped into the house, it flew clear out of my mind. I have lost many ideas in a similar way. The best ideas have disappeared in the clearing of shower steam, haze of dreams, or lurching halt of traffic. I am not sure of the solution. Maybe I need to become one of those strange people who walks around reciting ideas into a tape recorder. Then again, I don't think they exist anymore (the people or the tape recorders). I used to keep a notebook by my bed. I misplaced it, though. Someone suggested that I text myself, but most of the times these ideas occur when texting isn't an option ( have they come up with a shower proof i phone yet?).

Losing things seems to be a chronic issue in my house. I spend more time looking for a kid's lost shoe, a favorite sweater, the correct freakin' charger, a book, a scrap of paper with an important series of numbers, the remote control, the phone, the list is endless. The amount of time that I have spent looking for those things is also endless. We here in Simpsonland are stuck in the timeless loop of  "MOOOM, have you seen my......?" I fall into the trap time and time again.

It doesn't help that as a whole the beings who inhabit my house are perpetually absent minded. They pick up something and carry it with them when something shiny in the next room catches their eye. I have found remotes in the bathroom and boxes of cereal in the fridge. You never know where missing things will surface. If I didn't know better, I'd swore that we had an infestation of naughty little elves. Elves would be less frustrating than my family.

The current object to have fallen victim to the Simpson Black Hole is one of my favorite CDs. I just finished loading all of my CDs onto my i pod, when I noticed one was missing. The soundtrack to Juno seems to have just evaporated. Caroline borrowed it. It has become one of her favorite summer soundtracks. I guess she loved it into oblivion. I know it will turn up. The Curious George soundtrack was missing for a full 8 months before it returned from it's adventure on top of the computer desk.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Introverts Cope

It is a well established fact that we are a household of pretty set in our way introverts. We are each introverted in our ways. Some of us are linguistic introverts, some are mathematical introverts, and some are "factoid" introverts, or a combo. What I mean is our strengths are how we comfort ourselves and process the world around us. Can you guess which kind I am? Rob? Caroline? Right now I am a teeming mass of raw nervous energy. I have a valid reason, but I need to do something with it. The doctor says exercise, others say medication, others say wine. Right now, I say words. That means lots of music, reading, and writing. Being introverted (and stressed) I want to do these things on my own. That way I can center and breathe. The problem? I have my own introverted offspring strapped to my ankle, leg, waist, arm, mind, whatever she can get a hold of.

Lily defies definition (is this a theme?). She is very introverted in crowds, but at home, to quote the youth she is "all up in our grill." I love my girl and really she has made progress this summer. She is sleeping and apologizing for hurting feelings. She comes to me after blow ups and can tell me what she needs to do differently. Lily still gets so overwhelmed, she just can't calm down and lashes out. When I am able to convince her to go off on her own and play, she always comes back calm, focused, and delightful. She loves to play with her dolls and legos. She just forgets? I guess like everything else, I need to teach her when to go off and find her space. I never had to teach Caroline this. I think this might be because when she was Lily's age I was so busy with Lily that she learned to go off on her own and read. It was that or be bored.

Lily doesn't have that "go off and read instinct." She seems very verbal and has that "linguistic edge." Her vocabulary blows me out of the water and her ability to figure out words in oral context is amazing. The problem is she can't sit still and stay focused on a book. This baffles me. How can my kid not like to read? Watching her read is exhausting. She's upside down, she's shouting out facts, she's asking questions. She likes numbers and facts like Rob, but that doesn't seem to be her driving force either. The nearest I can tell is it is talking (explaining the need to follow me everywhere). She even talks to herself when she's riding her bike or swimming. I guess it is noticeable. My sister in law pointed it out when we were on vacation. I can't really fault her. My new young teammates have made a joke out of coming into my classroom, hearing me in a full conversation, and seeing that I am all alone. In college, I used to go into a room by myself and talk my way through studying.

Now the trick is to teach Lily to utilize this. All I know right now is she's going to camp for part of next summer. I am more tired now than I was in June:) My ears are exhausted!

More Happy Music

I seem to have finally figured out how to make i tunes and Windows 8 work together, at least long enough to get some new music on my i phone and i pod (I keep it for going on walks). Upon success, I executed a victory dance and war whoop worthy of a touchdown. I was also able to load all of my CD's and started buying my favorite songs from my college years (my tapes fell apart, how much of my income was that?). I think I've already mentioned my love of The Lumineers. They have this old time quality that is just beautiful. My newest favorite is The Mowgli's. They are the happiest hippy dippy summer music. I can't listen to the album without smiling. Which is good because I am now under doctor's orders to take a "brisk daily walk" (more on this in the next post).

Falling Apart or Getting Old?

The downside of scheduling all of your doctors appointments in a two week span is that you get to hear from all of your doctors in a two week span. Apparently, I now need to "change up my flossing routine" (honestly I didn't really have one to begin with) and floss three times a day in order to protect my back teeth which are mostly composed of fillings. Really, it is a miracle that these fillings have lasted this long (some were put in in high school). If I lose them, it's a root canal, and I'd like to avoid that. I have also been told that I "am still young, but getting old." Huh? Yesterday, my internist suggested that I add more exercise in order to prolong my life and alleviate stress (he's worried about the fact that my dad passed away at 52). He went so far as to pantomime taking a "brisk walk." This is the same very serious doctor who must have given himself a daily note to smile upon exiting the room because every time he leaves me he turns and flashes the quickest, most awkward smile. He also went onto to list carbs and suggest that I avoid them. If I wasn't so overwhelmed by his concern, I would have explained that I read Redbook and know just about every diet plan. I was so trying so hard to take it all in that I forgot to ask him about the knee x-ray that had done last week.

I guess, like everything else in this house, I am still in working order, but need more TLC. I draw the line at literally kicking myself, which seems to be the best way to get a lot of things around here to work:)