I started this week out with such skull crushing stress. My head was pounding, I could breathe, I could barely think. So much of this I bring on by my choices. I choose to pour my heart and soul into my work and family. I push, push, push and go, go, go. And some days, it is too much for my body and mind to process.
I made it through, taking one day at a time. I am caught up on paper work and report cards and lesson plans are finished. Right now, I should be grading papers, but for the first time in so long, I am relaxed.
This April is so bitter sweet. Caroline turns 16 on the 9th. That alone is such a momentous thing to digest. Then add in my mom would have been 63 on the 12th. She is missing such a big milestone for Caroline. I know that she would have made it so special for her. This is the first of many milestones Mom will miss.
The fact of the matter is milestones come whether you are ready or not. No amount of grief can (or at least should) stop them. Rob and Lily went to West Virginia to help his parents pack for their upcoming move. Caroline and I stayed here, so she could go to soccer and to watch the pets. It seemed like no big deal, but as things around here tend to do, the weekend snowballed into a much bigger thing. I promised that I would take Caroline to get her Learner's Permit before her soccer game. Then we'd chill the rest of the day.
Last weekend, Caroline's boyfriend called me to ask if he could throw a surprise party for her at our house on Saturday. From that point on, things took on a Keystone Cops level of hijinks as only we could do it. I was in charge of getting all of the supplies. I bought the soda and chips and explained that they were for the party she was planning for herself on the 12th (Did I mention that she was already planning a party and her friends were frantically pulling people aside to make sure they had the right date?). The problem was things kept coming up that required using the soda and chips during the week (school parties, snack attacks). By Friday, I needed to head to Target to get more snacks and decorations. I ran back and forth across the store three times collecting things I'd forgotten (I was exhausted by Friday). I hid everything in the car over night.
On Saturday, I woke up at 6:30 to see Rob and Lily off. I hid the party supplies in the basement and headed off to the DMV with Caroline. After an extremely long wait, she took her test and passed! I was so proud of her, but had a brief "Mom would be so proud" moment. We went right to her soccer game. After her game she cleaned up and Cristhian picked her up for the movies (he even talked her into dressing up so she'd be ready for a party). I proceeded to clean the house and bake her cake. Her friends started arriving at 4:30 to decorate. Of course, Caroline being my daughter, arrived home opened the fridge, found the fruit platter her friend had brought, figured out the surprise, and started crying. She was so happy (Did I mention a surprise party was all she wanted and she spent a good part of March bitter and sad that she wasn't getting one?)!
She has the best and quirkiest friends. They spent the evening eating, laughing, singing Happy Birthday in English and Spanish, dancing a conga line, and singing "Do You Want To Build a Snowman?" through the basement door.
Ironically, I am not tired. I just feel peaceful and blessed. I rocked the whole "motherhood thing" this weekend. The cherry on top was opening my school email and finding that a parent had emailed me a picture of one of my babies from last year playing on his churches drum line. I do believe that giving my all to work and family has paid off this weekend.