Monday, May 14, 2012

Last days

As we approach the end of the school year I have been aware that I'm living in some pretty precious days. My little daughter will be in kindergarten in the fall. While I've never been a mom who cries sending her babies off to school, this time it's a little different. She's the youngest. She's the only daughter. She's herself. And we have had a lot of wonderful time together.

With my boys, things were different, for different reasons. S's preschool year was difficult because we were new to California, we were struggling financially, and his ADHD was not yet diagnosed. When A was in preschool, I was busy working full time. K's preschool years involved not just that full-time job but also the juggling of fost-adopt troubles and trials. I never really got to just hang out with any of them. I did the very best I could and I don't want to dwell on what we didn't have.

But with Z I have gotten so much great time. I'm a stay-at-home mom with some minimal freelance work going on. She goes to preschool two hours a day, four days a week. We go to the YMCA. We do the grocery shopping. I help chaperone her school's field trips. We take hikes or walks, or kidnap Dr. G to go out to lunch. We take mental health days to curl up on the couch and watch movies.

Today we went to the mothers' luncheon at her preschool. She sang a lot of cute songs about mommies, and my heart felt a little too big for my chest. We made a silly hat from tissue paper and decorated it with ribbon and cutout paper flowers. We chatted with our friends and ate lunch and cake.

I'm so grateful for these days. I'm so grateful for my girl.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Today I am having a little rebellion. I skipped the gym and did not take a shower. I bought a bag of pop chips and I'm eating lunch in the rec room, something I don't allow the kids to do. You might be surprised, in a life like mine, how much a tiny, ridiculous flouting of the rules can lift your spirits. Especially on a day when the temperature has suddenly dropped 25 degrees and the wind will eat you alive. (I have still been productive in non-typical ways. I did the grocery shopping and some writing. Just so you don't think I'm being a couch potato.)

Anyway I still had to do the preschool pickup and dropoff. I looked a little messy. My favorite crocheted beanie (super simple, super soft variegated purple baby alpaca wool) was sitting by the door from the last time I walked the dog at night, as were my silly large dollar-store sunglasses. I grabbed both.

It's so movie-star, right?

Bonus: our dentist, who is also our friend from church and has a son who goes to preschool with Z (it's a small town; if you have a friend you pretty much see them everywhere) looked kind of bewildered when I said hi. On the way out he apologized profusely for failing to recognize me. I told him, "That's the whole point!"

I am so paparazzi-proof!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


I wrote this post last night and scheduled it to publish today, but it disappeared. I don't get it. Apparently the sophisticated stuff on Blogger (eye roll) is too much for me to handle. Anyway I think I can write it a little better today, so here goes.

It starts with a funny story told on myself.

Monday I went to pick Z up from preschool. It had rained in the morning, or maybe snowed a bit, leaving the parking lot a little muddy. One good mucky spot was right outside where I parked my glorious, dented-up, Obama-stickered Honda minivan. Shush, it is paid for and works great.

On the way in, I stepped in the mud, unaware. I wiped my feet and vowed not to make the same mistake twice.

So, back to the car with my little person, I executed a graceful leap over the muddy spot. If you know me at all you should already be laughing. Wait, there's more.

I launched myself directly into the door frame. The contact point was the middle of the top of my forehead. It smarted. I might have seen a few stars. I couldn't stop the tears, but I did manage to get in and close the van door for some privacy and then laugh and cry at the same time. Z was a little perplexed but someday she will have PMS, too, and understand how it makes you klutzy and emotional. I wonder if she will remember her silly mama.

I make all kinds of mistakes lately. Things that make me feel dumb, things that make me sorry. That is just a particularly amusing example.

I think it's probably normal, as you become older and more experienced, to be more honest about your own shortcomings. It makes me less likely to judge others. Sometimes it makes me able to try harder to overcome things that challenge me, things like being patient when someone is sick or injured and my selfish plans are derailed.

But I do still like myself. I can laugh at myself, as we see in the story above. I can see the good in myself. Truly. This is a kind of balance I will probably never achieve in my physical body.

So, no more leaping.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


I was combing my daughter's hair tonight before bed.

"Do you ever wish you were me?" she asked. "So you could do really good hairstyles?"

She'd styled her own shiny, straight brown hair today: asymmetrical pigtails on the sides with the back hanging loose, just past her shoulders. She's excited that it's finally getting long after her self-inflicted pixie in October 2010. She's way into hair. She does darned good work for a five-year-old.

I had to laugh at her question. She was unfazed.

"What if I were your mom?" she followed up.

"Then," I said, "I guess I would have really great hair, all the time."

She nodded, satisfied.

I admire her confidence. I wish I felt so sure of something. I'd take just about anything.

But humility is a virtue, right? Life seems to be cultivating that one in me.