One For the Baby Book

B before haircutI took B to get her first official salon haircut last week. 

She’d had hair cuts when she was really little at the children’s hair place with the TVs at every station, but it had literally been probably seven years.  I always just cut it myself on the back patio.

She only wants her hair cut about twice a year anyway, and the rest of the time she pretty much says she’s “growing it out”.  But she came home from swim practice one day a few weeks ago and said she wanted to cut a few inches off.  Right then, please.

Having been down that road before, where I cut her hair immediately after she made her request, only to find her in the throes of regret two hours later, I told her she had to wait at least 48 hours to make the decision.

And then I decided it was time to get her hair cut at a real salon, because we’re at the point with her where a bad haircut can wreck her life.  And I don’t need that kind of thing on my head.

So we made an appointment at my salon, waited three or four days so B could be sure she REALLY wanted a hair cut, and off we went!

B hair afterShe looks really grown up.  It’s both lovely and terrifying, honestly.  She loves it.  So do I.

Love Wins

#LoveWins

#LoveWins

I don’t get political on here, I don’t get religious on here, and I try not to alienate people whose beliefs may not line up with mine.  But I also don’t want to avoid writing about things I truly care about for fear of offending someone.  Keeping my opinion to myself is all good and fine, but avoiding difficult topics because they might make people uncomfortable is a cowardly practice.  And I am not a coward.  I may catch shit for this from some people, but you know what?  I’m okay with that.

And I am too happy about the Supreme Court marriage equality decision on Friday to not talk about it.  And this is my blog, so I’m talking about it.

I’m going to be honest and admit that I didn’t even realize on Friday morning that the decision was to be made that day.  I was at the pool for the kids’ swim practice and happened to check FB and Twitter and my feeds were lit up with links saying that same-sex marriage had been legalized across the entire country.  I got chills and tears in my eyes as I sat there reading the decision, because this is a huge, amazing step toward making this country — to paraphrase — a more perfect union.

The best part of my day, other than the rainbow-filled social media feeds and the stories of joy streaming across my computer screen was when I explained the significance of this day to my kids.  I told them that, as of that day, everyone, EVERYWHERE in this country could marry the person they love, regardless of whether that was a man and a woman in love, or a man and a man in love, or a woman and a woman in love.

And G looked at me like I was flat-out crazy.  “Okay?  Why is that a big deal?” he asked.

It was a huge deal, I said.  I explained that until that morning, people living in certain states were not allowed to marry the person they loved if that person was the same sex. 

“Wait, WHAT?  THAT’S DUMB!” he said. “You should be able to marry who you love, no matter what!”

(YES!  Thank you, eight year old boy, for summing up the entire thing so succinctly.) 

You guys, it was so obvious, so painfully clear to my eight year old son that OF COURSE YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MARRY WHO YOU LOVE, that he didn’t even realize that there were places anywhere where you couldn’t.  BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE DUMB.

And from now on, there are no more places in this country where you can’t marry the person you love.  History was made on Friday, and I am grateful to have watched it happen.

Love WINS.  Love ALWAYS wins.

Just Keep Swimming

O goggles

My favorite thing about summer vacation is swim team.  It’s just FUN.

My kids have swim practice every morning for a few hours.  I hang out with other parents from the neighborhood while all our kids run and play and swim.  Occasionally I’ll swim laps while the kids practice and then I marvel at how much better than me my kids are at swimming.  Like, WAY, WAY better.

O vs. Q

We have meets one weeknight evening and every Saturday morning and it’s fun and competitive.  My kids love it and so do Matt and I.B and G

We’ve been swimming on this team for six summers now — since B was just 5 years old — and all my kids are FINALLY old enough to actually participate in the meets every week.  Q could NOT be more excited that he gets to swim FOR REAL.  He’s only been waiting his whole entire life for this.

Q first official A meetSo even if we struggle to get into a good rhythm at home, at the pool, we’re always happy.

Back in the Swing

pool perspective

The first week of summer vacation always sucks.  And I always forget that it sucks until I’m in it.

I mean, it’s great — no real schedule, much more relaxed down time, no car pools or kiss-n-ride, no packing lunches.

But it also sucks, because readjusting to having everyone home together all day is a slow process. 

The kids are used to having seven or so hours away from each other, so when they’re together 24 hours a day for a few straight days, they get on each others’ nerves pretty quickly.  Games turn into battles with children arguing over whose turn it is, sports turn into fights with children accusing each other of foul play or unnecessary roughness, and my patience doesn’t last very long when I’m constantly mediating.  In fact, my patience is even shorter than normal as I struggle to get used to the constant low (or not-so-low) levels of noise.

They’re excited to play all day, they’re excited for free time, they’re excited by the possibility of daily play dates and pool time.  But they forget that they still have some responsibilities, and I am not about to follow them around like a maid, cooking for them every twenty minutes, catering to their every whim, and constantly cleaning up their messes. 

You want to do a painting project?  Great!  Have fun!  But when you’re done, the kitchen had better bear no trace of your project, save your lovely paintings drying neatly on the counter top.  

You’re hungry for the 578th time today?  Okay, have some fruit.  Oh, you don’t want fruit?  Then you’re not that hungry.

You want to go to the pool?  Great, me too!  Help me fold this basket of laundry and put the clothes away and we’ll be able to leave that much faster. 

You’re hungry for the 943,576th time today?  Go ahead and make yourself something to eat.  AND THEN CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF, THE MAID HAS THE DAY OFF.

Put your shoes in the shoe basket.  Put your shoes in the shoe basket.  PUT YOUR SHOES IN THE SHOE BASKET.

Hang up your wet bathing suits, do not leave them on the floor. Hang up your wet bathing suits, do not leave them on the floor. HOLY CRAP, HANG UP YOUR WET BATHING SUITS BEFORE I LOSE MY EVER-LOVING MIND.

I always forget how we struggle the first few days until we’re already in it. 

This year is no different, with yelling and crying and arguing and apologizing and bargaining and do-overs.  (And the children are having trouble too.  Ba-dum-ching!

I’ve identified the problem though, so now it’s up to me to find a solution: 

I need to set clear expectations, communicate those expectations, and then stick to them. 

I need to set the tone and have a little patience and a little grace for the people around me. 

I need to think about what our days should look like and then make it so.  We need a little fun time, a little pool time, a little quiet time, a little reading time, a little clean-up time. 

We’ll get there and settle into a reasonable rhythm and enjoy these longer, slower days.  I just have to remember that these things don’t happen instantaneously, they take some time.  

Delayed

mirror imageOur big move, which was supposed to have taken place this week, has been delayed.  Right now we’re looking at the end of July as the official move dates, but until we have purchased plane tickets, I don’t think I’ll believe any “official” dates to be actually official.  Le sigh.

It’s fine — thinking we only had six weeks to purge, pack, and move, I got so much done during the month of May that our to-do list is very manageable now.  Although with an extra four weeks to get ready, I keep adding little things to the list that just wouldn’t have been possible to get done before.  Matt loves that.

We’ve been eight months in limbo, though. 

That’s a long time to not want to really plan too far in advance, to put off trips, projects, and purchases because you don’t know where you’ll be living. 

And it’s anxiety-inducing as well.  I have hit the point though, where my attitude is basically “Eff It, We’ll See What Happens”.  I guess, if nothing else, I’ve learned that my tolerance for major stress lasts approximately seven months before I give in and stop caring.  Good to know? 

Either way, we’re still planning to leave this summer.  God help me if we get pushed back into Fall and I have to bring the kids to school here. 

I haven’t registered Q for kindergarten, I wonder if I should?  Eff It.  We’ll see what happens.

First and Last

The first day of school, 2014-15.

The first day of school, 2014-15.

We’ve successfully made it through another school year. B finished up 5th grade, G finished 2nd, O finished 1st grade, and Q completed his final year at our much-loved farm school.  It’s the end of an era.

Although this year was much the same as the one that preceded it — all the kids in the same schools they’d been in the year before, just a grade older — it truly is the last year of familiarity for us for a long while.

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