Shoe crisis Monday

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Monday is the day the week starts back up, and Sammy has to wake up hellishly early so I can drive him several cities away to school.

He is not a morning person. Especially on Monday.

After a brisk sternal rub with no results, I awkwardly try to drag him out of bed to a standing position. This might be why my shoulder hurts all the time……

So at least he’s standing, and then it’s the painful process of getting him through all the little morning hurdles like peeing. brushing his teeth. getting dressed. Any of these can take him a good 20 minutes, as he will just stand there like a zombie until I repeatedly prod him into action. Sometimes his face crumples, about to cry…. but so far I’ve been able to stave it off with threats of losing the kindle.

He perks up finally, right before we leave.

I drop him off, zoom off to work, and I am back to pick him up.

Remember. Mondays suck.

He has a pained look on his face when he gets in the car.

Starts to tell me how this boy has these amazing shoes that are faster than HIS shoes, and now this boy is faster than him and Sammy NEEDS these shoes.

He knows this because the boy told him this, so without a doubt the kid must be faster and Sammy’s heart is broken.

I tried to reason with him, which was a really stupid idea anyway.

“Did you see him run? Did you guys actually have a race? Have you EVER seen him run??”

No.

But he SAID his shoes could go “100 speed”. So obviously that’s faster than Sammy’s shoes.

And the crying started.

He cried all the way home. I felt bad because part of me was laughing about how ridiculous this was. I also felt really annoyed and didn’t want to really deal with this right now, having had the worst sinus headache for 2 days and the crying wasn’t helping.

And here I am still trying to reason with him. Telling him shoes don’t make you fast, it’s your body that makes you fast… and this boy and Sammy could wear any shoes and race and it wouldn’t matter what shoes they had on. And of course trying to feed his ego and tell him that kid was probably just trying to make you think he was faster because he KNOWS your faster, and he’s probably just jealous.

Crying. Garbled bits of yelling about how he KNOWS that boy is faster…. it’s all about the shoes mom!!! Crying without any sign of stopping, varying degrees of shrill and loud. My head is pounding. Good lord, I can’t find my compassion.

This is happening because it’s Monday.

Finally, Finally… we cut to the chase.

“Sammy, I’m not going to buy you shoes because some boy has them and you think they’ll make you faster than him. BUT… if you really liked how they looked, and want a pair like them I will try to find them. Just so you know they aren’t magic or anything.”

So I get the description. They are grey. And blue. And they must be skechers. I ask how he knows they are skechers… because they are cool, and all cool shoes are skechers. Right.

And we get on Amazon at home, to just take a look. And he picks out these:

Skechers Kids 95683L Go Run Ride 3 Nite Owl Running Shoe ,Green,12 M US Little Kid

I am pretty sure these are not the same shoes. But I think they probably go like, 200 speed.

The power of a Friday nap

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Summertime was great, wasn’t it?

No school, no waking up at 6-ish to drive everyone everywhere.

And naps.

The kids napped for sure on Fridays, because they’d stay up super late Friday nights. It was (still is) movie night, popcorn night, and spend time with daddy night, since he usually isn’t home until their bedtime on most nights.

I miss those naps. I miss sleeping in on Fridays because I didn’t have to work, and the kids didn’t have school….and we could be lazy until like 8:30am!

I loved summer time naps. I’d get the kids settled in my bed, sitting next to them with my trusty Kindle. On the perfect day, windows would be open, and a slight breeze might blow in now and then.  Sometimes I’d sneak out when they fell asleep, and do important grown up stuff like laundry, dishes, washing floors.

Other days, I would sit there with them and read until they woke up. Savoring the quiet, lazy feeling of just sitting still. It’s not done a whole lot around here.

So guess what happened today?

Slept through the alarm, woke up after 7am. Panicked a minute. Decided to take a mental health day. Kept the kindergartener home (don’t judge me). Spent the morning playing with our baby cousin, then drove home.

Both kids fell asleep in the car.

I carried them upstairs one at a time. (Very difficult)

And now… here I sit, in the glorious quiet of a perfect Friday afternoon.

now

now

then

then

Creative punishment pays off

It’s 1am on a Friday night, well, a Saturday morning….. I’ve been organizing my filing cabinet for hours. Throwing away what feels like parts of my life, and reminiscing on years past….

I forgot how wonderfully creative I used to get with punishment. I have essays, written by the older kids as punishment for a particular insult. I’ve really been enjoying these, as well as numerous notes and letters the kids have written me, sometimes in love, sometimes not. I will never throw these away. In fact, I’m going to share one of my favorites.

Apparently, an essay on the importance of listening to your parents, written with all the awesome passive-aggressive sarcasm a preteen can muster. A work of art, really.

“I think it is important to listen to your parents because you and your parents would get along better. Also, because you would not get in trouble often. Also because the parents are the adults and they can treat kids any way they want, which gives kids the impression that, that is why people abuse their kids. It is good to listen to your parents because they might actually give an effort to listen to you when you try to say something because you have their attention when you do something good. Also when you listen to your parents you get rewarded like a dog that did a good trick. It is also good to listen to your parents because you don’t get in trouble and you always want to keep your parents happy. It is bad not to listen to your parents because you have to write an “I’m sorry report” (like me). You will get yelled at uncontrollably (like me). and occasionally or all the time you feel like you hate your parents and you want to run away, and that your friends are better with helping you with your problems because they don’t take anything you say the wrong way and they feel sorry for you and they don’t mock you by saying “Oh, poor Rachel!” And that is why it is important to listen to your parents, all the good parts about listening, and all the bad parts about not listening.”

At the time, she was kind enough to leave room for me to write a letter grade as well as a percentage grade at the top…. I never did it, and the space has remained blank all these years later.

A+++ Rachel, it’s perfect.

I can’t wait to share your essay about the downfall of spitting in the kitchen sink…..

Roommate problems…

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Here is a scenario. Completely made up.

Say, there is a girl who just went to college, like almost 2 weeks ago. And this girl thought she did a good job “screening” her roommate before they decided to bunk together. They hung out several times over the summer, and talked enough that she felt they had plenty in common. Rooming together would be great fun.

And let’s pretend that when they moved in together, this girl found out that her roommate was not quite what she expected.

Like maybe the roommate brought strange guys into the room at odd hours of the night/morning when the girl was trying to sleep. Because it’s always fun to wake up at 2am with a strange man looking into your face.

And maybe the roommate hooked up with more random guys while the girl was at class, and she had the pleasure of walking in on them when she came back to the room to study and go to bed, so instead went to sleep in another friends room because her room was full of people having sex.

And what if, this roommate actually started to pick on the girl for not hooking up with anyone yet…. because they’ve been away from parental authority for like 10 days, what the hell is she waiting for?

Gosh. Wouldn’t that suck?

Sometimes, boys don’t like you.

community.sparknotes.com

community.sparknotes.com

I had a conversation with my daughter and her friend during a “pre-college” lunch……

A conversation about boys. Something I’ve noticed about plenty of these girls…. they make excuses for boys who don’t call them, don’t respect them, don’t seem to like them.

Instead…. the boy must have “commitment issues”, and deep down, he’s desperate to get closer. He’s scared…. he’s just really, really busy…., or he just needs more time….

I’ve heard these girls talking to each other, sharing their problems, and giving advice. Advice that centers on believing that this boy in question actually is quite interested in you, is most likely desperately in love with you, but somehow struggling with some huge barrier to being as available as he wants.

Maybe he’s a werewolf? secretly married?

Or, how about… as much as it sucks to hear it…..

He’s just NOT that into you. (by the way, a GREAT movie.)

So, during my lecture I recount a couple instances in my life, in my short dating history, when I found myself chasing after a guy….. who turned out to be not that into me.

One of them was older than me, he was 21 to my 17. Not a great gap in my mind…but he was far more mature in many ways. He dated me, treated me with great respect, let me meet his family….. but freaked out if anyone called me his girlfriend. I was NOT his girlfriend.

So, of course I felt I NEEDED to be his girlfriend, the one and only……

He was dating another couple girls as well, girls from his college. It drove me crazy, I cried over him… I kept thinking to myself that I MUST be important because his mom liked me, his sister liked me, and he did continue to call me, sporadically. I wanted to believe so much that I was going to “win”, and that I just had to keep hanging on……

It fizzled out.

To his credit, he knew it wasn’t going anywhere. He talked about our age difference, how we were in different places in life, I thought I could talk him out of that silly stuff. Thank God. I appreciate now, that he was the older and wiser one. He saw me for the desperate, hormonal teenager that I was, thinking I knew what I wanted in life. He knew I had no clue, and never took advantage of that.

Then there was the guy who seemed to like me, and then one day….stopped talking to me. This one really drove me crazy. He had a reputation, the “bad boy” that girls just can’t seem to stop chasing after. He was also a few years older, and way more experienced.

Things were fine, I thought. We went out several times….it’s hard to remember the exact number. I do remember professing that I was NEVER going to have sex….EVER…. maybe once or twice to him. Thinking back…that might have been a reason he just dropped off the planet??

At first I didn’t get it. I paged him. and paged him. and paged him. (yes, it was so long ago, that we used pagers instead of cell phones…) One day turned into two, then three. My frantic calls and pages tapered off…. and one day my cousin came home and told me she saw him with another girl.

The part that killed me was that lack of knowing… I don’t know what I was hoping to find out, now it seems pretty clear, the guy just didn’t want to waste his time.

I should not have repeatedly called and paged him after realizing that he was not going to be calling back.

I wish there was a way I could save these girls from making those same mistakes, or even worse mistakes-Just because they want a situation to fit their idea of how it should be. Just because they don’t yet realize they don’t need a boyfriend to be happy or successful. Just because they don’t have enough confidence in their own self worth.

This is why I am maybe too blunt when I talk to them.

“Girls!!! Trust me, if he likes you, and WANTS to get to know you….he will find the time. If not, please, don’t waste YOUR time!”

brinkzone.com

brinkzone.com

Gone.

We made it to the campus. Only cried once so far.

We made it to the campus, and found somewhere to park!  Only cried once so far.

Got a golf-cart ride to the dorm… and I sat with my sister for an hour, waiting for Rachel and her dad to get the ok to unload the car. Cried a few times, once heavily.

Oh...she's embarrassed!!! YES.

Oh…she’s embarrassed!!! YES.

It was a strange feeling for me. Watching these kids, and the amounts of energy they put forth. You could FEEL the opportunity, the fun, the excitement…. I got caught up in the rush myself, wishing I’d had the chance to experience this when I was her age. So grateful that she is here, part of this…. and yet I’m still terrified to leave her here.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

The door. Just about to be opened for the first time.

First steps into the room.

First steps into the room.

My sunglasses were kept on as we navigated the stairs and halls, and I managed to smile during my silent sobbing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

Still able to smile. This is a good thing.

We unpacked, kind of. Bunked the beds, it took all 4 of us. Later found out maintenance could have done it for us…. something to remember for next time. Decided to get some lunch while her roommate was on her way to the room with her own family. Saying goodbye was not yet imminent, so I was actually hungry…. enjoying the last hours with her.

After eating, a trip to the bookstore, and a trip to Target….all within walking distance of her dorm… we headed back.

Now is the hard(est) part.

Saying goodbye.

I’m crying right now, thinking about it. It still feels so weird that she’s THERE…. for so LONG…… Ugh.

Her pushing me out the door.

Her pushing me out the door.

No, she didn’t really push me out the door. She was gracious, telling me I could stay as long as I wanted. But I knew I needed to let her get to it. I knew I needed to go…. but it was hard. Actually harder than I expected. Because it was finally real. My eyes are still puffy. Sunglasses back on, but they kept fogging up as I needed just one more hug, and then just one more hug again…..

We texted as I walked to the car with my sister.

We talked on the phone that first evening-last night. and texted goodnights.

I had a horrible sleep.

She texted this morning that she was still alive. And later, as late as I could possibly stand to wait… I got to see her face again.

Aaaaahhhhh, facetime. How I love it.

One day at a time………

Going…..going…….

packing up

packing up 18 years

We drive tomorrow, to drop her off.

This pile has been slowly growing in the corner of her room, and today it took over. A day of sorting through every item saved up to this moment, and deciding if it stays, or goes.

The last day home as a fully dependent child.

And who do I find in the closet, as we sort through the past 18 years together.

He doesn't look depressed enough for me......

He doesn’t look depressed enough for me……

Eeyore.

He’s been around since she was a newborn, her first stuffed animal. I remember buying him.

And now he’s all I’ll have to hold on to for a while.

😦