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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Six!

This weekend, my itty bitty baby is going to turn six. Six! And we're of course going hog wild with a Pokemon/Bubble party on Saturday and planning many fun activities to celebrate.

But how did she get to be six? I swear that just a few days ago she looked like this.







Well, I guess we got here one year at a time. But Oh my goodness, that little face. I've loved it every day, and every day it changes! Now she's over four feet tall, can do so many new things that I lose track, and reads like a champion! I am constantly challenged and amazed by her, and she makes me laugh all the time. No adventure in my life comes close to taking care of this nutty little sweetheart.

Monday, April 4, 2016

It's Like a New Job

I was recently speaking to my pastor about how hard parenting has been for me, and I told her, "It's been like not knowing whether or not I'm starting a new job, with an entirely new set of skills and expectations, every day. I may have to start completely over, or it may be nearly the same job as yesterday. It's the not knowing that gets me."

And it's such a good metaphor. For example, on Saturday, I had my husband's help getting my new bike set up; the seat adjusted, etc. Once it was ready to go, I invited my daughter to ride with me. She was on her scooter, I was on my bike, and we enjoyed breezing along together.

Until she started shrieking in terror. She hopped off her scooter and clung to me, screaming. And I'm racking my brain, what could have set her off? She didn't fall...

Turns out it was flies. Tiny, itty bitty spring flies. She's now afraid of them. She wasn't last week, but now she is, and now my spring and summer are going to be, well, more interesting.

And so now my job description includes being on the lookout for, and protecting my daughter from tiny flies. Along with everything else.

Also? Now bedtime has become a huge war again. It's my fault. I told one of her doctors that bedtime had been going much better lately. Oh Lord. When will I learn not to speak of my child's positive sleep habits? It's the worst jinx.

So, that's my life at the moment. But on the upside? I have a new bike. Pretty sweet.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

As She Grows

One thing that's a challenge about having a growing, elementary-aged kiddo is that she is getting bigger and stronger all the time. Things I sometimes think are totally beyond her are actually not hard for her at all. It's hard to grow my ideas about her as quickly as she herself is growing.

For example, on our recent vacation, we took a break at a rest stop that had an empty train car for kids to play in. She quickly shimmied up the ladder and before I could even caution her not to, she jumped across the raised area of the car from one side to the other, effortlessly. So I shrugged and let her go at it. There was a pole about five feet off the ground from which she was swinging, and just as I asked her if she wanted help down, she swung once, twice, three times, and jumped, landing on her feet.

I realized I had to adjust my ideas of what she's capable of. And that applies to more than climbing around like a monkey.

She also reads better than I think she does, and is growing by leaps and bounds in that area. She can solve math problems in ways I never imagined. This is not to say that homework and school are not giant struggles, they still are, but once she gets to what she's doing, she amazes me.

I never want to be the mother that underestimates her daughter, but it's easy to do, considering she is growing and changing all the time! I just have to remember that I really have no idea what she's capable of. And that's an amazing thing!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Stories

You may have noticed a serious slowdown in my posts on this page, and you might think it's because now that Maeve is in school, I have less time for this. Maybe you know I'm spending a lot of time working for different committees at my church, and have taken on a part time work-from-home position for a friend's life coaching company. And that's all a part of it.

But the truth is, now that my daughter is older, these aren't my stories anymore. They're hers. And I don't feel like I necessarily have the right to tell her stories anymore. Even when I write about how I'm feeling about these parenting moments, my story is so bound up with hers that I don't know how to tell my story without telling hers.

Anyway, I'm trying to find the balance with what I want to share, with what's fair to talk about and what's just not mine. There are big changes coming to us this year, with a new school in the fall and friends moving away this spring. I am struggling with a lot of things, and celebrating others, and I'm sorry that I don't write here as much anymore.

Please know that I have loved writing here, and I will still do so, when the moment is right. And thank you for your patience, and for sticking with me all these years.

 - Maeve's Momma


Monday, February 22, 2016

Goodbye Grandpa Buzz

I did not expect to write this today, but I knew it was coming.

My darling grandfather passed away yesterday, peacefully, with his daughter by his side. He was, I believe, either 95 or 96, quite a respectful age for anyone to reach, and he had lived a beautiful life. Human, fraught with the usual weaknesses, but beautiful and amazing, nonetheless.

Buzz was a person you would like to have met. He was born in Hoisington, Kansas, and had a sister, Beatrice. I won't tell you what Buzz' real name was, because he really hated it, but suffice it to say that Buzz always fit him better.

If I'm not mistaken, he flew planes for the Navy during the second world war. He did not serve overseas, he delivered finished planes from factories out East to the naval base in California. Buzz loved being a pilot, and was always passionate about flying.

While in California, he met my beautiful grandmother, Jean, who was a nurse, and also served in the armed forces. He wooed her by playing his guitar under her window, and even though she had been engaged to someone else, she broke it off and married Buzz soon after. He used to take her out dancing nearly every week, where they showed off their jitterbug skills.



After the war, they eventually moved to Pueblo and started their family. My aunts Rebecca and Abigail were born, and much later, my father came along. Buzz became a businessman of great acumen, selling, among other products, his favorite condiment, Tabasco sauce. He famously put it on almost everything he ate, and even brought some to his nursing home.


When my brother and I were young, Grandpa had retired from business, but was an avid amateur journalist, often submitting his work to local newspapers. He arranged music for his church choir on his home keyboard, which he practiced daily. He loved to tease his grandkids, telling us that if we ever saw such a thing as a white horse, he would take us all to Dairy Queen. When we reported having seen one, he disbelieved our story and would argue that we must have seen an 'albino zebra' or a 'pygmy albino giraffe'. But sometimes Grandma would make him live up to his side of the bargain and off to DQ we'd go.

We loved visiting Buzz and Jean at their home in Escondido, CA where they lived in the winter months. I have many blissful memories of leaving Colorado blizzards for California sunshine, and getting to go to Disneyland, which we surely would never have been able to do without them.

After my grandmother passed away in 2001, Buzz continued on. We know he missed her terribly, as we all did, but he kept busy, kept on making a life for himself. He eventually moved back to Pueblo, and found great kindness in the attention of his daughter Abigail, and all the Pueblo kin, who did their best to care for him and show their love. I am so grateful to my aunts, both, for the love and kindness they showed by looking after Buzz and making sure he had everything he needed.

The last time I saw my Grandpa, he told me several times that I looked wonderful. He didn't have his glasses on, and I thought, how can he tell? But I think he meant that seeing me felt wonderful to him, and the feeling was mutual. Buzz loved me enormously, was proud of my husband and always wanted to hear updates about his business, and even did his best to play with Maeve, even though there were 90 years between them. Buzz was a man of great warmth and kindness, and I'm so lucky to have had him in my life all these years.