Posts Tagged With: graduation

chaos and the need for ‘normal’ life

When I look back at the last six weeks I’m honestly amazed that we came out the other side as well off as we did.

Two deaths in two weeks.
Three birthdays in the same two weeks.
A mother’s day when there are no mothers.
Projects, exams, last month of senior year with senioritis in full swing.
Graduation.
Party.
Girls here.
(P.S. there’s still a hole in our house)

Now when read in a list, it may seem as though I’m exaggerating the impact each and every one of these things had on us. I’m here to assure you I am not. And while some of these things are in the biggest ‘Yay’ column, it was a stressful time.

Last week when YBW and I had our therapy appointment, we each talked about what we needed as we moved forward.
I wanted to take a break. Go away for a few days. Breathe new air. Get out of this house. Be near water. I was looking at it as kind of a reset, have a break to rest before we returned to normal life.
YBW wanted to get back to normal straight away. He expressed his weariness at the starting and stopping and starting he’s been doing for the last six weeks. He also expressed his desire to sleep.
Our therapist was on point, and while we didn’t settle on one or the other, we each began to consider the other’s point of view differently than we had before.

Later in the day I scribbled a note to myself.

The more I considered it, the more I began to feel that just saying what I need might be enough.
Which actually may turn out better as YBW is on call the last week of June which means we can’t go anywhere anyway.
We haven’t talked about it again. I did tell him my thoughts on expressing the need vs having the need met. I asked him how he was feeling about getting back to normal life. He remarked it didn’t feel like normal life.
Does he need to discover what his new normal is? I don’t know the answer to that. I do know he still isn’t sleeping all through the night.

What I do know is that from a very early age I learned not to express my needs because they wouldn’t be met. So to avoid that disappointment, I get vague af when it comes to expressing my needs. I actually think the phrase, ‘it doesn’t matter what I want or how I say it, I’m not going to get it anyway’. (Sounds pretty pathetic, right?)
I guess it’s the way I learned to defend myself.
Anyway, that’s where I am.
Desire to rest and recharge after the last six weeks before returning to ‘normal life’.
Only, here I am today, knee deep in normal life.
Blogging, GOOB with Lula, prob and stats, and instructional planning homework, hole in the house repair, teaching Thing G to drive, and just regular household maintenance stuff.

I don’t feel short-changed or whatever. I feel like being specific regarding my needs is a big deal and even if I don’t actually get what I said I need, I suspect I got some little bit of what I needed just by saying it out loud.
Go me!
I’m growing as a person and all that.
I mean, sure being near water would be perfection. But so far, on this first day of ‘normal life’ since the second day of May, I’m feeling fairly content.

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Categories: death, loss, love, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

class of 2018

Congratulations to the class of 2018!

Thing G graduated last night!
Go Tigers!

We are proud.
We are joyful.
We are exhausted.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

last week of school got me like

Last week of school got me like

Here are my yays and boos for the last week of school.

First the boos.
1. It’s still freaking raining. (Up yours, mother nature.)
2. State Farm SUCKS! (Yes, there is still a hole in our f**king house.)
3. Low barometric pressure headache won’t cut me any slack. (Though you cannot see it, here’s the back of my middle finger.)
4. Elementary school is in full on ‘Lord of the Flies mode’. (Wanted you to know just in case you never hear from me again.)

Now the yays.
1. Headache is not debilitating! (‘Alternative’ medicine FTW!)
2. Thing G passed the Yoda-speak final! (Hot damn!)
3. Girls arrive tomorrow! (OMGEEEE!! Cannot wait to squeeze them!!!!)
4. YBW found and ordered me a brand new ipod classic! (Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!)
5. Graduation Thursday! (So! Many! Feels!)
6. Early dismissal Friday! (last day of school)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

studying Yoda-speak (sometimes known as Latin)

You never realize how stupid you actually are until you try to help one of your kids study a foreign language.

I took Latin in high school. (30 years ago)
I remember nothing.
Decline a noun. Conjugate a verb.
Nominative, genitive, ablative.
What the actual f**k!?!
This shit is difficult!

I remember us/a/um.
I remember root words.
I took that language because I wouldn’t have to speak it. I also took it because American English is based on Latin. I know what words mean because I understand the roots.
I also had a mad crush on a boy that took Latin.
In all honesty, what I came out of high school Latin with was a better understanding of my native American English. And the ability to read more.

Seriously though, Thing G had two years of high school Spanish and didn’t feel like he wanted to tackle year three so he switched to Latin. So two years of two languages or three years of one language to graduate.
Well, Latin kicked his ass up one side and back down the other and he’s struggling.
YBW asked if I’d help him study since I took the language.

My initial thought was, F******************K!
I would do anything to help this kid, but I don’t really remember anything from taking those classes all those years ago.
But helping him I am. We’re studying together for his final.
Nothing is coming back to me, but I’m keeping that to myself.

The teacher provided no study guide. (um, yay…?)
The practice tests and the actual tests are exactly the same, so here’s hoping the final will be similar in construct. This means, I’m pretty much having him retake all his tests again as practice for the final.
God help us both, I hope it works!

YBW apologized that I helped him study.
Whoa whoa whoa! He’s my kid too. I love him. I am willing to do what I can to help him be a successful human. No more apologies.
We’re all in this together, bud.
(Cue HSM circa 2006)

Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.

Thing G is a good kid.
He’s a smart kid.
He’s a math and science kind of kid. Humanities are simply outside his wheelhouse. Foreign language might not even be on his boat.
That’s OK. He just has to survive this exam week and he can graduate Thursday next.

I’m listening to and reading his translations.
Have you ever noticed how ridiculously complicated these Latin sentences are?
I mean really!?! What an inefficient way to communicate.
No wonder that shit is a “dead language”.

Yoda’s pretty old, think he’s actually (ancient) Roman and that’s why he speaks that way?
Perhaps they should just call Latin class ‘Yoda-speak’?

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

chaos and big love

Oh God! Will it ever stop raining? ~ The Saw Doctors

Chaos rained down in big fat drops!

My birthday was actually quite lovely. YBW surprised me by staying home and greeting me with kisses and pressies as I woke up. Then took me to my favorite “dump” for breakfast! Heading into work late, he dropped me off with Sundance. She and I went to see her folks and had a little lunch with her mom.

Graduation was long, but not at all boring. And though he’s not “really” my kid, I was filled with love and pride as Thing C crossed the stage in his green cap and gown.
The added surprise of seeing a girl who was absolute best friends with my own Thing 1 from the time they were four cross the stage brought me so much joy!

I woke Friday morning (Friday the 13th even…my favorite!!!) to the news that my darling friend and mentor’s beloved died the night before.
Yes, he had been ill. But after the news of “four to six months” his illness took his life in one short week.
I started my drive to Charleston at four o’clock Sunday morning and spent the next three days loving my friend through her initial grief. There was much wine and laughter and some sadness as we celebrated the life of this man we all loved.
She kept thanking me for being there. Truthfully, there was nowhere else I would have been. My place in the world in those days was with her. There was no question. I was where I belonged.

I was able to squeeze in time with my sister-in-law. (I got to keep her in the divorce, the love we share made us sisters in our own right, it just so happens she was the former husbands sister first.) Got to spend time with my nephew and niece. That little girl is a bundle of kookiness if I ever saw one! She so reminds me of Thing 2 when she was that age. All “chatty Cathy” and bouncy arms and legs, trying so hard to be grown and still so little. She’ll be ten next week. I can’t believe how quickly the time passed!

I came home in time to celebrate Thing G’s birthday on Wednesday. Celebrating sixteen is so different for boys than for girls. It isn’t quite as big of a deal. Thing 1 had a huge “Punked Out Wonderland” party for her “sweet sixteen”. Thing 2 and I spent the day at the spa…facials, manis and pedis and lunch. She didn’t want a big party. That’s her personality though…

Last night my Arizona friend and her two daughters arrived! So much Robynbird joy!! They’re here for the weekend and then just as they leave, her eldest son rolls into town. Getting to love two thirds of their family is nothing to sneeze at!
She and I will go to the ballet this evening while the girls go visit old friends.
The oldest sister, my Goddaughter, just woke up and now we’re going to have tea and visit before everyone else gets out of bed.

Yesterday afternoon, YBW and I were up the street at our neighbors for cocktails. I remarked that I felt like I hadn’t seen him in a month!
It feels like I got on a hamster wheel on my birthday and just yesterday finally got off. The last ten days were fast, furious, and chaotic, but filled with great big love.
It’s time for me to keep the love but say “Bye Felicia” to the chaos…I need the rest.

Categories: death, love, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My birthday is sacred, does that mean I’m selfish?

Tomorrow is my birthday!
IMG_20150412_112041

The forty fifth anniversary of the day I was born.
It is sacred.
But honestly, I think it’s only sacred to me.
The woman who taught me it was sacred is no longer here to celebrate.
The man who loved to join me in my countdown towards it is no longer here to celebrate.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 understand the sacredness of their own birthdays because I showed them how. But do they appreciate the sacredness of mine?
I guess if you break it down logically, they wouldn’t have birthdays to be sacred if I was never born…so they must somehow appreciate my birthday as sacred…?

YBW doesn’t feel as strongly about birthdays as I do.
And the fact that his firstborn son graduates from college tomorrow impacts what’s sacred about May 12, 2016. As it should! Thing C has worked hard to graduate with a double major. This is a “life token” event of high importance! I’m so proud of and for him and he’s not even mine.

Sundance and I talked about spending the day together tomorrow…but I’m not sure I’m actually feeling it. I guess we’ll see when I wake up tomorrow.

I did throw a party last weekend to celebrate both YBW’s and my birthday. We were absolutely celebrated by our friends and had a wonderful time!

But it’s the actual day that matters.
The actual day that one enters this world is what’s sacred.
I won’t be actively celebrated tomorrow. That feels strange to me. Partly because I don’t feel like I can actively celebrate myself.
I feel strongly about celebrating Thing C! He deserves to be loved and celebrated for his accomplishment. It’s not his fault the University decided to host the school of Humanities’ convocation on the day of my birthday.
I hate that I feel conflicted about it. I have the suspicion that it seems as though I’m begrudgingly choosing to attend his convocation. That is absolutely not the case! I want to celebrate this young man. I love him very much and have been through the ups and downs of life with him for the last six and a half years.

What it comes down to is sacrifice. Parents make sacrifices every single day for their kids. Some are teeny and can be made without thought, others are big and take a great deal of maturity to make.
I’m not his mom, but I am a mom. I can put my sacred day on the back burner to celebrate his achievement. I do it with honest intent, not because I “have to”.
I have never considered missing Thing C’s college graduation. I will be there no matter what. Because that’s what you do. That’s how you’re supposed to behave.
But that doesn’t mean I like the way it feels.

That’s been the tricky part.
Feeling like it’s OK to be conflicted. I don’t feel like I can talk about it too much because I don’t want to be hurtful. I would never ever hurt Thing C’s feelings!

Perhaps I place entirely too much importance on birthdays. Especially when I’ve had so many. Am I just that selfish? I’m not above considering that. Am I selfish that I want tomorrow to be all about me? Is that a bad thing? Even though I want it to be all about me, I’m celebrating graduation. Does that mean I’m not selfish?
I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I’ll be forty five tomorrow.
Thing C will graduate from college tomorrow.
I’ll end up being happy about and celebrating both.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What “should” it be?

I’m going to have to swear off social media for a few days.
I keep seeing my friends with children the same age as Thing 2, children the same age as Thing 2 I’m “friends” with posting about graduation and it’s breaking my heart.
I’m excited and proud for my friends who share their pride and joy about this important milestone. I’m excited for these kids who count down the moments until they’re “free”. (Just stay in high school a bit longer, y’all, the real world can sometimes suck balls.)

I should be doing the same kind of sharing. I should be expressing my pride and joy that Thing 2 is graduating from high school. She should be sharing this roller coaster ride that her peers are on.
Should.
Should is a real bitch of a word. It’s mean and hateful.

I trusted Thing 2 enough to make the choice to get her high school equivalent. She trusted that choice. She appears to have no regrets. I trust that, too.

Graduation isn’t for the graduate.
Graduation is for the parents.

Graduation is for this particular Mommy.

The day Thing 1 graduated was of profound importance to me. I have never been more moved in my adult life as I was that day. To watch my baby take that ceremonial walk was more powerful than I can put into words.
Since that day, I’ve waited to experience similar feelings for Thing 2. My disappointment is bigger than I realized.
I’m not disappointed in her.
I’m disappointed to miss out on that moment with and for her, those feelings about her.

I believe witnessing your child’s graduation is a rite of passage for a parent in way a child can never understand the importance of. A sense of closure as well as a new beginning.
I’m wondering how I’ll experience that with Thing 2. What will that look like? Because it won’t look like a blue cap and gown at Colonial Life Arena in a few days time.

Perhaps it will surprise me when I least expect it.
But that frightens me! If it happens when I least expect it, how will I know the weight and magnitude? How will I know it if I’m not expecting it?
What does a rite of passage look like if it’s unexpected?

I can’t answer these questions.
I can only love my girl like I always have. I’m going to keep trusting her choices. I’m going to trust that we’ll experience our own particular rite of passage and it will fill me with equal amounts of awe and pride and never-ending unconditional love.

I celebrate with my friends in theory…somewhere in my deep in heart. I just can’t do it with photos and memories and hashtags and the like. It’s too painful.
Is that selfish? Or petty? Or simple self-preservation?
Dunno. Don’t care.
Just know I can’t look at other people’s babies in caps and gowns right now.

Thing 2 sometimes reads my words…so these are specifically for her:
You’re savvy enough to know this isn’t about you so I hope it isn’t hurtful for you to read. Your choices are yours to make. I support your right to make choices. I have faith in your ability to make mostly good ones. You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love you more than the moon and the stars.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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