Browsing Category "parenting"
22 May
2017
Posted in: parenting
By    No Comments

No Ugly Crying for Me

teen earning an award at school

Warning: I’ve become a spontaneous crier. In fairness to myself, I’ve always been a crier, but lately, my tears seemingly flow on a daily basis. I can’t keep them at bay and really have stopped trying. I’ve promised our children I’ll stop myself before I’m at the ugly cry level, but that’s as much as I can pinkie swear about.

Thankfully, the tears are happy(ish) for the most part. We’re finishing up another school year, my ninth as a mom, and transitioning our oldest from middle school to high school. He’s capable and ready for this next step, but I’m struggling with wrapping my head around the idea that we’ll have a freshman in high school in just 10 days. I don’t know how the math even works for this. I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of a high school student, and I’m pretty sure that kid just learned to walk last month. Time is full of nonsense.

I’m grateful for theses healthy, happy, (slightly hormonal) children. They truly are the best gift and also the most aggravating. Recently I ordered a product that came with directions only in Mandarin. Parenting is like trying to figure out how that tech product worked. There’s a lot of guess work, hoping for the best and praying that what I just did won’t ruin everything.

I watch our four kids and my heart might burst simply from them being mine and just existing. Tell me something good about one of them, and I will cry, just ask several people tonight at the 8th grade award ceremony. I cry for equal parts of joy for whatever they’ve accomplished, relief that others see how fantastic they are and sadness that we’re catapulting through this phase of life at warp speed.

I cannot stop the tears. You probably shouldn’t go in for the hug if I look emotional. Hugging triggers my ugly cry reflex, and I don’t want to break my promise.


 
Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
Posted in: parenting, uncategorized     |    No Comments

Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

Read more
The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

Read more
If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook
By     |    Mar 22, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

If Only There Was a Parenting Guidebook

This morning my youngest son asked what the hardest part is of parenting. It took me a few minutes to decide. Not being able to fix heartbreak. Not being able to fix injuries. Watching time slip through my fingers. Making sure everyone feels listened to and treated fairly. All possible answers. The one I gave him: there’s no guidebook. Sure there are plenty of books on parenting. I remember with our oldest flipping through “What to Expect the First Year”... [Read More]

Read more
Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

Read more
Gifting Experiences Over Things
By     |    Dec 12, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Gifting Experiences Over Things

I watched our seven-year-old come on stage to walk-through her part in The Great Russian Nutcracker with big eyes and slightly hesitant steps. The stage was bigger than she’s used to dancing on with movable backdrops and multiple props lining the stage’s wings. Professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet company waited in the wings or on the stage. They were speaking Russian and looked aloof and marginally bored. As I watched our daughter and her fellow snowflakes, I was impressed... [Read More]

Read more
Keeping Children Out of Politics
By     |    Oct 5, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Keeping Children Out of Politics

I’m not overtly political in nature. I have my opinions, but I don’t enjoy debating politics. The last few weeks I’ve had conversations with my elementary-age children regarding issues they’re hearing at school from children that have me questioning what, exactly, adults are thinking. It started with comments about Benghazi and deleted emails. Then there were walls and taco trucks. My daughter has been told by a fellow 1st grader that she’s “what’s wrong with the country” because of who... [Read More]

Read more
Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me
By     |    Sep 12, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Teachers, I’m asking for some grace. We’re in our first full week of the new school year. We’ve done the back-to-school nights and signed all the papers. We’re almost in the groove, heavy emphasis on almost. Give me time to acclimate to the four varying schedules and demands of our children. Half our kids don’t have homework. The other half will, one far more than the other. There are reading logs to keep and behavior ladders to memorize. When I... [Read More]

Read more
Broken Bones and Mommy Guilt
By     |    Sep 1, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Broken Bones and Mommy Guilt

Confidence is fleeting in my parenting game. One day I think we’ve got this. The next, Craig and I are looking at each other wondering what we’re supposed to do. This morning I had no clue what to do when a child potentially breaks bones. By this evening, I had it figured out. Almost 14 years into parenting and we had yet to have any child break a bone. The simple act of running ruined that record. Our first-grader was... [Read More]

Read more
Tailoring Parenting to My Audience
By     |    Aug 28, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

Read more
No Rose-Colored Glasses for Me
By     |    Aug 18, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

No Rose-Colored Glasses for Me

She told me I was overly sappy. She accused me of looking at parenting through rose-colored glasses. I was told I was crazy for not wanting my kids to head back to school. I’ll admit to being a sap. It’s taken me years to embrace the fact that I’m an emotional person. I have all the feelings all of the time. I’m passionate and a little emotionally volatile. I feel my way through life, and no longer make apologies for... [Read More]

Read more
Wandering Through the Summer
By     |    Aug 2, 2016
Posted in: parenting, travel     |    No Comments

Wandering Through the Summer

We’ve spent our summer doing what we do best: wandering. I play the part of responsible adult most of the year, attending meetings, turning work in on time, volunteering, and running kids hither and thither. Summer is for following my gypsy heart. I long for deserted roads stretching to the horizon and open vistas from the mountain tops. I pour over the road atlas and maps looking for the next place to visit. I’m sidetracked by road signs. I constantly... [Read More]

Read more