It happened. Even though we swore it off for years and forbade you, it still happened. You managed to grow up a little. I say a little because, as we’ve discussed, growing up doesn’t have to happen all in one go, or even by the time you’re 18. Growing up will happen gradually as you get ready for it- Dad and I managed to avoid growing up until our late thirties. Be a kid for as long as you want. Enjoy it. Take your time. Adulthood is always waiting for you and as soon as it has you in its grasp, there you are: a grown up. Don’t get me wrong, being a bonafide adult comes with some cool grown-up perks, but seriously, wait for it.
You’re on the precipice of who you are really becoming, now. 13 means new responsibility: being in junior high means you’re managing so much more with multiple classes, teachers and schedules to manage. People are relying on you, now, to take care of their pets, their children, their homes and entrusting you with their key; it’s a pretty big deal. You take it on, fully aware of the weight, setting alarms and reminders to insure your follow through. You’re a pretty trustworthy kid.
It means that decision making is in your hands so much more clearly now. You know it, too. You argue and cajole us now in a way you never used to. You’re always respectful, sometimes passionate, but we’ve noticed a new trend with you. Where before there was, generally, compliance with the odd balking from time to time, now there’s a fire of rebellion that burns behind your eyes sometimes. And we know what it is because when you’re passionately blasting Donald Trump , that fire burns just a little brighter before it blasts out of your mouth. It pleases me to see your fire, though. That’s a mama’s secret: I want my girl to have enough fire to be able to fight back when she needs to.
This past year has been one of my favorites of being your mom. I’ve always loved you, I’ve always liked you, but I didn’t quite understand how that rivulet of love that started when you were just a tiny little flutter in my belly would grow to carve a love that rushes through my heart with alarming speed, headiness and a beautiful sense of satisfaction. Pride. I always hoped that you would take advantage of your daddy’s gifts as a musician, take lessons and begin to play, too, but when you actually picked up the guitar this summer and started playing like a musician, I was impressed. Awed. Like, she’s really doing it… and she’s good. Then you asked me to sign you up for a half marathon. I’ll confess, I signed you up on your word and blind faith. At the very least, I thought you’d run part of it, walk part of it, but mostly have a good time and learn what moving 13.1 miles feels like in a morning. Instead, you started asking me to train with you. I didn’t have to wake you up and get you going, instead you sought me out for daily runs. We ran in the heat, we ran in Idaho, we ran farther than you ever ran before. During those runs we talked and laughed and shared stories and fell in love as a mother and daughter pair. We did run an half marathon, then another one. It was grueling, exhausting, exhilarating and we agreed, one of the best things we’ve ever chosen to do together. You’re destined to be a greater runner than me, and your dad says you’re years ahead of him as a guitarist when he was your age. Both of us were thrilled when books became not just a love of yours, but a passion. Your dad and I poured through books like you do and it’s thrilling to watch you consume literature as though your life depends on it. You’re destined for greatness, strength in spirit, mind and body. This was the year where you hosted the talent show, had your tonsils removed, you said goodbye to Martha and hello to Freddie Sparkles. It’s been such a mind blowing year.
This year you also took to junior high like a duck to water. We meandered the halls before September, spun your locker combo enough to feel comfortable and suddenly you were off. I don’t know when you became so self-assured or how you are so certain and confident in yourself. You decided to not be boy crazy. Seriously. You said you want to focus on school and girlfriends right now, not crushes and boys. Both of your parents are suuuuuper ok with that. Daddy and I have watched you float out of your school with your beautiful smile and lovely sense of style; your hair, often in your signature messy bun. And when did you get so beautiful? Like, this year you surpassed the prettiness of childhood and cuteness of kid-dom and became downright beautiful! I am stunned by this lovely young woman who crawls in my bed each morning to wrap herself around me like a toddler. And of course I do. And I wrap my other arm around the brother and inhale that lovely bouquet that is my children. I’ve had the privilege of curling up with you for 13 years and I hope for many more mornings like that, through junior high and beyond.
I can’t wait to heal to run again. You are my favorite running partner. Well, really just one of the hands-down best people I know to hang with. Gilmore Girls. Friends. Who knew that when my daughter came into my life I’d also be meeting one of my favorite people in ever? I love you like crazy cakes, kid. You’re downstairs right now with a group of really loud, really fun, really good friends. You’re all dorking out over the Selection Series and Harry Potter and Dr. Who and… Probably the obvious things too, like boys and school and friends and all that stuff. You all keep bursting into song and lauuuuughing! This was the first year where once the party started, we were invited to go upstairs and leave the squad (your term) alone. This was clearly your party. I’m fine with that. We are fine with that, but keep us close. I’m not quite ready to let you go yet.
❤️Happy Golden Birthday ❤️
You are so loved Xxoo
- 08.29.16 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Iron Horse Half Marathon
This race was a little different. Unlike other routes we’ve run, this one was all downhill which meant we parked, hopped on a school bus, rode up the mountain, got dropped off, hiked 1/4 a mile to the start and ran back to the car. For 13.1 miles. Downhill. The whole way. The course started on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, wove past the Rattlesnake Ridge trailhead, a myriad of bridges and so many beautiful views of valleys, rivers and old growth forest! When we left for Disneyland, the trees were just beginning to shift colors and I was surprised at how very autumnal the entire run was; gorgeous!
Since we both felt under the weather, we decided to stick together. She was feeling a little insecure and I was just fine with running alongside her the whole time, but then I said something awful: I’m might go slow. Like, really slow kid. We are the last wave and I’m slow, so we might actually sweep the race and take last place. When we took off, she realized that this race was different from others: these runners were serious. No one was going to start walking at the half mile- these were people who likely run 10 or more miles on the regular. This wasn’t going to be an easy win. Furthermore, there weren’t that many runners in our heat so we thinned out pretty quickly, and before we knew it we were in a fairly small clump of 4-5 people with no one else in sight. I started to fall behind them as she stayed in pace with them. She looked apologetically back and let me run on my own- and I preffered knowing that I wasn’t holding her back, honestly. She quickly faded away from my view. At that point, there wasn’t anyone in sight behind me. I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, either, and I started enjoying myself like, Maria in Sound of Music, spinning around the trail with arms thrown wide. It was that beautiful. But then, I saw some other runners come around the bend behind me and realized I wasn’t last, nor did I want this to be my first-last place, so I buckled down and decided to keep my lead. There were two out and backs, as well, so I realized that there were about 15 people behind me, so my big lead wasn’t anything to worry about too much. (I actually finished over 100 people from last😉)
On the first out and back I came across my darling daughter who shared her woeful tale – she tripped, fell, landed on her phone, the heel of her hand went into the phone, breaking through the glass face, gouging her hand, plus she scraped her leg all up, but bruised and bloodied she continued on. She didn’t know the aid station would help her with a bandaid and quick trip to the finish line, but armed with that information, she got a bandaid and finished the race like a little determined hero. What a little stud.
- 08.27.16 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Bubble Run
I have to confess something: I signed up for the Bubble Run under duress. I asked Gigi which runs she wanted to do this year and she named Beat the Blerch and the Bubble Run as her numbers one and two priorities. I fear the water. I rarely ride amusement park rides that get me wet for two reasons: I hate having a wet crotch that results in wet-thigh-rub-ouchie from running and or walking afterwards and I get overly worried about wet, blistery feet. The Bubble Run has planned wetness for three miles. Yikes!!! Through a bubble bog every half mile! Including the start line! It sounded like a nightmare, so when I thought we were going to be in Disneyland for the race I was not disappointed. At all. I asked a few friends if they wanted to run with our bibs and I got a loose commitment from a friend who said maybe and then never gave it another thought until Wednesday when the informational email came. I realized that we had two races this weekend- a 5k and half marathon! Oops! I spent all day Friday trying to talk Bradley and Jude into using our bibs until Jude spiked a fever and Bradley worked in insulation all day and his lungs felt yucky. Indeed, it was to be Guinevere and I running this one, so I decided to embrace the run and plan for the best.
Well, it was AWESOME! We picked up our packets and modified our run shirts into tanks, which, I won’t lie, made us pretty stoked for the run. Then we looked at videos and got even more amped. We set our alarms, drank some coffee, ate a granola bar and hit the road. As we stood at the start line, the crowd yelled and the foam started flowing. We surged forward and, by the time we crossed the start, we were already knee high in bubbles! Each bog was a different color and as we went though we’d get covered in a new dye. Some of the bubble bogs were waist deep, but the blue one was over my head and I literally had to hang onto Gigi otherwise I’d have lost her! It was terrific fun! When we got close to the finish line, Gigi ran ahead to take pictures of her mom as she crossed it, which was so flattering to me. How thoughtful was that? We totally want to do this again, next year, except we want to bring our boys to play along. I think Jude would just love it, especially at the end where there was a bubble canon that shot bubbles like crazy into the air. We got to play, make bubble angels and roll around in it to our heart’s content. It was a fun and energizing way to prepare ourselves for the real race tomorrow: Iron Horse Half Marathon! We both have a cold and this helped us to feel much more confident!
- 08.22.16 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Bigger, Littler, Wonderfuller
So, day bazillion in Disneyland. Having kids that are bigger means we can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. It’s amazing that things have changed so significantly in the past two years with their growing up. I used to say taking the kids to Disneyland was like trying to herd cats through the mall at Christmastime, slow and meandering- but now they are focused, fast and driven. Both ways are fun and nice. I’ve loved every single phase of parenthood- I have yet to get to a point where I’m ‘over’ being a mom and for them to ‘just grow up already.’ If anything I want to make them slow down, molasses them, make them stay little. It was lovely when we were walking behind toddling Gigi down Winnie the Pooh’s path and just as lovely to be watching my big boy, Jude, look like one of the oldest kids in the Jedi Academy. I can’t wait to bring grandkids, too. Shhhhh…. Every phase, I’m telling you. I had one day where I went over 20,000 steps and what got me there was going in the evening and morning. To get a bunch of steps, at Disneyland, you really have to put in your time. Line standing equals no steps. Going home at 3:00 to swim in the pool and laze around the hotel room watching cable tv doesn’t help, either. I suppose going fast and accomplishing a lot in that short period of time comes at a cost. LOL!
Gigi bought this dress as a bonus back to school outfit. She got so much attention while wearing it that she turned to us at one point and said that she felt like she was little again and wearing a princess dress. We called her Princess Guinevere, the Sky Princess. Even if she won’t dress up for the park anymore, she will always be a princess when in the Magic Kingdom.❤️
- 08.22.16 | Permalink | | Comments Off on Donnie
So… I posted this the other day, while we were on vacation, and, like any other blog post, I posted it to Facebook and Donnie Wahlberg liked it. The Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB and Blue Bloods. The Donnie Wahlberg who scored a fairly dedicated crush from me during my teenage years when I wasn’t ready for a real boyfriend yet. At first I thought one of my friends was messing with me and had created a Donnie Wahlberg account to punk me (and wondered who the heck has that kind of time), then I thought it was a fan page, but I went and looked and…!!! It was him! Does it mean anything? Nope. But does it mean everything? Yep.
Sigh. I will meet him one day. Oh yes, it will be done. It’s good to have goals, huh?
I’m not sure how he found me. I didn’t tag him except on Instagram, so he may have followed that paper trail, and yes, I totally spazzed out. The Donnie Osmond comment was great because I loved him, too. Apparently I have a thing for guys named Donnie! He he! I still have my Donny Osmond doll I got for my fifth birthday!
(And that’s a skort- not my undies- it’s my favorite travel clothing ever!)