Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Best Part

I have not been online for almost a week. There are no problems, no major events - just me being unplugged. It is the one thing in the summer that I enjoy most. I do not have to check email or respond to urgent messages from parents/principals/coworkers. I can unplug. So, with summer's end looming ever closer - I chose to take advantage of the opportunity to avoid my laptop.

Highlights of the week:

~Boy went to work with Hubby last week and introduced himself as "the middle monster" it's great when everyone knows where they fit in the scheme of things.

~Spent a day conquering the water slides - and Youngest's fear was overcome as she repeated continually "just one more time" for a total of 10 times.

~Teen was caught looking at teacher's webpages - a WEEK before ORIENTATION! Think she is a bit excited about HS?

~Made tamales from scratch - yes from scratch - wrapped in corn husks and all - YUMMY!

~Continuing to think "green" in that I am hanging laundry to dry - ok i'm just cheap, but it is green.

It has been fun, and we have kept busy. But now that the unprepared nightmares have begun I am re-engaging with my laptop. I am going to catch-up on my blog reading in order to procrastinate more efficiently.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Preparations are Underway

It is August. How that happened so quickly I can not say. But the calendar confirms that summer is drawing to a close.

Youngest has been weighed, measured, & evaluated. Vaccinations have been shot into her arms, blood has been drawn from her arm and there have been attempts to collect other bodily fluids. Records of her teeth have been recorded and filed; and uniforms have been fitted and requisitioned. She still needs to report for grooming and supply pick-up. But she seems to be well on her way.

Through all of the tasks she has kept her head-up and a positive attitude in place. Well, except for the shots - but who can blame her? They hurt like H***. Though it would appear she is preparing to depart for boot-camp, I remind myself it is only kindergarten.

Being last appears to have its definite perks (at least from the parent's standpoint). She is now showing no fear. She smiled and chattered so happily at the uniform shop, that the owner gave her a new hat with her school patch embroidered on it. Which is really lucky for her, because they are not allowed to wear them at school, so why would I ever shell out $12 for a hat? At the dentist yesterday, she was so thrilled to finally be the one behind the door she willingly allowed them to x-ray, poke and prod. Only looking to me for reassurance a few times.

Her confidence has grown to the point where she is joking about how she will hug Boy each time she sees him at school. It is now less of an unknown and more of an adventure. But, still when I watch her play in the yard I wonder: how could this have happened so quickly?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Musings and Missings

My mother took the "tour of death" a few days ago. No, no she is fine. She went on an outing with a friend to: an old folks home, a crematorium, and the (local) National Cemetery. The reasons for the locations are not important; having something to do with visiting, errands, and curiosity. Whatever the reason she was reflective later and wanted to talk about plans.

I listened to her plans and wishes making suggestions, and doing voice impressions of my siblings as they will sound in arguing about her final wishes. I challenged her to come-up with a better plan in a few instances, that kind of thing. She laughingly noted that while the other (5) siblings won't even talk about it, threatening to run screaming from the room, I am playing devil's advocate.

Before you go judging me as a wicked child, listen to my side. I do not expect my mother to pass soon in any way, shape, or form. She is healthy, happy, and in complete control of her life (she's only in her 60's). This is the time to talk about it. It doesn't bring me a sense foreboding now. It is a distant event, hazy and pain-free. Another reason is that I have experience. Being the wife of an only child, we were thrust into this process 6 years ago. And it SUCKED. Sitting in the hospital while a loved one is ill and trying to discreetly ask about her wishes without intimating that the end is near is truly awful.

Of course the conversations with my mom reminded me how much I miss my MiL. She died exactly 1 year + the length of Youngest's life ago. (Yes, youngest appears to have been born exactly 1 year later - a fact Teen says we should never confess to her.) In contrast to the stereotyped MiL relationship, I had a great friendship/pseudo-daughter-relationship with my MiL. Of course there were times when I was a teen that I am sure she could've thrown me from a roof, but my own parents felt the same
It seems that 6 years has passed in a blink, yet she has missed so much.

I can almost hear her laughing with Teen over her hair-color-of-the-week, getting a kick out of the fact that we face the same personality we posed as teens. And I envision her basking in Boy's charms and challenges, as she faced many of these behaviors with her son. These 2 have memories. They remember a Nana that would move heaven and earth for them; who would take their side in almost any situation. A Nana who gave-up her entire life in Chicago to move to Sunnyland because she was determined to spend the remainder of her life near them. But Youngest has no experience with this. It makes me sad, because this is just the type of doting admiration that would appeal to her princess nature.