Category Archives: kid

Nothing Gradual in Graduating

Today, the Kid graduated from her elementary school (it goes to 4th grade here, then to middle school). She’d gone to this same school five years, since kindergarten, probably the longest she’ll ever go to the same school God willing, she won’t become a 5th year college grad.

She had the annual tug-o-war…
4th grade tug-o-warand the “moving up” assembly…4th grade moving up assembly
ending with her…officially graduated.

Some may complain that this generation of kids gets way too much acknowledgement, awards for showing up at school, ribbons for participating in your third soccer game. No one applauded the end of my 4th grade or 5th grade or 6th grade.

Even if these moments are the equivalent of a torturous Barbara Walters interview (“that must have been hard, losing your dad at 3…”) and I’ve run through my allotment of Kleenex, I’m glad we’re stopping to notice. I’m glad someone is making us stop and pay attention to this milestone.

How many have we buzzed by in this kid’s 9 years? And how many more will we, accidentally or because we’re tired or busy or preoccupied or stressed out?

No, I say let’s all take a break from our personal, inner world of drama and our busybusybusy and focus our eyeballs on what’s happening right in front of us, in our very homes and neighborhoods: a kid graduated, a dog napped more, a baby napped less, a friend moved, a teen took drivers ed, a grandparent slowed down, a cat didn’t come home, even a tree didn’t sprout leaves like it used to.

Time marches on. You can squeeze your eyes shut, walk your feet faster, fill that calendar as much as you want or you can take long baths, plan big, slow vacations or breath in as deeply as you want. Time? Still marching on.

But if we’re all left feeling like spectators, let’s at least take a moment to do just that – spectate. With eyes and hearts wide open, we can watch and see and soak it up until we’re fully saturated and leaking out our eyes and cannot soak up anymore.

No, it doesn’t feel gradual at all. It may have slowly crept up on us, predictably coming along, but then BLAMMO, we’re hit right in our sweet spot. Ready or drunk not.

Leaving us happy and sad and proud and fully and completely saturated.
final bus ride
Congratulations, all you graduates out there! You are loved!

On-Deck Action: Birds and Stuff

Who’s been on your deck lately, Wendy? you ask in my imagination.

Well, thanks for asking, friendless blogger who makes up conversations in her head and is always looking for an excuse to take a break from writing.

I recently trimmed the Kid’s hair and she suggested we put the trimmings out for my selfish blogging purposes bird nest-making ingredients.

I thought we were too late in the season and nests had been made, but yet again! I was wrong.chickadeeYou cannot tell me the corners of your mouth are not heading up.chickadee with hairWe had another visitor the dog was much more interested in. We don’t get these guys on the deck all that often (if the dog has anything to say about it).Douglas squirrelLast but not least, this baby pine siskinHe sat for so long I wondered if he knew how to use those wings, but he did.pine siskin at feederNeener, neener, lady with the camera.

I think the moral of the story is….always write by a window with a camera nearby. Of course, when I lived in a city, those shots may have weighed heavier on oddballs and garbage, but anything to distract from your writing duties, eh?

What do you see out your window?

Summertime Parenting

Are you like me? Are you going to be home with your kid(s) this summer and don’t know what you’re going to do? Are you starting to worry about how you’ll get anything done?

Mostly, are you worried about how you’re going to maintain a low-level buzz and still be able to drive to all those playdates?

We have one more week of school, if you can even call it that. More like chaperoned field trips starting and ending at a school. And I can feel the anxiety starting to creep into my chest. Ugh.

Every summer, I hope for a productive, fun-filled, educational summer, and what happens? Somewhere after the hopes form life happens, I get tired of arguing and things just slide. All things slide.

Remember when slides were a good thing?

Do you know that Gershwin song are you my friend with knowledge of musicals or not? that goes “Summertime and the living is easy”?

That is just plain wrong. Summer is the hardest, especially around here. Where does everyone go? Somehow everyone who refuses to coordinate schedules is gone at the same time. And everyone who swore they were open for playdates are suddenly booked up with camps, camping trips and vacations. Gone, baby, gone. Leaving my kid with the mantra, “Mom, I’m BORED.”

We have some camps lined up, I’m hoping for some camping trips and creative home projects, and this year I will enforce some kind of reading to be happening around here, beyond reading instructions on Epic Mickey wii games.

Yes, I am hoping once again. Which usually means I’m in for a letdown. Why must it be best-summer-ever or suckiest-and-boringest? Guess which one ends up most likely?

Are you all planned up for summer? Winging it? Trying anything new?

Another Easter Bunny Bites the Dust

Yes, it was probably about time. The Kid is eight, after all. Eight and half, she’d say.

Yes, I was careless and maybe wanting to be found out. I left the jelly bean bag in the cabinet where she could find it. Where she could put two and two together. Where she could begin that bumpy journey of losing her innocence.

“Mom, why are these same type of jelly beans in the cabinet that were in the eggs I found in the yard?!” she accused this weekend.

I had a choice. I could continue the lie with a oh-no-they’re-different or it-IS-odd-isn’t-it? But I took a few seconds and bit the bullet. I confessed. Those plastic eggs in the yard, the ones we reuse each year hello!, I put them out there.

And guess what? My little sophisticated, singing and dancing, runway modeling, eight-going-on-eighteen daughter cried. A lot.

And then created this gem for me:
I’m a “tairable person.”. .

We’re both still sad here. Her, for the loss of the Easter Bunny and being lied to by her parents.

Me, for her taking yet another, big step into growing up, up and away.

Damn bunny.

A Shameless Peep at Our Diorama

Warning: the following blog post is a shameless plug for our Peeps diorama currently on display at the Bainbridge Public Library, where you must can go immediately to read great books cast a vote for the Kid and Hubs’ diorama in the library’s Peeps diorama contest.

Yes, another creative project! This one totally optional, but suggested by yours truly who then honey-badgered nicely nudged the Kid and Hubs to make something cool.

It is true at one point the following was heard in the house: “But, Mom, when are you going to do something?! You haven’t done anything on the diorama!!”

I’m the idea person. I bought the Peeps…

And they did a great job, see? Notice the painted marshmallow peach trees with real fern leaves?
Have you read this book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon? It’s great and made me cry. When’s the last time a kid’s book made you cry (in a good way)? Old Yeller?

And who is hiding back there? Minli and Dragon, of course.
Dragon was the Peeps de resistance. Ba-da-ching!
Sharp teeth, but friendly as only a Peeps dragon could be.

So, go to the library and check out Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. And while you’re there, vote for Where the Mountain Meets the Peeps!

Although to be honest, it is true that the kid is not actually holding her breath to win. Why? Well, we’re guessing that the library’s prize will be….a book. Something made of paper and ink and relating in no way to electronics. *yawn* (this is the Kid’s yawn, not mine!)

But I say she should get her paper cuts while she can, before everything is tapping and clicking and dragging, right?

Am I the only one reading books the old-fashioned way?