Just on time

She turned over, sat up and crawled on time. I think those were the last things she did “on time”. She didn’t feel like walking until she was 16 months or so (she took her first steps around 13 months, but she must have realized what was ahead, because that was it for several more months). But she potty trained herself between 18-19 months. And she was singing “Once Upon a Dream” (Sleeping Beauty) and “Somewhere Out There” (American Tail) in their entirety before she was 2. Early or late, late or early – we never knew what we’d get from her. But we always knew there was a light in there. A special light. An inextinguishable light.

She showed us that light in her daily activities, in her near constant songs, in her laugh, in her silliness. We saw how she looked up to her big brother when she was two. We saw her excitement when her 1st grade teacher put her article in the “Daily News” every few days.
We also saw her disappointment when she just couldn’t run as fast as the other kids, or when she wasn’t exactly the first kid to get picked for a team. We saw her devastation when she got a D in reading in 4th grade. Apparently she hadn’t realized the teacher actually wanted her to HAND IN those book reports.

We saw her careful gentleness around her prematurely born brother, and how she has watched, cajoled, played and nurtured him ever since. And now that he is several inches taller than her, we watch how she teases and loves him and how that is returned in kind.

We saw a reasonably “popular” (I hate that word…) and well accepted child opt to leave that particular clique of girls and hang out with quite the opposite group of girls, simply because one of the “popular” girls was really mean. That was a very hard thing to do.

We saw the light find the stage. We knew it was there – we ALWAYS knew it was there. She had a leading role in her school plays in 4th and 5th grade. It was there. She opted to learn an instrument instead of sing in the choir in intermediate school. She was a big fat OK at it, and was encouraged to keep at it instead of switching to choir in 8th grade. But she followed her heart and ended up with a solo or two at the end of the year in choir. Her director praised her for picking the right “instrument”. She has always known best.

We watched her in high school – finding her way through the social maze, the hormone haze, the academics, detention. Detention, not for any kind of disrespect or behavioral problem. Well, maybe it was a little behavioral – what else is tardiness? Tardy. Always tardy. After school detention, and then when that avenue was exhausted, Saturday school. Remember the Breakfast Club? She was there. She wasn’t any of those stereotypical kids, though. She was just the good kid – there with the troublemakers because she can’t get out of the house on time. Still can’t to this day.

But above and beyond all that was the music. Oh the music. The music saw her through it all. She sang, she danced, she still played soccer and participated in the youth group. She tried, but did not get to be a cheerleader. She tried, but didn’t make the “chamber choir” her junior year. She was devastated. She didn’t get decent roles in her high school plays. She was devastated. She did get VERY good roles in her summer musical conservatory programs. She kept the light shining. She knew – she always knew best. She knows how to persevere. She knows how to take someone’s opinion and take what’s important about it and leave the ugliness behind. Turning a “you can’t do this” into an “I’ll show you I can” is her specialty. And she has. Posted by Picasa


I watched the nurturer in her as she encouraged her mom and dad to get their foster care license and as she fed, changed and loved the little girl who ended up in our care. I saw her pose happily for pictures with a little baby who could have passed for her own, but for the obvious lack of pregnancy. The light never flickered. The light never cared about that.
We watched that light brighten up a stadium filled with black gowned and crowned bodies. We beamed with a little light of our own as the president of the college congratulated and introduced the 2006 graduates from CU. We (ok, I) took about a thousand pictures to memorialize the event. All her living grandparents made the trip to celebrate this achievement. Plenty of aunts, uncles, cousins & their families joined us to celebrate as well. Some traveled from quite a ways away. This was special and we all knew it.
DDD graduated from college. On time. Not early, not late. She hasn’t been on time for much since those first few months. But here she is. On time. Perfectly on time. What a kid. Posted by Picasa

more grad thoughts

The smile brightens my world.
The light shines brightly.
The future is limitless.
She is going to reach for the stars.

And I think she just might grab one.

Congratulations, DDD. You have done an incredible job in these last 4 years of college and we are SOOOOOOOOO very proud of you. Posted by Picasa


Teaching the fine art of shopping.

Today I took LK shopping with me. I had a christening gift and an engagement gift to buy. I would check for something cute for graduation as well, since we are leaving Thursday for

my. first. college. graduation. where. the. graduate. is. MY. kid.

We found something kinda kitchy and cute for the engaged couple, stopped by Jamba Juice for a couple of kid size jambas(how can you pass on that?), stopped by Williams and Sonoma, who have a VERY cute little set of princess cookie cutters and cookie decorating kit. They also have pink spatulas. And pink oven mitts, and pink aprons, and pink mixing bowls, and pink... but I digress (who wouldn't - with ALL THAT PINK!) Then on to Restoration Hardware where we found absolutely nothing to interest us, then Smith & Hawkins, which I have never been to, but I love their catalog. Ditto on the nothing. I'm not a good shopper. Never have been. But I've heard through the years that my kids wish they were better shoppers and that they'd gone shopping more, so I'm making an effort. (OK, that was mostly my older daughter, but my younger son is a pathetic shopper, so I think she was speaking on his behalf as well.)
Then we took the LONG way to the Hallmark store, visiting a shoe store, the Build-a-Bear store. the personalized gifty thing store and Claire's (talk about SPARKLY!!!) where a young girl was getting her ears pierced.

"Why's she doing that?"
"Because she wants to wear earrings in her ears."
"Can I get my ears pursed too?"
"It hurts to get that done - they put the earrings right through your earlobe, right here..."
(showing her where her earlobe is)
"Uhhh, let's go"

We found dolls in the Hallmark store who spoke Russian, German, Yiddish, French, Swedish, and Spanish. Lots of cute little smooshy animals (like my favorite "huggy" pillow) and other cute things, but not a hell of a lot of christening and engagement cards. Knowing they were headed for the garbage in a day or two anyway, so not caring much what they looked like, I selected two and we headed for the graduation display. LK immediately lights on to a Mickey Mouse with a mortarboard on his head. DDD's college entrance essay was on her connection to all things Disney, so of course I bought it for LK to give her. (There are Disney stamps on her graduation announcements, too - just how Martha is that???)

Then we start walking back to Pottery Barn, our last stop, taking a detour to pass by every fountain we can find. And Kid's Gap, of course. They have very cute slippers there. I want a pair. So does LK.

"But you never wear slippers."
"But I WILL wear slippers."
"But you always go barefoot - you don't like shoes on your feet at home. You don't even like socks!"
"But I REALLY like these slippers. I will wear them. All the time."
"I don't think so."
"Oh, I think these slippers are SOOOOOO beautiful."

I bought the slippers.

After our last stop at PB where we bought the original thing I saw and liked for my niece and her fiancee, we went to the car.

LK lasted about 3-4 minutes before she was slumped in her seat, snoring.

I'm raising another shopper.


Yes, I can rant

I know it will be hard to believe, but I can rant. REALLY.
I got a progress report from big K's Spanish teacher yesterday. It's a nice synopsis of what this school year has been like for us. Yay - doing great! Good Job! You suck! No driving! Oh good, it's back up to a C - keep it up! What the HELL is wrong with you?? and so on... So I finally ranted a good one at him as I forwarded his [lack of] progress report.... and I'm just strange enough to share it with all my two internet friends.

BK -
You went from an A to a C+ in one week (I know you're awfully close to a B-, but still that's a HUGE drop in one week). Dude - you HAVE to get your homework DONE and GET CREDIT for it. You also need to KNOW WHEN YOU ARE HAVING A TEST - and STUDY FOR IT. If you can't manage that, you need to stop ref'ing until school is out, and you can expect itunes, myspace, IM and computer games to be off limits. You are WAY TOO OLD to be pulling this kind of crap. You know what the assignments are, you know they are tracked, you know it hurts no one but YOU when you blow them off. You also know (because I am NOT quiet about this stuff) that it is unacceptable and FRUSTRATING to have to babysit you and your homework and deal with your lack of responsibility. (Just a personal note - I am FAR less irritable when I don't feel the need to nag...) This is way beyond ADD or maturity. This is lack of discipline and willingness to do what you need to do. You absolutely HAVE to develop this within yourself NOW, because there are enough distractions and other challenges to deal with in college. If you are already predisposed to this kind of attitude towards your classes, you set yourself up for failure from the start. That just isn't the way to have a good experience - and it CAN be a good experience.
OK. That's all for now. You know the rest - 2nd verse, same as the first.

Yep - when I get a little bug in my bonnet. I can rant. Sigh.