Empty Nester, Phase 1.3

Letting go happens so gradually, you almost don’t even realize.

At the beginning of your child’s – especially your OLDEST – grade 12 year you think, “Ohmygoodness! How did we get HERE already? Well, at least we have a year before actual graduation!”. Then you get caught up in grad photos, dresses, Christmas, university applications, prom, the “last high school… this and that”, and POOF! As suddenly as it came, that year is gone, and your once 8-yr old daughter is now TELLING you (not asking, I might add) that she’ll be taking the car for grad and will be home around 4am. (It’s 6:30am and she’s not home yet – they decided to start a harry potter marathon??! crazy kids!).

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And you look back a bit, realizing that gradually you have indeed come to this point.

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And then you look at the next one, and you realize that while you were obsessing over the moving on of one child, your next one has sneakily grown leaps and bounds of their own. Somewhere along the line, you let go a little bit of her too, allowing her to take the bus on her own, hang out at the mall and meet friends more often.

Even Tt has suddenly gone from holding my leg and wanting me RIGHTTHERE to waving goodbye as he runs off across the park to the soccer field, looking back only to give me a thumbs up that he’s got his coach and is good to go. If it wasn’t so danged cute, I’d cry! But you just let go a little bit, and move on, thinking, “Well, at least my BABY still needs me. I can still cling to HIM!”.

Boo is much more mobile now too. How do they all let go of me at once??
He’s up and down stairs, doesn’t need help getting around or up on his chair and plays with his toys on his own for periods of time.

I watched B last night as she played outside with her little brothers, so happy. In a few months she’ll be off, living in Residence, taking University classes, meeting new friends, attending a new church and playing PREMIUM volleyball ;-). I’m going to miss her, and I’m sure the boys will too, but hopefully she’ll be home often.

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And in the meantime, it’s probably best I keep a closer eye on that sneaky-growing-up daughter #2…

The good part of letting go a little bit more, is that more time for me = more time to blog!

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From the Mouths of Babes – Too much TV??

I’m beginning to think spend too much time in front of TV’s around here… And we don’t even have cable!

What do you think?

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Tt: “Did you know that herbivores have flat teeth and carnivores have sharp, pointed teeth?”

Mom: (imagining he got this from one of our many informative, educational books) “Where did you learn that from?”

Tt: “A Shark Tale (movie), where Lenny tells Oscar…”

Mom: *sigh*.

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Tt: (going over to Boo, with a scary-sounding voice) “Looks like the freak wants to play…”

Mom: “Wha??!”

Tt: “OH, that’s from the Spiderman video game, Mom”.

Ooohhh. Of course.

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Last time we watched “Kung Fu Panda”, Tt recited just about every line.
And acted out all the fight sequences.
Then he stood up and declared himself a “TV actor”.
*sigh*.

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His latest is to follow Boo around chanting, “Waaaariors, come out to plaaaaaay.”
Don’t worry – he hasn’t actually seen the Warriors. Even we have limits!

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I could go on forever. TT goes on forever – he’s an ongoing dialouge of 1-liners. He literally does not stop talking the entire day long.
Verdict?
Obvious, isn’t it…

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Other posts you might enjoy:
From the Mouths of Babes – From 2 to 12 in 6 seconds…
From the Mouths of Babes – Being a “COOL” Mom
WHAT Just Happened??

Ser-VICE! part 3

I went with my eldest, B, to a tournament in Nanaimo (2.5 days with no wee ones!!!) (too bad I had a lumpy bed… and bad pillow… and no sleep…). ANywhoo, there was this cool red “curtain” dividing two gyms and it was a very cool backdrop for taking shots against.

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It’s interesting how different all the girls serves are, and how wildly they contort their bodies to get that little white ball over that flimsy little net. Amazing.

But, alas, B does not get to serve (in Canada) as Libero, so here’s my “shot of the day” for her, too!

dsc_1406Fuzzy, but she made a great save here! Sorry, she made a great DIG here.
I forget my lingo sometimes.

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Other posts you might enjoy:
Manual Photography Selections #01
Food Photos
Ser-VICE part 1

Ser-VICE! part 2

I’m not sure I can ever beat the shot I got here with B hovering over the floor, catching a shot off her hand.
But that won’t stop me from trying! It’s just such a challenge to get these indoor shots of moving girls.

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Of course, the still shots can be great too. This is Gramma’s shot with her D300 super-duper-never-her-eldest-(and-greatest)-daughter-shall-touch-it camera. Pretty good considering we were watching A through netting!

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The place doubles as a speed bike or rollerblad or something fast-ish racing kind of thing. Descriptive, no?
The boys had a grand old time sliding down the steep sides again and again (another Gramma shot).
I just kept thinking “there goes two more pairs of pants to the ripped-and-torn bin”. Such a wet blanket am I.

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I LOVE this shot. Usually A (or B) is blurry from moving and everyone else is focused. Somehow (I was probably moving – oops!) I managed the opposite here and I think it looks really cool.

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It always amazes me how someone barely taller than me can jump – and BLOCK – this high… I wish her #1 on her jersey showed up a bit more in this shot. She was named Team Captain for the season and gets to wear #1! It’s a big honor. Wow. What a jump.
Like the ballet legs?? She’s even pointing her toes! Lol.

dsc_5626A good piece of action – another of Gramma’s shots.
Except I think she missed this ball… Do you remember, A? Doesn’t matter – you looked great going for it!
My, that girl has the longest, most beautiful limbs I ever saw.

So, those are the most recent best-of action shots I could get!
I’ll try my manual camera again next tourney – this time with FLASH…

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WHAT just happened??

WHAT just happened?
My eldest girl, B, just took – AND PASSED – her driver test. She can drive ON HER OWN now, as in without me! Or hubby! Like, to go wherever she wants.

Assuming we let her use the car ;-).

She finally got the info/date for her school “prom” (one of far too many grad events, if you ask me. seriously – it’s just high school!), and she INFORMED me that she WILL BE out until at least 3 or 4am. She told me. She didn’t ask, she just decided. For herself. What could I say but “Oh, ok. I’m sure it’ll be fun.”

WHAT?!

What just happened to the last 10 years? Was she not this messy-haired snotty little 8-yr old just YESTERDAY? Didn’t we have until forever to have her home, have her need us in every way and have her live locked away in her bedroom until the handsome prince that I pre-approved came for her?? (And he’s not coming until she’s 30, right? RIGHT?!?).

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(B shown in the middle)

I completely trust her, with the car, with Prom, with her own cell phone, with her own bedtimes, with her own friends, with all of it. It’s just that suddenly, with only 10 weeks left of high school, and apparently adolescence, she’s like seriously grown up!

We’ve had this rhythm with the 4 kids, our tight schedule, soccer games, volleyball tournaments, after school events, trips, dinners together, traditions, etc. And while it’ll be a bit of relief to have one less person to drive around all the time, I can’t help but get this completely irrational fear in wondering just how much things will change this year.

If she wasn’t staying in town for University – and if she hadn’t decided to live at home – I’d be beside myself. Whew. God is good. Not only did He work into her a great, great kid, but He’s letting me let go slowly.

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(oops – looks like some of my photos are crooked! the things you notice in a photograph…)

And He’s allowing me the odd moment of sheer irrational panic.
Ok, done. Back to my day.

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From the Mouths of Babes – Being a “cool” Mom

Mother-daughter relationships can be stressful. I have many girlfriends with girls who are DREADING the oft tense pre-teen/teen years coming up. I’m just SOoo fortunate to have a great relationship with both of my daughters, but then it’s been easy for me as they were so young and so thrilled to have a new Mom for their beloved Daddy when I came along. I’ve often been told that I’m the “cool Mom”. While flattering, I’m wondering what could possibly make an older, wrinklier version of your kids “cool”?

So, I asked them.

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Mom: “So, would you consider many of your friends’ Mom’s cool?”

A – 14yrs old: “No. They’re nice, but they’re not really cool.”

B – 17yrs old: “<steph>’s mom. (I like her too). And two others. (I think they’re cool too). I don’t know many people’s moms.”

M: (to A) “None of them are cool?”

A: “They’re not really like you. (I didn’t even fish for that one!). I guess it’s because they’re older.”

M: “What makes a mom cool?”

B: “They talk to the kids, my friends. They joke around a lot. Not like in an “adulty” way.”

M: “Does it make a mom cool if she dresses at “teen” stores like Garage? Does that make her cool?”

A: “That’s kind of weird sometimes. Like if they look too young. Like, you wear nice stuff that’s cool. But like <susie>’s Mom who’s trying to be too cool, that’s kind of weird. There’s a difference.”

B: “It depends. If it’s one or two things, it can be ok, but otherwise they’re just wanna-be’s.”

M: “If she hangs out with your friends all the time, is that cool?”

A: “Depends how often.”

B: “No. Only once in awhile.”

M: “You don’t want some Mom around all the time.”

A: “No.”

M: “If a Mom is on facebook, is that cool or uncool?”

A: “Not everyone’s Moms. Only certain Moms.”

M: “So “cool” would be a balance of being there and not being there.”

A: “Yeah.”

M: “Do you think other Moms could be “cooler” or are they just “too old” (those were HER words, not mine!)?”

A: “Yep – they could be. They’re just too stressed all the time.”

M: “They could be cooler if they kind of just chilled and hung out, but only once in awhile.”

A: “Yeah.” (Teens love one-word answers, especially if they’re trying to do their homework, talk on Facebook, and answer Mom’s nagging questions to post on the internet for all to see…).

M: “What’s one thing that makes me SOOOOO cool? (Ok, now I’m fishing…)”

A: “You can relax, and you’re not such a strict Mom. I don’t know – I just compare you to the other Moms and you’re just so much cooler and nicer. And you die my hair for me (bright red streaks at that!). And you let us get piercings and you let us make our own decisions and stuff.”

M: “But I make you talk about all your decisions.”

A: “Yeah.”

M: “I like making you responsible for your own decisions though. It makes you more grown up.”

A: “And then when we’re older we’re not depending on other people to make our decisions for us still.”

M: “See? All grown up! Thanks for thinking I’m cool (and for being such a cool daughter). What can we tell Moms to so they can be a little cooler?”

A: “Let the kids make their own decisions, I think. And be more relaxed.”

M: “But talk about about their decisions together?”

A: “Yeah. And Moms that write blogs are cool (haha, A!). And Moms that read Teen Vogue and do their nails are cool (whew – good thing I did those tonight!).”

There you have it. Go forth and be cool.

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Crafting Time – Part 2

More of the craftiness we had going on here when the girls were a bit younger (pre-teen to early teens). They still craft now, at 14 + 17, but their crafts have definately become more elaborate (read “EXPENSIVE”).

dsc_9156aOne day we had walked all the way down to the beach, and had decided to collect all kinds of rocks while we were there to paint and glue. The critters turned out pretty cool, but I think we should have used better glue than the hot glue sticks as the weight of the rocks was too heavy for some to stay together. We added magnets to the back and had them on our fridge.

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dsc_91541A few times we sat with a pad of paper and designed all sorts of silly clothes. Come to think of it, those times were all in ferry lineups… But it was fun! And some designs were completely off-the-wall. This is one of A’s sheets from when she was very young.

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dsc_9166aWe had these magnets on our fridge for ages. We had pressed tiny flowers, glued colored tissue and the flower to the back of a clear “rock” and added a magnet. Beautiful! I think our last one just recently broke (the magnet-to-tissue bond isn’t great if you pick up the magnets many times over).

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dsc_9164aShrinky Dinks! The girls and I did these ages ago – can’t remember what in the world we did with them… This past Christmas Tt drew a bunch of mini B/W pictures and we shrunk them and made earrings for all the girl sisters + cousins. They were actually a big hit!
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dsc_9162These cute little felt mittens on a ribbon adorned all our Christmas gifts one year. We wrote “to” and “from”‘s on the back of each mitten. Of course, they coordinated with our wrapping paper and Christmas tree theme ;-).

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dsc_9165We (meaning the girls, really) painted these bird houses, although I’m not sure why – we’ve never bought bird food… They so suit each girls personality – A is colorful and bright, B is thoughtful and precise. We have them outside now, which I hate to do for the potential wear and tear!

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More to follow! We have not yet even BEGUN to craft… Mwuahhahaha.

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