Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Homecoming Week, So Why Do I Feel Sad?

My daughter started high school several weeks ago, and it still feels strange to me.

I've only been to her high school once since she started.

•  When she was in elementary school, I was there everyday.  Now there's no real reason to go.

I haven't stopped by to say "hi" to her teachers.

•  Even in junior high, I knew her teachers well.  Now I can't remember all her teachers' names.

I haven't even dropped her off in the morning.

• When she was little, I walked her to school every day.  In junior high, I often drove her to school.  Now she takes the bus every day.  She doesn't need my help getting to school anymore.

This week is Homecoming Week.

Each day has a different theme like Pajama Day or Superhero Day.

Today is Formal Day.  She left for school in a cute dress and flats.

Saturday is the homecoming football game and Homecoming Dance.

She told me she wanted to go to the football game with her friends.

And the dance.


So when did my daughter become old enough to:

1. Get to school on time without my assistance?

2. Not really need me at school at all?

3. Navigate the world of high school all on her own?

4. Plan big social events without my input?

5. Go to a Homecoming Dance?

As a mother of an only child, I have done a lot with my child.  Maybe more than parents who have to split some of their time between children.  Maybe I have done more than I had to or should have some of the time.

I understand the importance of independence.

I mean, really, does anyone want their 30 year-old child living at home?

But, she's not 30.  She's 14.

I'm so proud of her independence and ability to figure out high school!

I guess I'm just a little sad that she doesn't need me as much anymore.

Of course she still needs me.  Our kids always need us.

Just in different ways.

So as she enjoys Homecoming Week, I'm getting used to being the parent of a smart, independent, awesome high school daughter.

It feels pretty good.

(And just a little sad.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Little Bliss List: The Cow & The Sleeping Bag

I'm linking up with Liv Lane's Little Bliss List today.  The idea of The Little Bliss List is to share what gave you bliss over the past week.

This week my daughter and I have been sick (not blissful), but chilling out together reading, watching TV, and just resting has been blissful.

Today I wanted to share some photos of my cat (Cheech) and dog (Lily) from the past week.  They just intrinsically know how to be blissful.  In fact, our cat especially, lives his entire life in the search of bliss.  And he usually finds it!

Cheech having "Cow Time"

Cheech discovered a stuffed cow toy that was in the give-away pile.  He has claimed it as his own and spent a great deal of time having "Cow Cuddle Time" this week.

Kitty Close-Up

Lily, not to be outdone by the cat, found her own cuddle spot - a sleeping bag on the floor.

Lily on her sleeping bag.

Don't they both look so comfortable, so BLISSFUL?

Yes, the life of a pampered dog and cat is a good life indeed.

I wish everyone a blissful weekend full of cuddly cows and soft sleeping bags!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

5 Minutes of Silence

Today I took up the Writer's Workshop challenge to "Listen to the sounds in your house for 5-10 minutes.  Write about what you hear."

It's not very often that I sit quietly and just listen.  Usually when I'm sitting quietly I'm thinking about things to do, or reading, or just about to fall asleep.  Not really listening.

So this morning I did just that.  I really listened.

This is what I heard:

Pages of a book turning.  My daughter is home sick today.  She's curled up in the chair next to me, very quietly reading.

• My dog bouncing down the carpeted steps.  She doesn't walk down, she hops.  "Bounce, bounce, bounce."

• Our rabbit moving around in his cage, settling in for a nap.

Birds outside, although they sound distant because all the windows are closed.  It's cold this morning.

• My breath.  I can hear myself breathing.

• The hum of my computer.

• The refrigerator fan clicking on and buzzing.

• My dog licking her mouth.  It sounds very juicy.

"Lily!" My daughter telling the dog to stop licking.

• A truck on the distant highway.

• A sneeze from my daughter.  One from me too.  We're both sick.

• A single dog bark down the street.

"Whose knife it it really?"  My daughter asks.  We're both reading The Game of Thrones.

• Deep sounds of the Seminary bell ringing high in its bell tower.  It must be 11:00 am, although my computer says 10:55.  Which one is off by 5 minutes?  My computer or the bell?

My five minutes of listening is over.  But even as I write this list, I notice more sounds.  Birds, a car, my dog's sleep-breathing, my typing, more book pages turning, another dog bark in the distance.

Five minutes of silence isn't really silent at all.

Try it.

Just listen.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Week of High School

Juliana just finished her first week of High School!

And I just finished my first week of being a mom of a high schooler.

To re-cap the week, here are some of Juliana's observations (and some of mine.)

Juliana's "First Week of High School" Observations:

1. "I never got lost (going to my classes)."

2. "School bus radios go up really loud.  Especially when the driver plays Gospel!"

3. "I know over half the people in my American History class."

4.  "School lunch is better in high school than in junior high.  And elementary school lunch is inedible."

5. "There's no dress code other than 'No Hats or Bandanas' and 'No Naughty T-Shirts."

My "First Week as a Mom of a High Schooler" Observations:

1.  "5:45 am is WAAAY too early to get up in the morning for a teen (and a mother!)"

2.  "Juliana seems happy and confident.  She doesn't seem to be worried at all.  I am very relieved."

3. "I'm surprised how much Juliana likes her Orchestra class.  Great!  I hope to hear lots of cello practicing!"

4.  "I hope the homework for her Culinary Arts class includes 'Cooking Dinner for Your Family!'"

5.  "I had worry dreams the night before Juliana started high school.  But now I know it's going to be OK.  She's ready!  And, finally, I feel ready too."

What are your observations about your child's first week of school?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Day of High School

Today is my daughter's first day of high school.

First Day of 9th Grade

She left this morning at 6:35 am to catch the bus.

She's never ridden the bus before.  She walked to elementary and junior high school.  She was excited to ride the bus this morning.  I wonder how long that will last?

Unbelievably she was up and ready to go at 5:55 am, the excitement of the first day overcoming tiredness.  I wonder how long that will last?

Her backpack was enormous - stuffed with 7 one-inch binders.  One for each class.  They are all clean and new.  I wonder how long that will last?

She decided to eat school lunch today.  In the last 8 years of school, she has eaten school lunch about 12 times.  But she ate it today.  I wonder how long that will last?

She let me take a "First Day of School" picture like I have since kindergarten.  Although she protested, she did let me take the shot.  I wonder how long that will last?

6:35 am: Walking to the bus.

As I watched her walk away, down the sidewalk, in the coming dawn, I felt sad.  I sat on the front porch and waited to see her bus go by.  It never drove past our house.  Her bus must go another way.  I sat there for 15 minutes, rocking in the big, wooden rocking chair.  I have one child.  And she left this morning for high school.  She's growing up.  She's ready for the next step.  I'm so proud of her.

And yet, I still feel like crying.

I wonder how long that will last?