15 minutes with my little

It’s amazing what a little 1:1 time can do when you have two kids.

I picked S up from summer camp yesterday afternoon and we decided to stop by Starbucks. Me for my usual iced latte, and she got her usual kids hot cocoa.

But we got to sit there… together…and talk about our day. She told me all about the animal visitors at camp that day, who she played with, when she got sad, and the happiest part of her time there. If we had gone straight home, out little 2 1/2 year old often monopolizes mom and dad’s time.

Reminder to me to spend more time with my kids separately every once in a while!

Cheers to a mom’s weekend

This past weekend I took a “girls trip” to Austin. We sort of settled on that city because none of us had ever been, and we heard it had good food. At the time I agreed to go, it seemed like a good idea. But then as the time approached, like every time I know I’m leaving my kids overnight I started feeling sick to my stomach wondering why I even made these plans.

At the end of the weekend, I was SO glad I went. It was great to spend time catching up with frienda. Exploring a new city. Laughing by the pool. And recharging my batteries. We seldom get to do that as moms – for example, when my kids are in bed, I’m o line trying to order more diapers or figure out which classes I may want to look into for them.

And the kids? They survived whole I was gone. Dad and grandma did a great job keeping them happy and healthy.

So here’s to mom’s weekends everywhere – even though we cherish our time with our kids, I feel like it was a good investment in being able to take some deep breaths for a couple of days.

kindergarten progress

I am amazed at how much my daughter has learned and grown in Kindergarten. Her last day was Thursday, and she came off the bus a combination of smiles and a little sadness behind her eyes that I’m pretty sure only I could see.

“Are you happy you’re all done with school?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “But I didn’t want to leave the classroom. Or the school. Or the bus. Or my friends.” I knew what she felt; I distinctly remember kissing the wall of my kindergarten classroom when nobody was looking because I was really, really going to miss it, and even at 5, I knew it.

But I assured her that the summer would be just as fun. And so would her Wednesdays and Fridays at summer camp. And then First Grade! She would be a first grader come fall.

Her teacher sent home all the binders and workbooks they had been using throughout the year.  I had seen some of them because I was a frequent helper in the classroom. But there was one that especially caught my eye – it was a monthly writing sample.  I could not believe how she went from barely legible scribbles to complete sentences with detail in pictures. And how a teacher of 24 wiggly little 5 and 6 year olds can successfully teach so much to all these kids.

I’m so grateful for all S has learned….it brought tears to my eyes looking through her little “science notebook” and leadership binder.  In a way so much is expected of our kindergarteners now – but I think she did okay!

hold your friends close, dear daughter

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S came running off the bus the other day with half of a best friend necklace around her neck. “Mama, look! My friend gave me this. We’re best friends!” and the joy on her face lit me up as well. “She has the other half and we are going to be friends forever!”

I hope she and M are friends forever. But in reality, I know that kindergarten friendships sometimes fade.  Just like ones in grade school, middle school, high school, and even into adulthood. But I also know that she will find some friends that are just gems, like I did, and that they will be one of the most important parts of her life.

So dear daughter, I wish you an amazing lifetime of blossoming and joyous friendships. In the beginning, they will be the friends that you swing with, bike with, and play house with. Then those friendships will transition to those of confidants; you will giggle with secrets of boys and groan about homework together. Then you’ll enter another phase – one where your friends will carry you through heartache, significant life changes and disappointments. Some of those disappointments may be through broken friendships – but you will have friends to carry you through those as well.

And I hope you give your heart to your friends as well, and give them all the love they need through their own ups and downs. That, dear S, is an important part of a friendship – how you both support them and celebrate their joys alongside them.

Most of all, dear daughter – I wish you a circle of friends that wrap you in their love. That know from one look what you are thinking and feeling. And that can sense when you need a little something that only a good friend can provide. And I hope that you know what a treasure a good friend is. Hold them close to your heart and give them all the love you can in return.

lesson learned: leave the trampolines for the kids

So my husband kids and I decided to go to the trampoline park Mother’s Day weekend. We usually have fun when we go as a family – we all buy our passes and jump. C tends to sort of just run around from thing to thing, but he LOVES jumping so it’s a lot of fun for him.  S loves it too…she and I often see what we can do (who can jump higher, who can do a tuck jump the best, etc.).

So this time, we were jumping….and I went up for a really HIGH jump (as I called it).  I felt an enormous amount of pain in my left knee and immediately went down. It didn’t pop – but I did manage to tear my meniscus slightly. So with all the young kids staring at me, this 43 year old woman had to be helped off the trampolines with a bag of ice.

I spent most of mother’s day weekend in bed with my leg elevated and iced.  I guess the one good thing is that I wanted a relaxing weekend – and I couldn’t do much, so it all worked out.  But 2 weeks later and I’m still hobbling around. Lesson learned – leave the jumping to the kids the next time!  Happy Mother’s Day to ME!

bubble – where I wish i could keep my kids (daily prompt)

But I know it’s not possible….but, I sure wish I could.

When S shares her deepest 5-year-old thoughts as I’m putting her to bed and she is reflecting on her day and she tells me that someone was mean to her on the playground.

When she falls and scrapes her knees and says she never want to play outside again.

When C gets whacked in the head by a swing he didn’t see (and that I couldn’t get to fast enough).

I know it’s not practical or even a real thing I could do, and probably wouldn’t be good for them, because at some point that bubble will pop and they’ll be in the “real world.” But for now, maybe for a few years, I wish I could keep their tender hearts and bodies in a bubble. So that nothing can harm their bodies and hearts.

So in the meantime I guess I do the next best thing – help them through it. Comfort, kiss boo-boos, whatever it may be.

 

via Daily Prompt: Bubble

problem solving

It’s amazing to me how these little brains think.  And, every once in a while, I learn a lesson from watching them.

I can’t even keep track of how many times I’ve said to my daughter “no honey I don’t think that will work” – when sure enough, it does.  Or even to my two year old son – “I don’t think that will fit in there” and sure enough it does. They have persistence. They keep trying.

As an adult, I often give up. If I’m tired, if it’s not worth pushing, if it causes conflict – I just decide it’s not worth it. And I guess that’s okay. My husband is better at this – he’s a pretty persistent guy. If we have a problem, he seeks out creative solutions and it’s boxed in by the normal confines of how something should be done.

Kids start problem solving early – and the first time they do it, we’re always like “wow that was smart of them!” I think we as adults can watch these little teachers and learn too. Sometimes there are creative ways to get to what we want.