Happy 17th Birthday Chickie!
How is it possible that you’re 17? When I picture you in my mind you’re about 3 or 4 years old, with chubby cheeks, short red hair, and smudged glasses… I guess the only difference is that you’ve gotten taller 😉
You are a beautiful young lady. There are so many things that you are passionate about… your cave, animals, music, friends, Netflix, reading, Dutch Bros, sarcasm, babies <– not your own, other people’s babies! People often tell me how impressed they are that you volunteer in the toddler room and that you’re good at it. I love to see you interact with them.
This year the training wheels are coming off. That’s scary for me. I want to shelter and protect you from all the nasty, hurtful stuff in the world. But, I love you. And I want to give you time and space to encounter the world while still in the safety of our home. A chance to try new things. I know that you will fail. And I want to be the safety net that will catch you, reassure you, and help you get back on your feet. I am praying for grace for both of us this year. I’m trying to let go – I promise. Just try not to fly too fast or too high – okay?
Have fun your senior year. Get involved. Try new things. Don’t have regrets. Be fierce.
I love you so much. I am incredibly proud of you.
I read this blog post today:
Jenny and Victor lost their dear Meemaw and Jenny wrote a beautiful post. Her story so reminded me of my own Grandma… She used to tell us stories all the time. Stories about growing up as the daughter of the town sheriff… One year for her birthday she didn’t have enough friends to play a game of softball so her dad let out some of the guys in jail to play ball with her and her friends. Or another time when her mom was out of town and she was the one responsible for cooking the meals for the prisoners… they asked when her mom was coming back! Lol! Or another time when she was watching her younger brother, Cliff, while her parents were out on a date. They came home after everyone was in bed and they couldn’t find Cliff. They finally found him in the “drunk tank” curled up with the town drunk. Yes, she grew up in a very small midwestern town.
My favorite story involved my brother and a snake. I always used to ask her to tell me the story of Johnny and the Snake. Sadly, I don’t remember much of the story any more. Just that my brother got bit by a snake that my grandma wasn’t familiar with so she walked down the road with him asking random people (?) if the snake was poisonous.
Towards the end of my Grandma’s life she lived in a care home. On one of my last visits with her she laid down on the couch (or davenport as she would say) and put her head in my lap. I gently rubbed her face and closed eyes in a manner that the two of us called The Sandman. She used to do that to me to put me to sleep and now it was my turn to love on her. As I rubbed her face I asked her to please tell me the story of Johnny and the Snake. She replied to me, “Oh, I think you remember it better than I do… you tell it to me.”
I have so many wonderful memories with my grandma but I think that one is my favorite.
In honor of “labor” day….
How long were your labors?
Kid #1: 16 hours
Kid #2: 5 hours
Kid #3: 9 hours
How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1: I was out to dinner with my hubby when I felt the first contractions. We started to time them and when our waitress popped by the table she exclaimed, “Are you in labor??!!” and then promptly left to get our check and didn’t return for a really, really long time. Um, hello?!
Kid #2: I was induced 1 week after his due date.
Kid #3: I was induced 1 day after her due date.
Where did you deliver?
In the same hospital for all three kiddos. Loved, loved, loved the staff!
Kid #1: Epidural! Easy peasy.
Kid #2: Epidural – but only one side went numb.
Kid #3: Epidural – mostly worked great until the end when the pain got ahead of the drugs.
Nope. I was so terrified – and relieved that I never did.
Same doctor for all three 🙂
Kid #1: My doctor was scheduled to go on vacation. I had my baby on her last day at work! I had my hubby and my mom coaching me.
Kid #2: Same doctor. This time I had my hubby, my mom, and my sister by my side.
Kid #3: Same doctor. Switched it up… had my hubby and my BFF.
I can hardly believe that you’re 15 already. In 6 more months you can start learning to drive. And in 3 more years you’re outta here! Yowza!
This last year with you has been fabulous. You rocked your freshman year – even your college class! You are so smart and amazing. I love that you know what you’re passionate about and that you’re pursuing it. But at the same time you’re flexible… you’re willing to explore other classes – like the history of rock ‘n’ roll. I can’t wait to see how you do next year.
You continue to have a great sense of humor. I love that you’re willing and able to laugh at yourself. Never take yourself too seriously.
Every year when I write your letter I try to define who you are… it’s not easy. You’re bigger than life. Passionate, caring, sensitive, strong, smart, beautiful, funny. You’re amazing.
I remember the day that we brought you home from the hospital. I put you on my bed and just stared at you. I couldn’t believe they let me leave the hospital and take you home… I mean, I had no idea what I was doing. I was now responsible for another human being. That’s huge.
I think I did okay. You’re alive. You have all of your fingers and toes. You haven’t eaten anyone or set any fires. So we’re good. And now you’re figuring it out for yourself. Learning to set your own boundaries, building your own relationships, being responsible and trustworthy. And you know what? You’re doing okay. You’re alive. You have all of your fingers and toes. I’m so proud of you.
I love you Chickie!
You are officially a teenager. Actually, you have been one for a little over a week now… I’m late in posting.
I swear that if you sit still I can literally watch you grow. You love that you’re taller than me – than your older sister – than your oldest cousin… Just waiting to outgrow Daddy now. And it’s close… maybe 3/4 of an inch? You’re still all arms and legs but those arms have some muscle definition. And don’t get me started on that caterpillar on your upper lip. When did I saw it was okay to start growing facial hair?!
You also have a man voice. I love to tease you by quoting whatever you just said and then adding, “…he said in his man voice.” It’s such a weird thing to hear this deep voice coming out of your mouth.
You aren’t so quick to jump out of bed any more. You still wake up pretty early but now you snuggle down into your blankets and moan and grumble before finally getting out of bed. And once you’re up you start eating. and eating. and eating. I’m pretty sure you don’t stop until you fall back into bed at night. I fear this is just the beginning…
You played three sports this year; flag football, soccer, and basketball. It was fun to watch you play in all three but I have to say that basketball was my favorite. You just came alive. You were aggressive, you thought out your moves, you rebounded…. and you hesitated. You would get the ball with a clear, open shot but, instead, you would pass it; not sure of yourself. Since Daddy and I were your coaches this year we really harped on you to take those shots. Bam! Three pointer! You said that next year you want to be “the Cedric” of sports. Cedric is naturally good at any sport and is the team leader. I’m excited that you’ve challenged yourself to fill his role.
Still no interest in girls – although they are all making goo-goo eyes at you. I’m glad you haven’t shown any serious interest yet. Too much drama. That’s fine… take your time.
You continue to be well mannered and polite. At least to everyone that isn’t your sibling. You love to taunt and tease your sisters. One of these days they are going to figure out how to gang up on you and then you’ll be in trouble.
I’m proud of who you are and I can’t wait to see how you grow and change in this first year of teens.
I love you!
That title is a bit misleading… it really should be Top Five of the Moment. I have a love affair with books and my my top favorites are always rotating. I very, very rarely re-read books – even my favorite ones. I find that a bit odd. I mean, if I love the book so much why wouldn’t I want to visit my literary friends again? I actually do know why. My mind never stops going – even when I’m reading. Which means that when I’m re-reading something my brain is saying, “Oh, I remember this part… this is when XYZ happens and next ABC is going to happen.” It’s like going to the movies with someone who has already seen the movie and they give you a play-by-play while you’re watching. Annoying.
Here are my current Top Five (of the Moment) that I will probably never re-read.
1. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
I don’t read much King any more. In fact I don’t recall the last one that I read. But back in the day… hoo-boy! he was my fave! And the Tower Series?? King included so many other characters, places, story lines… even himself! I loved it!
2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Do I really have to explain why this is a favorite? She weaves a compelling story using beautiful, well-rounded characters. And it’s just plain out fun to read.
3. Modoc and Zamba both by Ralph Helfer
I love elephants and this is a true story about the greatest elephant that ever lived; Modoc. Unbelievable story. I wish I could have met her. Zamba is the story of Ralph’s lion. Amazing. Again, I wish I could have met him. Epic stories – both of them.
4. Half Broke Horses: A True Life Story by Jeannette Walls
This story is a biographical story of Jeannette’s grandmother growing up in the West. Most of it takes place in early Arizona; Flagstaff and Phoenix. The opening chapter had me hooked… who was this girl that recognized impending doom and saved her brother and then at 14 got on her horse and rode from Texas to Arizona by herself? Life was so different back then. Jeannette’s first book Glass Castles is the biographical story of her mother and herself. I found it to be depressing but still interesting. I chose to read her books in chronological order rather than the order in which she wrote them. It made more sense to me.
5. I’m not quite sure at the moment. I recently finished up a few books and while they were captivating I don’t know that they really qualify for the Top Five (of the moment) list. So really this post should be titled Top Four (of the moment). Sorry I lied.
Five of my guilty pleasures… in no particular order:
A venti coffee. I lurve me some coffee but I almost always stick to a medium or small. Every once in a while I will treat myself and splurge on a large.
Lucky Charms. About once a year I get a craving for those mini marshmallows. I’ll cave and buy a family size box of the cereal and then not share it with a single member of my family. Sorry guys, I love you, but hands off.
A nap. At 8 o’clock in the morning. On a weekday. I am a very light sleeper and it’s difficult to nap when the house is full of non-quiet people. It is a glorious thing when I can drop the kids off at school and come home and climb back into bed for another hour or two.
Books. Although I don’t feel guilty about this particular pleasure. It is especially delicious when I get a book as a gift. My secret santa at work gave me a book this year. And she recommended another title; 800+ pages – and part of a series – BONUS!
Sherlock Holmes. Again, I don’t feel guilty. Well, maybe a little. I only recently discovered S.H. on Netflix and very quickly finished all of the episodes. The new series started this month in the UK and is supposed to be released to the US later this month. And who knows how long before it hits Netflix. I may or may not have found a way to watch it on BBC.