Enjoying My Little One

I had a 3 day weekend, which was great.  What was even better was how much time I got to spend with Little One.  She is at that moody, sometimes unpredictable teenage girl stage (only moody with Husband and me, of course), so I’m never sure what to expect.  I know she’ll come out of it, but she started two years earlier than Oldest One…does that mean she’ll get out of it sooner?

Friday I went right from work to watch her cheer at first a Varsity girls basketball game, and then at the Varsity boys basketball game.  Fun, but exhausting.  I love to watch her cheer; she completely lights up and you can hear her loud voice over any yelling crowd.  Then we got to eat dinner at 10p at night while watching TV together.  All in all a very good day.

Saturday I took her shopping.  Again, I never know what to expect, but we had a lot of fun together.  She needed some new tops, some yoga pants for cheer practice, and some jeans.  We went to four places, and we stopped for ice cream.  We chatted, we were silly, and we just had a great time being together.  She even called her big sister to tell her how much fun she had.  I love the times when we are just together and bonding, so Saturday was an awesome day.

My Little One is growing way too fast.  I knew she would, but it was easier watching this happen with Oldest One, because Little One was still little.  Now I know this is it, and once she leaves for college my babies aren’t babies anymore.  They will still need Husband and me, and they will still will want to come home, but they are on the path to their lives.  It’s good, because that is what you hope to raise your kids to do, become independent adults.  But it’s staring me in the face, and as I’ve said before, I’m so not ready.  I doubt in three and a half years I’ll be ready.

So I actually try to enjoy the moodiness, the eye rolls, and the impatience with parents who aren’t too bright.  Because it will be gone all too soon, and although it is nice when they realize you do know things, it also means they are away at college and need advice.  I try to embrace her messiness (and she is one incredibly messy kid; I don’t know how she does it!) as much as I embrace her silliness.  I’m just trying to enjoy it all, because by tomorrow I’ll be driving her to college.  Which, again, is a good thing.  But I’m just not going to be ready for this, ever.

Advertisements

Parent Friends…or Not?

Yes, today will be a rant, and maybe even a whine.  But this has been on my mind all week (remember, I am stuck in a recliner all day), and I decided all of you would just Love to let me get it all out, so I quite thinking about it, and can get on with life.  Or at least reading all of your wonderful blogs that keep me going and sane right now.  Okay, here we go…

Last week I was sick, and couldn’t make the football game. I loathe when that happens because I hate to miss seeing Little One cheer.  But, with the way seating happened, all I would have seen were people’s rear ends, which while some would have been nice to gaze at, would have irritated me because they would have blocked the cheerleaders.

There is a group of us that sit together at the games. Husband and I usually arrive early, and then try to make sure there is room for the others.  Now, we don’t see these parents outside of school events, but we all chat, and we see each other through football and basketball season, so we are together a lot.  At the games we chat, we cheer for our kids, and we have a good time.

Husband went by himself to the game. Little One would have been really upset without a parent showing up, and he loves to watch the kids play football.  After all this time we know most of the kids who play.  He had his folding chair, and when he arrived, no one had saved him a place.  And no one offered to move to make room for him.  And he barely got a hello.  Everyone had to move shortly after this to the parking lot behind a chain link fence, and again no one in the group made any effort to include him.  He chatted with other people during the game, but he didn’t feel part of it all like he usually does.

When he got home and told me this it really peeved me. One of the Moms knew I was sick and couldn’t make the game.  I would have saved a place for her husband, and made sure Husband knew he was flying solo and to chat with him.  What we got was the opposite, which besides getting me mad, also made me question the friendships.  Which has made it difficult this past week to interact with the Mom I text with a lot.

What do these parent friendships, where we sit together weekly at games for our kids, chat, and get to know each other really mean? I frequently bring their kids to my house after school when their parents are at work, and take them to the game or get them to the school to ride the van to the game.  I’ve had a parent bring Little One home a couple of times when I’ve had a doctor’s appointment.  I know we don’t have life long bonds going here, but I thought there was a definite group where we sat together, and looked forward to being together weekly.  Perhaps I was wrong.

I’m not going to say anything to any of them tomorrow, because it would just cause unnecessary drama. And it wouldn’t make a difference; I can see the blank looks I’d get for asking why they didn’t make a place for him at the last game.  And, it also feels wrong to me to bring it up.  But I will be seeing everyone in a different way, and interacting with them differently.  I can’t help it.  They’ll put it down to my not feeling well, and being in pain.  Because we see what we want to see.  And right now, I see people who really aren’t friends.

Friday Night Lights (and Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday)

I watched the movie Friday Night Lights, and I watched every episode of the TV show.  There were definitely parts I couldn’t relate to, but I liked the idea of a community coming together because of a sport.  Not the parts where the coach’s house had rude signs in the front yard after a loss, or where the student athletes were yelled at for losing, but the coming together and supporting the kids, and cheering loudly.

Because the charter school my daughters attend is small, we have a Friday Night Lights feel with our sports (without all the extreme parts).  Husband and I have been to football and volleyball games, boys and girls basketball games, and this year we plan to go to the baseball games.  A lot of families come to the games, even if they don’t have a child playing or cheering, and it is amazing to see how the energy of the school community lights the kids up and gets them playing better.

We know kids on all the teams, and go to support them.  After the game most people wait for the teams to come back out to tell them they did a good job (even if they lost) and how great it was to watch them play.  Last week the girls lost the first division playoff game so their season ended, and it was a great game.  Both teams played well, and the team that beat us did have to work for it.  Little One’s best friend is on the team, and after she was done hugging and crying on Little One I gave her a hug and told her how proud I was of her, and how well she had played.  I got a big hug and a wavering smile for that.

The energy last Saturday night at the boys 2nd division playoff game was amazing.  We had a lot of people from the school community at the game, and all of us chanted, clapped and cheered the boys to victory.  It was an incredible experience being in the gym at that game, and I was really happy to be a part of it.

There is a lot of talk about how parents act out at kids sporting events, and I have seen my share of that.  But more often I have seen what I saw last week, a coming together to cheer the kids on and have a good time.  For the time the game is played everyone is there to support and cheer, and you can see the kids love it, and respond positively to it.  The louder our group was the better the boys played.  It was awesome!

I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow night, even if I probably won’t have a voice to yell with.  Husband can yell loud enough for both of us.  Win or lose (and of course I hope it is win) I get the privilege of being there watching a remarkable group of kids play a game they love.  Whatever night the lights are on, and for whatever sport, I’m happy to be a part of it.

My Sister

Last night I spent an hour on the phone with my Sister.  It was great to talk to her, and we were both able to vent about stuff that is bothering us.  We both said we are going to do better and talk more, because we feel better getting it all out.

I didn’t grow up with my Sister.  In fact, I didn’t even know she existed until I was 26 and just married, and she was 17.  I didn’t know I had a younger brother (Brother #6 in the scheme of all this) until then either.  I knew I had an older Brother (#4) and a younger sister (#2) and younger brother (#5), none of whom I had met.

I was adopted by my family when I was an infant.  I always knew as my family was open about it, going so far as to create a book they used to read to me about my adoption.  The Brothers, as I called them as a child, were not adopted, but by the time my parents felt they needed one more child, a girl, they weren’t going to conceive one.  So they went to an agency and started the process to adopt a five or six year old girl.  They received a call around nine months later that an infant was available, were they interested?  They were, they drove to the agency where they were placed in a room where they could spend time to decide if they wanted to take me home.  When the caseworker came back I was dressed in the outfit my Mom had brought and they took me home that day.  A year later, and with no caseworker visits that I’ve heard about, my whole family went before a judge, said they wanted to keep me, and it was a done deal.  Some pet adoptions are more complicated today than my adoption was back then.

So I grew up knowing I was adopted, which really didn’t impact me.  It was something unique to share, there was a relative who refused to acknowledge me because of the adoption, the Middle Brother didn’t like to say I was because I was his sister and that was that, and I grew up, got married, had kids and got a mortgage.

Due to health issues in my early 20’s I contacted the adoption agency, paid them the fee, and learned who my birth mother was.  We even talked on the phone.  I learned she had a daughter two years younger than me, and a son four years younger than I am.  She seemed relieved to know I had grown up in a good home.  Today we are Face Book friends, and we ocassionaly send pictures to each other.  She did give me the name of my birth father, which I didn’t do anything with until right after I got married.  A co-worker had a one month access to an Internet database and could look people up, so I had her look the name up, and found him.

I didn’t get to meet my birth father before he passed away, but we did talk on the phone a couple of times.  I have however met my Sister and Brothers #4 and #6.  I even added Sister and Brother #6’s mom to my family.  It’s been nine years since my Sister and I officially met in person, when she came for Little One’s 5th birthday party.  And she has been part of our life and celebrations since.  Sister and I had always wanted a sister, and then we got one.  We went through growing pains even though we were adults as we got to know each other.  My girls love having a Crazy Aunt (even though she isn’t very crazy anymore) and she loves taking them on adventures when she visits.

So, it was great to talk to my Sister, catch up, and be there for each other.  My girls are close, and I hope they always are.  They are the first to defend the other, the first to make the other incredibly mad, and the first to be supportive and proud of the other.  Having and being a sister is special, and I’m so glad I get to experience it.