About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Homestretch

I am wildly, emphatically, gleefully and eagerly counting down the hours to the last day of school, probably even more so than my children are.

Summer vacation, I can practically taste you.  And you are sweet like watermelon.

Here's what I want to do:  NOTHING for at least 2 weeks.

I want to live in my swimsuit and flip flops, read books and have lazy, lazy, lazy days by the pool.

I want to do so little, that by the end of August we are all bored out of our skulls and can't wait to get back to the chaos and over-scheduling that seems to pin us down every fall and hold us in place until the beginning of June.  I want to get some rest and recharge my batteries.

I want my kids to be outside, playing and using their imaginations and bodies.  I want them to live in their swimsuits and to get muddy and to come home at night feeling like they've adventured and had whole days with no where they had to be.  I want to ride bikes, camp, toast marshmallows and sit on the beach.  We are going to spend two weeks in Naples with my parents and I am really looking forward to being at a beach where you can swim.  The Gulf is as warm as bath water and you can be over your head and still see shells on the sand clearly.  Some people do not like Florida in the summer time, but I think that they are nuts!  I love it.

Lately, life has been work, work, work, drama with the kids, work, work, work, work.  I am rushing from one place and get there late, only to rush to my next place and arrive late.  I am WAY too busy for my own good.  This week was especially taxing and emotional because, out of nowhere, Lila began experiencing (what I can only describe as) separation anxiety.  She has not had this happen since pre-school, and even then it did not last more than a few days.  This entire week was drenched in tears, unfounded fear and anxiety for Lila.  I had to take her out of school one day, meet with her teacher over and over, see the pediatrician and meet with the principal of the school. Also, I needed to be present in the school for most of the day, a few times this week.  I had to take her out for lunch and sit with her at recess.

It had me wondering, am I doing more harm by being present?

But I'm glad that I did it.  When I would show up for lunch and recess I tried not to hover too much.  I just sort of sat there, so that Lila knew that I had kept my word and feel comforted by my presence, but I did not get involved with her conversations or games.  At first she was very clingy, but by Friday she couldn't have cared less that I was there.  So, I guess that I did the right thing on this particular occasion.

Being a parent can be so tricky.  My instinct was to swoop in, grab my daughter and tell the school that they should send her work home to me for the rest of the year and that I will do it there with her and turn it in.  But, I think doing that, in this case, would have taught her avoidance and escapism.  So, I knew that there must be a middle ground.  There must be a way to help her feel supported and comforted, while still teaching her to work through her anxiety and fear.  This time, this worked.  We got through the week.  I am hopeful that next week will be better and that the following week will be celebratory!  Then the school year is over.  7 more days!  It's the homestretch.

I can't help but wonder what amount of this anxiety is about the change of NOT moving?  Lila is almost 8 years old and this is the longest that we've lived in a house since she was 2.  This is the longest that she has been at one school.  This is the most relationship development that she's ever had with people outside of her family.  I know that a month or so ago I looked around my house and freaked out a little bit.  The yard needs more maintenance that we've given it.  We have an accumulation of "stuff" that we need to toss... like school papers and cards and the house needed a closet cleaning and reorganization.  My initial thought was, "we really need to move soon."  Because every year for the past 4 years we've moved before we even had the opportunity to completely unpack.  But this time we are not moving.  We are staying in our rental house until we are ready to buy a house of our own.  And we probably won't do that that until Twitter goes public.  So, it could be awhile.  For the first time ever, we are settling in.  And I am wondering if some of that adjustment will be uncomfortable in its unfamiliarity.


  1. I think that you handled the week with Lila so wonderfully!

  2. Thanks Mandie. You'd think that by now I'd feel more certain about what to do. When she was in pre-k I would drop her off, walk away while she cried and she'd be fine as soon as I was gone... but my gut told me that this wasn't the right thing to do at this place in her life.

    Parenting is as much of a journey as childhood is, I guess.