the inconvenience of awesome


Aw, growth spurts! So much fun…said no parent who JUST bought their kid those out-grown athletic shoes or three pairs of must-have skinny jeans ever.

When I was a girl I discovered just how awful growth spurts could be as in Mommy-Dearest just bought me those shoes or those pants or just let out the hem of those dresses and pantsuits (we wore pantsuits back in the day, don’t judge) with no more material left to hem. She’d be frustrated and angry that I was growing like a weed and I would feel bad because I clearly should have better control of this growing thing…at least that was my perspective as a 12 year old kid not understanding the inconvenience of your kid growing like a weed when there are bills to pay and groceries to buy to feed your ravenous, growing weed.

Then I became a mother; a mother of kids that grew and grew like weeds. Often growing like crazy at the most inconvenient of times like when I had bills to pay or groceries to buy to feed those ravenous little weeds of mine.

I could not seem to keep Zoë in jeans that were soon too small or impossibly too short literally a month after I bought them. And replacing Jodie’s split sole, black tap shoes that were scarcely worn for only two dance competitions really sucked sometimes as did emergency alterations of custom made costumes that were custom made to allow for grow room.  I mean…how rude…how inconvenient…these kids are growing much too fast!

And then I understood.

Oh.

So now that Spring has really sprung, Daniel is ready to break out the shorts. But the shorts are much, much too small. Two sizes too small. Shorts he has worn for the last two years of Spring and Summer…perhaps more. Shorts that are clearly much, much too small.

Oh happy day!!!

Human growth hormones, I love you so much…except for the fact that this is a helluva time for the kid to have outgrown his clothes because there are bills to pay…too many bills…and these kids seem to be hungry all the time…especially that kid who is finally GROWING!!!

So inconvenient but so freaking awesome!!!

Don’t worry, the mom of the 8 year old who apparently is wearing shorts two sizes bigger than Daniel’s new shorts tempered my excitement and frustration by pointing out the fact that her 8 year old is two sizes bigger than my 12 year old….as moms of kids who are not growth hormone deficient do.

Thanks!

Us moms of kids well below the growth curve their entire life, with non-functioning pituitary glands, love to hear about the burden of your overgrown child. It’s so…encouraging. Thanks.

Still, it is pretty damn awesome to pack away forever the shorts your son has worn every Spring, Summer and Fall season since second grade as his fifth grade year is winding down because this is normal. This is what “normal” parents do with their kids as they grow. This is just more “normal” for us to celebrate as parents of this mighty, former micro-preemie of ours, as parents of micro-preemies do…celebrating the normal.

So damn awesome!

Now to figure out what Peter to rob to pay Paul for the new shorts, the shorts that fit. Hey, at least they were on sale!

 

 

family history


More than usual, my darling husband and I have had conversations with Daniel about adoption not unlike that conversation this past January. Some of it can be attributed to natural curiosity about who he is and where did he come from that comes with growing up and entering…

DUN DUN DUN…

Adolescence.

But given the conversations about real parents and real sisters…as opposed to the fake parents and fake sisters…I am thinking Daniel is having to endure the shiny, happy stupid that is some people’s perception of what adoption is all about. No, not his peers. It’s the shiny, happy and stupid that is their parents and other adults who influence their thinking.

Thank you shiny, happy people!

You’re welcome for the ear worm, too.

Don’t worry. Daniel is assured of the fact that I am really his mother, Bill is really his father and Hollie, Zoë, Abby, and Jodie are really his real sisters…in spite of the fact that he is adopted and in spite of what shiny, happy, stupid comes out of people’s mouths when they speak of adoption.

Which brings us to Multi-Cultural Week at Daniel’s school this week and what would he like to do for his family culture project. We could talk about Russia and all the things we learned about his biological ethnic origins thanks to Winter Games being held in Sochi, Russia this year.

“Why can’t I talk about my REAL family?”, he asks.

Truth be told, mom, his real mom, is far more interested in his biological cultural and ethnic roots than he is right now. So we begin to discuss the ethnic and cultural history of his real family. Daniel decides that he wants to talk about the origin of the Scarborough name and the Scarborough Castle because it’s kind of cool to have a real castle in your family’s history even if it isn’t really our castle.

Really!

 

things that don’t go together


A weekend in a hotel for the Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention and Competition and YOU have to study and take the online portion of your Neonatal Resuscitation Program renewal test. Doesn’t that sound like a workable thing? Oh, I forgot, you are bringing along your 12 year old boy because your darling husband is working through the weekend. You know, the sweet boy of yours with sensory processing issues? Don’t forget that your grandgirl, who also dances, will be there for part of the weekend too.

No! YOU thought this would be totally easy and doable.

Of course you did. Until you got there at the hotel…where the dance convention is being held…crowded with lots of other families from lots of other dance studios there…with lots and lots of very excited kids because OMG!!! Kent Boyd is here too!!!! A lot of dance moms were overly excited too. Still, you imagine this will be doable. The kids will be in dance classes from 7:30 AM until well into the afternoon and then they dance competitively through the night until around midnight all weekend long. You’ll have time for sure you tell yourself.

Heh!

Did you forget the son you brought along?

But there’s a pool. He can swim. He has video games. He can keep himself entertained while you are studying and logging on to take that 9 part test. He’s a good boy. Your husband will be picking him up Saturday afternoon. You end up repeating that last sentence over and over again because he is a 12 year old boy and the last thing he wants to do is entertain himself. Your husband will be picking him up Saturday afternoon…

Did I forget to tell you that there is a hockey tournament happening here too and there are all kinds of hockey teams here with hockey players the same ages as all those dancers? Oh, and with hockey teams come hockey parents. Hockey parents who are more than okay with letting their kids play hockey IN THE HOTEL ROOM NEXT TO YOURS in the evening…until you asked them not to because it sounded like someone was being murdered in the next room which distracted you from studying and REALLY stressed out your 12 year old…the one with sensory processing issues. Apparently hockey dad didn’t think this was a problem until you told him that you thought that it might be…so he sends the kids out into the hall to play hockey. Yes. Because apparently on every floor there are kids playing hockey. They are also playing hockey in the hotel lobby too while their parents are doing celebratory shots Saturday night because their kids won the tourney.

YEAH Junior Kings!!!

Did I forget to tell you that the Internet connection is very spotty? The Internet connection you have to pay for because of course this hotel isn’t going to offer complimentary wi-fi to their guests.

So the connection keeps dropping while you are taking your test. There are hockey games, loud hockey games happening everywhere. Your son wants to go back to the pool an hour after he decided that he was tired of swimming but can’t possibly wear the swim trunks he wore because he wore them and they are wet. Any parent with a kid on the Spectrum gets that. If you don’t get that all I can say is, I’m sorry. Your grandgirl is REALLY upset because she can’t go swimming because her day is filled with dance classes and dance competition. You’re very thankful that your dancer is old enough to get herself to and from her dance classes but there are still the dances she is dancing in…and the grandgirl is dancing in. What kind of dance mom/mima would you be if you didn’t watch these kids dance?

You know what? None of this mixes well together at all.

Not.

At.

All.

So the next time you find yourself in hotel with your kids for a dance convention and there are also lots of hockey teams there too with hockey kids and hockey parents and you have work you must do for work that requires Internet access DON’T DO IT!!!

Just don’t.

Dance convention and competition is enough. It really is.

I know that my dancers think so. Hang in there girls…only five more hours to go then we go home.

YEAH!

Excuse me, I have to get back to trying to take my test before the wi-fi cuts out again.

 

with love to the people we practice on


So apparently today is Siblings Day.

Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, shaking your head and muttering under your breath…as you some of you sometimes do over things like this that you might find silly.

Whatever.

The day was created by Claudia Evart, who lost both of her siblings earlier on in life. She chose the date to honor her late sister, Lisette. After losing her two siblings to separate accidents early in life, Claudia realized the importance of remembering our siblings, both living and no longer with us. She has dedicated herself to ensuring the bond of brother and sister is forever recognized as the special gift it is.

Like many, I have these pictures of my brother and sister, who are both gone, but remain with me daily, not just in these pictures, but in my daily thoughts and in my heart. I lost both of them in tragic accidents, making me understand the everlasting bond we have with our siblings.

Yes, I am sentimental, and sometimes very emotional when I remember my late brother, Randy and think of where the consequences of life, our choices and others’ choices brought Randy, Billy, Valerie and me.

Sigh!

So many memories…good, bad, ugly and even WTF parents?! But they are/were ours and as Randy once told me, they are the one thing that we share and share only with each other. No one will ever get any of it and that is okay. Memories like that romper Billy is wearing…that haircut of mine which would be in the WTF parents? column. But ultimately the good is what I think of looking at this picture and other pictures of the four of us. Anything else would likely have destroyed me as it crushed my younger brothers and sister. And so I focus on the magic we created together, the four of us and I give thanks.

Then I celebrate some more because, yes, I have more siblngs!

Sisters…so awesome are they! So much younger than me, so much more smarter than me, more amazing than me and even taller than me now. Our memories are different, still they are good and always make me smile. I’m pretty lucky to have you, Angela and Elana both, as sisters.

But not to be left out, my own clowns began to share today celebrating their siblings.

Nobody tell those kids of mine that this is a dream come true especially when I recall the knock-down-drag-out fights that always ended up in tears, blood drawn and a broken nose or two in the past and maybe even last month.

Honestly, kids!

Zoë shared

And because only siblings are great in that way, Hollie declared this to be probably the worst picture to share.

Oh kids!

So I offer perhaps a better picture.

I have more…lots more…Hollie found some.

Oh the secrets, promises, laughter and tears these four have shared…and the fighting…with blood and a broken nose too that these sisters have shared!

Hollie shared: “Hey Daniel, thanks for being our brother. You kind of didn’t have choice in the matter (does any sibling ever have a choice, I wonder?). But you are literally the best thing to happen to this family. You’re crazy, and awesome, and weird in the best way. You’re brilliant and inquisitive, and so much like the four of us. You’re going to drive mom and dad crazy when you’re a teen (next year, OMG!). You were meant for us. And I love you so much. Happy Sibling Day!”

My heart just exploded with glitter and rainbows and unicorns.

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way. – Pamela Dugdale

 

 

 

prep for the future


I finally got to enjoy the gift certificate my girls gave me for a mani pedi and it was wonderful. And then I ended up with an ingrown toenail followed by an infection. Yes, a gift that keeps on giving. It’s my own fault. I should have not enjoyed the massaging of limbs so much that I became blissfully unaware of the fact that the nail tech was cutting my nails rather than filing. So now I get to soak my affected foot in an epsom salts, vinegar, bleach solution followed by nail care as prescribed by my doctor…anything to avoid him taking a scalpel to my poor, swollen, angry-red toe.

Daniel is fascinated with this three times daily exercise of mine…the soaking of the foot….the drying of the foot…

“What’s the dental floss for?”

“Well I need to slide it under the nail like so in order to lift…”

“OH MY GAWD!”

Poor guy pales, turns away quickly and loudly retches.

“it’s okay, son. It doesn’t hurt.”

“Bleeccchhh!”

“There are far grosser things than this, son.”

“LIke what?”

“Um, catching your kid’s vomit with your hands.”

“EW!!!”

“I promise you that isn’t even the grossest thing.”

“I’m not doing any of that EVER!”

Hmmm…

Me thinks for the sake of my son’s future forever love of his life and any family they might have this needs to be fixed soon…for their sake and for his own sake so he won’t have to awkwardly apologize like Boomer Esiaison had to recently...I imagine not only to assuage some of his fan base (they all can’t be douche-bags, can they?). I’m sure old Boomer heard an earful from Mrs. E and didn’t care much for sleeping in the doghouse so to speak.

Having the privilege of seeing more babies being born than I can remember over the years, I have to say that I have seen so many different kinds of dads…the total hands on I’ll-do-everything kind of daddies, the dads who just might pass out if we don’t make him sit down now, the dads who do pass put, the dads who can scarcely look up from the game, Candy Crush, texts from his friends, dads who have fallen asleep because after 20 hours he is exhausted…YEAH…we wake those dads up so they won’t miss the big moment. Thankfully, most of these daddies surprise us all…especially their partners and their own selves as well. They go on to own diaper changing, well, some do. I know some dads refuse the diaper duty. The daddies on my watch soon learn they get one free pass on that with me because I come from the school of “You made this baby, you change this baby. That once earned me a tray of homemade tamales made by a lovely, elderly Mexican man who was amazed and amused that I could make his big, macho son change his daughter’s diaper because everyone knows that to “your average strong Hispanic man that is woman’s work” (his words, not mine). Some daddies grow with their babies being totally hands on daddies, taking a couple of the late night feedings, walking the floor, taking care of a barfy kid, taking the kids to the pediatrician, attending the parent-teacher conferences, jumping right in with child-care when the other parent is at work or out with friends or out of town without even calling on the grandparents to babysit or calling the wife asking when is she coming home…

and some daddies, well, some daddies don’t.

That’s okay…

I guess…

as long as both parents are okay with that.

Me?

I have been lucky to have a dad for my kids who was hands on from that very first diaper change, who has caught more than his fair share of barf and dealt with middle of the night barfy bedding. He has taken kids on occasion to the doctor, done some of the middle of the night feedings, walked the floor with a colicky-screaming baby even if he did have to get up for work in two hours, attended parent-teacher conferences and never once called on his parents to babysit when the wife was at work or out with friends or out of town because, as he taught me and his friends that they are his kids too and his job is to take care of them just like mom does…except for that breastfeeding thing because, well…

That’s the kind of daddy I hope and pray that my son will be…because frankly my grandbabies deserve nothing less. That’s the kind of man we are trying to raise this boy up to be.

Yeah, it’s a work in progress. He’s twelve. There’s time.