children, family, motherhood

Three Weeks

This summer has me so overwhelmed with change that I feel like part of me has shut down to cope.  I am operating more in logic and less in feeling.

The feelings will have to come later.

Before we knew we were moving to a new state, we signed Full Speed up for a three-week academic class held on a college campus.  Even then, while I was thrilled for him to have this unique opportunity, I was not particularly happy about him being away for three weeks. Throw some travel and our family changing addresses into the mix and I am surprised I am still standing.

The most unsettling part of this process with Full Speed was how extremely collegiate it all felt.  We had to make sure he had linens and towels.  He also needed shower shoes and a caddy for supplies to be used in the dorm showers.

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Mad Dog and Full Speed unpacking and organizing his dorm closet.

Once we arrived at his dorm, it continued to take on a surreal quality.  A feeling of yes, he is only thirteen, and yes, he will return home, but also a feeling of what our future without Full Speed may look like.

It’s not great, folks.  Not great at all.

The positive is we obviously love our kid and should be grateful that we are missing him.

It would be rather telling if we broke out the bubbly and celebrated his departure with a joyful clink of glasses.  There was no toasting.  Only a sinking sensation that Full Speed is well on his way to carving out his own life.

I cannot tell you the willpower it took to not cry when we left him at his dorm.  I held it together.  I don’t know how, but I did.

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My goal is to stay focused on the present moment and be mindful of what will feel supportive to him in terms of how much I communicate with him.

Unfortunately, him live-streaming his day to my phone is not an option.

Weird, I know.

Instead, I sense he is consumed by new routines, meeting new people and mastering the intensive curriculum ahead.

Texting his mom should not be a priority.

I get it.

I don’t have to like it, but I get it.

I have always known that my children have never really been mine.  The most ‘ownership’ I can claim over them has maybe been the nine months I carried them.  Once they arrived in the world it has been my one of my greatest honors to walk along beside them as I do my best to let them go.

Now, more so than ever before, it is time for Full Speed to walk ahead alone.

I love you, Full Speed.  I am so proud to be your mom.

May this opportunity open your eyes to the infinite possibilities of life.

And remember, I am only a phone call away.

Three weeks.

You’ve got this.

Me, too💕

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For the record, I can neither confirm or deny if T.Puzzle is missing Full Speed.

Ok, I lied.

I can confirm he totally does though he would never say it out loud.

And, I thank my lucky stars to have this one-on-one time with him.

He is a funny dude and makes me laugh … a lot.

family, motherhood, parenting

On Track For Stardom (Part 3)

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Full Speed may get trounced on now and again, but he always gets back up and prevails. Every. Single. Time.

 

I was beyond confused.  While my eyes were seeing Full Speed line up with his teammates near the high jump area, my mind could not comprehend it.  It was like if you were at my house and I walked down my stairs wearing a Cardinals jersey.  It would make absolutely no sense.  If you were a Cubs fan, and odds are if I let you in my home, you were,… well, at the least you would be anything but a Cardinals fan…, first you would feel confusion, then as it sunk in, you would feel angry and upset.

That’s exactly how I felt:  confused, angry, upset

Why?

First of all, Full Speed up to this point in all of his entire life, had never even attempted to execute a high jump.  Secondly, he barely cleared the waist of one of his man-sized teammates.  I wish I was exaggerating for effect, but sadly, I am not.  This kid towered over Full Speed.  He looked like a line-backer while Full Speed looked like a scrawny equipment manager (albeit a highly adorable one).

Thankfully, the high jump took place well off the main area.  Most of the crowd was focused on the excitement of the relays that circled before us.  The bad news is, Full Speed’s high jump attempts played out exactly as you might imagine.

For his ‘warm-up’ jump he actually went under bar.  Yes, you read that right….under.  For his remaining three attempts he managed to at least level himself out with the bar to a degree, mainly shouldering the bar and launching it off the two poles that held it up.  There was no grace to be found in these movements, mostly it looked like he was being electrocuted as his arms flailed around helplessly. I have to give him props for consistency, I mean he demolished that bar every single time.  I also appreciated the polite way he helped replace the bar to its proper positioning for the next kid in line.

This was a parenting moment that I had to go big picture.  This is where what you see before you is so off-kilter, you just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘no big deal’.   This is just a blip on the road of life and let it go.  I secretly held on to hope that he might get a chance to compete in another event.  One hopefully, that required his feet to stay planted on the ground.

Shortly after, the ominous clouds that had been gathering decided they were done with this particular track meet.  Within moments, rain was pummeling its way through the crowd and we all scattered like ants to safety.  I was separated from Full Speed for a bit while the fate of the track meet was determined.  Eventually, as mother nature continued on with her very bad mood, the meet was called and I caught up with him.

Once we were back at the car away from the noisy rain, I asked him point-blank, “Why on earth did they ask you do to the high jump?”

“I volunteered,” he replied.

“Oh.”

Turns out, four members of his team were no-shows and there were lots of gaps needing to be filled.  As his coach had run through the litany of events that needed a fill-in, Full Speed volunteered for every single one.

He was denied on all counts.

That is until the high jump was called out.  No one was willing to step up so what did Full Speed do?

He stepped up.

Can you imagine the amount of courage this must have taken?  Since Full Speed has a pretty good hold on reality, he had to have known it was going to end badly for him.

He did it anyway.

This kid may have lost the high jump that day, but he won my respect.

He has all it takes to be a winner.  The kind that matters.  The kind that isn’t afraid to take risks.

My favorite kind.

children, happiness, humor, kindergarten, life in pictures, mommyhood

Buckle-up for Kindergarten

Kindergarten D-day has arrived. There was so much traffic, confusion and general chaos that I forgot to be sad (mostly). I became single-minded in my focus to get Full Speed safely to his classroom.

It helped tremendously that Full Speed kept chanting, ‘this is gonna be the best year!’. If my kid was that excited about his new kindergarten adventure, who was I to argue?

Once I had us successfully navigated to Full Speed’s room, I felt slightly less overwhelmed. Again, I was thankful for my boys’ and their gregarious natures. Full Speed promptly found his cubby, deposited his Spider-man backpack and set to work coloring a picture at his desk. T.Puzzle pulled up a chair and sat down at the front of the class. Apparently he thought he’d like to start kindergarten, too.

Overall, a winning experience. There is still the labyrinthian system of elementary school drop-off and pick-up to overcome. Each day will get better I suppose. Either that or I am seriously considering giving Full Speed the keys to my truck and wishing him all the best. All I ask is that he keep the tank full and always, always wear his seatbelt.

children, eyesight, gratitude, happiness, mommyhood

The Climb of Progress

There is a positive side to having active boys with vision issues. It makes them more cautious especially at great heights and forces them to slow down a notch. Anything that slows down my always-in-motion boys at looming heights is a plus.

The downside is that when they were smaller both loathed to swing, they cried and screamed when introduced to a new climbing apparatus and they generally caused a scene if they felt unsafe. Through the years I have learned to adapt and so have they. I’ve learned when to push, when to back off and when to throw my hands up in defeat while taking a long draw of drink from my handy travel flask. Of course with time and age, the boys learned by doing that they are safe at the tops of a slides and Full Speed is now fearless (lucky me???).

Little T.Puzzle, well, he’s still a work in progress.

So, as I approached our outing to the play area at Chik-fil-a, I had very low expectations. T.Puzzle started out very cautiously and when he went down the slide he screamed and wailed. I was just about to wrap it up when he did something unexpected. He kept going. The more he went, the more confidence he built and by the end he was circling the climbing apparatus in a happy loop.

This kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I might just be able to retire my travel flask sooner than I thought. Most likely I will always hold onto it for sentimental reasons (at least that is what I will tell Mad Dog).

Way to go, Little T.Puzzle!
children, life in pictures, mommyhood, self-discovery

The Little T.Puzzle That Could

When we were at the beach and precariously attempting to navigate the two blocks to the restrooms, I had a strange moment of observational clarity. I was feeling frustrated with little T.Puzzle because he was lollygagging behind and then to slow matters even more, one of his crocs slipped from his foot.

nine month old T.Puzzle

“My croc!” he yelled, and then proceeded to take an eternity to retrieve it and place it back on his foot. Once the croc was correctly placed he determinedly rose red-faced from the sand and swiftly marched (and I mean MARCHED) to catch up with me. As I watched his arms and legs pump forward I felt admiration and a pause of understanding. If I were three years old in this big, big world I bet that I would hit a few bumps and meltdowns as I made my way, too.

In this moment I saw little T.Puzzle’s stubborn streak as a gift because I know that once we channel it for good, he will make his own way. Then I will have an even harder parenting task than anything I have faced thus far.

I will have to let him.

me and little T.Puzzle, took this pic myself