Proud … 

If I had to describe this past school year I would describe it as CHALLENGING. It started off as any other year had … and then craziness ensued. Getting sick is one of the most selfish things I could have ever done to my kids, my family and my friends. It derailed all of us.

Do I really believe it was my fault?

No. Of course not. But I still feel a tremendous sense of guilt especially when it comes to my kids. They needed me and there were days when I could hardly lift my head. My heart broke each time I couldn’t do something for them. I was angry when they had to struggle without me. They had to step it up and do so much on their own. Things that I normally would do for them or with them. They missed out on our talks. Moments that they used to deflate from their day or share their excitements. They handled stress and problems without me. Again. It broke me.

Today my son George graduates from high school. Goodness I love this kid of mine! He is gentle, kind, compassionate and brilliant. And throughout this past school year he grew into so much more. He matured naturally but also because he had to. He didn’t fight it. He never acted out. He wasn’t bitter. He just went with it. He helped so much. He took on so much. And he accomplished so much. As painful (and wonderful) as it is to admit this, my baby boy grew up in what seems like a few short months. He had to.

Today feels surreal. I want to cry because it’s over and cry from a sense of relief. This was a tough school year but George did it. He finished despite the curve balls life threw at us. And he somehow managed to thrive.

If we are lucky, as parents, sometimes we get a glimpse of reassurance that our kids are READY to take on the world. They get it. They can do this. Those moments when we see clearly that they are exactly what God meant them to be in this time and in this place. I gratefully had many of these moments this school year. They came as a result of time and nature but also out of pain and need. I don’t believe anything happens by chance so I cannot look back on this school year bitterly. All the events that unfolded have delivered us to this day. My baby boy’s graduation day. He got here precisely how he needed to and in a way that has left him better and more capable. What an amazing young man he has become. Indeed.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are proud!!!

It’s surreal … 

Today is George’s last day of high school classes. Forever. He graduates next Wednesday. Watching him leave the house this morning filled my heart with all sorts of emotions and flooded my mind with memories. How is this possible? Where did my baby boy go? It seems like just yesterday that I found out I was pregnant with him. That moment, still so vivid. And here we are … I can’t believe it.

Well, I hope you all have a day that seems surreal!!!

Happy to have my heart ripped out …

Yesterday we visited Sonoma State University. G3 was accepted there a few weeks ago. He still is undecided on which university he wants to attend and this is all part of the process to help him decide. I think the campus is lovely. In this mom’s opinion, the dorms couldn’t be more perfect for him. And the whole feel of the university just felt right to me. But but other than contributing a little parental guidance and my knowledge and familiarity with campus life, I am allowing him to make this very adult decision. As hard as it is to admit, G3 is almost an adult now. He’s a smart, level headed young man. I know his future is bright no matter where he ends up studying. As much as I want to, I don’t need to “hand hold” him on this one. He’s got this. And it makes me both incredibly proud … and sad. I feel all the parental “feels”.

“Where has time gone?”

“I want to be mama bear and protect my son … FOREVER!”

“I don’t want him to leave!”

But then there is also the part of me that cannot think of any greater joy than watching my children follow their dreams. I have been down this road before with Sidney. It is an all too familiar emotional roller coaster that is both beautiful and horrible all at the same time! Yet as painful as it can be watching this all go down, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Well, I hope you call have a day where you are happy to have your heart ripped out!!!

A wonderful gift …

My son, G3, received his first college acceptance letter yesterday. It was a total shocker since we were told by all the universities that we should not expect to hear anything until after the new year and as late as March. I’ll be honest, I know I’m more excited than he is! And not just for having so much to look forward to. But his really takes some pressure off of him. He knows that no matter what, he’s going to a university that he chose. A place he thought would be a good fit for him. Somewhere he could spread his wings and become the man he is dreaming of. That’s pretty darn awesome if you as me. And having him be notified earlier than we ever expected goes perfectly with this holiday season.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you were given a wonderful gift!!!

In the blink of an eye …

On Sidney’s 17th birthday last October I wrote a blog entry titled “Growing Away”. I wrote about the realization I had when Sid passed the one year mark until her high school graduation. I realized I was, in fact, raising Sidney (and my other three) to “grow away” from me. BIG SIGH.

This year has been about “lasts” and also about the excitement of new and exciting begins. None of it has been easy. I have struggled. It has been heartbreaking. I knew that this year would fly by. And it did. We are here now. Sidney graduates from high school today. And in a few short months she will be leaving for college. Everything I wrote about last October will have come to fruition. It is simply unbelievably to me.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with her. I remember seeing her for the first time during my ultrasound. I remember feeling her first kicks. I remember what her first cry sounded like and holding her for the first time. Her first bath. I remember the white bow she wore in her hair on the way home from the hospital. I remember her first smile, giggle and tooth. Her first fever. Her first favorite toy. The squeak her gums would make when she chewed on her toys. Getting her “angel wings” picture dressed in the white outfit my mother bought her before she passed away. How cute she looked wearing her little green hat with the yellow and white flowers my Ya Ya gave her. Her first french fry. Her first plane ride. Her first steps. When she first tried to put on my high heels. How much she LOVED shoes. Blue’s Clues and Rugrats. How fast she fell in love with her baby brother. Her first hair cut. Her pink bedroom walls. When purple became her new favorite color. Her first day of school, wearing her little pink capris and plaid shirt. Her first best friend. Her Hello Kitty birthday party. When she struggled to learn to read. When she found Jesus. When she wanted to dress just like her little sister in purple butterfly leggings. When she stopped letting me kiss her in front of her friends. Horse back riding lessons and having to wet her long thick blond hair under her helmet to keep her cool. Her dreaded swim lessons. Her first tennis lesson. Her first match. How her love grew for that sport. The first time she donated her hair. How much she loved Sea World. How she would ride her bike every day after school. When she was the Little Mermaid for Halloween. Telling her there was no Santa. Her first bee sting. When she realized she loved books. The pieces of asphalt (still) in her leg. Her first time riding a big roller coaster. The first time she baby sat. The first time she cried during a movie. When she held her other little sister for the first time. When she wanted to be a pastry chef. The first time she baked for me. When music became MUSIC. When she went out with “just friends” and no parents for the first time. Her first Black Friday. Her first dance. When she applied to her high school digital arts program. When she decided she liked to run. Her first half marathon. And her second. Making the varsity tennis team. When she asked if we could start visiting colleges. Holding her own. Finding it easy to stand up for herself. When she slept for 14 hours. When she stopped outgrowing her jeans. When she started talking in third person. Unicorns. When she started dabbling in photography. When it became more than dabbling. Her Starbucks addiction and her obsession with crime drama. When she fell in love San Francisco … and when I knew that she was going to call it home one day. When she OWNED being a digital media artist. When she spoke and presented herself professionally. Seeing her feel comfortable in her own skin. Receiving THAT acceptance letter. When she started to look … older. Ordering a cap and gown. Finishing her professional portfolio. When I realized she had a resume and that sometimes she does know best. Senior prom. Her name on graduation announcements

And today.

Graduation day.

… and it all happened in … you know …

Well, I hope you all have a day where things seem to have happened in the blink of an eye!!!

Speechless … 

Today was Sid’s last day of high school. Next week is all about fun for the seniors. Graduation day is Wednesday. I am blown away. She is done.

As I watched her walk with her brother through the high school gate and across the field this morning, I couldn’t believe what I was watching for the last time. I just sat in my car taking it all in. It was profound in so many ways that to try and describe it with words would be an injustice. I have learned that there are some events that transcend mere words. They are moments better served as feelings. And this was certainly one of them.

Well I hope you all have a day where you are left speechless!!!

I have a feeling I am going to annoy the heck out of her … 

Tonight is Sid’s senior prom! I tend to be a little more editable than she is, but even this is over the top for me. I can’t wait for the “getting ready” part to begin … and that doesn’t happen for HOURS! Ugh. Is it bad I want to wake her up and get going anyway?!?!

OK, fine … I won’t. It probably isn’t a safe idea anyway, HA!

But I gotta say that I may burst before she wakes up! Because … Oh. My. Gosh … I … am … SO … EXCITED!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you don’t annoy the heck out of your daughter!!!