Monday, May 29, 2017

Mom's Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday.  So we packed up the clan--all the kids, plus Lissa's dog Luna, and headed to Maine to celebrate with her.  My mom was turning 84 and while in most respects I view that as 84 years young--I have noticed changes in her this year.  Mobility is more of an issue than it ever was.  "The Arthur" as she puts it has impeded her ability to enjoy things that even a year ago, came more easily to her. She tires more easily as well. Though like me, she was blessed with a very high energy level most of her life, she now finds the need to nap, and pace herself more and this is a tough pill for her to swallow. There may be many birthdays left.  There may not be.   So for these reasons I felt, I think, a bit of urgency in making sure we were there on her day to celebrate with her.  Last year we were away camping and though we sent gifts and visited a week later, I know for her it was not the same.

Our original plan was to celebrate with a picnic at Portland Head Light but the weather was not picnic friendly.  So we opted instead for delicious Amato's Pizza.  Best pizza in the world if you ask me!  Absolutely adore it.  So we bought lunch and brought up a variety of unique prezzies.  I made her favorite cake which is a "daffodil cake."  Truly this cake is not for the faint of heart to make.  But it came out really well and she was thrilled.  This has always been her favorite of all cakes and she remembers my grandmother eeking out all the eggs this beast cake takes even when times were very hard and money and eggs were scarce.  In our more profligate world, I made not just the daffodil cake but a regular vanilla cake as well.  My kids hate daffodil cake so we had two choices for the festivities!

Going up there was absolutely no traffic.  But coming home?  The fates were not so kind.  Our usual 2 1/2 hour ride took over 4 due to heavy traffic and the weather.  But smiles, laughter and memories were worth every second of it.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

All the Feels

Dance recital day one was today.  The kids are doing The Lion King. The school does it as theater so there is a story line, dialogue and lots of dancing.  This year with KC in 5 classes and Lissa in 4 and them BOTH wanting to do the production dance, it was crazy trying to keep costumes straight--make sure everyone got changed in time (twice they only had 1 number to get off stage and change) .  It was my day to work back stage and I wasn't just focussed on my kids.  There were several others with multiple changes that needed help as well.  Plus I filled in for the security desk for part of the event. So it was busy to say the least.

It was however, magical, exciting and emotional. KC has danced since he was 5.  Actually he has studied dance since he was 5. But he always danced.  Once he decided to get around to walking he was really all about dancing. I have so many pictures of him dancing around the house waving silk scarves when he was about 2.  When he was 3 he did these crazy skits every night after supper and a dance was always part of it.  By the time he was 4 he was asking for dance classes and trying to teach himself tap in our front hall. At age 5 we found Miss Heidi's school and he has been there ever since.

Lissa is a gifted dancer but in some ways I see myself in her. I had ability but not a drive.  KC is consumed with a passion for dance.  Lissa enjoys it. The costumes are cool. Her friends are great.   But it isn't this burning thing within her like it is for KC.  Nonetheless, I also love to watch her dance. She is fluid and graceful and has an amazing ability to interpret the emotion of a piece with her body.

The kids godparents came out to see the performance, as did my FIL and my wife.  Tomorrow will be my turn to enjoy the performance with Rob, my wife and my mom.

There was more today though.  Unknown to any of us, KC was awarded a $500 dance scholarship to the school.  We did not know that KC was nominated for this--actually I did not even know about the scholarship which is a memorial to Miss Heidi's beloved father.  He passed away last year and she mentioned as she awarded it to KC how much her dad enjoyed watching him dance. It was a huge and very unexpected honor.

I am grateful that this is another circle of loving support for my kids.  A place where they are challenged, yet respected and where friendships run deep and strong.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Coming of Age

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I'm feeling like this is a pretty emotional weekend.  You could start with right now.  The fact that I am in a house with no kids in it.  At all.  Like zero.  For the first time in about 13 years.  The picture above is part of the reason why.  KC is away on the final part of his Coming of Age year at church. It is an overnight retreat in a state near us.  Before they left for their retreat we gathered in the space above for a short ceremony to send our "kids" off. They will return as more than kids.  Not adults, but having symbolically left childhood behind.  On the sanctuary space you can see in the back ground the masks that they made as part of this experience.  KC's is the one on the left with the blue hair.  It was a very empowering experience for him to make a mask and think about what he shares with the world and what he chooses to keep hidden behind an invisible mask.

This weekend too, will be transforming for him.  KC has never wanted to stray far from home.  Or far from us, for that matter. As an infant he craved skin to skin contact more than any of my children.  As a toddler he loved to play but wanted to have me close, and involved.  As a young elementary aged child he never ever wanted to stay the night away from home.  He loved having friends over but was very anxious at the thought of being away from home.  Tonight, he will sleep with 14 other friends from church and trusted mentors.  He is ready.  I am excited for him and I was pretty dry eyed through the ceremony.  Then I came home and a sweet note was pinned to our dry erase board.  Written in green marker--green is always the KC color at our house--it read

Dear Ooma and Mom,
Right now I'm probably having an awesome time.  But I love you and really miss you.  Keep Maui happy. (his cat) Drink a small bit of wine and please send me WARM HUGS love you lots, KC

My darling, brave funny and talented son--so many warm hugs are headed your way.

While he is off, Lissa is at a sleep over at a friends house.  Tomorrow  I will meet her there as Karen is having a pot luck Mothers Day brunch and Lissa and Karen's two girls are helping to organize the crafts that the kids will do while we ladies chat.

Tomorrow night Rob is taking his girl friend to her prom.  I can't wait for pictures!  But so much. So soon.  Truly one day they can't tie their shoe and the next, they fledge. They fly, they make you think they are going to crash.  And then, they catch an updraft, and soar.