Middle School Anxiety Day 1

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Middle School is off to a roaring good start and by roaring I mean the very loud gut-wrenching vocalizations of an angst-ridden tween who is losing her mind. I’m not so sure Bug would appreciate me making fun of her here on my blog but she is always telling me to write a graphic novel so we’ll just put these sketches here and say that they may not be the whole story. I’ll give her a chance to make fun of me too. SHE has plenty of material to do so with.

I really was that horribly embarrassing parent on orientation day. Me being me, I decided to walk the dogs before orientation which was at 10am. I left at eight-ish.  Plenty of time right? My walk usually takes 45 minutes and then I take a shower (because I am the walking sweat machine). Then we’d walk to school her and I. No big thing.

Well…one thing lead to another and five minutes from getting home from walking the dogs I get a frantic call from Bug. “WHERE ARE YOU MOM?! I’M GOING TO BE LATE! I NEED YOU TO DO MY HAIR!!” fret fret fret, freak-out, freak-out, freak-out. So I rushed home, jumped in the shower, barely dried my new hairstyle of a hair cut and quickly braided her hair. We walked as fast as we could to school and then stood in line for an hour.

My wet hair was dripping all down my back and I was sweating because it’s been hotter than dog’s breath lately and it’s terribly HUMID. All the water was cumulating in the swell of my back where my butt sticks out. I can’t help it. I have a bubble butt. Bug was beyond embarrassed. If she has more acne than usual on her forehead it’s because of all the face palms. I tried my best to ride the wave of embarrassment by pretending that nothing was wrong. I greeted all her friends and their parents and we had the usual parenting social hour which you know is the worst torture ever for budding young middle-schoolers.

We survived orientation and we were both pretty excited about middle school. We went back-to-school shopping and bought about a thousand surf-related t-shirts. She got a new back pack. All was going well.

But I sensed it wasn’t so smooth-sailing when she called me twice from her Dad’s to make sure I would be there Thursday morning to do her hair if her dad dropped her off early. Poor kid. She was fretting over everything. She made a special notebook with folders and her schedule clipped prominently inside. She made sure she went to bed early two nights before so she would be in the habit of getting up early and then called me in a panic because her dad was NOT getting up early on her practice going-to-school-days. I told her not to worry. Her dad would indeed get up in time on the day he actually needed to get up early.

This is what it’s like when you have anxiety.

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Today she showed up extra early. Almost an hour before school started. We took pictures with her dad and then went inside to do her hair. I went over her list of things she’d need for the day. Did she have her notebook? Did she have her lunch? Did she have her schedule and ID card? Wait What?!! OH NO SHE DID NOT! She forgot everything at her dad’s house and there was no time to go all the way to his house to get them!

Oh crap.

Much weeping and wailing went down while we packed another lunch, printed out her schedule from online and sat down to practice her new combination lock she would need for her locker. Oh my goodness, you’d think figuring out a combination lock was something out of National Treasure with secret compartments and dead sea scrolls. Turn the lock three times to the right, then two times to the left, then one time to the right…

Mom, stop screwing me up! I don’t think in pictures like you do!”

Albeit, I was trying to explain how the levers worked inside the lock with hand movements. I guess imagining the internal mechanisms of a lock don’t help everyone like they do me.  In the end I just let her muddle through it and somehow on the seventh or eighth try (after two freak-out melt-downs) she figured it out.

Hell-LAY-lujah.

Kids, man. They just don’t want to be helped. But if you don’t help them YOU ARE THE WORST.

She did want me to walk her to school though which surprised me because I’ve been preparing for the parental rejection years since kindergarten. I know I’m embarrassing for her. I embarrass myself!  Surely she doesn’t want me walking her to school. But she was nervous. The whole lack of a schedule and an ID card was nerve-wracking. So I walked half way and then her friend showed up. Her friend is the exact opposite of her. Cool as a cucumber and not one bit worried about anything under the sun. She shrugged off Bug’s worries as if they were mere dandelion seeds flying in the wind. No schedule, no ID card, no problem! It’s the first day of school nobody expects you to know what you’re doing. Today is a free day!

I love her friend. I’m super sad she’s moving to New York in two days. I think we both need her.

Desert Vibes and the Last Pan Party

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My parents sold their house (yay!) and moved all the way across town to a retirement community nestled in the hills. It’s way way way way out in the sticks except I don’t think I’m going to call it The Sticks anymore. I’m just going to call it The Desert. Because it is! It’s the real legit desert with sage and decomposed granite and rocks and sand and cacti. It’s kind of like where Bella’s mom lived in Arizona in the first Twilight movie except less fake. I kinda love it.

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I didn’t take any pictures of their new home but it is nice. It’s a double (or triple, I’m not sure) wide mobile home but stuccoed in to look like a stick house. On the outside it looks like a trailer park but on the inside it looks like a really cute little home. I love the layout and they have lots of windows and space. In fact what they lost in real estate and their old park-like front yard, they gained in square-footage inside the house. Not foot for foot but definitely a feeling of openness and serenity. It’s great for my parents because they really need to spend less time outside trying to wrangle their massive yard in the hot sun and more time inside taking care of their glove business.

It’s going to be a while before I post any photos of inside the house because I’m not there as much as I’d like to be (I live too far away and I have too much family and work—gah!) and my parents are up to their ears in dusty boxes and don’t really want to be photographed. Though I really do wish I had taken some photos of my mom going through boxes in her new kitchen and sitting in her chair by the window. My mom is so cute. Next time I’m out I will make an effort to capture her in her new element.

But I did take a few pictures of the desert vibes when I took their dog, Spreckles, for a walk.

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It was hotter than Hades out there. But so pretty! I love how they are situated right up against the hills. It gives me some comfort that the sprawl of the city will have to stop at some point and my parents are right on that edge. Stay back over-population and all your problems! I’m happy for my parents. The only thing that would make me happier is if they found a way to move to Orange County but that’s not going to happen so this will do. I look forward to many more stories coming from The Desert.

 

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And speaking of stories, we wrapped our last Pan Party last Thursday. Nobody came but me, Payam, the kids and their friends. Which isn’t that bad actually. I wasn’t sore about it because like everyone else, I kinda sort of forgot about it until it was the actual day. I wasn’t so good about reminding people and making sure they were coming. People need to be hassled, that’s what I’ve learned.

I’m glad we did the pan parties this summer. It’s going to be a fun tradition and I can’t wait until we start it up again next year. I’m sure we’ll have more picnics and pool time before winter but we’ll give the monthly enchiladas a rest.

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Even though the temperatures don’t feel a bit like we are saying goodbye to summer and it will probably be hotter than dog’s breath until Halloween, we are saying goodbye to the laid back summer routine. It’s back to school this Thursday for the kids and Bug is going to middle school! I’m so excited for her.

Did you see my instagram story about her orientation day and how I embarrassed her in front of all her new classmates? I need to illustrate that one. It was a doozy. Definitely a parenting fail at it’s best.