Beach Mornings

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Last weekend Bug announced that we were going to the beach for bagels. She didn’t ask anyone if that’s what we wanted to do. She just announced it.  It’s a thing the girls and I do from time to time. We get bagels on our way to the beach and then sit on the lifeguard tower or on a towel on the sand and enjoy our breakfast while watching the waves. It’s not a bad idea really. But I’m not so sure how I feel about Bug dictating the day for the rest of us.

So we hashed it out. We didn’t really have any plans. Everyone threw out all the things we wanted to do and finally by the end of it we admitted that Bug’s idea was the best idea. Also the cheapest. So off we went! All four of us!

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I took my camera along because I am trying to be more responsible in generating content here on this blog AND hey, what do you know, some of these shots might work out really well for the end-of-the-year calendar I like to make as a Christmas gift for the grandparents! Hot diggety! Also it gives me something to do besides going in the water. I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to going into the actual water. It was supposed to be a “morning” at the beach not to be confused with a “Beach Day.” Well, you know how that went.

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When we left it was cloudy and we only thought we’d stay a few hours. But then the sun broke through and it turned out to be a perfect beach day!! Why didn’t I wear my bathing suit?!! Because I’m a curmudgeon that’s why. Grumble, grumble… I really should know better. I am a beach expert. There is really no going to the beach and not getting wet.

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Bug was in her element. She’s a beach kid through and through.

I love that she grew up on the beach and doesn’t get grossed out by a bit of sea weed. You can tell when someone is from inland, they won’t get near the stuff. Sand between their toes? Nope. But us, we sleep in sandy sheets and think it’s normal.

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The waves were decent so the girls tried to brush up on their body-surfing skills. Let’s just say we need to go to the beach more this summer. They need some practice.

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I took a thousand pictures. I love this beach so much. I do miss not living by it anymore. I miss all the changing colors with the weather and the geography of the rippling rocks, bending to whatever plate tectonics we have going on. It’s just so beautiful and changing every day.

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At one point Bug snuck up and threw some seaweed on me while I was bending over taking pictures of a shell or something. Insert rolling eye emoji.

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Eventually we had to cut the girls off. I hate doing it. I want to be that parent who can stay at the beach all day until the sun goes down and they exhausted and sun-kissed but I had things to get done. You know how it goes.  Phones are dying, stomaches are grumbling for lunch, the laundry needs to get done before the week starts up again etc etc… So we packed up our towels and beach blankets and slowly made our way back to our boring regular every-day life. Next weekend we have the girls I vowed that we’d do it again and this time pack a lunch and plan to stay all day. Next time!

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But a beach morning is better than a no-beach morning. So we kissed our favorite view goodbye and promised we’d be back soon.

Sixth Grade Graduation Feels

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I’ve read a few posts about how silly it is that we make such a big hullabaloo about 6th grade graduation here in the United States.  If I was heading out of town the minute school was over and starting my vacation (or even a week before because let’s face it, the last week of school is pretty much a five week party disguised as free day care) I’d probably agree that it’s a big deal about nothing.  It’s not like they don’t let kids move on to seventh grade. Everybody passes even if you get straight “F’s”. But we didn’t have any big summer plans and I love any excuse to celebrate it so I was into it.

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Bug was not it at all. She didn’t even want us to come. She didn’t wanted any flowers or balloons or any fanfare at all. I tried to interview her on the morning of graduation. I asked her if she had any advice for her younger self and if there was anything she’d miss about elementary school. Her straight-faced answer was pretty much as few words as possible. I’m sure mostly just to spite me. It was pretty much: I don’t care.  I don’t care now, I won’t care then and I have nothing to say to my younger self.

Okay then!

But I ignored her and made a big deal out of it anyway because I knew someday she would care. I invited my parents from out of town and everybody showed up. It was a big deal.

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So no flowers and no balloons, right? How about a puppy? Just kidding. We didn’t get Bug a puppy. My friend Sandra showed up with her puppy (Look at that thing!!! It’s like a beanie baby collectible!) and Bug said,  Is that for me? Did you get me a puppy for graduation? I wish. I think a puppy is all she could get excited about for graduation. Too bad we already have two and we can’t really take on any more.

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Everybody was there. Joon, who is a grade behind Bug, worked the event as staff. I guess that’s what fifth graders do. They help people find their seats, hand out programs and then sit along side in their own section cheering on each graduate as they cross the stage and receive their fake diploma. It was really sweet. Some kids get more cheers than others so you know I was going bananas and making a fool of myself when they called Bug’s name. I love that kid.

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And so does everybody else. She didn’t want her picture taken but we forced her. She did want a picture taken with her teacher which was a huge big honor (pictured in the blue sweater). I really loved her teacher this year.

This was the first time Bug has been in an ESL (English as a Second Language) class. Our school is known for their ESL programs and every student is in mixed languages class at one time or another whether they speak another language besides English or not. Joon has been in ESL classes several times because she speaks Farsi and the school loves to use her as a translator but Bug never experienced that until sixth grade.

Honestly, I was a little worried at first because I thought it might hinder Bug’s learning experience since the teacher had to spend so much extra time on the English-learners but the opposite was true. This class was the BEST thing for Bug. She learned so much compassion for her fellow students and probably got graded harder than ever because she was held to stricter standards. She made friends with people from so many different countries and they formed really strong bonds.

At graduation there were several foreign students who were leaving, either going home to their countries of origin or going to other schools in other districts, and they were crying. They were genuinely sad to leave behind this school that has been their home for years. It made me sad too. I just remember Bug and her group of friends… how they might not speak English fluently but how they held hands and affectionately tapped each other on the head in jest. They are such sweet kids who were so happy to be here. I will miss them. Bug will miss them. I think by the end of the graduation and after the picture taking mobs subsided it started to sink in for her. It’s hard to say goodbye to something was so special. Not to mention the new big world of middle school is scary!

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I think the proudest person there was Toby. It was kind of a big deal for him to take the day off from shooting houses to spend hours at this school that he’s always kind of rolled his eyes at. I was really glad he was there. Bug might have been indifferent at the time but I know she will always treasure the memory.6thGradeGraduation-5

She’s a big kid now. Can you even believe it? I can’t. She’s like a giant now. When I hug her I don’t have to lean over anymore. She sits on my lap when I’m trying to work and takes up so much room I can’t get anything done. Not much different from when she was little but I’m starting to wonder how long this lap-sitting will continue. Of course I keep getting bigger to match so maybe we’ll be okay. Just kidding. I am trying really hard not to get bigger.

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I’m bracing myself for her high school graduation. I can only imagine what kind of feels that will dig up.