Bug,  corona virus 2020,  Family Matters,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues,  photography,  spilling my guts

High School Here She Comes


It’s been hard to write lately for obvious reasons.

In the meantime, however, Bug graduated from middle school and we had a covid-style white-privilege non-graduation. What does that mean?  We bought some balloons and did a photoshoot in the park. Basic, I know. But it was something sweet to do to remember this time and provide me with some photos to make our annual family calendar. This is how I work.

I wasn’t going to put anything up about it here, us being so freakishly white and privileged but then I remembered that probably only about 100 people read this blog… It’s not about you, Little Hoo and all that. (inside joke)


This blog is my scrapbook for Bug and these years are fleeting. I want to remember every moment like I remembered every moment when she was a baby. Remember her walking on the beach? Remember my new mom voice trying to teach her how to roll over…? I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and wonder at this ever-changing role I have as her mom. It’s so different now.  I have a lot of long moments to myself where I miss being that young mom. All those years that I struggled to work with her interrupting me constantly and hanging on my arm that uses my mouse. Those long nights of sleeplessness and stress worrying about money… I still wake up stressed but now it’s about new and different things.

Bug doesn’t need me much anymore other than to buy food, drive her places or give her money. And and even though it makes me a little bit sad when she doesn’t want to bake with me or take a walk to the beach, it’s a good thing. She’s growing independent. She’s on her way to adulthood. We have a long ways to go but she’s hitting all the milestones and I don’t have to stress about them like I did her first milestones. Remember that? Remember worrying about how many words they said by what age and whether or not she was walking on time and potty-training on time, and sleeping by herself on time??? Oh man. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop stressing out so hard.


So that’s what I’m trying to do now. Stop stressing so hard. She’s going to be a reasonable adult. She’s going to make stupid mistakes. She’s going to make great choices and not so great choices and she’s going to be okay. My job is to just keep on loving her as I have since her first moments of life.


This kid. She’s smart. She’s also a smartass. She’s self-driven. She’s talking to way too many boys on her discord channel while she plays Minecraft with a headset on. They mostly talk about Minecraft and make stupid jokes. All day long with the stupid jokes. My life is a walking meme these days and I’m Karen except she doesn’t need to call me Karen because I was blessed with the name, Brenda, which is just as bad if not worse.


Every once in a while we have a moment and I feel just as close as I felt when she was that scared second grader who had so much anxiety she couldn’t go to school without dry-heaving. I don’t miss those days. They were so hard.  The worry circles. The asking the same question over and over and over no matter how creatively I answered.  But she got through them and now she is really strong. She is so strong she keeps her emotions inside which is something I’ve never really learned to do. She says it’s the product of being a child of a worry-wart. I’m really trying not to be a worry-wart but I come by it naturally.


So happy 8th Grade Graduation, Bug! You are beautiful and amazing and you are part of a big piece of history that we will all look back on and talk about. We’ll always remember the graduation that got high-jacked by Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests. I have no idea what is coming next but I expect great things.


  • Susan

    I remember emailing you when she was a newborn. I think it was something about breastfeeding …And look at you ( and her) now. Thanks for sharing her with your readers.

  • Cathy

    You are doing such a great job, Brenda Mom – from Bug to Beauty and beyond! Don’t stress (ha, coming from Anxiety Menopause Mom in today’s world) -be proud. It’s been a blessing to be able to watch her, and you, grow and succeed! Appreciate you. :)

  • Gingermog

    I’m glad to see that you did celebrate her middleschool graduation disbite all the chaos, and have some photographs to mark it. It’s a real pleasure to see Bug grow up, and remember her different milestones, via your blog. Its like she has a network of distant aunties wishing her well.

    Btw, recalling my own adolescence, it might not think you are spending much time together, now she she’s more independant but in the future she’ll look back at these days you spent together. xxx

  • Evilisa

    Cameron just graduated high school (no pomp and circumstance) and I’m still crying. TAKE ALL THE PICTURES YOU WANT! Embrace every second.

  • Gingermog

    Love the new banner for July.

    I’ve given myself 3 lockdown fringe ( bangs) hair cuts but done nothing about the length. if I cant get to my hairdressers in London for a few months, I might be able to donate it. :)

    Keep well and safe. xxx

    • SAJ

      I stopped cutting my bangs. I’m thinking about growing them out (gasp!) but who knows. I’ve never been with out fringe for more than a year.

      Thanks for the compliments. And we are definitely trying to stay safe. You too!

  • natalie

    I found you years ago when my daughter (she is 11.5 now) was born thru illustrations you did online. I have lurked off and on for years and I just stumbled back …and omg bug is going to high school??? Every time I pick a shopkin up off my floor i think of you and little bug. I went thru a lot of the same things and I looked up to you as a mom I wanted to be like. I just wanted to say congrats to bug and good luck in high school. And thank you Brenda for blogging all those years ago! You made my life a little better.

    • SAJ

      Awwww!!!! Wow. Thank you! That is the best compliment ever. I miss those Shopkins now. It’s all Minecraft and Discord and Reddit now.

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