High School Here She Comes

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

My Mother’s Dresses

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I thought I was going to tell the story of how my mom had her own personal seamstress that lived in her family’s house when she was a teenager growing up in Japan. But it turns out these dresses are not those dresses. These are Dynasty dresses made in the Hong Kong (the British Crown Colony says the tag)  that her mom (my grandmother) bought her from the Navy Base Exchange. It’s not as good of a story but they are still very interesting dresses. Mostly because they are from 1968!BugIngles-7

I remember when I was a teenager, I tried to wear these dresses too but they didn’t suit my late eighties taste so I never actually wore them. I was more into guess jeans and Esprit t-shirts, scrunchie socks and those mix-and-match knit sets. I shudder at the memories.

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It brings me joy to see Bug wearing them. They look so pretty on her and she actually likes them too. When my mom gave these dresses to me to clean up and sell on eBay, they were a wrinkled mess. They have so much tailoring on them I was dreading the ironing job so I took them to the dry cleaner instead, which was the best decision ever! They came back so perfectly pressed, I found myself marvelling at how finely made they were. I decided I don’t want to sell these pretty dresses. I want to keep them! I don’t know if Bug will ever get a chance to wear them outside of our front yard photoshoot but I can daydream. Wouldn’t they be perfect for a garden party or a spring wedding?

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For now we just have fun taking photos. I will tuck the dresses away safely in my closet and maybe someday we can take them out. Or maybe we’ll keep them around for the next generation if the world doesn’t end.

Isn’t it crazy that we have thoughts like that now? I think this pandemic-apocalypse-paranoia is getting to me. I’m pretty optimistic for the most part but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to taking a long hard pause when I start to think about making plans for the future.

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For now, I’m just enjoying the beauty of today. I want to bottle Bug up with her silly red hair and keep her at this age forever. Sigh…

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You’d never know she’s usually a gamer chick with a headset on, hunched over a computer playing Minecraft all day while she talks to her guy friends on discord. I really hope they have careers in gaming in her future because that’s what she seems to excel at.BugIngles-1

But for now, I’ll pretend we are back in time and she’s actually reading a Jane Austin novel. It’s a nice daydream.