High School Here She Comes

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-1

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)

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-2

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.

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-3

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.

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-4

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.

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-5

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.

Highschool-Here-She-Comes-6

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.

Each Covid-ing in Their Own Way

SpringPaysCovidNoMind

Here we are at forty-something days into social distancing and doing pretty much the same. (I am better from my stupid cold from hell though!) I feel bad posting photos of us doing well and enjoying the nice spring weather when so many others are cooped up indoors and doing badly.  Things could be so so so much worse. But I thought I should check in anyway with a catch-up for my own documenting posterity.

The weather has been extremely nice. Spring is here with a flourish. Flowers are exploding and birds are going bananas. I’m just waiting for the other foot to fall and the bugs start coming out. So far, so good.

I’ve taken to walking the dogs in the early morning and chatting with my dad through our earbuds. We both have been remarking at how much we notice the bird sounds that we can hear from each other’s ambient sound. Earbuds are amazing. That’s one thing that this pandemic has really helped. We are all learning new ways to stay in touch with new technology and it is awesome.

My dad has discovered Zoom and is the new self-designated AV guy for his church, bringing God’s word to all the shut-ins (of which there are many, naturally). It’s just as awesome as it sounds. I think he’s found his calling.

quarantine-styles-differentiate

The girls are managing through long-distance learning with ease. Again, we are stupidly lucky compared to so many and I feel guilty. (Is this a thing? That I constantly feel like I should be suffering more? I should just shut up and enjoy it but I do constantly feel guilty.) The girls are both self-motivated and get good grades without much antagonization from us.  It’s great. They are not taking advantage of all the links to extended learning that their uncles are sending them neither are they visiting virtual museums. They are not helping around the house or sewing masks for the homeless. They are becoming really good at gaming, binge-watching Netflix and occasionally baking.

To each their own.

many-faces-of-covid

We are getting used to masks. I need to step up my sewing game but I am severely side-tracked because I started sewing some wide-legged trousers out of some old sheets. The project is going very slowly and I am hating it. I have never followed a pattern before (outside of that one dress in home-ec in 7th grade) so I thought I’d take this time to teach myself. It’s taken a few facetime calls to my mom and I’m stuck at the bias tape stage. I should finish soon but I don’t let myself work on them during work hours so it’s slow-going.

recycled-postcards-corona-mail

I’m getting really good at snail mail though. I’ve added it to my daily routine with my daily coffee.  I need more routines like a hole in my head. I spend probably half of my day doing little routines and rituals and never really getting down to work. I doodle and glue and tape and send off little messages of love to whoever wants one. I’m not sure if it brings me more joy or the recipients. Right now I’m focusing on creating art with recycled cardboard and bits. I never look at a cereal or pasta box or cardboard from a pack of sparkling seltzer water without thinking about how many postcards I can cut out of it. It’s kind of silly but fun. I mean, why not, right? Who needs to be buying chip board right now when our recycling bins are over-flowing?

colors-of-quarantine

We have fallen off the Die-t wagon pretty bad. There may have been a few nights where pizza was ordered and chips and salsa were devoured. I am feeling pretty crappy about it. But I’m vowing to get back to it. It’s a marathon, right? Not a sprint. Slip-ups happen and we have to not give-up. I love making up meals ahead of time. I make big batches of lentils and coleslaw and pack them away in individual serving containers. It definitely helps with lunches and dinners when the kids just want mac and cheese or worse, take-out.

fun-trip-to-backyardia

The other night we actually barbequed outside and it felt like a field trip. I miss traveling and planning camping trips. It’s terrible that my Little Hoo Goes Camping book is coming out soon and I can’t even promote it because it just doesn’t make sense right now. But when this is over I am throwing the most fun camping-themed book party EVER!

hope-peace-covid-not-cool

How long will this be the new normal? One year, two years? I miss the old normal.