Me, My Family

I am not ready, but here we go!

I am not ready! The other night I attended the middle school orientation for the parents of incoming sixth graders at one of the local middle schools.  The school itself is beautiful and huge.  It was a bit intimidating to me.  The high school I attended was tiny in comparison. It scares me a little to think of my baby walking the halls in September.  In my mind, she is still the little baby who loved to be held and cuddled.  Of course she is no longer that baby, she is a beautiful, intelligent, strong and confident young girl who is not only ready for the next stage but excited for it to come.

keep-calm-i-m-not-ready-yet-1The process of our 6 elementary schools folding into 3 middle schools is actually a very well planned out chain of events that started a few weeks ago.  A counselor visited the elementary school and talked to the kids followed a week later by the kids boarding a bus for a tour of their soon to be new school.  Last week, the parents met with the Principal and in August there is a several day program in which the kids get used to the school, lockers and all of the wonderfully High School like world that our Middle school will provide.

When I went to school (way back when) I went to the same building for 8 years.  There are more kids in the elementary school that Meg attends that were in my entire school and the middle school has almost 200 more kids that.  I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed but like I stated earlier Megan is so excited.  She has already been studying the list of clubs and is putting thought into how to decorate her locker.  I am not ready!

Every night before I go to bed, I look in on the girls and stand for a minute and watch them sleep.  Often I kiss a cheek or the top of a head and smile.  I think of just how proud of them I am.  I can not imagine a life without my girls, my family.  Lately, when looking at Megan I wonder when it happened.  When did that shy, timid little girl become the young lady who is about to become a middle schooler and test for her black belt in karate.  It all happens too fast.

lunchbox noteSo here we sit ready to embark on another first, another new adventure.  I will be there to celebrate the wins and to dry the tears.  I will hide my unease because this is part of life, the necessary part where mommy can not control everything, the part where my little girl must take steps to build her future.  I may not be ready but my wonderful, brilliant beautiful daughter is so I will kick and scream,(quietly behind a door)  and probably shed a tear or two but away we go. Ready or not, I will be with you every step of the way!

Me, My Family

Striking the perfect balance, hopefully at least sometimes!?

When I was younger I swore I would never have children.  They were dirty, needy and would just get in the way.  I had visions of being the CEO of IBM.  As with most of us, the visions of a young person grow and change as we do.

Newborn Megan 8/11/2004
Newborn Megan 8/11/2004

I did well in my career but something was missing. I remember when I held my Megan for the first time, her wide open bright eyes looking up at me, I swear she actually waved.  That was it. That was all I needed to know that there was no job in the world that could ever be as fulfilling as staying with my baby.  I have been fortunate enough to be a part of every aspect of my girls development.  Financially it has not always been easy but it has been the most rewarding job ever!

Being a Mother has been an adventure, figuring it out day by day.  Frank and I don’t have any parental guidance and I never had the perfect role model.  My relationship with my mother was not perfect, whose is?  At the time it was all I knew.  Some will say she was a difficult person and I would agree.  She was a functioning alcoholic and in those days this was acceptable.  She had a temper and was not what anyone would call “warm and fuzzy”.  There were not many hugs or “I love you’s” in our house.   With that said, she raised three children alone, kept a nice home for us against all odds and ensured that we had the best education possible to enable all three of us to improve our own lives.  I am blessed to have had such a strong woman as a mother.

IMGAs I raise my own children I struggle to find the right balance.  Many of their friends are handed everything with no understanding of the value attached to the items.  Too many parents would rather be a friend than parent.  I never want to have the heavy hand I was raised with yet I want to ensure there is structure and discipline, but discipline filled with love.  Yes there is such a thing.  The ability to say “no” to your children, to realize that they may get mad at you and life will go on.

Being a parent is not always easy, as a matter of fact uneasy is how I feel much of the time.  So many firsts in life that need to be explained.  Hurt feelings, confusion and the unknown are all a part of everyday life and I love it!  Each day is an adventure and I look forward to  every one of them!

Me, My Family

A never ending cycle, STOP

Our entire lives are spent working to prepare for the next thing.  Kindergarten is spent getting kids ready for first grade.  Stand in any first grade classroom throughout the day and you will hear continually that they will need to know this for second grade.  Elementary school is all about preparing for middle school, middle school for high school and the four years spent there is all about getting into the right college (or for many of what you could afford).  We go to college to be prepared for the real world and once there many feel they are totally not prepared!

What no one ever tells you is that there is just no end to the cycle.  When we are young we assume that it is all for a purpose, as if we will be rewarded as a result of our years of preparation.  Once out of school it is about working to get ahead or more the norm just to stay afloat.  Work hard, hard, harder just to pay your bills and don’t forget the outstretched hand of the government.  Property taxes, sales taxes, federal income taxes and for many of us state income taxes and now a presidential election where some say we still don’t pay enough.

Our lives lived as if we were merely hamsters on a wheel, running in circles.  images

Recently there has been much sadness around us.  Cancer, a very rare medical situation and a massive heart attack.  Taken much too young,  a friend, an acquaintance , a relative of a friend, all under 50 years.  Why does it take such tragedy to make you say STOP, if even for just a little while.  We spent the weekend as a family enjoying beautiful weather and some great soccer.

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Sure the bills must be paid and the tests taken.  The days will pass but we all need to make a conscience effort to enjoy the little things.  To stop and recognize the beauty of each day.  I am not an extremely religious person but I thank God for each morning I get to kiss the girls as I wake them or see them smile with each new achievement.  Life is too short, before you know it you are looking back wishing for one more moment.  Enjoy the moments while in them, smile more and worry less.  It’s easy enough to say right? I am willing to put in the effort!