Eight Year To-Do

I was going to start this blog eight years ago. It’s been a permanent unmarked checkbox on my list. And today just seems like a great day to finally mark a giant X on that notepad.

To be fair, I have started, or contemplated, lots of different blogs. I had “World’s Most Improved Mom”, which was just a list of things that I was going to get better at, and then I started “Reasons Why I Drank Today”, which was funny kid-related mishaps that led to a glass of wine at night – but then I realized I was basically drinking a glass of wine every night and didn’t need a daily reminder, and finally my latest attempt, “Working Mom Woes”, which is pretty self explanatory.

But “Second Place Mom” is what I am going to stick with. At least until I think of something else.

More than anything I want a record for my kids so that they can see that I really did try, I gave it my absolute best shot. And when they are older and complaining to their therapist about me, I can show them this and they can begin to put their childhood into context. Hopefully they will see that everything that I did and do is out of crazy love. I am not perfect by any stretch – but I am trying.

And when my kids are grown and have their own families, maybe they can look back at this and get some sort of advice or guidance. When they are in this life stage they can be comforted to know that it’s OK to not be perfect because (fingers crossed) they turned out just fine.

And if, by some chance, they don’t end up ‘just fine’ – well I will just delete this blog and go back to “Reasons Why I Drank Today.”

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Sliding Doors

When Cash was leaving for school today he casually asked why several of his friends are the same age, but in a higher grade. Cash is 8 and in the 2nd grade. His birthday is 9.4.09, three days after the enrollment cut-off.

Deron and I struggled with this decision. We totally over analyzed it. We read study after study to try and decide what would be best for this child – what would have the greatest impact on his life. We asked family, friends, educators, people that were the oldest in their class, and people that were the youngest. We obsessed over the decision, like we tend to do with all our decisions. But this was a big one. And at the time it made me think of one of my favorite movies from the 90s: “Sliding Doors.” In the movie Gwyenth Paltrow’s life is shown on two separate paths – one if she had caught a train in time and the other if she missed the train. Her entire life veered onto two paths with a sliding door. It drives home that life isn’t just a series of linked circumstances. Life is the hardest game of Choose Your Own Adventure.

But this decision wasn’t going to be our adventure, it will be Cash’s.

And we did what we thought and still think is best. And then we moved on.

So when I answered him with way too much information, as I tend to do, I could see the wheels turning. From that moment, that out-the-door morning conversation, he will always wonder what could be different if he was just in the higher grade.

Cash is a systems and rules guy. He’s a thinker. He’s all strategy. So I always need him to process information first, form his own opinion, and then bring him to the intangibles. So I can’t yet tell him that no matter what decision Deron and I had made he will always end up being amazing. Because in both life paths, he’s exceptional.

I hate that there is not some definitive guide on how to raise kids. What decisions to make. What the return will be on outlandish investments (hello coding camps!) What to say. What to do. It’s all just sliding doors.

And I have to remind myself to keep trusting myself. Because there really is no time for doubt. If I spend too much time on one door, I’ll have missed the next.

Cash, I hope you know how serious your dad and I took every single decision when it came to both you and Laney. Nothing was ever small to us, because you both are too significant. We spend the majority of our days making decisions that we believe will have the greatest benefit to you both. It’s probably why we are so tired. All the parental decision-making and the fact that you both still crawl in our bed at 4am every morning. 😉

Little Lies

Delaney, if you ever read this – I totally lied to you. Your earrings did not get infected. They were completely fine. But, I paid someone to pierce them who obviously had a little bit of a problem walking in a straight line. Because they were completely off. And you could tell. Not at first, but as soon as I pointed it out to people it’s all we focused on. So then my mind started jumping years down the road, and I would always just see this sweet little face with two misshaped earrings. So I panicked and made up the infection lie.

I guess now that I am cleaning the air- here’s a little list off the top of my head of all the lies I have told you so far…

Your teacher is not working on a poster to put at the front of the room with names of kids that still sleep with their parents. That’s just my last resort.

I don’t stay up late to do laundry and clean the house every night – some nights I just sit on the couch, eat ice cream and catch up on the shows I have missed all week.

I’m pretty sure you haven’t been invited to a play date with your little friend because I “accidentally” flipped her mom off in car line.

They didn’t cancel dance – I just forgot to sign you up.

I tell you that your hair looks the best when it’s just brushed because I have absolutely no idea how to fix girls hair. My braids look like you just fixed your own hair.

You weren’t the sweetest baby ever. You cried non-stop and I could never put you down. It was intense.

And now here’s my list of truths…

I am absolutely in love with who you are. And I am terrified of raising you because I see all of your amazing potential and I know that you are capable of running the world with the right guidance, tools and opportunities.  I constantly second guess myself. I love that you need me so much, but I push you away at times so that you can build your independence. I hate when you cry but I love when you turn to me with your tears. I would want to be your friend if I were five. I hope you still want to be my friend when you are 25.

I’m sorry I chose the “free piercing with the purchase of earnings” deal and didn’t go to a better place. Next time I’ll make better choices.

ear-pierced

Friday’s Drink: a damn good ‘rita

It’s good. I swear.

I may not know how to bake or cook, but I do know how to mix a damn good drink.

So whip up this MARGARITA and thank me later.

Or, drunk text me with “YOU R BESTEST I LOV YU.”

Margarita:

  1. 1.5oz Tequila – use the silver kind. Buy a decent bottle. You DESERVE it.
  2. 1/2 Triple Sec
  3. 2oz LIME SOUR. That’s right – LIME SOUR. This is the tricky one. I bought mine online at WebstaurantStore.com – but shipping is high. That’s why I am including a little DIY hack below. 
  4. Salt that rim. Shake. Pour. Drink. Repeat.

DIY Lime Sour:

  1. 3 parts freshly squeezed lime juice (or just use the fake juice)
  2. 2 parts simple syrup
  3. Mix / store in an airtight container / refrigerate until ready to use