17 hours ago
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
My little gal, Muscle Man, and I had our first week of school this week. Check out our backpacks! Bella's, admittedly, is much cooler than mine - and I'm ok with that. We had a wonderful summer full of water, bubbles, Duke Gardens, the beach, watching the Olympics, playing with puzzles, more bubbles, more water, and all around being home-bodies. It was also a challenging summer with an active toddler and a very active walking-one-year-old. I was looking forward to school starting for a new rhythm and routine. But, I was also mourning the loss of the summer with the kiddos. Time goes by quick, y'all!
So, this past Monday I packed Bella's backpack with her pink pillow and a change of clothes. Mike came home with some information from school and guess what he brought home! A school supply list! I had a major-freak-out moment that consisted of me being in denial that I have a child old enough for a school supply list. And, that I was old enough to have a child with a school supply list. Y'all, I was not prepared for that. So, I set out to Target to get her items and called my mom to mourn/celebrate/be sad about this new development. After we ooohed and awwwed and laughed and squealed about getting school supplies, I went to Target to buy Bella tissues and Clorox wipes and the other items. And, I was one proud Momma! I held that list like I had entered another league of elite people - like everyone should notice that I was buying from a school supply list - like I had a stamp on my forehead that read 'Proud mother of a precious 3.5 year old'. So, with mixed emotions I bought the items, packed them up in her box, and toted it all to school to pick up my little learner.
Then here comes Wednesday. I started my second year of my PhD program. I bought my own new school supplies. I asked Bella how her day was and what she learned. She asked me how my day was and what I learned. I didn't want to bore her with talk of how to categorize nominal variables or choose the correct method for logistic regression. So, I talked about my day. She asked if I saw my friends and if they were nice. I asked her if she had fun with her friends and if they were nice. She told me she learned "a little bit" and asked what I learned.
Although we are learning very different things that feels like a world apart, my little 3.5 year old taught me something. Make friends, go play in the gym, read books, get candy from your teacher - these are just some of her thoughts about her day that I should try to implement! But, the real things that matter are what I come home to. It's who I come home to. And, that little gal is watching what I'm doing. I want her to know that she can do whatever she wants. I want her to shoot for the stars. I want her to dream and live fully who "Bella" is. The number one way for her to see that in the life of her parents.
So, i'm reminded by my little 3.5 year old who is learning to sound out simple words and write a lower case 'j' to dream and fully live in the moment and work hard and play hard. It's a great reminder on my first day of school - when I'm a little nervous (ok, very nervous) about the strenuous semester coming up, the papers that need to be written, and the looming cumulative exam. I remember that I have little eyes looking up to me. And, I also remember I have a little girl who will wrap her arms around me and ask about my day at school. I want to say, "Sweetie, it was a great day!" knowing that I gave it my all, that I tried my hardest, that I was thankful for the opportunity, and that I enjoyed the ride. And, then I want to go play bubbles.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
We recently went on a beach trip to see Mrs. Cathy. It was the first time the kids had seen the ocean so we were so excited about it. I might have been more excited that Bella was. The first morning we were there, Bella and I headed to the beach while JT, Mike, and Mrs. Cathy stayed for JT's nap. Bella ran from the car towards the water saying, "I'm so excited" and I dropped most of the things I was carrying just to run after her. She is fearless, y'all! She promptly set to work building a sand castle.