Friday, August 28, 2009

I just don't understand

Somewhere between the age of 12 and 13 my daughter started speaking a language that is sometimes hard for me to understand. It's not an actual foreign language although at times it seems so. It's what we adults term teen slang. For example, if she refers to something as "kickin" she doesn't mean something got kicked or that she kicked something but rather that it is something great. Or if she is just hanging out with friends it's chillaxin (you know chilling and relaxing).

It took me awhile to catch on to the meaning of some of her terminology and just when I think I finally understand what she is saying, she goes and changes the words she uses. It keeps a parent on their toes.

The other night we were at the dinner table talking about school. Haley was telling us about her bus ride home and she said "it was really cool".  I replied, "They have air conditioning on the bus now?" Haley looks at me, rolls her eyes and says (in that can you get any dumber tone) "No mom, I mean cool like because I am in 8th grade".

So while I might not always understand the language, I do understand the eye roll. That seems to be the one thing that has not changed over the years. I find that I am more and more frequently the recipent of the eye roll. That single gesture is more effective at delivering her message than any spoken word. One roll of the eyes and no other words are needed. It tells me that she is either 1) utterly disgusted at something I said or did or 2) she thinks that I am the most annoying parent on the planet. Over the past couple of years she has perfected the art of eye rolling and sometimes her eyes roll so far back in her head I am afraid they are going to get stuck. I can't ever remembering rolling my eyes at my mother although I am sure that at some point I did.  I'll have to remember to ask her, though I am sure I didn't have it as perfected as my daughter does. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School

Yesterday was the first day of school here. I can't say that the kids were very excited about going back but they were all excited about seeing all the friends that they didn't see over the summer. Although they went to bed early, waking up was hard for them because they had gotten use to sleeping in until 8 or 9.

Instead of riding the bus on the first day, I took them in the car. That gave them a few more minutes to sleep and I could be assured that Harrison found his class without any problems. They posed for these first day pictures as we were leaving the house.

Holden- Fourth Grade

Harrison - First Grade

Haley- Eighth Grade

Harrison let me take a couple of pictures at school.

Harrison walking into school

and in his classroom

Holden however was thoroughly embarrassed that I was trying to take his picture. He wouldn't look at me and smile until his friend Noah jumped in (and even then I am not sure you'd call that a smile but at least I can see his eyes).

Haley agreed to pose for the annual picture on the front porch but that was it. I suggested that when we got to school I could park the car and we could walk over by the school sign and I could take her picture there (and I was only half kidding). She was not okay with that so I guess I will settle for the one at home. At least she is smiling.

Holden still insisted on riding the bus home so I picked Harrison up and we came home and walked down to meet Holden as he got off the bus. Holden said it was a great day made even better because the vice principal that he wasn't fond of had been replaced. Harrison said he loved his teacher and was glad that he had a lot of his kindergarten classmates in his class. Haley said her day was better than she thought it would be (isn't that all we can expect from a teenager) and she was happy about her homeroom/science teacher.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The last day of summer vacation

I haven't been very good about posting this summer. I would like to say it's because I was so busy entertaining/educating/traveling with my children that I didn't have time. But really the truth of the matter is that it was just put at the bottom of my priority list. When the kids are home during the summer, some things have to slide and this was unfortunately one of them. It's amazing the number of times that you have to pick up during the day when the kids are home. Or the amount of dirty dishes or clothes that they create. Or the number of kids in and out of your house at all hours of the day.

I always have these grandiose plans for the summer. I make lists and plans of things to do and somehow every summer, I find that some time around the third week of summer vacation, my plans just aren't happening. I have good intentions but as my kids get older they become less interested in doing things with me and more interested in doing things with their friends. I suppose their having a lot of friends is a good problem to have although sometimes I long for the days when they really wanted to be with me.

Last week I began to feel a bit panicky that I hadn't really done much with the kids all summer so I tried to cram in some of the things I had intended to do all summer. We had an evening picnic on the beach, had dinner on the pier and went fishing afterwards, went to the Pitt Street Pharmacy and had chocolate shakes, went on a bike ride, and played some games and finished our summer reading.

Today marks the end of summer vacation even though it seems like school just got out. There will be no more late dinners, no more staying up to watch movies, no more hanging out at the pool, and no more sleeping in until next summer. And that makes me sad. It's time again for homework, packing lunches, and early bedtimes. And that makes me even sadder. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Sometimes I feel that no one in my family even notices the things I do. They take for granted the fact that their clothes will be clean when they need them. That there will be food in the pantry and milk in the fridge. They have no clue that the toilets must be cleaned at least once a week and the floors must be swept daily. They have no idea that bills must be paid on time so that they have electricity to power the television that never seems to get turned off. And of course all those shoes, toys and miscellaneous what-nots that are left under the couch or in the middle of the floor somehow mysteriously put themselves back in their rightful place at the end of the day.

And then there are the times when I walk into the room and ask one of the kids to do something and if they even acknowledge my presence, they stare at me as if I am speaking a foreign language. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

I came across this video recently from Nicole Johnson who has a great message for those of us who feel invisible.

Now I have a new perspective. I realized that everything I do no matter how small or insignificant is noticed by the one who really matters - God.