Wednesday, May 23, 2012

happenings


A little peek into the drama of girls:

Dave and I have always known we're in for some drama with a house full of girls.

But to be honest, Elle's had very little of it so far.  She has very low-drama friends and we're crossing our fingers that will continue.  When drama does inch in, she swats it away nonchalantly, like you do to a fly on a hot summer day.

Our other girls?  Every so often I get a little peek into teenage life with them.  Sometimes it makes me giddy with anticipation.  But I have to admit that at other times it gives me hives.  Why do certain whole groups of girls seem to have more drama than others? Hmmmm...we're trying to nip things before they get more dramatic around here.

Some examples:  My girls are suckers for performing.  Each year when the school talent show rolls around there’s a bit of drama going on in our house.  It’s never a question of whether or not they should try out, the question is simply what should they do?  This year Grace and Claire together decided they wanted to do a dance with a group of friends.

It would have all worked out perfectly except that within one school day Grace was suddenly dancing with a different group she had switched over to and Claire, feeling out of place decided to work her darnedest to teach a new friend the dance so the two of them could do it together. 

Then Grace’s new group couldn’t get it together enough for the tryouts and it was too late to go back with the first group.  She stood doing the breakfast dishes with crocodile tears running down her cheeks...pure anguish that she wouldn’t be able to perform. (It's moments like this when I wonder if she is really my daughter...crying at not being able to perform?  I'd be on cloud nine about that little fact if I were her.)

Five minutes before they left for school Grace realized that Claire had practiced the exact same dance the other friends had ready to go and told her she could absolutely NOT do it.   “Besides,” she said, “you don’t have the music ready.”  At that point Claire looked at me in horror, her eyes pleading for me to please fix the problem.  I had a meeting with our architect and swim lessons for Lucy but I promised I’d get that darn music to the school...she had worked so hard on the dance. 

They headed out the door filled with trepidation and tear-stained cheeks but came home triumphant.  Grace and her friend were able to teach the other girl the dance they had practiced at recess, and the music I dropped off at the front office had made it’s way to Clarie in time.   They had tried out with flying colors and apparently the judges LOVED their performances.  

But they didn't make the talent show.  (hallelujah!  Wait, did I just say that??)

I was proud of them for trying out but also glad for something hard.

Grace also decided to run for Vice President the same week.  Elections for next year were in full-swing.  She didn't make the final cut.  (hallelujah again, sorry, what is wrong with me??)  I do LOVE with all my heart that she wants to run for things.  It takes guts to put yourself out there like that.  But we had a little consolation talk after she lost where I told her I figure since she had such a great year being the Treasurer this year it's great to give someone else a chance to be in the student council next year, right?  There aren't very many student council spots available so how great to let others have a turn.

And a little peek into one typical after-school run-around this year:

After school Elle suddenly needs to get to the last season girls’ basketball game to support her friend who is a cheerleader.  Her urgency to get to the school happens to be at the same time that I am scurrying to get to Max’s volleyball game, the piano teacher is squeezing in the piano lessons plunking away in the living room, and I happen to glance at my phone to see a text from my friend reminding me about the tennis carpool that has slipped my mind.  

I am scrambling.   

I run around trying to find Lucy’s shoes, getting Lucy’s “game-bleacher-babysitter”: the iPad charged for the game,  and so wanting to hurry so I can actually get there on time for one of Max's last games.  Elle can't decide if she wants/needs me to drive her or if she should ride bikes or longboards to the other game at another school.  Grace begs to come with me to Max's game and bring a friend and I agree only to find they are nowhere to be found as I race out the door.  My freak-out begins as I realize we are late for tennis so I bundle Claire and Lu off in the car to get her there as quickly as I can.

Half way to the tennis court Claire looks at me with eyes as big as saucers (she knows she’s gonna be in trouble).  She has realized she forgot her shoes.  Yeah, those things you wear on your feet to play tennis?  Kind of a necessity?  She has plumb forgotten them. We race back home, minutes ticking away, Elle is still sitting in the driveway waiting for her friend who still hasn't shown up, Lucy is crying in the back because she wants Claire's DS.  Claire grabs her shoes and we race off again, Lu bawling, Elle shrinking in the distance wondering if her friend will show up and if she should have taken me up on the ride.  

We get half way to tennis and Grace calls from home wondering where I am and when we're leaving.  She's all sad that I left without her.  I'm sad too...I'd love to have her there to support Max but her chance has vanished.  I drop Claire off, and try to cajole Lucy into putting on her shoes before we screech into Max's game.  

But of course she hasn't done her task when we get there.  I try to be patient waiting with her door open in the heat as she lines up all her stuff in the car, puts on her flip flops one by one, and tries to tell me something about how her Ariel doll really is part of our family.  We scoot across the crowded parking lot and I slip into the game to find Dave just as Max is sitting back down on the bench.  My friends give me the thumbs up tell me how great Max just played.  They're thinking that will make me smile but it just makes me sad because I just missed it.  

Dang.  

Yes, some days there only seem to be "crazy moments" in the day.  

But my heart is smiling as I sit here reflecting on the craziness of this year.  I am endeared to even those dramatic, crazy moments.  (Especially because these ones in particular are in the past, which seems to put a hazy, beautiful glow on them.)  I love those moments because they make up the fiber of our family.  
And man alive, I love this family.

14 comments:

  1. Boy can I ever relate to this post!!! ; )

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  2. So my question is, do you keep your cool in those times? if so how do you do it... I swear trying to get my kids out the door, especially when we are running late ( i hate to be late, i had in drilled into me as a child, that is was disrespectful to be late), so my blood pressure is through the roof when that happens LOL

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  3. This is why we all love to read your blog. You are real--just like all of us and you don't mind sharing your "real-ness". I was getting anxious reading your post, remembering EXACT days like this! Thank you!!

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  4. LOL! The talent show drama is almost identical with what is going on at our house. It's times like this I shake my head and think, "five girls...really?" Drama drives me nuts. :)

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  5. Thanks for posting my blog post for me, just with different names! :) Check that off my list.

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  6. That was awesome. You're going to LOVE reading back on that one day! So will those kids! It IS funny how things have the "glow" once they're over! Such a fun (and gorgeous!) family y'all are. Love your blog so much.

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  7. Love the honesty and that you have a crazy life with kids as most of us do (we have 4 girls and 1 boy too). So tell me, do you ever yell at the kids in these crazy moments and hours? I've been struggling with this and it's rubbing off on my kids . . . argh!!

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  8. I like moments like that. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of what wonderful mothers we are to do so much for our children. My Thursdays are ALWAYS like that.... I hear my kids in the background saying" mom, hurry up, ... mom... you are late.."
    We are real.
    We love our families.

    Cheers for keeping it real!

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  9. As a Mother of 5 also Shawni, I totally get it... :-)..exhausting crazy beautiful Mothering at it's best.. x o x o

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  10. Wow, if I had written this post, I think I would have ended it with "I can't wait to go to sleep" instead of "Man alive I love this family." Sounds exhausting! But fun too. Your kids are so lucky to such a supportive mother.

    And Ariel really IS part of the family. :)

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  11. So fun to hear all that craziness that I have finally left behind! Seems like almost every day was like that! Hang in there baby! Love the ending!

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  12. you can't imagine how much light this brought me because my house is so chaotic sometimes and I feel like I fail in so many ways. But, I read your post and could see and feel the love you have for your family even in the getting to your son's game too late to see him play. I need to stop beating myself up and letting it cloud my feeling of competency as a mom and let me enjoy the moments, chaotic or calm, instead of always thinking "if i just could get my act together...". Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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  13. you can't imagine how much light this brought me because my house is so chaotic sometimes and I feel like I fail in so many ways. But, I read your post and could see and feel the love you have for your family even in the getting to your son's game too late to see him play. I need to stop beating myself up and letting it cloud my feeling of competency as a mom and let me enjoy the moments, chaotic or calm, instead of always thinking "if i just could get my act together...". Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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  14. Shoot...if only I'd have known...I could have helped AND seen Max play. You know you can call me any time to help, right?

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