The Boy, upon seeing this headline in the local grocery store: “Well…. he’s certainly stolen the hearts of America!”
This old-timey gas pump is in the hallway of the music studio where The Kids take lessons.
The Girl, looking at it closely: “Apparently this is where they fuel up on the Highway to Hell.”
This video made me cry today.
Swim season is starting again. The Girl’s sport. She took a break after championships last year. She’s not a competitive person by nature unless it involves one-upping her brother & the stress of championships got to her. While she loves to swim & was proud of what she had accomplished, those moments before she had to get on the block & race were her worst. We watched the Olympics together & as we watched Katie Ledecky & Simone Manuel & the other swimmers, The Girl would say, “I almost can’t watch. I’m nervous for them.”
I knew she was on the fence about returning to the sport this season. She misses her friends on the team & truly enjoys swimming, if not competing. I thought seeing these strong women compete in her sport would inspire her to keep going. I thought she would see her own potential as they raced. I told her all about the three swimmers from her very own team that went to the Olympic trials, thinking that news of someone close to home reaching for that gold would inspire her to continue.
In the end, she decided to stop.
And I had to let her make that decision.
After years of being the decision maker, there comes a time when you have to let them decide on their own. It happens gradually. So gradually that I didn’t notice it sneaking up on me. Little by little they start making their own decisions – being their own person, even! When did that happen?! One day you’re laying out their clothes for morning & making them whatever the hell you want for their school lunch. The next, they’re coming downstairs ready for the day with absolutely no help from you & eating whatever they hell they want.
She told her coach.
The rest of my response goes on to say that she will now go on to rock Health Occupations – the shop she chose as her concentration at her technical high school. Another decision she made all on her own.
She will go on to make many more. Some I won’t agree with, I’m sure. Hell, I don’t entirely agree with this one. It took a lot for me to tell her I was proud of her for making a decision that was right for her when what I wanted to say was, “ARE YOU CRAZY?!? YOU’RE AN AMAZING SWIMMER! DON’T QUIT NOW!”
But as she approaches the second half of her teenage years, I have to hope I’ve done enough to prepare her for a life of making her own decisions.
Because they are no longer mine to make.
The Boy has been taking drum lessons & recently joined a band called The Blast. They’re all about the same age & they have some serious talent going on.
This is The Blast performing “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt at a local festival.
After hearing them practice this particular song one day, I was humming it to myself & sang the line, “It’s all your fault I screen my phone calls.”
The Boy: “That’s what she says?”
Me: “Yes. Why? What did you think she said.”
The Boy: “I thought she said, ‘It’s all your fault I scream my balls off’ & I thought it was a little weird for a kids band.”
The Girl has chosen Health Occupations as her concentration for technical high school. That means she will graduate from high school as a Certified Nursing Assistant & can start working or go on to further her education in healthcare. (Take that, regular high schools!)
As she finishes up her freshman year, they’re learning the basics of being a CNA…. taking a pulse, checking for respiratory distress, & the all important making a bed. Hey… someone’s gotta do it.
She got a 95% on her bed making evaluation.
I guess she saves the other 5% for home.
Me: “Hey… come get dinner.”
“You cooked dinner?”
“What’s the occasion?”
“Are you feeling okay?”
“What’s next… you’re going to tell us we’re adopted, aren’t you.”
“Not possible. I have Dad’s nose.”
Yesterday was a long day.
As I was brushing my teeth, The Boy came into the bathroom, full of energy, asking a million questions & talking up a storm.
Me: “Buddy, it’s been a really long day & I just want to go to bed.”
He chattered on for a few more minutes until I finally just needed quiet.
Me: “Seriously, bud. I can’t do one more thing. I’m all done with today & I can’t do even one more thing. I just want to go to bed.”
The Boy: “Well, isn’t THAT one more thing?”