Friday, October 9, 2015

Four Things, Six Things, Seven, Oh Well, Some Numbered List of Advice for Senior Parents

My daughter’s senior year went fast.
Faster than any other year of school.
Ask any mom of a graduated senior and they’ll agree.
In an effort to help my friends who are now Senior Moms here is my best advice for making the most of your child’s last year in high school.

1.  Don’t focus on the word last.
(Disregard my blog of September 1, 2014 My Year Of Lasts)
Yes, many of their experiences will be the last—last football game, last homecoming, last choir concert—but many will also be their first—first lead in the play, first time to be class president, first college acceptance.

2.  Don’t buy the formal graduation announcements sold along with the graduation robes. In the fall when you place your order they look really cool, but by graduation you’ll want the individualized ones that you can buy way cheaper on the internet. (If you want some formal ones I can sell them to you. Just get out your Sharpie and mark through 2015 and put 2016.)

3.  Participate! In EVERYTHING! Even though you shouldn’t dwell on it being the last—see advice #1—it is for many things. So forget about sleep or a clean house for one year and be a part of your child’s activities. Every time someone asks for a volunteer, be the first with your hand in the air.

4. Enjoy the moment, whether it be a ballgame, a play or prom night, stop for a second and don’t be afraid to get misty-eyed and take it all in. This is your baby, almost grown-up.  Be proud of them.

5. Here’s a hard one. Start to relax the rules. In less than a year your child will be out on her own, setting her own curfews and deciding for herself which activities to attend and which parties to skip. It’s time for them to start setting their own calendars and curfews.

6. Apply NOW for college scholarships. Don’t wait until closer to the due date, because there isn’t even time to breathe in second semester.

7. Start making plans to start your OWN LIFE. Start deciding what things you want to do in the fall when your senior is once again a freshman, and you have time to do what you want.

8. Don’t focus on the awards and honors (or lack thereof), because be honest, no one will remember most of them except the people who won them. Instead, to paraphrase the esoterical show The Middle, “people won’t remember if you were homecoming queen or student of the year, what they will remember is how you treated them each day, how you made them feel.” The greatest compliment I ever received at a high school reunion was from a guy I didn’t even remember who said the thing he remembered about me was that I was nice to everyone.

9. Take Photos Without the Date. High school romances are exciting, fun and oh so romantic. But they are also, usually, fleeting. So at prom, plays and graduation take a few photos of your child alone in that special dress - it will save a lot of cropping in the future when Mr. Right becomes Mr. No-Longer. 

So go out there and enjoy the next seven and a half months, and before you know it you'll be wanting to read my next blog-Enjoying the Empty Nest.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Eighteen And Counting

Today my daughter, the Diva, turns 18.

To Celebrate - here are 18 times she made my heart happy.

1. The day she was born. She was born about three weeks early, by C-section because her heart was doing crazy things. (So techniquely  today shouldn’t be her birthday. It should be in September.) When she came out healthy and beautiful, it was a very happy day. And the major drugs they gave me made it even better.

2. She potty trained herself before she was two. Yes, every mom can say what a happy day it is when you no longer have to deal with diapers.

 3. One night I couldn’t sleep. It was about three in the morning so I went into the living room and turned the light on to read a book. I heard little three-year-old footsteps on the upstairs landing and the her tiny little soprano voice say, “Is it Good Morning yet?” No, I told her and she just turned and went back to bed. From that day on morning has always been called Good Morning.

4. The first time she sang a solo in church. She owned that stage.

 5. When she was three I took her to see “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” at OKWU. I was a little afraid that she might get fussy and I’d have to leave in the middle of the show. Instead she laughed and laughed and laughed. The audience joined in. From that moment on she was hooked on theater.

6.  Her first part in a play – The Lamb’s Tale. She was three and played a sheep. Her brother had the lead, but she thought she was the star.

 7. I’ve watched her in forty theatrical productions over the past eighteen years, but when she got the part of Molly in Annie! I shed a few stage mom tears. She had spent the entire year before the audition watching and re-watching the movie wanting to make sure she had the part down perfectly. She learned at six that preparation for an audition can really pay off.

I think she was pretty excited
when she got a lead in
A Piece of My Heart

8.  Painting a rock at Woolaroc Kids Fest. Although the paint washed off the first time it rained, the rock still resides in my front flowerbed.

9.  Shopping. Shopping. Shopping. We’ve spent a lot of time shopping together over the past eighteen years. Shopping for formals for different dances was sometimes a little stressful, until we found the perfect dress. I love the light in her eyes every time she’s said yes to the dress.

10. Teasing her dad. He’s very gullible. When the Diva wanted a hamster that was all we heard about. While we were in London she found a motorized toy hamster in a plastic hamster ball that would roll around on the floor. We bought it and took it back to the hotel. Her dad saw it and started to freak out about how we couldn’t take a live animal back to the states.   Yes, we had a good laugh at that.

11. Buying the real hamster back home in the Ville.

12. Adopting Toulouse.

13. Birthday parties. Especially her Sweet Sixteen with Catherine. We danced the night away to DJ DarkuJ.

14. Laughing when she does her hot dog monologue.

15. Hearing the house filled with laughter when the Diva and her squad are here.

16. Prom dinner.

17. Curtain call of Godspell.

18.  Today.

I could easily write fifty more special times, but I’ll save that for her 68th birthday.

I love you my Diva. Thanks for spending the last eighteen years making my life full. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Roll Call

I love to look at the stats from this blog and see that people all over the world read my profound thoughts.
Or at least they click on the page for a brief moment.
But very few leave a comment.
So this time, could you just check in and tell me where you're reading this not so profound blog post from?
I'll go first - Bartlesville, Oklahoma!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Come as You Are: It's the Best Way to Be

Tomorrow I’m going to my high school reunion.
I didn’t’ lose ten pounds, color my roots, or buy a new outfit.
I didn’t make special plans, or worry about who might or might not be there.
I’m just going.
Because that’s how my hometown is. No need for pretense. We are come as you are people.
So here is how I am.
Twenty pounds overweight from a plentiful table.
Wrinkles from a life enjoyed too much in the sun.
Plenty of regrets, but even more glads that I made the choices I did.

So be prepared to listen to how smart my daughter is and how motivated my son is. I’ll even brag on my husband a little cause he is pretty brag worthy. And I will listen when you tell me about your perfect kiddos, because I really do want to hear about them.

When you tell stories about the crazy things we did, I laugh like they’re new to me, because many of them will be as my memory is that of a goldfish a lot of time. But that just makes life more interesting—never boring.

And when the day is over, my heart will be full knowing the first seventeen years of my life were filled with wonderful people that instilled in me a worldview where people are inherently good and can be trusted.
Got to hang out with these two fun friends from 1980 something. 

Hope I see you there.

P.S. I’ll be blatantly self-promoting my books at my book signing after the variety show. Don’t try to sneak out the door without coming over to see me.