Thursday, August 25, 2011

The girl who stole my heart...

K has successfully tackled her first week of kindergarten.  Another milestone.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have such a strong, independent young lady.  And I can't believe how fast she is growing up right in front of me.  I can't say it happened over night.  There have been signs...  She doesn't like cartoons any more, or anything babyish.  She stopped riding in the running stroller (as much, sometimes I can still bribe her by letting her play Angry Birds) because she thinks that is babyish.  She's way into fashion.  She loves to listen to her iPod and pretend like she's making music videos.  Her favorite musical artists are Evanescence, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha.  I know, I know...don't judge, please.  I'm of the philosophy that I can't hide her from what's out there.  I heard a little boy in her class the other day singing Ke$ha, so we are not alone.  Plus, we're still all good because she still says my dad is the best singer and guitar player in the world.  So, she does have musical taste, she's just a fan of the top pop, too. 

Anyway...kindergarten is here.  And she's rocking it.  And I feel comfortable where she is.  My biggest issue is fear of all the germs she's being exposed to and the sociologist in me doesn't like that I am mandated to send her somewhere 5 days a week.  But if we have to do it, I think she is at the absolute best place for her.  We kept her at the same school where she went to Pre-K because we loved it so much.  Small classes, familiar faces.  Plus, next year will likely involve another move and all the transitions that come with that and Buzz changing billets again (ah the life of a military family).  So we thought the best thing we could do was give her this continuity while we can.  She has already told me how much she loves the school and wants to stay here for first grade, too or at least find a school just like it when we move (she wanted to have that discussion at 2 am the other night/morning).  They wear uniforms here--well, they have a dress code, I guess I should say.  But that dress code makes her look that much more grown-up.  What happened to my baby?  I'm glad for every milestone and realize how quickly they all I'm trying to eat up every minute. 

Also, she has continued with her riding lessons and has found a new friend in a pony.  She loves to go after school to hang out with her buddy.

My little girl is growing up...  But she is in this stage where she is still so young, needing just the right combination of protection and freedom.  I hope I am able to give her all that she needs.  She is always going to be that little bundle of joy I held in my arms the day she was born.  The girl who I would stay awake at night when all was quiet and slowed down just to watch her, in disbelief that precious little being was mine.  The baby who took off running one New Years Day, leaving me to not be able to sit down for the next few years.  The girl who would swing for hours and point to the moon every night.  The child who has been by MY side through deployments, keeping me sane and giving me purpose and strength.  The same child who I woke up in the middle of the night to greet a daddy coming home from Iraq, who she only really knew through pictures.  The child who, just a short time later, said goodbye to her daddy for another deployment--and asked him on webcam through that deployment why he wouldn't just come out of that computer and give her mommy a hug--who, when her daddy came home and swooped her up, she asked him to please put her down and give mommy a kiss.  The person who can comfort my dog when he is scared, nervous, or in pain.  The girl who gets more excited about my birthday than her own.  The kindergartner who, when I explained to her that I would need to be working all weekend on my exam, offered to bring me the books I need to the guest room where I will be working so I don't have to walk down the stairs and get them myself.  The child's heart bursts with compassion.  And that girl has stolen my heart--from the second I knew she existed to the moment I saw her in person to this morning when I left her at school playing happily with her friends to right now when I look forward to picking her up and taking her to riding lessons this afternoon.

So, in honor of my no-longer-baby girl, I have two songs to share this week for my favorite link-up. 

First, Jack Johnson's "My Little Girl"...the lyrics say it all.

Second, "My Wish" by Rascal Flats, which makes me tear up every time I hear it.  I know I can't hold her hand every step of the way, but I do hope that every step of the way she gets back all that she gives--and like the song says, I still hope she gives more than she takes.  I know she does now.  My wish is that she can keep her big heart and wear that warm smile even out in the cold world, where my time by her side gets shorter as she grows and I must trust that I am doing the right thing in the times we have together and I can teach her to be that big-hearted sweetheart on the outside, the same as she is on the inside--but tough enough to handle whatever comes her way.  My wish is that she follows her dreams and I can support her through it all.  I know with the life she was born into, that of a military child, many of the lyrics are even stronger for her:  it's hard for her worries to stay small sometimes, I know that sometimes she's going to have to bump up her strength in order to not have to carry more than she can hold, it might not be easy to remember all the places she's been and the people she meets. But she can do it.  She's an amazing little girl...growing up in front of my eyes...

Stop by Goodnight Moon, listen to the other jams, and leave one (or two) of your own!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In hiding...

Oh good grief, I'm terrible at writing on this thing these days.  I think about it all the time.  I love to write, to journal, to vent...and, in the past, this has been a good place to get all of that done in one place.  But lately, I've been a bit in hiding.  I have what could be my final comp exam coming up soon--it WILL be my final exam (yes, the last exam I will ever have to take) IF I pass it.  I'm sweating bullets thinking about it...ahh, stress...

But right now, I'm saturated with studying so I'm looking for things to do to keep my mind OFF the anxiety of the pending exam weekend--yes, weekend--it's 3 full days of test-taking. Ugh!

I have so much to write about...K started kindergarten, Sampson has had more "issues," I had an amazing week at the beach, I turned 31...

I'm stuck on that one right now.  I'm 31.  I feel like I should maybe be a little more successful, done with school, more financially stable.  But, I'm "just" a part-time college instructor/graduate teaching associate, I'm STILL in school, and I feel like a dog chasing its tail with money--largely due to the HUGE economic burdens of graduate school WITH a family.  But, I am where I am.  And I love where I am, if I don't think about the student loan debt.  :)  So, I missed my favorite link-up for the past few weeks with "Goodnight Moon" so I am playing my birthday song today (a couple weeks after the birthday itself) to remind me that I need to enjoy this "ride." 

'Round about my 24th birthday, Buzz got me the License to Chill CD (back when we bought CDs, not just bought music on iTunes).  "Trip around the Sun" was my instant favorite, as the first line is "So I'm singin' happy birthday..."  And, as the song says, this year gone by ain't been a piece of cake.  But neither is any year.  We are all lucky to have time to sit back (or sit up at the computer and have the opportunity to be in grad school, even if it means student loan debt too-long exams) and enjoy our trips around the sun.  One of my favorite parts of the song says "I'm just hanging on, while this ol' world keeps spinning.  And it's good to know it's out of my control.  If there's one thing that I've learned from all this living, is that it wouldn't change a thing if I let go."

I'm not planning on letting go--I'm fighting through exams, a dissertation, a sick dog, motherhood, military wife-life, and all that goes with it.  But, sometimes it is good to sit back and put things in perspective.  I'm not saying I won't have a major breakdown if I fail this exam--but the world will keep spinning if I do, or if I don't.  So, I'm working on enjoying the ride right now...and being thankful that I am in a place to pursue my dreams with my favorite people (and dogs) on earth, even if it comes with the ups and downs of success AND stress.

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