Sunday, August 23, 2009

It is a good life

The first full week of school passed very quickly.

It was not uneventful, unfortunately, but we made it through it!

We are planning a big birthday party for Dad on Saturday. His birthday is not until 9/11, but Mom is taking him away to Alaska on his birthday, so we are celebrating early.

Trying to invite all of Dad's friends really would require a professional party planner. I've tried to find all his friends through the internet, email addresses, Facebook, and Mom's address book. It has been great to reconnect with old friends in the process.

One night my phone rang and it was Lettie, who grew up two blocks from us. She was between Mark and me in age, but our families were connected not only through the neighborhood, but school, and church. It was great to catch up.

Our phone does not ring often and I think even my nieces don't know our number, just my cell phone, so it is rare for me to sit and talk on the phone.

The night Lettie called, Annabel had just shown me her math homework, which was all word problems and had my little pea brain spinning, trying to decide how far a ball traveled if it bounced to half its height each time it dropped.

These are not easy problems to solve and pretty difficult to explain to someone still mastering English. So Annabel was waiting on me to finish my conversation and stood with her paper and pencil staring at me most of the time I was on the phone! I'm not sure if we ever got all of it completed, but I realized then she was not willing to tell her teachers that she cannot read English.

Thank goodness this school has already done testing, the Woodcock Munoz, which shows your acquisition of English, through reading, writing, and verbally. The ESL teacher is planning to meet with all her teachers to make an amended schedule and homework assignments.

On Friday morning as I was brushing my teeth, Annabel came in and asked me not to be mad at her but she had lost her gym clothes.

Early morning proclamations take longer to sink in and I realized that about $100 worth of stuff was gone! We tore this house up looking for her "gym bag" and then she ran to Mom and Dad's, quite tearfullly by then, to see if she had left it there.

She ran into their house crying, "Momma, momma" and Mom and Dad had a quick spike in blood pressure until she could finally get out that I had sent her there to find her gym clothes.

So we decided the clothes were lost and when I finally calmed down and thankfully, we have our nice long time together in the car, I took time to make sure she understood something that I think is basic, but occurred to me, was not to her.

I have so become my mother.

I explained that her losing her gym clothes made me mad, but it did not stop my love for her. That if I did not love her, I would not care if she had her things. It would mean nothing to me. That she can never make me mad enough to NOT love her. There is nothing she can do to change our relationship either, she will ALWAYS be my daughter.

Abandonment can play tricks on your self worth and if I had a magic eraser, would take all those fears and concerns out of my daughters' lives. They do not speak of it, but from what I have read, it is probably still a HUGE concern for them.

Thank goodness for honest people at the new school!

Her gym clothes were in the lost and found and her brand new pair of New Balance sneakers was too! We made sure we thanked God for that blessing!

The other interesting part of planning Dad's birthday has been going through old pictures.

Yesterday we were doing our bi monthly trip to Costco and started talking about how fashion has changed. I wish I could do a montage of just Dad's hair changes!!!

But the people who had influenced Dad's fashion sense, also brought back some great memories. Dad was regretting not having a leisure suit, but I remembered the lovely leisure suits my brother in law, Ken, had. Which just brought lots more memories.

I had to stop, not physically, as I was driving, but make the statement that we have had a good life. There have been so many fantastic people and still are. I hope that a lot of them can come Saturday.

This afternoon was spent looking for Spanish/English dictionaries and the sequel to Grace's summer reading assignment. I cannot believe we can spend 3 hours in 2 book stores. I am thrilled that Grace LOVES to read and I hope that Annabel will soon.

My problem is that I have just recently discovered this LOVE!

All I really wanted to do this weekend was finish the great book I recently started. The book is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is one of those books that you see but just don't bother to pick up. It did not look interesting, but it was the choice for the RECPTA book club for August. As soon as I started, I was hooked. It is a series of letters written about the people of Guernsey at the end of World War II and their 5 years of control under the German army. It brings the time to life as people came out of the darkness and began having life again. It has given me a new view of those who I serve through my job, who have served our country during that time. No wonder they do not want to talk about it.

Book bags are packed and lunches are ready. I have a couple of things prepared to make for easier dinners. I have a feeling this week will fly since I still need to do quite a few things before Dad's party.

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