Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mother Love

We spent Mother's Day at home, with others coming over to celebrate the day with us.  I am so thankful to have both my mom and my mother-in-law in good health and living in close proximity.  I will host a Mother's Day gathering as long as I am able, if only as a tiny way to honor the huge ways they take care of all of us in Krinkeland, day in and day out.  We ate... and complained we ate too much... and sat around and laughed... and ate some more... and complained some more... and laughed some more...

The day passed in a whirl of greeting cards and beach sand and coffeemaker refills.  Here are the highlights from the Queen's perspective:

My mom brought flowers, as she does every year.  The pink are for my girls, the blue for my boy, and the yellow represents the baby I miscarried and miss every day.

Elisabeth and Madeline (mostly Elisabeth) made me breakfast in bed.  It was very  hard to wait in bed while all the preparations were being made, but Libby spends a lot of time on Pinterest and it shows!  In addition to my daily eggs, she made these fancy apple pancakes where the thinly sliced apple was wrapped in the shape of a flower.  The card said something like "Sorry we're always so bratty."


The eldest gifted me a flowering plant and these cool socks, "Get it? Because you're the Queen Bee, Mom."  I put them on immediately.


Benjamin confessed he and Dad got up early and went to Menards just this morning to pick out my special gift: two spools of garden hose and two nozzles.  They were both pretty proud of themselves.


Madeline decorated a special coaster/trivet in school for me, and this was the way the wrapping was decorated.  I'm still giggling that for adjectives she chose "marvelous" and "obedient."  In a separate package-- it was a Target bag-- Maddy wrapped up in Kleenex elements of beautiful outfit, including pumps, sweater and jewelry.  They were all articles I already owned that she'd taken from my closet and regifted to me.  Kids. Are. Weird.

Maddy and Libby also worked up a dance routine as a unique gift.  Well, I guess it's not that unique, because those two are always working up dance routines, and the rest of the family rolled their eyes and groaned, leading me to believe they had been members of a practice audience for several days.

The fam came over for lunch.  I loved eavesdropping on my MIL, Amanda and Auntie Lisa catching up.  That's the best kind of gang, right there!

It was much too cold for actual swimming-- the ice has been out for nine days-- but that didn't keep some of the kids from hanging out lakeside, anyway.  I didn't seen it with my own eyes, but three-year-old Theo reportedly caught a fish with his bare hands... and later asked everyone to smell his hands (because they were making  his lunch taste funny.)

This here is my mama.  I love her.  I am grateful for her presence, her constant help and her example.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Dancing Queen


This weekend, Amanda attended her high school prom.  This must be the punchline to some cruel joke of the universe, because clearly our daughter is not old enough to go to the prom because clearly Todd and I are not old enough to have a child go to the prom.  But, it happened, anyway.

By all accounts, Amanda appears to have friends and associations amidst various groups and individuals at her school, but I think she would describe herself as a "theatre kid."  In fact, I've heard her do just that.  The group of students who ascribe to that categorization seem to have kind of a tradition going where they pair off, where there is pairing to be done, and then the rest of the upperclassmen who want to go to prom each invite an underclassman who also wants to go to prom.  So, even though Amanda is only a sophomore, and even though she has no romantic attachment, she was invited to go to the big dance with the other theatre kids.

We had an assembly of about 20 kids here on Saturday afternoon to get ready and to take photos before Grand March at the high school.  That meant parents and grandparents and some siblings, too, of course.  Never before has there been such incentive for Krinkeland to kick things into gear and get the dock in and the yard, beach, deck and patio into some kind of shape for spring!  Win-win-win!  Todd is basically paralyzed by back pain today, but, hey, it was worth it.

It was all really worth it.  More than worth it.  Just witnessing all those excited, young people did my mama heart so much good.

The kids stuck to their plans, which involved marching in the high school parade that is Grand March, going out for Chinese food, and then attending the dance at a country club closer in to the city.  Afterward, Amanda had invited the girls back for a sleepover, and so seven returned, giggling and blistered, to tell all their amusing tales.

A number of the other parents and students were gracious in their thanks to us for hosting and for helping.  That was nice... but, we really didn't do much... honestly, it's stuff we'd have to do, anyway, and it was fun to have a happy occasion to nudge us.  While I am not a social person, and prefer to be home by myself or with my family, I also prefer to keep my babies close.  Fill the house with kids.  I can see you, I can hear you, and you know I'm here if you need me, if you need anything.  It works.

To one particularly kind and personal note from a fellow drama parent, I responded:
A classmate once remarked at a reunion, "High school is such a short period of time, but SO MUCH happens during that time." With one girl on the adventure, and a second starting momentarily, the words go through my head daily. I feel so blessed to witness their journeys, and I mean all the kids' journeys. I love seeing your daughter's shoes on the rug and hearing giggles from under the door. And, if our house is open for the fun stuff, they'll hopefully remember it's also open for the hard stuff. Thank you for your kind words, but I know we're all in this together and we're LUCKY.