Tag Archives: growing up

Letting Go

6 Mar

30 Days.

What the hell?

It was a completely unintentional a 3-hour-tour-Gilligan’s-Island disappearance on my behalf. I had no idea where my motivation fell off the ship, but with the help of The Professor and MaryAnn and rest of the S.S. Minnow Crew I’m able to tap away at the keys again.

It might have been the fact that our family kept up our New Year’s Resolution and tried something completely new that inspired this post and sent me on the most anxiety-mom-crazed-roller-coaster ever. Feelings like that tend to spur inspirational writing moments.

Growth is what people call it. Parenthood, I guess.

Our new adventure last month?

Away From Home.

Letting go.

Normally my people don’t do sleepovers. It’s something that I hear other families talk about and moms share stories over the preparations, fun times, and lack of sleep. But us?

Nope.

Unless it’s family, my kids have never slept over anyone else’s house. Aunts’. Grandma’s. Cousins’.  If you’re not a blood relative my kids were not sleeping over your place. Their Dad and I are both on the same page with this. And I don’t know what it is, but for some reason we’re just like this and we’re O.K. with it.

That was until the annual Fifth Grade Outdoor Science School field trip where everyone in the fifth grade goes away for three nights and four days, accompanied by teachers and parent chaperones. My son was excited to go. Looking forward to this all year. All. Year. And then neither their Dad, nor I got selected to be chaperones.

Duuuuuuuuuuude.

Huge dilemma for me. BIG.

For most people this was an easy decision. But I struggled with it for weeks. Now I didn’t want to be that crazy parent … the one… that didn’t let her kid go on this trip. I didn’t want to be that one, where the kid is on lockdown and never experiences anything because the overprotective parent is watching them like a hawk and protecting them like SuperMan everyday. I didn’t want to be that parent. Even though every fiber of my being was like nope, you just CAN’T let him go. You can’t. You can’t!  

But I didn’t want to be that parent. I know that with the best intention they have sometimes this kind of parenting does more damage than good. I know this. I do.

His Dad and I discussed it.

And I opened the gates.

It’s been the hardest thing I had to do as a parent so far. First time ever.

Let go.

It felt like the first time he went to preschool or kindergarten and I was that parent peeking through the fence, making sure that one kid didn’t push my kid off the tricycle. That was me. I had flashbacks. But I let go.

Letting Go

🙂

 

He was so excited when we gave him the news that he could go. I got that thank-you-thank-you-thank-you-thank-you-hug-you-so-tight hug. His sister was not that thrilled as they’re pretty close buds. And me? I was wrecked with anxiety and filled with summer camp 80’s movies and wondering if some jackass kid would scar my kid for life. Other moms seemed to have it so together, while I was losing it inside.

When the day came, we walked to the front of the school and waited. All I wished for was positive vibes and good things. I hugged him goodbye, waved as the bus drove off.

I felt the ugliness in the pit of my stomach and hoped for the best.  His sister was having a hard time with it, although I put on my Mom face and told her everything would be fine and he would get the secret letter she put in his sleeping bag and he would love it and be fine.

After she fell asleep, I completely lost it.  I felt like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption the last night Andy Dufrane was there. One of the longest nights of my life.

The next morning I realized I’m completely unprepared for when he leaves for college. I’m gonna be a complete wreck. Sobbing. Weeping. Heartbroken. I can totally imagine it. It’s going to be a disaster and this in no way prepared me. Sure I wasn’t that parent that kept her kid home and deprived him of an awesome learning opportunity, I wasn’t keeping him locked away from the world. I know he has to grow and learn and get beat up by life a little bit. But inside I soooooooo wanted to be that parent.

It was a serious internal struggle.

And in the midst of this internal battle and complete breakdown he came back early. Snowstorm in the mountains. Freak storm closing down the roads forced them to come home earlier than expected. Gone just two days instead of four.

I felt like an idiot afterward, just two days. But the anxiety was real, the worry was real, the stress, the emotions. I was battling my Motherhood worst-scenarios and he came back smiling and full of hugs.

Best hug ever.

He was disappointed that the trip ended early but grateful that he at least got the chance to go.

I ended up being NOT that parent, but I struggled every minute of it. I’m gonna need some advice from the parents out there about letting go, because I know I’m gonna have to do it again and I know I’m not prepared for it. I might be better at it the next time it comes around but I’m for sure not going to be emotionally prepared for it.

The college years will be here before I know it and that part of Parenthood is going to suck. But I guess until then I’m gonna make sure to instill lessons of strength, empathy, kindness, responsibility, resourcefulness, and humor. If I’m missing something I’m probably gonna pick it up along the way, but veteran parents out there feel free to let me know.

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Home

13 Feb
Home.

Home.

 

 

Lived in many places, but home?

Home was laughter.

Home was a place that always smelled like baked chicken.

Home was the one-bedroom apartment in the barrio where we lived most of my childhood.

Home was family … through killer plaid bell-bottoms, MC Hammer parachute pants, Levis jeans, Dockers and Dickies workpants.

Home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

7 Aug

Footprints

 

Growth.

Tiny feet fitting in the palm of your hand, ten toes wiggling.

Tiny feet taking first steps.

Tiny feet hitting your face while taking a nap.

Tiny feet needing shoes.

Running, not walking anymore.

Causing chaos in the patio, leaving muddy footprints everywhere.

Soon tiny feet will be pressing the gas pedal on a four-door vehicle.

Soon tiny feet will be trying to tip-toe inside the house passed curfew and they will no longer be tiny.

Growth.

I Knew She’d Take a Bullet For Me … And a Car

22 Jun

We don’t talk much, but I know she’d take a bullet for me.

I was reminded of her today, when I saw two siblings at the supermarket. One of them grabbed a toy off the shelf and was totally into it. Admiring it. The other one snatched it from her hands and ran down the aisle, passed the Ritz crackers.

My sister, otherwise known as The Queen of the Nile. I call her that, because during her high school reign she won the homecoming and prom queen titles. She was into that kind of stuff. I was not. So it was natural for me as a younger sister to make fun of my older sibling.

When we were children, we were close. I have pictures to that effect so I know it must be true. But during middle school, high school, and college it was the normal dysfunctional relationship. We weren’t really friends, but we weren’t enemies either. We were just acquaintances in the same blood type.

However, there were moments growing up when I knew she wasn’t just my acquaintance.

I can’t remember if I was in fifth or sixth grade, but I know it was around that time when it happened.

As I mentioned before, my parents were extremely strict. They were Latinos. We lived in a rough neighborhood. We were girls. They had reason to be strict. So in this strict Latino fashion, we never went to sleepovers or to places without someone from the family taking us and bringing us back. That’s just how my parents rolled.

So when my sister asked to go to the movies with some friends on her own, they weren’t really warming up to the idea. She was the responsible one, so eventually they caved in, on one condition. She needed to take me. The younger sister who’d probably report on anything and everything, like a good covert spy. My sister needed to be careful. She needed to make sure we got back by curfew. Those were the conditions and she agreed.

She was Richie Cunningham, so they were confident it would happen.

So off we went on our very first trip to the movies. We were careful. We stayed away from the bad alleyways and from suspect characters on our way to her friend’s house. Once they finished putting on their Maybelline mascara, and frosty pink lip gloss we made our way to the bus stop.

We walked up the hill and saw the bus coming in the opposite direction. We raced to catch the light. It was still red and we were hoping the bus driver saw us screaming and waving our hands in the air.

The bus began to pull away from the curb, but the driver stepped on the brakes as the signal light turned red.  We waited. Anxiously. Our signal light finally turned from red to green. We stepped off the curb and began running across the street when it happened.

A green car came racing through the intersection, right at us.

I must have blacked out because the next thing I knew I was face down in the middle of the intersection with my one of Adidas tennis shoes hanging out in the middle of the cross walk. When I got up and looked around, I realized what had happened.

We had gotten hit by a car. But I really shouldn’t say we. My sister’s friend, had gotten hit. My sister for some reason had managed to avoid it, and in the process had managed to push me away from the incident. I didn’t know she was that strong. It must have been all the adrenaline, because I flew pretty far.

In the end her friend was all right. She ended up getting a cast for her arm, and plenty of ice every where else. But no crazy internal damage, which was a miracle. As she was getting treated in the ambulance, she joked around a bit and said that our parents would probably not let us go to the movies again.

But they did.

In the end I realized that even though we weren’t friends and we weren’t close, we had our moments. She’d probably take a bullet for me and definitely a speeding car.

My sister … Queen of the Nile.