I tried biking with Junior again, taking another route. The problem with living in a valley, though, is that it is ALL uphill if you want to get anywhere.
As I pushed us up a steep incline, a bunch of Germans zipped past me on their bikes, with a few of them actually smoking, and I initially spiraled into a cloud of confused self-pity. How am I STILL so out of shape?!
I always think of my Aunt Eileen whenever my kids “paint the porch” for me. She raised seven children, and countless nieces, nephews, neighborhood kids, and grandchildren. She knew all the tricks, and this one is a favorite. A bucket of water and a paintbrush. No mess. A clean porch. Playful, easy distraction.
I got a little misty-eyed when I found these photos on my phone just now.
Lola took this sequence during our little pool party.
From top left, counterclockwise, Junior didn’t realize I was shouting along with him, but then he noticed me, put his hands on my face, I moved them to my throat, he laughed, and then we continued shouting together at the top of our lungs with him keeping his hand on me.
I came home from work, and started [good-naturedly] teasing Miss C about her booty shorts, and fashion, and summer style. Lola chimed in, and before I knew it, the gauntlet was thrown, and an ultimatum was given … if Mom can fit into said booty shorts, they become Mom Shorts, and therefore lose all trendiness, and can no longer be worn by teenagers, even in a heat wave.
To everyone‘s surprise — and I do mean EVERYONE — I now own a ”new“ pair of Mom Shorts.
My dad said tonight that in the two weeks he’s been here, he’s noticed a big difference in Junior’s behavior.
More assertive. More demanding. More determined.
Junior did just celebrate his second birthday, but I also think it’s because we’ve all been making an effort to be more intentional with him, more expressive and focused with our communication efforts. I think the active engagement has clued him in that we ARE paying attention and he’s become bolder because of it. And I love it. His silence does not equate to being a wallflower.
Miss C and I went grocery shopping on base, and without warning, the cute young man bagging our groceries goes, “Miss C? I haven’t seen you in YEARS? How are you?”
It was my daughter’s former classmate from when she went to the American school. I pretended not to listen as they chit-chatted about his upcoming junior year and her new school, and maybe they’ll see each other around?