We are in sunny Florida for David’s 9th birthday. We surprised our kids with a trip to universal studios and Harry Potter’s theme park for David’s birthday. I will have a ton of pictures when we get back but I couldn’t wait for this.
My sweet, funny, super smart boy is 9!!! I can hardly believe it!
Today was my daughter’s 16th birthday but please don’t remind her.
In the weeks leading up to this day, I tried to talk her into having a party, having a few friends over for dinner, a sleepover, a movie marathon, bowling, skating, swimming, doing something- anything- to mark the occasion.
But my teenager is not one of those perky ” let’s do stuff” teenagers.
The answer was a resounding ‘no’, followed by a lot of mumbling about how she’d rather be forced to listen to Justin Bieber on an endless loop.
Maybe it would be different if she was getting her license but we had to veto that. She doesn’t have the level of responsibility and maturity yet to put her behind the wheel. Plus she has inherited my gracefulness- poor kid. I have, several times now, watched her fall going up the stairs.
Instead we bought her a different form of transportation for her birthday.
Shoes. (To be fair, she does have a serious obsession with shoes so we weren’t being mean.)
Still, I had hopes that she would cave and do something for this birthday.
Once a week for the past 6 weeks, she would mention maybe inviting me friend or another to come over but would then change her mind at the last minute. In a fit of teen angst and rage (a potent and occasionally scary combination) she insisted that she didn’t want presents from anyone, no cake and No One was allowed to wish her a happy birthday. The first person to sing the birthday song to her would surely vaporize on the spot from her lethal and patented ‘you are lame and I hate you’ death glare (do all teens come equipped with this or is it just mine?).
Her brother and I looked at each other and then began to sing the unbirthday song from Alice in Wonderland.
It didn’t go over well.
Last night she kept following me around and giving me doe eyes.
I knew what was coming. Because for all her adamant proclamations that birthdays were lame and celebrating being another year closer to dead was stupid, she really is just a kid. And doesn’t every kid want to feel like they are special for one day.
I agreed that she should definitely have a German chocolate cake and yes, that would make me very happy and how thoughtful of her to think of me.
Today we all wished her a happy birthday and sang the real birthday song to her (Charlie actually just sang the cake song which is just her singing ‘cake cake caaaakkkkeee’- which yes, she did that all day, thank you-) and ate cake and I told her the story of how she was born high on applesauce and I was so sure that no one in their right minds would ever let me leave with a baby that I didn’t let her go for 2 days. When we finally did get to leave, I couldn’t raise my arms past my chest for a few days.
And everyone was happy and went to bed and now I’m sitting here writing this and it hits me.
Holy crap. I have a 16 year old.
In 2 years she will be 18. In 2 years she could actually leave.
This is the stuff that leaves me sleepless at night.
84 squares, 6 inches each; 42″ x 72″; a wide variety of fabrics, cut and measured, scraps and yards worth of fabrics, various beads, buttons and one key; and countless hours. I started this quilt in the beginning of April still unsure of where I was going with it. I had made quilts before but they were all very simple block quilts. I hadn’t even learned to hide my closing seam until last December. My great-grandmother had taught me how to embroider when I was 8 but I hadn’t really done any embroidery in years. OK, decades.
Then the first square was complete and I realized I couldn’t just do a few squares and be satisfied. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it all. I made plenty of mistakes along the way (it does seem to be a specialty of mine). I had never done a binding before and decided instead to simply frame it out. There was the square I lost (and still can’t find). There were a few interruptions (Halloween costumes to make, birthday quilts to finish and cakes to make).
I guess my point is, I didn’t know that I could do this (my sewing skills are decidedly beginner), but I did it anyway. Tonight, I’m sneaking into my son’s room to slip this on him while he sleeps. I don’t think he will care how beginner my skills are.
In the morning, all he will care about is that he has an awesome Harry Potter quilt.
I apologize now for the awful pictures. My IPad is not exactly ideal for pictures but it was all I had on hand. When I started the Charlotte’s costume, I thought I knew what I wanted it to look like. … Continue reading
(I know this is off try usual topics, but teacher conference was tonight and it was the same as always. It has left me with this nagging frustration because we do this every year. Same start, same words exchanged, same explanations. I worry over the same issues every year.)
Every year at the start of school, I get a little questionnaire asking me to tell you about my son. And every year, I sit there helplessly wondering how to explain David. You won’t believe me until you have spent some time with him. I have filled that paper out as completely as I can and come conference time, it’s always the same. The teacher is always shocked that I wasn’t exaggerating. David is exceptionally bright. He always has been.
He spoke in clear, complete sentences at 18 months. Clear enough that other people could understand him. He has excellent reasoning skills. He would rather watch the Science channel than cartoons. And he would rather read than watch TV. He has an amazing recall and memory- except when it comes to remembering to pull up his zipper, tuck his pockets into his pants or wear matching socks. These things don’t seem to matter to him.
He explained black holes to me before he started kindergarten. He and his dad built a computer together for fun. He loves to know how things work. He constantly asks questions. About everything.
In second grade his teacher begged us to send him to school with thicker books because he had been going through 2-3 A-Z mysteries a day. So I gave him Harry Potter on a lark. He read it. Then he read the rest of them. Ask him anything about those books and he will tell you. He also has a few theories of his own about those books.
Now he is reading The Hunger Games.
I know, he’s 8. I hesitated giving it to him. But he loves it. And he questions certain plot points and guesses what will happen next.
If I had told you that at the beginning of the year would you have believed me?
Tonight you said that David is a thinker. That not only is he a thinker, but he knows he is. That he surprises you sometimes with his insights on what you are reading in class, his ideas about all the who what where and why.
I know. Sometimes he surprises me too. And if I feel that way when I know him and am around him everyday, how can I explain this to a teacher who has heard it all before? And what else can I tell you?
David decided at some point that there was a time for play and a time for work. School, for him, is a very important job. He loves to learn, as I’m sure you have already figured out. This is his time to be serious and focused. You will never have to tell him to stop talking to his friends or to stay on task. Recess is play time. This is where you will see the goofy fun-loving side of my son. He loves playing wih his friends. When recess is over, he will return to being very serious and studious. This is just who he decided to be.
No one is harder on David than David. He has high expectations for himself and sometimes needs to be reminded that it’s ok to make mistakes.
I worry every year that he will grow bored with school because there is so little he finds challenging, especially for the first two months when he is stuck doing schoolwork he did the year before. Or in this case, 2 years before. He comes home and starts making up math problems to challenge himself. So do you see my problem here?
I fill out your questionnaire but you never believe me. Not at first. And I know, it’s because you’ve heard it all before. But maybe we could work together? Maybe you could pass on everything you’ve learned about David to his next teacher? That way when I turn in that questionnaire, they will know. I’m not lying.
He really is an exceptionally bright kid with loads of potential. And really awful handwriting.
One Exasperated Mother
I have been a little bit crazed for the last week or so trying to get all my side projects done in time. I nearly had it under control until I realized my daughter’s costume looks too clowny and I hate it! So I had to go back to the drawing board with a little more than a week left to go.
Yesterday, I made 2 fez hats for David and breanna’s costumes and another batman cape/quilt. This week, I need to do the finishing on the batman quilt, finish Charlie’s costume, make a superhero cake for the neighbor boy, 1dozen cupcakes for Josie’s final soccer game and 2 dozen cupcakes for teacher night.
Tonigh. I really wish I had kept my big mouth shut. I was taking a break from all those other projects (which, yeah I know, I really shouldn’t but I needed to) and working the last row of the HP quilt. David asked me what I had left to do and I said that I was thinking of putting on a binding to finish off the blanket instead of just sewing it to the backing as is like I normally would. I explained what a binding is and David said ‘yeah, do that!’
Then I realized I am idiot.
I’ve never done a binding before.
I’ve never even seen one done.
So, once again I have no idea what I’m doing.
This should be fun.
oh, look. It’s almost ready. Except that I can’t keep my big mouth shut…
So I think I mentioned that I had lost a square. I had quite a fit about that and still can’t figure out where oh where my little square went. I didn’t want to put off finishing sewing these pieces together. I was seriously just done trying to come up with ideas and making them work. So I looked over the quilt to think about what I could do that would look good and fit in with what I had already done.
I had made an outline of Harry’s face and Sirius (have I mentioned he is kind of my favorite?). I also had Draco done- because I really wanted to include what was one of my favorite lines. So I did the only thing I could think of that just happened to include another of my favorite snippets.