I wasn’t going to post today but then love, life, the American Pursuit, and my head got in the way and I couldn’t leave for the weekend (which is rumored to involve potty-training AND a cabin in the woods with an incinerator toilet, so ask me how that all works out) without participating/linking up/mentioning a few things. For one, Scarlet had a great sixth birthday.
I know it’s not about me, but it is partly about me, because who did a lot of the work six years and one day ago? Yes, she did some work. Yes, the doctor did a bit of work and the nurses did a LOT of work, and Cassidy was very involved too, but I have to pat myself on the back right now. Birthdays just remind you of how long you’ve been a parent. They remind you how long ago it was that you stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam as far as this kid is concerned. A direct quote from Scarlet:
“I’m in between kid and big kid. 7 is a big kid. At 10 you’re teenager teenager teenager. Then you’re a grown up. Then wise elder. Then you die. You’re born, you live a little, then you die.” As Cassidy said, nailed it.
And it’s worth noting that on her fifth birthday, a year ago, I was light-headed and I could barely breathe. I was in the early stages of PTSD from my own terrifying experience of turning five. Her sixth birthday was a reminder that a year has passed – and I have learned to talk a bit more, breathe a bit easier, and separate my own experience from hers. I went through her birthday without anxiety – and I went through it naturally – although a little ice cream happened and a little essential oil happened too. Preventative, really. When in doubt, a little ice cream and a little essential oil and you’re good(ish) to go.
I also wanted to make an Ask Away Friday announcement. As you may have noticed, I haven’t done an Ask Away Friday post in a few weeks, and that’s because we’re on summer hiatus! Summer is hard for blogging in general, and we really want to make a big go of it in the fall. I hope you’ll join us in September – after a long and refreshing summer break. We’ll be ready.
I also couldn’t resist participating in this week’s FTSF (Finish the Sentence Friday) – “My First Job.” My first job was babysitting. I didn’t have a retail job until college, when I worked in pizzerias while also still babysitting. You may see some parallels with now. The old me juggled pizza delivery and babysitting. The new me juggles photography, blogging and mothering. Mama-ing. I guess I like to do more than one thing, but I wasn’t ready then for what I’m ready(ish) for now. Babysitting was very rewarding. I babysat for our neighbors next door but I was only 11 and I can’t believe they hired me. Especially when I took their older son along on my ill-fated trick-or-treating a week after Halloween escapade. I just thought people would want to get rid of their candy by then, no? I was a mother’s “helper” then, although – maybe not helpful.
I started working regularly for a family of three girls – and my only crime then was to let them stay up in their parent’s bedroom.. until their parents came home late that night. We used to play Nintendo (they thought I was some sort of superhero with Super Mario) and we are all still close today. I even photograph the oldest daughter’s adorable daughter.
When I was almost 17, I met one of my mom’s clients – a mom of three adorable children – and I started babysitting for them. It was easily one of the best gigs of my life, maybe only second to what I have now – working for my own scary self. I have stories galore of these three, and they have changed the way I parent, because they were honestly the most well-behaved children I’ve ever met. Once a bear came into the yard when I was babysitting and I had the baby buckled into his swing and the older kids all in their playground structure with their neighbors. Luckily we all worked calmly together and snuck inside until the bear found her way elsewhere. This wonderful family, and their impact on my life, is a story for another day too.