Official parent of a first grader

File under: Things I find impossible to believe. Especially when revisiting this post from the first day of kindergarten. Wasn’t that just yesterday? How can it be a year ago?

But in the tradition of all good parents, I took some pictures of her first day. She was really excited…and then suddenly really nervous. But she’s going to know all of the kids in her class, and her teacher seems extremely nice, so I know she’ll be fine. Really, I can’t wait to see what this year holds, even if it is hard to believe she’s in first grade (I’ll need to say it a few hundred more times before it sinks in). And I admit, when I texted Josh the picture of Brianna with her teacher, and said “here’s our baby” I suddenly got REALLY teary.

So, here she is. My first grader. *sniff* (the goofy faces were all her idea)

 

 

Isn’t she beautiful?

  

 

With her new teacher!

Honestly, I’m so excited for her, because I think she’s going to have a great year. But in the spirit of last year’s post, and the wee bit of melancholy I’m feeling, here I am (I’m blue…)

My baby girl is six!

I know I’ve been quiet here on the blog the past month, but there’s no way I wasn’t going to post a little something for Brianna’s birthday. It’s blog tradition. Some of you have been around here long enough to know that on her first birthday, I started the tradition of writing her a letter recapping the year. I stopped posting them here, as of last year, but I do still write them. I haven’t quite decided when I’ll give them all to her. Maybe when she’s sixteen and really hating me?

Some people (like me) find the passage of time most startling in the growth of other people’s kids. So I know some of you, who remember B when she was “.5” because I wouldn’t tell anyone the name we’d chosen until she was born, probably feel some of the same disbelief I do this morning, that this adorable baby (posted January 21, 2005):

Is now this beautiful little girl (taken this morning):

But still with the same bright blue eyes:

It’s amazing how easy it is to feel like you’ve blinked and six years have passed, isn’t it? I’m so glad I’ve got this blog to help me remember some of it.

Anyway, happy birthday to my baby girl. I’ll try not to be too weepy and sentimental today.

Lightning Round

Let’s do a lightning round of things I’ve been meaning to post about the past week:

In the past two weeks I’ve been in New York City, had my parents visit, been to Toronto and the Harlequin offices and been laid out by a cold. I think my body is formally protesting.

Have you visited the <a href=“http://www.carinapress.com/blog”>Carina Press blog</a>? We’ve been posting covers over there.

I hate Facebook Pages. That’s all.

Brianna’s mind is quick as hell. I can’t keep up. Earlier in the week she was firing off questions at me faster than I could keep up, including some deep theology questions (“where did God come from?”). My favorite: “Who borned the first person if there was no one to borne them?” (I had no warning leading up to this question). Second favorite: “Why don’t babies get borned from our mouths?”

She also caught me saying someone’s child was homely (and now all of you are wondering if it was your child. I assure you, it wasn’t) and she said “what’s homely?” I feel like a walking dictionary lately because she asks for the definition of everything. I wasn’t expecting to have to tell her what homely is when I’d just used it about someone’s child, though (shame on me). Thankfully, while I was looking up the most innocuous definition of homely I could find, she decided I must have said “lonely” and came up with THAT definition all on her own (“oooh, you mean she’s all alone”). Whew. Note to self: watch what you say!

My travel schedule is picking up. I hope I have time to visit the beach this summer. Is it summer yet? I’m happy to report that most of the snow has melted, though we do still have a giant pile in the front yard.

Last, while my parents were in town, I snapped a bunch of pictures. We went to the beach to collect shells (yes it was cold and yes we are crazy) and I got some great pictures of family, the wild ponies, other wildlife and a random seagull. Below is one of my favorites: my dad and Brianna. It makes me smile because it’s a perfect moment captured.

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Let’s make this interesting…

My friend Melissa has a photography business. She takes the most amazing pictures, mostly children. She’s holding a contest for her best image of 2007. Now, you know I’ve already seen a few of the mommies begging votes on their blogs (that’s okay, I’d do the same!) but I thought I’d make it interesting and send all of you to vote. You don’t know any of those kids so you’re totally impartial voters. (now, if Brianna was up there, I’d totally have that voting wrapped up 😉 Maybe next year, if I get a chance to have Melissa take Brianna’s pictures!)

Go here and check out the fab pictures and help someone win some free photos. If you want, you can come back here and tell me which one you voted for. I’d love to know!

Family

I was working on an editing related post today, but I got derailed from that by the news that my aunt and uncle from Arizona were in the area and wanted to meet up. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but my house isn’t “drop in ready”, though I wouldn’t term it a total disaster. And I did find out this morning that they were going to be in the area. So I had a little warning. Good thing I already don’t expect to get much work done on Tuesdays since that’s the day Brianna is home with me. I managed to get things picked up, run the Roomba (love the Roomba!) and clean the kitchen through the day, in preparation for their arrival.

We had a wonderful, three-hour visit. This is one of my mom’s sisters, a side of the family I’ve had very little contact with since my mom’s death almost 15 years ago. It’s actually a large family, my mom had 8 brothers and sisters, and each of the 8, with the exception of one (who’s been a bachelor his entire life–but is getting married this weekend!) had multiple children. Many of whom have had multiple children. Like I said, big family. But it’s been since my grandmother’s death…ten years ago? That I’ve seen most of the family. It was the last time we were all together and will, I suspect, be the last time. Some of them are barely speaking to each other (if at all).

One of the great things about meeting with my aunt was hearing stories about the family–and my own childhood. Keeping in mind that my mom died when I was 17, basically just a child really, there were a lot of memories/undercurrents that she never shared with me. Had she lived, these are things I probably would have learned with time. And family drama would have been shared with me via her. But with her passing, I wasn’t close to anyone/didn’t keep in contact with anyone. During dinner with my aunt and uncle, I learned things that I never knew, such as my mom’s reason for keeping me back a year in school (I could have started a year earlier but another aunt convinced my mom to keep me back a year so I’d be in the same grade as her daughter). My aunt Yvonne (the one I had dinner with tonight) disagreed with this decision. She said I was a bright child, more than ready to start school, with good verbal skills. This caused my other aunt, Sue, to take offense in some way and was apparently the cause of a now lifelong rift between them. Weird, huh? The delightful thing was Yvonne said that one of the most common statements she heard from my mom during my school years was how bored I was, because I wasn’t challenged. She said she never said “I told you so” though. I love it!

It was weird to me, to hear about my mom talking about me, to think of my mom as well, a mom. Like me. My dad and I don’t have conversations about my childhood. Maybe dads don’t hold the same memories of things. And since I’m not close to any family, there’s no one to tell me those stories. It was neat and it kind of…made me long for more.

One of the other fascinating things that came out during our meeting was that Yvonne is very passionately interested in geneaology. She’s researched our family line back to…well, I think I heard 40,000 names as a number mentioned. My grandmother’s roots are in England, royalty and aristocracy. My grandfather’s? German peasants. Harder to research, she says 😉 But the history she told was very interesting, and all the “bad” ancestors and their stories (one was a lawman who found out his wife was having an affair. The story goes that he put her lover in a brick wall, walled him in, and made her sit outside and listen to him die. Cold!).

So anyway, the few hours I spent getting the house in order was totally worth it, to reconnect to some family, hear some stories and spend some time with someone who remembers my history. I might even do it again sometime 😉

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