Category Archives: Scorch

I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means

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Happy, happy holidays! After a lovely Thanksgiving where the only food I had to provide was a pie from the local cider mill, we’re smack dab in the middle of the holiday craziness. Shopping is more or less done- but wrapping? Well, let’s not talk about it. The kids played in 3 basketball games between 9 am and 12 pm today, I’ve forgotten to buy eggs the past 2 times I’ve been at the grocery store and the stomach bug cycled through the house this week.

Let’s all just agree to pretend that I 100% have my life together- it’s easier that way. To distract myself from the wrapping I’m still not doing, I want to tell you a Scorch story (shared with him permission). Why? Because tweens are my most favorite!

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About a year ago, we had The Talk with Scorch. We debated and hemmed and hawed over when the right time was, but he was going to learn about puberty in school (something we had already discussed) shortly there after and he had been making enough comments that we knew he was curious about how babies were made. So one cold winter night, he and I had a very frank discussion about the mechanics of sex. I prefaced the conversation by telling him that this would be one of many, many conversations we’d have about the subject – but that I wanted him to get his info from us and not around the lunch table.

You guys- it may have been one of the funniest conversations we have ever, ever had. The shock and horror when he realized that the Hubs and I had “done that disgusting things TWICE?!” was something I’ll never forget.

A week or so ago, Scorch and I were out running errands and we ran into a family friend in the store. When we did, she was in the middle of telling the person she was talking to a story about her teenager. Said teenager has a significant other and my friend came home and realized the teens were making out thanks to the “remnants” they had left in the house. My sweet friend was trying to be discreet and used that exact word in front of Scorch instead of the word “hickey”, trying to protect his 11 year old ears.

The minute Scorch and I were alone together in the car, he very quickly blurted out the following all in one breath:

“Mom- what’s a remnant? Because when the cat poops outside of the litter box, Dad calls that a remnant! Are you telling me when those teens got done making out, the boy pooped on the girl’s floor?! When we had the talk, you NEVER said anything about pooping!! Were you saving that for another talk!?!?!?!?”

I almost drove the car off the road I was laughing so hard! The poor kid was so earnest and so confused and so, so disgusted. I had to very quickly explain why our friend used that word and exactly what she meant, otherwise I shudder to think what would happen a few years from now when Scorch gets his first girlfriend.

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Taking My 6 Year Old to Therapy Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

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Way back when I dreamed about becoming a mom, I dreamed about babies. Sweet, smushy, cuddly babies. Babies with chubby cheeks and heads I’d want to sniff for hours (it’s a thing, trust me). I didn’t picture having a kid with anxiety- I mean, who does?

This is Mental Illness Awareness Week. I hesitated to write that. I hesitated to link my child with words like mental illness. It makes my gut clench and it makes me second guess the writing of this.

But that’s why I am sharing this. Because I have to get over myself, my prejudices and my fears. Because I’ve talked to more parents this year than I ever have who have shared their stories of kids who are struggling and their feeling helpless, sheer exhaustion and frustration that comes with that.  Here is what I wrote a year ago on a community blog I contributed to about why therapy was the best decision we ever made for our kid.

When my son Scorch was 5, he saw a movie that he had seen before but, this time around, the villain in the movie- a hairless cat- terrified him. It sounds silly when I write it out, but it’s the truth. Scorch was petrified of that cat and his fear went from something that we joked about lightly to something that took over our lives very quickly.

It started with not wanting to go to bed by himself. The lights had to be on and we had to sit in his bedroom with him. My child who went to bed relatively quickly turned into one that took hours to fall asleep. Once he did fall asleep, nightmares became commonplace and all hopes of a good night sleep for Scorch, the Hubs and I went out the window.

We would sit in his bedroom as Scorch’s brain whirled on over drive – Mommy, what if the cat gets in the house? He won’t, go to sleep. But what if he does? Scorch, he can’t- all of our windows and doors are locked. What if he breaks in? Daddy is a police officer- no one is breaking into our house. But what if? The questions went on and on and on- it was like his brain was on a track that he simply could not get off.

A month or so after the worries about hairless cats popped up, Scorch watched my daughter Bean get sick in the middle of the cafeteria at school. She was fine (minus the 24-hour stomach bug), but it was like his fears jumped tracks and now he obsessed over getting sick. This fear became even more consuming and Scorch would have panic attacks before school because he was so worried he’d get sick there.

I remember going to dinner with my girlfriends one night and crying the minute that I sat down. I was so tired. The Hubs and I were fighting with each other and Scorch every night as we begged him to go to sleep. Please, child, just relax and sleep. Nothing we said to him made a dent though- we couldn’t rationally talk to him about why he wouldn’t get sick, or what we’d do if he did, and how getting sick was no big deal.

My mother had been gently hinting for months that Scorch’s anxiety level was a lot higher than most kids, but I kept brushing her off. He was 5- just about to turn 6 for goodness sake- what in the world would we do? He’ll get over it. Then another close family member on my husband’s side of the family shared that she had developed an ulcer at age 9 due to her anxiety. An ulcer at AGE 9.

That stopped me in my tracks and really made me evaluate how the Hubs and I had been reacting to Scorch’s fears. The child had had at least 3 legitimate panic attacks. He had missed school because he was so scared that he was going to get sick even though he was completely healthy. His sleep – 8 months later- was still horrible. And our approach wasn’t helping a darn thing.

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At times, it felt like Scorch’s anxiety was going to pull us under.

Had my child had long-lasting fevers, unexpected bruises or crazy insulin readings, I would have been camped at the doctor’s office 24/7 as we tried to figure out what was wrong. I would have called specialists and driven all over God’s green earth to get him healthy. But because his issues were in his mind, we excused them and assumed they’d resolve on their own.

We were idiots.

When we finally called a therapist, they were very open about things. First, they’d meet with us, then they’d meet with Scorch (with or without us in the room- it was up to us) and they’d let us know if they thought he needed to see someone or if this was simply a case of a worried kid and overreacting parents. After these appointments, they were pretty sure Scorch was dealing with generalized anxiety and would benefit from talking to a professional. We agreed and Scorch saw his therapist for well over a year- first weekly, then bi-weekly and then monthly.

Scorch’s therapist did Play Therapy with him and gave him a safe space to talk out his worries. She also gave him tools to handle his anxiety- worry dolls, rhythmic patting, breathing exercises and the like. These tools made a world of difference. It’s been 4 years since we started therapy and we have had to go back to see his beloved therapist a few times when things seemed overwhelming, but for now, Scorch knows how to handle his worries. He knows how to talk things out and self-sooth. Sure, some of this may just be his increased maturity as he got older, but I credit 90% of his coping abilities to his therapist. We haven’t seen his therapist in over 2 years, but the number is still in my phone just in case.

I know that anxiety may rear its head again as Scorch gets older, as diagnosed anxiety disorders run in our family, but now I feel like that we – he, the Hubs and myself – have a clear vision of what’s going on. I’m as committed to making sure my kids are as healthy mentally as they are physically and I refuse to be embarrassed or worry about the stigma of my son being in therapy. Scorch is wonderful, intelligent, funny, athletic, kind and anxious- all these parts of him help to make him completely perfect.

Thankfully, Scorch’s anxiety is well in check right now. Certain things will still trigger his panic, but it doesn’t rule our life like it did when he was younger. But he’s growing and puberty is going to hit us all in the face soon and I don’t know what that will do to his brain chemistry. What I do know is that I (with Scorch’s permission) will keep sharing, keep talking, keep normalizing any struggles he may have.

6 and 4

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After one of the craziest, most fun, busiest summers ever, we’re firmly back into the fall routine. The kids are happy with their teachers, school is going well and we have a nice rhythm going on. This is actually our quietest time of the year with minimal after school activities and I’m enjoying every.single.second of the peace – because you know it won’t last long.

So, the summer. We did a lot – we visited Lady Liberty…

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Saw a professional ballgame (or 3 – baseball was big this summer)…

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Visited with hundreds of our friends at a local music fest…

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Spent The Best Week Ever in the Outer Banks with family…

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Visited a Fort…

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And drove a dragon in a Harbor.

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The kids went to different camps each week- school camps, nature camps, sports camps. The Bean learned to sail a boat and Scorch got to hang with friends. In short, the summer was really just about perfect and I was beyond sad to see it go. But you know was solves your dread of summer being over? Having your kids home for 2.5 weeks before school starts while you’re working full time. Trust me, that’ll teach you to embrace a schedule.

So- 6th grade and 4th grade.

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This picture of their feet makes me laugh every time I see it because it captures them perfectly. Scorch will stand still and do what’s asked of him because it’s easier and he likes to please. Bean is literally trying to back away out of the picture as quickly as possible because she wants no part in following an order and cooperating. His feet are 2.5 sizes bigger than mine and she’s still obsessed with all things gold.

I love those freaking kids so much and I’m so very excited to see how they grow this school years. But honestly- I’m even more excited for next summer, because summers are the best.

The Book Battle – May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

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The summer before 4th grade, my family moved to a new house. There were a lot of amazing things about this place- the trees perfect for climbing, the reflective window that was featured in an architectural magazine, the graveyard boarding our property – but the absolute best were our neighbors, Mrs. and Mr. A.

To my 9 year old brain, they were elderly – but I’m sure they weren’t that old when we moved in. They had grown children with families of their own and an inground pool. Now, if I were over a certain age and I had a family consisting of a 9 year old, a 7 year old and 2 year old moving in next to me, I wouldn’t exactly be thrilled. But Mr. and Mrs. A welcomed us with open arms, introduced us to their kids and their families (still family friends to this day!) and gave us free reign over their pool, letting us host a slew of birthday parties there. I can remember Mr. A only swimming in the pool exactly once- but he maintained it like it was his job, keeping it clean for anyone who wanted to be there.

Mrs. A dealt with health issues over the years and, as I grew older, she spent more time at home. She loved her family, Elvis Presley, colorful jewelry and books (and not necessarily in that order). She’d spend a lot of her summer days on her covered back deck, reading a book by the pool and chatting with with whomever was swimming.

I’ve always been a reader – that child who took a book everywhere. Mrs. A saw that love and nurtured it by slipping me paperback after paperback over the years. If she wasn’t home, I’d find books on her love seat on the porch with a note with my name taped to the cover. I gobbled up every book she sent me and relished being able to talk books with someone who loved them as much as I did.

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My, my mullet, my Grandmother and my book- most likely not socializing at a family party.

As I grew older, the books became a bit more….adult. I owe my love of all romance novels to Mrs. A and she’ll always have my undying love for introducing me to the Outlander series. I vividly remember our VC Andrews phase – when the books would come with a note inside that stated DO NOT SHOW YOUR PARENTS! underlined twice. I’d have to smuggle them into my room, stash them under my bed and read them late at night. Those books were crazy and my parents would have freaked out if they knew what I was reading- but that was part of the fun.

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Anyone else remember this creepy, awful book??

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Scorch goes to a nature camp that has different themes each week. His all time favorite week is Hunger Game week.

<Yes, I know. Let’s not think too hard about who in their right mind models a camp off of those books and what kind of crappy parent sends their kid there. *cough*>

We went to the library this week and Scorch was hell bent on reading the Hunger Games, claiming he was the only one in the whole camp who hasn’t. I hemmed and hawed and talked to the librarian about this. Just because my kid can read at a grade level 2+ years above his, doesn’t mean he should, you know?? The violence, the love triangle, the back stabbing and brutality just didn’t sit right with me – I wasn’t convinced that Scorch was mature enough to handle this series.

And then I remembered Mrs. A and how important she made me feel when she trusted me with books that were way above my maturity level. Reading those books didn’t seem to warp me too much….right?

After much research that night, I finally decided to allow Scorch to read Hunger Games. We agreed that I’d read it along side him and that he could only read the first book in the series, a compromise that made us both happy. So far, it’s been a joy sharing this book with my boy and I’m thrilled to see him dive into a book with such enthusiasm.

Here’s to you, Mrs. A for sneaking me horrible books that I had no business reading- ensuring I’d love reading forever – and for giving me the guts to share that love with my kiddos.

 

11.

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Dearest Scorch,

Last month, you turned 11. Eleven. E-lev-en.

How, sweet child of mine, is that possible? Weren’t you just born? Tiny? Toddling? Learning to talk? Starting pre-school? Kindergarten? Playing t-ball? Sitting in a 5-pt harness? Sleeping in a toddler bed? Wearing adorable white onesies?

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Physically, you’re not a big kid compared to many. But because you’re mine- my first child, my first baby– some days, you seem gigantic. Your toes have dark hairs on them. Your feet seem too big for your body. You want to style your hair and look good. You want to read books and see movies that boggle my mind because I’m convinced they are too mature for you…but they aren’t. My brain just hasn’t caught up to your age.

10 started out rough as you began to spread your wings and test your limits, but it ended on such a high note. Over 5th grade you’ve evolved into a kid who I love spending time with- good natured, funny, sweet and smart.

At the start of May, you and I traveled to NJ for a baseball tournament. We never get to do 1:1 things like that and it was the best. I got to watch you not only do your favorite thing- play baseball- but also see your whole world open up as you made new friends, played in the biggest sports complex you’ve ever seen and see how far baseball can take you. I came home glowing because you were so.damn.happy.

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I started this post last month. You know- around your actual birthday, not almost 2 months late. But life- life just took off at warp speed and dragged all of us along with it. And that’s not a bad thing- it’s NEVER a bad thing when you’re so busy living your life, you forget to document it.

Since I started this post, 5th grade ended. On the very last day of school, your whole building has an awards ceremony and 3 kids from each class are recognized. One for academic achievement, one for Catholic identity and one for their character. This year, you won the award for Character. Your teacher gave a speech that makes me tear up every time I hear it because she captured all the reasons I’m so very, very proud to be your mom.

We talk a lot about baseball in relation to you. It’s hard not to when you are rarely not talking about or playing the sport. It dominates our lives 9 months out of the year and we’re all better people for it. But you, my sweet, smart, amazing child, are so much more than a sport and I want you to know it.

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You are….

….a friend to everyone you meet. You have never met a stranger and you’re always quick with a smile, a nod and a friendly word.

…kind. Your heart is huge and you’d pretty much do anything for anyone. Kind is such a small word- it doesn’t sound like much. But it is the one thing I wish for you and your sister to always be. When in doubt, be kind. Always.

…smart. You love to read (sometimes), enjoy math (most of the time) and really dig science. I hope you always want to learn and discover and expand that amazing brain of yours.

…funny. You always love a good joke and funny story. There is nothing that makes me happier than watching you laugh so hard that it looks like your dimple is going to drill right down to your teeth.

…self confident. You can laugh at yourself- and your frequently do. But you seem pretty darn comfortable in your own skin and that’s amazing. I hope you cling to that innate sense that you are, and always will be, good enough for what ever life throws your way.

And now, you are 11. You’re starting 6th grade and full of so much life and laughter that, at times, it brims over. You’re also occasionally moody, more than a little dramatic and sometimes a giant pain in my butt. But you’re one of my favorite people on this earth and I thank God every single day that you are ours.

So here’s to an amazing year- may 11 be your most magical one yet.

All my love,

Mom

 

 

Dear Neglected Blog…

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Dear Neglected Blog,

It’s not you, it’s me. Or more specifically, it’s the kids. They have taken over everything. I don’t know who allowed that to happen, but here we are. The end of March through now has been lost in a haze of baseball, lacrosse, concerts, birthdays and other things I can’t remember. It’s all been amazing and fun, but it’s been a time suck to the nth degree.  Hence, our temporary breakup.

Let’s see- what did you miss. Scorch turned 11 a month ago. We just held his birthday party this past weekend because it was the first day that didn’t involve multiple kids needing to be in multiple places in for-freaking-ever. Back in May, he and I traveled to NJ together for a baseball tournament and that 1:1 time was truly the best gift I received this year- we had a freaking blast.

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We got our first taste of travel baseball and tournament play and it was such a great, positive experience. I don’t want to face the fact that my baby boy is growing up, but he is- and it’s a joy to watch. I promise to post about his 11th birthday before he turns 12.

Beaner tackled some pretty big demons and played in not one but two concerts this spring. Getting this child to put herself out there like that was a huge hurdle and she rocked it. Literally.  She got dragged to more baseball games this spring then she ever had and only lost her mind once, bless her sweet heart. Thankfully s’mores fixed that up quickly for her. Now her lacrosse season started so the tables are turned.

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The Hubs traveled two weeks in a row for work and my job recently changed. All good stuff- but one more thing keeping us busy. I saw Rusted Root in concert two weeks ago and then Neil Diamond the next week. I’m sorry blog, but live music comes before you any day of the week. #sorrynotsorry

School ends next week and I want to tell you I’ll be back more, blog- but that may be a lie. Regular baseball season turns into All-Stars and lacrosse gets into full swing. Camps start up in earnest and life will continue to fly by. And I wouldn’t have this wickedly crazy awesome life work any other way.

Be back soon….

 

Rebel Girls

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The interesting part, at least for me, in raising both a boy and a girl is ensuring both my children understand their importance. I want to fully elevate my daughter- I want her to know down to her marrow that she is worthy, intelligent and as capable as any man out there. Period. But, I don’t want to do this at the expense of my son because he is just as worthy, intelligent and capable as any person out there. I struggle with the stereotypes of men as bumbling idiots or hostile assholes only out for one thing just as much as I struggle with any stereotypes of women. They aren’t true and falling back on them is harmful to everyone. I will always support female empowerment, but I firmly believe that empowering women doesn’t mean dragging men down (see the infuriating trend in young girls clothing to promote girls while dragging down boys).

My job, as a parent, is to raise my kids to be empathetic, kind, caring individuals who kick ass and take names at whatever they set out to do.

And yet, girls don’t always feel that way. Did you know that by age 6, most girls feel less smart than boys? At 5, when boys and girls are told a story about a super smart, high achieving person and then asked to share if they think the main character is a boy or a girl, boys picked boy and girls picked girl. At 6, girls thought the main character was a boy because only boys could do those super smart things.

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My kids read in fits and starts, each preferring different genres. But one series they have both have consistently loved over the years is the Who Was? series– biographies on everyone from George Washington to Walt Disney and Harriet Tubman to Sally Ride. Scorch owns a few of these and even now, when he’s between the latest James Patterson book for tweens, he’ll pick one up.

When I first learned about the book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls from a blog I frequent, I was intrigued. A book filled with 100 stories about women in all walks of life—inventors, doctors, dancers, pilots, protestors, abolitionists, writers, artists—complete with illustrations, sounded perfect for my kids. So I ordered them a copy and the book arrived this week.

You guys, I went from intrigued to in love. First, this book is gorgeous. From cover to cover, it’s visually lovely, with a butter soft cover. The stories are short—only a page long per person. I have read some complaints about that, but for me and the kids, it’s the perfect glimpse into each woman’s life, allowing us the freedom to do more research as we see fit. For example, after reading the article on Amelia Earhart we looked up more about her—how she got into flying, what she ate on her flights, how she disappeared and on and on.

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Every night before bed, the Bean reads about 3 or 4 women to Scorch and me. I truly, truly cannot recommend this book enough. It sits in the living room now and I find each kid thumbing through it at least once a day, stopping to read a story when a name or an illustration catches their eye.  I love that the kids are getting exposed to women who have changed the world in such a captivating way—proving in a subtle way that girls are just as smart and capable of just as much.

If you have  grade school aged child in your life- boy or girl- this book is a must.

 

The Pen is Mightier

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16 years ago, the Hubs (then the Boyfriend) and I were on vacation with my extended family at one of my favorite places on earth. He and I had been living together for 8 months and even though we were young (I had just turned 22), we knew we were going to get married. We had looked at rings a month or so before because he didn’t want to pick one out that I hated. We narrowed it down to 3 choices and I told him that was all I wanted to know- I didn’t want to know which one he picked, I didn’t want to know when he was going to propose -the rest should be a surprise.

And even thought I said that- and I meant it – I was really, really hoping he would propose on this vacation. We lived in DC at the time, but we were on vacation with my family and were going to see his family on our way back home, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The Hubs knew this, so the very first day of vacation he pulled me aside and told me that it wasn’t happening. He couldn’t secure financing or a loan (remember, we were babies fresh out of college) and he wanted to let me know that upfront so I didn’t spend all vacation waiting for him to get down on bent knee.

So we went on to have a great vacation and I didn’t give it any thought. On our very last night, the whole extended gang of us on vacation went out to dinner. While there, unbeknownst to me, the Hubs asked for my Father’s permission while grabbing a drink at the bar and then asked me to go out on the docks to watch the sunset. While out there, he did get down on one knee and he asked me to marry him with the most perfect ring.

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Where we got engaged, 16 years later.

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That night, after we celebrated by passing a single bottle of champagne around the campfire for 15+ people to share, we talked about the life we were going to build. That life included our own home (check), kids (check), animals (check) and jobs we love (check 85% of the time).

What it did not include was the nitty gritty details. Like what happens when your kids find both the boy and girl version of “The Care and Keeping of You” books on puberty and then proceed to swap books and read them out loud to each other while crying with laughter. When the poor Bean read “penis” as “pen is”* I truly thought Scorch was going to hurt himself he was laughing so hard. And when we got to erections and periods? Forget it. Game over.

The crazy thing is the exactly the life we pictured and I’m so damn happy to be living it.

*I looked EVERYWHERE for the SNL “The Pen is Mightier” Jeopardy skit with Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery and I could not find it. Let me know if you do!

 

10.

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Dear Scorch-

You turned 10. TEN. Double digits. Child of mine, how is this possible?!

I read through your birth story last night (something I’ll share with you when you’re older and won’t make you gag) and looked through all the pictures we’ve taken of you on your birthdays to-date and my mind was more than a little blown because these years went by fast. Faster than I would have ever thought possible.

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Sometimes I miss your sweet baby cheeks. I miss looking down at your darling face and eye lashes while you nurse. I miss your squeaky voice and holding your tiny hand in mine. I miss how you fit on my lap and how your face would light up when I walked into the room.

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But most of the time, I don’t miss much because I’m loving the time we’re in right now. You are one of the smartest, wittiest kids I know. You’re sweet and kind hearted and have more energy than a puppy. You’re loud and enthusiastic and without shame (within reason)- all things I adore about you. You manage a crazy schedule better than I do and your joy is infectious.

Earlier tonight, you were watching a video and your laugh resonated through the house. Even though I couldn’t see the video because I was doing laundry, I couldn’t help but start laughing because of how hard you were laughing. That kiddos, is just who are you. People are drawn to you, in part, because of this joy that you have.

I won’t lie to you- the tail end of year 9 has been challenging. Your emotions are close to the surface and I never know which way the wind is going to blow. Thankfully 85% of the time you’re still your normal happy-go-lucky self. But when you’re not? It ain’t pretty for any one. Eye rolling, tears and yelling are more common place then I’d like- but these crazier times have led to some great heart-to-hearts. I promise you that no matter how many times you roll your eyes and stomp around, I’ll always be here to listen. I may get mad and I may do some stomping of my own, but at the end of the day- I’ll *always* be your soft place to land.

As you get older, here is what I want you to promise me. Promise me that you’ll:
> Keep your kind heart, it will never lead your wrong.
> Remember your manners, they’ll get you out of more tight spots than you can imagine.
> Don’t forget to laugh. If you look hard enough, there is always humor (even if it’s dark, gallows humor. Sometimes that the best kind)
> Keep perspective. There are very few things that are worth getting terribly worked up about, so learn to let things go.
> Fight for what’s right. Those very few things that are worth getting worked up about are VERY important, so don’t hesitate to fight hard for them.
> Respect yourself. You’re a smart, passionate kid who has one hell of a future. Respect your mind and your body enough to make the smart decisions to keep yourself safe and healthy, even if that means not going along with the crowd.
> Respect others. Be kind, listen to what others say, respect their feelings and be empathetic. Stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves, even if that means not going along with the crowd.
> Blame me. As you get older and people start doing things/saying things that make you uncomfortable, blame me. “I can’t because my mom will kill me.” “I can’t because my father can smell a lie a mile away.” I’ll be the bad guy in any story you need me to be because if your heart is telling you something isn’t right, listen to it.

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You, my sweet, darling, amazing child, are a complete and total miracle. We couldn’t love you more if we tried and I’ll never tire of reminding you of that. Watching you grow is one of my biggest privileges and I cannot wait to keep seeing who you turn out to be.

I love you,
Mom

Book Recs for 10 Year Olds Needed

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Ah, Scorch. He’s thisclose to turning 10, assuming we let him. As in- let him survive that long. I have a feeling we’re officially starting to move out of our parenting sweet spot and starting to enter a land full of mood swings, hormones and pure batshit craziness. My sweet, easy going boy has cried more, fought more and come this close to being grounded for life more in the past few weeks then he has since he was 3.

Let’s all say a prayer for the mothers of soon-to-be tweens everywhere, shall we?

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A few months back, we banned all electronics in the morning before school which has been amazing. Not to sound all preachy – but really, it’s made our morning so much easier as I don’t have to wrestle the kids away from a show or game. Scorch normally gets up a lot earlier than the Bean, so he’s been reading like a mad man.  Given what a complete and unabashed bookworm I am, this makes me happier than I can tell you.

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The issue is we’re starting to hit a really odd stage where Scorch’s reading ability (roughly 6th-7th grade level) is butting up against his maturity level. He wants to read bigger, better books- but we’re having a hard time finding books that hold his attention while still being age appropriate (no sexual related themes, no crazy violence, no mature topics).

He’s all over the place in what he likes to read. Here are some of Scorch’s recent favorites- if they spark any other ideas about what he may like to read, please let me know!

  • I Survived Series: 99% sure he’s devoured all these book and loved each one
  • Who Was I/ What Am I? Series: both he and the Bean love these books!
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Scorch could not read these books fast enough- begging to stay up late/ getting up early to read them.
  • Amulet series: Scorch went through a time when he loved graphic novels and these, hands down, were his favorites.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: (ugh) I hate these books, but he laughs so hard, I’m afraid he’s going to hurt himself.

Together, we’ve read the first 3.5 books of Harry Potter– midway through Book 4, he started to lose interest as the books just got too old for him. We also read aloud Wonder, which was a big hit. He just finished the first Lemony Snicket book and was not a fan at all.

Any other suggestions? I’m all ears and we’re willing to try just about anything!