Well, you know that I care nothing about being a coolkid. Never did, never will. I definitely don’t tell the Penguin about being cool, except for in the sarcastic way this conversation went this morning. But, it is alarming how even at age six she has some understanding of cool vs. uncool.
We were discussing the pop socket I have on the back of my phone. You know, that really stupid gadget that is making someone a fortune because it is the latest thing to have. I guess I fall prey to propaganda, and I love gadgets!
Penguin: I like this on the back of your phone. What is it?
Southern Belle: It’s called a pop socket, its what all the cool kids have (sarcasm oozing)
P: Ms. Sarah and Ms. Summer have one of those on their phone, but it doesn’t look like yours.
P: Mama, you can’t be a cool kid (looking up at me like the emoji SMH should be above her head)
SB: Why not? (Very indignant, yet humorous)
P: Because you don’t wear a hat, cool kids wear hats
SB: Uh? Cool kids wear hats?
P: Yes, daddy can be a cool kid because he wears a hat
SB: Where did you learn this rule?
P: Dylan, he says cool kids wear hats. Sometimes they even wear them backwards
Now, I’m the one with the face palm emoji above my head.
I smell the smell. I can taste the sweetness with a hint of lemon-lime of the Sprite that I sipped that morning to take my daily anti nausea medication. I feel how tired I was and how I really wanted to hurry up and get back home so I could sleep some more. The lights, the denim skirt I wore, the laughter of my doctor, my friend. This is all like yesterday, like it happened only a moment ago. My birthday of sorts. The day I began riding a different carousel and one I will never get off. My free spirited penguin was born on this day, one week earlier than planned, six years ago.
Today is her birthday. The day that God decided to break out the mold he used in 1978, dust it off, and give it another go when he gave me this unending gift six years ago. There is no doubt we not only share DNA, but most would agree that we are the same, I in adult form can see my childhood self daily when I look at her. I am raising myself. That, in itself is a gift.
Today is my birthday. The day that I was born into a new life, a new person. I became more than just a sole person, more than a wife, more than a daughter. I became a mother to the best thing ever. There are days that I could lay down and scream, and yes, some days I feel I’ve lost myself, but then I can remember that smell, that taste, all of the details of today six years ago. My heart becomes overwhelmed with awe and I am humbled that I was chosen. Chosen to be her mother. What a gift!
Happy Birthday my sweet penguin. My love, the beating of my heart that you dance to. My birthday wish is that you always feel that wind that leads you to dance freely.
I’ve always been the strong one. That weird parent, that other than my strange over protectiveness, I really have never gotten emotional at the “normal” emotional milestones for parents. The first birthday I was just happy to have made it to with my hair, the first steps, first words, unfortunately I don’t have a specific memory on because of the crazy stress of insignificant things. Although the past three years have presented so many challenges and emotional stressors for me, it also has provided a wonderful opportunity for my penguin and I to build a strong, unique bond.
This momentous day, that happens every year, and for parents with multiple children it happens more than once, is happening to me tomorrow. Yes, I know it is not me, but I’m an emotional wreck. I’m trying to keep it together for her because she is so excited. But it’s bedtime, and she just whispered into the monitor, “I’m a little norvous about big school tomorrow.” Boy am I glad that’s not a two way camera. I tried to choke back the tears and press the mic to reply, “it’s okay, you’ll be great.”
This is my penguin. This is the start of it. I will make it, we will make it. But, yes, I am bringing the Kleenex and doubling up on the meds.
Eating solid foods. Crawling. First steps. First words. Just a few milestones a parent looks forward too and remembers about their children. I have the pivotal one coming up that starts in motion the rest of her life. I know that may sound dramatic, even for me, but as I think about it, I don’t know how else to explain the importance. Kindergarten. Then I realize, my mini me, the almost 6 year old version of myself, sees kindergarten as I saw starting eight grade. And, that makes me sad. And, that makes me excited.
Starting kindergarten for me was no big deal in this rural southern town. At least I don’t remember it being an issue. At that time there was no choice where you went, if you lived in one county you went to School A, if you lived in the adjoining county you went to School B. I already knew many of the children I would be in school with, either from daycare/preschool or church. It didn’t hurt that my daddy was principle at the middle school at the time either I guess. So for the next 8 years (1st grade-7thgrade and kindergarten) I went to school with the same children. Even if we moved up a grade we only went to a slightly bigger school with children who had been at our old school the previous year. There was no anxiety about not knowing the lay of the land. No anxiety about a sea of new scary faces. Until the end of 7th grade. At that time, 8th grade was at the High School, which meant I had 4 months between me and an entire school with 4 whole grades of new people. Older people. Some, like the juniors and seniors, we’re so much older our paths had never crossed paths in other schools before. Scared? I spent the summer outlining reasons why I should be homeschooled. I did not want my independence and free spirit that my class since kindergarten had been accustomed too, to become the punch line for lunch room mean girls table talk. I also knew I didn’t ‘look’ the part. I didn’t particularly want to, and further more I knew I never would. But, of course I made it through high school. I have some bumps, bruises, and scars to help me remember, and that’s okay.
What if, when my precious, free spirited penguin looks at me and says “mama, I am a little norvous about big school”, she feels the same anxiety on some level? I know it seems I’m reaching deep for this one, and yes, it’s perfectly normal for a child to be somewhat apprehensive about a new school. Stay with me though. She has only been to daycare/preschool and church with the same group of children. Now, in the same rural town I grew up in, there are two private schools to choose from which have become quite popular among the parents. My penguin knows that some children went to a different Pre-K and come to her school for after school care. She realizes that not all of these ‘friends’ of hers, and children who know her ways are going to be going to school with her in a few weeks. To top it all off, I have to keep reminding her of all of the horrible things that don’t happen in kindergarten. No changing clothes just because you dribbled water on your shirt at the water fountain (yes, I know we have some ‘issues’), no going to the bathroom on a moments notice which also means you can’t have ‘accidents’ because you can’t change clothes. And….no naps!!! So yes, my all the world’s a stage, aka her stage, penguin is standing in front of this milestone with quite possibly some of the same apprehension I had about high school.
It’s okay baby penguin. I know more now and I know what I should have told myself then. That works out well for you since you were made from my mold. I’ll guide you as the older version of yourself and I will teach you and love you like only your mother can. We’ve got this. You. Me. Together. Let’s jump over the milestone ready to see what waits.
Im here for a few reasons in the blogging world. One would be the oh so popular exercise and fitness journey blog that has yet to begin it seems. Another would be because I just have so much in my head that sometimes I have to get it all down. I would like to have followers and build my blog with normal mothers who can relate to my “not PTO material” shanigans as a mom too. So, I know it seems to be a bit all over the place, but there it is.
This took me by surprise the other day. I feel slightly judged and on a short rope even at 36 years old with my parents. But, I watched the interaction between my mama and my 4 year old daughter and just sat there in awe. I could vividly remember doing something similiar as to what’s daughter was doing and my mama loosing all patience with me and I probably ended up with a spanking. But I watched as she slowly took her time to allow the experience to fully wash over the penguin. My mother never got upset or in a hurry. I know I would have already yelled, threatened, and yes, probably thrown out a curse word by now.
I want to be the grandparent parent. The one that does take their time, isn’t always frazzled. I want to enjoy this journey just as much as a grandparent wants to enjoy theirs. Yes, some of it a time thing. Some grandparents have more time, they aren’t rushed. But my mom, some days, stays busier than I do, minus the actual job. Grandparents often say “I can let them do what they want and give them back to their parents”. While that is true, aside from the “meth making granny”, most grandparents are still responsible at raising children. It’s not as if they let them just run like wild horses.
I just think, as a parent, if I could slow down and parent like a grand parent, without the stress and struggle of being the actual “parent”, I may become a better parent. Grand parents don’t worry about time. Child wants to play outside? Sure! But as a parent when my penguin ask to play outside I immediately think of time. Time outside. Time it will take to get her inside. Time to clean up. I don’t want think like that.