Archives for 2020

To My Oldest on Her 18th Birthday

Happy 18th birthday, sweet girl. I can’t believe this day is here. 

So, here’s the thing: For all of these years, I’ve been looking forward to today, to giving you these letters. In my head, I imagined you would appreciate the sentimentality… but you got your time capsule from school a few weeks ago, and you haven’t even opened any of those letters, so I suspect that you’ll look at these and feel just completely annoyed.

Win some, you lose some, I guess. 

This was not how I pictured this time in your life, and I know it’s not how you pictured it either. And yes, I find it so cosmically unfair that so many things are left undone at the moment. That we haven’t been able to celebrate, that your school hasn’t stepped up to the plate and done a better job (or, you know, ANYTHING AT ALL) to truly acknowledge your class and this big milestone. This was supposed to be all done – but there are loose ends all over the place, and who knows when they’ll be tied.

That sucks. Graduation was a bust and you’ve barely gotten to spend the time with your friends like you should be. And I’m hoping with all of my heart that something happens soon so you can close this chapter and just start looking forward to the next.

Because I’m so excited about what comes next for you. At this point last year, you weren’t yet excited about the prospect of going to college and then over the summer, you truly started getting excited about it. And then you crushed all things by earning a massive scholarship. I know you struggle with bragging about that – but it’s a huge deal, and I’m so proud of you. At the end of four years, when so many of your classmates will be saddled with student loan debt, you get that chance to start that next chapter with very little debt at all – if any. And that will be huge in the future as you decide where you want to be and what you want to do. You won’t be shackled with that monstrous weight — and why? Because you have worked SO HARD through high school to become the exceptional young lady you are — a strong leader, a compassionate human, an empathetic friend, a helper, and just all around smart cookie. I am so very proud of you.

I have loved every year and every moment watching you grow into who you are. Watching you on stage, lighting the way, has always taken my breath away. Your confidence and grace amaze me — and while I have no idea where it came from, I am glad that you have it, because it will help you in so many ways, wherever you go.

This year you’ll get to vote for the first time and while I am sorry your options aren’t better, I am also confident that you will always take this responsibility seriously and that you will make educated and thoughtful decisions every time you cast your vote. 

I know it’s hard to feel excited about stuff right now, because it feels like the universe is just being a butthead, but despite the current situation and how tough it’s been, I remain excited for you, for your future and what it holds. 

I was thinking the other day of when you were an infant — of the first time I saw your name printed on something that I didn’t write. It was a prescription label, I think. Probably for eye drops. But seeing your name in print, this name I gave you, was a moment of, “She’s mine, this person…” And though I no longer get excited about prescription labels, I do still get a rush of realizing that this person I created is now this totally awesome human adult person. How on earth that happened, I don’t know – but it did and here we are.

I was going to say something about this year ahead and you going off to college, but then I realized that I would end up crying while typing this, so maybe I’ll just skip that part. But I hope you know that the door is always open for you (and your laundry), and I’m glad you won’t be that far away but I’m excited to watch you find your wings because the world is ready for your magic and I can’t wait to see what you do.

Usually I tell you more of what happened during the year — but, well… you know what’s happened this year. It’s all recent enough, you’ll remember.

Happy happy birthday to you. Today, we’ll have your friends come over and, with everyone six feet apart, we’ll have cake and we will celebrate you. I know it’s a weird celebration, but I’m glad we can do something — and I hope you feel loved every moment of today… and every day.

I love you lots and lots of tater tots and I am – as I’ve always been – so very lucky to be your mom. Now go take this world by storm. You’ve got this.

Love, 
Mom

Thursday Ten: Sheltered in Place Edition

  1. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written here and I told myself that one of my goals for this week would be to try to start writing again – someway, somehow. So here I am, reviving this space – at least for today. I have missed writing. I’m not sure I have something to say that’s different from anything the rest of you are saying right now, but here I am anyway.
  2. It’s been nearly a month since the shelter in place order became a reality in Michigan. And for now, we’re two weeks away from a review of the status. Will it be lifted or extended? I have a hard time feeling optimistic, if I’m being totally honest. I want to believe any little glimmer of hope I can hang on to, but I also know that even if the SIP order is lifted, we’re a long way from the sort of normal we used to know. I wonder what that will look like when it happens.
  3. I’m lucky to be working from home and I know that so many people aren’t as lucky. I’m working hard right now – and long hours. I read a stat yesterday that said that although the stereotype is that people who are working from home are hanging out and watching Netflix, the actuality is that they are often working longer hours because it’s tough to turn work “off.” And this is without the benefit of being able to gab with coworkers off and on throughout the day for a breath of fresh air —though we are making use of Slack and Zoom like the rest of the world. (Sidenote: I hate Zoom. You know it’s a Zoom meeting day when my hair isn’t in a ponytail.)
  4. Oh yeah, I’ve let it all go. Most days, I’m wearing leggings and a sweatshirt. In the past month, I’ve bought two pair of joggers, gotten several pair of leggings, and while I”m comfortable, it’s a whole look. I mean, I’ve taken to doing squats and pushups during the day, so I need pants that move with me, but frankly I’m not sure how I’m ever going to get used to wearing real pants all the time again.
  5. There’s some struggles here as well, though. One of the biggest challenges through all of this is that The Princess, in her senior year of high school, is missing EVERYTHING. There will be no prom, who knows when the graduation ceremony will be, and basically, they’re done with school already. All that’s left is AP tests and her online class. Yeah, she had her last day of high school ever and didn’t even know it. It stinks to have come this far and to have worked so hard, and to lose all of those milestones for this year. And already, college orientation will be a virtual event instead of a weekend at her future college… and that’s a bummer, too. It all just sucks and I’m sad for her and the rest of the class of 2020.
  6. I have already watched all of “Tiger King” (ugh) and am currently binging “All American.” What are you watching while stuck at home? I’m also three episodes into “Little Fires Everywhere” but somehow keep forgetting about Hulu so I may never finish.
  7. I’m not reading as much as I would like to be, though. Trying.
  8. All the races have been canceled but I’m trying to keep my mileage up. Another perk of working from home? Being able to hit the treadmill for a lunchtime 5k.
  9. Another fun gem for staying at home? Cards Against Humanity Family Edition. You’ll get a hand cramp cutting all the cards out but it’ll be worth it.
  10. Dang, I really did plan to use all my vacation time this year. Don’t think that’s gonna happen. Sigh. I’ve already missed out on a trip I was very much looking forward to (and four days off), so… I think I’m going to take tomorrow off. I’m not going anywhere or doing anything, because… stay home… but a day may do some good.