Loyalty

19 01 2009

In a little less than two months Maya will be 12. 

In a little less than five months she will be finished with sixth grade.  It is the last year of elementary school – the dreaded middle school years are looming large in front of us.  And oh, aren’t those years just the best?

Today was a precursor to the strife.  She had a friend over that she has been best friends with since Kindergarten.  Her little sister came over also, to keep Sophie busy.  All was going fine.

And then it wasn’t.

Before I could catch my breath the young sister mouthed off to Maya, Maya called her a brat, the older sister stepped in to protect her sibling…..and I had World War III on my hands.  Eventually I was able to get them to sit in the same room and try to talk it out.  The younger sister apologized to Maya, Maya apologized to her, and Maya’s friend sat silent and brooding, refusing to talk.

No amount of coaching on my part could help mend the rift.  It still exists – with Maya crying in her room and her friend stalking off to her own house.  I know for a fact that it is everyone’s fault.  Maya had no right to react the way she did (but I would have had a hard time putting up with the brattyness, as well).  In the friend’s defense, Maya can be somewhat clingy and exclusionary.  She wants her friend all to herself and resents interruption.  In Maya’s defense, the silent treatment is a patently unfair way to deal with issues and leaves nothing mended.

It is hard to be the Mom in a situation where your baby is hurt.  It is hard to be calm and reasonable.  I think I did  a good job, and may have even been a bit harder on Maya than I needed to be.  But here’s the thing.  My girl is loyal – and you don’t find that in many 12 year olds.  She has been fiercely loyal since she was born.  Maybe it was because I was so happy that she was here that I carried her everywhere for the first 12 months.  I could not put her down.

When I first went back to work after working from home for a few years she took it really hard.  Mickey was just starting out as our nanny.  Maya made it clear that she believed Mickey was to blame for my absence and refused to be polite.  There was one point where I threatened her, “If you can’t be nice to Mickey then you can spend all day in your room”.

She spent the entire day in her room.  No crying.  No remorse.  She had made up her mind.

The last few years her resentful feelings toward Mickey have come back.  She fakes it and does not purposely hurt Mickey’s feelings, but she will stand up against her if something worth arguing about happens along.  During one particularly difficult Maya/Mickey argument I had to sit them both down in the same room to work things out.  After a number of rounds back and forth Maya threw up her hands and said, “Mom.  I just want YOU here.  Just YOU.”

This is also the child that would rather sleep on the floor of my room than in her bed.  It isn’t as difficult anymore to talk her out of it, but almost every night she asks.  She is the one that sits on the kitchen counter when I make dinner to talk about her day.  She is the one that will silently hold my hand when we’re on the couch watching a movie.

The girls and I have been an inseparable trio for a long time now.  They have been with me in the worst of times, and they have seen me claw my way out to the present state.  I have been heartbreakingly honest with them about my decisions regarding their Dad, our finances, everything.  And they stand by me with no judgement and often with an offer to help.  Once when I explained to them that I wasn’t getting an inflatable pool for the yard that summer because it made the water bill too high, Maya told me it was fine.  She said that when she was old enough she would get a job that paid for the water and THEN we would get  the pool.

I guess what I’m trying to say with all this rambling is that you don’t find that kind of loyalty too often in the world.  It is a scary thing to live up to, but also a wonderful thing to have behind you.  And although she can be protective and guarding of her friendships, I can’t think of a girl I would want more on my side.  I hope her friend realizes that soon.

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2001 The Sophie Odyssey

11 01 2009




Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop To Drink

8 01 2009

We’ve had some rain.  Like a foot of it.

The amount of water coming out of the mountains and through my little town is somewhat ridiculous.  Flooding was rampant last night.  Large, old growth trees floated down the river like paper boats.  Check it out.  It was crazy.  It was the highest flood on this river since 1917. 

Not far from my house is a wonderful little river trail that the girls and I love to wander down quite often.  Last spring I posted this picture from the bridge area of the trail….

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The next picture was taken today, looking the other way.  I was standing on the pedestrian bridge you see in the picture above looking over the place that the girls were playing…

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This is a picture from last spring of the trail….

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And this is how it looks today.

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And…even worse….Oh!  The Humanity!  Tiffany’s Skate Inn is innundated!  Oh no!!

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The following pictures speak for themselves.

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When we got back, the Biker Bus for Jesus was delivering cases of bananas to the National Guard across the street from my house.  A wonderful, but somewhat hard core man with his lit cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth gave us an entire case of bananas.  Bananas from Jesus.

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I just KNEW Jesus would buy organic.

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Then, the banana apostles delivered bananas to the entire neighborhood.

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We are fine.  We’ve lived through the flood.  And we are well nourished with blessed fruit.

Amen.

PS:  Funny video of  playing in the mud.  The first 30 seconds are the best….





A Timeline of Cuteness

2 01 2009

Years one through three…

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Year four…

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Kindergarten…

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(That necklace ballerina actually MOVED!!!)

Can you imagine how cute I am now?