I don't remember alot of details about my childhood. It's all a bit fuzzy for me.
But I do remember shopping for school clothes each year. My mom always wanted me to buy happy bright colors. And I always had other plans.
Usually it was jeans with several blue and brown t-shirts, paired with a braided leather belt. Exciting.
Then there was the year that I bought only oversized sweatshirts and stirrup pants.
Or there was this year:
Now I'm the mom and I see that my role is mainly to find somewhere moderately comfortable to sit and make sure that all critical "parts" are covered.....oh...and do my best to stay in budget and convince my boys that at some point it will be time to give up shirts with cartoon characters on them.
It's my duty.
Ethan was easy. We got a bunch of athletic, Nike-ish shirts and a humongous pair of shoes.
Jeans will wait till the fall and honestly, he can wear his basketball shorts until then.
Mathew was mostly concerned with finding fast shoes.
And trying them out in the store.
I didn't mind. I had a comfortable place to sit.
Megan was a little harder. She has entered those strange years where she has grown out of the "little girl" sizes and has entered the "I'm a hoochy mama in training" sizes.
You wouldn't believe some of these clothes.
We did find a few that we could be happy with.
This one from the seventies....
and this one from the eighties...
We didn't find any oversized sweatshirts or stirrups.
Storing it was another. We no longer live in the kind of neighborhood that would allow us to get away with using our canoe as a lawn ornament. Those were beautiful days, but they are gone gone gone.
Now we are doing this:
Do I have faith in my husband's skills or what? I put my windshield on the line everyday for this canoe.
And I have to be completely honest here. I did have some doubts about whether we would ever ACTUALLY use the canoe, as a canoe. Not just something totally large to hang from our garage ceiling.
I'm a doubter.
I should have known that we would be on the water in no time. Mark grew a beard for the occasion. Unfortunately for me, I found out that we needed a boating license in order to legally set sail paddle in any of the local bodies of water. This would be a reason not to go (for me), but for Mark it is an invitation to take a walk paddle on the wild side.
So we headed over to Cedar Lake and thanks to the help of a very friendly wind surfer, we were able to get the canoe off the top of the van.
Everyone put on their life jackets.
Anna especially. I checked that "between the legs" strap multiple times to make sure it was secure.
Because once we were on the boat I knew she would mostly be interested in scaring the living daylights out of me.
I know those pictures don't look that scary. That's because you are normal. I am a scaredy.
Also I was preoccupied with scanning the shore for Park Rangers that would most assuredly arrest us all for not having a boating license.
Mark was unconcerned. His confidence grows with his facial hair.
Soon the kids were ready to head back to shore, so we paddled in and enlisted the very faithful wind surfer to help us put the canoe back on the van. I was still busy keeping a look out for Park Rangers looking to jail a family of canoeing criminals. I was relieved when the canoe was strapped back on and we could pretend like we had never been in the water. I did consider drying it off with my collection of dirty socks my kids have been leaving in the back seat. Just to make it believable.
But that would have been silly.
The kids then got down to the very serious business of finding "shells" on the shore.
I made a mental note to remember to "put them in a special place" when we got home.
The swing kid...sometimes she's big, sometimes she's little...depending on what kind of chores we're doing.
You'd think she'd get lost in the mix, but somehow she manages to come out on top most of the time.
She possibly has the cutest smile I've ever seen.
She enjoys talking to adults and telling them all about how the world works. Especially what is "healthy for our bodies".
She has several ready-to-go poses that she feels are most attractive:
If she's taking the photo, don't even try to just smile. You need to "make it look beautiful".
She just graduated from a year of joyschool and is heading into her last year at home with Mom. It's freaking me out. I'm hoping I can use my google skills and figure out how to teach her to read.
She has never been afraid of the dark, until I decided to use "Zombie Spray" to spray down the room she shares with Megan in order to calm Megan's fear of zombies. This backfired when Laney began to wonder why I would do such a thing if zombies aren't real. There must be a legitimate threat.
She is my ultimate judge. On any given day she will inform me that I am either the "The best mom evah".....or...."You are the WORST mom EVAH!" I am learning to take it in stride. Most days I finish in the black.
If she asks you to watch her "super speed", you better keep your eyes glued to her the entire time. She will chastise the neighborhood fathers, mothers, visitors, etc. if she sees them lose there focus for even a second. She is perfectly willing to give you several chances to get it right, however.
She can dress herself, get her own breakfast, brush her teeth, write her name, make her own bed, vacuum the stairs and she has super speed, to boot.
He is bound for middle school (meat grinder) in 2 itty bitty weeks.
I don't remember middle school as all that terrible, but I do have a doozy of a story about being trapped in a gas station with my friend Misty while 6 ravenous popular girls circled outside the doors. We were toast. I still call the ring-leader Ashley Trashley....in my head.
And that was 25 years ago.
What kind of crazy is my baby boy walking in to? In 2 puny little weeks?
I'm afraid. He's not.
I bought every single pencil and notebook with the question, "Will kids make fun of him for this?"
It took me awhile.
But we went on over to enrollment and I did my best to arm him with the basics.
How to get the locker open:
And how to find your classes.
He seemed good to go. Confident even.
And I will suffer through a fresh batch of cold-sweat nightmares over forgetting my combination and neglecting to go to English class.