Tuesday, September 12, 2017

we are here

Yesterday Beach and I loaded up a bag and we biked to the pool.  I said it was a long awaited return and I meant it.

The pool used to be the heart of our homeschooling life.

We swam almost daily.  There was something so decadent about swimming in the middle of the day. About walking (or biking) to the pool rain or shine.  Cutting past the green edge of the elementary school where Beach was supposed to go. 

The school that withdrawing from set her heart free.  

In the mornings we would read in my bed and do math in the kitchen. Cover a chapter of history or science then hit the pool.

Return home with wet hair to sip hot chocolate.  Eat lunch with chlorine kissed skin.  Fall into the afternoon with the memory of cutting through the water. 

Beach took swim lessons and when she out grew those she joined swim team. I spent hours sitting cross legged on the benches lesson planning while she swam.  But as gymnastics grew it crowded out pool time.  First to go was swim team.  Then the daily swim became a weekly thing and then it disappeared. 

The last few years I have tried to get her return to the pool.  Penciled in pool time into our schedule and yet it was never a good time for her.   

So I respectfully gave up.  Then suddenly out of the blue Beach announced she wanted to be a triathlete.

The swim bag, gym bag days <3

Maybe not out of the blue, more out of injury. Her hamstring injury isn't improving or if it is, it is healing incredibly slowly (as they do).  I think it has given her a chance to look ahead.  To look past her life as a gymnast and down the road to her life post gymnastics.

A couple of years ago she saw a news clip on young marathoners.  At the time she announced that was what she was going to do when she was done doing gymnastics. 

It reminded me of when she was 3 and asked to get her ears pierced.  I told her she had wait until she was 6.  She never asked again.  Not a word until the morning of her 6th birthday when she asked, so when are we going?  Going where?  You know, to get my ears pierced.

I'm not sure where or when she hit on the idea of the triathlon but it makes a lot of sense for her.
She has always loved the water.  She feels safe there.  She feels free.  And the biking part, my god she loves biking!
For now we have found 2 days, based on her gym load, that she is willing to swim; Mondays and Thursdays.

After swimming yesterday we rode home with wet hair. Down 10th West the way we used to.  We made smoothies and popped popcorn. She iced while we listened to an audio book in my bed. 

It felt like it used to feel before gymnastics turned the tide but I know it isn't that.  She isn't moving back, she is moving forward.


reading now: Five Kingdoms, Sky Raiders

Monday, September 11, 2017

the best of the weekend

White wine chicken stew and roses.
This guy, reading, sunflowers, and the antics of that damn cat.

1 lb. roasted chicken
1 lb. small new red potatoes, quartered & roasted
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup sweet white corn
5 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cups all-purpose flour

Sunday, September 10, 2017

the gift of art

Beach's latest project.  A sketch for Baely Rowe.  Baely is a senior on the University of Utah's gymnastics team.  She is also a beloved coach at GTC.  Beach saw this photo of Baely on bars and she wanted to try drawing it for her. So far, so good! (Thanks for the graphite paper, Sarah)

grit and beauty and the unrepentant

A few weeks back I caught a cold that has sort of hung on.  This weekend it returned with a vengeance. With Beach out dress shopping with some of the team girls and BC at work that left me alone in a quiet house.  It's enough time and space to soak up the grit and the beauty of everyday.  Its also enough time to rethink the events of the last week.

On the girt side, at first I sort of skipped over the trouble I ran into trying not to be the parent in charge of the whole weekend.  My decision to not do *all the work only created more stress & work- especially for those parents who do share in the load.  I feel like I owe those parents an apology. While the parents who don't help, shocker- still didn't help. 

One of them even took the time to chew me out at 10PM in the street in front of my house because they had to go pick up their own kid.  It didn't seem to matter that was the plan from the beginning. That I had already done way more of the work than I intended to do.  That I was still up working hard to make sure each and every girl got to where they were going safely.

The barebones of it was at the end of the night when the number of girls in the group would double there was never going to be enough seats or belts to move them all together in one car. 

The whole thing left a lot of residue in my head.  I've been trying for months to spread out the work load of social events. More and more girls want in on the fun which is awesome! But fewer parents seem to be able to help.  Nothing is quite working, last night completely backfired on the parent end (!)- BUT the girls had fun! <3 

Something has to change. I'm not sure how or what to do it about it because it isn't the girls' fault.  I am sure I am not the only parent on either side of this issue who is perplexed.  

Truth is until the kids can drive themselves the kids who get to do stuff are the one who have grownups willing to facilitate for them. Those with parents who honestly can't and those who just won't, get the short end of the stick, unless another adult is willing to go out of their way to include them. Then of course, there is no reciprocal consideration for your child from these parents- no give and take, no share the load and the love.

I've been joking about including a BYOP to all social invites: bring your own parent. I would love to hang out with more adults!!!! But I know it's not that simple. It's a 1000 piece puzzle.   
That wasn't the only rough patch.  This whole week has been hard.  I've been watching a friend slip into a lifestyle that is all too familiar.  Life way out on the edge of reality.  A fragile, unsafe place to dance when you have kids who relying on you. The look in her children's eyes is haunting- like that of the starving.  Starving for stability and emotional rest.   

I told BC the friendship would end soon, not because of I would end it but because she would. She would grow tired of my criticisms and walk away.  But the truth is I am the one growing tired of it. However, it's the same puzzle as the one with the girls- there is nowhere to back away to.  Nothing to be gained by being The Asshole.  

Maybe when I finally kick this cold I will see all of this more clearly.  Trade in my judge robes for a renewed gown of compassion. Maybe not.

Life is really messy but the beauty is always there.  Under the clutter, over the mess, and through the bullshit. There is even beauty to be found in the unrepentant.

Murder Cat sleeping off his midnight snack of one of our laying hens.

littles go big

So as it turns out kids grow up or at least they try to.  This little pack (plus a few more) wanted to practice being big by hitting the State Fair adult-free. 

What I will say is it was more work for all the parents involved to orchestrate their freedom than it would have been for me to have said "no" & go with them.  It's okay though, I have a few more years to figure all this out.

Me: Are you guys doing okay?


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Utah State Fair 2017

Beach and her photography <3 What's not to love?!?! The funny thing to me is I thought for sure the quail (got nothing) was the blue ribbon photo of the group and I figured the pic of Ginger Dog wouldn't do so well. Beach knew better.  She never doubted that photo. Even being in the older age division she did an amazing job! That's why she makes the big bucks, haha.

We were stopped by a judge who told her that during the judging her Ginger Dog photo was the clear favorite of all of the judges! Nice work kid <3

I entered one too.  That's mine in the middle :) No ribbon for me!

 Of course there was one other thing she wanted to win at the Fair this year....

 It's worth listening to the sound on this clip. 
The poor boys waiting in line behind her.

And then on to the usual suspects.