Like most end of school years, there’s been many moments of “wrapping things up.” Lilly is finished with her 3 year old year at St. Peter’s Preschool. Her teachers were so great and she made many new friends which in return gave me a few new friends. At her end program, she was all smiles as she sang “Rainbows and Butterflies” and looked for us in the audience. Here’s Lilly at the beginning of the school year:
And here she is at the end of the school year:
Sigh. No more chunky cheeks, hair grown out (in a pony tail), ears trying to stay ahead of the game……and she has learned so much! As we walked home from school for the last time as a Three’s Bees student, she talked much and happily about being four years old:
Meanwhile, at our house we had some very special company come into town. Simon, Alyse and Sawyer came to visit for the long Memorial Day weekend. We boated, we rode bikes, the guys paddle boarded, Alyse whipped up some super addicting foods and we spent time walking and sitting on the beach. These are the folks that make conversation comfortable and silence satisfying. Sawyer is almost the same age as Willow so it was fun to watch how they are different but how they are so much a like. We hope they come visit again soon (and make us more delicious treats)!
Today was our first no school school day: summer break has begun. Joining the neighborhood pool topped our list of things to do and then we played, watered plants, danced, folded laundry, ate popcorn and had a few melt downs. We weren’t able to go to the beach because……well, Lilly had dropped a small pair of pruning sheers on her toe the day before. It was one of those things that when it happened, and the blood started gushing everywhere, my thoughts were, “What were we thinking letting her use pruning sheers!?” Yep, it happened.
Lilly has developed a small patch of freckles on her nose. I never thought I’d love freckles like I love those freckles. They kind of look like dirt but when she is asking me one of her wide eyed questions and she gets real close, I get to stare at them and smile.
Willow is the Jekyll and Hyde of toddlers these days. Her canine teeth are STILL coming in and she drools some, puts things in her mouth some, and gets all kinds of cranky quite often. When she is not stomping her feet or making herself so mad she might just throw up, she is being the cutest, sweetest baby. With hugs that come with a head on your shoulder and laughs that get better when they are produced from her sister’s shenanigans, Willow is freaking CUTE people.
This is the picture taken Pentecost 2012 when we were members at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain.
There just isn’t much not to like about Pentecost. We feasted, we wore bright red, the weather was awesome, and we celebrated. Like at most birthday parties, the church gets balloons which by the end of the service are given to the children. This is of course a highlight for my girls. This year, they took their balloons and ran around in circles and played with the other children while hopped up on picnic brownies. So much has changed since then and now.
After having a very low key Mother’s Day where I was given handmade cards and amazing mommy praise, life has been feeling pretty good lately. Lilly’s class at preschool had a mother’s tea to honor all the mom’s and it was so cute to see her and her friends sing us a song and bring us a cookie with lemonade. I remember when Lilly would cling to me when I’d visit her class, barely letting go of my ankles and although there are times when that still happens, she tends to continue to play and go to the far corners of the playground by herself or with classmates. Just another sign that she is no longer a baby.
Since we had been out of town the week before last and I had been very sick but well taken care of by Kei Kei, we really hit the ground running as the weather turned awesome and the friends kept inviting us to play. At Brookgreen, there’s a new exhibit highlighting fairy-tales. My camera battery ran out before I could take many photos but Lilly was in heaven as she played dress up in Snow White’s cottage and pretended she was a pirate at Treasure Island’s ship. In the past I have mentally battled with the princess mentality and worry that my daughters will be hung up on the beauty aspects of those stories and less about the courage or strengths of the characters. The fact is, Lilly loves pink, frilly, bows and lace and I am going to do my best at letting her indulge in these girly things but making sure she knows that it’s what’s inside that counts. Those ugly step sisters are really only ugly because of how they treat each other and Cinderella……am I right?!
Willow’s mood will improve only to take a turn the next day to cranky-ville. When Lilly laughs at something Willow does, like spitting her paci halfway across the room, Willow relishes the big sister attention and then does the act over and over until no one cares anymore. She has also added the word “blue” and “Willow” to her expanding vocabulary. With a smile that can make weeds become sunflowers, Willow keeps us all laughing with her cuteness and on our toes with her curiosity.
During a hangout session with some friends at the local Starbucks, Lilly was exceptionally whiny as she demanded more food even though she had sucked down a smoothie and some popcorn. Since it was pretty much time to go anyway, we made our way to the car and she continued to go into one of those crazy, no reason and no solution freak out sessions. I waited for the calm to find her and after she spent some QT in time out, we talked about the things she did have and how wonderful it was to play with friends on a sunny day and drink smoothies. Well, I think I hit some sort of holy grail of understanding because that night at dinner, we were eating tomatoes and she chimes in, “I think we should grow lots of tomatoes and a bunch of other stuff and feed all the hungry people.” Very proud of this thought, I chuckled and told her that it was more complicated then that and before I could go into anymore reasoning she quickly exclaimed, “We can just do it one day at a time!”
We don’t have a garden and the most we do is donate food to the local pantry but I am feeling the need to take her thoughts and run with them all the way to the plant store so we can fulfill at least a little bit of her request and grow tomatoes to give away. Her spirit is one I want to water and harvest and all goals start out with that first step on that first day……
With my mom in Utah touring the National Parks, I find myself longing for one of our car rides to anywhere. It seems that getting us into a car for any length of time produces all the talking we need to remind ourselves of the love we share. Thinking back…..
Sherry Jeanette Roane, my mom.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom and was involved in my every day down to walking the halls of my elementary school and helping out on whatever team we were into at the moment. If I was sick, she’d let me watch Little House on the Prairie and if I was really sick, she’d bring me a personal pizza from Pizza Hut. When my fourth grade teacher humiliated me in front of the entire class, my mom not only let me sit on her lap as I cried buckets at the kitchen table but she “talked” with that teacher about how she made me feel and things got better for me in that class. As much help as I got in Elementary School from my mom, she knew that middle school was time for me to start making my own decisions and with that came lots of consequences. She stuck to what she said and I knew to take it seriously, even if it meant missing out on a trip to Show Biz.
High School is a blur because I, like a lot of teenagers, was completely consumed with myself. I remember at Christmas time, my mom would sit at night and look at the tree lights and I’d find my way next to her in the silence just so I could be near her. I also remember that almost every time we pulled into the garage she’d say, “Home again, home again, Jiggity Jog!”
Never inviting me into personal struggles, I knew my mom was tough but fair, honest and loving. My mom ended up reinventing herself and graduated nursing school and started her new career. College years found us drifting apart as I was left to find my own way but when I went through student teaching (some tough months,) she would sit with me at the kitchen table and help me get the work done. Her career helped put me through college worry free, never feeling like I owed anything but good grades and smart choices.
As I grew older, I witnessed the pure selflessness my mom could muster. She helped take care of her own mother in Nana’s last years. Eventually, my mom found her way into Hospice as one of the amazing nurses in that program. She would attend each funeral and talk of her patients with a full heart. When I’d visit my mom’s office, she held the utmost respect from coworkers and clients. Present at both my my daughter’s births, my mom would shed tears of amazement and then make sure she touched them as they entered the world so she “could be the first.” She would also stay with me after the birth for weeks and help me during those tough first few weeks of mommy hood.
I’ve never laughed as hard as when playing cards or joking around with my mom (she is hilarious.) I’ve never loved as hard as I do knowing my mom loves me the way I love my children.
Sherry Thomas taught me how to love myself, for who I am and stand up for what I need and deserve. She tells me I’m a great mom and loves my children even from afar. She is a loyal wife, amazing sister, and good friend.
This Mother’s Day, I send my mom written words in the form of a huge hug and a big kiss on her soft cheek. When you are looking at that desert moon, I’m looking at the beach moon knowing we are only far apart in distance, not in love.