Soulmates? and other issues.

“Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”
Candace Bushnell (Sex and the City)

I’m freaking out about the beginning of school for my kids. I know this seems unrelated but follow the path of my convoluted thinking for a minute and you’ll see where I’m going.

I fully believe that everyone has a soulmate… a person that completes them (too Jerry Maguire?)… someone who not only finishes their sentences but intuitively knows when they need a hug or a swift kick in the rear.  What I don’t believe is that finding your soulmate is necessarily a romantic thing.

Case in point… My baby sister has a soulmate. Her best friend. They speak in a code only they understand. They complement each other in every way.  They can spend hours and hours together and never run out of topics to discuss. They never get bored with each other.

There’s a million and one names for this phenomenon.  BFFs, sista from another mista, chicks before … you get the idea. Whatever you want to call it, I think every woman needs a friend that you can share anything with, that you can be around and be totally yourself, that you can laugh, cry, and scream with, that puts up with your mood swings and your insanity, that their mood swings and insanity never bother you, and someone who you can just be a girl with.

I’m extremely blessed to have both a romantic soulmate and a sister of my heart soulmate.   Our relationship is quite strange. For one she’s old enough to be my mother (she actually has a daughter my age). We prove that opposites attract… she’s extremely vocal (verbal diarrhea is putting it mildly) where I”m quite quiet… she once shaved her head for a bet where I would be terrified it’d make my face look fat… she doesn’t give a hoot what other people think and I tend to obsess about it.

Our biggest and first common ground is our daughters.  She had an “oopsie” late in life  and I had one at 19. Our daughters are in the same grade and played tee-ball together (we met at tee-ball practice 5 years ago). Once we established the connection we went from strangers to doing everything together. When the President of the elementary school’s parent group finished her term… I stepped in and dragged Teresa with me.  In return she made me her assistance troop leader in girl scouts. We attend the same church. The past 5 years we would drop our kids off at school, ride around town in her “office”, and talk for hours. We did yearbook committee for 4th-5th grade together, we did 5th grade journalism together, we went on field trips together… and that brings me back to my fear of this school year.

This year our daughters are moving on to Jr. High, different building… different rules.  While I stay behind and do journalism and yearbook with my younger sons, she won’t be there. This year when I drop my boys off and escort them to their rooms, she won’t be in the hallway to greet me and go for a ride. She won’t be there after school to make plans for the week.  It hurts just to think about it.

We’ll still see each other (there’s still church and Girl Scouts) but it will be much much less. This school year it will be me that feels that childish  pang  of worry… will I make friends this year?  will anybody play with me?



Queen of the Bog

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed with how much pride and utter joy my children bring me. Yesterday, my oldest daughter Zoe showed me how brave she can be. My kids were attending their last day at Camp Fort Hill and there’s a tradition that campers may choose to participate in. It’s called “Royalty of the Bog.” In order to earn the title of “King” or “Queen of the Bog” you must go into this thick, goopy, stinky, swamp-like mud hole and submerge yourself completely. Zoe waded in up to her waist and watched as other kids either completed the ritual or chickened out. Her face betrayed her nervousness and the fact that she really didn’t want to do it yet wanted to at the same time. Just when I thought she was going to give up and wade out, her face got that determined look I see so often on her daddy and she plunged in. She popped out looking like something from a horror-flick… covered in black slime and reeking like a compost pile. She reached her arm out and regally demanded I get her a towel. As gracefully as humanly possible, she waded out, wiped her eyes, and started walking back to the lake like this living drama was inconsequential, but I could see the pride in her stance and her eyes.  She conquered her fear and became Queen of the Bog.

My kids could care less when I’m doing X Stretch or Back and Biceps but when Kenpo comes on… they’re all mesmerized. Sophia is only 18 months old but she loves joining in on the stretches. Downward Dog is her favorite and its adorable watching her do Cobra.  Scotty Jr. always joins me for the kicks. Zoe and Toby mostly like to critique my moves.  I’m planning to buy “Tony and the Kids” for them when I get finished with my 90 days and do it with them for my break between rounds. Everybody gets such a kick out of Tony, so I’m sure they’ll love it.

I can’t believe summer is nearly 2/3rds over.  I’m not ready to send them back to school.  They’re growing up too fast and school seems to accelerate it.  Summer is so laid back and there’s time to play and build memories.  It seems like during the school year it’s School, Activity, Homework, Dinner, Sleep, Repeat…  there’s never enough family time.  I’ve been debating homeschooling for a few years now but I want to be sure I’m giving my children the very best socially, morally, physically, and mentally.  Right now Central Elementary is giving them most of that but I have serious doubts about the middle school/high school.  Any suggestions?