Nikisha, my Beans, you’ll be 9 years old next month. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but you’re growing way too fast for me. I’m going to have to have the mother-daughter talks soon, but I’m not ready. The older you get, the less we get along. I don’t want to lose my baby girl.
Except, I want you to grow up to be a strong independent woman. Take on the world with the your head up high. But mama is going to do it wrong sometimes. Maybe even most of the time. I just want you to know that I’m trying. I’m still learning how to be a good mom. Forever learning. You are my first teacher on this subject. You’re doing a great job. Me? Not as good as you.
Academically, you’re not doing the greatest right now. Everything is hard. But you are my daughter and I know that you’ll figure things out when you’re ready. I just forget. And I push too hard most of the time. It’s not your fault, but mine. Because I do not know what to do and instead of trying to figure it out, I flip out. I’m working on that. I don’t want to make you feel insecure anymore.
You’re doing good in other ways. You’re so full of energy and free spirited. You had a hard time learning how to ride your bike without training wheels, but you didn’t give up even though no one had the time to teach you. Just a couple weeks ago I watched you look at a picture and draw it. Within minutes. I was amazed.
I can go on about the good and bad, but the point I’m trying to make is. Despite what an awful job I feel I’m doing as your mama, you’re amazing.]]>
Then today it happened. You came home and told me that the lady across the street wanted you to come play with her two daughters. Our new neighbors. This is what I’ve been waiting for! Finally.
Except that after you walked toward their house, I felt lost. And I wondered. Is this how other parents felt when their child grew up and moved out of the house? Is it worse? IT CAN’T BE WORSE THAN THIS! I’m only slightly freaked out about it. Really.
Yet. I also felt proud. The lady came over and asked if it was okay. She said to me, “Every day I look at her and think she’s sooooo cute. I want her to play with my children!” and my heart exploded. Into a million tiny pieces that I’m struggling to find. Someone wanted MY daughter to play with her kids!
Our neighbors are new to this neighborhood. Even more than we are. So maybe they’re as lonely as we are and desperate for some friends. And I know how bad this may sound, but I’m happy. I probably would never have had the guts to go over there myself and try to make friends. I’m a little scared. And shy. Sounds insane, I know. But it’s true.
I worry that someone will think I’m an awful mother. Or that you and your sister are not good enough for their kids. I’m afraid we’ll be rejected by the other families. So imagine my surprise that our neighbors wanted you to be friends with their kids just because YOU’RE CUTE! That’s it? No 20 questions? No interrogation whatsoever?! Really? Awesome!
You said you had a good time and that you liked them. There was a tea party with cookies! They were so nice to you. I’m happy. We might make it through this summer after all. Will you be going there again tomorrow?
Do you think you can bring your little sister with you? Just kidding. Kinda.]]>
This was the first time I was actually able to take Niki to Coulon Beach Park. When I said it was okay to go in the water, she completely lost it.]]>
On March 2, 2009
“Mama. I made you something! It starts with P! … P-A-I… ? Noooo.. It’s a pie!!”
On March 6, 2009
“the kitty’s feets aren’t cold because they’re kitties. we’re just people.”
On March 9, 2008
“Where’s my Obama, Mama?”
On March 13, 2009
“I don’t like sparkles in my hair.”>
I guess they had an assembly at school and someone was putting sparkles in the kids’ hair. She told them she not to put it in her hair.
On April 1, 2009
“Mommy! (@mamastony) There’s a spider on your head! April Fools!! Ahahahaha!”>
On April 13, 2009
“I love everybody. Even YOU, mommy.”>
On April 19, 2009
“I know, mommy. I heard what she’s thinking.”>
Apparently she’s a mind reader. She “knew” what her sister was thinking.
On April 20, 2009
“@mamastony What? It’s only a wish..”>
In response to this! You HAVE TO click it!
On April 23, 2009
She was upset with her sister. Then she told her daddy this:
“I should have told mommy I don’t like babies!”>
On April 27, 2009
“maybe I’ll make a book about making chocolate milk”>
She’s been making chocolate milk for all of us. She puts a LOT of chocolate syrup, stirs it up and adds whipped cream on top. When her daddy said he loved it and it’s the best chocolate milk ever, that was her reply.
*We started a twitter account for Niki to keep up to the minute updates of the funny things she says. We’ll be (attempting) to post digests every two months.
This morning I watched you walk out the front door to head to your bus. Alone. The scared feeling I get every time you do that has gotten smaller with each passing day. I know now that you’ll be just fine without me attached to your schoolbag until you’ve stepped up that first step onto the bus. I know that when I hear the bus round the corner at just before 4PM every weekday, you’ll be walking through that door in just a few minutes.
Each and every time you do, I feel relief. And pride.
But do you remember at the beginning of the school year? That day when we both got scared and the only thing we wanted to do was cry?
I remember that day so clearly. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget it. It was the first time I ever felt so terrified that I’d lost you and I didn’t know what to do. I waited at the bus stop until every last kid got off the bus. When you didn’t, I panicked. It was only the second day you’ve ridden the bus, so the bus driver had no idea who you or I was. I ran home and hopped in the car to look for you. Heart pounding and tears running down my face.
I can only imagine how freaked out you were when you realized you got off at the wrong stop. You tried to find your way home, didn’t you? But when you thought all hope was lost, you sat on the curbside and cried.
That was when the nice lady walking her dogs noticed you. She helped calm you down and gave you the confidence to find your way home. You did. I wish I had your confidence so I could look for her and thank her for helping you. Maybe even give her the biggest bear hug ever.
Except I fear that she will tell me how awful I was for not waiting at home for you. What a terrible mother I was because I hadn’t thought to walk around the neighborhood with you to show you different ways to get home. I’d probably cry so hard in agreement that I wouldn’t be able to explain that I had gone looking for you. That the thought of you having to go through this never crossed my mind until it happened. That I’m sorry I’m so pathetic.
I vowed from that day to do whatever it took to prevent this situation from happening again. But I couldn’t go about it the wrong way. I’m sure that other parents in my situation would choose to not let their kids out of their sight, but your mama? No. I was going to teach you what needed to be done if the situation arises again. Not that I want it to, but I’d much rather prepare you for these situations now instead of waiting until you’re “old enough”.
I believe you’re old enough now.
We started off slowly. We took a stroll around the neighborhood to familiarize ourselves. Now you know where the other bus stop is and how to get home from there. You carry an emergency contact card just incase you need to tell an adult.
In the beginning I continued to walk you to and from the bus. I wanted to make sure you got off at the right stop from now on. When you and I were both confident enough for you to make your way home alone, I started waiting for you on the porch instead.
Over time it got to the point where you’d walk to and from the bus while I watched from a distance. I wanted us both to feel like you could do it on your own. Eventually I started waiting inside for you when you got home.
And now? Now you leave the house when you’re ready.
It makes me beam with pride to know that you are becoming more and more independent. I can’t believe that you wake up on your own in the morning, get your cereal and milk (if you’re hungry), get yourself dressed, and feed the cats all with some time to spare.
Then you look at me and say in a very confident voice, “I’m going now, mommy. I love you. Bye!” I just want to cry.
Niki found this ladybug out back today. I had to take pictures of her holding it. This is probably the best one.]]>
I asked her who taught her how to use them. She said in a very confident voice, “I learned on my own”.
I’m so proud.]]>
Ams & I took the girls to the community playground for the first time. It was a great way to start off the Spring season, especially since Niki is on break. Nine straight days of the never-ending energy that radiates from her. I needed to find an outlet for her to expel as much of it as possible so as not to drive me insane.
For over an hour we chased the girls around with our cameras, as well as played with them on the swings and play area. Normally I couldn’t last that long, but I’m guessing all their energy and excitement rubbed off on me.. a little.
I loved it. So did she.]]>
See the rest of the videos over here.]]>
On January 18, 2009
I mentioned casually that we were getting old. This surprised Niki and she couldn’t help but ask, “Daddy? Is you and mommy going to die?”
On January 18, 2009
Just after I kissed the hubs lightly before he left for work.
On January 19, 2008
Whata funka?! #
On February 17, 2009
I’m a little kid. I don’t know! #
*We recently started a twitter account for Niki to keep up to the minute updates of the funny things she says. We’ll be (attempting) to post digests for every two months.]]>