Today is the first full day that both kids are in school. Now that I have five consecutive minutes to form complete thoughts, this is what I’m thinking:
Wow, this summer flew by.
Dang, Elena’s been a busy kid these last few weeks.
So much life has happened in the last few weeks that I haven’t had time to process, much less document on the blog. We had a wonderful summer. It was easier and more enjoyable than summers past, as the kids are at such excellent ages right now. They are, however (especially Eli), at an odd age where they’re not quite dependably independent. Does that make sense? What I mean is, I would have these wonderful stretches where they would be off in their own worlds, running, playing and lost in their imaginations. And then there would be these stretches where I couldn’t even unload the dishwasher without pausing to mediate a situation that was teetering towards World War III. I just never knew what kind of day it was going to be. I found myself on the easy days wandering my house like a lost puppy, not sure where to start on the many tasks that needed attention. On the high maintenance days I found myself cursing my inefficiency and frustrated to the point of imploding.
By early August I had given up any kind of thoughtful, planned-out schedule, either for me or the kids. It was too hot, and I just didn’t care any more. All I wanted to do was to soak up the last few weeks of summer vacation and spend any spare moment when the kids didn’t need me lost in Pinterest. That’s what I did, and it was wonderful, and in the meantime the blog and my toilets and countertops have suffered for it. That’s the thing about life, though. The kids are gone now, our lazy schedules are over, and lo and behold the blog and the toilets and countertops are still here!
This was supposed to be about Elena, though, and how her little world has been rocked, both literally and figuratively in these last few weeks.
Official band photo of Kool Ice, Sean Molin Photography
The first week of August she attended Girls Rock! Indianapolis. It’s hard even for me to put into words what an amazing experience that was. She couldn’t wait to get to camp in the morning and she begged us to let her stay as long as possible in the afternoons. She formed a band, learned to play the bass, helped write a song, and performed in front of a packed house at the Anthenaum in downtown Indianapolis. Her band, Kool Ice, rocked (of course!), but it was the the spirit of the entire week that made it so memorable. Seeing such a diverse group of girls take the stage and own it was incredible. At that age I would have been mortified and never confident enough in myself to try something so out of my comfort zone. What the volunteers (who are unpaid, many of whom took off a week of work to mentor these girls) at Girls Rock! Indy gave those girls during that week was amazing. I get goose bumps thinking of the ripple effect the experience will have in the lives of so many girls.
Here’s a clip of Elena’s band playing their song, “Not For Nothing:”
Last week Elena spent an afternoon recording clips at our local radio station WZPL. Every Saturday morning they have a fun segment called, “Hey Mom I’m on WZPL!” Nothing gets that kid excited like a chance to be in the spotlight, and she killed it when it was her turn to record her clips. They seemed a little shocked, and possibly worried about their jobs. She had a blast and is now adding Radio DJ to her list of possible Elena-worthy careers, right behind pop star, movie star, diva, author and store-owner. Listen to the clip here.
Finally, she did one more thing she’s never ever done before: get on a school bus. She started 4th grade at our local public school last week, and it’s going great. I’m probably the only mother of a 4th grader who a) took a picture of her kid getting on the bus and b) cried when the bus pulled away. We’ve been in such a lovely schooling bubble for the last 5 years, and the unknown of this new school was much harder on me than it ever was on her. It will be challenging to get used to a different environment and this new-fangled stuff called homework, but we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the school year.
This kid, she keeps my life exciting.