Posts Tagged ‘village’

This year, Blitzen had a gymnastics themed birthday party.  She loved it.  I wish I could post the slow-motion movie her babysitter took of her on the trampoline – twisting, turning and doing the splits in mid-air.  She is really something.

Many people from her family of origin came to the event including her parents, her siblings, several cousins, one grandma and an uncle.  They all traveled a very long way on public transit on a terrible weather day.  I was glad that they came. Blitzen really wanted them there. She did a wonderful job melding her worlds – us, school friends and their parents, all her family.

There were several wonderful and funny moments to the party.

It had been 2 weeks since the kids had seen each other because of the winter recess.  And as each new girl arrived, the whole pack of them would squeal and hug.  I told one of the moms that it reminded me a 20 year high school reunion – they were so genuinely delighted to see each other.  And Blitzen blurted out, “You’ve all grown so much!”  which is something that she had heard several times during our vacation over the break.

When everyone sat down for pizza, the theme song from Frozen came on.  If you have never seen an impromptu concert with 10 ten year olds and 1 eleven year old belting out that song, then you have not yet lived.  It was hilarious.

At one point, Blitzen’s oldest brother got quite sad.  One of Blitzen’s friends rushed up to her to draw her attention to the situation so Blitzen went right over to him, to reassure him and to pat his back.

Her cake was very very pink with a little sparkly icing and beautiful little purple flowers just as she requested. Apparently, when she and Andrew went to the bakery to order it, she was quite specific about the color and design.  And it turned out fabulous.

At the end of the event, Blitzen was totally cool, no sadness, no meltdown.  I told her it was time for folks to go so she went around giving everyone their goody bag and thanking them for coming to her party.  She was a superb hostess.


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“That I get to live with you and Andrew.”

Me, “Well, I am glad that makes you happy and it is wonderful to live together.  But that is an external thing.  What is a thing about you, from the inside, that you love about yourself?”

“That I can love you and Andrew and that I can love other people.”

Amen to that, world.  The ability to love others should be everyone’s favorite thing about themselves.

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There are very few things that I like more (and very few things that I dislike more) than having a new experience with Blitzen.  The wedding this weekend was one of those times.  She was so curious, so inquisitive – full of questions during the ceremony, “What does that mean when the pastor said who gives this woman?”  I just softly chuckled at that and said, “Umm, that one is going to take a while to explain, ask me again later.”

At the reception, she was very shy at first. I could tell she was anxious.  There were just a couple of other kids and they knew one another so she was sticking by her adults but she wasn’t quite happy about it.  A third of the way through the evening, Andrew did lean over and mentioned to Blitzen that sometimes it looked like she had saved up all her meanness for me which was kind of odd because she is so happy to give her love and sweetness to everyone else.  Andrew also had to lean over to me and remind me that no 10 year old wants to dance with their mother.  Fine.

Blitzen also spent a lot of time tracking the bride and groom.  She was fairly discreet about it, I think, but she was watching and sometimes physically following their every move.  It was all so much to take in but all relaxed and had a great time in the end.


wedding photo booth

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My cousin was married this week and they were sweet enough to include Blitzen in the festivities.  I do believe, with the exception of the flower girl, she was youngest guest.  She was quite tentative at first – unsure and curious but mostly feeling very shy – but then she really got into the spirit of things.

Blitzen, at first shy, becomes the life of the party.

Blitzen, at first shy, becomes the life of the party.

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Blitzen had quite a list of things to accomplish this summer and we did it all.

Coney Island


Host cousin H in NYC for week

Fly to Arizona with cousin H all by themselves (this was edited – Blitzen and cousin H flew a day to AZ a day before us with my mother who sat in the row behind the two very independent 10 year olds and pretended not to know them)

Visit in Az and swim, swim, swim

Go to gymnastics camp

Take surf lessons

Start a family seashell collection

Swim in a lake

Ride in a convertible

The last 2 items just got in under the wire.  We rented a convertible for the last weekend of summer, took the scenic route up to Mohonk Mountain where we spent hours diving into the lake as well as hanging out in row boats, playing shuffleboard, eating fancy meals and dancing our hearts out to a live band.

It was action packed, I tell. What a great summer!

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We met with Blitzen’s teacher yesterday.  Parents and students have a conference with the new home room teacher before school starts each year. As the discussion was unfolding, I was thinking back to last year – Blitzen was so anxious and nervous.  This year, much more relaxed and confident – much more able to engage in a meaningful discussion as well as identify some areas where she struggles.  She confessed that reading makes her frustrated and tired but it is better if she uses her glasses.  This among other insights that I just don’t think she was capable of a year ago.

She was very thoughtful about her new set of classmates – she knows them all but only one of her bestest buddies is in the group and she totally rolled with it.

She saw her teachers from last year, said hello and gave hugs.  Lots of catch up, smiles and excitement to be back.

My favorite part of the day was when we strolled past the office of the head of Blitzen’s school.  He was in a meeting so she just quietly waved.  But he called her in for a high five and a hello.  He later said, “Oh, hi, Carrie.” That Blitzen is in a place where everyone is so excited to see her and that they see her  before they see me, has made such a difference.  Kid focused, kid friendly, kid empowering.

All that said, I am very nervous, of course, because that is who I am.  But also, I think 4th grade is hard. Andrew thinks I am crazy.  We’re probably both right.

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Um, so, I thought we were shaking the whole mermaid tail thing but oh no, Blitzen found a fresh crop of mermaid tail how-to videos as well as some mermaid potion recipes on youtube and we are back at it full force.

Blitzen has spent the past 48 hours or so creating a mermaid tail from an old pair of pajama bottoms, duct tape and cardboard.  God bless my mother-in-law who is here for a visit and to help us fill the childcare gap before school starts on Monday.  She has been Blitzen’s primary duct tape tail partner.  They are on our 3rd roll of duct tape and the two of them just keep on cutting and taping, cutting and taping.  And of course, they are video taping the process for posterity as well as to educate others.

I might add that there are currently 6 glasses of mermaid potion sitting on my counter – ingredients include food coloring, a pinch of sugar, water and a seashell. Many magical incantations have been spoken, fingers and hands have been waved over the top – now we are just waiting for them to ‘cure’.  Apparently, it takes 3 days for a mermaid potion to ripen….

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