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Location: Gilbert, AZ

I am a writer, a photographer, and a Dork Chop FO-tog. I can be found on FB at www.facebook.com/TheRovingDorkChopFoTog and also on Flickr at www.flickr.com/therovingdorkchopfo-tog Mostly I capture what I see from my perspective.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Butterfly Kisses...

Hannah is upstairs right now tossing and turning thinking about her first day of High School. I used to tell her bedtime stories that would help ease her mind, and send her off to dreamland with a smile on her little chubby cheeked face. Tonight I was woefully unable to ease her fears, or release her butterflies. She does not have a little chubby cheek face anymore, and my funny stories complete with cccchhhussssun accents (russian accents) didn't get me more than half a smile. When she started kindergarten, I prepared her very well. We talked about it, we went to the school, we walked around the playground, tried out the swings (her fav), and the night before school started, when I was tucking her in, I can still hear her sweet little girl voice telling me that she was ready for school, and that she was going to be brave. She told me 'Mommy, I am going to be a big brave girl. I might cry, but only a little.' *sniff* The magical first day, she cried two little tear drops, then ran off to meet her new best friends, and her teacher Mrs. Barclay. I stood out there, staring at the closed door with twenty other mothers with tears rolling down our faces at the gigantic step that our children had just taken. Now... wipe your eyes and fast foward ten years. Now you have a sullen teenager who tells you on a regular basis that you are not needed. She tells you that you are unwelcome within her circle of friends, and you are now a gigantic source of embarassment at the high school open house for the sole reason that you are a parent. It is a relationship straining time. And yet, I still want her to be unafraid, and to know that even though she thinks she doesn't need it- my support and love is right there with her whether she wants it or not. I tried to think of what I was thinking about the night before my first day of high school. Good old Marcos De Niza.... It was probably something like...gosh I hope Bruce Butler isn't going to try to sit on me again! Bruce Butler was a hired fat kid who would sit on people for money. Nancy Cohen paid him two dollars to sit on me in the sixth grade, and we were mortal enemies after that. I was a tiny (and fast) girl who was able to avoid Bruce due to a combination of my swiftness, and his obeseness. I highly doubt that is what has my daughter biting what is left of her nails and beginning to munch her cuticles. She was wearing bandaids and neosporin on her thumbs this morning due to having picked these fingers into red raw signs of a nervous Hannah. This is what we do when we are nervous. Anyway, having watched High School Musical 1 and 2 way WAY too many times, I told her to close her eyes and imagine Zac Efron waiting for her, where he would take her hand, and they would run singing from class to class singing songs, and doing dances that the whole school magically knew. This did earn a smile with a snort. I told her that for me, the dream was Rydell High and John Travolta. Of COURSE she has no idea who I was talking about! I told her to dream that she is about to become a wildcat with a bunch of singing classmates.
Now I am downstairs with Ellie (the dog), and am faced with writing her first day of school note. This is a tradition that I don't take lightly. I don't have any idea what to write about this year. Usually I have an idea...a theme at least. This time, I am blank. Today while I was working on my pond and watching my Koi, I waited for inspiration. None came, but BOY do I have some good looking fish! So here it is...almost eleven. I have to get up at five to begin the process of getting her up and going at five thirty. I better wrap this up huh?!? I just hope that the radio stations don't play 'Butterfly Kisses'. That is a cheap mean thing to do to parents who are just barely holding back the tears that at any moment could well up and escape. One year (it was her second grade year) I walked her to her class, smiled and gave her the wave and the thumbs up, wiped a quick little girl tear- without shedding any of my own- and made it back to the car. A few deep breaths, a moment of reflection, and I was good. I started the car and on came this song about butterfly kisses and a girl growing up. It is a tender sweet song and it made me cry. I was sitting in the parking lot thinking that this year I had made it without any tear streaks on my face. Damn radio people! The were probably laughing at how many people they had just made cry.

I think that tommorow- although I won't be able to hold her hand or walk with her to class (because she would die of embarassment!), I am pretty sure that I will be consistant in my first day of school tradition. I would bet that I will pull up to the curb, watch her jump out, be given the quick sullen teenager wave, and then watch her run off to be a high school student. I will then be left to try to not cry, but who are we kidding...we all know I will. Just thinking about butterfly kisses. Curses upon whoever wrote that song! **sniff**

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