Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Science of Santa

Good behavior has been a struggle for Devi lately as the count down to Christmas fast approaches. She managed to eek out a couple of good days back to back with no note from her teacher, which earned an opportunity to plead her case on Santa’s lap. The morning before, the girls spent our coffee time and story time outing thoughtfully preparing their Christmas lists. Devi was able to write her own this year and Treya, now on her second year home, was full of ideas having a much better idea about what she was doing and why.

Measuring her behavior in her own mind, Devi was concerned that she not wish for too many or too few things. At number five she concluded that she was done, but then paused and asked if she could add one more thing. I assured her that one more thing would be okay. She told me that it was something that Santa couldn’t bring anyway, but it was something she has been wishing for for a long time. When pressed she confessed she was asking for a baby brudder. Be still my heart.

Now down to a science, I whisked the girls from school and headed toward the mall where Santa was waiting, sending daddy on ahead to mark our place in the typical extra long line of wiggling children. Meanwhile the girls and I parked and began their transformation from uniforms and muddy tights into their princess-like Christmas dresses in the back of our mini van. The anticipation of the moment mounted as they chattered about their lists and all the extra things they had to say, trying to remember to ask for a treat for Bengal, hoping that they would get a candy cane and wondering what he might ask them.  A quick brush of their hair and we joined daddy second in line!

Both girls’ eyes were enormous when they saw Mr. Kringle. Devi had been questioning the logistics of how Santa could be in so many places at once, scientifically considering that perhaps there were helpers that actually handled this part of the deal, but at this very moment any doubt vanished as both girls drew near.  Standing before him, they politely said Merry Christmas and he began the task of reading each girl’s list. Leaning to one side for better light and adjusting the rim of his bifocal glasses he skimmed Devi’s items and paused at the final sentiment that she wrote at the bottom. “I am trying.” When asked, she said, “ school. I am trying harder.” Naturally, he all ready knew this and encouraged her to keep up the good work.

Next, he surveyed Treya’s list and wondered out loud if her second item “socks”, referred to a clothing item or a kitty with that name. We assured him that she could really use new socks as her feet have grown tremendously and that Treya is a practical girl and came up with this all on her own. Santa was impressed, adding that many children had asked for puppies and kitties this year and he and their parents hoped they would all visit the humane society instead. 

Giving both girls a nod, Santa carefully folded their lists and tucked them into his giant bag for safe keeping. Then, perched on his huge lap they each hugged him and said thank you. Treya squealed with delight when he handed her a peppermint sucker explaining that a sucker with a stick avoids the sticky fingers that come with a candy cane. 

Another painless and successful year of meeting Santa under our belt, the girls seemed at ease knowing their lists had been safely delivered and were tucked carefully in Santa's gigantic bag. At dinner a very perplexed Treya said, “so....where is my present?” Instant laughter filled the air at poor Treya’s expense as we tried to explain that Santa does not make his rounds until Christmas eve. Our confused girl was expecting instant gratification right then and there, but now must wait another agonizing seven days. Let the count down begin! 
 Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Annual Trip - Puerto Adventurous

 Our group 
(Dave and Obie not pictured)

Squinting from the brightness of the sun can be so rejuvenating to those of us who live in a constant state of gray in the winter months. A good a reason as any to dash off to the sunny beaches of Mexico for our annual Thanksgiving trip, this year staying one hour outside of Cancun in a small gated community called Puerto Adventurous. Arrangements were much more complicated this year with one child in school, but after the proper forms were filled out Devi was set with an excused absence and a promise that she would write a report about the trip and that mom and dad will plan better next year to have our trip land on “no school” days. 

This being Treya’s second trip, she fell right in step honing in on her own need for a schedule and order. Bathing suit, sun screen, Fruit Loops for breakfast (since Mexico is the only place in the world they are served), followed by life jacket, goggles and the pool. Mom’s requirement of her was a nap in the afternoon, which she quickly decided was best taken pool side rather than in the room. Okay, I have to brag here a little...patting myself on the back. What good travelers we have, with both kids over the years willingly taking naps on a lounger while the rest of the resort children play around them. I am taking credit for this myself, when in truth, the girls play so hard that a nap is inevitable to keep from falling down with exhaustion. 

Treya is still not thrilled with sand or the ocean, but could swim in the pool until long after dark. This trip her big discovery was learning a true feeling of floating and holding her breath. Beaming with excitement at her accomplishment she was a constant chatter “Watch this!” then would throw herself face first into the water in a spread eagle position holding her breath as long as she could over and over. A few rounds of this was followed by the need to quench her parched throat with a sip of Shirley Temple or Strawberry daiquiri. Such the life. Sugary drinks on vacation and all.

Devi found new depths of bravery this trip, trying new foods, and taking on bigger adventures. Called to the lagoon by daddy, I found her climbing into a plastic ball filled with air that was sealed with Velcro as she was then pushed out into the ocean to climb and roll around atop the water’s surface. Can you say claustrophobia? No thank you. The highlight for both of us; however, had to be swimming with the dolphins. I was so proud of her as she followed the instructors strict orders to swim out into the enclosure about 30 yards away from me and hold her arms in a position to grab hold of our dolphin, Sydney’s fins and ride on it’s belly into shore. Dev looked so far away and tiny bobbing in the water. The dolphin was so gentle and aware of Dev’s small 38 pound size and adjusted the speed of the ride accordingly. The thrill of the ride was evident in the huge white grin smile on Devi’s wave crested face as she swooshed towards us. 

Devi and Treya had so much fun playing with their cousins Olivia and Jordan on this family reunion trip. Hours in the pool were spent on the slides, playing mermaids, seal and dolphin trainers, diving for objects and walking to the pool bar to order countless Shirley Temples with extra maraschino cherries or to scoop another bowl of ice cream! On a couple of evenings the girls, under Olivia’s watch, ordered room service and watched movies in their Pj's while the grown ups ate dinner out at one of the many restaurants on the resort.

There is only so much guacamole and chips two small girls can consume in a week; however, and soon it was time to head home, leaving us with a long list of things to try the next time -  hair braiding is on the top of their list. Beautiful carts of poinsettias were being placed about the day we left, a little reminder that once stateside, we would be hitting the ground running preparing for the Christmas holiday...with a relaxed smile and a tan.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Mermaid turns 6!

For months, both girls have been throwing out suggestions for their birthday parties. Devi’s birthday is in November, but Treya’s does not turn 4 until January. So as the days grew closer to Devi’s big day, naturally more and more of the details were decided and there was much party planning going on. 

 Mixing her own birthday cake!

Though months away, Treya has been in constant chatter about her birthday as well, going over and over her guest list and telling me what I should get started on. She tends to be Devi’s little echo, copying everything she says and does, much to Dev’s dismay. We’ve tried to explain that there are many other holidays that need to come first, but none of this matters to Treya. She just knows that in the line up of birthdays in our family, after Devi’s comes hers and that is that.

 Receiving flowers from DiAnna and Tim

 Healthy treats for her class mates!

"Shells from Different Places" won a prize.
Earlier in the week on Devi’s actual birthday, she brought healthy treats to her classmates, we went to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and she blew out a candle on her spumoni ice cream. Later she opened a few small gifts from daddy, Trey and I, and of course, added one new charm to her bracelet. No doubt, there was a lot of attention directed at Devi over the course of a few days as festivities seemed to all land on the same day including the School Science Fair. This and Treya’s premature excitement over her own birthday, I thought she would be a bit pouty the morning we awoke to find the house transformed to the bottom of the sea for Devi’s magical mermaid party, but in true Treya fashion, she took things in stride pointing and explaining what she wants just the same as Devi on her birthday.

Both girls were giddy wandering through the house discovering the hanging paper plate jellyfish and twisted crepe paper seaweed. Hours before the guests were to arrive Dev was begging to put on her mermaid outfit and stand by the door to let them all in. When at last party time arrived, the house suddenly was overcome with the laughter and giggles of eleven little girls eager to become mermaids too. It just so happens, our first activity was creating magical seashell necklaces that would do just that. Each girl strung a seashell of her choice on a cord and decorated the rest with cut straw beads and flowers. When complete, Devi lead them swimming through the house to the music “Under the Sea”. 

Once seated at the lunch table, each girl chose a sand bucket filled with a napkin, silverware, goldfish crackers and a juice box and I served shells and cheese and octopus dogs, veggies and a fish bowl jell-o with gummy fish swimming inside. The maids ate heartily, though a little suspicious of the octopus dogs, wondering if it was really octopus or just a hot dog made to look like one. Obviously, disguising food must have been used on this set of kiddos somewhere along the way.

Ready to play some games, it was noticed that mermaid Marena had a clue taped to the bottom of her plate that sent the girls to the dryer to retrieve a fish net bag full of puzzle pieces. Working as a team, they quickly solved the puzzle that instructed them to look in Pat’s pocket. There they found a treasure map and another clue. Bounding down the stairs to our “place where one swims, but ours holds no water”  (the pool table) they found balloons to sit on and pop, which revealed yet another clue. Two floors up they went to Devi’s room where they found  word jumbles "where Devi slumbers". The girls were challenged to sound out their word and once completed, had to tell us what their word was. On the back of one of the cards was the clue that lead them to the fireplace where a playful dolphin waited. Each girl tossed rings onto his nose and when they had successfully landed 6 rings  they received their next clue.  Staged on the kitchen table was a huge Rubbermaid container filled with moon sand that I made. Each girl took a dig until the final clue was discovered wrapped in plastic at the bottom. It read “Ding Dong!”.  The scream at hearing this clue was deafening, but the girls were so proud that they had figured it out. It was so fun to watch their excitement mount as they worked together to figure the puzzles out, following the map to the treasure. 

On the doorstep was a treasure chest that evidently had been lost at sea for quite some time as was evident by the shells and netting that had become tangled on it's edges. The chest was filled to the brim with party favors for everyone. Stuffed turtles, rock “coral” candy, seashell necklaces, mermaid stickers, chocolate gold doubloons and  Devi’s favorite -  real starfish and sand dollars were all packed inside. Once the loot was divided evenly amongst the mermaids they gathered around the table for a round of the birthday song and clam cupcakes. Six candles is a lot to extinguish and it took a few tries to get them all, the last one brought cheers from her friends. Gifts containly lots of sparkly pink and purple things were opened and thank you hugs were distributed all around.

After everyone had gone and the excitement had died down, I put Treya down for a nap and Devi was taking some quite time. She climbed into my bed, stuck her thumb in her mouth, the ultimate “I’m exhausted” move and pulled my ear close to her lips. She whispered, “Mom, I forgot to thank you for the best party ever!” and she kissed my cheek and closed her eyes. It is hard to believe that she is six years old. Wow. The time has just flown. The girls change so quickly that it seems I can hardly keep up. Last night as we were getting ready for bed Dev said, “ Mom, for my 7 year old birthday, may I have a girl pirate party and another treasure chest?” I guess the first one was a hit! 

Upon hearing Devi’s request, Treya, the echo, chimed in - “ is who is coming to my boys...all girls...". As I closed the door to their room, her authoritative voice giving instructions continued to trail off. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

40 and 46 in 60 seconds

Coming up for air, I'm taking a quick breath to catch the blog up with our busy lives. With the chill of fall has come another change of size. It was like I woke up one morning and both girls were wearing high waters, though I know the leggings were full length just yesterday. Needing proof, I backed first Treya and then Devi, up to the measuring wall and sure enough both girls have grown another inch and a half in height. Treya is now 40 inches and Devi is 46. So what was once in Devi's drawer, now resides in Treya's and I was sent out shopping to find longer pants with a smaller waist for Dev. 

Treya has begun testing for speech therapy again but this time through our school district. If she qualifies it is a free service for children that are preparing to enter school. Treya came through all the assessment tests with flying colors, though they agree that speech and her gross motor skills could use some work, which for now, require more tests that will take place next month. Treya is excited at the prospect of going to Devi's school on Fridays for speech, making her a big girl who goes to real school too. 

Halloween, in it's own sneaky way, snuck up on us. We managed to find two pumpkins in record time this year because when we arrived at our favorite pumpkin patch, the skies went gray, opened up and dumped buckets of rain. It was the first good heavy big drop rain storm we had had since last year. How quickly we forget the power of mother nature and how wet one can get in just a few minutes weathering the elements - especially daddy who was in shorts!

Happy faces all around, we decided that our pumpkins would be all jolly this year. My pumpkin was happy because it grew in our own garden, and all the others, though hand picked at a patch, through their size and shape just seemed happy as well. Treya actually put her hand inside the pumpkin this year, though she still does not like to have dirty hands AT ALL. This was a huge step for her with this strange tradition. She still had to stop and wipe her hands after each individual seed she extracted and would rather be wearing gloves or using a  spoon.

The friday before Halloween, we all dressed in costume and attended the Halloween Ball at Devi's school. It is hard to believe she is old enough to be attending school, let alone be having dances. It took seconds for her to find a group of her friends and head to the dance floor to dance (jump up and down) to the tunes being spun by the DJ. Dev won a bag of goodies for best costume and Treya was in seventh heaven over the cotton candy she sweet talked daddy into.

Speaking of school, Dev has finally settled into kindergarten life, with library day on Wednesday being her favorite day of the week. Checking out books takes careful consideration, according to her. She is done reading about princesses, or Captain underpants stating, "Mom, I want to read about something that is real".  Our dinner table is now full of "Mr. Stanley says..." quotes like, "Mr. Stanley says there are chemicals in the nacho cheese they serve at school." (Hmm...maybe that is why MOM won't let you buy lunch on nachos day). Treya continues to blossom, getting more bold by the moment. It is as if  she has unzipped and shed her heavy coat of shyness and this loud, giggly nonsensical girl emerged. She likes Wednesdays, which is her dance day at school.

When Halloween finally arrived, the girls had had several opportunities to wear their costumes this year. We were surrounded nearly all week by a mermaid and a princess. Now, I realize it may appear as if Treya is Snow White, but let me assure you, if you mentioned that Treya would go into a tirad explaining very clearly, " Momma, I no Snow White. I a princess with yellow skirt, blue shirt and red sleeves". Okay, I have to admit I got a chuckle out of teasing her by saying "You mean you are Snow White?" "No momma" and she would again go through the whole story as many times as it took for things to be clear.

A traditionalist, I just don't understand going to a mall for Trick or Treating. We go to our neighbor's houses like I did as a girl, and by the third house down from ours this year I had to double back because our arms were completely full of bags of toys that the neighbors spoil our daughters with. Dev and Treya have such a warped sense of what Halloween is all about. By the 10th house, Treya's legs were done so we ended our evening on the driveway across the street at Ms. Carol's, to warm our backsides around her annual bon fire and sip some mulled wine.

Now, weeks later, the candy has been counted, sorted, and grouped over and over and a few pieces have actually been eaten. Basically the wrappers have become worn out by all the handling. Just as soon as the Halloween decorations came down, up went the Diwali ones. Our full schedule didn't allow for the big party we normally throw, but I managed to cook a small feast anyway. We had pickles, samosas with chutney, aloo gobi, muttar paneer, tandori shrimp, naan, rice and mango lassis for the girls. They had a parade in Indian outfits  and muscial instruments and decorated a plate of treats for Lakshmi. Over dinner we all talked about those who bring light to our lives. Mr. Stanley, Devi's teacher, was first on her list and Treya was glad for mom and dad. Good girl!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An Unexpected Visit From a Fairy

Just as I once wallowed in the aisles of the Baby’sRUs clearance section, choosing cute outfits for the girls in sizes proceeded by the word "months", now I find myself perusing other stores that carry sizes well beyond those that end in a "T". Holding them up to survey them for size, it does not seem possible that one of my children could be out of the infant area and into these ginormous clothes. As I reviewed the closet of winter items it is clear that not only are they growing, but maturing too. Somehow, the t-shirts with a cute quilted panting puppy seem far too immature for Devi. When did this happen? I have no idea. It seems we were just talking about how proud we were that she was dressing herself, or picking up her own toys, and now our time is spent discussing field trips, reading the stories she writes and cheer leading.

With this phenomena, has come other milestones as well. Devi has been wanting a loose tooth for months, asking Pat and myself to test one or two from time to time, as she is sure they are wiggling. One of her good friends who is a year older has lost her two front teeth and Devi thinks this is just the coolest thing ever. Alas, her teeth have held firm, much to her disappointment.

This all changed about two weeks ago. Expecting to break into my prepared lecture about how her teeth will get loose when they are good and ready, I found that one, a bottom tooth, had in fact, become loose. For days after, Devi excitedly wiggled and wiggled that tooth, often complaining that the area had grown sore, but she kept working at it with little reward.

Pat and I had been planning to go out of town on a Sunday, leaving the two girls in the capable hands of Oma overnight for the first time. (Yahoo for mom and dad!) The day before our departure, I was prepping Dev about what to do in the event that her tooth should come out during the 24 hour period we would be away. I had an envelope all ready to keep the tooth safe so that she could slip it under her pillow with Oma. She responded rather unexpectedly at this idea in a tone with a bit of anxiety saying, “Do you think it will come out while you are away? Can you just pull it out?” I assured her that when it was good and ready, it would come out and I had no way of knowing if it would be on Sunday or not.

Five minutes later, after settling the kids down in separate rooms for quite time that Saturday, Devi burst out of the bedroom screaming, “It came out! It came out!” Up the stairs I bolted and sure enough, there in the palm of her hand, laid a pearl of a tooth. Flashing me a bloody smile, Devi was so excited telling me that “ just fell out!” Well, with a lot of help, but she managed to muster the courage to pop that little bit of a tooth out before we left town. I know it was probably not quite ready, as it still had one pretty long root that had not yet dissolved and her gum bled for a good long while, requiring pressure to help it to stop. She stood transfixed in front of the mirror, admiring the new hole in her smile for quite some time before I could pry her away.

That night we carefully put the envelope under her pillow, hoping that the tooth fairy might come. Sure enough, sometime before 3:25 a.m., when Devi came running into our room, that busy fairy must have made a stop at our house. A silver glittery dollar bill was carefully placed in the envelope where the tooth once was. Amazing!

Devi's new smile!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Fifth Forever Family Day!

Same clothes - same post
Happy Forever Family Day 2012

Fulfilling a yearning that I held so deep, I picked her up out of her crib and our eyes met. Holding her seventeen pounds of baby roundness in my arms for the first time felt so foreign - a sensation that I always gracefully dodged when other mothers offered their new babies to me. I guess one could say I was saving myself for this moment - to hold and caress my own daughter. That was five years ago today.

In the days following our first embrace, those clumsy feelings of caring for her were slowly replaced by the kind of confidence and responsibility that only a mother knows as I deciphered her likes and dislikes about everything from how to hold her, feed her and what sort of crazy antics would conger a smile. Mother. I had become one, and though it didn't come in the form of a degree from a chosen university, I was learning at an alarming rate through life experience as I was mesmerized and captivated by her every move. For months time stood still.

Over the course of five years, my parenting comfort level has grown as each new phase of development has eased into and out of our lives together - each one becoming  a little easier to navigate. I would never suggest that I've taken motherhood or parenting for granted, but with her age has come a more mature and self sufficient girl who needs less from me everyday. Whistling, catching her first fish, riding a bicycle, making her bed, reading and writing were all achieved with little to no help from me. 

In fact, our days have become so busy, this Forever Family Day sneaked right up on me. My memories are still vivid and dear, but I dwell on them less often now. It is not because this day is not important or any less of a miracle to me, but though we built our family through adoption, the key is we are now a busy and thriving family and time no longer stands still.

  Just when I figured I had it all sort of figured out,  history repeats itself. Dropping her off at Kindergarten this year brought with it a bit of that nostalgic feeling of uncertainty reminiscent of when we first met. No longer under my wing on a daily basis, that foreign feeling has come rushing back as I watch her face 5 year old struggles and I once again, have to learn yet another facet of motherhood -   helping her navigate more independently , desperately wanting to make things come easily. Where once I searched for the answers to fulfilling her basic needs including how to diaper her, now I am faced with how to handle the cutting of one's own hair, making and trusting new friends, telling the truth and understanding the importance of listening to authority figures. Looking into her eyes with the first bottle I'd ever fed to a child, thoughts of these recent days were incomprehensible, but these uncharted waters have served as a wonderful reminder of how remarkable our journey together has been thus far, and how much I have yet to learn from someone so young and small. 

As was suggested by a dear friend today, in the next five years she will be nearly 11, another five, and she will be driving and in another 5, she most likely will be calling ME to celebrate this anniversary, no longer living full time at home. So it seems these times of growth and discovery that began at our first meeting, will continue to resurface over and over again. It is this reality that makes my head dizzy. How can this be? I can still so clearly recall returning from ISRC in Calcutta, laying Devi on our bed in the hotel and staring at this beautiful child that had just entered my life and having Pat turn to me and say, "what do we do now?"

 I guess we continue to take things one day at a time and on this day we turned to tradition. After school the family went to Gateway to India for dinner to celebrate our forever family day AND the anniversary of Treya's adoption which was finalized on September 16th. She has legally been a Ross for a whole year. That too, sends my head spinning, unable to keep up sometimes with the passing of time. After dinner we told the story of how we first met Devi and how Treya sat at the pulpit with the judge, her arm still in a pink cast. A family photo and ice cream rounded out our evening. Pausing at lights out, I couldn't help but stare a little longer at these two sleepy-eyed precious souls.  Though time has passed, it is pretty amazing how far we have come, from standing crib side holding our baby daughter for the first time to today, living this crazy, but very real life. Happy Forever Family Day!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Flowers, Gleam and Glow. Let Your Power Shine!

 First day of kindergarten

 First day of preschool

 Stealing a lyric from the movie Tangled, typically flowers gleam and grow in spring, but the flowers in our house have emerged, letting their power shine in September! Devi, Treya and even Bengal the dog have made huge strides in development, are taking on new challenges and are sadly, growing up. (sniff sniff) 

Delighted to be enrolled in Mr. Stanley’s class, Devi began Kindergarten yesterday. Since the schools open house last spring, all she has been talking about is Mr. Bones, the skeleton in Mr. Stanley’s class and his ginormous snail shells, certain that this classroom was the one for her. All summer long we’ve prepared for what kindergarten might be like, we stock piled her uniforms and I let her select her own lunch box. I was thrilled that she chose, without coaching I might add, an old school metal box with a unicorn and her name, rather then succumbing to another Disney product. Yay!

As the day grew closer, we started to hear a lot more comments like, “Mom, I’m a little nervous!” or “What if I don’t know anyone?” but with reassuring comments, by the night before, Dev was giddy with excitement. Treya too, was filled with anticipation, as it would be her first day in Room 3, which marks the beginning of preschool for her. 

Treya's first haircut since being home, preparing for preschool

For breakfast, I made the girls’ favorite, banana cashew pancakes with smiling faces to fill them up with energy and by the time we were all dressed, all I could see were calm, cool and confident girls with a slight case of excitement giggles. Naturally, we did the mini photo session on the front porch, which couldn’t be done fast enough for our eager ones. 

 Treya's thank you card to her daycare teachers

Because my work day typically begins before the girls are even awake, I rarely get to drop them off in the morning. Treya was thrilled that I was there. Taking me by the hand, she showed me her new cubby and art box. Next, she proceeded to show me how she washes her hands first and then chooses her first activity. There was no doubt in my mind, what she would choose. The girl loves to color. So with big squeezes and kisses, I wished her a good day as she settled in coloring the word September and I was off. 

Trying to steal a peek at their classroom

Next we drove to Devi’s school and joined the swarm of people who were arriving for drop offs in the Kindergarten area. You could just feel the excitement mounting as kids would call out other kids’ names as they were spotted approaching. Others were peeking into the windows at their classroom anxious with anticipation. While the boys all ready had uniform shirts half way untucked with beads of sweat forming on their faces from their rough play, the girls stayed tidy in their skirts and dresses, feeling fancy and dressed up. Finally the first bell rang and Mr. Stanley came out to greet us. The kids all lined up against the massive brick building looking so small and when instructed, marched into the room to find their cubby and tote bag and then find a seat. I was quick to catch Mr. Stanley’s wording “you can choose to sit anywhere TODAY”. I am certain in a few days, that will change :).  I know that Devi knew about 6 or more kids from preschool, most of which are girls and sitting together is probably not a good thing. We watched as the classroom became organized, took a couple of photos, gave kisses and were off. 

Ready to march in!

As I headed for the car all smiles, I was suddenly overcome by emotions, having no idea where they came from. It’s not like I saw her evolving baby face flash before my eyes, or anything like that, but by the time I was in the car, I was bawling and I couldn’t make it stop. Recently, I have caught myself pausing every now and then, still so in awe that these children have willingly accepted me as their mother. It still can be so mind blowing to me at times, but this days out pouring of emotion is just not like me. I was a mess. Such a happy and exciting time brought tears? I was not expecting that at all. I have been so looking forward to Devi having a teacher to share her philosophical wonderings with. Just lately she asked me, “Mom, what color skin does God have? I put the question back on her and she responded, “He has brown skin like me”. So then I said, “Do you think God is a girl or boy?” She retorted, “That’s silly, mom. God is a boy. God is a boys name....Goddess is a girls name!” And, Trey...brimming with so much confidence. The kind of confidence that does not come from a parent, but comes from life experience -  now so brave to wave and ask others’ their names every where we go. This is what we’ve been striving for and there I sat bawling about it. I quickly gained my composure on the way to work, but I can’t tell you how eager I was to pick those girls up at the end of the day. 

Devi has only half days this first week and so she was picked up and taken to the daycare/preschool for the remainder of the afternoon.When I arrived, I saw my droopy flower, her eyes showing that her first ever napless school day was taking it’s toll. She was playing, but so very quite for her. I knelt beside her asking about her day. She reported that the two recesses were her favorite thing and that she really liked the surprises in her lunch box. I had also given her a homework assignment of my own. She was supposed to meet and become friends with one person that she didn’t know. “His name is Timone, mom” was the answer I got, which brought me the biggest smile as I imagine how and why she chose this particular boy. 

Ready to go on the first day

Once home, Treya was non-stop chatter about the room, what they did, a certain boy's birthday coming up and how I needed to go the monster store to buy him a present because he likes monsters, and how then she would draw a picture to put in the card and I was supposed to wrap it. This went on for nearly an hour while I cooked dinner and each word was spoken in that matter of fact bossy tone she had become so accustomed to. Devi, on the other hand, went upstairs, changed into sweat pants and promptly fell asleep on the playroom floor. It was such a sound sleep, we had a hard time waking her for dinner. Poor baby. 

Our proud poochie

Give them a little sunshine and watch them grow is an understatement. When I arrived home after my workout that evening, I found that Devi had rallied and had learned to ride her bike without the training wheels (that she insisted we take off last week, as she was a big girl now). Bengal went on to graduate from his positive approach puppy school with flying colors and Treya had finally run out of things to say. 

Day one of these new adventures proved to be a complete success, with our eyes set on the horizon, eager to see what tomorrow holds. For Dev, it is her first bus ride to school, Treya I’m certain will come home with a mouthful of interesting things to share and with luck Bengal will leave the plants in the yard alone and be a well-mannered boy. As for me, just pass the kleenex as I see the future full of firsts that just might bring me to tears...again!