Barbara A. Lund
(I like to call her Babs!)
Check out Barb's blog here: http://arewethereyetnogreat.blogspot.com/
Summer passed by far too quickly. This was the last summer my daughter and I will spend together with no responsibility, no schedules to keep. Just us girls seeking out new adventures together. Starting the day with no agenda, just time. Visits to our favorite riverside park and a quick alfresco lunch of hot dogs and popcorn. Play dates and trips to the library to pick up more books to fill her summer book club list. The occasional trip to the zoo with her cousins. As difficult as the change in lifestyle from working full-time outside of the home to being a full-time Mom was for me at the beginning I am so thankful to have had this time with her. Sure there were days we couldn't wait to get away from each other but those are not the days I will remember. We mothers have selective memories when it comes to our dear little ones. Only the best days and the sweetest moments. She and I bonded all over again just like we had during maternity leave. My time unemployed could have been the worse months of my life. Depressing days wasted with self pity. (I must admit a few days were) Instead, because of her, far more of those days were spent filled with purpose. Having purpose made me happy.
Initially we were concerned about my daughter's delay in speech development and refusal to potty train. We worked on her speech and enunciation together. I knew she just needed practice. I mean the girl could clearly say words like rhinoceros and hippopotamus since she was very young. Not just the shortened rhino and hippo. Knew all her letters and their sounds by 14 months. She would talk too fast and blend too many words together until all you heard was mish-mash. My husband and I wondered if we mumbled, or spoke too often in short hand, making it difficult for Erin to pick up the lingo. So we made a concerted effort to speak more slowly, clearly enunciating each word.
She flourished during our time together. Now she is potty trained and talks all the time (all the time!) and practically everyone understands everything she says. Before, when another child on the playground would ask her name Erin would just stand there with this innocently hopeful smile. Some kids were kind, some were not. Now she says clearly and proudly, "Hi, I'm Erin. My Mommy and Daddy are over there. (she waves, we wave back) I have four kittens. Gracie, Lilly, Phineas and Ferb. Want to play?" I'm tearing up remembering those proud moments.
And the moments of creeping realization that my baby girl was growing up and soon would not need me anymore. In a matter of weeks she would be going to school. The ungrateful little shit would leave me. And after all I did for her! : ) I know, I know everything we do as parents is meant to prepare our kids to go out into the big world.
She was so ready. Her readiness made clear to us by her requests to go to school long before the day I felt safe telling her she was already signed up. I avoid disappointing my child by not telling her about exciting plans until they are set in stone and even then only with a few days notice. We planned to send Erin to Preschool instead of Kindergarten. Yes, we could have sent her to Kindergarten but we wanted to give her one year of the school environment with less pressure and more opportunity to build confidence. To mature before, as my husband put it, "Sending her into the meat grinder known as grade school."
While preparing Erin for her new adventure I was surprised with a new adventure of my own. After a year and a half of disappointment I finally received a call asking me to come work for the local park district part-time. Someone must have thought I was ready too. I couldn't say "Yes" fast enough to a job in my field, close by, and with hours that would work with my child's preschool schedule. Her first day of school was also my first day of training at work. So as it turns out, just as we had done all summer long, we found new adventures, together.
I met Barb when I met my husband. Barb's husband Paul and my husband have been friends since grade school! I was pleased to meet a cool chick who liked to have some wine, was a total "go with the flow" kind of gal and doesn't let her circumstances determine her outcome in life. She's smart, funny and we bonded when we determined neither of us our good at math!
Tricia, Barb & Bern
Barb's 40th Celebration