Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mama Bear

When you have children your skin gets popped inside-out and then your heart and all your nerve-endings live on the outside. That's why sometimes things hurt you more as the parent than the same situations did when you were the kid...


"People are making fun of me and teasing me and I feel bad. I hate them Mommy."

When Cay calls me Mommy without following it with the word "Dearest," I know she needs me. 

When she left for school that morning I did notice she looked a little more eccentric than usual, and I secretly applauded her individuality. Thing is, Middle School kids are not very receptive to that. So while I wasn't surprised when her email reached me, it didn't hurt any less. People suck sometimes.

I found out who was bothering her and then sent her this photo she'd hadn't seen yet:

"Well not one of them comes close to the young beauty in this pic!!!   NOT. EVEN. CLOSE."

"Thank you. I put it on my DP. I love you."

"Anytime anyone says something negative to or about you, just look at that photo. It captures a strong, beautiful, confident young woman. That's you.

I love you too.  To pieces."

And that's about where my sage advice ended, and my Mama Bear kicked in:

The next morning, after some game-planning and giggling with me and her sis, she slipped her slender legs into some skinny jeans and a fitted t-shirt over her 22" waist and 34" chest, and went to school with my permission (should anyone make fun of her again) to say, "At least when I wear skinny jeans, my legs don't looked like stuffed sausages."

Although she found that hilarious I knew she'd never say it, because mean just doesn't come to her as naturally as it does to me. Which is exactly why I was upset people would pick on her. 

"Yeah. And then point to them and say, 'No really, that stuffed look? Not working for ya.'"

But for some odd reason, she didn't have the need to use those witty snippets.


(Maybe instead of teaching her to be mean, I should've sent her this:)


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Balancing Act

I sometimes fear we are poisoning the girls' opinions about camping. In my family, camping was all about the fun: Join other families with kids; canoe, swim, build sand castles, pick raspberries; sing songs with a guitar around the roaring fire; roast marshmallows. Repeat. All through the summer.

With us it's a means to an end. A certain somebody I know and love doesn't see the point of camping if you're not going to climb something, and our girls are lucky if they don't have to carry all their gear to the campsite first. 

But then they get to experience this:

... and this:

... and moments like this:

These photos were all taken on Mt Massive (14,428 ft) last weekend. Nicolas flew to Denver and met us in Leadville, and from there we four-wheeled to our campsite and pitched the tent in the dark. Good times! (ahem.)

Actually the good times usually come when we wake up the girls before sunrise. This is not greeted with open arms, but what beauty we'd miss otherwise:

Nicolas in the background packing up our gear. 
Cayenne beginning her hike up Mt. Elbert (14,439 ft).

Smiling already. This is a good sign.

Things got brighter...

... and then darker...

... and then colder...  but never any less beautiful.

Mt Elbert is Colorado's highest peak, so Acacia wanted to be the highest person in the state. 
Cayenne just wanted food.

Back to the car, and then to our favourite coffee shop in Buena Vista, to share as many minutes together with Papa as possible before going back to our everyday lives.

I suppose sleeping on the ground and getting up in the cold isn't so bad if this is the reward... but I'll make sure next summer when Nick is in school, that we do lots of camping just for fun.

Because it's all about raising balanced little people,
even if that means feeding them melted marshmallows. (Quelle horreur!)