Newsletter, Olivia

Month 77 & 78

Dear Olivia,

Learning that you’re pregnant with your first child brings about a roller coaster of emotion. One can never fully be ready for the amount of change that will come hurling in to your life and for the most part, you just have to give in to the notion that you will have no clue what you are doing. Your dad and I still joke about our walk from the hospital to the car after you were born–are they really letting us walk away with this child? Do they know we have no idea what we’re doing? It’s terrifying being a parent in more ways that you can believe. Personally, having a daughter was more frightening than learning I was pregnant. I’m now learning that my fear is exponentially greater now that I’m realizing that you are a carbon copy of me.

Whether you like it or not, your personality is spot on to mine and there are times I actually think, am I this annoying to strangers? How do I have friends? Sometimes it’s great sharing the same personality with your offspring and other times, getting a taste of your own medicine makes you want to vomit. I also feel sorry for you because sarcasm is a trait that isn’t always appreciated and if it isn’t kept in check, can often turn into cynicism. Much like I was at your age, you live to entertain the people. I remember my favorite toy growing up was a microphone. My parents will no doubt declare it as the worst time of their lives. My sister would dress me up and I would spend the better part of my day, making my way around the house singing about anything and everything. I understand my parent’s pain now. You sing about everything and now that you have started piano lessons, you now sing about everything with the accompaniment of a piano which you play to the tune of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat.’ I try really hard to be supportive and there are times I know that if I utter a word, it will no doubt dampen your spirit so me and the rest of the family resort to grunts. Don’t worry–nobody understood my talent as a kid either.

One obvious perk of sharing a personality is we both appreciate the same kind of humor. Currently, one of your favorite shows to watch is ‘Unbreakable’ which is in no way a child’s show but it’s difficult to say no to watching an actual adult program in the daytime. Such simple luxuries that I haven’t experienced since before your time. I do cringe at some of the adult conversations that take place on the show but maybe it’s time you learn a thing or two about comedic timing and vaginal rejuvenation.

We share a very similar personality but let me be very clear that you are indeed your own person. I would hate for you to think that I’m belittling you by saying you’re just like me. For starters, you’re much more imaginative than I ever was. You love to make picture books which is amazing on it’s own–you’re practicing writing and it occupies you for full afternoons. On one particular book-making afternoon, your friend, Noe, came over and you two decided to produce a book of comedy which later I discovered was a book of potty-humor. What do you call a tree’s poop? A log. Never have I felt so proud in my investment in a private Montessori education for you.

A book about fruit

A page from the joke book

Documenting what keeps me and dad functioning

I’ve mentioned before that you and Miles partake in kid races when your dad runs. It’s a good way to kill time while we’re waiting. You and Miles really look forward to running and upon hearing that we’ll be spectating at another one of Dad’s races, will ask if you will have an opportunity to run as well. We decided to step things up a notch and run together in the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. I have to applaud your efforts because you ran the whole 3.2 miles with only a few stops. You certainly became alive when you learned we were approaching water stations and you appeared as if you might vomit during the last mile but you pushed through and I’m beyond proud. It also helped that I promised carnival rides upon completion of the race. Case in point–know your audience.

In retrospect, we probably should have picked a 5k race that awarded medals because this ribbon just wasn’t cutting it. I’m a little bummed they only awarded them to children. I need awards too, you know.

The look of exhaustion

Post-race fun slide

Oakland Running Festival Kid’s Dash

 

I often think parents project their talents, hobbies and interests upon their kids. I think it’s something that naturally happens when you become a parent. I certainly have felt moments of guilt when you were swimming when I would contemplate whether you truly loved it or if I was pushing it because it was my sport. I’m realizing upon watching your brother continue to struggle with his fear of water and watching you move in the water with such ease, perhaps it is your talent all on it’s own. At the end of the day, you’re the one putting in the work and asking if you can continue with swim lessons in your attempt to graduate swim school with the highest honors. Perhaps watching your dad receive all of his running medals has fueled some sort of fire within you. I don’t know what has changed from last year but you understand competition now and you’re motivated by bettering yourself and it’s just awesome watching you grow in the water.

Spring break was last week and I have to admit that it might have been harder for me to send you both back to school. It was nice sleeping in and not chauffeuring you two all over the tri-valley. It reminded me of the days back when you and Miles were younger and we could be more spontaneous in our daily activities. Being able to just pick up and drive two hours for lunch is obviously something we can no longer do.

Instead of going away to a destination for vacation, we decided to take a lot of day trips. We went to the beach one day with Merrik and Channing and despite the weather being questionable at home, the beach was perfect when we arrived. It’s pleasant now that you and Miles are of an age where you two can run off and play on the shore with little worry. You collected sand crabs, jumped over waves, built sand castles and of course, dug holes because a trip to the beach is never complete until you dig a hole that can hold a small body.

We also decided to visit the Chabot Space and Science Center since you have a newfound interest in space. You asked all week if we could visit a space museum so we set time aside late in an afternoon so we could also attempt to look through their massive telescopes. You had so much fun but the highlight for me that day was you drawing a picture of yourself as an astronaut, declaring that you would be the first girl to walk on the moon. You also stated that you don’t want to go to space by yourself so you politely asked if I could go with you. Of course.

It’s pretty awesome and incredibly surreal to see yourself in your child and maybe one day you will experience that. You’re so imaginative and curious and optimistic and I so wish I could bottle that up. At some point, most of us grow up and we lose that spark and we become dull adults who complain about taxes and questionable produce sold at the neighborhood grocery store. My hope for you is to hold on to that childhood spirit for as long as you can. Be an astronaut who authors dirty joke books and enjoys leisurely swims. The world is your oyster, my dear. Live it well and live it proud.

Love,

Momma

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  • Reply Space Exploration – HelloHappy May 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    […] You can read more about our visit to the Chabot Space Center here. […]

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