Respecting Change

Solution 1 2 or 3 Choice Showing Strategy Options Decisions Or SolvingOver the years – as the girls have gotten older I’ve tried to enable them to make more decisions.  Sometimes those decisions are minor (what’s for lunch) and sometimes they are bigger (picking out a dress for a party).  As they’ve gotten older I’ve worked hard to support their decisions – even when I disagreed.   In that I hope they’ve learned about respecting change.

When the girls were younger – in a lot of ways life was simpler.  I would pick the meal, pick the clothes or the bed time.  As they’ve gotten older and become young women – those decisions have been ceded and sometimes with some effort I’ve been respecting change.

Heading into Thanksgiving week is always a mixed bag for me.  Thanksgiving is actually one of the holidays I like.  But it runs head long into the week when Risa passed.  From there we jump into the holidays, and then the long days of winter.

The change cycle though seems to keep moving.  And rather than fighting it, I think I’ve realized respecting change is just as important as realizing it’s out there.

So, 14.0 has given up softball after more than eight years to focus on tennis.  Her decision to make.  I respect that.

So, 16.5 declares her independence with authority.  Her prerogative as teen for sure – and I respect that.

Respecting change is probably a healthy approach – but certainly not an easy plan to carry out.  Day-to-day, with my eyes wide open I try to learn something new from my girls and day-to-day they make decisions – and I try to respect them.

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The Box of Memory Lane

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Memory LaneTucked away in a far back corner of our basement, in an area rarely ventured to are a couple of boxes from when we moved in our house-eight or so years ago, is box filled with pictures.  These are old school pictures mind you, shot on film and developed (in some cases with doubles and in other cases with a disc) and put into picture envelops.  I can remember pulling all the pictures together when I was unpacking here and putting them into that box.

Organizing them in some sort of meaningful way is a task that has never been done.

And so with two goals in mind, out came the box and off went a walk down memory lane.  For 12.5 we needed to start pulling together pictures for her Bat Mitzvah.  For 10.0 she wanted pictures of Risa and me to put into a locket she uncovered while cleaning her room.

So, first the ah-hah moment came when 12.5 help up a photo negative and called it an x-ray.  Like a phone booth, things my children will never know about.

Along with many negatives in the box-where pictures going back 20 or so years.  There was the trip to Mexico, the shots from the schooner in Maine, the moments after 12.5’s birth and even some pictures from our honeymoon in BVI.

As we were going through the pictures, many evoked memories-mostly good, some prompted stories and there were a few questions. There is much talked about but rarely seen picture of 12.5 as a then four-year old in Florida with a butterfly landing on her head while touring a butterfly display.

There are the pictures of 10.0 happy she can stand after pulling herself up.

Then there were moments tucked away-the time we took 12.5 out onto a ball field after a big snow storm.  I had to pull her on her sled while mom and baby sis looked on.  There were pics of mom and kids with grandmas and other relatives and lot of big smiles at birthday parties, thanksgiving dinners and other moments captured-and tucked away.

Generally I can recall the moments.  Usually I can recall the people in the pictures.  It’s not time forgotten, but time not remembered very often.

I suppose in two years or so, we’ll pull out the box again and 10.0 will romp through memory lane as we think about her bat mitzvah.

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Managing the Age Gap

In a lot of ways, I am very lucky.  My girls really love each other, and are able to keep themselves busy for a long time playing–generally well.  Even a friend noted this over the weekend.  She took the to lunch while I played golf and the girls are great.

But the other side of that coin that I deal with more than anyone in who watches them for a few hours is managing the age difference…all two years of it.  But there are huge differences between an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old girl.  I could have used an instruction manual for this.

10.0 this weekend unveiled her “skinny jeans” look–which to my highly untrained eye looked like her regular jeans look, but sure, skinny jeans I am right there with you.  Then I was harangued for wearing a purple sweater–since purple is not a fall color.  Yet another lesson I missed somewhere along the line.

Then came 8.0 who seems morally opposed to brushing the back of her hair.  I am really not sure why, or how to get her to realize it’s in her best interest to actually brush the back of her hair.  This has become a twice a day struggle–on top of the never-ending supply of dirty socks.

10.0 on the other hand can be up to 20 minutes late because she brushes her hair really well, then balls it up into some kind of a pony tail look.  I think I may need to upgrade the hair stylists.

At some point in the week ahead, we are off to shop for “more fall colors” for 10.0.  8 is looking for Helie lessons.

I can honestly say at no point did my brothers an I debate (or in our case brawl) about fall colors–that instruction manual will really help.

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