Saturday, June 4, 2011

A pat on the back and a sad goodbye

One of the most fascinating things about being a parent to me so far, is how much you see of yourself in your kids.  In our case, there are obvious things like Zoe's enthusiasm for music, but...well, let's just say none of us were blessed with the art of graceful body expression.  I've come to accept it about myself, but I cringe for Zoe when I remember the time at my 6th grade dance, when a boy I didn't know yelled from across the gym: "Hey YOU!  You can NOT dance!"  Not only was the comment itself embarrassing and...well, LOUD but it went down exactly like you'd expect.  I was dancing in a circle with my girlfriends, actually starting to think I might be lookin' pretty cool.  When I heard the boy yell to me, I turned around fully expecting him to do something that would cause me to turn to my girlfriends giggling and rolling my eyes, all the while feeling really awesome about my groovy self on the inside...but, ah...twas not my fate.  So here's hoping she also inherits our pipes...otherwise she's in for a tough road in the musical expression department.

Speaking of singing, she also seems to share our love of belting any song that's in her head at the top of her voice over and over.  As annoying as it is, I have no choice but to grin and bear it because not only did I do it as a kid (as my family can surely attest) but I still do to this day...luckily, Nathan does too so we can all just accept it about each other...we'll just have to see about Owen, poor little guy.  Either way he's doomed to a life at home full of show tunes and bad dancing. He'll either join in or spend his entire school aged years trying to come up with different reasons why he can't have his friends over:  "You can't come to my house because my Dad just mopped the floors."  or "We can't hang out at my place today because we just changed the locks and my Mom forgot to give me the key...speaking of, can I stay at your house for, like, EVER?!"

Anyway, then there are the things that you can tell are a combination of who they are at their core, but also a little dose of the lessons you've tried to instill in them.  Those are the times when you are able to see all of your hard work shine through and are completely expected and welcome to pat yourself right on the back.  One of these moments happened to me the other day when we were walking back home from watching the Bolder Boulder (a 10K race that happens every year here).  On a whim, Zoe decided to hop out of the stroller and start running.  She ran all the way home, only stopping to wait for us to catch up once in a while.  It's almost a mile from where we were to our house, and when we got home I sat down with her at our kitchen table and handed her a water bottle.  She was quietly sitting there, drinking water with a sweaty little forehead and rosy little cheeks when she breathlessly said to me "Mommy?  I'm so powd of myself."  Of course I gave her a big ol' hug and kiss and told her I was proud of her too.

Later that day, we had a BBQ for our friends the May-Ostendorps with our other good friends the Clements.  They were the first family we met out here and have remained close friends ever since.  They recently had their 3rd child and also just moved back to Durango, CO (where they are from).  We are going to miss them terribly, although we look forward to checking out Durango sometime soon.  Anyway, we had a party for them at our place and we all had a great time.  The kids were kind of off the wall, but it was so fun to see them all having such a blast together one last time....
Mariah and Owen

Pre-dinner craziness

Is that a Care Bear roasting a marshmallow?

We gave our favorite family a parting gift, of course.  Our friend Katie and I gathered some pictures of the kids and made a list of words that came to mind when we think of the May-Ostendorps.  I also got a frame at the craft store and had Zoe paint it...then we made the list of words into a Wordle word cloud and the pictures into a collage and put it all in the frame.  I hope it's something they can have forever as a reminder of how much they've meant to us.  Of course, we will continue the friendship but there's nothing like having amazing friends a mile away.
Zoe at work decorating the frame

You can't go wrong with a mountain of glitter!

The finished product
Good luck with the next chapter, friends--we miss you like crazy already!

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