The girls got to attend their first Daddy-Daughter dance with girl scouts this year. They were beside themselves with anticipation. Kaitlyn had a special dress that she had saved since Christmas.
They all had a fantastic night together, and according to reports, Hannah never left the dance floor. I know they had a night they will never forget.
Kaitlyn and Drew also both participated in their school talent show.
Drew has been disappointed in himself each year that he has not participated, and this was his final chance. A few days before the event, he came up with an act from Hamilton with one of his good friends. Drew can tend to be more on the shy side when speaking in public, so this was a big stretch for him. He really enjoyed himself, however, and was great fun to watch.
Kaitlyn and her friends decided to do another dance routine.
So much fun. They loved every minute, and so did I!
We had so many events in February that I could hardly catch my breath to post about them!
First of all, for one of my favorite nights of 2019 so far, we celebrated Chinese New Year with great friends. Being able to see Kai and his foster brother from China, Evan, together always brings tears to my eyes.
Always fun to pull out the China silks.
We made dumplings and had a great Chinese food feast.
We did sparklers and made a good bit of noise.
It was a truly magnificent way to spend this holiday, with these treasured friends!
For dessert, we had these guys from the Asian market. Kai took one bite and with big eyes said, “I remember this taste from China!!” That is the first time that has ever happened!
Being in a Mandarin immersion program, Chinese New Year was well celebrated at school as well as home. I am so glad that these two can feel a part of their native culture, and that they have such a wonderful program encouraging their love for China each and every day.
The following week, Kai lost his first tooth. (If you ask him he will tell you that I YANKED it out. He exaggerates 😉 ). He worried about it for days leading up to the event, cried and cried when I pulled it out, and then he was thrilled.
A few days later, Kai turned seven! He celebrated with a party of his friends and a party with his family.
A few weeks before his party, Kai told us that he was getting married at his party. It quickly became apparent that he was entirely serious about this. He told us that he had proposed to her at school, she said yes, so he brought her a necklace that she was wearing every day.
He had all of the details planned. He wanted to set up the wedding at his party, then they would go to the beach for their honeymoon, and then they would live in the basement.
He did say that we would have to do cake and presents first though because another girl friend didn’t believe in getting married in kindergarten, so she refused to come to the wedding. He didn’t want her to miss the party, so decided this plan could work for everyone. He thought of everything.
It took a bit serious conversation for me to convince him that he wasn’t quite ready for such a serious step, and maybe a race car theme might be a better fit for his birthday party this year. He was disappointed at first, but thoroughly enjoyed his day of scavenger hunts, playing cars, building a race-car, and sledding in the pine straw outside.
Hopefully we can push off a wedding until at least 3rd or 4th grade.
If you were to ask me what the biggest change of 2018 was, I could give you an easy answer.
The change in Zac since he began 8th grade in the fall has been drastic. He started the year as one person and now half way through is a new creation.
Certainly we are not the first family to experience this kind of drastic change, but it is the first time for us, so it has felt earth shattering.
To be sure, he is rocking his life right now.
He won multiple cross country meets, and found a new way to challenge himself and see himself excel.
He had similar success in swimming, and won every event he swam in his most recent swim meet.
He also had his most recent play, Willy Wonka Jr. in which he played Mike TeaVee. Although it wasn’t the part that he initially wanted to play, once he wrapped his mind around it and embraced the part, he had a fantastic time with it. And I have found that there is truly something magical about seeing your child on stage!
We loved every minute.
Still, I haven’t loved every minute of this change. As with most big changes in life, it has involved some growing pains. As we are getting to know this new not child anymore, not yet adult, I am facing new waters to navigate. Not since he was a newborn have I felt so unqualified to be a parent and felt so unsure of my steps.
I have cried and mourned because that child that I have loved and adored and poured my life into is not coming back. I have seen and felt childhood fall away, and oh my it hurts.
I have been the one who has been pushed aside. I have been asked to drop him off around the corner as my mere presence became a source of embarrassment. I have faced new terrain as I saw hurtful words about me come across his phone in this new world where texting friends and complaining about parents has become highly important.
I have done what I know how to do. I have loved him. Oh how I love him. I love him so much that my heart could break into a million pieces.
I love him and I hold on. I know that as hard as witnessing all of these challenges is to me, enduring all of these changes is also hard for him as he experiences it.
I have faith that equilibrium will be restored, and I am seeing that on the horizon already. I can only write about this now because I can sense it coming. Even a bit earlier it was too raw to write about.
Even through all of this, he continues to impress me. He is thoughtful and kind. He wants to do good in this world and thinks about ways to do that. He challenges himself and works hard to meet his goals. He enjoys his cousins and siblings (sometimes) and continues to set a good example for how to live in this life.
I am proud of him. I a deeply deeply proud of him. I am proud of the person that he has been, the person he is, and the person he is becoming.
And I am forever grateful that he is mine, and I get to be a first hand witness to his journey.
For most of my life the week before Christmas was my favorite week of the year. The fun, the festivities, the anticipation.
Now I find the week after Christmas is my favorite time. The time of peace. The time for exhaling.
We had a wonderful Christmas, no doubt about it, but I find myself happy that I can revisit the memories from sitting quietly on my bed while the kids are happily busying themselves around me. This is where I am finding the Christmas magic.
Here are some of my favorites from this year. Loved our angels, king, and kings attendant. Had a very successful visit from Santa even after a last minute very crucial list change. Got to spend time with most of our most favorite grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.