Posts filed under ‘girls' night’
on the weekend i discovered anne colouring her fingernails with the crayolas. she hid her hands behind her back, ashamed when i asked what she was doing. slowly she revealed her painted nails and admitted, “i just wanted to try it.”
so monday night we had a girls’ night filled with delivering cookies (she insisted that she had to make cookies for her friends, and i loved watching her decorate and designate each one), and shopping for nail polish. i had no idea where to look for that stuff! in the end my hbc gift card brought us to zellers and a selection of colourful paints for the girl.
that night, after anne and her one blue fingernail went to bed (we were out too late for the full 10!) i took a look at my bathroom counter, littered with a hairbrush, elastics, and bright-coloured vials and realized that it was only going to get worse. soon potions and paints and whatever other “beauty” products will have been invented by then, will cover the bathroom counter. i’ll be droning on to anne about how she has to share the bathroom, and she’ll be screaming at me to respect her space while she slams the door in my face. there will be drama, hormones, emotions, boys that she “loves”, brand name clothing that she “needs”, and i’m totally going to be baggage to her.
but then i think about the other thing we did during girls’ night, and i begin to hope. not hope that i can avoid all of the teenage girl mess, but hope that there will be more to her than the beauty of her outside.
i remember her smile when she watched her friends eating their cookies, and how she eagerly hopped out of the van to deliver them. how her little fingers dipped the heart-shaped cookies into the frosting, and how she wanted every cookie to look perfect for it’s intended consumer. she’ll be a looker alright, but hope tells me that she’ll have an unparalleled beauty inside that will shine brighter than the glitter on her nails.
i love anne’s artwork. to look at it, you wouldn’t notice anything special, just a large coloured blob most likely. but i’ve watched her process from beginning to end, and i know that those colourful blobs are the pictures from her imagination inside a candy coating. anne carefully draws her subjects (my favourites are the fat people with belly buttons and huge smiles) and then painstakingly colours in every detail with the same colour until all of the lines are blurred and all that remains is a marker puddle on a piece of paper. she proudly presents her finished drawing, and then gives it a place of honour on our fridge among all of the other artwork that hasn’t yet made it into the kids’ artwork binders. my fridge is covered with elaborate castles, happy families, dragons, puppies and characters from movies; but they’re all undercover. unless i take the time to invest in the making of anne’s artwork, i miss all of the details that make it great.
on sunday derek dropped anne and me off at a senior’s building not too far from our house, to check out a fibre arts exhibit that was being hosted there. anne left a wake of adoring fans as we made our way past the lounge and toward the basement. hand in hand we inspected every piece of artwork that hung on the walls, discussed our favourites and chatted with one of the artists. we made our way home afterwards in the snow storm, racing each other and having snowball fights; and the combination of an art show and girl time made me realize the relationship between anne and art, and the relationship between anne and me. anne and i are tight, and as far as mother/daughter relationships go, i’d say we’ve got an awesome one. but a little more investment in the process on my part, and suddenly i was seeing the details and how wonderfully complicated my little anne is. she is a beautiful work of art, and the more i watch her being formed, the more wonderful the finished piece will be.
tuesday night anne and i celebrated girls’ night with a trip to canadian tire for some ant traps. not very exciting, i know. but we had to get the traps and any time spent together counts as quality. anne is crazy about flowers, and seeing the garden centre was like disney land for that girl. she also spent a good deal of time playing on a riding lawnmower while i caught up with my friend jessica, who works at CT. after we finished up our business at canadian tire, we used up the rest of our time at mcdonald’s sharing a smarties mcflurry. we had some great conversation and i finished off another girls’ night feeling amazed and blessed by my little girl.
wednesday was a beautiful day, so we headed out for a family bike ride / rollerblade, and enjoyed the weather. elliot’s training wheels got moved to the highest level, and i’m certain that they’ll be off before summer is officially here. he loves riding his bike so much, and is always wanting to race other people on wheels. anne is hilarious on her bike: she sings at the top of her lungs while she pedals as though the cameras were already following her. she also dances, which can be a bit problematic when she gets really in to it and starts shaking the handle bars back and forth rapidly. we enjoyed some freezies on the swings shortly after our ride, and then derek and i did some yard work while the kids continued to play. it was a satisfying blend of family time and productivity and sunlight and every other great thing in this world.
when we weren’t outside enjoying the weather, we were focusing on school work. i know the year is almost over, but i feel like i’m just getting in to this school routine thing! elliot has been vigilant at finishing his math work, which is really all that we need to do to officially finish senior kindergarden. my boy is so smart! often i’ll be prepared to explain a math concept to him from another angle or to refresh his memory, but he’ll finish his math sheets before i even get a chance to help him.
anne has also been working on school over the last couple of weeks, and has obviously soaked up a lot of the stuff that elliot has been learning without me intentionally teaching her. she’s not supposed to start JK until the fall, but she’s really eager to learn and i’m totally taking advantage of that. perk of homeschooling :)
so that’s what we’ve been up to in school and life this week. yet another week of teaching my kids and learning about them and from them has gone by. time is seriously speeding by me, and there’s nothing that i can do about that. but i AM enjoying the ride!
girls’ night started a year and half ago with elliot’s first evening at tuesday night clubs. anne and i walked him to the church, said goodbye and then she started crying because she wanted “her elliot’. so that night we started the tradition of doing things that were so fun, she wouldn’t even notice being left behind while eli hangs out with his friends.
there’ve been a wide variety of events including picnicking in the living room and colouring princess pictures together, trying on colourful wigs at the dollarstore, doing boring groceries, and sharing a doughnut and hot drinks at tim horton’s. tonight anne aimed high and declared that we should go to the beach together. we didn’t have much time to spend there, but tonight proved the theory of “quality” over “quantity”.
we ran all over the beach chasing seagulls and then running away from them when they started to fly away. we had races down the pier, climbed huge rocks and even played on the pirate ship playground. at one point we entertained a young couple at the end of the pier with our conversation about buoys and how we’d have to wear a life jacket in the water because anne doesn’t want to sink to the bottom and have a dolphin eat her. we also checked out a huge boat and way too early, my ipod alarm was singing at me to go pick up elliot.
i think that there are only about 3 or 4 evenings left of clubs for elliot, and that makes me a bit sad because it also marks the end of our weekly girl-outings. next year my anne will be old enough to stay with her brother, and it’ll be just me who’s left behind. i have this tiny fear that once we aren’t required to spend time together each week, our intentional time together will slowly dwindle and disappear.
i think that this is the kind of stuff that people were talking about when derek and i first started having babies and they all said “having a kid will change your life.” totally.