Monday, June 3, 2013

The sleepover

Yesterday was Clare's last Daisy meeting for the year. Their troop leader, Heather, did a sweet ceremony and gave each girl her patches for the year and a precious daisy for their hair.

She even had one for Ella and pronounced her Troop 402's unofficial Girl Scout sprout.

The meeting was to be followed by a sleepover. Clare's first one on her own, family notwithstanding. A real life actual sleepover with girls and giggles and pizza and cookies. Ohmylands! This was a big deal. She packed her bag Saturday morning, took it to the car Sunday afternoon and then paced the house in anticipation until we (fiiiiinally) left the house at 4.
For the first time in her six year life, I saw my girl willingly walk that fine line between excitement and fear. For years, I have told her they feel the same in our bodies and that we can pick which one we feel. For years I've encouraged her to breathe through the fear and focus on what she does know about the new thing she is walking into. For years, she has chosen fear, often crying and clinging, but wanting something different. Well today she chose something different. She didn't acknowledge her fear out loud. Not once. I saw it. She let me glimpse it on her face, in her hands, in her questions. But every time it bubbled up, she chose excitement instead. She willingly melted into it, found her smile and went back to her bag, her blankie, her teddy bear. Comfort. Well placed, available and (for the first time) enough. After the ceremony, she teetered on the edge, but maintained her balance.

You can see it in her kangaroo arms, her tentative smile. I stayed on the fringes for a half hour or so and watched her play games, glancing at me with her nervous smile. Before I left, I reminded her to call me if she needed to touch base. She gave me a last hug, burying her face in my belly. Then she willingly let go. I got this picture an hour later.

Later in the evening, my sweet friend dropped in to give her daughter some medicine. She said all the girls were screaming, running around the house except our two girls. They were waiting patiently to make cookies and asking their leader if she needed any help. Heart shines. This girl. She made it through the night on her own. No phone calls. I missed her something fierce. And I woke with a new kind of pride in her. I feel a certain honor that I get to guide this sweet, intentional child through the stickier places of her heart. I also woke with a commitment to walk softly when I am there, so that she will continue to touch base with me. As she walks through those sticky places, I learn about her. But I also learn about myself and about life and about God. I become stronger with her and because of our travels together. What a tremendous gift.
Ella must have had some similar realizations, because when she woke up and hugged me, the first thing she uttered was that she hoped sissy was ok. My heart grew a little seeing her love and care, her thoughtfulness. She has dressed up to the nines and is tapping her foot, waiting to go get her sister. She is even taking her coin purse so she can share some of her money. Woah.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lyrical Performance

There were grown men weeping in the audience at the sheer preciousness of our tinies. They were so stinkin' cute. After several false music starts, they managed a performance with grace and poise. I am so proud of our Sparkles.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rehearsal (Lorax)

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Milestones of Incredible Braun

I'm always amazed at how Clare's weight matches her height. It's been consistent most of her life. Today she weighs 50.5# and she's now 50 1/2" tall.
Last week Clare started public kindergarten. It's a huge deal. She's had to enter into a new school completely on her own with little notice about who her teacher is. She is thrilled to be one of Mrs. Harvey's hula bears, a position I requested based on her many years of skilled teaching and the most loving and firm boundaries I have ever witnessed. Her classroom is kind and positive and hums with order...just like Clare. She is in the right place, there is no doubt about that.
Two weeks ago she started a real ballet class. No more baby dance for her. She has a gorgeous polish instructor who is well over six feet tall. She is delightful. I'm so glad that Clare has her grace and beauty to soak up. That's a really great thing for a future (giant) superstar to be a part of. ;)
Last month, she started getting an allowance. There was a day when daddy was traveling that she made breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family. She also folded two loads of laundry and learned to mop the floor. At the end of the day she kindly advocated for herself and let me know she thought it was time she got her own money, as she was working hard to earn it. So after making a plan with daddy about what to save and where, she is off and running with $5 a week. She deserves every penny. Now when we leave the house to go somewhere, she brings her purse with her wallet in case she sees something she wants to buy. Today she made her first purchase. Her own diary.

She paid, waited for her change, and carefully stowed her receipt. She is so pleased with her purchase. We're still working on the lock; that's been frustrating. And we had to have a long talk about the difference between privacy and secrets (because our family doesn't keep secrets). But after all that, she is diligently filling it in page by page.
Writing so much about herself and her life sparked a pain in her that she's been struggling with for a while. She misses her other. Mac left for St. Louis on Friday and it's slowly been dawning that she's moving for real. Yesterday it smacked her like a wall and she cried with the heartbreak of it for hours. Her first grief. I felt so honored to sit in that space with her and help her hold her tender heart with care, making a space for her to learn this incredibly important process.
I cannot believe how far we've come this summer. September, I'm glad you're here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Community Service

In this house, if your behavior is hideous enough to suck the air out of the room, you get to do something to rebalance it.

Today is laundry day and Ella is feeling pretty bossy, slightly sassy and a tad destructive.

So today she learned to fold napkins. Too bad she can't cook dinner yet. ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Swimming, for real.

Ella can dive for rings!

YouTube Video

And jump off the diving board. Wowza, she's brave.

YouTube Video

Two days ago she could scarcely make it to the steps if you pushed her. Today, she swam the length of the steps on the surface and learned side-breathing. Mr. Ian is doing a great job with her.

Clare can already swim on her own, but she is working hard on newer, better skills. Today she was in the lap lane working on strokes and kicks. She's also working on her dives with Miss Emily.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

They'll follow up these two week lessons with a three week swim and gym camp at Crenshaws. I'm so excited for them. I've always loved swimming, so I'm glad they do, too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Doesn't get much better than this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad