All of a sudden, M seems really very old. Also, approximately one quarter of the way through it, 15 doesn’t seem too bad at all.
For example, M’s been randomly doing housework without me having to ask. On multiple occasions I’ve walked into a room to find her unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry. The other day I turned to a ginormous basket full of laundry at about 10 pm, thinking that I could switch from “work-work” to “relaxing work” in front of the TV, and that’s when I discovered that the laundry had magically transformed into tidy little stacks of folded heaven in a basket. I thought that perhaps I heard choirs of angels singing.
Also, here is a cutey-patootie picture of M walking J to school for her first day. It was raining hard, and J didn’t particularly want to get her fabulous first-day outfit wet, nor did she want yet another item to stuff into her brand-new 7th grade locker. So M escorted her with the umbrella and waved goodbye at the school.
She also makes me laugh and laugh. The other day she volunteered to come along to the grocery store to help me shop (what? I know, see what I mean!?!) and as we were driving, I remember and asked her to add matches to my shopping list. If she has anything close to a phobia, it is fire, so she argued with me first: “Matches? Why do we even need matches?” I reminded her that with our new shoe-dryers, we were drying out her shoes very nicely, but now the room where I work on my computer frequently smells like baking cleats, so I’m lighting scented candles in self-defense.
“So yesterday I stole a box of candles out of your dad’s drawer. . .”
She jumped in, ever fire-averse: “Why does he even need to have matches in his drawer?!?”
I answered, innocently enough I thought, “Sometimes we light candles.”
Was it the pronoun “we” that did it? I don’t know, but whatever, M started moaning, covering her face, and crumpling her body up against the car seat, “Stop! Stop, oh-my-God, Mom, please stop!!” Which, I thought at least, was pretty funny.
Today she happened to see me and a mirror at the same time and pointed out that our eyebrows are significantly different. “Your are so wide apart compared to mine. . .” then she looked at me and said, “Huh, genetics, am-I-right? Hashtag biology.” I don’t know if that translates. She just has this nutty deadpan tone.
What else? Her school’s going fine. Great first grades, studying for four quizzes packed into the upcoming 3-day week, and doing a bunch of soccer. The soccer season has been a bit of a bummer. I know that the traditional argument is that it’s good to play on JV instead of Varsity because then you get a ton more playing time, but that’s not particularly a consolation. M’s team tends to be a lot stronger than their opponents, so the playing time isn’t exactly high-quality. It’s kind of depressing guarding against a player who’s clearly a couple of years younger than you, a head shorter, and not as skilled. And while it’s meant that M has had a chance to score some goals even though she generally plays from way back in defense, the team often has restrictions (like, you can only shoot after you’ve already done XYZ) or the coach will specifically tell her not to carry the ball all the way up the field or not to take a shot. And then, really, I feel like even the strong players tend to relax on the field, which isn’t great for any of them. Luckily M’s started Sunday practices with her club team, and school soccer will be done for her in mid-October. She’s up to some other stuff as well, but I think I’ll save that for another post.