It was 15 years ago that I gave birth to the most beautiful person I’d ever seen…my dear Maya. Throughout her childhood she was always patient and mostly calm. And as a teen she’s a true dream. (Don’t get me wrong. She is human) But as far as daughters go, she's the best. I wouldn’t want her any other way. I am so proud.
Tomorrow, Maya leaves for a week in Hawaii with her best friend M’Lynn. And all I
can do is wonder how it’s all happened so fast. I hope she has a wonderful trip, full of breathtaking sunsets and oceanic
Yesterday was a pretty busy day around here. We got up bright and early so that we could have Maya at Sky Harbor Airport to go see her dad, Paris, for spring break. We were about 30 minutes into the 2 hour drive when I realized I'd left Maya's flight confirmation number at the house. So, knowing Paris would have it, I quickly called him up. I ended the call with, "So she takes off at 12:30ish. Cool." Just as the phone was cutting off I heard "11:30!"
There was another volunteer there with us, Ruth. This was her first volunteer event. We had a nice time chatting and watching the empty space in front of us where people should have been milling about. Even so, we managed to sign up 10 new people in our four hour shift. All things considered, that was a great feat. So I feel pretty good about it.
While Ruth and I worked the table, Chris did a lot of Kajsa entertaining. She got her face painted, rode a pony – and a roller coaster, and even participated in duck racing. Yep, PETA's probably gonna rail on me for authorizing such activities, but it is, well, what it is.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of general public at this event, all the food vendors raised their prices excessively. Even a small bottle of water was $6.00. So we went without. Next time I'll know and bring a bunch of water with me. But we did stop at Albertson's on the way out of town to get stuff for a little car picnic on the drive home. We even stopped at Sunset Point rest area at just the right time.It was truly a good day.
Kajsa's Kids Count 2007 on Vimeo
Maya’s currently competing to be able to travel to Des Moines, IA for the World Food Prize Global Institute. She’s writing a paper discussing Food & Nutrition Security in Mexico - and how it affects the push/pull factor of immigration.
Have I mentioned how much I like her new school?
We’ve passed another milestone around here. I report today that my daughter had her first date on Saturday. She’s been one half of a “couple” with Andy since one of the first days of school, and I have the distinct honor of (studiously not) watching them IM for hours every evening. Granted, she is simultaneously communicating with 3 or 4 friends between Messenger and MySpace. But it’s still rather off putting to look down at the screen as I pass, only to see ‘Maya Loves Andy’ as her user name. I guess that’ll just be another thing to get used to.
And just how did we get suckered into letting my 14 year old go out on a date? Well, you see it started out as a group thing. They were going to be going out with 2 or 3 other “couples” to see a movie. But one by one (after we’d said yes, mind you) the other kids dropped out of the evening. Strangely, I think that Maya and Andy were just as bewildered by this turn of events as were we. And, honestly, I think they may have been more nervous.
So there we were on Thursday night with the kids IM’ing away about how to get to the movies and who would drop whom where, when Chris (being the most annoying of step-dads) butted right in and started typing (gasp, choke) to Andy. Maya turned white. And Maya turned red…as Chris proceeded to tell Andy that we would not only join them in the theater, but would be sitting BETWEEN them.
There was a loooong pause in typing as the blank screen payed testament to Andy’s inability to read Chris' comments. Then appeared the answer that we couldn’t have predicted, but which immediately put us at ease.
Kajsa, of course, played the part of the three year old perfectly, and proceeded to take up the chant. “Andy lo-oves Maya. Andy lo-oves Maya” for several hours on Friday as her sister agonized that this behavior would repeat itself the following night. Furthermore, Saturday as we were about to leave for the theater, Chris asked Kajsa, “What are you going to say to Andy when you meet him?”
Immediately, without skipping a beat, she popped out with, “Give me some candy.”
We have no idea where that came from. Perhaps I have been playing too many rhyming games with the kid.
A couple hours later we pulled up to the theater to see some really tall kid walking along with a woman who could only be his mother. We went over to introduce ourselves and were relieved to find that Andy was a very polite guy who looks you right in the eye when he talks to you - and smiles freely, if not a bit nervously.
Maya and Andy walked off to buy their tickets, as we chatted with his mom. We exchanged pleasantries, and then life stories. It was comfortable and comforting. I always have this fear that my children will end up subjecting themselves to the worst of humanity. It was so reassuring to dash that fear…for now.
Unbelievably, they saw the movie “Scoop”. Being the incredibly out of it person I am, I hadn’t seen a single commercial for this flick. But I did hear an interview with Woody Allen on NPR.
Maya’s review was that the old guy was weird, Andy’s hand wasn’t sweaty…but he did shake throughout the movie.
All together now, “Awwww, that is so cute!”
It was, in my opinion, a perfect first date.
There aren’t any truly memorable songs about school being back in session. I mean, there are a million songs about school being out for the summer, or skipping school, or even smoking in the boy’s room. But there aren’t a lot that say, “Hey, what a great day…it’s the first day of school!” Do you know why?
No one writes songs for 36 year old women. At least no one that I usually want to listen to. So I’ll shout it from the rooftops myself. It’s my kid’s first day of high school today.
And while that makes me feel way too old to do a little jig, I’m happy for her.
Gone are the awkward days of middle school (remember when we called it junior high?). She can relax and begin to feel comfortable in her own skin again. Add to that the ability to focus on something in the distance…that light at the end of the tunnel that we call College, or her ticket out – however you want to look at it.
Don’t get me wrong. Maya is terrific. I can’t imagine a better kid. But, it’s good to see her turning into her own person.
And speaking of, I don’t know if you remember my talking a while back about her high school. Yep, Maya’s off to Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy (NELA) which should be a great experience for her. They will be spending much of their time learning “on site” this year. This includes weeklong camping trips and eventual international travel. What a fantastic opportunity.
But Maya (despite her obvious enthusiasm) has to retain some teen age angst. Yesterday, she repeatedly bemoaned the fact that she was getting up at 5:00 to go sit in the park all day.
Yep, you read that correctly.
I would have jumped all over the idea.
I have a feeling she’ll change her mind quickly.
I can’t wait to hear all about it tonight.
Maya leaves tonight for Disneyland with a friend’s church group, and I’m really freaked out. No, it’s not my typical trepidation surrounding evangelical brainwashing. You see I have a huge phobia of two places: Home Depot and Disneyland. And yes, I can see you out there rolling your eyes right now. But really, there’s documentation to back up my anxiety.
Here Jim Hightower talks about the deaths that have occurred at Home Depot. I originally listened to this a year ago, when Chris was building Maya’s room addition. So, of course, I called him up and told him to be extra careful. He, as would be expected, laughed at me. But these things really do happen. I have recently reentered the nation’s number one home improvement store. But I carefully walk through the center of the aisles and never let Kajsa out of the cart. Poor, poor deprived child.
As for Disneyland, there just doesn’t
seem to be a place to stand that is safer than any other. Time
magazine has information about all of the injuries including deaths. It also details your chances of becoming a
statistic, which I’ll admit is rather
slim. But still, I know how my luck
runs. So Maya has strict instructions to
keep her eyes open and her hands inside the cart at all times.
Just to make certain that I’d looked into both sides of the story, I tried to check with the Disney Site here, but after an hour of waiting, the page still hadn’t loaded. So, I verified these facts with the ever reliable Snopes here and here.
I’m so excited!
Maya has been accepted into Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy which is opening its doors next fall in Prescott. This should be a great experience for her. The school only allows 100 students for each grade, so she’ll have a lot of personal attention. It is also very focused upon college preparation as well as, of course, experiential learning.
If you don’t know what that means, the website explains it much better than I could. But basically it has to do with taking learning “expeditions” that include several subjects at once.
For instance if
she were to study, say, Seattle’s
Seafair with her classmates:
After all the learning expeditions had been investigated, then each student (or student crew) would present their findings. Now mind you, that’s just one example that I came up with off of the top of my head.
But all in all, it sounds really great to me.
As I said, I’m very excited.