Saturday, August 14, 2021

Fifteen?! So dang old.

 Girlfriend. Fifteen.

What the heck?!

I know they say that it goes fast and while I don't exactly agree with that as it felt more like the slowest, uphill fast most days encased in a tornado speed year, TODAY... FIFTEEN... seems way too fast. Time is so weird. 

Funny enough, Dad and I look at you and continue to see the same feisty, crazily-curled toddler with all the opinions, your own version of fashion and alllll the facial expressions. Beautiful heart, good intentions and awkward delivery. Our favorite Fancy Nancy. 

There are lots of days the opinions were exhaustive and the frustration seeped through my words. What can I say, I have a lot to learn about patience and giving up control. I forget to believe you are older. I am realizing more and more that your middle name less represents your physical abilities and more of what you give to your parents time and time again as they fine tune their roles of parenting. Grace. Every day we make gains. Being the first sure isn't the easiest but you are doing your best to help us grow. 

Pandemic living is tough for a teen and yet this year you have formed some of the most beautiful friendships, found a sweet guy that loves you, joined various clubs, made varsity cheerleading as a sophomore and maintained well above a 4.0. To say we are proud, is the biggest understatement of the year. 

Today, sister, we celebrate all the new this year will bring. Learning to drive, actual tastes of real high school and glimpses of grown up Molly more and more each day. We used to get little previews... flashes of facial expressions that were a windows to future you and now more and more we are getting longer gazes and full conversations with this brilliant, gorgeous and hilarious older you. How did we get so lucky to land you for our always? 

Love you big, buddy. Here's to the three of us learning all about 15. 



Love you!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The last of the sevens.


Annie Girl.

There is something so magical about six and seven-years-old. 

No longer a baby requiring naps or the constant need for help but not quite the independence of a full fledged schooler--- just yet. Still snuggled into the crook of my arm for morning cartoons, all knobby knees and windowed smiles...a stuffed animal friend clutched tightly in each arm. Oversized, sibling t-shirts for pajamas, your ducky-fuzzed bedhead, play baths over showers and learning to ride your bike without training wheels. There's fairy gardens, Girl Scout afternoons, stuffed animal tea parties and a budding love for journal writing. Hungry for adventures, brimming with infinite joy and not the slightest hint of tweendom on the horizon. It has been my favorite.

You see, with you I am gifted the chance to just soak up the magic of this age in a way I wasn't able to with the others. With everyone else, there was a younger babe (or babes) with infinite needs and a sleepy Mama just doing her best to get by. Now I am gifted this chance to sit in the sweetness of six and seven. Drink it to every last drop and send it off in style. I am beyond grateful. 

Sweet girl, you continue to be the purest form of joy for our family. Every day is your best new day. I don't know that there is teen in our lives without their own dedicated picture reel of one hilarious, Annie May. From the facial expressions, your expressive ensembles to your quirky demeanor-- you keep us all laughing for days. I have at least a dozen silly stories at the ready to always make me giggle when I need it. Like a pocket full of Annie May joy. 

My wish in this lifetime is for everyone to find their own version of an Annabel Jane May. To stand in the warmth that is the brightness of you and feel this loved, seen and treasured. It is a glimpse of the sun. 

May this next twirl around it be just as magical.

Happy Birthday, Nanners.



**** Turn up the volume 

Annie is SEVEN! from Julie May on Vimeo.

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Decade of Lu.

 This girl.

Never before in my life have I have ever met a someone like you. The brightest wattage of raw spirit, unrestricted currents of empathy, unapologetically the MOST stubborn person I know... all in one mighty, muscle of a human with next level projection, incredible charisma and absolutely no volume control. 


Some day you will discover the capabilities of your power and my goodness that will be incredible to witness. Your origin story. For now, though, I am quite okay if you remain a bit clueless to your wonder for at least a few more years. Do your parents a solid and maybe get us through at least the first half of the teen years? Please? Because let's be honest, parenting that sort of wildfire is going to be a shitshow learning curve for us all. 

Lucy May, there is nothing that you do in moderation. Just last month you were called to the principal's office for leading a movement against istation and your voice made it all the way up to school district's administration...because... of course it did. The passion is spot on but perhaps a bit more attention to details, buddy. You love big, disagree passionately, compete fiercely, fall to tears without reason and your blue eyes pierce my soul on the daily. You just love people so hard. There is a magnetism to your personality and we are all just drawn your direction--- whether or not we want to be.

This year, true to development, despite all that awesomeness, the insecurities have started to seep in. Your physique is in transition thanks to the onset of puberty and all the hours put in at the gym, your hormones are revving up and the mean girl antics --that you will never understand -- have found a way to thrive amidst a pandemic... which seems pretty unfair. My hope is that one day, you will come to KNOW that you are uniquely and beautifully you and what a refreshing gift you are to us all. We'll get there, buddy. In the mean time, I'll just remember for the both of us, and remind you on the reg, okay? 

You continue to adore gymnastics, soccer, singing, playing your ukulele and all things hanging with besties. Most days, you wake up with a plan for the day and are off on your bike before I have even finished my coffee. If you aren't running around with your brat pack, you are holed up somewhere writing a song, flipping on the trampoline or playing with Annie. I don't know that I have met a kid that loves Hamilton as much as you do. It will be so exciting to see them in Austin this December. Slowly, you have gained some independence this year and now bike around the neighborhood with friends and even stay home alone for a short bit while I run errands within the neighborhood. That autonomy is just so dang delicious. What you wouldn't give to be 15 right now.

But for now, let's just soak in the splendor of ten. That sweet spot of playing outside, believing in magic, reading in trees, still playing with toys and dreaming of big... before all the tech takes over, crushes change friendships and you become the expert of everything like those older siblings believe. Give me a little longer with the scraped knees, wild hair and silly antics, please. 

You see, ten is the best. Just like you. 

Love you, birthday babe. 


*Turn up the volume*

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Another Teen.

 Well, it is official. We now have two full-fledged teens in the house. 

Heaven, help us. 

This is the last of our "first" pandemic birthdays for the year. Not going to lie, son--- this week hasn't been the most stellar one to endcap it with a birthday. We currently have no water running in our home of 6 people, 5 dogs (currently), 2 cats, 2 rabbits and are still continuing to defrost from single digit temperatures this past year week. In many ways, going out with a bang sure seemed to fit, I guess. 

I sure worried about you a bunch this year. Sixth grade was a difficult transition for you and I was anxious that seventh would find you equally unsettled. Never in a million years would I have envisioned that you would find your footing in a year of so many physical changes, isolated from favorite friends, behind a mask, attempting new sports for the first time ALL in the middle of a pandemic. You challenged yourself with growth in ways my 12-yr-old self would never have been brave enough to do. Dad and I are just so stinkin' proud of you. 

This year, your personal MVP left middle school and you forged on alone to figure it out. Hew to middle school sports, you were quick to discover (much to Mom's sadness) that your body type is absolutely perfect for football. It is just incredible the power that belonging can have on a person. For the first time in months, that angsty smirk taking residence on your face gave way to the dimpled smile I adore. Even if you were trying to hang on to that scowl on the field, you were terrible at it. Your bravery and joy helped me to learn to embrace my own in something new. 

Dad and I know very little about raising a son through the teen years. Just like Molly, we are learning as we go. Our vocabulary is constantly adjusting, you remind me on the reg that I am quite basic, often a "Karen",  mostly clueless, oldie from a completely different century. Everything about your parents is just so 1900s of us. Yet, when we pause and share with you that your words hurt our feelings, you immediately and genuinely apologize. This hormonal fa├žade is diligently attempting to hide  the mushy ball of gabey-baby love living inside. It really is unfortunate that your parents know you so well and see straight through to your core. Such a beautiful heart in there!

You are growing into such a good, young man, Gabriel May. You are kind to friends, loyal, funny, artistic, musical and tenderhearted. There is not a little kid in your life that doubts you hung the moon. You have such a gift for making people feel seen... even if it is to let them know that they are frustrating you. Lean into that gift, Son. It is such a special gift and so treasured by those in your inner circle.

One day, when the mirror of self doubt is put down, I am confident you will finally be able to see all the awesomeness that we see. Puberty is tough... especially when you aren't the fastest to grow. For now, I'll take the angst, the ridiculously loud gaming with friends, the big opinions, eating of all the snacks, your expertise on everything and a good deal of funky smells. It's all a part of the journey son, and where you are heading is nothing short of incredible. I am so grateful to be along for the ride.

Love you so, birthday boy.


**Volume Up!**