13 April 2010

369 Revolutions, Infinite Revelations

369 days ago, my dear niece came to live with me. Some days it seems like she just got here. Other days, I feel like she's been with me from the start of her sweet, sassy life. April 9, 2009 was the day she arrived, along with my family, to make the transition. She went from living with my parents in NJ to living with her Tia (aunt) in UT. Her entire world changed over night. So did mine. Gone was the single life, and I was off to the races as a parent.

I could chatter for hours about the ups, downs, highs and lows, but instead of boring you to tears, I will highlight some of the more memorable moments to honor my beautiful, strong-willed, 10 year old child.

  • Tias do not like being woken up at 6 a.m. on vacation days, weekends, or any day that does not require me being somewhere at 6:05 a.m. This Tia cannot be held responsible for anything I may say in response to questions asked while still in bed, under the influence of sleep.
  • Tias are WAY meaner than grandparents. We make kids wear decent clothes to school (ie: sweats are not an acceptable form of daily wear), make kids eat good, home cooked food (no more McDonald's 6 nights a week), we make kids go to bed at a set hour (8:20 for my bundle of joy).
  • Tia is impervious. Having grown up with a stubborn sister, tears, stomping, pouting and muttering under your breath does not impress or move me. Tias preach communication in words- not grunts.
  • Kids go through a ridiculous amount of laundry. With just 7 days in a week, somehow drawers are emptied and laundry baskets are filled in record time.
  • "Tween" girls are WAY more complicated than any work project I've ever tackled. They act weird in groups, are prone to moodiness and can make life hell if they obtain unsupervised access to nail polish.
  • Claire's Boutique is the earthly version of Hell.
  • When tempers flare, send kids off to the shower to cool down. Works every time.
  • The best sound on the planet is little-kid laughter.
  • When your child asks you to snuggle at night (or any other time of day), never say no. The day will soon come when that invitation is no longer extended to you.
  • Girls are farty.
  • Tias need love too. If you know a single mom (or any mom!), offer to babysit- even if for a couple of hours. Keep them in your circle of friends and don't brush them off just because they can't make the normal Friday night scene. 
  • Life is very, very short. No matter how tired, angry, overworked, anxious, crazy Tia gets, my niece is and always will be the most important thing in my life.
This last year has been SUCH a learning experience for me. And I can say with much pride and love my niece has really done an amazing job of acclimating to her new life. As for me, well...its still a giant experiment. I'd be lying if I told you I completely understand parenthood. 370 days ago I was just a single girl, flitting around the world. When my situation changed, so did my heart. I have cried, laughed, yelled (4 times in the last year!), taught my kid how to squat in the wilderness to pee...and through it all, I'm the better for it. My only wish is for her- that her life is better, will be better because of my insanse Tia tactics. Here's to many, many more trips around the sun together!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE THIS!!! You are doing an AMAZING job with Chloe!!!!