Monday, May 27, 2013

Let's Chat Over Coffee

Abi of Creating Paper Dreams invites blog friends to sit and chat over a beverage once a month, and I'd love it if you'd join me for a cup of coffee.  We could sit down and I'd tell you that I had a busy long weekend. On Saturday I ran with Clara and then spent time going through volunteer orientation at the animal shelter with her. Yesterday, I spent the day creating my very first digital photo book with my vacation pictures from Ireland and today it's been all about getting ready for my upcoming trip to Southern California to visit family and run the half-marathon for which we have been training since February! 
I'd confess that I wish I could clone myself this week because, while I'm in So. Cal., Henry will be receiving a scholarship on Thursday night at "Local Scholarship Night" and will be going off to his senior prom on Saturday.  Sadly, I'll be missing both. 
If you were to ask me how I'm feeling these days, I would probably open up and tell you that I'm feeling optimistic. And that scares me. A lot. 
It's been such a long hard year, and though I've been hoping for the best, I haven't allowed myself to exhale and really believe that everything will be okay. Partly with Paul's illness, although I think I've made me peace with that because he is still in remission and the doctors feel very good about his progress.  
But more so with Clara. She's had such a tough, tough year, and there were times when I was not sure we were going to make it through.  
But right now, at this moment, she seems to be doing really well. 
She worked so hard the last few weeks of school to pass everything. She started lap-swimming every morning before school because she said it woke her up, got her to school on time and helped her concentrate. She says that Team in Training has made her a better person because she's been around good people and feels like she's making a difference. And now, she's beginning a summer of volunteering at the animal shelter and (hopefully) being an aide at swim lessons. She's making better choices about who to hang out with and what to do with them.  She's so much more thoughtful and grateful and pleasant to be around. I hope that my little girl has turned a corner and is becoming the person we both want her to be. 
Paul tells me not to get too excited or expect too much because there's still a long way to go before she finishes growing up. And that there will undoubtedly be more bumps in the road. And part of me knows he's right. I shouldn't get my hopes up too high.  Because it's so disappointing when things don't work out.
I'd sigh, and take a sip of coffee and ask you if you ever felt this way. Afraid to be optimistic and hopeful about the future because you've weathered such hard times in the past. 
And then I'd sit, quietly, and listen to your reply.

23 comments:

boysmum2 said...

and I would sit back and so wish I had some answers for you but sadly with my 2 little ones only being under 10 yrs old I have not got there yet and am taking in more of what you are saying to try and keep myself sane through the upcoming years than being any use o you at all. However I do hope that me just taking the time to stop and chat for a while is gettingou to chill for 10 mins and take some much need rest.

Amy said...

I haven't been there from a parenting perspective yet either - but - I have certainly made some silly decisions over the years and seem to have come out of it okay!

I'd want to remind you that you are an awesome person and I admire you tremendously and my life is better for knowing you - you inspire me in so many ways Rinda and you make me stop, think and consider and for that I am grateful.

Karen said...

It seems to me like you are doing a fantastic job at being a mum. I am so pleased that you have 'turned the corner' and that Clara has settled down. Hope your week is a wonderful one. x

Anne said...

I always love a cup of coffee with good company, Rinda.
Listening to you made me realize I understand very well your feelings. When my family and I had a tough time and things seem so much better, I am always almost scared to breathe too deeply in case it would be disturb the positive side of things, as if all could fall down again like a cards castle. It's something I am working on, trying to be positive without but. xxx

Linda said...

Rinda, I have so enjoyed 'sharing' a coffee and chat with you! I can sympathise re teenage girls, as my DD was not always easy to get along with. We got through the bad times by having faith in the fact that we had given her the best grounding that we could, and it was now up to her! She is now a confident, lively, fun-loving young woman and we are so proud of her:) Glad to hear that Paul is OK.

Sian said...

Oh, yes. If I were truthful I would say that as a child I learned not to look ahead. So many unexpectedly sad things happened that I now realise it means I never plan too hard for the future. I am optimistic, but I think that's another thing.

Here's hoping that the journey you are all on stays smoother and that life has some good things in store for you all

Abi said...

Oh I would love a cup of coffee with you now and I know how you feel about being optimistic. When I first got to uni I expected it to be heard so didn't fully relax into the fact that it wasn't. I'm so pleased that Clara is finding her feet with the swimming and the running. I was her age not too long ago and as a daughter I would say to give her time just as you are doing and that your example is the most important. I find myself becoming more and more like my mum and in times when I know I am crabby or snappy I just try and think how my mum would react in that situation because she has always shown kindness and graciousness. I so admire you for all you have done with the running and your art and with Paul's illness.
Thank you for sharing with me today! xxx

Ladkyis said...

Remember that she is your daughter so she is more like you than you realise while at the same time being her own unique person. If she is being hard on you it could be because of her Dad's illness. She is probably terrified and the only person she can safely release the anger and fear at is you. No easy answers with teenagers.Sometimes it feels like they are taken over by an alien, in fact I used that on my kids. When they were really difficult I would look them right in the eye and say
"Come out of there you alien being and give me back my child!"
The response was usually a flounce or a slamming of a door but it did give them a way out of the situation their rebellion had got them into..... That's the most important thing. When you are in the confrontation always make sure you leave them a way to get out without losing face. Otherwise it is a pyrrhic victory.

Kokopelli said...

Yes, I know the feeling of being afraid to be optimistic. When this happens, you need a good friend (or just the "right" person) to tell you: "Relax! It's all good." :)

Cheri said...

I'd have to tell you that yes, I can empathize. Been through much of the same feelings with Becca and am finally coming to understand her as a person and what makes her tick. Living with a child with anxiety disorder (which for years we just thought was anger management issues that she would grow out of) is exhausting. But strides have been made in the past year and I'm hopeful.

Beverly said...

Thank you for the coffee, Rinda. I would give you a big hug and tell you how happy about Paul's continued remission, Henry's successes and Clare's growth. I would share that there were times that I really wasn't certain what type of adult the Beast would be but he made it through and is an incredible young man that I am so very proud of. I would share that you and Paul are taking the right steps, showing her opportunities that she'll enjoy and benefit from. I would understand the tug of being away when something special is happening in your child's life. I would share that I have times when I am just wondering what will happen next but try so very hard to focus on the good and savor it. I would ask you to stop by Thursday so I can show some wedding things ... it's only 10 days away!!!

Jo.C said...

It can be tough at times and you wonder what has happened but you have to believe that the values you have instilled are deep down in there and they will improve. It doesn't get any easier does it. Do think that Ladkysis is speaking a lot of sense in that it's a reaction to Paul's illness. Good to hear you are feeling optimistic x

debs14 said...

I do wish California was a little closer Rinda, so that we could sit and have a proper chat. When you have been through anxious times, it's hard to relax and allow yourself to be optimistic but it seems like you have much to be thankful for at the moment, so make the most of it! It's hard having a teenage girl and you do worry about their friendship groups etc. Sporty boys feel like an easier option as they are busy keeping fit or on a football pitch! As a mum of a 26 year old girl and 23 year old boy, I can tell you that each will give you worries at some time or another, but your maternal instinct will kick in and you will find a way round what needs to be done. Well done to Clara for keeping herself occupied with good things at the moment and I'm so pleased you are doing that run together.

Miriam said...

And I would hug you and tell you just how amazing you are. I would say, exactly what Amy said I'd want to remind you that you are an awesome person and I admire you tremendously and my life is better for knowing you - you inspire me in so many ways Rinda My boy is 24 and there are still days when I ask my husband 'whatever made me think I could do this?'
Paul & I have come through a few very difficult times over the years but love and prayer see us through. Ladykiss is right when she talks about your daughter and her fathers illness and uncertain future. Oh how I wish we could have another coffee...

Irene said...

Dear Cuz, thanks for the coffee, anytime you want to vent, I am here for you as all your other blog friends too. I would tell you every parent has some sort of problem with their child and every child has some sort of problem with their parent. It is a part of growing up and a part of living life. In the end, I would say, "Keep the Faith and Trust in the Lord." I will keep you and your family in my prayers. AMEN!

scrappyjacky said...

I would so love to sit with you for coffee and a long chat,Rinda.I could certainly empathise with you about the trials and tribulations of teenage girls....I certainly often wondered whether we would all get through it intact....but despite the many problems....both girls are now in their 20s and are happy,confident,caring young adults...and I'm sure with your example to follow Clara will become the adult you want her to be.

sky-blu-pink said...

I am sipping peppermint tea as I read this, so am sharing a cup with you. I wish you and Clara good weather (not too hot) a gentle breeze, great stamina and momentum. You have both done so well to be at this stage, and soon all your hard work and training will come to fruition. I don't have children of my own, but as a teacher for 25 years, as I have seen many hundreds of young ladies grow to be mature, independent Christian young women I am proud to have taught.

Carola Bartz said...

Thanks for the coffee, Rinda. We could talk about teenage daughters and probably still wouldn't have said all of it. These are challenging years, and I think for us mothers dealing with teenage daughters is difficult. The girls are looking for more independence from us, at the same time they still need us. Often, bad decisions are made, and many actions we simply don't understand. I have to say that our daughter is relatively easy, but there are moments when I wonder whether she's 15 or 5. The mood swings are tough, and sometimes we are just mad at each other. Still, I am very hopeful and yes, optimistic.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Hello, sweet friend. I know that it's been a really rough year for your family, and reading how far Clara has come is a true testament to your parenting of her. You've managed to support your family through Paul's illness, Henry's senior year and all of his sporting activities, AND you've nurtured Clara along the way and helped her to become more involved and therefore "find" herself in the process. PLUS you keep up with your own responsibilities and still find time for art/photography/blogging/running/etc. You are an amazing woman, Rinda, and even though I know you are hesitant to dream big for the future, I think it's ok just to settle in this moment and enjoy it right now. Sure, there will be bumps in the road with Clara, and everything else, but that's life on planet earth. And in my humble opinion, I think you are rocking it! xo

Fiona said...

Thanks for the coffe, I would tell I think you are doing great and that teenagers are not easy to be around but eventually they do grow up. Take care

Anonymous said...

Clara has had a great role model and even though teenagers are struggling to figure out where they fit into the world, she knows that you are there and she's doing the best she can, just like you! We have had struggles with all the new things this year, too and even though I think Angelina is gonna make it through ok, it has been unpleasant off and on around here. Yesterday, though, she was AMAZING and i'm hanging on to those amazing moments when she's ... well less than amazing! Hang in there and know you can vent when you need it!!! Have fun on the run with Clara, she does need you even if she wont admit it!

Mariana

p.s. you gonna be at scramp camp? i have a room if you need one! would love to hang and swap teenager woes!! :)

alexa said...

I am late to the coffee party, Rinda, and I am at a loss as to what to add to many of lovely things said to you above, for I would have said them too. Journeying with hope and optimism and accepting whatever happens is about as sane as we can ever be, I think! And you have shown it this year in spadefuls with so many competing needs, all ably and empathically met whilst attending to your own creativity too ... I think we are all in awe :).

Karen said...

We had several very, very tough years with Matt, and there were times when I wondered if either of us would make it through. The year he graduated with honors from Cornell (at age 26), I knew I could take a deep breath. He overcame so much, and did such a fabulous job of turning himself around. He has always said that it was because he knew we never lost faith in him that he could do what he did. I know Clara can say the same for you and Paul!