3 years later...
Granted, lately, real life has rudely interfered with my blogging!
Sylvia opened in Willy Wonka last night. We really enjoyed the show, and she had a blast.
Getting there felt like it ate up the last week, but that's okay. In addition to hell week, I had a PTA meeting, the interviews for my Leadership program, and a packed schedule at work. This weekend, I'm just trying to find my strength again. And hopefully some blogging mojo.
So I've been blogging for three years now. Here are some of the things that have changed, and some that have remained the same.
When I first started blogging, I was living in my old LA childhood again. By incredible circumstances, when we were looking to move in that area for Sylvia to go to KIPP, the exact same condo that I'd grown up in was for rent. I loved the chance to go back home again. It gave me an opportunity to integrate who I'd been in high school to who I am now. While we may not live there anymore, those opportunities still present themselves, thanks to Facebook and all the reconnections I've made there.
Sylvia was going to KIPP and thriving academically. That was our dream educational year. I still miss it, I still miss what she gained from there, but now she has grown not just as a student, but as a person. Oh, we still have our battles, and I think we will for a long time, but I see so much in her that wasn't there 3 years ago. She is still sensitive, but strong enough to stand up for what she wants and needs, in all meanings of those words. Most importantly, she has grown to accept her father for who he is. She's not mad at him (or me), she loves him, but doesn't need him. I wanted to believe that she would get there, but I wasn't so sure for so long.
Last year, I didn't know if she'd ever be able to accept that some peers were just not going to be the friends she wanted them to be. She has learned that if she wants people to accept her for who she is, she has to accept them for who they are. While it's still early in the year and hasn't been completely drama-free, the tone has changed. She's getting through it a little bit easier.
She's also done an amazing job of staying on top of things at school while still rehearsing every night from 6-10 this week. She hasn't fought with me once about getting her homework done, nor does she really need my help. And even though she's going to bed later, she's getting up easier. She's changing so much, and all of them are signs of overall growth.
Riley called me her best friend 3 years ago, and still does. She was the new girl at school (again) three years ago, and this year, she'll be graduating with classmates she's had since third grade. She's still her own person, all while continuing to be there for others. She has found her strengths academically, and knows her weaknesses, too.
What I'm most relieved to see is she doesn't retreat into what I called her turtle shell as often as she used to. She used to suddenly get quiet and it would take forever to get her to open up about what was bothering her. Now, she openly reaches out and says how she feels. She loves to make people smile. Just this morning, we were snuggling, and she reached out to make sure Sylvia was included. She never wants anyone to feel left out. Because of her many experiences with being the new kid, she has been the first to welcome any new kid, or any kid that isn't part of the crowd now. Her friends are devoted to her because they know she is there for them. She learns from her mistakes, and if anything, I have to make sure she's not too hard on herself for making them in the first place. Of course, she's not perfect, but she remains a problem-solver and peace-maker; two qualities that are just part of who she is and always will be.
There have been times in the past three years where I wasn't sure we would make it through. I haven't felt that way in a really long time. I know that this blog and the community I've found here is a big part of the reason. Thank you for being here, supporting every step of the way so far. I hope to be here for a long time to come.