There are times when I am absolutely exhausted just from looking at you. You are capable of going a hundred and seventeen miles per hour for eleven hours straight and I just don’t know how to keep up with that. You are way too smart for your own good and you have your dad’s courtroom arguing and logic skills. You are capable of asking more questions within the first five minutes of you walking in the door than I would be capable of asking everyone I know in a single day.

It’s really hard to be your mom right now.

Addie

Not because you’re naughty or a bad kid, because you’re certainly not. It’s because you’re developing into this person, capable of asking really hard questions and expecting really in depth answers. You’re straddling this phase between make believe and making sense of everything around you. You still believe in Santa but you also know the Santas in the mall are fake.

I was talking about you with Vivi the other day (Vivi is an incredibly good listener) and I came to the conclusion that maybe you’ve just seen too much to be amazed by much of anything anymore. We’ve had the opportunity to do things that I never got to do as a kid. I have a feeling I could take you to the Great Salt Lake and you’d say “Forget the biggest salt water lake, let’s go to Africa to see Lake Malawi, there’s species of fish in that lake that don’t exist anywhere else in the world.”

Your birthday last year was possibly the hardest day I have ever had as your mom. I was on the cusp of my own nervous breakdown and you were on a birthday power trip that was mostly my fault. Birthdays are an enormous deal to me and I always want you to feel special on yours, but for some reason the system broke down last year and we both ended the night in tears.

I love that in your mind nothing is impossible, everything is attainable and the world is one giant place to ask questions about. I have faith that you are learning things that are going to serve you well throughout your entire life. You are an incredibly good person. Kind hearted, empathetic and optimistic. I never want to squelch that. Having this baby and these two cats around has only proved that your capacity to love is endless.

Addie and Wink

elephant jammies

I sometimes feel as though you are a better big sister than I am a mom. Vivi doesn’t need peace and quiet, she lives for the moment you walk through the door and run around squealing like a feral animal. Her life is going to be so blessed because she has you as a big sister. I’d like to think that the six uninterrupted years we spent together are what helped mold you into the spectacular big sister you are today.

reading at the breakfast table

I’m never going to stop trying to amaze you. My mom took me places and showed me things I never would have seen otherwise and I am eternally grateful for that. I can only imagine that after driving for hours to get us to Mt. Rushmore and finally being able to show us those four presidents carved from a mountainside my sister and I took one look at it and said “What’s next?”

It was worth it mom. Everything you did and showed us was worth it. I remember all of it. The Church in Sedona, picking out rocks at the Crazy Horse Monument, being highly disappointed there were no dead horses at Dead Horse Point, being equally disappointed there was no water at the Grand Canyon, finding sand dollars in Washington, that enormous museum in British Columbia, Lombard Street in San Francisco, the hikes in Arches, the drive around the White Rim…I treasure everything you took us to see on your own and hope that someday Addie will appreciate everything I try to do for her, especially when the only reaction I get now is “I’m thirsty.”

Comments

  1. LOL about Mt. Rushmore. We went there last year summer for a vacation and we rented a cabin. It had a bathroom, but that was the only separate room. My son declared that had to be a cabin for the homeless. Crazy Horse made us think were were crazy for paying $30 to look at a monument that hadn’t made much progress in 50 years. HA!

    Casey Reply:

    @Darla, I was absolutely sure that Crazy Horse would be done BY NOW. But nope. Still truckin’ along. Maybe when I have grandkids…

    Emily Reply:

    @Casey,

    As a SD resident, I could tell you if the Sioux were as interested in the monument as us whiteys were, it might be done. ;)

  2. Six is a hard year. Like want to take prozac-all-the-time hard. I swear it’s that transition from kindergarten into first grade that turns them into to emotional, knowledge obsessed, trying to be a big kid but still acting like a little kid sometimes, monster.
    The good news is that second grade is much more delightful.

    Casey Reply:

    @Ami, If you say so this makes me feel much better.

  3. My oldest is 5. And yesterday was such a hard day. She is amazing but yesterday she put a 14 yr old with PMS to shame with her mood swings. We experienced the entire spectrum (complete with sobbing tears) during a 25 minute car ride. I wish I felt like a better mom but I do the best I can. I’m sure you have given her amazing childhood memories so far and will continue to.

    Casey Reply:

    @Michelle Smiles, I’m sure we’re both doing the best we can

  4. Good to hear that 6-7 is hard for other mom’s, too. I’ve been feeling very inadequate as a mom to mine lately…

    Casey Reply:

    @Candace, Isn’t it nice to hear it’s not just you?

    Candace Reply:

    @Casey, Yessss. I love that girl so fiercely and just don’t want to do wrong by her! She has sooo much inside that little body and I only want to help her bloom!

  5. I think as children we are never as grateful and appreciative of all the things we did until we’re older. I love the fact that we went on vacation every year growing up, I love knowing I can check off so many places on the map. I’m sure I never told me parents that. I’m sure I complained that the car ride was too long, or that it was too hot, too cold, too buggy, or there were too many jellyfish in the ocean. But I’m so glad I had those experiences and I can’t wait to give them to my kids even though they won’t know it then that it was a moment to appreciate and cherish forever.

    Casey Reply:

    @Marta, I certainly have a new appreciation for things after hearing that I’m not the only one who was a grateful child later and a hopeful parent now.

  6. I don’t want to be the annoying person to point this out, but you might want to remove an “s” and add a “p” to your title.

    Nice post!

    Casey Reply:

    @Laura, Disappointing readers one spelling error fail at a time.
    Thank you!

  7. I’m not sure if they expect more than we did as kids, if it’s just a normal reaction, or if it’s ME, but I always want a MUCH BIGGER reaction than I get – for anything. For gifts, for places, for food…whatever. Not to say my kids aren’t grateful, because they are, but I think *I* expect or WANT more from them. Did our parents feel the same way? I kind of think yes, now.

    Also, I’m pretty sure our kids are way smarter than we were at the same ages. Makes it harder sometimes.

    Your kids are supremely lucky to have you and all you do for and with them. :)

    Casey Reply:

    @pgoodness, Tell you what. I’ll give you something this year and you lose your mind. Then I’ll do the same for you…then we won’t expect anything from our kids because we already blew each others’ minds.
    Deal?

  8. On Sundays I read the Bible to my boys… tonight my oldest wanted me to talk about the cover and read the words to him. I think his teacher has been doing this. He says “Illustrated by…” and I tell him. Then he says “and written by…” And I have ZERO idea what to say. Zero. I came up with something about how there are a lot of people who put the stories of God together for us to read and it’s called the Bible. He accepted that for now but I’m pretty sure I better think of something better soon.

    He is way too smart for me.

    Casey Reply:

    @Jamie, I always breathe a sigh of relief when Addie accepts a pretty generic answer. It’s when she keeps probing that I start to panic.

  9. 6 is hard. It’s so much in between. Just when I think Zoe’s acting so big and mature… she suddenly has a total breakdown and is whining and crying. One minutes she can do everything all by herself… the next she is incapable of doing 1 single thing. There is never telling from 1 moment to the next which kind of child I’m going to be dealing with.

    Casey Reply:

    @Colleen, And you’re left thinking “GROW UP! YOU’RE 6!” and then panicking because “YOU’RE ONLY 6! YOU’RE STILL A BABY!”

    Colleen Reply:

    @Casey, We have the argument all the time. “She should be responsible for some chores… she IS 6 years old!” “You can’t blame her for having a crying fit… she’s tired and she’s ONLY 6 years old!” On and on it goes. We’re as confused as she is.

  10. If Addie doesn’t appreciate those trips, I’ll go instead. I could use another Arches visit. My husband needs to be schooled in art of hiking to Delicate Arch in June (start early)

  11. Aw, that was nice. I know that I definitely appreciate my mom more now that I am a mom.

    I followed a link over here from “Jen and Casey”. Very nice blog!

  12. I am literally wiping tears from my eyes. I have connected with you through this post and your words. I am that mother who is taking her kids across the country to see new and exciting things and go on these adventures together. I, too, am a mother of two boys separated by six years. I can relate on so many levels with the behavior and frustration you felt. Thank you so much for sharing this. This is very special to me and I’m sure to your children. Your words are beautiful.

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