Monday, April 05, 2010

Sweet Anna, Poor Anthony

Anna turned 9 last week, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around that fact.  We had a fabulous party for her at the park -- this year she chose a Harry Potter theme  -- and although you are clamoring for pictures and I do want to show them to you, Anthony has been gone most of the past 3 weeks and hasn't downloaded the great photos from his fabulous camera.  So no birthday post yet.

Anthony has been traveling a lot for work.  He recently got a promotion (yea!) which means more money (yea!) and more responsibility (boo!).  The kids and I have found our stride, and can manage decently through the week while he is gone.  It is becoming harder and harder, though, to maintain the blog when I have to feed the kids, clean the kitchen, administer the bedtime routine, make the lunches, get dinner ready the night before Wesley comes, answer emails, check Facebook.... oh, forget it.  By then its usually 10pm, and time for bed.

Poor Anthony got a terrible virus on one of his plane rides last week.  Although he was home for the weekend, it mostly was like he was still gone.  He spent most of the time either on the couch or in the bed, and all of the time he was miserable.  I know he really wanted to get out and plant tomatoes in the garden, help Anna ride her new bike, and have nice conversations with me, but none of that happened.  Today he got back on a plane with a clogged, congested ear, fearful he might blow out his eardrum.  I miss him a lot, and we are all looking forward to his return.

But back to Anna, who has grown so tall and remains beautiful inside and out.  Several moms said to me in the last week, "Anna has such a cheerful attitude, she's always positive, she brings all of us up!"  The ballet moms were telling me how at their last exam practice, Anna's smile was huge and radiant, and how they wished their girls would smile like that.  I felt a little bad for the other sweet, quiet girls, whose moms were wishing they were different.  Then I thought how often I wished Anna were different, more organized and tidy, and how I often squash her sunny attitude when I am trying to impress upon her the gravity of some transgression she has made.  Is it a mother's curse to want a daughter to be different, to constantly point out to her where she could improve, especially compared to others?  Argh.  I will try to see Anna as the sunny, creative, loving, generous, free spirit that she is, and love her simply, and wholly, as I did when she was born nine years ago.


Boilerdad said...

I too feel bad that I spent minimal time interacting with you guys. None of you deserve it, but this head cold womped me a good one. I didn't want to be destined to doing nothing. I just felt like crap; and I see you know that. And today, the first leg of the flight was tolerable and much better than expected, but the second and shorter leg did me in - my right ear hurts and I can't hear squat out of it other than an annoying high pitched ring. Hope it gets better soon.

Thanks so much for the thoughtful post. It makes me long for you all so.

Emily said...

Anth - try Afrin. I rarely use it, but it can help dry things up for flights.

Jenn, you do a great job loving and appreciating Anna! (And she is such a sweetheart. She brings much joy into my life.) But I think you also have to guide her and teach her things as a mom, and some of those may be more difficult to achieve than others.

Lisa said...

What a wonderful, thoughtful post. It made me tear up, all the stuff about our expectations of our kids. I know just what you mean. You want your kids to be their best, but don't want to constantly criticize them. It's a balancing act, and I often fall off from lack of balance.

Wow, Anna is nine, and Ruby will soon be nine. One of the things I love about being so involved with the girls' school is talking with parents of kids who are older than mine. It makes me feel like maybe having middle- and high-school aged kids won't actually kill me. Fingers crossed!

Lisa said...

Oh, and I hope Anthony feels all better soon!