So, Hope and I are in Montreal, Quebec for a few days on spring break. I had several revelations that I figured I better chronicle before I keeled over from a new level of exhaustion.
I think I’m becoming my mother. OMG, on the escalator yesterday morning I realized that some of my reactions over the last 24 hours resemble things my mom would say/do/feel or some such thing.
So, this trip would appear to be thrown together despite planning it for more than a month. I *thought* I booked a trip to Quebec City and only 4 days ago realized that I had booked a trip to Montreal. So much for the haphazard loose itinerary I had put together. I have been so busy the last few weeks that I hadn’t paid close enough attention. Additionally I didn’t put my whole name on my plane ticket and had to spend nearly 2 hours on the phone getting it straightened out (always get travel insurance).
Anyways, I was anxious and fretful and spastic about taking care of EVERYTHING necessary to get us out the door, on a plane and through immigration. Somewhere along the way, it dawned on me that I am fully aware of moments when my mom seemed to feel that way when we were traveling as kids. Further I remember my grandmother being anxious and fretful when I was a kid as well.
I am becoming them. I love them both madly, but hmmmm. Am I really going to have to carry these anxiety meds around in my purse forever? And more importantly, should I just put a few of them in some foil, old school style??? #nopillboxes #nervepills #justneedstartlightmintsontheside
Is it bad to be happy that Hope might not assume these behavioral traits because of our lack of biological ties?? Maybe these traits are hereditary and not just learned behavior? Does she stand a change of sliding into middle age not being anxious? Maybe?
Just going to let that marinate for a while.
Vacations with kids are some BS. I am exhausted. Exhausted like when I first went back to grad school at 37ish. I just always was tired. The last month of work has been draining. So I was looking forward to my vacation until a few days ago I realized that I was not going to be getting any rest on this trip.
I still have to do Hope’s hair. I am her personal, walking Google with all of the GD questions she asks. I swear the questions alone stump me–seriously, the stuff she asks is so effing random and then she gets offended when I tell her to go look it up. Yeah, I know it’s sweet that she asks and apparently thinks I’m all knowing, but this is supposed to be my vacation! #nomorequestions #nomoretalking #shhhhhhhhh
I just want throw a bit of cash to her and run from this hotel room for like
12 3 hours. I don’t even want to sightsee; I just want to check in two doors down the hall and take a much needed nap.
When people don’t take time to breathe, they are mean. I have never asked someone to move on a plane; I never needed to before yesterday. Somehow the airline put Hope and I on the same row but window seats on opposite ends. I asked the lady next to Hope would she mind taking my window seat so I could sit next to Hope. She rudely said NO and went on to say she hates window seats and she wasn’t giving up her aisle seat. I was stunned but just smiled and told Hope it was a short flight and we would be ok.
I took my seat, twiddled my thumbs and sighed.
Then as we rolled down the runway, the tears started.
Hope didn’t cry. I did.
I cried. I did it silently while I leaned forward and watched to make sure Hope was ok.
I got out my hanky and mopped my slow, silent tears.
Despite wanting a respite; I didn’t want to be separated from Hope. And I was desperate about that ish.
I tried not to make a big deal, but I was soooo sad.
After we took off and leveled off, the woman breathed, softened and gave up her seat so I could sit near Hope.
Seriously, I was singing “And I will always love you,” Whitney Houston-style like I hadn’t seen my kid in weeks. I think everyone around us appreciated the need to just take a moment before we react to things. It was a good lesson for me too to try to just practice kindness more and to remember just how much I love my daughter.
The world is a better place because of jacuzzi tubs. We are staying in a very nice hotel. As one of my good pals would say, “FANCY!” Hope just can’t stop saying how much she loves our room.
Lawd, I’m raising her to be so bougie!
Anyhoo, the room has a jacuzzi tub.
Now I don’t know about you or what you believe, but listen, the Holy Homeboy is alright with me. Jumping Jehovah. when I opened the bathroom door and saw the tub I silently said, “Praise Him!”
So last night I loaded that puppy up and soaked in the hot water.
I’d put something on Netflix for Hope to watch (never travel without an HDMI cord!) since despite telling everyone that she speaks French she is frustrated that nearly everything here is IN French including local TV. I digress, she was set up with something to keep her occupied and I soaked until my toes pruned. i also contorted myself so that every achy joint got dedicated jet time.
What a delightfully, decadent thing to do, and I so enjoyed it! It almost makes up for my fatigue. Almost.
Thirteen is such a hard age. Ok, so Hope is a teenager, but 13 is like make-believe teenager. She still can be entertained for hours and hours watching Nickelodeon and Disney. Despite being shuttled around so much and having been exposed to so much in her short life, she is blissfully naive about so very much.
Hope is still very much a little kid trying to blossom into a young woman.
I’m aware that our adoption has given her the freedom to settle back into childlike moments that she missed. We’ve done an enormous amount of kiddie do-overs in the last year trying to create childhood memories that she can better use to scaffold teen stuff on to.
I’m not that much of a fan of Iyanla Vanzant, but I remember years ago seeing her on Oprah talking about how you can skip any developmental phases; you just get stuck. You keep doing stuff, but you do it from the mindset/framework of that phase.
So, Hope and I have been working on nudging her development along so she can catch up, yet she’s still a “young” 13. In some ways it’s charming; in others it feels really, really hard.
Add to that the fact that Hope’s body looks like a 16-17 year old—tall and developed–and it’s hard to remember and sit with the fact that she’s 13 sometimes. I know I’m guilty of unrealistic expectations sometimes, and that does neither of us any favors.
I find myself periodically having to stop and think that if it is hard for me to deal with her at 13; what must it be like to be her at 13. I am clear that you couldn’t pay me to go back to middle school; those years are awful and I swear I want to go up to her school and take some kids over my knee on the regular. #badarses
In short, this in between phase of not a little kid and not a full on teen is some BS. Necessary evil and all that, but it sucks.
Today Hope and I will do some more wandering of the city. I’m trying to decide if we will go to Quebec City tomorrow. There’s really more than enough to do here in Montreal. The way she’s still throwing up zzzz’s at 8:07am lets me know she’s still sleepy, so I’m going to hit the gym and contemplate my need to…ugh…change my eating habits. #40sarehardtoo