The flow

“Mom, I got my period.” She says as though receiving a report card she’d been waiting on.  She doesn’t smile (who would?) and says it so timidly.

Surely she must know that her snappy attitude of the past 72 hours gave me an idea that something was up.  And now, after an emergency stop during our shopping trip, she confirms it: she has traveled the path and arrived at her womanhood. 

There’s nothing awkward in the conversation that follows,  just the discussion of logistics and next steps. It’s a natural part of growing up and she’d been warned by everyone that it was coming.  Her only worry has been that it’d arrive during class, like it did for some girl in white pants last year. But she welcomed hers on the weekend,  and she had no fear.

Ever since her discovery, she’s been waiting – just waiting – to feel something different, but there really is no difference. She’s no different today than she was yesterday or the day before this miraculous discovery. It’s Just that now she’s fully immersed in puberty (and with a newly confirmed boyfriend in tow!).

Poor thing she said she’s not “craving chocolate,” nor is she “moody” (that’s not true, believe me). She “must be doing something wrong,” she says. But there’s no wrong or right as far as periods go. It’s just a cycle of life that never seems to end.

She is wondering why she doesn’t “hate it.” All her friends complain about theirs. Next month, I’m sure she’ll know why and will no longer be excited about this new, wonderful thing that is happening to her little body. No, next month she will not be welcoming Aunt Flow. She’ll  wish that this frequently visiting relative would just go.

Rocking into 2015

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That was your temperature at its peak.
Hot to the touch, warmth unnaturally radiating.
You, dormant and melancholy, cling to me.
Company, up close, is all you crave.
With a sweeping hand, you cast away all food offered to you.
Occassionally, you whisper “Ju” and reach out.
You sip cautiously, testing the flavor of the juice given to you as it glides up the straw and into slightly parted lips.
Seconds later, you push the cup away.
Body shudders, coughs choke.
You watch television through glazed eyes, hardly interested in what is on.
But when it’s time for medicine, suddenly you become fiesty, “No ju!” you proclaim with finality.
Your hands cover your ears.
Your mouth clamps shut.
Legs flail.
And you battle ceaselessly against taking each assigned dose.
You try to shake your head.
You spit out whatever you can.
You scream, holler, and cry simultaneously.
When the syringe is empty, you fall still again.
Eyelids drooping, body motionless.
Double ear infection.

Seven days without our Ri.
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Fifteen plus 6

Favorite color green
Favorite food everything except for Mac & Cheese
Favorite book Trip to Heissman Trophy
Favorite TV show Modern Family
Favorite team Team Rico
Favorite activity other than football? to mess with Ri
Current School Grade ten
Favorite subject technical drawing
Future career goal ball out (play football)
Quote “Chill.”
Favorite Song Rico’s Story
Favorite Movie Gridiron Gang
Clothing style jackets
Favorite sport to play football
Favorite sport to watch football
Favorite past time sleep
One wish: make everyone’s life peaceful

This is six

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Favorite color blue
Favorite food fish sticks
Favorite book Lightening McQueen
Favorite TV show Spongebob
Favorite team Falcons
Favorite activity chess… uh, Hot Wheels… no, reading… ok, drawing pictures.
Wears size 1 shoe, size 6 clothes
Current School Grade
Favorite subject math
Future career goal dump truck driver
Quote “Mom, I’m hungry.”
Favorite Song Everything is Awesome
Favorite Movie Robots
Clothing style mismatched socks
Favorite sport to play football
Favorite sport to watch football
Favorite toy Lego

Welcome to Year Three

AKA Happy SECOND birthday, RiAnne.w RiAnne year 2
It has been an exciting year for us.

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Mo—om! RiAnne’s being a bully! I hear. Already there’ve been countless bellows of RiAnne, stop it! preceded – or followed by – Ouch!

Eventually, when the complaints go ignored, you’re carried into our room. Usually, you’re upside down, arms poised to strike, legs flailing, and a sly grin on your face. You know – are absolutely certain – you are unstoppable. And as soon as you’re released to the floor, you bolt back into an unwelcoming sibling’s room.
w IMG0133You’re still toying with language, preferring to speak with indistinguishable gibberish most often. Occasionally the intonations and hand gestures make clear what your made-up words do not. If you’re hungry, for example, you’re apt to say “eat eat” and repeat it incessantly until someone acknowledges you. You think nothing of digging through the cabinet for your bowl or a cup to emphasize demands. And, you’ve led Dad and I to the kitchen on more than one occasion, pointing to the fridge or pawing through the cupboard for noodle soup packages to thrust at us. In the last month, we’ve convinced you to distinguish between eating and drinking, though I was slow to realize that your “eww” was actually juice. You’re just as likely to say “eww” after passing gas or soiling a diaper, too (though ‘xcuse’ usually follows).

And, by the way, you’re days from potty training boot camp since you now remove your own diaper when it has been used. I guess it could be worse, you throw it away in the trash, but sometimes… yuck!
It’s funny how polite you are. You’ve had an endlessly runny nose for weeks now, and though every wipe hurts, you still say “thank you” after someone forces a tissue upon you to clean up your face. And you try (to little avail) to clean your face yourself in between. “Thank you,” you say as we hand you something, or, if you relinquish something, “thank you?” typically follows. You wait for us to repeat.
IMG_0688web No closed door discourages you. Handles twist back and forth before the identifying thumps of your hand sound. You call out “Laura” [sounds like Law-ah] or “Mommy” or “Daddy” with ever-increasing intensity. And the insistence continues until someone lets you in – – a Cheshire cat grin of satisfaction forming on your face.
You bounce down the hall in some sort of skip. You stop in the doorway – dangerously close to the staircase – and twirl. Laughter, shrill and loud, draws us out. You smile, wave, skip a bit more, and raise your hands. Hips rock you side to side, as now it is a music-free dance. Then, you spin on your heels, and bounce back toward Rico, Chi and Ya.
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In the library, you flit around between activities, settling focus on nothing for more than a few minutes. The touch screen computer, a vibrantly animated book, a puzzle.
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