She’s Going to Be a Handful!

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“May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you.  May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong and may you stay forever young.” ~ Bob Dylan

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It is the eve of her birth, thirteen years later.  In documenting our journey, I will tell you she sits upstairs as I type this post, in her newly updated “teenage” bedroom, FaceTiming (is that a word?) with her girlfriends. “We’re doing homework, Mom.”  Basically, “beat it”!

B and I are reminiscing, as we do every year about this evening 13 years ago; the dinner party with our best friends, Joe and Teresa.  Bets were on.  Joe says, “she’s going to have that baby tonight”.  Bryan says, “nah, we’re 3 weeks out, let’s break out this yummy bottle of Monticello”.  So they did. They partied on and I went to bed.  Joe almost won the bet and Bryan paid the price of a red wine hangover at 3:00 a.m. with the Bean on the way.  She arrived in perfect form.  As I stared at this little, almost alien looking being in my arms, all I could think about were the words of our French amnio technician telling us at 16 weeks when we asked if he knew what it was.  He a said, “IT is a girl, and she’s going to be a handful!!”  I emphasize he is French, because it’s sounds so much better with his accent.  Go ahead, say it with a French accent … much better, right?!

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In all seriousness and I know I’ve said this before, I often wonder how it came to be that I was so lucky to get you, Aya Bean. You are truly an amazing human being; you are kind, you are generous, you are loving, you are fierce and courageous, you care and are considerate, you love nature, you love animals, you love your friends and are interested, you are joyful and honest.

Happy 13th Birthday, sweet Aya Bean, my forever handful! ❤️ Enjoy the ride! #stayfierce #likeagirl #enjoytheride

and, Happy Birthday, Ed, the other love of our lives and the Bean’s best friend (the guy in the first picture). I can’t wait to see where the journey takes the two of you.  She’s a lucky girl to have you in her life ❤️❤️

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Journey through the Past

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“Will your restless heart come back to mine on a journey through the past? Will I still be in your eyes and on your mind?” ~ Neil Young

They say when you have a child you begin to flash back to your own childhood, with memories creeping in that have long been forgotten.  Around the time the Bean was 5, vivid memories came rushing back of my life in my childhood home on Choctaw Lane in Ohio.  On my birthday a week ago, the Bean had a birthday party of her own to attend for a friend who was turning 10. I began to reminisce about my childhood birthday parties on Choctaw Lane; parties my mother so joyfully threw for me every summer.  No party themes, no menu, no Disney characters on hand to entertain and no rules on who must be included on the guest list.  The guests were simply the neighborhood kids, menu of ice cream and cake,  and games of pin the tail and dropping clothes pins in a jar.  The gifts were so awesome (and cheap).  I remember clinging to a slinky during most of the party; to this day one of my favorite birthday gifts of all time.   We would swing on our swings, run around the neighbor’s cornfield chasing the chickens, do cartwheels, ride bikes and just play.

40 years later, kids have Alice in Wonderland tea parties with the Mad Hatter as the guest of honor, race go carts, indoor skydive, attend events at country clubs and travel on ski trips.  The party the Bean attended was a murder mystery ~ Clue ~ themed party.  She had a script, a costume and was beyond excited for the event.  We wouldn’t have had a “clue”  back in the day how to even approach a party like this.  So, maybe some of these parties are over the top.  Life, in general, today is over the top.

You might think I’m now going to say “I miss the good old days”; the days when life was simple.  Well, I’m not and I don’t.  Indeed, the memories are lovely; however, I’m thrilled to be a part of the changing times.  I am in awe of the children of this generation.  These kids define our future.  They are smart, kind, globally aware and conscientious!  They don’t need to be convinced that our planet is in danger.  They know it and are eager and willing to help fix the damage caused by their predecessors.

So, 40 years later the small child attended her friend’s birthday party and successfully solved the murder mystery while I sat with friends drinking a martini or two and sharing stories about the good old days (not really 🙂  Life is good ♥

The Best Luck I Had Was You

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“Cause the best luck I had was you…and I know one thing, that I love you!” ~ Michael Franti

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since that 3:00 a.m. drive down the mountain to Stanford Hospital to receive what we thought would be a little eye rolling, a few chuckles and advice to go back home and relax for another 3 or 4 weeks.  Ah, the best laid plans.  A year ago my post was a tribute to the Bean, reflecting on the memories of the day she was born. Rereading it today, it still makes me smile and wonder where I drew the creativity to write such an almost humorous post. I’ll probably repost it at some point today; however, for the sake of nostalgia (mine), feel free to check it out at http://www.journeyto2020.com/2011/04/21/she-is-going-to-be-a-handful/

Instead of writing, yet again, about how enamored I am with my child, I’ve decided to switch gears and give her a voice by sharing a poem she wrote for her fourth grade class this week; a little piece of her soul~

MY SOUL

My soul is running free
Like a wild horse
My soul is the drumming
Of hoof beats on the
Burning sand
My soul is the sound of
Ear piercing whinnies
My soul is a bright
Place with the smell
Of thick leather
My soul is the sweat
And blood of a horse.

By: Ally Sinclair

Happy 10th Birthday, sweet Alexandra!  Your love, kindness, courage and beauty (inside and out) is the essence of an unbridled soul!  May you, forever, experience life exactly as you feel it today!!

p.s. And, never forget the best luck I had was you ♥   xoxo!!

Gravity of Time

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Quote of the Day:  “Time makes you bolder, children get older, I’m getting older, too.” ~ Stevie Nicks

I’m feeling nostalgic today as I turn a year older and the small child graduates from Third Grade.  They say that your past comes back to you as your child journeys forward. Perhaps it is because we feel so intrinsically close to our children, that we not only want to share our joys with them; but, also share our pain and hardships in order to protect and guide them.

As much as I try not to do it;  it is very hard not to compare our lives; the similarities and the differences.  It was 1972 when I graduated from Third Grade.  My parents split that year and we shuttled between Germany, Cleveland and Ohio.  I was a straight “A” student (tickets to the Big Red Machine to prove it:), the best speller in the Mrs. McConnaughey and Ward’s class and the most terrified child on the planet.   It wasn’t easy trying to figure things out when you are eight going on nine years old.

As I look at my beautiful child and reflect on her Third Grade year I feel a sense of relief and gratitude.   Relief that history did not repeat itself.  Gratitude that I was able, for my family’s sake, to remain an optimist about love and life.  And a certain feeling of honor and ownership that I am able to share with her knowledge about worlds that are not so perfect.

I always accused my Mama as looking at life through rose colored glasses.  Thank you, Mama, for leaving those glasses on the nightstand for me. I promise I will leave them behind for the small child; however, I think she was born wearing a pair of her own 🙂

On June 8, 1963, Herta Renges Craft gave birth to the last of  her six children.  Thank you, Mama, for the gift of life, the gift of contentment and 48 happy birthdays!!  xoxo!!

She is Going to be a Handful.

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Quote of the Day:  “On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.  So they sprinkled gold dust in your hair and golden starlight in your eyes so blue.”

Dear Small Child,

Nine years ago, today, all my dreams came true with one deep breath and one small push.  Okay, so it was many deep breaths, many big pushes and promise to divorce your father if I survived the ordeal.  However, the moment our eyes connected, and I knew it was for real, it was love at first sight, and all the rest was history.

You didn’t come to us easily and when you did decide to make your appearance, you found it fashionable to be early.  You were due to arrive on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, and I had a plan.  You would have brown hair and eyes (like me); and we would name you Maya, to commemorate the occasion.  Well, I should have known when the amnio technician said, in his thick, French accent “She is going to be a handful” that all my plans were going to hell in a tuille basket.  At week 37 (April 20) when things seemed amiss and I felt the urgency to vacuum the garage, I knew that my plans were further going astray.   All it took was look and a word from your Uncle Joe saying, “that baby is coming tonight” that I realized there was no way out of this predicament.  Daddy, too, was not prepared.  He was sharing some fabulous wine with your Uncle Joe.  We all suggested that maybe he stick with one glass on this particular eve.  Ah, the best laid plans.  Let’s just say, when 4:00 a.m. rolled around on April 21, your Daddy was feeling as nauseous as I on the winding way down the mountain.

As it was, at 7:36 on April, 21, 2002 you came into this world, with a smile on your face and a look in your eye.   My first thought was, hooray, the doctor didn’t drop you, my second thought was that you looked exactly like “the greys”.  The proof was on the table, I had been abducted and impregnated by aliens.  In all seriousness, you were much prettier than the greys; less grey, more pink, with big, beautiful, blue eyes and blond hair.

Of course, I say this all in jest, because that is how we Sinclairs roll.  The reality is I often wonder how it came to be that I was so lucky to get you. You are truly an amazing human being; you are kind, you are generous, you are loving, you are courageous, you care and are considerate, you love nature, you love animals, you are interested and interesting, you are joyful and honest.   Of course, any mother would say these things about their child.  These are not my words.  These are the words of the people who teach you, the people who ride with you, the people who love you. Happy Birthday, sweet Aya Bean, my forever handful!