Tuesday, June 17, 2008

City Girl

She says she's old now. A whole two decades and she thinks that's old. How does she suppose I feel now that I've been her mom this long?

And no, I do NOT look old enough to have a twenty year old.

But still, I do have one. And all of the precious memories that come along with her.

I was tagged today by HappyWife at Mommy Musings. She challenged a few of us to put the last fifteen years into ten bullet points. I couldn't really get my head around it, but then I thought, why don't I make the list about my City Girl?

So here goes. You might wanna grab a cup of coffee...

* Fifteen years ago, my sweet girl turned five. That fall, she entered Kindergarten. She was in school with her "boyfriend" Richie whom she later ran into in Jr. High. They ignored each other at 13, but at 5, they were in love. That was also the year she learned to ride a bike.

* A couple of years after that, City Girl got sick at school. I was waitressing at a hotel in Orange County. I was between shifts and had just enough time to go get her and come back. She had to sit in the closed section while I finished working. Meanwhile, the chef and restaurant manager kindly brought her some muffins to eat. All of the sudden, I heard a roaring laugh coming from her table. Turns out she told them that Mommy makes those same muffins at home... and we have the same kind of forks, too. Yes, I used to "borrow" stuff from the restaurant.

* Around that same time, we woke up to a really beautiful day. I didn't have the heart to make her go to school, so when Big Little Sister's babysitter showed up, we took off on our roller blades! We skated throughout Crystal Court, South Coast Plaza, and all the theaters and sculptures in the vicinity. We skated over the bridge that used to take us to Bira Poretti's where City Girl and I had once enjoyed lunch after watching the children's version of the ballet, Sleeping Beauty. We skated until we were out of breath and out of sun. It was a great day!

* When she was about eight, I landed a Sales Manager position with the hotel in Marin. We packed ourselves up, City Girl, Big Little Sister, and I and moved to the Home of the Berkinstock. City Girl was nervous when she started her new school but not as nervous as I thought. She told me the story later of how she met her friends. She saw them on the playground, walked over and said, "Can I hang out with you guys?" They said yeah, and that was it. I don't think I was ever that brave...

* A couple years later, we were transferring back to So Cal. I let City Girl have one last slumber party for her birthday. While the girls were doing a scavenger hunt (I wish I could play this memory back on a screen) walking down the middle of the road, they were singing a Spice Girls song. At one part they all stopped with the song, bumped their little butts left and right to the beat, and then continued strutting down the road singing and giggling. You had to be there.

* When City Girl was "promoted" from Sixth Grade to Jr. High, the school had a beach-themed celebration. She wore a red and white hibiscus print dress and her hair was up in pin curls. Cute doesn't even cover how she looked. It was funny to see all the pre-teens at that age, when the chubby cheeks were starting to give way to the young ladies and young men they would become. I always think about the other kids that I've seen grow up alongside her... the ones that would just show up and eat straight out of our refrigerator at the Old House for years to come. I miss that.

* As mentioned before, City Girl's KinderCare boyfriend showed up one day at her junior high. "MOM! GUESS. WHO. I. SAW. TODAY? YOU'LL NEVER NEVER NEVER GUESS!" She was right! I would have never guessed in a million years that after all the detours that his family and our family had taken, that we would end up within a mile of each other in North County San Diego. Now, it would have been a nice story if they would've become the Class Couple and won Homecoming King and Queen... but they didn't. Oh well. His mother and I tried.

* City Girl got her first job pushing carts at Albertson's and we got 5% off all of our groceries... woo hoo! Then she moved on to Cold Stone Creamery. Oh yeah! She came home with ice cream every night and smelling deliciously like waffle cones... much better than stinky tennis shoes, let me tell you. Eventually, she took a job at a coffee house, which was just as good... for her, of course! The only thing better than the smell of waffle cones, is the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans!

* But I need to back up a bit. Before she got the job at the coffee house, City Girl graduated. That day was hectic, but so... well... COOL! My little girl was in her Purple and Gold school colors hugging all of the friends she had known for the last seven plus years... the ones I had watched grow up... the ones that were now full blown adults! She was wearing big shades, a ton of leis, and was rockin' the hair! I loved that this glorious person was my daughter and that she was loving life.

* Then she was in college... sort of. I mean, she tried to get into it... but it wasn't sticking. I was worried, but deep down, I knew she had to find her own way. After a couple of false starts, she did. The day she left for San Francisco, we made her pancakes and ate breakfast together at the Old House one last time. I gave her a card that said "It's YOUR time" because it was. It was her time to go out into the world and discover who she was meant to be. There was a light rain that morning as we stood under an umbrella crying and hugging her goodbye. Then her ride came and she was gone... around the corner and away from the house where we all used to live.

And that's the last fifteen years of being City Girl's Mom. Here's to the next fifteen... and the fifteen after that!


I love you, Jazzy! Happy Birthday!



HappyWifeHappyLife said...

That rocks, Sugar! You are an Awesome Mom, and City Girl is lucky to have you! :-)

All those memories are priceless... I smiled and laughed through the whole thing. I think the Spice Girls (and the "butt-bump") had to be my favorite though.

And for the record, no, you DON'T look old enough to have a 20 year old - not by a LONG SHOT!

D'Arcy said...

Echoing HWHL...you have a twenty year old! You look like you are twenty yourself.....what are you doing for eyecream dear?

I loved these beautiful memories. I crave having a mother like you, one who remembers what the weather was like when I hugged her goodbye. I love my mom, I really do, but it's usually been me being the parent. I remember even saying to her once, "Um, mother, what I just did was so wrong, and i knew it was wrong and I think you need to ground me for it." It was because she never grounded me for anything, let alone ever disciplined me. As you can tell, I did it to myself, so it all worked out, but she was the fun, outgoing, spontaneous---ooops, I forgot to buy groceries and feed you, and I was the one making dinner at age 6.

These are priceless, and your daughter is beautiful.

You did a good job, Shoog!

Sugar said...

Okay... only because you asked about the eye cream... if you look to the right, there's a link to my Skin Care biz. Rodan + Fields are the makers of Proactiv. Their stuff is awesome!

And as for the memories, I guess I've always just felt so lucky to be a mom even when things were rough. I can't imagine forgetting any moments, good or bad, with any of the kids. I'm always the one saying, "LOOK! You're going to miss this!" That's why photography is such a passion for me. I'd do it for free, but hey, Kids Gotta Eat!

Naomi said...

that was so sweet and beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. it's amazing the little details you remember. it must've been hard to let her ride off in that car. what an amazing and strong mom you are to let her find her own path. most parents aren't remotely capable of doing that. (i've been known to "borrow" things from restaurants to lol). and who knows, she's still young...she might wind up with that first little b/f of hers!