Today I had planned for all three kids and myself to go to Colorado University’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. And then realized that wasn’t likely to happen when Golfer started crying at the thought of going ‘to another play this year!’. I still was going to pack him along, explaining that the ticket cost money to buy and I wasn’t going to waste it. He offered to pay me double the price I paid for the ticket to let him stay home, which made me laugh and think of all the starbucks hot chocolate I could get for myself, so we made that deal. I went to gather Sassy up to come, but she had watched what Golfer did and gave me 5 quarters and some pennies to let her stay behind, too. So she did. (And I think I’m on to something here…)
This left Naturalist and I to go just the two of us. As is the custom, as soon as she got in the car she went to put her earbuds in her ears to listed to her itunes music. Instead, I offered to let her be the DJ and spin some of her tunes hooked into the car speakers. At least that way I could communicate with her…even if I did have to listen to some Metallica on the way.
The play was amazing! We met up with a huge audience-full of homeschooled kids, who were totally into the show. In fact, afterwards, the actors came back on stage to thank us for being the best audience they’d had for the show. One of the leads admitted that he often doesn’t look forward to the matinee performances for schoolkids, but that our group was the most reactive and fun to perform for. So, that was nice!
On the way home we stopped by Smashburger to share a burger and fries using Golfer’s money, and then we stopped at a bakery so we could eat some delicious pastries in peace and quiet. There is no happier place in the world than a bakery during the holidays!
At first we just sat and looked at each other. Naturalist is really good at giving off this vibe that says (to me, anyway…) “I am so uninterested in being here right now with you.” LOL. I think it’s a common gift most teenagers have in common. But I’ve developed thicker skin in the last year of her teenageness, so don’t let that stop me from starting a conversation with her. Usually best done by doing something silly or making her laugh in some way. And then, once I make initial contact, it’s imperative I don’t mess it up by talking. She’s listened to me talk at her for 13 years, now it’s my turn to listen to her.
She talked about being an ornithologist. She talked about her dreams of becoming a falconer–but first she has to find a mentor and capture her own hawk. She talked about how California has some amazing and unique birdwatching. She said that she wants to travel the world, looking for birds, but not with kids because kids would ruin it (!!!!lol), she wants to go with friends first. And then she’ll go back with her kids, but they’ll be adopted because there are so many kids without homes or families. She talked about so many things, once she got started. We named her well, Todd and I, because her thoughts and voice runs along in so many directions and speeds, just like a brook running down a mountainside. We didn’t know she’d be a Naturalist back then, but if we had we couldn’t have picked a better name than Brooke.
And then, after stuffing ourselves silly and talking up a storm (or, her talking, me listening), we returned back home.
Having a teenager is still a new experience for me, it still feels strange to look over at my baby and see her taller than I am with an attitude to match. It’s as foreign as the time when I brought her home as a newborn–not knowing what to expect or how to act. But, so far, these days have been good ones, and watching her grow into herself continues to be one of my life’s biggest joys. Especially if pastries are involved.
Filed under: The Naturalist |