Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sophia Sick

How is it that I can miss my girl so much? 12 years ago I was so happy being alone at home. I could do what I want, whenever I wanted. Then SHE came along. First, she occupied my body and then took all my time, was always in my thoughts and totally stole my heart. I watched Sophia grow into the beautiful, smart, strong young girl that she is today. Like all parents, I marveled at my daughter and took great joy in her development. I still do. She is an amazing kid and person.

She is in Wisconsin. She has been gone for a week and will be gone for 2 more weeks. I can’t believe I let her go! She’s with her best buddy, Katia, and her family on Papoose Lake. Before she left I worried that she would be home sick. She has been a little bit home sick but more than that, I am Sophia sick. I miss her like crazy. When she’s here her stuff is all over, she “forgets” to put away her dishes, her room is a mess, her laundry is piled up and she messes up the kitchen. When she’s here she also makes me laugh, plays with and watches the boys, she snuggles with me in bed and makes me smile and my heart sing. I love her so much and this is far too long for her to be gone.

In 7 years she’ll be going to college. 7 YEARS! That is like tomorrow. I have known since the day we brought her home that we were preparing her to leave our home. I teach her to cook, do laundry, clean up, be kind, negotiate, read, stay healthy and so on. All of us know that ultimately, this is what we are preparing our kids for but it really does go so fast. OK its fast most of the time….there are times where it’s excruciatingly slow but overall it has gone speeding by. And with time going so fast I don’t think I can let her leave again for such a long time. Forget home sick, I can’t stand it. I’m Sophia sick and 3 weeks is too long for my daughter to be gone from me.

She’ll be home the first weekend of August but I am not sure I can last that long. I suppose I will survive but I don’t think I can do this again at least not for 7 more years. Maybe then I will be ready for her to go to college but honestly, I don’t think so.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Country Boy at the Country Fair

The Oregon Country Fair is quite a scene. It is about 25 minutes west of Eugene in a heavily wooded area. I need to preface this with the fact that I have never been to this country fair before. When looking at the information on line the one thing that I wanted to check out was their nudity rules. Here's what the web site said,

"Is nudity allowed at the Fair?
In accordance with Oregon law, people are required to cover their genitals in public."

I can deal with that. I knew there would be various levels of undress but hey, it's Oregon. It's nothing I or my kids haven't seen before. My nephew William....that's another story.

William is a 13 year old boy from Georgia. As they say in Georgia, "Georgia born, Georgia bred and when I die I'll be Georgia dead." He is, for all intents and purposes, a country boy, especially by Oregon standards. I knew that this fair would be something he's never done before and probably will never do again. It is 2 and a half hours away but I felt like it was worth the trip for the experience.

We went to the fair on the opening day and arrived in the parking lot at 10:20. The gates were to open at 11:00. It was really fun. From the moment we entered the parking lot everyone kept saying, "Happy fair!" Like it was a national holiday. The 3 boys and I lucked out and got a ride right to the front gate! As we rode along it was the same, "Happy fair!" Almost everyone was in a costume of some sort. There were lots of tutu wearing dudes along the way. This took William by surprise. It's at about this point when William started saying, "Well then." It was like a guys way of saying, "Oh my." As we pulled into a parking spot up front we could hear a drum circle and lots of whoop whoops and yeeeeeawwws.( Oh, and here's the cool truck we saw too.)
When we turned the corner we could see all the commotion. What fun!
The stilt walkers were so cool.  They were dancing around, banging on bells and drums.  My boys were in their element.  William felt like he was on another planet.  Then some guys covered in mud wearing grass clothing, yes, I said grass clothing came around the corner.  I heard another, "Well then."  Next the green people came running through.  "Well then." And finally some very scantily clad folks.  They were wearing loin cloths...that's it. "WELL THEN."

We walked toward the front gate and got ready to go in.  Again, more of the same.  From the fair people, "HAPPY FAIR!"  From William, "WELL THEN."  There were about 1000 people waiting to go in and we were in the front of the pack.  As we entered it was a wonderland of country fair.  It looked like a human size fairyland.  All the structures were as organic as they could be.  Most of them were made from whatever was in the forest.  As we walked along we checked out all the booths.  Here's a little sample of some of the music at the fair.     There was lots of pottery, tie dye, fairy wings, devil horns, shrines, capes, more tie dye, pottery, music, and the like. There were a few guys that were giving out free hugs, even one mostly naked guy. William said, after the guy walked by that he should have gotten a hug. Yeah, right.
About 30 minutes in there was a parade.  I am pretty sure this parade went on all day just going in circles while picking up new people and dropping some off.  It was an never ending, constantly evolving parade. "Well then." 
We walked around for a total of 4 hours.  My boys bought horns and capes.  They needed some good fair regalia.  William didn't see much that interested him except the fudge.  That looked good.  We saw shrines of all types, LOTS of topless women.  It was fun pointing them all out to William.  He got embarrassed every time. It never got old.  There was a dragon that was about 50 feet long and 8 feet high built out of twigs.  There were 30 people sitting inside eating their lunch. We joined them.  There was a special bench for stilt walkers.  The bench was about 6 feet in the air.  We saw the parade again.  We spent some time at the main stage watching people dance and sing.  There were a couple, "Well then's" there for sure.  
A funny little parade that we saw was about 5 large noses and a box of Kleenex.  The noses were on stilts and as they made their way through the crowd they'd stop and say, "I feel an attack coming." or some thing like that and then throw a weighted green bag out of a nostril.  It was really funny....and gross.  
As we approached the exit we saw the naked "free hugs" guy again.  What luck!  And William said he wanted one.  I said, "Now's your chance Will."  He smirked and said, "Ah, no thanks."  That's what I thought.  We made our way out and headed to the car.  There were HUNDREDS of people walking in as we were walking out.  It was very busy while we were there, I can't imagine how busy it was going to be with all those added people. 
We made it back to the car.  All 3 boys were complaining that their feet hurt.  I'm 47, how is it that their feet hurt more than mine?  We turned on the AC and headed out.  We were dusty, dirty and tired.  I knew those boys didn't particularly care about quality fair food so I opted for Subway on the way home.  They were all happy about that.  It was a fun, and definately memorable day!
A few more pix. 

Missing Girl

Yesterday my girl left for 3 weeks. I can't believe she's gone and I can't believe I let her go. She's in Wisconsin with one c her best buddies and her family visiting the buddy's grandparents.

We had to get up yesterday at 4 to get Sophia to the airport by 5. She was sleeping in our bed because she was nervous. When we got up Sophia went and got dressed and then came to be with me. She was so nervous! She was shaking from head to toe like our dog when I take her to the vet. I felt so bad for her but I knew she'd get over it and have a great time.

We got her to the airport at 5 to meet up with Aaron, the buddy's step dad. It was a quick hand off which was great, there was no time to be emotional. She said goodbye and was off on her big adventure.

I received a couple texts mid trip on a layover and she was having fun. Then a picture upon her arrival with her buddy. She looked so happy. I called her a little later just to say hello. She was all giggles.

Today when I called early in the day she was having so much fun she could hardly stop long enough to talk. Then tonight I got a call at 10:15 her time. She was tired, it was quiet and dark and she was feeling homesick. I know it's harder at night.

On the home front it's strange not to have her here. Bob made breakfast for the boys and called them up. He told Kees, "Kees, go get Sophia." He smirked at me. Kees ran off yelling for her. 10 seconds later he came back grinning, "She's not here dad!" We all laughed. I really miss her. As she's gotten older she is more and more fun. She's learning to cook, she will go to the store with me and keep me company and she is really funny. I really miss that the most.

I know this is all part of growing up and I am sure it will change her. 3 weeks is a long time. The longest she's ever been gone in the past is a week and that was hard. At least she can call if she wants.

I look forward to hearing all about her adventures and what she learns. A couple things I hope she doesn't learn...#1) Sun burns are as bad as mom said they can be and #2) The mosquitoes are as nasty as mom said. I got some eye rolling and a couple, "mmooooOOOOoommmmm, I know. You already said that." I always say, "I know you know this but I'm your mom and it's my job to say this." And then I dispense my advice whether she wants it or not. I love that kid like crazy and need her to be safe and smart. I told her, above all, trust your gut. If someone seems "off" stay away. If you are in a situation that feels like it could become unsafe, it can. Switch course. If you need help, get it. Follow your gut. I don't care if you think it will offend someone, you stay safe. And if I didn't think she would follow that advice I wouldn't have let her go. She's a smart kid. I won't be able to protect her all the time but I can teach her to stay safer by avoiding unsafe situations. I pray she stays safe and that she has the adventure of a lifetime. Safe travels little lady. I love you