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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Jay-quell-in is twelve!

Our firstborn is twelve!  D'arcy hasn't had a kid birthday party in four years.  This year, we let her have a slumber party.  D'arcy put a lot of work and planning into the event.  She made a pinterest board.  She had a legal pad with lists and floor plans.  She planned out a craft making bracelets from beads and safety pins.  She created a projector with a magnifying glass, her iPhone, and a shoe box to show a movie.  She put together a scavenger hunt in Fletcher Place.  We had tacos and cake and donuts.  Stephen made a grocery store run at ten o'clock for movie snacks.  She received lots of cute little gifts from her friends and was sweet and gracious.  I think she is good on kid parties till she's sixteen.

I was looking back over her birthday blog posts.  Two years ago, I mentioned our daily feud about brushing her hair.  She gave me a lot of grief about it.  And now she's twelve, and she stands in front of the mirror in the downstairs bathroom every morning.  She brushes her hair and braids it in a million different ways.  Sometimes she puts it in a bun.  Sometimes she puts headbands or accessories in it.  And this mom is really thankful that it isn't a fight anymore.

She was coming into our bathroom every morning to spot treat her tiny zits and use my blush and mascara.  So a couple of months ago, I bought her some of her own makeup and acne medication.  She was super thrilled when I gave it to her.  She gave me several hugs.  Stephen asked me if she was old enough, and I said, "I'm just so glad that she is taking an interest is caring for herself."  I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be so lucky with Julian and Schroe.

If you walk into our house there is a good chance you will find her with her iphone earbuds in.  Her phone isn't activated so she can't call or text anyone.  She asked us to let her sign up for this texting app called kik.  The app says you need to be thirteen to sign up.  Stephen has decided, why make new rules when the app already has them?  So she has to wait.

She watches this YouTube show called Daily Bumps.  Forget TV.  My kids only care about YouTube.  I've made her start leaving her phone on my desk when she goes up to bed at night so she'll actually do some reading in her bed before she falls asleep.

The art club at her school is going on a trip to Savannah.  In January, she asked if she could go.  The cost was almost two thousand dollars.  That felt like so much money to me.  Reluctantly, we paid the $400 deposit, and I gave D'arcy this long lecture about how she needed to work for most of the rest.

She started busking.  She added to her ukulele repertoire, and played songs on Mass and Virginia Avenue.  She also got a couple of jobs watching dogs and chickens and cats.  In five months, she made the other $1500 she needed for the trip.  You guys, that lecture really worked.

Last Christmas, she received some roller blades.  She's ditched the scooter and travels around the house and neighborhood on skates now.

She also asked for and received a FitBit from us and my parents.  One of the things I desperately want to instill in my kids is a rhythm of being active and the sensibility to eat well and in moderation.   Guiding an almost teenage girl in this area is super duper tricky.  Please send all the answers.  Maybe I'll have this down once Maggie and P reach this stage.  D'arcy continues to be our parenting experiment.

D'arcy was invited and received a scholarship to attend a Presidential Camp at the Benjamin Harrison house this summer.  Stephen and I had been talking often about how we can help her channel her natural inclination to lead to be strong, effective leadership.  She often comes home from school frustrated with her peers and their foolishness.  D'arcy has a zero tolerance policy for foolishness.  But so much about leading is seeing value in your followers and inspiring them to live into that value.  Anyway, we saw this Presidential camp as one opportunity to think more about strong leadership.

She and her friend and neighbor, Katherine, started a Fletcher Place kids neighborhood association.  They are organizing kids in the neighborhood to do community projects.  D'arcy has dreams of starting a kids' garden.

Last October, we had to say goodbye to our beloved dog, Begbie.  D'arcy insisted on being with him as he was put to sleep.  She was so sad, and will still shed tears when she thinks about it.  Then, in late November, she lost her great-grandmother, namesake, and birthday buddy which was also extremely difficult for her.  It was just a tough month.

My mom and dad made her dreams come true when they helped us buy a new bulldog puppy for Christmas.  D'arcy loves Georgia so much and has spent so much time this year teaching her to sit and lay down.  She give her baths and takes her on walks.  She also measures Georgia and shops for doggie halloween costumes.

Before she went back to school, We bought D'arcy a new Jansport backpack.  She helped pick it out.  That girls' backpack and home locker and top bunk is always full of STUFF.  When the backpack was delivered, she spent ten minutes showing me all it's wonderful pockets and features.  Her excitement over pockets and features makes me smile.

You guys, We are two thirds of the way done raising this person!!

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