A Year of Change And Possibilities: May, June, July, August 2014

Oh, the spring and summer months, so simultaneously anticipated and dreaded. Months and years of preparation came to a head, as my children and I were thrust into turbulent change.

Lily turned 18 and graduated from high school; we saw joyful high school traditions and the rewards of hard work on the snow and the pole vault.

Senior Ball
Senior Ball
L pole vault
Lily setting her high school record in women’s pole vaulting.
Lily's graduation
Lily’s graduation

At the shore, we celebrated endings and beginnings of next chapters.

Cameron at Santa Cruz
Cameron at Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz beach
Lily at Santa Cruz beach.

I experienced a true ’empty nest’ that terrified me. So I traveled – without kids.

Bend, Oregon
Bend, Oregon
Deschutes River
Deschutes River

And in one of the most spectacularly horrible Augusts in recent memory, life turned completely and inexplicably upside down as dreams were dashed for one, opened for another.

IMG_7371
broken leg in Oregon
Moving Lily into her Salt Lake City dorm room
Moving Lily into her Salt Lake City dorm room

This quote, by William Stafford, reflected this tumultuous time precisely:

“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.”

Through it all, I tried to keep writing, to reflect the upheaval; as my posts were sporadic and at times, many far too difficult to write in the moment. Some of my favorite pieces from May, June, July and August were:

 Every Day Is Mother’s Day For Me

Past And Present

A Month of Quiet

Letter To My College Bound Daughter

Today, I Love You

The theme of change and possibilities culminated in the fall and winter…more in my next post.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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A Year of Change and Possibilities: January, February, March, April 2014

Lily and Cameron racing at Sugar Bowl, January 2014
Lily and Cameron racing at Sugar Bowl, January 2014

The year started with fireworks in the snow. Ski racing was front and center for Lily and Cameron, and me, by default.

Cam at Sugar Bowl Academy
Cam at Sugar Bowl Academy
College acceptance letters started!
College acceptance letters started!

I struggled with changing perspective in motherhood as Cameron moved to Sugar Bowl Ski Academy, and Lily received college acceptance letters.

On our way to Salt Lake City, Utah, for our last two college visits.
On our way to Salt Lake City, Utah, for our last two college visits.

Lily and I took our last college exploration adventure before her big decision.

And, I did a bit of writing, too. Some of my favorite posts were:

Thanks, Coach, For The Life Lessons

I Thought I Knew What Was Best For My Kid, But He Had Other Ideas

At This Moment, She’s Right Where She Needs To Be

Live A Life of Amazement

I had no idea that these moments, these bits of time and change and glimmers of possibilities, were only the beginning of the upheaval to come in 2014….more to come in my next post.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Every Day Is Mother’s Day For Me

I don’t need a day to remind me of why I love being a mother. I don’t need a corporate sponsored, scheduled celebration time. I don’t need an arbitrary day of obligation to prove to me you’re glad I birthed you. What I do need is a quiet morning, the wind blowing through the trees outside my window, the chocolate brown sheets pulled softly against my skin, my favorite mug filled with warm French roast, and my mind silent enough to drift back to all the moments that changed my life because of you – the moments that turned me sideways, pitched me forward, and made me realize that being a mother has irrevocably shifted my spirit into another dimension.Mother's Day

From the first moments I felt you wiggle inside me, from your luminous eyes gazing up at me from my chest, from your tiny hands grasping for mine, and your ethereal, miniature body nestled in slumber next to mine, I knew instantly that every day would be Mother’s Day.

In those first few years I learned, in the words of Anne Lamott, “….that children fill the existential hollowness many people feel; that when we have children, we know they will need us, and maybe love us, but we don’t have a clue how hard it is going to be.” I experienced the joy and despair of motherhood as I watched you learn to climb the stairs, ride a bike, rip down a ski hill and fly over a vault. I realized that Mother’s Day was celebrated as much in the moments of ‘no’ as the moments of ‘yes’, and that, as the sage Maya Angelou says, “Please – be their supporters, be their protectors and let them know that. That doesn’t mean that you indulge and condone mismanagement and bad action – but you can say, “I’m on your side. Now, this is not acceptable. And the reason it’s not acceptable is that you might get hurt in the management of the interaction. But I’m on your side – I want you to do well. I love you. That doesn’t mean I indulge you – I have sentimentality and it means I really love you and I want you to live a good life.” Oh, yes, my darlings, I really love you, and every day I am on your side.

And today, as I wait for your teenage bodies to wake, I fantasize about the Mother’s Day moments yet to come; the day I watch you accept your diploma, the day I hear the news you found your first job, the day you shout the words “We’re getting married” or “We’re having a baby” – those are the days I dream of, the days that bring motherhood full circle and explodes my happiness into tiny, glittering shards as you step into  the ecstasy that has become my every day, my Mother’s Day.

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Spontaneous Changes

Tahoe Park sunsetTahoe Park sunset

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes.

Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.

Let reality be reality.

Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Lao Tzu

What is spontaneously changing in your life right now?

Are you resisting change, or letting it flow?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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A Perfect Summer Day

a perfect summer day

My girl’s idea of a perfect summer day

Starts in the dark, before dawn

waking up in a narrow dorm bed under well-worn covers

stumbling across the tiny room to quiet a blaring alarm

and gulping down a quick bowl of cold cereal with  milk.

My girl’s idea of a perfect summer day

doesn’t involve a plan for cruising the air conditioned shopping mall

tanning by the pool in a teeny tiny bikini

or a mani-pedi with girlfriends, chatting about the latest celebrity gossip

My girl would rather pull on her red and black speed suit

knee high magenta and orange wool socks

slather her freckled face with sunscreen, hair in a messy braid

throw her pack on her back and grab her Volkls

My girl’s idea of a perfect summer day

isn’t like mine was, playing jacks on the cold linoleum kitchen floor

reading Nancy Drew in the soft grass

or dominating the world at RISK

She’s climbing high above the clouds

looking out from the edge of her world

hoping for sixty seconds of air time as she zigzags down the snowfield

wind brushing her face, bright blue eyes shining behind pink goggles

golden brown braid blowing in the wind

My girl’s idea of a perfect summer day

fills both our hearts with happiness

and gratitude

What does your perfect summer day look like?

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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