Sunday, September 12, 2010

My 3rd Blogiversary

3 years later...

Granted, lately, real life has rudely interfered with my blogging!

Sylvia opened in Willy Wonka last night. We really enjoyed the show, and she had a blast.

Getting there felt like it ate up the last week, but that's okay. In addition to hell week, I had a PTA meeting, the interviews for my Leadership program, and a packed schedule at work. This weekend, I'm just trying to find my strength again. And hopefully some blogging mojo.

So I've been blogging for three years now. Here are some of the things that have changed, and some that have remained the same.

When I first started blogging, I was living in my old LA childhood again. By incredible circumstances, when we were looking to move in that area for Sylvia to go to KIPP, the exact same condo that I'd grown up in was for rent. I loved the chance to go back home again. It gave me an opportunity to integrate who I'd been in high school to who I am now. While we may not live there anymore, those opportunities still present themselves, thanks to Facebook and all the reconnections I've made there.

Sylvia was going to KIPP and thriving academically. That was our dream educational year. I still miss it, I still miss what she gained from there, but now she has grown not just as a student, but as a person. Oh, we still have our battles, and I think we will for a long time, but I see so much in her that wasn't there 3 years ago. She is still sensitive, but strong enough to stand up for what she wants and needs, in all meanings of those words. Most importantly, she has grown to accept her father for who he is. She's not mad at him (or me), she loves him, but doesn't need him. I wanted to believe that she would get there, but I wasn't so sure for so long.

Last year, I didn't know if she'd ever be able to accept that some peers were just not going to be the friends she wanted them to be. She has learned that if she wants people to accept her for who she is, she has to accept them for who they are. While it's still early in the year and hasn't been completely drama-free, the tone has changed. She's getting through it a little bit easier.

She's also done an amazing job of staying on top of things at school while still rehearsing every night from 6-10 this week. She hasn't fought with me once about getting her homework done, nor does she really need my help. And even though she's going to bed later, she's getting up easier. She's changing so much, and all of them are signs of overall growth.

Riley called me her best friend 3 years ago, and still does. She was the new girl at school (again) three years ago, and this year, she'll be graduating with classmates she's had since third grade. She's still her own person, all while continuing to be there for others. She has found her strengths academically, and knows her weaknesses, too.

What I'm most relieved to see is she doesn't retreat into what I called her turtle shell as often as she used to. She used to suddenly get quiet and it would take forever to get her to open up about what was bothering her. Now, she openly reaches out and says how she feels. She loves to make people smile. Just this morning, we were snuggling, and she reached out to make sure Sylvia was included. She never wants anyone to feel left out. Because of her many experiences with being the new kid, she has been the first to welcome any new kid, or any kid that isn't part of the crowd now. Her friends are devoted to her because they know she is there for them. She learns from her mistakes, and if anything, I have to make sure she's not too hard on herself for making them in the first place. Of course, she's not perfect, but she remains a problem-solver and peace-maker; two qualities that are just part of who she is and always will be.

There have been times in the past three years where I wasn't sure we would make it through. I haven't felt that way in a really long time. I know that this blog and the community I've found here is a big part of the reason. Thank you for being here, supporting every step of the way so far. I hope to be here for a long time to come.


Jen said...

Here's an interesting thing... you spoke of your wonderful girls, but didn't speak about your OWN growth in that time - new job, wonderful job, finding a more permanent place to live, trips on your own, helping your daughters make peace with their dad and his family, and your leadership program!

What a role model you've been for your girls!

Cheers, April!

singlemama_cc said...

Happy anniversary April!! I've been keeping up with you (yes, I'm lurking in the shadows lol) since I started my own blog...which you helped btw...
I started blogging because the story of meth the eating me alive. After I got that out I felt better...but what I wasn't expecting is the people I've met along the way...wonderful people like you. I applaud how far you've come and how strong you are. Keep on rockin mama!

Tara R. said...

Happy Blogoversary! Both your girls and you have gone through a lot of changes in these three years. I hope the next three are even better.

Florinda said...

Jen made the same point that struck me - you talked about how the girls have grown and changed over the three years you've been blogging, but not so much about yourself. I'd venture to say it's been a time of development for all of three of you.

Happy Blogiversary, April - I'm glad I've gotten to know you, and hope to see you soon :-).

won said...

I always feel funny telling other adults I'm "proud of them". It feels condescending to me.

Nonetheless, I'm trying to convey that to you. Because everything that your girls are starts at the top.

So pat yourself on the back, April.

The show "Antonio Treatment" just came on HGTV. I only had it on for a second before flipping the channel. I heard them say he was doing a makeover on the Boys and Girls Club in Hollywood. I wondered if that was your girls club.

Erica said...


MindyMom said...

I can't recall how long I've been reading your blog, but like Jen mentioned, there have been MANY of your own personal accomplishments in these past 3 years as well as those of the girls. Isn't it great to have our blogs as a reminder?

Looking forward to the next three years, April! Happy anniversary? Or is it Blog Birthday?

L.A. Story said...

Congratulations, April! So awesome! And what an amazing job you're doing with your girls.

jenn said...

Happy anniversary. You've come a long way. And your girls are lucky to have you.

Danielle said...

I love how much your girls have grown and flourished. You have done such a great job.

Debbie said...

Happy Blogoversary! Three years is certainly a milestone. I am glad that I found you and your blog. I greatly appreciate all of the support you have given me over in my corner of the blogosphere. I am still working on keeping up with my reading and commenting while still trying to establish a regular blogging routine. YOU are an inspiration!