31 May 2010

It shouldn't EVER be all about me, but....

And it's not. Trust me. I vent here far more than I do in real life. Actually, hubby gets most of it. Olivia gets a fair amount too. But .... I keep a lot to myself. Until this blog, I would journal. The journal can get pretty ugly - and did.... all through my Dad's cancer, my one after the other surprise pregnancies ;-), and... other difficulties. Some great, warm, lovey entries that I love reading, but... others - yukky -and we all have those days AND we all need to read and remember and learn, right?

Anyway, I feel such a closeness to Olivia. I mean - it was just she and I for a while - and now, I am fiercely protective of her. I also want the absolute best for her, and I want her to experience so much in life. I've been thinking about that a bit this evening. I've always put her in the best schools, bought her the best clothes, exposed her to all sorts of academic, sports, performance, social and personal opportunities. If she needs a laptop, she gets one - if she wants to shop, we shop. You get the picture. I do make her do some chores - we expect good grades - we expect honesty, and..... we make it clear to her that her opportunities are privileges and that she is deserving, but.. lucky to have what she does.

It's funny, but... in all her activities, she does excel, and she really relishes the opportunities and the experiences. She has fantastic close friends, she puts her all into sports, she expects the best from herself in academics, and ... she embraces everything - from camp to vacations to getting braces to dealing with difficult people in her life, etc. - really remarkable (when we were out the other night, we saw friends who asked if their daughter's school, Shadyside Academy, would be getting Olivia, and... we said that she had actually chosen Oakland Catholic. They were disappointed - had hoped Olivia would be going to Shadyside. I thought, then, it is nice how many people do remark that she is such a sweet, thoughtful, interesting girl - totally her own person. That makes us proud). It's "funny" that she excels (odd word choice, I suppose) because.... well - we must be doing something right, right ;-)?

I noticed today that she forgot to put cross country in her 8th grade bio in the yearbook. I was surprised because she did SO well in it for years - five, I think. This last year, her coach really wanted her to run, but she wanted to do yearbook and focus on preparing for high school lacrosse - more - basketball, soccer, confirmation, etc. Anyway, she said she thought she was only supposed to put her last year of activities in the yearbook. This was funny to me because my senior year of high school, I thought the same thing and, so, left off gymnastics and cheerleading (yeah - you won't hear me mention that again :-). Gymnastics had been HUGE for me, and yet, I forgot it - just like Olivia and her cross country. I think it does show a bit of a humble, honest, "want to do the right thing" side of both of us. I feel like I'm in good company. Oh - and I have to mention here that I did a swimming rematch with her today (a couple years ago - six months pregnant with Lil, I beat her - I thought freestyle - turns out it was butterfly), and this time - she beat me! Freestyle. Good for her (cuz I'm still a pretty good swimmer - though not sure I want to try fly again :-).

So... while I wish so much for her - so many adventures, etc. - I do feel protective and nervous for what she might encounter. I also can't help but reminisce about my own past adventures - rock climbing, hiking and cliff diving ;-) in Maine - hangin' with movie stars and jumping off tour boats in Newport RI - weeks in Chicago trolling bars with drag queens / crazy performances and the best restaurants with friends - weeks in New York seeing shows, shopping then taking in some downtime on Montauk Pt. - dinner atop high-end restaurant terraces in Rome with international corporate leaders - standing in a sweaty tank dress on that same trip on a street in Rome watching a fashion show - London, Paris, Los Angeles, Vail - too much fun in this life. I am a lucky girl too.

So ... we'll keep working on her - making her the best person we can and leaving the rest to her. I think she's in good hands. Sigh. Think I'm done here tonight :-).

Photo: Olivia in her cross country uniform a year or two ago. Good times.

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