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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mama Summer Love

Oh how lovely to look back two months ago when the summer was wide in front of us.  Now I've got just two more weeks left at home with my girls before I start a new show.  There will still be a few weekends left of summer but it's been so wonderful to be home for almost all of it.  What a blessing to be offered a job at the end of June that didn't start until late August.

The days just stretched out in front of us and we have greatly enjoyed them.  I signed Eliza up for multiple day camps and was able to be the one to take her to and from every one of them.  I picked her up on the day she caught her first fish at marine science camp, I got to watch her at her music theater camp showcase, I got to watch her really bloom as a little dancer in her various week long dance camps.

We traveled only to Pittsburgh to visit Kennywood, the amusement park of my childhood, and place my mother's ashes in the grave of my grandparents.  Because things don't often happen as planned, we didn't get to bury my mom during our trip but we did visit the grave and that seemed to comfort Eliza.  Getting together with family in Pittsburgh and showing Eliza my grandparents' house and the park of my childhood made her very happy.  The girls loved Kennywood and it was a sweet reunion with my college friend Sam and her daughter who we hadn't seen for two years.

And my mother's ashes, which had been misplaced during shipping, were finally recovered and resent to Pittsburgh.  She will be buried this upcoming Wednesday.  I won't be there to see it but my cousin and a friend of my mother's will be there.  It only gets bigger, how much I miss my mom, but there is some comfort in laying her to rest with my grandparents.  Eliza loved seeing what little family we have in Pittsburgh so we will return there, perhaps once a year or at least every other year.  It was a good feeling, knowing the place that I'd visited so much during my childhood, would still remain something of a home for us even though my grandparents are gone and I only have two aging family members left there to visit.  The history that was born there still continues and Kennywood still charms for the girls.  And my college friend with her daughter who is only a year older than Eliza still lives two hours west of Pittsburgh and will come in to see us.  So the trip was good on so many levels.

Life with my little Lena Loo has been more challenging.  She is a delightful, funny, spirited child but she requires more patience.  Sometimes I wonder if I just don't have as much patience as I once did or if she really is a more difficult child but there are entire days that are a wash because Elena doesn't want to do something.  If she doesn't want to go to the beach, she won't allow us (us being me and Eliza) to put on her swimsuit, if she wants dessert she will throw one hell of a tantrum.  It's often just easier to stay home and plop her in front of the TV because I don't feel like fighting with her.

I read something a woman read yesterday, about how she rarely goes out with her two year old and baby alone because it's so hard and I won't lie, I read it beaming with pride because that's all I've done.  I moved into an apartment on my own when Elena was only three months old and Eliza was 3 1/2.  And we went out every day, we did stuff all the time.  We even went to the beach a few times which I'll admit was pretty tough with a baby that young.  I remember nights on the beach with Elena strapped in the bjorn while Eliza and I waded at the ocean's edge.  We'd then sit on the sand and Eliza would splash in the shallow water while Elena pushed up from her stomach on the sand, her eyes blazing as she looked at the ocean.

When I first realized I would leave C, a few people said they didn't think I could do it, be on my own with two small children.  It has been extremely difficult and yet not nearly as hard as people thought.  But I did it and would do it again in a heart beat.  Moving here has given my girls a life at the beach, a great life that we'll sorely miss when we leave here.   We've had summers of small parades through town, kid races at the beach, dance recitals right down the street, Christmas tree lightings across the street and movies on the beach.

Now it's time to start a new adventure.  I signed my lease for one more year here but my rent has gone way up since we first moved in.  Working in New York and living here without my mom has just proven too difficult.  I'm so glad we moved here, so my girls could have those three years with my mother that we wouldn't have had if we lived two hours away from her.  I am so grateful for those three years, especially for year 2010 which was the one year my mother was the most healthy.  I couldn't quite move away this year, so I'm giving myself one more year before I start to look way out in Queens for a new place to call home.

But for now, I've got two more weeks with these wonderful, amazing and somewhat challenging girls.  Today we're going to a nearby waterpark for a day of fun.  I'm broke since I've not worked in so long but at least there's work looming.  And life is good and I'm so lucky to have this life with my little girls. There are moments when I just don't think I can do this again but at the end of the day, every night I am filled with so much gratitude and love for these two wonderful girls and my happy little family.

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