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  • Kristen Kehoe

Week 16: Loving This Kind of Chaos

It was student-led conferences for Liv this week, and this is kind of like my Everest, the pinnacle of my parenting-moment each year. I'll admit it: I fucking love conferences. Liv loves school, so while my sisters may or may not have horror stories of conferences with some of their boys, sweating before they begin, I usually get sweet letters and smiles from my girl (bragging, Bri and La. This is my moment to brag...though, she didn't write me another letter this year, and I was kind of sad).

Liv took us through her entire math notebook (color-coded based on function; I almost cried), had a Slides presentation to focus our time conferencing, and read us her favorite narratives. Other than the siblings of other students who were running around trying to systematically disassemble the classroom (I gave the evil eye and one psychotic child gave it right back), it was a brilliant 60 minutes.

And then, yesterday, I got to experience what has to be the best age for my daughter thus far: an 11th birthday party with her four closest friends.

I know, most people hate the tween years, and as week 15's post can attest, we have our moments (hygiene. Like, why is that the hill she chooses to die on??), but yesterday, rather than the big planned party at a location with a cake and decorations and as many extras as possible, Liv and her friends painted some pottery (Killed it London and Mila...the rest of ya? Just killed the pots:)), before coming home and playing Mario Cart.

Luna got to join the party and floved it.

I'm not normally the house that has chaos. I have one child, which predisposes me to a lot of silence. And I'm pretty type A--I like a long bit of quiet time for my weekends. But for this day, along for the ride with five 11-year-olds, I got to listen and laugh as they laughed with each other about everything, made bad but hilarious jokes, and tried to figure out why the whale or teddy bear they were painting on their mugs looked more like continents. While I sat and helped them unplug bottles or figure out how to cover up the pattern they started and eventually abandoned, I realized that while each stage of mom-life is special in its own way, this one, right here, where my girl let's me be a part of her life, and I get small glimpses into who she is when she's not with's worth all of the interruptions.

Even when I stepped out to get a cup of coffee while they were painting and I said, "Don't get abducted," to which one smartass (Kinley *cough* Kinley) responded, "But how else will I get candy?" and another followed with, "And the van is so cool!" Or when I let them play DJ as I dropped everyone off, and London started us out with "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and they all laughed for days as my eyes crossed and ears bled.

I can't decide if their quips are hilarious or terrifying or both, but it was fun as hell, especially when we stopped at Mila's house again, she ran in to get more controllers, and they attempted a 4 man rotating Mario Cart game. "Who's purple?...I'm Ludwig...I'm Peach...Turn off auto-turn!...Wait, am I purple?"

Other than amazing birthday fun with friends, Liv got to go to The Wizard of Oz at West with her friends, and Luna got to go to the vet...where she got told several times what a big, pretty girl she is. We ignored big and stuck with pretty.

I hope you had a wonderful moment or seven in week 16. I'll see you Thursday for Liv's annual birthday post. Holy Shit, she's almost 11...and kind of sweet, even with the shampoo-ocalypse we tend to go through at least once a week.


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