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  • Kristen Kehoe

Week 20: Learning to Figure it Out

Week 20 brought us a lot: we had a middle school introduction night (holy crap), a softball scrimmage where Liv not only played first and third base, went 2/3 at bat, but also apparently played catcher for an entire inning in which I did. Not. Notice. Ahem. We rounded it out with a Friday night of dry ground fly-fishing practice, a Saturday piano syllabus and the District Finals for high school Track & Field, and a Sunday mountain bike ride while Liv went to batting cages with her team.

I think this week, more than any of the activities and night time endeavors, or even the Saturday where we spent time around actual people, I learned that there are times where tough love isn't necessary with your kid, because life with other people can be tough enough. Sometimes, in some moments, she just needs a hug. And some tacos. We definitely had tacos, too.

Remember when we were growing up, and our parents would use that oh-so-super-annoying phrase, "This hurts me more than it hurts you"? I always thought, "Then fucking stop it. Duh." Ha, the ignorance of a child.

This week I was reminded that there are some things we all must live, some discomforts that simply come with growing up and learning your way around life and all of the people and personalities in it. And, as Big Mike and Judi once tried to tell me, there's not a damn thing we can do as parents other than give that hug and those tacos, and hope that this too shall pass.

And it did. After a hard day, a few thousand hugs, and twice as many pep talks from her parents (only child life, ammiright?), Liv went to tennis, then to her softball scrimmage, and when she came home, that heartache had been eased a little. And it was in this moment when I remembered that kids are resilient because life, even a life as comfortable and easy as Olivia's, can be uncomfortable and filled with little moments of heartache that force us to grow up small bits each day. And in the great words of Olivia Anne while we were walking to the car after her scrimmage, "It's like Quinn XCII said mama: my highs wouldn't be so good without my lows. I'm going to remind everyone to just talk about their feelings right away, because having friends back is the best."

Another good reminder.

The rest of our weekend was full of fun things, like watching Liv pass her OMTA syllabus and becoming a Level V pianist, mountain biking with Old Man River, and dryland flyfishing for the labragoat, who eventually sat on the fly and wouldn't move. Well played, Luna. Well played.

In the background of all of this, I thought about Big Mike and Judi and those words, those very simple words that now make so much sense. And I can't help but think maybe that's our superpower as parents: hurting more for them, so they can hurt less. Not never, because that's not a life of resilience. But less.

Happy week 20, beautiful people. This one got a little serious, but I'll leave you with the reminder that I cursed my way up and down a hill at Chip Ross today, and realized on the single-track downhill that I was not necessarily in control, (thanks for pulling over, trail runner--you rock), and I was holding the handlebars so tightly that my hands were cramped. Obviously, this is a very natural sport for me. I'm sure I look super comfortable to all of the observers, like the older gentlman whom I passed and heard him comment, "Quite the slodge you've got going."

Affirmative, sir. And apologies for the F bombs I'm sure you've been hearing the last several minutes. Those are all on me.

But these horses who passed us were pretty--and I wasn't even cursing when they rode up. Heyo.

I've already said yes for a Tuesday dinner date for week 21; boom, we are starting the week off as rebels.

Until then. xoxo

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