Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Girl of Grace

This girl, y'all. This girl.

Ever have one of those days when you feel like every other word out of your mouth is your kid's name? I had lunch with a new friend and her daughter today and started feeling like all I could talk about was my Kori. She is heavy on my mind, I guess. With good reason, I suppose, given the broken hip and the start of high school scheduling fun and her general awesomeness...

So, yeah. My baby girl broke her hip. Running. Not falling - RUNNING. At freakin' band camp. What the living what? Oh, but it gets better. It's a fracture typically caused by overuse/hyperdevelopment of muscles/being generally awesome. (Well, maybe not the awesome part.) Essentially, the muscles attached to her iliac crest (that bony part at the top of your pelvis that sticks out in front) were strong enough (and not warm enough) to pull a bit of her bone away from the rest, thanks to the cartilaginous nature of the not-yet-fully-grown skeletal growth plates.

Dang, y'all, why don't I practice medicine? That's another post altogether, I suppose.

Anyhoo, her quads and/or her lateral obliques were not quite warmed up enough for the intensity of her morning warmup jog at band camp (Have you MET Kori? Competitive much?)and one step led to a big pop and a caving sensation. She didn't fall, but couldn't keep running. Or walking. Or much of anything. The cutest (read: oldest and fittest) boy in the band just HAPPENED to be close enough to offer to carry her to the band nurse (who is an actual nurse, thank goodness), who assessed her, iced her, called me, yadayadayada.

Now, to add a little twist, as we Hayses are subject to do: I blame theatre camp. Excuse me - theatre PROGRAM. Mostly because that makes it even funnier than band camp, because really, who thinks of those activities as anything short of innocuous? (How many points have I earned for vocab so far? cartilaginous? innocuous? Dadgum, y'all.) Allow me to 'splain.

See, Majesty spent two weeks at the South Carolina Governor's School for Arts and Humanities this June for their theatre program. Every morning began with a run, and they had African dance every day, as well. Lots of barefootin' and movin' around in the black-box-theatre all day. Oh, and just being Kori. She was already crazy fit, but toned herself even more. In hindsight, she recalls her hips hurting some then, but, in her wise words, "My EVERYTHING hurt. Everyone's everything hurt. It's Governor's School." So, the stress part of this stress fracture likely didn't originate at band camp, but either way, it's almost comical.

Now here's what I love most of all. Besides chocolate. Or fruity umbrella drinks. Or melted cheese. I digress.

I love that her name means "Girl of Grace." Yep. Korianna, a mashup we made up because we couldn't choose between Kori and Hannah and decided to squish 'em together - oh and because it's awesome and one-of-a-kind, like we knew she would be. But oh, the irony. (Yes, Alanis, this is irony. Or maybe it's sarcasm. Either way...) Everyone loves to tease a klutz by calling her Grace. I'm sure I don't know about this firsthand. (See, more examples of irony or sarcasm or plain old smartassery!)Side note - once upon a time, I could rock the toe shoes and look super graceful on stage, but walked like a male duckfrog. Now I walk like an overweight male duckfrog, but that's neither here nor there. I was prone to soft-tissue and/or bone injury from such challenging tasks as walking, sitting, kickball, and showering. (To be fair, I was thrown butt-first into the shower by my very dearest friends, but isn't it funnier when I just say "showering?" IRONY IS FUN, PEOPLE.) There I go again. Digressing.

In fairness to Kori and to any of you who love her or me enough to still be reading this hot mess stream of consciousness, I'll end with a little sincerity.

I never expected I would have a baby girl. I was created to raise boys, or at least I thought. Mostly, I wasn't sure I would ever know what to do with a girl. Girling is hard. It hasn't ever been my strong suit. Raising girls is scary - their parts and their hearts need special care from the very beginning. And they are bombarded with pink plastic marketing. Did I mention how expensive they are? I felt certain the Almighty would grant me sons, as I was not equipped for daughters.

As always, the Almighty won and I am ever grateful for the act of Grace that brought this small, perfect person home to me, to show me how to be girlie, to love girlchildren. It is no exaggeration to say that she amazes me every single day. Exhausting? YES. Frustrating? God, yes. But the most lovely gift I've ever received. She is my ever-present reminder that I am by no means in control of my circumstances and ever grateful that I was wrong as could be about raising a girl.

I love you, chunky monkey.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A girl's gotta blog what a girl's gotta blog

I love writing. I do. But, lawdhavemercy, I know how my workbabies feel when they "can't think of anything to write about!" I recently started to understand that maybe the reason they struggle (I struggle) is that there are TOO MANY topics to know where to start. The clutter of stories writers collect in their heads can prevent the average perfectionist from just getting started. This is where keeping a notebook religiously can come in handy, but that is STILL not a habit I've developed. Alas.

As summer comes to a close, I realize how many stories I want to capture before too much time interferes with my being able to access the details and emotions that make a story readable. This is always a dance for me, too - I like to have a little time to let an experience sink in, to wrap my heart and head around it before wrapping my words around it, but if I wait too long, those thoughts become less clear. Then I just decide maybe the story wasn't worth telling at all. Ridiculous.

So, in the spirit of keeping this effort alive and reminding myself of a few stories you gotta hear (or I just gotta tell, maybe?), here's a classic list of Stories I Could Tell Here. I'm pretty sure I've done this before, and I'm equally sure I've never actually gone back and written those, but maybe you people will hold me accountable, hmm?

Summer 2014 Stories Worth Writing, Possibly Worth Reading

1. Voyage2K14 - The Voyagers in Adolescence at ECSSSJ take Manhattan and the Jersey (City) Shore, learning a thing or two about each other, about ourselves, about our world, about our Savior. This could be a series of stories, including "Where the Hell is Jesus in NYC? AKA Planning a meaningful trip" and "There Are No Fat Bulldogs in the City." Might even get a little poem out of there... We'll see.

2. The Hallelujah Girls - Oh, what a disservice I've done myself not reflecting formally on this yet. I haven't felt more myself in years than when I was pretending to be Sugar Lee. THAT could be an indication of some mental illness, I suppose, but more likely, it's just evidence of how much I love performing. Always have. Really excited about future opportunities I might explore with it. Yes, I'll admit I love the attention - really, who doesn't? - but more than anything I am crazy in love with the process. It's a shame I never really pursued it, and a disappointment that the opportunities really weren't there for me beyond sixth grade, but I am learning there is a crazy strong theatre community here in the greater metro, and I might just have the courage to spend a little more time becoming part of it.

3. Social Media and other addictions - Enough said. Maybe I should just print out my excessive number of status updates and go from there. Each one of them is a mini-story, a random thought that compelled me to put words out there. I could certainly fill in the blanks behind many of them.

4. Emptier Nest - Soon enough, our nest will be empty, and this summer was our first good taste of what it feels like when one or both of our babies are gone long term. I love the people they are becoming, and I am going to miss them beyond measure, but I am eager to learn how to be a grown-up with adult children. The four of us have to learn to negotiate our way through this next part together and to appreciate what we have.

Look for one of these soon. Soonish. I mean, school starts next week and I'll be all focused on that, but whatevs. With a little BICFOK (Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard, per Lester Laminack), I can do this.