Thursday, September 1, 2011

September First.

Inara announced this morning, "SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY OVER." - I daresay she sounded not altogether unhappy about it either, which is possibly the most exciting thing to happen around here since her fifth birthday back in July.

It's because she's getting older, and all of a sudden school doesn't seem so scary. We went to go visit Inara's Pre-K teacher and old classroom this morning, and in that teeny classroom with those teeny toys, my teeny girl loomed large. She is so ready for kindergarten (which starts exactly one week from today - aaaaaaaahhhhh - I'm going to be such a mess!), even if she doesn't quite know it fully herself...yet. A mama can tell about these things, and all I can say is that her new school better had be ready, because they are about to get a whole lotta EYE EN AY AR AY. All caps. Exclamation point exclamation point exclamation point. This girl has personality to spare and the world needs to see it unleashed.

Even though Inara still says that she is "kind of nervous" about school, I am hoping that in a short while it will all be smooth sailing. After all, she has done the whole school thang before and this year she will see some familiar faces to welcome her back.

One bone of contention however, has been uniforms. Inara's new school has uniforms, her old school did not. She has expressed on more than one occasion, her vehement dislike about the whole situation saying, "I do not, ever, want to wear uniforms. Because I don't want to wear what everyone else is wearing. Ever."

I had no idea that Inara cared so deeply about her attire (if she had her druthers she would wear her pajamas all day every day for the rest of her days...or so I thought). But all of a sudden she is very much into picking out her own wacky clothing combinations, and not giving two hoots about what any of us have to say about the end result.

(To tell you the truth, I'm totally digging her new-found sense of independence.)

So a couple of weeks ago, when I brought home a department store worth of uniforms to try on, she took one look at all the light blues and dark blues spread out before her and let out a drawn-out exasperated siiiiiiiiiiigh. And then said, "UMMMM. NO."

I have to say, I was really not in the mood for arguing, since I had just spent the better part of an afternoon holding back tears in the middle of the mall just thinking about my girlie dressed up in these clothes, headed off towards her bright future. WITHOUT ME. More than one salesperson had to hand me a tissue, I'm sorry to say that I was really that pathetic.

"Inara. You're not going to look like everyone else. You're going to look like YOU. Because you're special and it doesn't matter what you wear. Just try them on. Please."

She thought about it, grunted at me, and took a pile of stuff around the corner to try on.

And came back stating matter-of-factly,

"I have decided to wear this with my uniform too. So that I can do THIS!"

She looked so grown up, and so NOT grown up, that my emotions - now at war with one another - came spilling out in the form of a guffaw drowned in tears. I just couldn't believe that something so funny could make me want to grab her and hold onto her and demand that she not grow up...ever.

And of course, everything just devolved from that point onwards, as Inara, driven to manic hilarity by me laughing and crying, decided that she would just have to see how far she could push my fragile emotional state.

Little sister got in on it too, exclaiming, "I a bee! Buzz Buzz Buzz! I go to school too! Bye-bye, Mama! See you SOON!" Which was so endearing and heart wrenching that I nearly broke down into sobs right then and there. ET TU, NISSA.

At which point Yousuf joined the traitorous masses and threatened to take my baby to school right then and there. "NOOOOOOO!!!" I shrieked, in mock agony, while Inara cackled with delight, "I'm gooooo-ing, Mama! I'm going NOW!":

By the end of it all, we decided that uniforms weren't probably so bad (if they could be accessorized...but not with dinosaur hoodies), that both Inara and I were probably equally nervous about kindergarten, and that every time I looked like I was going to get "uncomfortable feelings", Inara would just have to do something crazy. You know, to help turn my feelings into happy ones again - and maybe that would help change her mind about kindergarten too.

We've had a lot of crazy going on in this house ever since.

And Inara says that helping me feel better is making her feel pretty good too...which is my really corny segue into...

The Do Something Good Giveaway!!!
(Because all of YOU did something nice for someone else too! Get it? Huh? Do ya? Okay, I'll stop now.)

I was so touched by reading all of your comments and entries. You totally GOT IT, guys. And I love you all for it - I love you for getting on board and wanting to make someone's day a little brighter. I love that you didn't hesitate to tell me how great you thought the idea was. And I especially loved reading about all the people you want to help. I am lucky to have all of you wonderful, kind souls as reader friends - I feel like I got to know a little bit more about what makes YOU tick. And baby, I like what I see.

Extra special congratulations to Illusion of Sanity who won with the following comment:
I would give them to my good friend who has recently become a single mom and is struggling to keep a bit of normalcy for her kids. This would make her day!
I truly, truly hope it does! Please contact me at mahreen at venividiblog dot com to claim your Mabel's Labels Ultimate Back-to-School Combo for your friend. I hope that she loves them as much as we do...and thank you for entering her into the giveaway!

Thank you all so much for participating in the Mabel's Labels Do Something Good Giveaway, and especially to Mabel's Labels for making it all possible. It was fabulous to work with the ladies over at Mabel's Labels, they were on board with the idea right from the start and have been nothing but super supportive. If you didn't win this time, remember to bookmark the Mabel's Labels website, Facebook page and Twitter stream to keep up with all of their fabulous products, sales, and more giveaways too.

I love doing the Do Something Good Giveaways and as always, I am so appreciative of my readers taking part in them. It's so gratifying knowing that YOU want to help me make our time here a little bit more meaningful. Feel free to email me with more giveaway ideas anytime, I'd love to hear from you.

It was fun to pay it forward wasn't it? Let's do it again real soon.
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