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Saturday, February 3, 2018

Middle teen news


Laura was sixteen in December. I thought, “Wow, half way through being a teen,” before I realized being a teenager starts at thirteen. Ah, well. At whatever point, Laura is an interesting person, learning.

Some time ago she announced she had changed her mind about spending her junior year abroad. For the longest time she would not tell me why, but one day blurted out the decision was the outcome of her mother “tangling” her in a conversation. No further explanation. I understand the problem with her mom.

But, Laura recognized what happened and knows how to deal with it. She picks her battles with her family carefully; this one was not worth her effort. I am pleased she saw the opportunity and went through all the hoops to present her application to the sponsoring group, and be accepted. The next time she will be able to say “I’m going!” to her mom, and go.

The current semester is drawing to a close and next semester’s courses being arranged. Ever the advance planner, Laura scheduled out her entire high school curriculum, two years ago, and put it under my desk pad. A week or so ago, she nonchalantly announced she would not be taking band next year, and probably not her senior year, either.

Band has been the pride of high school, starting with their mother. All four children loved band dominating their lives. Band camp. Marching band until Thanksgiving, before the reward of concert band. This time I was stunned, and asked what she was taking instead, and why she was quitting.

She’s quitting because she doesn’t like it. She doesn’t like it because it’s not where her friends are. I hadn’t much considered what the little gang of hers does. “But Meredith is in band,” I protested. “Yes, she plays the cymbals so she can be in marching band with me. I said I was quitting and she’s so glad. She can quit, too.”

Laura signed up for art and creative writing next semester. Plus the usual math, science, ASL. Fractional exponents are a thing of the past, mastered and gone. In chemistry, they’re making a solid of two liquids. “It’s called a precipitate. You have to add up…oh, never mind. I just do it!”

About this time last year I was making plans for vacations. Spring break. Washington DC. Walking around the National Mall and the homes of presidents. We know how that went. There will be no red buses this year!


I asked the parents of my favorite of the gang if Victoria could come on some short trips this summer. I can send the two of them off on some excursion and wait for them in the coffee shop, so to speak. Now I need to see if I can still book a cabin or lodge or B&B. I was thinking the Finger Lakes in New York. 

Went to lunch with Deb yesterday. She threw in New River Gorge and Hawk’s Nest State Park in West Virginia. Lots to do.


Lunch with Deb. I had Eggs Benedicts (quoting directly from the menu). I considered requesting an Egg Benedict, but thought What the heck. I can handle it. Here's an up close view. The eggs were perfect, the bacon good. I left behind the muffins and most of the delicious home fries. Next time, Egg Benedict for sure.


31 comments:

  1. As time goes by we all change our minds about what is important part of growing up I guess.
    That food looks very good.
    Merle..........

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  2. I always wondered what an Egg Benedict looked like...now I know. No band for Laura....it took her this long to decide she didn't like it?

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    1. All the pressure was from the top down. Her mother loved band. So did her three siblings. She had to learn for herself.

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    2. Ah....she's a people pleaser then. I hope she grows out of it...looks like she's on the right track.

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  3. I love seeing a young person come to know their interests, likes and dislikes. It is awonder to watch them grow in so many ways!

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  4. The brunch, one Benedict too many, does look tasty.

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  5. Ah, eggs. You cannot go wrong with an egg or two, can you?

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  6. I think I know a grandma who will be just as happy not having band on the calendar :)

    Good for Laura for ever-growing maturity. She is doing well.

    Lunch looks delish.

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  7. I've followed your adventures raising Laura or is she raising you, and I must say she's a force to be reckoned with and you must be very proud of her.

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  8. It's lovely to see how Laura is growing and developing into a young woman who knows what she wants and works toward achieving it. It's also great to see you making forward plans. Finger Lakes sounds like a beautiful place. I googled it.

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  9. Hari OM
    No travel o/seas this year? There's always the next... creative writing? Yay! I haven't had eggs for ages. Tomorrow's Sunday, so why not eh? &*> YAM xx

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  10. Hello to Laura! Looking forward to warmer weather so we can visit xox

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  11. Interesting to see Laura becoming independent and capable of handling family pressures.

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  12. It will be a great vacation. You will all have a wonderful time.

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  13. It is not an easy time to be a teen. She sounds pretty steady, making good decisions. She has a great mentor.

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  14. Well, teen years are the best time to explore various interests and passions. I hope she gets a lot out of art and creative writing!

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  15. Laura is turning into a fine young woman who knows her own mind. Congratulations, Joanne, you've done well with her, or more correctly, you've done well together.
    I've never had eggs benedict.

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  16. Laura can always take a semesteroverseas when she is in college. Maybe then, her mother will not interfere.

    The Finger Lakes are lovely. We went there a few years ago, but it was for a winery tour. While that is something that they are known for, I am sure there are other things there for the younger set.

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  17. American servings are always so generous!
    Sixteen's a good age to start making these decisions with your support; and having your support is , of course, why she has the confidence in the first place.

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  18. That looks like a mighty fine breakfast.

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  19. The Finger Lakes region is spectacular. In Tompkins County alone there are three amazing state parks at the south of Cayuga Lake that feature hiking, dramatic waterfalls, swimming in natural settings. There is summer theatre, and the girls could tour Cornell, which is arguably one of the most beautiful campuses around. There is also the Cornell Plantations with a large and well organized herb garden I think you would love. Cornell also has nice art museum (The Johnson Art Museum), and a lovely nature preserve at Sapsucker Woods.

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  20. Glad to see that Laura is learning what she likes and doesn't, and how to navigate the two.

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  21. 'tangling'? as in tangle? I wonder how much her decision to quit band had to do with her mother's dampening down the year abroad. won't let me go? fine, I'll quit band instead. well, good for her. I think the art class is more up her alley anyway.

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    1. A lot of what she's up to lately is distancing from the volatility and instability of her relatives. Leaving band surprised me, but shouldn't have. I can see (hindsight, you know), it provided structure for all of the children. Think way back to the afternoon her mother bullied her into a breakdown. This time she handled it better, and hasn't been back since. And quit band, as it has become meaningless. I worry about her support system when she's out of a grandmother, but I think she'll make her way.

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    2. Laura is getting stronger and more self-assured thanks to you. every year she will be more sure of who she is and what she wants and the day will come soon when she will no longer let her mother and sibs bully her. even if that means cutting off all ties. I think you'll still be around when she reaches adulthood.

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  22. Replies
    1. Hello. Thanks for stopping by here where life is measured out, mostly, in teaspoons, generally with a smile.

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  23. The Finger Lakes is lovely. My daughter and I went there, then on to Mill Falls, New Hampshire.I loved that place SO MUCH.

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    1. I didn't think about that. Crossing Lake Champlain on a ferry. New England is always a treat.

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