My Corkia

Ok, I've gotta get over this! *tear, sniff* My baby is about to turn SIXTEEN! (I couldn't figure out if I should put a smiley face or a sad face after that, so I guess I'll leave it blank.) Well, she's not my baby--she's my first baby. She's been the source of many a blog, many pains in my butt and alot of laughter...and she's becoming a woman. *more tears, more sniffs* Man the cliche's flying through my mind! "time flies", "they grow so fast".... all that stuff you hear and roll your eyes at until it's standing there smacking you in the face with a calendar screaming, "fool wake up!" Time has flown and she has grown so fast.

I was planning on blogging on her tonight, but for a different reason that I'll get to in a little bit. When looking through her pictures I was looking through the critical mom eye and thinking things like "girl, you need to put those boobies away for real! Oh, you're getting grounded for that one!"--then one of them just reached up and grabbed me. I'm talking instant tears. Total visceral reaction. Oh my God...she's almost grown. She's almost grown. She's almost grown. For all intents and purposes, she is grown. This is most definitely an "extra grace needed" moment.

She's been babysitting lately. I've always had my excuses (I could always come up with something) as to why I wouldn't let her do this earlier, but I have to admit what the whole world already knew...I have (in ways, at least) been so over-protective of her, wanting to hold her tight in my hand and fight her tooth-and-nail for every inch of freedom and independence she gets. Truth is, these kids are my life. I never thought there was any truth to that before, but actually it's complete truth. No matter what else or who else I had going on in my life, these four little ones have been the only earthly things keeping me grounded and alive. They have kept me working when I felt like sleeping, they have kept me from committing suicide when I was that low, and it was because of them....because of her that I finally got out of the worst relationship of my life (too late unfortunately).

As much as I love silence now, what will I actually do when my house is quiet for good? As I'm writing this, my three little women are in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies...without me. They've taken what I've taught them over the years and they're applying it. They don't need me. That's something to be proud of, for sure...but oh God how it breaks my heart! I'm hiding in my office so they don't see me crying because I never want to hinder their independence or let them know that I'm anything but proud of them for moments like this...but the searing reality of it is that if feels like my heart is being wrenched from my chest with the heavy thought of in a few short years one of them leaving. Then another. Then another. Then another. What will I do then? Who will I be? I know that life goes on, I should be proud, blah blah blah...I know, I know. I've comforted many people with those same lines before...but those weren't my kids leaving. I get it now.

Have I done enough? Have I taught them well enough? Will they stay in church? Will they remain chaste, finish college, build good credit? Only time will tell I suppose, but today was a really good lesson for my Corky. I thought I was going to have to go into work late and cleared that with my boss, then found out Scott was supposed to come home tonight so I had to call off work so I could go get him. Turns out he probably won't get out until tomorrow and so at first I was regretting the whole calling off thing. I already know I'm going to get written up for it, but as it turns out I wouldn't trade it for the world--I'd do it all over again.

Like I was saying earlier, Courtney has been babysitting lately and being the generous soul she has always been she has been burning with desire to go Christmas shopping and spend her money on everyone but herself. At first I was irritated and wishing she would just let me freakin' relax for one night but soon became grateful for the huge lesson I was about to observe.

First of all, let me explain that I've always had my kids do some errand running...not necessarily out of laziness on my part (well ok, sometimes it is...but not always! lol), but more out of teaching them how to go do things and not be afraid. When I became an adult I was afraid of EVERYTHING. I usually hid it well, but I tended to stay in my house all the time, or not want to speak in public, etc. I was afraid of everything that I didn't know well because I never wanted to look stupid or have to ask a question. So I tend to give them a list in the grocery store parking lot and say "now go get it." I don't want them to live their lives in fear--I want them to grab life by the reins and ride it for all they can get out of it.

Anyways... secretly biting my nails, I dropped Courtney off at the mall with her two little sisters to buy my Christmas gift and managed to repeat "please watch them close! And hold their hands!" about twenty times before they got out of the car. I thought it was kind of amusing that the look of glee and excitement on Courtney's face had totally changed upon exiting the store! haha She's so much like me it cracks me up! She can't hide what she's thinking or feeling for the life of such thing as a poker face in this family! lol So she opens the car door, brow furrowed and exclaims, "MAN! HOW THE HECK DOES MONEY GO SO STUPID FAST??? WHAT'S THE SENSE IN WORKING SO MUCH WHEN YOU'RE BROKE BY THE END OF THE DAY ANYWAYS??? IT'S SO FREAKIN' STUPID!!! UGGGHHHH!!!!"

I felt bad, but couldn't help laughing at her which ticked her off even more. lol So I say, "so what did you get me???" And she growls, "NOTHING! I was broke by the time I bought everyone else's gifts!"

"Oh, I see how you are! Buy the whole world a gift except for the one person who is driving you all over God's green earth and actually gave BIRTH to you!"

"I didn't know I was going to be broke so fast! And quit worrying, I still have SOME set back that I planned on saving." She spit out with tears in her eyes. I comforted her by reminding her that I was only kidding and that she didn't have to get me anything...I appreciated the thought and all the hard work she's been doing. Then I go on teasing her by asking her where she's taking us out to eat. :) I tell her that my gift can be her running into the hospital for me and getting our free turkey...out of wanting to teach her independence, of course! (ok, total lie...this one was complete laziness!) She comes bounding out of the hospital swinging that turkey by the rope handle ready to knock someone down and I can see that she's still disappointed and ticked off about the money. So I tease her some more and remind her that I'm hungry and want her to take me out to eat.HAHAHA Yeah, I crack myself up! *snicker, snort* :)

Then my little girl went above and beyond and although she was still battling with the pouty attitude she asked if I could stop at the grocery store for her and when she came out she had bought supplies to help the girls make Christmas cookies tonight. Yep...first sign of laughter turning into "awww!" tears. Then she says, "what did you want to eat mom?". As I remind her that I was only kidding with her, that I was going to cook dinner when we got home, she insisted that we stop at Dairy Queen so that she could get everyone some food. At first I kind of argued with her about it telling her that she did not need to spend her money on this, that I was just kidding and we didin't need anything...but she wouldn't hear it. She then asks the girls what kind of blizzard they want for dessert! I remind her that if she thinks her money went fast in the mall, her head's gonna spin after this! I tell her that I just bought ice cream at home and her response was, "yeah, well that's not dairy queen! These girls have been so good and patient...they need a reward." And she proceeded to buy everyone dinner and dessert.

I took this opportunity to talk to her at length about money and finances...and still ribbed her alot about it, throwing in things like "are you sure you don't want to go anywhere else? You wanna stop and fill up my gas tank too money bags?" lol She wasn't amused. I reminded her that she has to keep a good attitude, because if she pouts about this kind of stuff it negates all of the good intention and blessing that she's trying to put out there. Then I tell her just how proud I am of her and how happy she makes me. I then exlaim, "I'M SOOOOO BLOGGING ABOUT YOU TONIGHT!!!" :)

Her response was, "AS LONG AS I DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT." heehee

As much trouble as she has had here and there, she really is such a good girl. All of my girls are, but she was my guinea pig! lol She was the test batch....and she's turning out pretty darned good. I'm so proud of her and am so happy that she is who she is. I love her so much and have reminded her countless times over the years that she is the one that God chose to make me a mom....that's a special thing and she will always have a special place in my soul.

Happy sweet....strike that, make it sassy sixteen my Courtney "Corky Corkia"..... I love you to the moon and back ( a couple of times!). May you live a long, happy, peaceful, prosperous life full of wonderful (but not too harsh) lessons and opportunities. You make me smile...even when I don't want to. You are beautiful inside and out (you better thank your lucky sauce you took after me!!! lol) and you have God's fingerprints all over you.

Be sweet, make good decisions, moisturize twice a day and don't forget to floss. Never buy a boy a gift before he buys you one and pray as often as you can...constantly actually. Don't be afraid to put color on your walls and always pay your bills on keeps your credit good and gives you a good testimony. Always befriend the person who is new or being made fun of. Don't automatically fall for the "hot" guy...he'll probably be the fastest to break your heart. Don't over-do your eyeliner, don't over-pluck your eyebrows and wash your hands as often as possible. Never pass the sink without taking a drink, wipe front to back and stay away from tartar-control toothpaste (you know it splits the corners of your mouth open). Stay OUT of that freakin' tanning SERIOUSLY...stay out of it! Smile as much as you can....with your eyes and not just your mouth. Stay sweet, but stay sassy. Never be with a boy who doesn't appreciate your sense of humor and never forget where you came from. You come from some strong women honey...if you get knocked down, you get right back up! If you need help, ask for it and make sure to forgive. Don't forget, but do forgive.

I love you my sweetie girl.

~Mom xoxoxo