Tonight we are hearing the first post from Julie in her Eco Chic Diaries. Her message is inspirational and one we hold so close to our hearts. We hope you all go out and chase some balloons after reading this!
Hello friends! Like many of you, we have two children who are completely and totally different! Our oldest daughter Miranda is 14 years old and is very hardy, plucky, and laid back. I call her my “dandelion.” She will grow and bloom beautifully anywhere! When she was a child, she was so amiable, it was difficult to discipline her because she was fine with anything we took away! She would simply play with something else.
Our youngest, however, is our little “orchid.” She is 7 and has always been my “high maintenance” child. We take special effort to make sure that Olivia has plenty of rest, sufficient food, and enough of everything to function well. (As I type, we’re navigating a meltdown caused by low blood sugar). She wakes with the sun and lives life with such curiosity and enthusiasm that she rarely stops! As a working, homeschooling mom, I get up early every day so that I can squeeze in a few quiet hours of work, but no matter how early I get started, there is always a tiny little knock on the office door, “Mom?” Pretty soon, I’m going to have to wake up at 4:00am just to get up before she does!
The great thing about Olivia is that she always makes our life interesting. She is constantly outside searching for all kinds of insects or a dead bird that she will inevitably bring into the house. Currently, she has 44 beetles, 2 roly polys, and a ladybug for her indoor pets and a “snail orphanage” outside. She requested a DJ for her 7th birthday party. Just last night, our server at a restaurant kept asking if she had a question because she was waving her hands around. “No, she’s just practicing all her dance moves,” we responded with that tired parent smile. She is the type of kid that is forever enthusiastic and constantly overflowing with creativity.
As wonderful as Olivia’s relentless curiosity and passion are, they often butt heads with something inside of me that doesn’t like it. Speaking honestly as a working mommy, sometimes I get frustrated with her constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone and my boundaries. There are times when I have to draw the boundaries lines solidly, but also there are times when I just don’t WANT to do whatever it is she is so excited about. Take for instance this last Saturday. I was up early working (you small business owners know how it is!), when Livy burst through the door SO excited to see the hot air balloons outside. “You’ve got to come outside & see Mom!!!” she yelled. We live in Napa Valley and see hot air balloons land almost every single day, so it’s probably not as exciting as you’d think. I was definitely not excited. I was in work mode. I was comfortable sitting inside the house, drinking my warm coffee and checking off my to-do list. Without hesitating, Livy ran outside in her fuzzy pink robe and stood on the corner waving furiously to the passengers in the basket as it glided over our house. I peeked out the window. My heart melted. Such life, such vitality, such innocence right there on the corner. She didn’t care what people thought about her. She’s not concerned with being cool yet. She’s drinking in the most out of every moment that life brings her way.
When she pushes me past my comfort zone, these are the thoughts that swirl in my head: I know what’s coming. I know what’s peeking over the horizon of her life. All too soon this boldness and vivacity will be replaced with teenager-dom. Right now the details of her life flow freely—every emotion, every experience, every raw thought–but I know there will be a day when it will be a struggle to communicate. There will be a day where she doesn’t want me to know everything, where she will pull inside and begin to keep some things private. In what will seem like the blink of an eye, she will simply want to sleep in and won’t care about the balloons anymore.
So, of course, I took the bait. I left my coffee on the desk and threw on some boots with my PJ’s. We jumped in the car, chased down every hot air balloon we could see and watched them land in parks and streets all over the neighborhood.
It was a glorious morning. The sky was amazing. The hot air balloons were astounding, and we had the best time figuring out where they were going to land and trying to beat the balloon landing crews to the site. We looked ridiculous in our PJ’s, but it was so much fun. This adventure was an exhilarating way to start the day. I am so glad I acted like a 7 year old!
Enjoy every moment mommas and daddies…days are long, years are short. Seize the day!