Riley is fourteen and before we know it, she'll be fifteen (in about 9 weeks). She's a freshman. She's a gymnast. She's a saxophone player. She's an honor student. She's a former micro preemie. She's a volunteer. She's A TEENAGER. HAHA
For the most part, she's an easy kid to parent. Our days are BUSY which I think helps keep her out of trouble. It's hard to get into too much trouble when you are at a gym for four hours. She knows that she has to stay on top of everything because there isn't a lot of free time. But that can also lead to holy crackers drama.
We recently went through a spurt of 17 days in a row where we had something going on every night. If I was still working, I might have had a nervous breakdown. We literally got home after 9 every night. This all came to a head when her band director told them they would be practicing for four hours after school every night for a week and a half leading up to their Christmas concert. Riley approached him and explained that she had a gymnastics meet that same weekend and although she could be at all of the concerts, she also had gymnastics practices AND two different hospital events to attend. He yelled at her and said he was sick of "bending over backwards" for her and threatened to fail her in a class that she currently had 103% in. I was proud of her for not asking us to take care of this for her. However, she asked to quit band at the semester. And she loves to play her instrument. We sat on it for the weekend, through four concerts and a gymnastics meet where she literally studied for finals (along with some teammates) while waiting for her meet to begin. On Monday, she spoke to her assistant director and he sat her down and they figured out a compromise that worked for everyone. Until the director announced that each kid was required to do a mandatory 10 basketball games in the pep band. That started up the stress all over again. She did her first game last night, which caused her to miss a gymnastics practice where the alumni girls come home from college and practice with them. There were lots of tears over that one as well. I am so grateful that years ago, we took her out of the JO system of gymnastics and moved her to Excel. Otherwise, she'd be at the gym 5 nights a week for 4 hours instead of 2 nights.
Anyway, my husband likes to say that she smells like teen spirit when the drama kicks in. She hates it. I guess we are lucky that when the drama happens, it is seldom directed at us. It is more that life is overwhelming at the time.
On Sunday, we were at church for her band practice for Christmas Eve mass. She is also playing the Angel Gabriel in the pageant. We stayed after the practice to get the costumes ready for all of the kids who are participating in the pageant. She got her costume fitted and then it became "is this kid Riley's size, or shorter or taller" as they sort of fitted the other 20 costumes around her. She was relatively patient but I could see the teenager in her wanting to bust out. She just wanted to go sit and read her book. The other moms were talking about what a sweetheart she was, while I was getting annoyed at her subtle annoyance. HAHA. We survived the fittings and left. We ran into a family at the grocery store and that teenager told her mother to "f off" because the mom didn't buy her the cookies she wanted. Riley turned to me with her eyebrows raised and said, "see, I'm not so bad." And she's not.
We try to give her a long leash and the benefit of the doubt. There are no boys in the picture, currently. Her grades are great. She earned As in all but Spanish which was .02% from an A- (a story in its own right). Her three honors classes are all fine. BUT she's an only child so she gets all of us, all of the time, if that makes sense. Especially now that I'm home all the time. That's a lot of pressure on a kid so we try to temper that but it doesn't always happen. Luckily, she still seems to love us.
If Charlie turns out half as awesome as Riley, I will be one proud mama! Happy Holidays <3
Rebecca and Charlie
Upon reading this post I realize that your teenager possesses more charm, dignity, grace and patience than I myself, at 33, ever have or ever will. Kudos to you mom and dad for such an amazing person you are raising.
Love and Hugs
You are doing an amazing job with her. She is smart, dedicated, passionate, and giving of her time and heart. I know teenage years can be tough we are only at preteen and Im already about to lose it! haha. Please give that sweet girl a hug from Florida. I have enjoyed watching her grow through your post and pictures. I hope you all have a beautiful Holiday together!
Can I just say that Riley's band director sounds like a horrible person and an even worse teacher. This person isn't teaching college where his/her students have CHOSEN to make music their life. This flipping high school. Sorry for the rant but just reading about the band drama made my blood pressure rise.
Like everyone else, I want to say that I think you are an amazing mom who is raising a smart, beautiful, generous, strong daughter who is going to change the world.
Love you and Riley to the moon and back,
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