This weekend (not about feelings)

“Journaling is stupid,” Chickadee said to me last night, out of nowhere, as we were driving to pick up pizza for dinner.

I blinked at her. “Ummm,” I said, helpfully. “Don’t you have a diary you write in?”

“Yes, but that’s just it. It’s dumb. People keep telling me it’ll help to WRITE ABOUT MY FEELINGS and you know what? It doesn’t. It’s stupid. It just makes me dwell on the stuff I shouldn’t and I never feel better, after.”

“I feel better when I write about stuff,” I offered. Because it’s true. “But… maybe you’re just more of an action-item type. Maybe instead of writing about how you feel, you’d do better writing about what you want, or making a list of the very worst things that could happen, so you could see things are actually sort of okay.”

“No,” she said, resolute in her conviction, “I like to write. I love to write—stories and stuff. But when I try to write about me it either ends up being ‘Today I did this and this and this’ which is totally boring, or it’s ‘Today I hate everyone’ which is, you know, not really useful.”

I considered this. Chickadee is, by nature, a creature of strong opinions. (I have no idea where she gets that….) Recent events have hardened her in ways that I hope aren’t permanent. When she was admitted to the hospital and the paperwork lady came by with forms, I was answering her questions—address, social security, contact phone numbers—when she asked if we have a religious preference. I said “Methodist” at the same time that Chickadee whispered, “Atheist.” I cocked my head at her, thinking I’d misheard, and she sat up a little and said it louder. “I’m an Atheist.”

This was news to me. (Then again, the last month or so has been filled with things I never particularly wanted to know, so… there you go.)

And now journaling is stupid. Later, it must’ve occurred to her that her disdain of writing in her diary should be clarified as totally different from what I do every day, and she rushed to assure me that MY writing is different. Mine is INTERESTING, she assured me, and about IMPORTANT THINGS.

This made me laugh. I am under no delusions about my own personal minutiae and my reactions therein being any more important than… anything. But I guess I appreciate the vote of confidence.

I did point out to her that some of my writing is purely about recording events, and she waved her hand and assured me that the things I want to remember are a lot more interesting than anything that ever happens to her. When I tried not to laugh and clarified that something like 80% of the things I wish to memorialize have to do with her and her brother, she rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever. You somehow manage it without making it boring or angsty.” Again, her faith (?) in me is touching.

So today I thought I’d tell you about the weekend, because I want to remember it, but I’ll try very hard not to clutter it up with stupid feelings, in honor of the main subject of the stories.

The thing you have to realize about Science Fair, for the uninitiated, is that it SOUNDS like something where you do a project, go to Fair, and that’s it. Time-constrained. A blip on the scholastic calendar. But in fact the kids spend months on their projects, and then there’s the School Fair, followed by the District Fair a week later, and then Regionals about a month after that, and State a month after that. Science Fair pretty much ends up going on the whole damn year, if you keep moving up the rankings.

In sixth grade, Chickadee did a pretty elementary project, but it was enough to get her passed up to Regionals, which is a whole day off from school to go be science geeks at a local college, and she went and had a fabulous time and didn’t win anything, but was determined to do better the next year.

In seventh grade, Chickadee did a much more ambitious project, scored first in her category at Regionals, and went on to win second place at State, which was pretty exciting. But many of her friends won “special awards” that are given out at Regionals, and she began scheming this past summer because she desperately wanted a special award. (Special awards are things sponsored by outside organizations, and can be things like military awards, young women in science awards, best innovation in engineering, stuff like that.)

So this year—eighth grade—she faced a potential double-whammy; not only did she REALLY want to win a special award, but Science Fair is divided into Junior and Senior divisions (middle school and high school), which means this is her last year in Juniors. Once you move up to Seniors, you’re kind of starting all over again—it would be odd for a freshman to beat out a senior, etc. So she was determined to do a project that would WIN BIG.

Her project was complete before Winter Break. But School and District Fairs came in January, when she was getting sick, and everything felt like it was unravelling. To complicate matters, one of her nerdling friends who typically does very well at Fair was also in her category. Chickie was sure she would not advance.

But she won School. And then she won District. (Her friend took second both times.) And then she went into the hospital.

Friday was Regionals, and I offered to stay with her for the day, but she said no, she’d be fine. I left her (she only texted me about ten times during the day) with her friends and when I came back, with Monkey, for the evening awards ceremony, the first thing she said to me was, “I don’t think I’m going to win. There were some really incredible projects in my category.” I patted her knee and told her let’s just see what happens.

[Sidebar: If I was going to write about feelings, I'd tell you that I don't give a rat's ass about Science Fair and awards right now, in the general sense, but given the stretch of hard luck this kid has had, YOU BETCHA I was hoping against hope she would nab a special award, and yes, a first place in category so that she would advance to State. It means so much to her, and could do so much more for her right now than just me reassuring her that she is still her, still smart and capable and wonderful.]

Awards started with the special awards, and about halfway through they announced that a local Nature Tour company is sponsoring a new award this year, given to an outstanding project in the area of ecology. And then they read Chickadee’s name, and we all cheered and she went up to get her certificate.

One of two goals achieved, and a good sign, too—usually the kids who get special awards also place in the regular rankings.

Next came third place Junior awards. Chickie’s pal in the same category got third place, which caused Chickadee to lean over and whisper to me “If she got third, I bet I only got second.” I patted her again and murmured that she should just wait and see.

Third place Senior awards came next.

Then second place Juniors. Chickadee’s name was not announced. She and some of her friends all began to vibrate. Was it possible they had all placed first in their categories?? Maybe!

Second place Senior awards.

Throughout all of this, I was texting back and forth with another mom who was sitting far behind us, as well as with Otto, who for three years running now has managed to schedule himself out of town at a workshop on Regionals day. The texts are all a jumble of “Third place now. DYING.” and “Second place. I think I’m going to be sick.” etc.

Time for first place Junior awards. “Here we go!” my friend texted to me. Name after agonizing name was read. No one from our school was called. With each name my stomach tightened a little bit more. Finally, they called one of Chickadee’s friends. A few names later, another. One of the things I hate about Regionals is that they don’t announce categories during the place rankings, so you have no way of knowing if your category has already awarded a winner or not (unless you recognize the project name). More names. More frantic texts. And then: “That concludes the first place awards in the Junior Division.”

They moved on to first place Senior awards while we sat there, stunned.

Monkey started crying. Chickadee looked like she might throw up. I was trying to shush Monkey and make sure Chickie was okay, plus I was texting with my friend and Otto a lot of things that looked like, “I am baffled. Maybe… there was a mistake?”

All I could think was that this was about to be a complete disaster. She had worked so hard, had won first twice, already, and her comment sheet from the judges was positively GLOWING. This is the first year she didn’t have a single “constructive criticism,” even. How was this possible? And could she bear the disappointment?

The first place Senior awards were quickly concluded (there are never as many high schoolers as middle schoolers, in our region), and then the announcer said they have a new overall award this year, and the winners of that one will go on to State as well, and my friend texted me “Maybe this?” But just as her text came through, the announcer went on to say that it’s for one Junior and one Senior who didn’t have any sort of lab access for their experiments. Chickadee actually worked with a scientist at UGA this year, and had lab access, so no.

We sat there, in silence, as that award was given.

“And last but not least,” the announcer continued, “we always award a Grand Prize to one Junior and one Senior, and these winners also go on to State. These awards represent what the judges feel were the very best projects across all categories in their age division at the Fair this year, and is the top prize we award.”

I wracked my brain. I couldn’t remember for the life of me if in previous years Grand winners had also been given a first place in category award. Had they? I COULDN’T REMEMBER.

And then they announced the Junior winner was from our school, and then they were reading Chickadee’s project name, and her name, and all of her friends screamed and jumped out of their seats, and Chickie’s face split into a huge grin. She fairly bounced her way up onto the stage to accept her trophy, and when she returned I hugged her and Monkey hugged her and I said, “How do you feel?”

“MYYYYYY PRESHUSSSSSSSS!” she answered, cradling her trophy. Heh.

(Later, we realized it’s like Toddlers and Tiaras—they don’t double-crown, so not getting a “regular” rank was actually a good thing. This prompted Chickadee to try to wear her trophy like a tiara, but it was too heavy.)

We went straight from the Science Fair awards to an event at Hippie School, and Monkey went straight to his teachers to tell them the good news about his sister, and everyone fawned all over her and ducked her head to hide her smile while we all gushed about what a marvelous, marvelous SuperNerd she is.

But then, we had to go home early (Mario’s parents were kind enough to bring Monkey home later), because the next day Chickadee and I got up at the crack of dawn and got on a school bus with the rest of her Reading Bowl team to head to a divisional competition far, far away.

[Sidebar: If I were talking about feelings today, I would tell you I had MANY, MANY feelings when the team's coach told me on Friday afternoon that Chickadee would not be allowed to go to this competition without a separate chaperone, owing to her "recent medical problems and school liability policy." Had I been planning to spend 16 hours on a school trip this Saturday? I had not. Did I think it was necessary for Chickie's health? Not really. But we made arrangements for Monkey and off I went. My daughter suggested I should go to the restroom at some point during the day and she could then fake a seizure or something just to freak out the coach, and I'm not going to lie, I thought that was actually a pretty good idea.]

We rode the bus for many hours and then stopped for lunch and rode the bus some more and arrived at the competition. Chickadee had missed Regionals, had missed nearly a month of practices, but once she returned she knew her stuff and was quick on the buzzer and was still allowed her spot as a starter, so hopes were high.

Their first match was against the other local school they tied at one level and then lost to at the next. Competition was tense. They tied.

Their second match, they tied again.

Third match, they lost by one question. The kids were starting to wilt. “Remember, it’s total points,” the coach kept reminding them, “and you have no idea how the other matches are going. Don’t lose focus.”

They won their fourth match by a wide margin. I actually felt bad for the other team.

Their fifth and final match, they won by a single question.

Then we waited. In the event of a tie at any place level, there would be a 5-question tiebreaker round. Teams were to wait to find out if they were done or would need an additional round. We waited and waited.

A judge came into the room and dismissed the other team, and asked our team to come to another room for a tiebreaker. “What place??” the kids asked. The judge told them they’d just have to wait and see. The kids groaned.

The tiebreaker round had five questions. The other team got the first question. Our team got the second question. On the third question, the other team buzzed in, answered, were told they were correct, and the scorekeeper was recording their points when Chickadee raised her hand. The coach walked over and Chickadee whispered to her. The coach stood up and said to the moderator, “We challenge the answer.”

Reading Bowl is a funny thing. There’s all these rules about how and when you can challenge, and then they go consult the book in question and make a ruling. We waited. And waited. And finally the moderator came back and said they agreed with the challenge, that answer was incorrect. Our school would now have the opportunity to answer. Chickie buzzed in immediately and gave the correct answer (slightly different than the answer originally given).

Then the other team’s coach decided to challenge the question itself, which led to a prolonged discussion between the moderators and the coaches out in the hall, and that was a whole drama unto itself (I found out later), but the bottom line was that the other coach wanted the question thrown out, even though they would’ve happily taken the points if their original answer had been deemed correct. The moderator ruled that the question would stand.

Fourth question, the other team answered correctly. It was now dead even, with everything coming down to the last question.

Our team buzzed in. And got it right. Winners!

Of course, competition had been so tight all day, they were convinced they’d just secured third place, or maybe second if they were lucky. We headed off to awards to find out. The elementary level awards were first. Then participation awards (translation: you didn’t place) for middle school. The team they’d beaten did not get a participation award, which meant we had to have placed at least second, with the other team taking third. But then they announced third, and it was another team. Which meant… the team they beat had taken second, and they were the winners, by a single question.

[Sidebar: If I were writing about feelings today, I'd tell you that the opposing coach, in arguing the supposedly suspect question out in the hallway, actually told our coach that her kids really wanted to win this one for her because she has cancer. And I'm truly sorry that she's ill, but WHAT THE HELL? Talk about dirty pool. Lady, this isn't Whose Story Is Saddest Bowl, this is Reading Bowl. And if you want a sad story, WE HAVE ONE TOO, THANKS, but that's all immaterial. Nonetheless, during the awards, I happened to be sitting in front of a group of parents from that other team, all of whom were grousing about how our team won unfairly, the question should've been tossed; and when their team was announced as second place winners I made sure I cheered REALLY loud for them and turned around and complimented them on what a wonderful job their kids had done, truly fierce competitors, what an exciting day, and I smiled sweetly as I did it.]

So the kids got a giant trophy and they’ll be going on to the final, state competition next month.

We got lost on the way home (the bus driver missed a turn, and the fun thing about rural Georgia is that a missed turn can actually add a good couple of hours to your drive, oh yes it can), but the kids didn’t care—they snacked and chatted and sang and had a grand time. After we stopped for dinner, Chickadee left her pals at the back of the bus and came up front to where the coach and I were sitting.

I stroked her cheek. “Pretty good weekend, huh, kid?” She smiled and nodded. The coach said, again, how proud she was of everyone, but especially of Chickie, coming back after everything that had happened, playing so strong, and challenging that question that turned out to be the difference between winning and losing. Chickie nodded again, then curled up next to me, leaned over and put her head in my lap, and fell asleep.

We rode the rest of the way back while I ran my fingers through her hair and patted her hip periodically.

“She must be exhausted,” the coach said to me, as we watched her sleep.

“It’s been a big weekend,” I said.

Yesterday Chickadee slept late, then napped in the afternoon. It was what she needed. When we had that conversation in the car, on the way to get pizza, I was surprised to hear her pooh-poohing journaling in the wake of such a wonderful couple of days.

We went in, picked up our food, and headed back to the car. As we drove home, I said, “You know, you’ve had a tough run this year. No one would blame you for focusing on the hard stuff, and for feeling like life is just more difficult for you than for most other kids, and like that’s totally unfair. But you just had this incredible weekend—one that YOU MADE HAPPEN because you are smart and strong and a hard worker—and that’s the sort of thing I love to write about, do you know why?”

“Because it’s happy?” she guessed.

“Well, partially, I guess,” I said. “But it’s more than that. It’s because how you feel when this stuff happens, it fades. You’ll have another bad day, and you’ll feel like you always feel that way, discouraged and sick and powerless. But if you take the time to write about how you felt when your name was called on Friday, how you felt when you realized your team took first on Saturday, it makes it easier to remember. It gives it some permanence and power. It forces you to really know that the bad stuff isn’t all there is. You know?”

She considered this, then nodded. We rode in silence for a minute.

“I still don’t really think it helps,” she said.

“That’s okay, baby,” I said. “It helps me, which means it helps me help you. And I’m writing it down.”

She smiled. And I wrote it down.

[Sidebar: And if I was talking about feelings today, I'd tell you that this weekend I saw my sweet girl smile and laugh and work and play and look just like every other kid there. And it felt amazing. It felt like healing.]

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67 Responses to “This weekend (not about feelings)”

  1. 1
    Randi February 27, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    YAY CHICKADEE! She is so amazing and we all know that amazing kids often come from outstanding parents, so they should give some sort of supporting parent award, right??

  2. 2
    Teri February 27, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Awesome.

  3. 3
    Jill W. February 27, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Wow. What a weekend. Go, Chickie!

  4. 4
    victoria February 27, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Well, thinking a lot of you and your family from very far up north. Really hope all is going to (if only slowly) progress up hill, from now.
    On diaries: perhaps one without words could be liberating. Collaged images, etc. I’m not thinking scrapbooking so much. But it’s simpler parent, before it became an industry. What I did in grade school. But, thinking of you all.

  5. 5
    Maria February 27, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I was in tears by the time I got halfway through this.

    You’re so amazing. Your whole family is amazing.

  6. 6
    sophie February 27, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Oh my! You have put me through the paces. I was sad, anxious, exuberant, furiously happy, and completely exhausted while reading this.

    I love how Monkey was so proud and braggy about Chickie. I am annoyed that Chickie needed a “separate chaperone,” but so happy that you were there to see how things played out and make sure she realized that her challenge was what made the difference.

    [I am also quite peeved that the coach pulled the SOB STORY card in her conversation about the challenged question. I am so sorry, lady, but do not assume that you have some moral high ground in hoping your kids win. I have many more words, but I would like to focus on the positives.]

    Look at all the FEELINGS you created with this devoid of feelings post! :-)

    So happy for you and Chickie, cheering you both on as you navigate these new and not-so-pleasant waters. Hang in there!

    PS-I’m really sorry that coach is ill, but I still want to knee-cap her.

  7. 7
    Billie February 27, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Not talk about feelings?? Can I say that I teared up while reading?

    Congratulations Chickie!! That is so awesome!! What a great weekend!!

  8. 8
    Rachel February 27, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Tears of joy, at work, in my cubicle, on a Monday morning! Yeah Chickie! (and Mom!)

  9. 9
    Headless Mom February 27, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    Our kids SO need those weekends sometimes. Whether they write about them or not. Go Chickie!

  10. 10
    bj February 27, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    I love Chickadee, “My Presshus”; So awesome. And, will there be a talk about the significance? of recognizing the trophy can be a bit like the Ring ? Not now, perhaps, but she must get it, no? ’cause I can’t imagine making that connection without getting it.

    I now have a new analogy (because of Chicadee) in thinking about how to talk to my kiddo about prizes and what they mean and not to allow them to own you.

    I too could never journal because my journals got “stupid and angsty” when I was a teen. A blog, read by a select few, was the solution for me, because it allowed me to journal the way I wanted to, as a record of thoughts and life events as they were happening. Of course, the fact that I started blogging when I was 40 instead of 14 probably had a lot to do with it, too.

  11. 11
    Karen R. February 27, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Mega congratulations on everything!

  12. 12
    Shannon February 27, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Congrats on the wins, both emotional and trophywise.

    I’m perplexed….what kind of illness would cause a school liability for attendance on a field trip? Sorry if I’ve missed the details.

  13. 13
    Mandy February 27, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Sniff, sniff.

    Big hugs from fly-over country.

    Here’s to healing, too.

  14. 14
    RuthWells February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Chickie rocks, but you knew that. ‘Scuze me while I go get this thing out of my eye.

  15. 15
    Aimee February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Who knew that SO MUCH AWESOME could be put into one blog post? Chickadee is a total rock star, but then you know that :) I have a feeling that, journaling’s reputed stupidity notwithstanding, someday she’ll be very glad you wrote it down.

  16. 16
    Beth A February 27, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Congrats Chickie! You have lots of ladies-who-love-you-like-mamas-and-sisters cheering for you around the world.

    As a former-nerdling myself, i know how good these weekends feel!

  17. 17
    Nancy R February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    I’d be willing to bet she could research different journaling styles and come up with something that fits her. Like ‘Chickie’s Top Ten List’ for the day or week: ten items, one-liners, or zingers, Dave Letterman-style, that will mark her thoughts and feelings of the moment, AND prove entertaining when going back to read them later.

  18. 18
    Marissa February 27, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I started crying when I read that Chickadee won the “GRAND PRIZE” — so, so, so happy for her and you and hard-work getting rewarded.

  19. 19
    dad February 27, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    No one can dispute the power of “writing it down” after this post.
    The love just stampedes through the words.
    You are all awesom; Chicadee for her perservence and accomplishments, Monkey for his compassion and caring for his sister and you, for so eloquently chronicaling the emotions of it all.
    Congratulations all around.

    It makes me proud just to be part of your gene pool.

  20. 20
    kathy February 27, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    *sniff*

    What a wonderful weekend for all of you!

  21. 21
    Sandra Tayler February 27, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    At 14 my daughter told me that all journaling is useless and annoying. She use many of the same arguments as Chickadee was quite vehement about it. She is now 17 and writes in her journal every night.

    When I went through a medical wringer I wrote almost nothing down even though I’d been an avid journal writer before. I think I was conserving my emotional energy and I was afraid of what would spill out of my brain onto the page. Years later I did write about it and the emotional purge was very healing.

    I think she’ll write when she’s ready. ..or she’ll find some other way to sort it all out.

  22. 22
    Arnebya February 27, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    I am in my feelings as I type this. You got me good with this one, crying at my desk. I’m so happy for, and proud of, Chickie.

  23. 23
    Ruth February 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Oh Mir, darn you for distracting me this morning AND for making me cry. So happy for you and Chickadee. You both are on my mind and in my prayers daily. xoxo

  24. 24
    amanda February 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    I cried big ugly tears of happiness for Chickie. You have a special daughter.. but you already know that… right!?

  25. 25
    Tenessa February 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Thank you. I needed that.

  26. 26
    Karen February 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Good. I’m so glad to hear it. When I think of how far you’ve all come, from before the return of Otto to now, well, nice work all around. One day at a time is such a cliche, but also, too true. I’m so happy for you to have had this healing, albeit exhausting, weekend.

  27. 27
    StacyQ February 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Totally choked me up there too… thanks for sharing!

  28. 28
    Midj February 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I’m sooo happy to read this. It was time for this to happen for her! YAY Miss Chickadee!!!

  29. 29
    Casey February 27, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Best. Post. Ever.

  30. 30
    Kate in Michigan February 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    I seriously just sighed in happiness and contentment for you and for her. And for all of our wonderful girls.
    She’ll remember this day.

  31. 31
    Kate in Michigan February 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Oh, and your dad’s comment about how “love stampedes through the words”? He’s a helluva writer too. Good gene pool to be in.

  32. 32
    Jamie February 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Woo hoo! Rock on Chickadee!!! Way to work hard and win it all. Yay for Momma Mir, too, for writing it down! I know I don’t write enough down, but I do take lots of pictures. ;)

  33. 33
    AngstyJen February 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    I never cry at blog posts (well, almost), but the story about the science fair totally made me tear up. I was so much like how Chickadee seems to be when I was her age…I wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but writing a diary seemed so pointless. I struggled a lot with self-confidence. And I was a nerd, though with words, not formulas. The way you described waiting to hear if she had placed in her age group, anxious and on the edge of her seat – I felt exactly the same at the state spelling contest (I “only” won second place, though). Anyway, thank you for writing so honestly and evocatively about your life.

  34. 34
    leftofordinary February 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Good grief. Every time I read your posts these days, I’m in tears. Go lick some slugs and make me laugh! :) (just kidding)

    Congratulations Chickie! Fantabulous work!
    Great job Mir. Can you be my Mom too? :)

  35. 35
    Stacy February 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Chickie sounds like one amazingly smart, hard-working kid (and so does Monkey). I bet they both have really awesome parents who love them and raise them right. Yay for happy weekends!

  36. 36
    jamnkats February 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I don’t know if you’re sick of my son’s CT surgery stories or not, but in the event they are helpful, he has 0 interest in thinking about or talking about his experience. Just last night I asked him if he checks his scars for infection and/or redness and just “hmmed” me. Didn’t even want to talk about it. When we got home from the hospital (we were away from home for 3 weeks in a different city for the operation) he refused to let his dad see the scars. So, I think it can be very normal not to want to dwell on such a painful (physically and emotionally) experience. he is 17, so probably the same maturity level as your daughter. :) I joke. Anyway, it was helpful for me to know what the new “normal” was and that’s why I keep offering our experience. The only time he has voluntarily approached the subject is when he thought he had a recurrence and then whooped with joy when we left radiation. :)

  37. 37
    Stephanie February 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    My favorite, favorite part of this is when Chickie raised her hand and challenged that question. What confidence and poise – to know she was in the right and call attention to herself in that high-stakes game! Oh, I hope my little girls grow into that kind of confidence.

  38. 38
    Katie in MA February 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    What a weekend!! And Chickie will find her thing. It might not be writing (or it might be, maybe she just hasn’t found her style, her voice – who knows?), but whatever it is, she’ll find it. And she’ll know it when she finds it. She’s just gotta keep messing around, trying things and looking for it. Not that she needs anyone to tell her that – she’s a trophified know-it-all this weekend. And goddness gracious, did she earn it! :) Here’s hoping the feeling lasts a really, really long time…

  39. 39
    lisa February 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    I agree with Stephanie, the fact that she had the confidence to raise her hand and challenge the question is awesome. Chickie sounds like quite the outstanding nerdling! Congrats to you momma bear!

  40. 40
    Heather February 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    *sniff* Yay, Chickie! What a little rock star you are raising up :D

  41. 41
    Connie February 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Wow! Congrats Chickadee! I am bawling like a baby.

  42. 42
    Marika February 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    What a beautiful post. She is one amazing young lady.

  43. 43
    Karen February 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    *resilience* (did I spell that right?)

    Congrats to Chickadee and a huge Amen… said often by this agnostic. :-)

  44. 44
    Beth R February 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Whooo Hooooo!!! I think a lot of members of your family needed this weekend. So glad to hear about everyone smiling and being excited :)

  45. 45
    Susan February 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    If we were talking about feelings, I would tell you I just cried with joy all the way through this post. Well done, Chickie. Perfectly written, Mama.

  46. 46
    NTE February 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Your weekend make me so happy (just cause you aren’t writing about feelings doesn’t mean I can’t). :)

  47. 47
    Little Bird February 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I want to know, did she fake “a seizure or something”?!!
    Congrats to Chickadee for such an awesome weekend of awesome achievements.
    And congrats to you, Mir, you have had a LOT to do with the amazing young lady she’s becoming!

  48. 48
    Jackie February 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Doing a happy dance for all of you. So so proud of your baby girl. And proud of your baby boy for wanting it so bad for his sweet sister. What an awesome post. YOu could ahve totally brag about your sweet girls accomplishments and rightfully so. But, you made this post so much more. You are an finominal writer. Wish Otto could have been there. He would have taken a million picuters. I hope her dad was as proud of her and told her so. :-) Please tell her congratulations from a complete stranger and that it’s ok if she doesn’t like to write about her feelings. As long as she talks to you or a friend and get them out she will be fine.

  49. 49
    addy February 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Here’s to healing in every way.

  50. 50
    ML February 27, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Congratulations to Chickie. She rocks.

  51. 51
    vanessa February 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    GO CHICKIE I LOVE IT! congratulations! that is so exciting!

  52. 52
    Lise February 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    If I were talking about feelings today, I would tell you that this post literally made me cry tears of happiness, for Chickie and for you.

    Another reason journaling is *not* stupid: If done publicly it allows people all over the world to get to know a bit about you, and to learn to care for you. Because of journaling, Chickie, there are more people rooting for you than you will ever know.

  53. 53
    Paul February 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Perfect timing for her. Congrats!!!

  54. 54
    birchsprite February 28, 2012 at 5:36 am #

    She’s a great girl! And you are a wonderful Mum!

  55. 55
    brigitte February 28, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    what everyone else said. *snurfle!*

  56. 56
    Megan February 28, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    HURRAH!!!!!

  57. 57
    kim February 28, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Oh, Mir! *stiffly smile*

  58. 58
    Ali February 28, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    I love to read these exchanges between you and your daughter. My sixth grader shines so brightly and creates such wonderful happy memories but then when someone hurts her or things aren’t going as well as she expects, she only sees the sadness. I wish I could get her to write down the positives and think about them as much as she dwells on the negative. I guess it really is a part of being that age. Reading about your talks with Chickadee helps me navigate my daughter back to the calmer waters when the hormonal storms and mean girls start tossing around her little boat.

  59. 59
    Jen February 28, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Yes. Just yes. :)

  60. 60
    Lily February 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Wow, this reads like a best selling book! What a weekend! I’m so very glad that Chickie came through and won big TWO TIMES! YAY CHICKIE!!

  61. 61
    Jeanie February 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Well, this post made me tear up. *Sniff.* Good on you, Chickie!

  62. 62
    Kristine N February 29, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    wow, sitting at my desk with tears … what a wonderful post. Good for Chickie and you. You are a great Mom and she is a cool chick.

  63. 63
    Daisy February 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Chickie is a remarkable young woman – and you are a remarkable woman. She has a great role model. Keep on surviving, and keep on writing about it.

  64. 64
    Anna February 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Gah, the emotions! Good thing you didn’t actually write about them, yes?

  65. 65
    Jackie March 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Any news on your sweet girl? I’ve had all of you on my mind and praying for y’all as well.

    I will be glad when you guys and just look back at all of this and know you made it through together.

  66. 66
    Chris March 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Congrats and yeah and all good things!!

  67. 67
    Cele March 3, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Wow, what an accomplishment. So day she will be able to sit back one day and read her exploits in your humerous vein.

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