Saturday, June 20, 2009
Maya graduated from middle school on Friday, and though I could do another post about how great I think she is and how proud I am of the person she continues to evolve into, the thing is, she's ready. She's completely ready for the next level. I'm not worried or even nostalgic. She is ready for high school, and she'll be ready for beyond. I can't deny that mothering her and Mina has been an every-minute-counts kind of job that has drawn almost all of my energy and effort and brain power. I can't deny that I've been 2,000% committed to them, and that being a mami is probably what I'm best at out of all the trades of which I'm a jack. But I also can't deny that Maya has had some amazing people who have also helped clear a path to her success. She has been loved and supported and cheered on from every which way.
For Maya's grad ceremony came the following fan base from Las Vegas and San Diego: Maya's blood dad BD, his wife Sanne, their beautiful girls Rae and Baby Gabby, Grandma Carmen (BD's mom) and three cousins, Jonathan, William and Chelsea. I don't say this lightly, but besides Husband's family, these people are the closest I personally have to family as well. BD and I have always gotten along well, sharing the same brand of decency and respect for each other, and sharing a similar philosophy in parenting. I have never not liked him as a person even though we split up before Maya was a year old. We easily and gladly accommodate each other and figure things out. The ease with which we glide through custody issues is nothing short of magical. It is communal raising of children at it's finest. We are nothing short of a insulating unit; a unified force supporting our children to be their best. I know we are fortunate, Maya especially, -- I've heard plenty a nightmare story about split parents -- but it's not like we just keep face for Maya's sake. We just all genuinely like each other.
Most heartwarmingly is when Maya's summer absence started to take a toll on Mina a few years ago, and they then told Mina should could come to Vegas whenever she wanted. Mina has been there quite a few times, the longest being a week and including a trip to a family reunion. It's funny to explain the situation, but in the end all the uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents fall in love with Mina too; she is easily accepted as no less than family.
So, out they came driving five hours from Las Vegas with two small children without a second thought to celebrate Maya's graduation and to hopefully too gloat a little in the tremendous role they've played in creating such a great kid.
Maya assisting Grandma Carmen to the car with Rae's help.Awesome cousins Jonathan, 15, and William, 14.Sweet cousin Chelsea and Baby Gabby.Beauty Rae. Ok, so I do have to leak a bit of pride for Maya. She won an award called the Pride Award though I call it the Pleasure to Have in Class Award. The teachers had to pick only 15 kids out of hundreds who they ALL agreed made teaching pleasurable because of the kids' enthusiasm, attitudes and general awesomeness. Maya was one of the fifteen! She was also honored as a member of the college club and for blowing past the required Million Word Challenge where, in English, students were pushed to read a million words this year. Maya killed that. I do want to mention too that Maya's BFF, El, received an award for keeping a straight-A average the entire three years in middle school. El was also awarded an Outstanding Citizen of School medal. El kicks serious butt.
And special mention goes to Mina. Every year, since the infamous 2nd grade fiasco, she has improved nearly a whole grade higher. This year was no exception. Fourth grade was her best year yet. And this chokes me up as much as Maya's ability to stay at the top of her class. It is a non-stop and emotionally-taxing job to keep Mina motivated and plugging along and striving. I've cried about it, yelled about it, created different ways to keep her going. And she did it. I'm over-the-moon proud of Mina because in the end, no matter how much I guide and push, it's her by herself doing projects and homework now; she's by herself in her classroom making the final decisions about how she will approach her learning and handle her work. And she totally came through for herself.