Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Time I Learned Caiden's Secret Identity

I have a daughter with a secret identity who leads a double life--she's only six years old.

Caiden is a mysterious six year old.  She also is extremely indecisive, which is why we make her pick out her clothes for school the night before.  Last night, she picked out her clothes and explained to me why she was choosing certain items. The outfit was khaki pants, a green baseball-type tee with glitter and the number 10 across the chest, and her Nike Air Jordans.  She told me there was going to be a running contest at school the next day so that's why she picked the shirt.  She kept talking about this running contest and I kept asking questions trying to figure out what was going on.

"We have to run around the WHOLE playground!" she told me.

In the morning, she got ready for school and we talked about it some more.  All she wanted for breakfast was an apple so on the way to school I made sure to remind her, "Make sure to eat school breakfast so you can have energy for the race!  Good luck!"  And then, just to tease her I asked, "Are you going to get 10th place? Because of your shirt?"  She smiled and got out of the car.

I was very curious about this race, so when I picked her up after school I asked her how it went and how she did.  I was worried she might be disappointed.

"I won!" she cried.  "I won 1st place!"

"What??" I asked.  I was completely shocked.  Caiden has not really exhibited much of an athletic personality so far.  And she hates things that have a winner and a loser.  She usually refuses to participate in things like that...  "Who did you race against?" I demanded.

We went back and forth for a few seconds until she explained, "I won the race.  And I am also the one who made up the race.  I raced everyone who was running around on the playground."

"Did they know they were racing you?"


So, it turns out that this whole time for the past day and half, our whole family has been involved in supporting Caiden for a school race that never even existed! HAHAHA!  This is exactly Caiden.  Caiden, who, I just found out at my recent "parent-teacher conference", has been secretly going by the nickname "Katie" at school.  "I asked her if it was okay and she said, 'yes'," her teacher responded when I corrected her by saying,

"You know her name is Caiden, right?"

After my conference, I asked Caiden if it was true that she was okay being called Katie and she said yes.

"Why?" I asked.

"I just prefer it." she answered nonchalantly.

"You PREFER it???"  I spit out.

" school." she replied simply.

These are the times I feel like Caiden has a secret life that I know nothing about.  Every once in a while she will throw me a bone and let me in on her hidden world, but randomly and when I least expect it.  I always have to be on the lookout for when she's dropping breadcrumbs or I'll miss out on the path that leads to knowledge.  Knowledge of the inner workings of Caiden's brain.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I Have a City Love

When I was seventeen and Dave was seventeen, we met at church summer camp through a shared friend.  We immediately bonded over a mutual affection for the movie, Newsies, and love for the great city of New York, in which the movie was set.  Having spent at least half of the next hour talking about Newsies and New York, David vowed that we would meet up in New York City one day to enjoy it together--I was a little dubious... However, due to unforeseen events later that year, we did just that!  David came to New York City with his church and my little sister and I took the train from Connecticut, into the city for the day.  We spent eight glorious hours together exploring the city, hand in hand.  Two years after that we were wed.

For our honeymoon, we explored the great city of London together for ten glorious days.  We came home with London in our hearts, smiles on our faces, and lots of new shoes in our suitcases, but much to Dave's mom's chagrin, no pictures whatsoever of anything touristy one might hope to see in London.

With the way things started--travel wise--it should be no surprise that we had high hopes for traveling together to many other great cities in the future...  But as our anniversary rolled around each year, we schemed and planned... only to end up enjoying each others company on a picnic date somewhere nearby, dinner at a restaurant, or a day together in nearby San Francisco (which counts as a city, by the way, but we live near it, so its not quite the same).

Finally, as year nine crawled slowly toward year ten, David put his foot down and said, "This money is earmarked for our ten year anniversary and this year we're gonna go somewhere." I was little dubious.

Despite my dubiosity (I just made up another word), or lack of faith, our ten year anniversary rolled around and we found ourselves on a plane bound for Portland, Oregon! Another city to explore together and (thanks to Allison for babysitting) six glorious days to do it.

Now that we are twenty-nine and thirty years old, ten years into our marriage, and parents to two lovely children, I find traveling and exploring with David even more enjoyable than before.  I am so thankful for such a friend and constant companion and look forward to visiting many more cities together in years to come...  Hopefully before our twentieth year of marriage.

There were so many interesting things to see in Portland, I couldn't stop taking pictures! Ten years ago, in London, we didn't have "camera phones" and we didn't have cellphones at all twelve years ago in New York.  My, how times have changed!  This year--thanks to the iPhone--we have plenty of pictures to share with Dave's mom and to share with you, as well... 

It looks like we got home just in time, because Caiden had already put up missing person parent posters!