...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


one small step for ava... one giant leap for me

Ava Goes To Camp

"7....8.....9....10! Ready or not, here I come!" That's exactly how I felt when Ava started summer camp this past Monday. I mean, c'mon - didn't I just give birth to her? Is she really ready for friends, classrooms, and teachers with rules?

The choice to be a Work-at-Home-Mom was my surefire way to keep Ava all to myself. And then reality hit quickly and I am realizing [ok, accepting the fact] that Ava is curious about other little people. She should be. They are weird. But interesting. And she will learn so much from them.

So Aaron and I started doing our homework, and we decided that a summer camp session for one week - at only 2 hours a day - would be a fair compromise. I can work on the Mom-thing of "letting go" and Ava can explore the idea of going to school like children do in her picture books. The night before camp, I was nauseous and nervous thinking about all the "what-ifs." Just trying to find a backpack for her to store her extra set of clothes was a nightmare. So I did what every Mom would do in such a predicament - I went shopping for one. Three stores later, with nothing in her size, I moved on to plan B - and made her one. Except, when I finished [2 hours later] and held it up, I realized she wouldn't even be able to fit her bathing suit inside. By Monday morning, my vision started to blur.

Kiss Your Brother Good-Bye

I eventually pulled myself together to notice how calm and fun Ava was having getting ready for "school." She squeezed Noah and kissed his face and told him she'll be back to play with him soon.

Good Morning Ms. Sanja

The first to arrive and the last to go - I was the Mom from planet paranoia. I watched as other parents gracefully handled the introductions and then sway their toddler's bangs away from their eyes while floating out the door. I desperately wanted to make myself transparent and just watch Ava in this new monumental experience. Finally, I built enough courage to turn and start walking when I regretfully glanced back to see if Ava would notice me leave. Instead, I witnessed George pick his nose and lick his finger. [Huge sigh...] It begins.

Tuning the TV

When I got home and walked through the living room, I found Noah peacefully sitting alone and tuning the dial on his tv. There wasn't a brown-eyed tower standing over him yelling, "that's mine!" Or a tornado of curly hair swooshing against his face with wet kisses. No, there was none of that this morning. Just our little Noah and the golden opportunity to be himself without his big sister. And so we made time for cuddling, tickling, reading and playing... with toys all to ourselves...

Welcome Home Ava

Our little learner came home each day of this week - loving school. Thankfully, the school we chose shares our philosophy on how learning should be: fun, natural and creative. I'm ashamed to say it, but I had to bribe her a few times at pickup. On the 3rd day, Aaron made her a "welcome home" sign so she could start looking forward to coming home also. On her last day, we all picked her up to celebrate her week at camp. Ava spotted Noah standing in the hall - and without pausing, she ran straight to him and gave him a big hug.

Ava's week at camp has made me realize that ready or not - the journey of parenting happens lightening fast and tightening the seat belts won't slow it down. This new experience has been encouraging for what Aaron and I have been doing all along... building our kids a strong launch pad to take off from with the mission to reach for the stars...



  1. That was a lovely one. Although I myself am not a parent, you described beautifully how you feel and how this is what parents are for. I wont lie the last paragraph brought a little water to my eyes and a big gulp I had to swallow down. Its one of those changes you dont want to happen but cant stop you can only hope your memory is vivid enough to let you relive them. Because in only a few very short years everything will be so much different like in the two pictures the bottom one in this one and the first one in "Fathers". I dont think you should worry about your memory though I think you take enough pictures to relive any day you please.


    p.s. I think Ava is going to be a Rocket engineer judging from that last picture. Ill keep my fingers crossed.

  2. Everyone knows how much Ava adores her Uncle Greg...

    ...You have such a special, unique way of making learning fun for her. From cheering her on to crawl when her little round body of mass wouldn't budge - to showing her how to fill her first water balloon - then being there to console her when it popped in her hands and scared her.

    She has now mastered her first video game - Little Leaps -thanks to you.

    And the countless other memories she loves to retell everytime she hears your name. Which, in our household, is very often.

    Every child would benefit for having an "Uncle Greg" in their life...and we are extremely lucky that distance hasn't compromised hers.

    Thank you for this wonderful comment and reassurance that we're on the right track. You are way wiser beyond your years and will one day make a father that is out of this world...

    p.s - a rocket engineer... would be very cool...

  3. Dear Zarlacht,
    This post is so dear, I liked it all along, and also because I am delaying the moment of starting school for Zoe. We both (Oz and I) agreed that this year wasn't the good one. It's going to be the next one. She wasn't (and we wearen't) ready for the long journey that starts and seems neverending: schooling. Rules, teachers, schedules, waking up hours... and so one. Next year, we can't stop her from going to school, as every other kid does. But I wish I was that kind of people, the ones that can teach children at home, homeschooling them. I am not that patient. And I also have so many other interests that I know that if I stayed just doing that I would resent it later. And I don't want that. But so far, I stayed at home (and will be staying, for I work at home) and it was the best thing I could do. I will never regret that decision.

  4. Oh!!! I almost forgot..:
    I am keeping all of those little sweet things about you in my heart.
    PS: I got a message from reesnelson, interested in my clothes, and coming from your blog. THANKS AGAIN!

  5. Julie - this is probably one of the biggest question marks I've had since before I even thought of having kids myself. To school or not to school... public, private, montessori - homeschool... I had no idea how many different approaches there are to one of the most important responsibilities we have as a parent - education.

    I hated the public schools I went to. I was always so overwhelmed by the fashion, homecoming, teacher favorites - and so forth. I didn't appreciate geometry or physics like I should have ;)

    When I was pregnant with Ava - I decided Homeschooling was the way to go. Then I read and visited this school that has such a caring and nurturing environment ... and felt as if I was doing Ava an injustice by keeping her at home all day to myself. This camp was a good icebreaker for all of us. She confirmed my theory that she is ready for "friends" and a social atmosphere to explore. While I'm still hesitant - I know I have to let go deal with all the weird stuff that comes with it - like kids who will push her, take her toys away... or call her names... ugh. It just breaks my heart thinking about it....

    This is the most difficult job/career we will ever have - being a mom and staying at home with them - is a true gift - for the both of us. We are blessed that we can - as thousands of mothers around the world wish they could but can't either for financial reasons or personal ones. There are some women from the beginning who plan on putting their kids in a daycare center because they "want" to be in the office during the day. Whatever a woman chooses - I just hope they don't regret it. These years are just so precious - and they should be filled with moms and children that are happy and fulfilled...

    I also don't regret my decision from changing careers and working from home - and being there for my kids around the clock. But I also know, that it can be draining if that's all I focus on - which is why, balancing hobbies and travel, and date-nights with my husband are so vital to maintaining that energy/strength/and spirit to being a happy Mom.

    Here's to us!!

  6. Oh, Zarlacht, this one just brought tears to my eyes.

    I can only imagine how you felt the week leading up to camp but I'm so glad she had a wonderful time learning, socializing and creating.

    You know, it does feel like kids grow up in the blink of the eye, but the way you and Aaron cherish life and everyday experiences with Ava and Noah, I know you guys won't miss a precious moment!

    Much love,


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