Long ago (or so it seems) I used to be the keeper and cultivator of the blog, Jul of the Day. The first incarnation of it was born in 2001. I think. The two of you around since the beginning (Susie? Amanda?) can correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe it was 2002. Anyway, at some point I got frustrated because I couldn't muster the inspiration to post. It felt like a permanent affliction. So I pulled the plug. All the way. The press of one button and it was gone ... then I immediately slumped into woeful remorse.
I had done something similar many years before, while I was pregnant and in the home stretch of my last trimester. I was huge, it was hot, and I went a smidge crazy. I single-handedly heaved a giant trash bag with about 10 years worth of my handwritten journals into a dumpster. No one was around to stop me. So woeful remorse and me, yup, we go way back.
A year or two later, I relaunched Jul of the Day all fresh, shiny and new. Things went well. Really well. Until I got hell-bent on a redesign. I hired an expert. She gave me exactly what I asked for and it was rather fetching ... but it wasn’t very easy to navigate or maintain. So this time, when enough was enough, I had the good sense to save a PDF of every post before I deleted them. I tripped over them recently and, man, I was prolific! Memories flooded back. And with them came the reminder to just write it down. Just write.
If you will indulge me and pardon the laziness (especially those who read these posts the first time around), I would like to repost some of these Jul of the Day entries on the days when life is such that I can't write a new post from scratch. There's good stuff in these archives, I promise!
JUL OF THE DAY: September 26, 2005 - Look Who's Turning 12
How can it be possible that you're already 12 years old? I would swear that just yesterday your dad and I were taking turns lugging you around. When we first found out that you were coming, I did all of the lugging, all by myself. Between you and me, I didn't mind it one single bit.
These first dozen years with you have been delightful, my not-so-little-girl. Okay, maybe a little messy at times, loud too, but that's to be expected. You brazenly defied superstition by arriving one day before you were expected, with eyes wide open, too stubborn to cry. You have proven yourself to be a force to be reckoned with ... wise beyond your years. Your dad and I still look at each other wide-eyed sometimes, amazed that two people who can't hang window blinds together managed to create someone like you.
We know that twelve isn't easy. You're not quite a kid anymore, but not yet a teen. You still want to play with your toys and get new ones, too, but somehow that doesn't feel quite right anymore. To borrow from Carrie Newcomer, "You're all crushes, blushes, and brushes with insight, but you still sleep with your bears half of the nights." My advice, my dear, is to remember, when you're 12, be 12. Those bears can only sleep with you for so long and you're going to miss them when they're gone.
Your dad and I are eager to see who and what you choose to be in the years ahead. You are showing tremendous promise, so we keep applying the Miracle Grow and crossing our fingers. How is it that you can already be so beautiful, self-assured, and articulate? Maybe you don't see it, but everybody else can't help it. Your great big heart is like a neon sign. You're the real deal. And to borrow lyrics from Carrie again, "Damn the first man who comes to break your heart."
Happy birthday, Alyssa. The best is yet to come.
You won't be 12 until 1:55 this afternoon, so don't think you're getting anything special for breakfast. Love, Mom.
That 12 year old will be turning 17 this year. She no longer sleeps with her bears and now has a boyfriend with not only the keys to her heart but his own car as well. (He had better stay on his best behavior.) I don't want to miss one minute of having her in our nest.