I have to keep up with all my children?

  • October 16, 2012 7:01 am

“Everyone load up!”

By now, my kids are old enough that when they hear this phrase, they should know to get their stuff, get a drink, and get in the car.  Saturday morning was typical–rushing around to get to a baseball game.  My husband left before me with said baseball player, and I had the leftovers.  So, when I announced for everyone to load up, I assumed they did.

Oops.

When I got to the game, my son’s friend ran up to me asking for him.  I explained that my awesomely responsible nine-year-old was already here watching the game.

Nope.

I took a minute to check in with my husband to verify that I had indeed just left a child at home (unknowingly).  After a few chuckles from him and the passers-by, I bolted to the car to go retrieve the lost, lonely boy.

Only, when I got home, the lost and lonely boy had no idea that ne was either lost or lonely.  He was sitting on the couch calmly watching the Texas/OU game, and was completely confused at my disheveled entrance.

I guess he won’t be in therapy for that one.  But, I’ll keep working on it.

from the Column–What’s my Age again?

  • October 12, 2012 6:11 am

When I sat down to express what was on my mind, this isn’t exactly where I had planned on going, but this is where the words took me.  Sometimes that just happens…I guess that just means I have more words for next time.

Mark Twain wrote, “Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I guess the key is to actually not mind that the matter of age is changing, and to also know that perspective is the key to controlling any matter—including age.

The topic of age arises constantly around me. “How long have you been teaching?”  “When did you get married?”  “How old are your kids?”  “What year did you graduate?”  “How long until your 40th birthday?”  As I field these questions, I find myself referencing the “grown ups” as if I don’t belong to their club—to be honest, may days I wonder if I’ve learned their secret handshake. As my friends and I pass through some bigger decade markers, we talk about “getting old”, and if we feel as “grown up” as we should.  Our discussions center around how our perspectives have changed (should we learn the secret handshake or make our own?), and it’s hard to know the perfect answer as we maneuver this tricky parenting gig. As parents, it seems like we should just know more.

Perspective is really the definition of age, isn’t it? And perhaps, perspective is really the art of knowing more. As children, every year promised new adventures and privaleges–be that double digits, sweet sixteen, or the legal age of accountability.  As we obtained each one of those milestones, the mysteries behind them seemed to fade and tarnish.  As young adults, every year brought hope that we would find those necessary experiences to finish school, add to resumes, and finally secure those first jobs. Yearly milestones began to slip into decades–decades that began to mark the time, and cause our mind to decide whether that extra time under our belt mattered.

My perspective changed when I became a Mom, and I began marking my children’s milestones in reference to my own.  Walking each of my children to their first day of school, I remembered my first day.  I remembered the worry, the excitement, and the unknown.  I didn’t have to try very hard to literally feel all those things again—a gift and a curse.  When they lose a tooth, I think of my own yellow, lacy tooth fairy pillow.  Every Christmas morning as I watch the surprise on their faces, I think of how I snuck out of my room in the middle of the night to see the treasures Santa left. When they hurt themselves, I have a vast array of memories to call upon to feel their same pain, and can always give them tips on stitches, crutches, casts, splints, and plain ace bandages. Even the smell of sunscreen in the summer takes me back to year after year of sunburns—but more than the sunburns, I think of the fun I had with my family splashing in pools or digging at the beach.   While the decades keep marking My time, I feel myself spending that time invested in those first Milestones again—but from my children’s perspective, and that time matters more to me than any time at all.

 

 

 

Craziest Fall Ever?

  • October 9, 2012 8:54 pm

I know I speak about the crazy in my life quite often, but in all honesty, I’m constantly amazed at how the level of crazy can just keep getting higher.  I’m a little scared for the future!  I guess each stage of parenthood trains us for the next one–like running a marathon.  We all started with the Couch to 5K, and now we’re on to the next step.  I’m telling you right now though–I’m no Ironman racer, so something is going to have to give before we get to that point.

But seriously, those crazy long nights with the crying babies…were SO hard!

The toddler potty training days were, if possible…EVEN harder!!

The early elementary school days were..maybe not harder…but SO hectic!  (And emotionally draining for this mom who seems to create children that have difficulty earning those positive kudos in kinder!)

And now, early elementary, mid elementary and middle school…WHICH END IS UP?

I need my eleven year old to get a hardship license STAT.  They make those, right?

The scary thing is, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard moms say, “Wait until they are in high school.”  I might be insane by then.

Science Lesson

  • October 2, 2012 8:44 pm

Kid 3:  “Mom, we are walking on a solid.”

Me:  “Yes, we are.”

Kid 3:  “Solids are hard,  liquids are in containers, and gases are everywhere.”

Me:  “Sounds pretty right to me.”

Kid 3:  “But what about light?  If light is a gas because it’s everywhere, how does it become a liquid and a solid?  Is a light bulb solid light?”

Me:  “You know you’re six, right?”

Kid 3:  “You know you’re the Mom, right?”

Anyone else have this problem?

  • September 23, 2012 6:43 pm

BOYS!!!!  NO FORCE PUSHING IN THE CAR!!

 

Chisholm Trail Steak Challenge

  • September 16, 2012 1:19 pm

It’s that time of year again!  Mark your calendars for September 29th.  I know there are baseball games, baseball pictures, cross country meets, volleyball games, and 4H competitions all going on that day, but after the dust settles, take your herd out to the Wise County Reunion Grounds for a steak dinner.  Teams will be competing all day for bragging rights, and after the judges make their decisions, the public can dive right in!  There will be vendors for shopping, a car show for looking, snacks for eating, music for listening, and college football for watching!  The weather just gave us a nice little Fall present–and this is the perfect event to enjoy it.  In addition, the Wise County Reunion Committee has opened the cabin area for renting.  Imagine sitting in your reunion cabin without the 100 degree heat!  Check out www.chishomtrailsteakchallenge.com for more details.

 

First Spelling Test!!!

  • September 11, 2012 7:55 pm

This Friday, my birthday in fact, my first grader has his FIRST SPELLING TEST!!  It really wasn’t that long ago that I was practicing my sixth grader’s first grade spelling tests–it really, really wasn’t.  Besides the time flying factor, it’s confusing to me that my baby can even spell, let alone have a test over such a skill.  I guess it is true that we tend to baby our babies longer, because I vividly remember rolling my eyes when my daughter didn’t immediately know how to spell every word on the list every week.  This week I’m looking at the list and thinking, “TEN??  TEN WHOLE WORDS??  WITH MORE THAN ONE LETTER??  MAN!!  We are getting him ready for the SAT now!”  Which, by the way, I know is a little skewed…just goes to show how far I have either 1-lost all sense of reality, or 2-am holding onto my babies as tight as I can.

I think both might go hand in hand.

The Weakest Link

  • September 9, 2012 7:30 pm

It was just over a week ago that my husband and I were reflecting on all the pets that have been part of our family over the years.  During that conversation, we both agreed that three kids plus just one dog and one cat were a perfect mix.  For us, pets are a part of the family. We take them almost everywhere we go, and if we can’t take them with us, we literally make babysitting arrangements.  I know to some it sounds absolutely nuts, but our pets are family.  They even have Christmas Stockings.

Speaking of puppy dog eyes…

Does anyone really just go visit a litter of puppies?  If you can, I’m impressed.  I know better than to try, but my daughter and husband are not so wise.  Last week, they fell victim to those puppy dog eyes once again.  At that hands of some truly cunning cousins, my daughter fell in love with a baby chocolate lab, just shy of six weeks old.  Imagine the cuteness factor.  She then batted her own “I love you Daddy” eyelashes, as she and the puppy snuggled into my husband’s heart.  A few hours later, they were home with the newest member of our family.

They did call and ask my opinion, and I reminded them of our busy schedule, and asked them to ask permission from the resident dog of the family (the one we were just bragging on less than a week ago!).  I guess puppy dog eyes trump…everything else.

So, we’ve established puppy day care.  We are looking into puppy training.  Puppy names are still in negotiation, and we are registering for counseling for the extremely depressed resident pup who is having a difficult time adjusting to his new big brother status.

Life wasn’t crazy enough….good thing we live for crazy.

This makes no sense…

  • September 3, 2012 5:47 pm

Family Movie Night:  17 Again with Zac Efron and Mathew Perry or Star Wars Episode I with the typical cast of characters…

We happened upon 17 Again this afternoon, and, as a family, got sucked into the fact that Zac Efron portrayed a magically re-encarnated seventeen year old version of Mathew Perry so he could “have a second chance to make the right choices.”  Through the course of the movie, Zac Efron awkwardly becomes his kids’ “friends,” and tries to rekindle a romance with his soon-to-be-ex-wife.  Needless to say, there were quite a few hide-your-face-in-your-pillow-because-you’re-so-embarrassed-for-him-moments.  But, all in all, a cute family movie.

Except according to the six-year-old.  His take?

“This movie makes NO SENSE!!  Let’s watch Star Wars.  At least everything in that movie is REAL and can ACTUALLY HAPPEN!”

I guess we all just have different perspectives.  ;-)

 

I might be the worst mom in the whole entire world, no wait…universe…

  • August 28, 2012 6:10 pm

I really, really might be the worst mother in the history of mothers.  Even my mom guilt isn’t taking over on this one–and mom guilt is pretty much the most powerful force on the planet.  Seriously, someone needs to harness that power for The Force (Star Wars moms will get that one.)

Yesterday, I watched all the moms drop their little ones off for the first day of school.  I empathized with the shed tears, and watched goodbye hugs and kisses.  I might of had a few moments of good mothering–I took the “first day of school pictures,” and posted or texted them to people waiting to see how the Big Kids looked.  I also gave the hugs and kisses–even had a First Day of School Present for my first grader’s teacher.  (Trust me, she’ll be getting presents ALL YEAR.)  I texted my middle schooler throughout the day, checking in on the locker situation, the lunch situation, and the riding-the-bus situation.  I prayed that my first grader’s spontaneous nose bleed was not an omen for the ENTIRE year ahead.  I beamed when my fourth grader stopped at recess to give me a hug.  I did have moments…small, but perhaps noticeable moments.

It was the after school hours that were my complete undoing.  As I rounded the corner to my classroom after sending off all the First Day Students, I could hear the loudest first grader on the planet battling an invisible enemy.  I could also hear my fourth grader pounding away on a laptop–no doubt composing a guitar band symphony.  Moments later, my middle schooler arrived, STARVING, and demanded FOOD.  I might have snapped.  I could even have yelled.  I’m not sure because either I blacked out or blocked it out.  Either way, my hoodlums were quiet for a small moment, and I’m certain I scared other children not gentically bound to me.

This is where I FEEL TERRIBLE.  I watched all the moms pick up their kids from school–running to eachother with hugs and kisses and promises of wonderful afternoons full of ice cream and solutions for world peace.  In the meantime, my offspring didn’t even have the chance to suit up before the outbreak of nuclear warfare, and, there was in fact, the nuclear warfare.  When we managed to army crawl our way out of school and into the car, I actually asked for complete silence–as if they hadn’t been asked to “use their inside voice” all day.  And, (so sad), the first thing I did when we walked through the doors of home-sweet-home:  tylenol.  A headache was about to take nuclear warfare to the next level–and noone needs to see that.  There. was. just. so. much. talking.  and laughing.  and more talking.  LOUDLY.

I want to be present for my children.  I want to listen to all their stories, woes, and celebrations.  I want to hold them when they are upset, and toast them when they are happy.  I want to know and experience it all.  But sometimes, can we do it in a quiet voice?  Pretty please?