Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last night I had some plans. I wanted to put the kids to bed, clean three rooms of the house, do Wii Fit, and take a long relaxing bath. I think any stay at home mom would agree that those are some big, extravagant, fabulous plans. With everything I do in a day for others, (that I would not complain about) by the time that night rolls around, and it's time to put the kiddies to bed, I find myself crawling right in to bed too, foregoing any housework, or showering, or even brushing my teeth, things I had planned to do when the kids were out of my hair. Not that I don't love them in my hair. It's just that it's difficult to get things done.
So I didn't exactly expect the evening to go exactly as I wanted it to, but I hoped. And I didn't even realize that I had sabotaged myself until hours after I'd done it. So the first hiccup to my dazzling evening came when I was trying to play a netflix movie through our Wii. I discovered a mouse or something had chewed right through the censor bar wire! So that nixed the Wii Fit. Which, hey, being 9 weeks pregnant and exhausted didn't perturb me so badly, it was nice to have an excuse not to do it. But the kids were pretty upset about not getting to watch the new veggie tales and I had just brought them in from drinking iced teas and playing outside so it was automatically bathtime. It takes up a nice chunk of time and the the kids enjoy it. Though, it makes mommy tired. It was sometime after the bath, and dinner that I realized what I'd done to further extinguish my grand plans. It was rounding about the time that the boy gets sleepy and the girls decide to sort of chill out and ask to watch a show, and none of this was happening. My son was running around like a chicken with his head cut off, and the girls we little chatterboxes. It dawned on me, the ICED TEAS! I usually make caffeine free tea but was out and just absentmindedly made whatever we had which was not decaffeinated. Apparently. So while bed time is not difficult around here on a normal day, I was frightened of laying down the law with my three banshees. Ask me anytime and I will tell you, it is a big mistake to refrain from discipline, or proper parenting because you fear your children's reactions. But last night, the horror made my teeth chatter. So as any good, and imaginative parent would, I adjusted. Chucked any shreds of a plan left out the window and went about taking care of the hyper children, poor things, they weren't sure what was going on with them, it was an unsettling night for all and I needed to reassure them that all was ok. So we played, and talked, and laughed at the little brother and his crazy antics until I decided we could at least turn the lights out and sort of calm down. And eventually, the kids that normally go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 finally went down around 11:00.
Even though my hopes were dashed does not mean my evening was ruined. Just because you have some idea of something happening in your head does not mean that a bad mood should result if things don't happen the way you plan. When you feel it all slipping away from you, despite your best grip, stop a minute and pray, or meditate, or count to ten, and realize that you are in control of how you react, and look for blessings. It could turn out better than you imagined. That's what happened for me last night, and let's face it, happens for me a lot. And I don't always pray and take it with a smile. But last night I did. And I was so blessed. I had a great conversation with my two year old that I wouldn't have had if was I scrubbing the kitchen floors. I got to watch my son imitate his big sisters in his own clumsy way. I got to stop and watch. My kids are growing up before my eyes, and I don't see it when I'm vacuuming. I got to really watch a movie with my four year old and jump and, scream and the same parts, and answer questions, giving her all my attention, instead of soaking in the tub.
And I was so blessed by those things. I will take a ton of baths in my life, I will wash the same dishes over and over and over again, and I will at some point get to exercise. But I will never get to live last night again. So I am so glad I spent it the way I did.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

That's what friends are for?

It just hit me this evening. I don't have a friend. A certain type of friend. That type that you would turn to, talk to in sad or desperate times, or the one you would call if you got really exciting news. This friend thing has been on my mind a lot lately ever since I chaperoned a teen girls lock-in and maybe even a little bit before that. At that lock-in I saw girls be kind to one another. I saw girls that had never met before become instant friends and share special moments, and help eachother out. I was never like that when I was a teenager. Oh how I wish now that I had valued female friendship from girls my own age. This is not to say I didn't have chic friends and that we didn't have deep heart to heart talks, I've experienced a little of that, but for the most part, my teenage years I was a space cadet. And so selfish. I would talk to anyone and everyone, but never get real close. And I remember having close friends but realize now that they weren't actually that close. I am reminded of a time, when my father questioned how I could say someone was my best friend and yet I had never been to watch her team play. I didn't care much for sports and would probably have to sit by myself. Selfish. So what right? And it's not like my friend ever begged me to go, but really as a friend I should have been more thoughtful. I have always thought that girls were mean, conniving, boy crazy, and silly, and not good friends. All things I had expereinced from female friends, all things I have been guilty of. Boy crazy being at the top of the list. Dumb! I sure wish I wouldn't have been so boy crazy and I desperately wish I would never have let a boy come between me and a friend. So many regrets. ..... Still, I'm not sure that I regret not having a real, close, girlfriend, that I share everything with. That has always been Michael for me, very soon after I met him. And that's what a husband should be. I'm sure of that. But I do wonder what it would be like to have that type of female friend. The thing that sparked this realization for me was a convo between two girls on facebook about how they needed eachother, and to share things with eachother. I would never do that, not really. I don't really miss anyone and want to catch up with them so badly. I must be so self involved.
I talk to my mother, I talk to my husband, I talk to my God, I sometimes share intimate feelings or thoughts with people, I like to encourage others... but I don't have what I read tonight, I never had what I saw at that teen girls' lock-in.
And my sister, my goodness, she has tons of female friends, she hangs out with a lot of different girls, and is always telling me about one or the other of them. She is 14 and thriving socially. As a teenager I never hung out with that many different people, and if I had a friend that was somewhat close, it was that friend I wanted to be with. I did not branch out. Don't know why. ....
Right now, my husband and I are working on "couple friends" he is a much more social person than I am and this means a lot to him, and admittedly, I enjoy it, it's nice to have a good time and spend time with people who are going through the same stage of life as we are. Still, these are surface relationships, nothing too in depth, just general fun, and encouragement, fellowship, and even that takes a lot of work. But I am learning that it is worth it to invest in these friendships and keep them up and put self aside for them.
As I said before I'm not sure that I am missing out on anything not having that "friend" or those "friends" to share with and care for. Maybe it's not in my nature. But I do realize there's a piece of the human experience that I only view from the outside. I wonder about it, question what it's like and concede that I would not be very good at it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sorry, No Spongebob

I do not allow my children to watch Spongebob Squarepants. I've looked at it, and decided that it's not for us. This past weekend, my cousins, four of them, ranging in age from five to ten, were in town and they discussed Spongebob multiple times and at length. My oldest just sat with wide eyes. I thought for sure she would make some sort of comment about how we don't watch it. She did ask later why the cousins would watch something bad. I explained, just because something isn't right for us doesn't mean it's wrong for everyone else. I feel I needed to tell that background before I went into what this post is actually about. Ethne is the type that obsesses over things. If there is any sort of emotion coming from Michael or me when we tell her something, that emotion is multiplied in her mind. So we can say something has "bad" stuff in it b/c we had used the word inappropriate, and she asked what it meant, then she lets that go in her mind and Spongebob is next to the devil, ok? You need to know that, too. She feels things intensely, and entirely, and she is a deeply honest creature that strives for what is good. I think this is one of those traits that a person is just born with, as opposed to something taught. I believe this simply because my second child is a sneaky stinker, always looking to get away with something.
So let's get to the point. We were having a family meal and CiCi's and innocently chose a booth where Ethne could see the tv quite clearly. On the tv was a show the kids don't often watch, but we have no problem with. The meal progressed nicely, the kids were actually well behaved. But then, the show that was on ended, and with it the "younger" children's programming. To start off the more mature programming was none other than Spongebob, or the devil, as Ethne has come to think of him. "Spongebob" Ethne choked out in a whispery voice. Like Freddy Krueger had walked into the building. Michael and I were very casual about it, reassuring her it was just fine. She was visibly upset, her face started turning red, her eyes moist, her breathing shallow. She was trying so very hard not to look at the screen. We told her it was ok if she saw some of it, she would not be in trouble. She was not convinced, she was looking for some way to make this ok in her mind. Finally she said, that she couldn't hear it and so it was ok. Michael and I jumped on that, saying yes, of course, it would all be ok. For a while she just stared at the screen, a look of uncertainty on her face, she asked why CiCi's would leave it on. This was a very good oppurtunity to explain to her about the world, and how we can be in the world and accept their practices without making them our own. I decided to leave that conversation for later in the day and Michael told her that we make decisions that are good for us and our home but not everyone else makes those decisions and then he further saved the day by taking the kids to the little arcade area.
Seeing my daughter so upset, by the inability to "be good" touched me. I had gotten tears in my eyes as she struggled with the a definite no-no staring her right in the face. she wanted with all her might to avoid it and felt powerless. She searched her mind for excuses to make it ok somehow. I wanted to make her feel that everything was ok, and still let her know how proud we were of her that she was indeed right for thinking what she was thinking. Still, she looked like she was suffering, and I wanted very much to stop it. But I don't think that pain was mine to assuage. She is just three, nearly four, but I believe that she and Lord have a relationship. And I liken it to a relationship, with "goodness". She had chosen goodness over evil. (And I am not saying Spongebob is evil, but that's how she views it) And that choice is bound to bring about feelings of some nature, pain along with the joy, because it does take sacrifice, which is meant to sting a bit. I believe my place in all of that as her mommy was and is to reassure her that I stand be her choices. Show her I am proud of her choices and the sweet girl she in turning into. Let her know I like the person she is deciding to be. I do not believe I should make it seem as if being on "the good side" is easy street. I do not think I should shelter her from ever feeling discomfort, even though she made the right choice. And I'm not sure that I even could if I felt it my duty to take away the hurt. For those of us that have allowed Jesus to rule our life, we know the sting, the pinch, sometimes more like a stab that can occur, but Jesus and only Jesus comes in and is the salve for that, and it's a comfort not even a mommy can match. I have to let go of my kids, and trust that Jesus will do what he promised. HE is going to reward her for her goodness of heart. I believe that.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't give up

I am at the stage with my kids where I just want to quit! Not quit my kids, but quit trying so hard to parent them. To sit by and let them have their way. That would be so easy. This is the most important stage of parenthood. I will rise to this challenge. Quitting at this stage would be detrimental for my kids. Quitting would mean letting my kids win. And I know that parenting isn't actually a battle, but it sure feels like one. So quitting on my job just tells my kids they've won, and they have also quite possibly won every battle from here on out. Quitting shows my kids my breaking point, my one year old can recognize it. And they'll remember it and use that information for the future. And it won't take as long the next time as the previous time. I'll remember too how easy it was to just let go, give them what they want. Sit back and watch the madness unfold. It is madness to give into those little cherubs, I promise. They are so cute, so precious and know how to push all my buttons. But giving in and giving them what they want, or deciding not to make them do what I say, is actually hurting them. As a parent it's my job to guide my kids, and each of thse little battles is an important step in guiding them. Each one takes them further down the path of respecting elders, self respect, and independence. I remind myself of this whenever I feel like I can't do it. And sometimes I feel like that, but they depend on me to show them how to be mature, well rounded, capable adults, even if they don't know it yet and fight me tooth and nail against it.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today is just one of those days when I want to talk about everything I hate! Like everyone wanting a piece of me! Guilt trips. Power struggles. People not saying what they mean. People wanting credit for whatever it is b/c they feel some sort of entitlement, like "i saw it first" kind of people. Unfair people. People who don't say what they mean...... sigh, I already said that..... the list could go on and on and on.
Nothing is really even wrong with me and I wonder if I am the worst person in the entire world, b/c I just don't like things....
everyone else is sweet and thinks happy thoughts... and today I'm just not.
I bet that is ok.
One thing I know, today anyway, I'm going to try and pray it all away...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Letting go already

It is such a hard thing to let go of the sin I have been clinging to. The sin that comforts me and tells me I am in the right. So unsatisfying. To just give it all away and give it to Jesus to carry for me. Giving it up and being who I should be without getting my revenge, without letting anyone know they wronged me. Letting them go on in merry existence without "paying" for it. Giving it away to God sounds so nice and looks good in the Bible. But getting rid of that emotional weight which actually weighs nothing is hard to lift and give. It's easier to be weighted down, then let it go and soar like a helium balloon. But, that's what my God has asked of me. I can't be who He called me to be if I let the heavy sin keep me down. He never lets us take the easy road. It's for the betterment of ourselves, I know. It's hard to express how painful I find it to just give up and give it to God. This growing process, this being like Jesus process, it's not a walk in the park, but someday, I will walk in the park with HIM.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Offical sponser of Birthdays

OK, have you seen the commercial that states that the American Cancer Society is the Official Sponsor of Birthdays? Well, no offense to them, but really, my husband is the Official Sponsor of Birthdays...
The other day we were eating lunch and Michael was telling the girls he had to go to work and Ethne asked. "Why do you have to go to work." Michael was in the middle of saying that it was b/c we needed money when Ethne interrupted, "For Abijah's birthday?" Then she asked if he also goes to work for Sol's birthday, and then she named every member of our family. I think it's pretty cute how her mind works. Daddy just goes to work for birthdays, for every body's birthdays, that's all.