Category Archives: kids

Today, a Tragedy.

Today

I will be a little more patient.

I will be a lot more tolerant.

I won’t sweat the small stuff.

I will hug my kids more than usual.

I’ll let them get crazy loud and goofy and I will not stress out about it.

Their voices sound sweeter.

Their faces look more kissable.

Their silliness more funny than usual.

Their messiness a gift from heaven.

Tomorrow

I will thank God for a new day.

I will kiss my children more than usual.

I will heed the reminders I have around my home to embrace the moment.

I will work harder to forgive. To love. To smell the flowers.

Today’s crime is unspeakable.

It is unfathomable.

It isn’t the first of its kind.

It won’t be the last.

I will question God.

I will question humanity.

I will question government.

And I will pray – even when I’m angry and unsure.

I will accept that life will never be free of violence and killing.

I will do my best to shield my children and my loved ones from such horrors.

And I will take action. Through voting, through paying attention to ALL the issues (let’s talk about mental health care, not just gun control), by educating my children on how to deal with negative feelings (theirs or others’  toward them) of anger, isolation, or fear. By teaching them to deal with such life horrors while still keeping some kind of faith. (So not easy.)

But for today – I will hug and kiss and smother my children with love.

I will wonder, “why?” like they did when I told them what happened.

I will continue to put them first.

I will continue to check on them and give a forehead kiss EVERY SINGLE NIGHT we’re together when I go to bed, like I have since the days they were born.

And I will continue to bombard my followers and “friends” with photos of my boys.

Maybe more than usual for a while.

But I’m sure you’ll understand.

Image

Photo by Mim Adkins, Art of Life

And I will never, ever, ever take them for granted.

And I will pray for the children lost, the families who grieve.

I will share in the anger, the frustration, the wonder at why, why, why.

And like you, I will never, ever understand.

10 Things my 10-Year-Old has Taught Me in 10 Years

Today my first born turns 10. The big 1-0, double digits, serious stuff. And while he’s feeling pretty darn proud and excited, I am too – among feelings of disbelief that a decade has already passed.

I remember clearly the feelings of excitement, anxiety, happiness and fear that came with finding out we were having a baby. A baby! I wasn’t sure I was ready – but it’s one of those life experiences, at least for me, that you just have to dive into – I’d never be ready if I kept thinking about it too much. I was never one of those parents that just knew they wanted to have children. I just figured if it was meant to happen it would, and if not, it wouldn’t. (Easy to say when it happens easily – I have a lot of friends who struggled for years to have children and I have all the respect in the world for the heartache those years brought to them.)

It did happen, and I’m so grateful. Not just for this amazing human that’s in my life every day, but in the things he’s taught me and blessed my life with. They say we’re teaching our children every day, which is true – but they also teach us every day – for those who are willing to listen to the lessons. Profound lessons in little packages. Here are 10 interesting lessons my 10-year-old has taught me in the last 10 years. Happy Birthday, Richie. I love you.

  1. Love is the best gift you can give. No amount of Legos, video games or cool trips can top just sitting on the couch together every night.
  2. When there’s a screen on, creativity is off. I’m not a crazy, no-videos-no-TV Mom by any stretch, but I have learned that when our brains are auto-stimulated by someone else’s story all of the time, we don’t spend much time creating our own. Turning off the TV, iPods, video consoles is a big part of keeping kids creative and thinking.
  3. But there are lessons in everything, even the TV. No, not the Lifetime movie kind of lesson, but interest in how things work – like how movies are made, which leads to using tech to create our own, which leads to a lot of laughs.
  4. Speaking of laughs, do it more often. Parenting has taught me to lighten up and try to find the humor in any situation.
  5. Sometimes, cleaning up [or work] can wait. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “Yep, in a minute, right after I [fill in the blank]” only to have missed a moment that I can’t get back.
  6. Don’t just hear, listenIf your son or daughter wants to show you a new trick, dance move or creation – pay attention. How many times have you “uh-huh”‘d them to death while not really listening? I know I want my sons to talk to me openly – as openly as possible – when they get into their teen years, and that setting the stage now means showing them I’m truly listening to what they want to tell me.
  7. Kids deserve the opportunity to express an opinion. Too often we don’t let children say their piece. We’re the parent, we’re the ones who set the rules, they just need to quiet down and listen. Not true. Giving children a voice to express not only how they’re feeling, but how they view the world, is crucial to staying connected with them and helping them to turn into confident young men and women who will lead, not just follow.
  8. Movie nights are made for popcorn. You might have thought it was the other way around. Nope.
  9. Rising early really is nice. I’m a night owl, he’s a morning lark. Which means I used to be a night owl.
  10. A quiet moment can speak volumes. When is the last time you took a walk with your child and just talked? No entertainment, no phones, no iPods. Just you, your child, and the conversation that you’ll be amazed at as it develops. Try it – but don’t forget to listen.

Snow Day

I had an amazing weekend enjoying the snow that’s been falling for days. Snow is one of those things that you have to take advantage of while you can, so for three days I bundled up with the boys and got out to play. What a great way to usher in a New Year – with reminders to laugh more, remember what’s most important and take advantage of opportunities to play with your children when you can.

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The Mommy Pain

I risk sounding incredibly um, crazy, here – but I’m hoping I’m not the only mother out there that feels like this. Perhaps it’s top of mind because it gets exacerbated when my husband’s out of town… but the Mommy Pain is something that is always in the back of my mind.

Not the pain of pregnancy or labor; screaming kids or boo boos. The Mommy Pain is a never-ending, vague yet prominent cycle of “what if” scenarios that play themselves over and over in my mind just about every day. These are nagging thoughts about what could happen someday to my children that will hurt them – and are not always (or even usually) likely scenarios. It could be as simple as the everyone-experiences-it first heart break, to a probably-in-sports-someday broken limb, to more extreme thoughts such as how will I get both children out if there’s a fire or what if someone drives by and grabs them from the yard or the panic that they have some serious disease every time they catch a little cold.

Not that I’m an over-reactive mother; I’m not. I don’t call the doctor every time they get a little fever (unless it doesn’t go down or they get worse) or panic whenever they cry (although I do get that crazy-hear-beating-lump-in-the-throat feeling). There are two things are probably at play: I’m a Type A “brain never stops” personality anyway, and I happen to obsesses about tragedies. (For example, I remember the names and details about crime victims I never knew but read or heard about.)

I’ve heard motherhood can make you smarter, and I’m pretty sure there’s all-kinds-of-ways it makes you crazy. But is my Mommy Pain natural? Am I extra crazy or do other mothers experience these daily “what if” scenarios as they go about an otherwise-normal-life!?

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