Me: “Someone made coffee?”
Me: “awww. You’re my favorite daughter!”
PinkGirl: “I would have preferred ‘favorite child.’”
FavoriteSon: “What do you want?”
FavroiteSon: “umm. hmm.”
Me: “You’re slacking on your ‘walking concordance’ duties. How much have we paid for your Christian education anyway?”
FavoriteSon: “I got it. Ecclesiastes 10:19″
Me: “uh huh. I can tell already that you’re jerking me around.”
FavoriteSon: “No. Really.”
Ecclesiastes 10:19: “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything.”
If you put your kids Christmas gifts in unmarked boxes, you can get them to wrap their own presents.
FavoriteDaddy reading The Hobbit to PinkGirl last night.
Here’s how PinkGirl’s volcano science project turned out yesterday:
If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember FavoriteSon’s volcano project. Here’s an excerpt from that blog post:
We end up at Michael’s craft store with four packages of quick drying clay, a terra cotta pot and . . . a rocket engine. Yes. Michael’s sells rocket engines. FirstHusband is smiling and FavoriteSon is explaining how there really IS a type of volcano that explodes like that . . . The boys spend all morning Saturday wiring and soldering. Then they go into the backyard to test it before they make a terra cotta pot LOOK like a volcano. It works. It explodes. I look at FavoriteSon and say, “When you get sent to the office on Monday, give them your dad’s work number so he can explain how that’s perfectly safe.” . . . Then it’s tested again, this time adding sand to the top of the volcano so it shoots dirt up into the air and looks even more realistic . . . either FavoriteSon will be suspended or he will get an “A” on this project. (postscript: he got an “A”)
So. This time, explosives are NOT an option. PinkGirl has the same science teacher FavoriteSon did. No playing the “I had no idea” card. But PinkGirl wanted “a BIG explosion.” How to do that without ignition? FirstHusband wanted to buy a portable compressor, but his attempt to justify the expense by coming up with other things to do with it after making a volcano explode?
So my father (SuperPappy) suggested the shop vac reversed. The lampshade idea came to me during a severe allergic reaction to crafting after my husband said the words “paper mache” to me. We picked out a dirty, torn lampshade and got a 25% discount. Final Sale. No returns.
No problem. Crafting avoided.
As you can see, the explosion was a HIT. The ash went higher than the fence.
Here’s the written report PinkGirl wrote to accompany the volcano shown in the video:
“Volcanoes are amazing things of nature and only God can create them. Still for my project I tried my best and I also had fun while doing it. From deciding what type of volcano mine is or what type of eruption it will have it was a fun learning experience that I would love to tell you about.
The First thing I did was paint the lampshade (which is my volcano). It was actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be because I had to mix paint to find the right color. The second thing I did was cut a hole in the box big enough for the pipe. Then I cut the top of the lampshade out with bolt cutter. (It was awesome!) After that I measured and cut the pipe to the right size with a hack saw. (My dad helped a little for this part but I did cut with a hack saw.) Next I glued the pipe to the adapter and cut the small pipe to the right size and glued it to the adapter and the elbow of the other pipe. Then I put another hole in the side of the box and put the side pipe in it. Next is my favorite part. I put coal in a bag and crushed it with a hammer. After that I poured the ash and coal in and covered it with saran wrap. Then I painted the box green and put the “Snow” on the volcano. The last step was decorating it with little touches to make it look better.
During the process of building my volcano I learned all about Composite volcanoes and plinian eruptions. Composite volcanoes are made out of ash, tephra, and lava. Plinian eruptions are violent and have lots of ash and poisonous gasses. Mt. Saint Helens was a composite volcano and had a plinian eruption.
I always thought a volcano just meant lava and smoke but I now understand that volcanoes are much more complicated than that. God must have had fun designing and creating volcanoes. He is a very creative God who has an amazing imagination. Volcanoes are dangerous magnificent things that create new land, give us dazzling treasures, and really open our eyes to show us how marvelous our world really is. I can only imagine what other planets are like.
Back to yoga class this morning. I’m paying for taking the summer off.
PinkGirl: “WHAT is that SMELL?”
FavoriteHusband, working on my shoulder: “your mom calls it ‘stinky hot’ but it’s really called BENGAY.”
PinkGirl: “it’s GROSS!”
A few minutes later:
FavoriteSon: “Why do I smell Pepto-Bismol?”
Me: “It’s stinky hot.”
FavoriteSon: “Smells like Pepto.”
Mr. Miyagi could fix my shoulder without stinkin up the place.
Me: “PinkGirl, you know what time it is?”
Me: “Time to lay out your clothes for school tomorrow.”
extreme, dramatic faux fainting
Me: “And pack your lunch.”
and just like that. Summer is over.
Friday, May 11, 2012 – Trying to learn this: “The difference between being 95% prepared & 100% prepared (whatever that is) is infinitesimal. It is not perceived. But the energy expended in moving from 95% to 100% is immense, much more than that required to move from 75% to 95%.” Alan Weiss
Saturday, May 12 2012
11:24am – My husband loves me! He just used his AMEX points to buy me a new phone for Mother’s Day!!! (I’m not eligible for an upgrade till November). I hope I love it as much as I think I will! But if not, I ordered it from Walmart. They let you return anything.
4:19pm – Tackling the paper mountain that is my office. I’ve avoided working in there since I brought the 45+ pounds of paper home from my mom’s house after her death in December. Time to reclaim my work space. #somuchpaper
7:45pm – More than three hours later and I’m still going through the 45+ pounds of paper I’ve ignored since I brought it home from my mom’s after her death in December. Thousands of pieces of paper – mementos, letters, records, photos…when I started this weekend project, I didn’t even connect it with Mother’s Day. God is weird that way.
10:53pm – took over 6 hours to sort all the paper from my mom’s house. Now I’m ready to deep clean and purge my office of our own paper and clutter. Well. not NOW. Maybe tomorrow.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
2:34pm – So proud of PinkGirl! She did a wonderful job on “Mighty to Save” this morning during the 8am and 11am services. And an added mom bonus? She LISTENED and FOLLOWED MY ADVICE during her vocal warm up this morning!!! A Mother’s Day miracle! #ilovemydaughter
3:08pm – I ordered my new phone yesterday. I’m ready for it to be here now. #impatient
I’m going from a 2.5 x 2.5 inch Motorola Flipout to a 7 inch Dell Streak
This is a HUGE change for me. No more tucking my phone in my bra. Just saying.
PinkGirl’s text to her dad about singing special music at the 8am service this morning: “The power went out so we stopped and I messed up double so yay!” 8:29 AM
PinkGirl: “DAD!” 8:31 AM
PinkGirl: “Yo Horton!!!” 8:31 AM
Her Dad: “Bummer. You will do better at 11″ 8:34 AM
PinkGirl: My dress was sooo short i was afraid i was gonna flash the congregation! ” 8:36 AM
(Mom Note: she is so impatient. I don’t know where she gets it. and the dress was short, but not that short. There was no view of London or France at any time.)
7:06pm – I had to complete a scavenger hunt to find my Mother’s Day present. Seven clues later, it was a coupon for “a FREE two day pass to PINKGIRL WORLD! Where PinkGirl will tend to your every need and do whatever you want willingly without grumbling or complaining. Not valid on School Days.” The location of this priceless coupon? Buried in the cat’s litter box. At least she scooped it first. #ilovemydaughter
All in all, it was a good weekend. Finally got to meet a long time blog friend and her family at EPCOT Friday night while they were vacationing here. A rare Sunday morning praise team set where I think we had a perfect balance between abandoning ourselves to worship and striving for excellence and time spent with friends and family on Sunday afternoon.
God is Good. All the Time.
FirstHusband and FavoriteSon went to a college “Discovery Day” on Saturday, inspecting a potential choice for FavoriteSon.
I think it just hit me that, if he goes away to college as a freshman, his sister will only be in 7th grade when he goes.
That hadn’t even crossed my mind.
We would miss him like crazy, but his sister? Serious, serious, serious sadness. The loss of that daily interaction between them would be so hard for her. They may fight sometimes, but they really love each other.
Anyone have that experience themselves as a child? Have an older sibling move away to college? How old were you? How did it change your daily life? How do you think the presence an older brother or sister in your daily life would have changed your remaining years living at home?
Eleven year old PinkGirl auditioned for Beauty and the Beast this month. Of course she wanted the part of Belle. At the four hour cast call backs the week after her first audition, she sang and read for Belle. The only other character she was asked to try was Babbette, the feather duster.
She couldn’t do the walk.
In the end, she got the part of Madam. The Wardrobe.
She hadn’t been asked to sing or read for any other character, and the role of the Wardrobe wasn’t announced until just before the role of Belle, so as she heard the other parts being assigned to her fellow cast members, the process of elimination gave her false hope. When her name was called, she was completely blindsided.
The moment they were dismissed, she bolted out the door, still in her jazz shoes. She held herself together until she was about three feet from the van. Since she had run out so fast, none of her friends heard her break down crying.
I got in the van and quickly drove to an empty spot in the parking lot.
Immediately – and I mean IMMEDIATELY – she leapt to the conclusion that she wasn’t good at the one thing she thought she was really good at. The decision made by this stranger somehow represented the real truth and everyone else who had ever told her she was good was just being nice. This was a sign that she should quit. This was proof that she wasn’t as good at singing and acting as she thought she was. This was God saying no, not only to Belle, but to theater. She was just fooling herself, wasting everyone’s time and her parent’s money.
She said all these things to herself and to me through broken tears. Then she SCREAMED them again at God. At the top of her lungs, she DEMANDED to know why He was breaking her heart. She told Him that He was making her feel WORTHLESS. When she wrapped her arms around my neck sobbing and screamed “I thought you LOVED me!” at God, it wrenched me. Exhausted from the screaming, she broke down again, sobbing, telling God she was sorry. That she loved him. That she would always love him. No matter what.
This had nothing to do with being disappointed about not getting the part of Belle.
Sure, she was sad and disappointed she didn’t get the role she was going for, but that’s happened before. She played an eel in Little Mermaid – and you know she didn’t go into the audition wanting that part. She was heartbroken when she didn’t get the part of Ti Moune in Once Upon this Island – she wanted that part so bad she became the secret, silent understudy because she wanted to be ready in case the lead couldn’t perform for any reason at all. And less than a year ago, she auditioned for Annie – the role every little actress dreams about – and the part went to her best friend.
She wasn’t just sad and disappointed about not getting a part. If only it were that simple. This was a full blown identity crisis. I looked it up:
identity crisis (noun) A period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.
Here it was, two months after her 11th birthday, and she was convinced her dream of a career in theater was being taken from her. And of course, GOD was doing the taking. If she wasn’t an actress or a singer, who was she?
Sitting in the parking lot, I knew she wouldn’t be able to hear me until she had had it out with God. I didn’t stop her from screaming at Him. I didn’t reprimand her for talking to Him like that.
God can take it.
I waited. I held her. I stroked her hair. Kissed her forehead. I prayed that God would give me the words to say and that I would know the right time to say them. Suddenly, she seemed to literally run out of tears and – no surprise – she had a terrible headache. Her eyes were red and puffy and her face was pale. Her blood sugar was bottomed out and she needed to eat something. There was a Chick-Fil-A in the parking lot so I went through the drive-thru and parked again.
As we sat in the van and ate, she was quiet. Still crying, but quiet. I took a chance that she could hear me, and I decided to approach the smaller issue of Belle first, before I even tried to talk to her about her belief that it meant she wasn’t as good as she thought she was. I was hoping that if I could lessen the significance of the trigger event, the resulting blow to her self-confidence would be softened at the same time.
I told her I didn’t understand why God allowed this to happen. I said that when we face a trial, sometimes God shows us why right away, sometimes he shows us why much later and sometimes, we never get to know why.
Me: “Do you know what just happened with Aunt Wendy’s (my sister) teaching job??
Me: “You know she works at a bank 3 days a week, but about a year ago, she got hired as a college instructor to teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But the kind of teaching job she got wasn’t the kind where you just get hired and you keep the job until you leave or get fired. For this job, she got a contract to teach for one semester and then when that was finished, she got another contract to teach for another semester. You know what happened this semester?”
(negative head shake.)
Me: “She didn’t get a contract. They didn’t even call her to tell her they weren’t going to give her another contract. She was confused and hurt and upset and very worried about how they could pay their bills when she found out. Now she only has work 3 days a week. She couldn’t understand why God would allow this to happen. Then you know what happened?
(another negative head shake.)
Me: “CutiePie (my 1 year old nephew) got very, very sick. And Aunt Wendy didn’t have to leave him and go to work. She got to stay with him and take care of him most of the time he was sick. She posted a picture of him on facebook, sleeping after he was feeling better and you know what my comment was?
(another negative head shake.) “So thankful you didn’t have to teach today. God works in mysterious ways.”
(smile and tiny laugh)
I asked her if she was ready to talk about why God might have allowed this to happen in her life. Even though we can’t see the world from God’s point of view, what reasons could we think of from our limited perspective as humans?
PinkGirl: I think it’s a test.
Me: “What kind of test?”
PinkGirl, welling up again: “To see if I would love God no matter what.”
(From the moment she found out she was auditioning for Beauty and the Beast she had been praying and telling God she would love Him no matter what part she got and that whatever part that was, she would do her very best. Her dad and I prayed that prayer again with her the night before call backs and I prayed it again with her in the car on the way to call backs.)
Me: You may be right. Could it be another kind of test?
PinkGirl: “Like what?”
Me: “Could it be that God is helping you figure out if you really love theater as much as you say you do? Because, this will definitely happen again. More than once. You will want some other part and you won’t get it. And in some cases, you won’t even get a smaller role in the show you audition for. In some cases, you won’t get any role. You will probably NOT get the parts you want more often than you WILL get the parts you want.
(silent tears on her waffle fries)
Me: “PinkGirl, I don’t lie. You know I tell you the truth. You are good at this. And as good as you already are, you have the potential to get even better. I’ve told you before that I believe you can make a very good living in theater your entire life if you just don’t quit. I mean it. But you have to figure out if you can handle the disappointments that come with the joy. Do you love doing theater – no matter what?
(silent tears again)
Me: “What about your witness? GreatTheaterCompany isn’t a Christian organization. Some of the people there know you are a Christian. You invite your castmates to pray with you before shows. How can you be part of God’s story? Because HIS story is so much bigger and better than Beauty and the Beast. We need to start praying and asking God how He can use you to work all things for good.
(the tears stopped. I had her attention.)
Me: “Do you remember the story I told you about the Princess Tapestry?
PinkGirl, crying again: “Is this a dark thread?”
Me: “I think it’s pretty safe to say it is. Do you trust that God knows what he’s doing and that this dark thread will help make the tapestry beautiful? Even if you don’t get to see it until you see Him face to face?
(positive head shake with the tears again. I got another hug.)
(to be continued)
(this was written with PinkGirl’s permission)
There’s a certain person in my daughter’s life, who if she allows it, erodes her joy. I’ll call her TheBully. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward PinkGirl is often passive-aggressive. Every day after school, PinkGirl tells me what TheBully did that day. And every day, PinkGirl and I talk about how she might handle her interactions with TheBully. I’ve encouraged her to include TheBully in her prayers.
I’ve asked PinkGirl to consider that there might be things in TheBully’s life that we aren’t aware of that make her unhappy and her unhappiness might be why she acts the way she does. I’ve explained that some unhappy people try to make themselves feel better by making other people unhappy too. They don’t know they’re doing it and while it really doesn’t make them feel any happier, it does make them feel less alone. I’ve called to her attention that TheBully is also unkind to other people and I’ve tried to help PinkGirl understand that she shouldn’t take it personally.
But I’ve also told PinkGirl that even if all those things are true, it doesn’t give TheBully the right to act the way she does.
It’s not okay.
PinkGirl and I talk about it at length and every day, I conclude by saying that I believe it’s possible for her to stand firm and not let TheBully control her actions. Every day, I tell PinkGirl that it’s possible to tell the truth – even truth that might hurt someone’s feelings – using gracious words. PinkGirl remains steadfastly unconvinced and consistently counters that TheBully will “tell lies” about her to “everybody.” “Everybody” will be mad at her. and she will get into big trouble with the teachers.
Every day, I tell PinkGirl that’s not true. And every day, she tell’s me I don’t understand and that I’m wrong.
The freakish optimist in me gets so exasperated with her. How can my daughter be such a pessimist?
And then I get smacked in the face with a little empathy.
There’s a certain person in my life, who, if I allow her, erodes my joy. I’ll call her Narcissa. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward me is often passive-aggressive. After a few years of praying about – and relentlessly lamenting to my husband about – these interactions and countless discussions with him about why God is allowing this person in my life and what I’m supposed to do and say to her with the love of Christ, I finally . . . blocked her out. Literally and figuratively.
I’ve spent the last few months flat-lined against the messages in her body language, her wounded facial expressions and the disgruntled and sarcastic mumbling. And flat-line has been working for me.
Recently, the passive aggressive behavior morphed into a face to face, non-ignorable conversation. Skilled communicator that I am, I couldn’t think of one thing to say that fell in line with God’s command to speak in love. The words of the great philosopher, Thumper the bunny, kept echoing in my mind: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
So I stood there, speechless.
A few days later, a colleague/friend, who had witnessed the encounter, brought it up. My first response was to assure her that it was okay and to explain that, by the grace of God, I was in a place that Narcissa’s behavior didn’t bother me and that my focus was on my work.
But then my friend, a fellow Christian, said, “It’s just been weighing heavy on my heart.”
I’m not in a place where I can simply block her out. And I couldn’t ignore the fact that God has used her in other situations in my life to point out things I couldn’t or wouldn’t see. As I listened to her explain how Narcissa’s behavior was affecting her, I silently prayed that God would give me the right words to say. My initial thought was to sooth her soul, to help her accept the behavior of the person who was causing her so much heartache. Not once did I consider the possibility that the issue could be resolved. When my friend mentioned speaking with Narcissa about all this, my immediate reaction was, “ohhhhh, nooooo. That would not be a good idea.”
As she persistently brought up possibilities of addressing the problem, one by one, I shot them down: Can’t do it. Never gonna happen. There’s no situation in which that would turn out well. The fall out would be too far reaching.
The next day, alone, I thought: Who was that? I’m freakishly optimistic. I believe “can’t” is a four letter word. My mantra is “Just because I haven’t thought of an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I just haven’t figured it out yet.”
What kind of power does this person have over me that I would abandon such a core characteristic? What kind of power does she have over other people? What kind of power does she have?
and what kind of example am I setting for my daughter? I had to fess up.
In the car ride home from school,
I said: “So, I had an epiphany. Do you know what that is?”
Me: “It’s a realization. I realized something today. You know how every day you tell me what TheBully did and I tell you that you need to stand firm and not let her control your actions? How you need to talk to her and tell her the truth using gracious words – even if it will hurt her feelings? And how every day, you tell me that you can’t do that because she will tell everyone lies and the teachers will get you in trouble and everyone will be mad at you …
PinkGirl: “Well not my real friends.”
Me: “True. But am I getting all this right? Am I leaving anything out?
PinkGirl: “No. That’s pretty much it.”
Me: “I realized I’m doing the same thing you are. Who’s TheBully in my life?”
PinkGirl, quick as a flash: “Narcissa.”
Me: “yep. I realized that I’m expecting you to do something I’m not willing to do myself. I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for getting so frustrated with you when you refuse to try and work out your problems with TheBully.”
So. Now I either have to start coaching PinkGirl about how to physically and emotionally distance herself from TheBully or I have to refocus my efforts on preventing Narcissa’s passive-aggressive behavior from negatively impacting my thoughts and actions.
If you read my last post, I should probably steer clear of Narcissa for a while. Because right this minute, emotions are not a factor in my decision-making and communication. I could easily, objectively and thoroughly tell Narcissa the truth and be completely unaffected by ANY reaction she has.
Unfortunately, because there are other people involved who would be negatively impacted by the repercussions of an honest conversation with Narcissa, I think my best course of action is to keep praying the prayer I’ve been praying for years: “Lord, if you won’t change my circumstances, please change my attitude.” If I want to shake the Hypocrite Certificate, I think I need to teach PinkGirl that same prayer. And how to physically and emotionally duck and weave to stay out of TheBully’s line of sight.
CLICK HERE to see other posts I’ve written about dealing with emotional bullies, narcissists and passive-aggressive people.
PinkGirl spent nearly an HOUR crying last night. About E.V.E.R.Y.thing. She went from one problem to the next, never stopping, sometimes overlapping. When, between tragedies, I suggested that she might be exhausted, she said,
“Mom, sometimes I just need to exhale all my emotions.”
God gave her to me on purpose.
I’m so thankful she’s so self-aware and articulate.
During PinkGirl’s uncontrollable tearfest, one of the many, many things she was crying about:
“and technology is going to replace books!!!! (weepy hiccups) That’s why Borders closed. People are going to stop buying books and everybody’s just gonna have Kindles!!! (each syllable in the word Kindle lasted about 10 full seconds – more weeping).
Me: “Hey, now that’s not true. What did I get in the mail JUST TODAY?”
PinkGirl: “boookssss” (pause for more hiccups) “But, how did you order them?”
I feel the need to spend some time at (a brick and mortar) BAM.
Me, to FavoriteSon: “It’s the World Series. You and your dad are supposed to keep me up to date on sports so I don’t look like a rube. I know about March Madness, I know the Superbowl is in February, I know the NBA playoffs are…
FavoriteSon, Interrupting: “Not happening this year.”
Later . . .
Me, to FirstHusband: “It’s the World Series. You and your son are supposed to keep me up to date on sports so I don’t look like a rube.
FirstHusband: “You know who Reggie Jackson is?”
FirstHusband: “Do you know what his nickname was?”
FirstHusband: “Mr. October – because he always played so great in October. That’s how I remember when the World Series is.”
Me: “Your memory trick has a dependent task.”
FirstHusband: “It’s easy.”
Me: “For you. You already know that Reggie Jackson’s nickname is Mr. October. I have to remember that before I will remember that the World Series is in October.”
The weather is beautiful! I made FavoriteSon go out into the backyard tonight and do NOTHING.
I told him he could talk to God or just listen, I didn’t care, but for FIVE minutes, I wanted him to sit outside with the wind in his face and look out over the pond behind our backyard and do NOTHING.
He came back in 10 minutes later and said:
“That just made me realize I need to mow the backyard.”
I’d REALLY like to say I don’t know where he gets it.
fragments: F250, toxic levels of NO!, lunchbox, photo that never dies, business distraction, thinking chair, strep, grilled cheese & the learning curve of a cat.
August 29, 2011
(FirstHusband was out of town and my car needed to go into the shop.)
“I’ll be driving the Ford F250 this week, but in addition to the water it needs to be fed every day, FirstHubs says it needs oil. I’ll be dragging a step ladder out to do that because there is NO WAY I can reach while standing on the ground.”
(didn’t drive the F250. Called dibs on FavoriteSon’s car instead. I can just see it, a Ford F250 with the hood up, next to an empty stepladder – and my legs hanging out of the engine because I fell in)
August 30, 2011
Dear Tuesday, August 30th: you have exceeded your daily limit of the word “no.”
Did some new hire computer training today – I LOVE it when I can show someone how to make their job easier and their work more efficient – at the SAME time! Ultimately, it helps to lower their stress level, increase their job satisfaction and build their confidence. And I LOVE it when I train someone who’s enthusiastic about learning!
August 31, 2011
I spy . . . a forgotten lunch box on the kitchen counter. dang it.
I was supposed to get a new driver’s license Tuesday morning.
Text from FirstHusband in Utah: “Any luck on the driver’s license front?”
Me: “you. are. a. nag.”
1stHubs: “I waited more than 24 hours after you said you would be there. Besides, I’m waiting on something. I’m bored.”
Me: “Had to get PinkGirl to school 45 minutes early because we only had one car. This photo will follow me for 10 years.”
1stHubs: “What? I’m confident your natural beauty will shine through. You are being too modest.”
pshhh. He IS bored.
Trying to write. I knew avoidance was imminent.
random word search on youtube: “business”
I’m confident there is an answer to this problem. Just haven’t figured it out yet. If only I had $199. What? I said I was avoiding. I just shifted from youtube to ebay. (click HERE for the Thinking Chair eBay auction)
September 1, 2011
FavoriteSon home from school today. His self-diagnosis? Strep. 11:30 appointment at the doctor to confirm.
FavoriteSon’s self-diagnosis is confirmed. He is “strep throat boy.” Now we try and prevent him from morphing into “CONTAGIOUS strep throat boy”
FavoriteSon: “Mom, will you make me a grilled cheese sandwich?”
Me: “It’s 9 o’clock at night. I bought you soup.”
FavSon: “You can’t eat soup without grilled cheese.”
Me: “yes you can. I’ve seen it done.”
FirstHusband, overhearing all this over the phone: “you don’t love your son enough to make him a grilled cheese sandwich?”
It’s a grilled cheese conspiracy.
10:21pm – I caved. he really is pitiful when he’s sick.
September 2, 2011 at 1:07pm
Bob the Cat is dumber than dirt. I must have thrown him (gently) off my desk 30 times in the last hour and a half. Trying to get some work done and he’s seriously throwing off my groove!
1:16pm – 31
1:17pm – 32
fragments: can’t. lazy bum. oil. p. muscle cars. tornadic activity. good times. intentional choices.
Here’s a few fragments of my week:
FavoriteSon vs. AP Lit.
FavSon: “I can’t.”
Me: “can’t is a four letter word.”
FavSon with a formal tone of voice and his signature grin: “I cannot.”
I have no idea where he gets it.
Headed back to BodyInUnity yoga Monday morning (M-W-F at 9:15 am at First United Methodist Church of Oviedo in the youth room if you’re so inclined to join us)! I’m stiff and weak and flabby and reeking of lazy bum – all with no excuse! If I want do more than pay lip service to my commitment to be a good steward of this body God has blessed me with – it’s time to GET BACK TO WORK.
Got a flashing oil light in the van today and drove straight to Auto Mech & Muffler. Turns out, that light is supposed to flash when you’re 6 months and 10,000 miles past your last oil change. oops.
(Since I’ve somehow become oblivious to the little reminder sticker they put on the top of the windshield, I just entered it in my phone calendar with an alarm.)
FavoriteSon, doing pre-calc: “Dad, I know how to get ‘Q’ but can you help me get ‘P’?
Both FirstHusband and I answered: “drink water.”
Me: “What? Did you not see that coming?“
FavSon: “I thought you were more mature than that.”
FirstHusband texting me while on travel in Detroit: “I’m driving a Dodge Charger.”
Me: “Oh no you DID NOT just tell me that!”
(Those of you who are aware of my affinity for muscle cars: Dodge Charger = Dream Car.)
10 year old PinkGirl: “Mom, there may be some tornadic activity on Friday.”
(She knows who Jim Cantore is too.)
Target snack bar. PinkGirl talking about her day, seemingly without taking a breath while devouring breadsticks. Good times.
Thursday night. 10:30pm. Too quiet downstairs. Called down to FavoriteSon and FirstHusband:
“Are both of you on task and making intentional choices?”
At the same time, I hear:
FirstHusband, (playing a videogame): “He is.”
FavoriteSon, (on the internet): “no.”
Do I know them or what?
Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”
Every night, when my kids were infants, I would slip quietly into their room and lay my hand on their backs to make sure they were still breathing. Sometimes, when they were fussy and I was afraid my touch would wake them, I would silently position my finger in front of their nose to feel their breath.
Infants. Who am I kidding? I did it for years. I just needed the assurance that they were breathing before I could sleep.
Tell me I’m not the only parent who’s done this.
I realize that my actions had nothing to do with whether or not they took their next breath. I was just checking for my own peace of mind. Laying my hand on their back was not what prevented them from dying of SIDS or some other freakish undetected “one minute they’re breathing and another minute they’re not” disease.
The Lord, in His mercy and grace, allowed my children take each tiny breath. By His mercy and grace, he still allows them to take their next breath.
Why am I thinking about this now? My kids aren’t at risk for SIDS anymore. My daughter will be 11 years old this year. My son just turned 16.
16. Two weeks ago, my son got his driver’s license.
And there it is.
Am I ready for this change? Of course not. and YES. YES I AM!
The two weeks before he got his license were particularly challenging chauffeur weeks for me. My daughter had drama camp from 9am to noon every day and my son got a summer job with flexible hours. My husband’s travel and work schedule made me the “go-to” guy with the car keys. I was spending hours and hours each day in FavoriteSon’s car with only 20 to 30 minute breaks in between drop-offs and pick-ups. By Thursday of the 2nd week, I was DREADING the thought of sitting in a vehicle.
Thursday was also the day FavoriteSon got his driver’s license.
Friday morning, I got up and drove PinkGirl to drama camp. I arrived back home about 20 minutes before FavoriteSon had to leave for work.
Decision time. Do I ride shotgun with him, drive home, drive back to pick him up and ride shotgun while he drives home? Or do I let him make the single round trip all by himself?
If I was WITH him he would be safe. If he drove by himself, he might get into an accident.
I know. I KNOW.
What was I going to do? Make him drive to work with my left arm stretched across the driver’s seat to protect him? Because THAT’S effective. Ummm hmmm. A loving mother’s straight-arm. More effective than a seat belt.
Just like a hand on his back.
I let him go. Literally. I didn’t even watch him drive away. Yes, I was ready for the break from driving, but more importantly, I was saturated with the knowledge that my presence in the vehicle with him had nothing to do with his safety. Not anymore. Our instruction and advice over the last year helped to prepare him, as did the two driver education courses he took. He was equipped for the responsibility. The State of Florida confirmed it by giving him legal permission to drive. All. by. himself.
His father and I still have so much more to prepare him for. But this? This we’ve prepared him for. This he’s ready for. Now, just like when he was a baby, his life is in God’s powerful and loving hands.
As hard as it is for me to comprehend, God loves my son more than I do.
Making safety the priority tells our children that we think God is incapable
of doing what He said He would do for His children . . . But when we put our confidence in God’s power
rather than the safety nets we place around our children we find that even children can learn to rely on God’s overwhelming presence to protect them as well as to enable them to flourish in the world system.
Nothing like a new washing machine to make me feel compelled to clean my laundry room…
I’m currently observing the “no helping, no complaining” rule of our household.
Round One: Two guys vs. an outgoing dead washing machine.
Round Two: Two guys vs. an incoming craigslist washing machine.
I just have two questions: Where’s my camcorder? and
Is AFV still on the air or is it just in reruns?
I decided to keep my distance lest I be recruited. I’m no dummy.
A little later:
PinkGirl, inspecting our “new” top load washer: “Mom, I don’t understand this. How does it work?”
Me: “oh, don’t worry, I’ll teach you!”
(I am SO glad to have a top load washer again! Now, when I need to throw in just one more thing, I can get the door open! and if someone accidentally washes an ipod, we can fish it out before it goes through the entire wash cycle while we stand helplessly by and watch it.)
PinkGirl just opened the new top load washing machine to watch it spin and it came to a stop: “Mom, I still don’t get it. How does it actually CLEAN the clothes?”
Me: (it was 10:15pm for cryin out loud): “Ask your dad.”
PinkGirl, under her breath: “I really don’t want to hear ‘geek talk’ right now.”
This morning PinkGirl asked me AGAIN how our new top load washer cleans the clothes.
Me: “you know, I got two comments on facebook suggesting you look it up yourself.”
PinkGirl: “I don’t wanna LEARN! It’s SUMMER!”
Me: “Then why are you asking questions?”
PinkGirl: “cuz I’m bored.”
Me: “oh, I can help you with THAT.”
I couldn’t believe it, but PinkGirl voluntarily took a nap this afternoon!
Either “I WIN!” the “whoever wears out first, LOSES” game or she’s getting sick.
Either way, THANK YOU GOD, she really needed the rest – and I needed a tiny little bit of solitude.
I let PinkGirl get in a full 90 minute sleep cycle, making me 30 minutes late picking up FavoriteSon from work.
FavoriteSon, entering his time into the calendar: “hmmm. I stopped working at 2:40, but SOMEONE didn’t pick me up until 3pm.”
Me: “I brought you chicken alfredo and a Sport Illustrated, what, do you want me to bring you slippers too?”
FavSon: “now that you mention it…”
Leftover worms and dirt in my fridge.
REAL worms. alive and wiggling. in black, muddy, crumbly dirt that is pushing itself up and out through the air holes on the lid as the worms wiggle around, presumably trying to escape.
When I was growing up, it never occurred to me that worms might live in my refrigerator.
FirstHusband and PinkGirl bought the worms today for fishing in the river behind our house this afternoon. They had a great time and thankfully came back with nothing because they threw back the fish they caught. I’m really glad they had fun. (I’m also glad they threw back the fish they caught.) I just wish they had used all their bait instead of putting their little friends in the fridge, along with our food.
I don’t like worms in my refrigerator. Some might call me a city girl, but that label doesn’t fit. I’m FIRMLY a suburban girl.
A suburban girl with a question:
How long will I have to keep worms in my refrigerator before I can throw them out? What is the life expectancy of a worm?