parenting, motherhood, family

On Track For Stardom (Part 3)

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Full Speed may get trounced on now and again, but he always gets back up and prevails. Every. Single. Time.

 

I was beyond confused.  While my eyes were seeing Full Speed line up with his teammates near the high jump area, my mind could not comprehend it.  It was like if you were at my house and I walked down my stairs wearing a Cardinals jersey.  It would make absolutely no sense.  If you were a Cubs fan, and odds are if I let you in my home, you were,… well, at the least you would be anything but a Cardinals fan…, first you would feel confusion, then as it sunk in, you would feel angry and upset.

That’s exactly how I felt:  confused, angry, upset

Why?

First of all, Full Speed up to this point in all of his entire life, had never even attempted to execute a high jump.  Secondly, he barely cleared the waist of one of his man-sized teammates.  I wish I was exaggerating for effect, but sadly, I am not.  This kid towered over Full Speed.  He looked like a line-backer while Full Speed looked like a scrawny equipment manager (albeit a highly adorable one).

Thankfully, the high jump took place well off the main area.  Most of the crowd was focused on the excitement of the relays that circled before us.  The bad news is, Full Speed’s high jump attempts played out exactly as you might imagine.

For his ‘warm-up’ jump he actually went under bar.  Yes, you read that right….under.  For his remaining three attempts he managed to at least level himself out with the bar to a degree, mainly shouldering the bar and launching it off the two poles that held it up.  There was no grace to be found in these movements, mostly it looked like he was being electrocuted as his arms flailed around helplessly. I have to give him props for consistency, I mean he demolished that bar every single time.  I also appreciated the polite way he helped replace the bar to its proper positioning for the next kid in line.

This was a parenting moment that I had to go big picture.  This is where what you see before you is so off-kilter, you just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘no big deal’.   This is just a blip on the road of life and let it go.  I secretly held on to hope that he might get a chance to compete in another event.  One hopefully, that required his feet to stay planted on the ground.

Shortly after, the ominous clouds that had been gathering decided they were done with this particular track meet.  Within moments, rain was pummeling its way through the crowd and we all scattered like ants to safety.  I was separated from Full Speed for a bit while the fate of the track meet was determined.  Eventually, as mother nature continued on with her very bad mood, the meet was called and I caught up with him.

Once we were back at the car away from the noisy rain, I asked him point-blank, “Why on earth did they ask you do to the high jump?”

“I volunteered,” he replied.

“Oh.”

Turns out, four members of his team were no-shows and there were lots of gaps needing to be filled.  As his coach had run through the litany of events that needed a fill-in, Full Speed volunteered for every single one.

He was denied on all counts.

That is until the high jump was called out.  No one was willing to step up so what did Full Speed do?

He stepped up.

Can you imagine the amount of courage this must have taken?  Since Full Speed has a pretty good hold on reality, he had to have known it was going to end badly for him.

He did it anyway.

This kid may have lost the high jump that day, but he won my respect.

He has all it takes to be a winner.  The kind that matters.  The kind that isn’t afraid to take risks.

My favorite kind.

children, family, humor, motherhood

No Lie (Part Two)

At breakfast we discussed T.Puzzle’s prospects of winning top honors for his class speech.  I know it seems like a stretch if you recall the topics he considered as a theme (see No Lie).  Much to my relief, he went with a speech about our two dogs.  He did a great job overall and I promised if he made the top 5 of his class (which he did!), I’d post the speech here in its entirety.  I kept our dogs names unchanged because it seemed more awesome that way.

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Max and Nora

Do you have dogs that wrestle each other? Well I do. Their names are Max and Nora. I’ll talk about how my family got them, about Max, and about Nora. Let me explain a little further.                   

First, my family got Max when I outgrew my allergies to our old dog Kisses. My family wanted to get Kisses back. So, we had to go to my Grandma’s house. We got Max too because he was also there. My family got Nora a year after Kisses passed. My mom was looking for a new dog on a website. It took a while but my mom finally found Nora. She came to our house and we decided to adopt her there because she was perfect.                                                                      

Next, I’ll talk about Max. Max has black and a little white fur. He weighs about ten pounds and is 14 years old. Max is also a Shih Tzu that has a mustache. Max sleeps a lot and loves to follow my mom around everywhere. The only time Max plays is when my dad gets home from work, but when he does Nora gets mad and usually runs him over. Max is super happy to go on a walk. His little tail wags up in the air. If Nora gets too close he will bark or sometimes bite Nora. One thing Max always does is sit on the top of our couch that looks out the front window. He will bark crazily at squirrels or lizards. Max also recognizes my mom’s car when it pulls in the driveway. He will whimper very loud when he sees it. One time I made a scary movie trailer about Max so he is a movie star.  Despite him being famous, he still loves my mom. Max always makes my family laugh when his face looks crazy after a nap.                     

Lastly, I’ll talk about Nora. Nora is a King Charles Cavalier/Bichon mix. She has white fur and some brown spots. Nora weighs eighteen pounds. She doesn’t like thunderstorms and she doesn’t do well in cars. Nora can be a spaz sometimes. She will wag her tail furiously at random dogs or people. She will also run like crazy and make weird noises. Nora also barks at the TV in my house. Nora can eat very fast and she will steal Max’s food. Whenever someone comes to my house, Nora will run and jump on them. One time Nora ripped an ear off a Yoda chew toy. My dad had to bring Nora to the vet, but Nora threw up the ear in his truck and was fine.  My dad was mad but not for long because Nora always throws up in his truck.  Nora is awesome because she always greets me when I get home from school.  On a scale of one to ten, she is over nine thousand. 

In conclusion, I have two amazing dogs. I talked about how my family got them, about Max, and about Nora. So, do you have dogs that sometimes act like they’re in the WWE?   

I told you it was awesome!

And, yes, I’m completely objective.

Chicago Cubs, children, family, humor, motherhood

WFAM Wednesdays!!!

First, before you delve into the wondrous writing I have created below, I want to share my intention to write a post a week for Writes for All Mommies.  I’m a little scared in all honesty, because now that I’ve written this intention and you’ve read the words, I actually have to do it.  So, welcome to WFAM Wednesdays!  I’m grateful you are here.  You rock!

Let the posting commence:

There are many points of light on the horizon of raising children which flit across your awareness and then are gone forever.  The first smile, those first steps, learning how to read, ride a bike…etc., etc.  It all goes by too fast and makes my heart ache with nostalgia.  However, once you are a grown-up, those sweet mile-stoney moments are all but extinct.  Somehow my first mammogram didn’t seem quite so awesome as all the cool things little humans have to master as they journey towards adulthood.  Truth be told, I thought most of my notable moments were behind me.

But then it happened.  By some strange sequence of events and circumstances, something unexpected occurred.

I got carded!

Yes, that’s right.

Carded.

A forty-three year old mom got carded at the grocery store!

I was so flummoxed when the cashier asked for my I.D., I started to act all weird and suspicious.  To be fair, I was in work-out gear (apparently working it!), had a baseball cap on (Go Cubs!) and the bespectacled cashier never really looked directly at my face.

But hey!  I’ll take it.

This felt so momentous because I am fairly certain this is the last time I will ever be carded in my lifetime.  How’s that for a milestone?  The first-last time you get carded.  It’s a thing now.  Well, a thing I made up but still.  It’s a thing.

Later, when I was cheerfully sharing my wonder over being carded with the boys, I was quickly brought back to reality.

Full Speed:  “So when someone cards you it means they think you aren’t twenty-one?!?  The cashier really thought that????”  (Poor guy looked so confused.)

T.Puzzle: “Bahahaha…..!”  (Basically he laughed to infinity as he rolled around in disbelief.  In fact, if you ran into him today, he’s probably still laughing.  So glad to be the light of humor in your life, Son.  I mean that.  Really.)

So, I was quickly put back in my place and humbled (horrified?).

Thankfully, this old girl loves her life and her disbelieving chuckle-y boys.

family, humor, kids, motherhood

The Yeti

Full Speed and I were returning from our nearby Chinese restaurant with takeout in tow.  We were having a serious discussion about appreciating diverse perspectives in life.  I wanted to reiterate to him the goal isn’t having everyone agree (impossible!), but rather respecting others’ viewpoints.  If we keep an open mind, we might learn something.

He agreed wholeheartedly.  He thought a world of sameness would be boring.

Then, he went on to talk about the merits of differences.  He said, “Take for example you and Dad.  If you both were the same, we’d never leave the house.”

What?!?

Maybe it didn’t help this was the first time I had ever been to the aforementioned Chinese restaurant.  It had been open for months.  I relied on Mad Dog to get the takeout each Sunday evening as part of tradition.  You can pretty much guarantee I was waiting at home already in my pajamas.  The cashier and other workers were astonished at my presence.  Where was my husband?

It’s possible in my homebody glory, I may overdo it.  However, I step up when Mad Dog travels and I said as much to Full Speed.

“That’s true, Mom.  You at least have to go out and get groceries.”

I replied rather sheepishly, “Not really.  You know I’d just have them delivered!”

Then, it dawned on me.  I’m like the Yeti.

Mysterious and elusive.

Try and catch me.

 

The Yeti

family, humor, motherhood

Democracy in Action

Every family has a structure of ‘power’ so to speak.  It’s a dance between allowing everyone to have their say and getting individual needs met.  Let’s say you are on a 15 hour road trip one way (true story), and it comes time to decide where and when you might make a pit stop.  Each member of the family is allowed input and then a family vote is taken.

Voting System Breakdown

(should be noted this is Mad Dog’s creation):

As an adult and as a child over the age of twelve, myself and Full Speed are afforded one vote respectively.

Full Speed = 1

Mom = 1

Got it so far?  It seems straightforward but gets infinitely more complex as the process continues.

T.Puzzle gets a half vote since he is under twelve.  However, if he agrees with Mad Dog he gets a full vote.

T.Puzzle = 1/2 vote, bumps to 1 vote when he aligns with Mad Dog.

Mad Dog gets three votes.

Mad Dog = 3 votes

Yes, you read that right… three votes!

In the rare event that T.Puzzle’s half vote slips under the radar and a tie ensues, Mad Dog automatically becomes the tiebreaker.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

-Sun Tzu

Game over, Mad Dog.

Game over.

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We all voted and yes, Mad Dog makes us laugh… a lot!