children, humor, motherhood

Survival Mode

We have been incredibly busy as we manage all the ins and outs of moving.  It seems for every action-item crossed off the to-do list, twenty more eagerly pop up to fill its place.  While I have been outwardly focused on all these necessary tasks, a part of me is aware that taking time to smell the roses with my boys is essential.

Image-1
Full Speed stopping to smell the roses when he was two adorable years old.

In the midst of this craziness I am making an effort every day to be present for them and to keep up with many of our traditions.  We have made it to the pool, the movies and for ice cream.  These are the pillars of our summer.

IMG_5355IMG_5350

One day, as I contemplated the complicated logistics of our schedule, I had the strangest thought.  A Target run was first-up and I actually wanted my boys to go with me.

Well, that was a first.

I scanned my body for illness.  Then I did a quick mental-health status check.

I seemed to be functioning ‘normally’.

Was this what end-of-days feels like?

I don’t know.

I do know that my boys are so much fun!  They have the ability to entertain me while on errands and sometimes, they are actually helpful!

Truthfully, T.Puzzle is still a bit of a loose cannon when we are out and about, but I can take it.  I survived the terrible twos, threes and fours…

Twice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

family, humor, kids, motherhood

A Writer’s Life

When I started this blog nearly nine years ago, I had some lofty writing aspirations.

These have yet to be attained.

Over time, I have come to accept that though my audience is small, it is mighty.  I also appreciate WFAM as a precious container of my little family’s memories.  This blog has given me so much more than I have given to it.

With summer break in full swing and the boys needing ways to stay entertained, they have been voraciously reading WFAM from its inception forward.  I keep getting these WordPress alerts on my phone that my ‘stats are booming!’, when in fact, it’s just my two boys reading dozens of posts in a day.

Still, it makes me feel cool.

So, my advice to any writer out there, it’s super helpful to give birth to at least two members of your readership.  They are invested in what you write more than most and your stats will thank you for it.

Since summertime consists of an abundance of free time, we are constantly negotiating how much screen time is allowed each day.   Just now I had told both boys that at 5:00 they could resume video games.  At 5:23 T.Puzzle comes up to my writing desk (really, where else would I be?) and says, “It’s 5:23!  I’ve been reading so many WFAMs I lost track of time!”

“Wow!” I said.  “That’s quite a compliment.”  Then, I thought about it for a beat and said, “Is it the writing or the content that you find so compelling?” (who wouldn’t want to read about themselves all day long, right?).

T.Puzzle, ever so hard to impress said, “It’s actually pretty funny.”

I’ll try not to let it go to my head.

 

Woolf 2

family, humor, motherhood

A Father’s Wisdom

On the morning of Father’s Day, I magnanimously promised Mad Dog that I would only have 1.5 meltdowns in honor of the holiday.  You might say I’ve been slightly emotional this week as the stress of moving continues to stretch my inner resources.

In typical Mad Dog style he lets the seasons of my many moods all roll right off him.  He told me that he only remembers what is perfect about me and easily forgets the rest.  This, he told the boys, is the key to a happy life:

Forget about what isn’t perfect and remember the rest.

“Is that why sometime you forget about Full Speed?” T.Puzzle said.

Hopefully, Mad Dog has some wisdom on improving interpersonal sibling communication.

IMG_2446

 

humor, kids, motherhood

There’s a Reason Drama Rhymes with Mama

I am kind of a mess right now.  If you ran into me on the street, I still appear normal on the outside, but inside me swims the anxiety and tension of moving my family to a new state.  This is all a normal part of the experience.

What isn’t normal is that my boys are not really freaking out.  I mean, aren’t they supposed to be freaking out?

Here’s a recent conversation I had with them:

“Are you nervous about going to a new school?” I said.

Both said, “No.”

“Are you worried you won’t make new friends?” I said.

Both said, “No.”

“Are you concerned that you won’t be academically prepared when school starts?”

Both said, “No.”

Can you spot the pattern here?

Maybe instead I should ask, “Are you worried your mom is going to ask you so many questions about whether or not you are worried that you may tune her out completely?”

(crickets chirping)

Thank you to the stars above for giving me two, level-headed sons that tolerate my dramatic inquiries and love me anyway.

Fewer questions equal less drama.

No guarantees.

 

IMG_5220

family, humor, kids, motherhood

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

Through the years, as a mom, I learned when a task begins to feel mind-numbingly unbearable, there was good reason.  Sure, we all have to do things we don’t like in regards to maintaining a home and a life, but when I feel an overwhelming loathing towards an activity, it’s time to examine it.  Usually it’s because this activity should not solely be my responsibility and it’s time to share the love.  For example, I got to the point of hating to tie my boys’ shoes.  Thanks to velcro, this took them what seemed like forever to successfully master (to be honest, the jury’s still out on T.Puzzle).  When my discomfort over tying their shoes outweighed the time and patience it would take to help them master it, the cloud lifted.  I had to let go of perfectly tied knots and then I was free, well, at least from tying shoes.

There are many tasks like this and when I get super-annoyed by shouldering the brunt of them, I reach out for help.  Again, I have to let go of perfection and savor the relief I feel at the help I am offered.  Thankfully, all my boys are willing to pitch in and keep their grumbling to themselves (again, jury’s still out on T.Puzzle).  So, I didn’t think twice when I asked Mad Dog to help me straighten up our main floor.  He quickly agreed and then shouted, “Boys!  Come straighten up down here!”

I stopped dead in my tracks.

“Oh no, you are not going to delegate!  Don’t you dare!  I want it to look nice!”

Soon, the boys were in the living room folding blankets and picking up dog toys.

Mad Dog lounged in his chair ‘supervising’.

The boys were on to him.

“How come we have to do what Mom asks you to do?” Full Speed said.

“It’s called leadership.  By delegating tasks, all get accomplished.  It gives you the opportunity for growth and the joy of achievement,” Mad Dog replied.

“So basically you give us all your chores, but you take credit for them?”

That’s called leadership, folks.

You’re welcome.

5184-Lao-Tzu-Quote-By-letting-go-it-all-gets-done