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.


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.

happiness, kids, motherhood

Left to Go Left

I had the honor of chaperoning Full Speed and some classmates for their sixth grade trip to Sea World.  Thankfully, Mad Dog was able to attend.  Trust me, if he can manage a myriad of employees at work, seven twelve-year-old boys were a piece of cake.  It helped that they were all well-behaved, too.

As the day drew to a close, Mad Dog escorted our gang back to the bus home and Full Speed stayed with me.  We decided to hit one more ride before meeting up with Mad Dog at the exit and driving home separately from the class (all sanctioned by Full Speed’s teacher of course). Of all the things he could pick, Full Speed chose the flamingo-shaped paddle boats.  I wasn’t entirely sure this is what he truly wanted, but he’s a smart kid who takes after his Dad.  Sometimes you pick the stuff that you only kind of like because you know the important lady in your life would LOVE it.  And I did.  I really, really did.

After I had paid the fee for our twenty minutes, we fitted ourselves with life jackets and headed to the dock.  The attendant quickly went over instructions.  He said something to the effect of ‘go left to go left, go right to go right’.  He was referencing the way to manipulate the steering apparatus that was centered between our seats.  I followed his directions and we were off to the races….but, not really.  The harder we pedaled and the more I tried to maneuver us away from the dock, the more we stayed put. Eventually, I was able to get us crookedly angled away as long as we pedaled BACKWARDS.  Let’s just say, I shouldn’t quit my day job.

As we slowly and awkwardly floated out to sea, I casually said, “Full Speed, why don’t you try steering?”

He grabbed the control and in less than 30 seconds had us on a straight path.  He steered the paddle boat as if he had been doing it his whole life.  Turns out, you didn’t ‘go left to go left’.  Instead, you actually had to do the opposite.  Since I wasn’t particularly prideful about my gaping inefficiencies as a paddle boat captain, I sat back and enjoyed the ride.  Apparently, knowing how to actually steer properly makes everything a whole lot more smooth.

As we floated about, I had this out-of-body moment.  It was almost as if I was looking at Full Speed as how he could possibly be as a grown man.  Not surprisingly, he appeared a lot like Mad Dog.

I thought back to when I was twelve.  At that point in my life some fundamental aspects of my personality were formed.  My sensitivity, my empathy, and my creativity are all still a part of the grown-up version of me.  As I looked at Full Speed calmly navigating the waters before us, I thought if he has even half this amount of ease and confidence as a grown-up, he is going to do just fine.

Best paddle boat ride ever.




children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

The Bedtime Dilemma

The inevitable summer bedtime negotiation had begun.  T.Puzzle and Full Speed aimed high, Mad Dog and I aimed low.  T.Puzzle wondered out loud, “Why do grown-ups get to stay up later than kids?”  We explained as best we could, that adults are done growing so they don’t need as much sleep.  Kids’ bodies are still changing and growing every day and need the extra sleep to help in this process.  He seemed mollified.  Then, he started to imagine what his bedtime would be in the future.  Full Speed started shouting out ages and as these ages increased, the bedtimes rose exponentially. “When I’m ten I’ll stay up until 9.  When I’m 12 I’ll stay up until 10″… and  so on and so on.  When he reached the number 18 we told him that at that time, if he didn’t live at home anymore, he could stay up as late as he wanted.  That’s the great thing about being a grown-up, we explained.  You can stay up as late as you want.

I asked T.Puzzle, “How late are you going to stay up when you’re 24?”

“Well,…I’m going to still live at home.  I’m always going to live at home,” he said.

Full Speed, not missing a beat, said, “I guess we better get some bigger beds.”

The boys hanging in T.Puzzle's crib.  Hard to believe they both used to fit!
The boys hanging in T.Puzzle’s crib. Hard to believe they both used to fit!
children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting


ry=400 Change is all in how you look at it.  I tend to be more sentimental than most in this regard.  Today is the last Friday of the school year.  After today, T.Puzzle will never be a kindergartener on a Friday ever again.  It kind of stabs at my heart when I think about it.

On the flip side, T.Puzzle is thrilled beyond compare.  He is so happy that kindergarten is nearing the end.  I suppose the fact that summer vacation is upon us helps his great mood.

I have a choice.  I can continue to be sad that my ‘baby’ is growing up or I can choose to celebrate this fact.  I believe every moment of a child’s development is a mixture of triumph and letting go of how things used to be.  Yes, there is an ache that he’s getting older.  There is also excitement and that unknowing, fluttery, pit-of-my-stomach anticipation that the future holds great adventures for both my boys.

It isn’t that change is bad.  Change is awesome.  Even if you have to go through a box of Kleenex or two to realize this.

gratitude, kids, kindergarten, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting, self-discovery

It’s Time

Full Speed on kindergarten screening day. Where did the time go?

We all have the ability to stop what we are doing and allow ourselves to be awakened to the present moment.  For me, it happens in the most random situations.  I was helping Full Speed’s home room Mom decorate his teacher’s door for teacher appreciation week.  Then it hit me.  Full Speed is almost done with kindergarten.  I let this thought settle over me.  It made me feel a pit of resistance in my stomach.  This year has gone by too fast.  He is getting older.  Every day he needs me a little bit less.  Every day I want to hold on to him tighter.  Instead, I have to let him go more freely.

I snapped out if it.  I returned to the task at hand.  The door was appropriately decorated and it was time to go.  Still some sadness over watching my boy grow up clung to me.

Full Speed had not felt well over the weekend.  He was tucked into bed early that evening to help combat whatever virus he was fighting.  After he was resting, Mad Dog and I heard an indistinguishable yelp from his room.  Mad Dog ran to investigate.  There was blood and Full Speed was visibly shaken.  Mom was called in for back-up.  The initial thought was Full Speed’s virus was now becoming more serious causing him to spew blood. 

Nope.  It was only a loose tooth that needed to come out.

I was so relieved.  And then I wasn’t.

The loss of a first tooth means baby teeth are making way for the grown up ones. 

I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.

Thankfully the tooth fairy is better adjusted to the growth of children than I am and left Full Speed a generous gift of money. 

Too bad she can’t give us back the gift of time while she’s at it.