children, family, kids, motherhood

Everything Changes

Some journeys are lengthy and take time to unfold.  Last year, around mid-February, Mad Dog shared with me that his job could change.  This change would mean we would relocate to Texas.  Mostly, I handled this possibility with an open mind (mostly).  I expressed to Mad Dog that I was absolutely willing to move our family to support him in his career.

Done deal.

Then, some weeks passed, then some months.  Months turned into a year and yet, a move did not materialize.

While I was open-minded to moving, I handled the uncertainty surrounding it with much less aplomb.

Eventually, I gave up.  I stopped looking at houses, stopped discussing a Texan future and focused on staying put.

I have learned enough to know that home is not a location.  Home is about the life, love and adventure you create wherever you are.  

Naturally, once I let go of the outcome, this is when we finally found out that Mad Dog was promoted and everything changes.

We both agree it is surreal to finally have closure.  After well over a year of not-knowing, not-knowing becomes your comfort zone.  Knowing feels strange.

Now we know.

Texas here we come!

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Both boys are hoping since ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ they will immediately grow several inches taller.  We all have dreams, right?

 

children, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

5,000

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I’m noticing a trend.  In many ways, life with Full Speed and T.Puzzle is becoming much more pleasant.  Even though they are off school for a whole week for Thanksgiving, I didn’t even bat an eye.  I took them to the store today and I had zero anxiety about it.  If you know me it all, that is a near miraculous statement.  Of course, I still have rather unusual conversations with them before we enter any place that is of public domain.

“Your decisions in the store will determine whether or not you will be spending a large amount of time in your rooms or not once we return home.  I am only going to give you one warning.  Next time I have to speak to you about your behavior, you will have to go to your rooms as soon as we get home.”

“But, Mom,… is that one warning total or is that a warning a piece for each thing we do?  Like, ‘Calm down!’, ‘Be quiet!’, ‘Don’t kick your brother!'”  Full Speed had quite a list.

At this point I was only half-listening as the list went on and on.  “I don’t know, Full Speed.  I just don’t know.”

“Mom, what if T.Puzzle and I came up with 5,000 different ways to get in trouble?  Is that equal to 5,000 warnings?  What would you say to that, Mom?”

“I would say you are very talented.”

He grinned and chuckled.

Thankfully, we didn’t even crack the top ten.

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Growing Pains

ry=400-4Somehow, my boys have the nerve to keep growing up.  Not only are they more self-sufficient, they keep getting taller and taller.  How do pants shrink overnight?  How is it that one minute pjs fit, and the next day T.Puzzle and Full Speed could be in a Chris Farley ‘Big Kids in little PJs’ skit?

How, as Moms, do we not see this?  Maybe because we are with them every day and the changes are subtle.  Or, maybe, as Moms, a part of us feels our kids will never grow, therefore, they will never outgrow us.

Full Speed recently had a revelation.  One of his teachers was talking about her grown kids and told him that her son was taller than her.  Full Speed thought this was hilarious.  “Mom, someday, I’m going to be taller than you!”  His eyes gleamed at the thought while my stomach dropped to my shoes.

As Full Speed turned to leave the room I said, “Well, I guess I better be extra nice to you now so when you are bigger, you will be nice to me.  By the way, did I mention how incredibly handsome you look today?”

He looked back, paused and said, “Wait a minute, are you saying that so I will be nice to you when I’m bigger?”

“Yep!”

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that all I was really doing was using humor to deflect the tears that were welling up inside me.

children, family, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Chipped

As a parent I understand that I have to let my boys do things each day that make them feel like they are contributing to the family.  It’s not easy for someone like myself to do this lightly.  I like order.  I like things put away.  When I clean something, I expect it to look more clean than when I started.  My boys don’t have these types of concerns.

I’ve come to accept that when it’s time for the boys to ‘help’ me unload the dishwasher it’s a disorderly matter.  As I watched Full Speed begin to unload the cups and glasses, I marvelled at how it quickly devolved into a display of martial artistry.  I didn’t know it was possible for two cups to fight to the death.  He was quite creative.  I kept admonishing him that my cups were not toys and could he please just put them where they were suppose to go?  Apparently, he could not.  He grabbed  two coffee mugs and clinked them together in a rush of fighting glory.  There was a crack in the air as a piece of my very favorite mug went flying.  His eyes grew big and he hung his head low.

I went through the usual Mom-type lectures about ‘why don’t you listen the first time?’ and ‘cups are our friends’.

When it was all said and done, I actually am kind of thankful he chipped my favorite mug.  It seems to fit my life better because really, who am I kidding?  If I’m going to be the Mom of these two guys, do I really expect my porcelain mugs to remain intact?   Of course not.

Even at age 4 and 2, these guys could light up a room  with their smiles and energy
Even at ages 4 and 2, these guys could light up a room with their smiles and energy

I wouldn’t trade my boys for all the perfectly intact dinnerware in the universe.

children, gratitude, loss of parent, motherhood, parenting

Fill the Bucket

My Mom and me. I owe her all the beauty, humor and light in my life. The rest doesn’t matter because she showed me what love means. Even if you make a mistake or don’t succeed, if you have love in your life, you have everything you need.

Moms don’t really get the credit they deserve.  There isn’t actually any quantifiable way to say we are successfully raising our kids.  How much are we, as Moms, responsible for the successes and the failures of our kids?  At what point do we stop shaping our children’s outcomes and allow them to take personal responsibility for themselves and their own actions?  Even into adulthood, are Moms responsible when a grown child isn’t reaching their full potential?

I don’t have the answers.  I do know that motherhood can be extremely rewarding but mostly on an intrinsic level.  Sure, we have Mother’s Day but in general, our hard work and dedication is rarely recognized on an external level.  This really isn’t such a bad thing.  I believe life is about being your personal best and if the world sees it, great, and if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.  All that really matters is how you, and you alone feel about the way you are living your life.  It also helps if on occasion, your kid says or does something that warms your heart.

Full Speed explained to me that he learned about ‘filling other people’s buckets’ at school.  Essentially, by acknowledging others, you ‘fill their bucket’ with kindness and appreciation.  He took these words to heart.  He told me as he walked over to meet me, that he shared with the crossing guard that he was a ‘really good crossing guard’.  Full Speed also plans to tell the lunch ladies on Monday that they are doing ‘a really great job.’

I may not get trophies or a big paycheck honoring the work I do as a mother, but after I listened to Full Speed I thought, “Wow, maybe I had a little something to do with the making of this remarkable kid.”

My bucket is full.