Tag Archive | children

Quote Me…or Not

There is a  quote that I find myself coming back to time and time again.  It isn’t a revolutionary quote, a motivational quote or anything profound, so why do I keep coming back to it?  I wish I knew because maybe then I could stop quoting it.  It is the quote most of us heard in our childhood and possibly you have been caught uttering it yourself.  Following in my mother’s footsteps my favorite quote seems to be…”Because I said so!”

algonquin 024

So many times I swore I would never say those words.  When I had a child I would explain to them why they should or should not do something.  I would listen, negotiate and reason with my kids.  No way was I going to be a dictator that just demanded something from my kids.

Yet here I am with three kids and a long history of repeating my mother’s favorite quote “because I said so!”

“Alex don’t sit on your brother”
“Why?”
“Because I said so!”

“Josh don’t put that up your nose”
“Why?”
“Because I said so!”

I know there are better explanation for why not to engage in these activities such as “ because you will hurt him and if you don’t understand that you will probably end up in jail someday for being a violent sociopath” or “because it won’t come out and you will look like an idiot walking around with an eraser stuck in your nose.”

Some may say it is lazy parenting, taking the easy way out.  I used to say that but too but really it’s just plain survival.  If I answered of every why question my children asked I would become stuck in a never-ending cycle of questions much like being stuck on a spinning merry-go-round holding on for dear life while trying not to lose my lunch.

Don’t eat the dog’s food”
“Why?”
“Because you will get a tummy ache.”
“Why?”
“Because the food is made for dog’s tummies not little boy’s tummies.”
“Why?”
“Because doggies need special food to make them grow up to big and strong.”
“Why?”
“Because doggies bodies are not like people’s bodies”
“Why?”
“Because that is the way God made them.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know maybe he had a bad day with a pain in the neck little kid who wouldn’t stop asking him why!”

So you see quoting my mother with “Because I said so” was actually a gentler approach to child rearing than I could have taken.

I can’t say that I am moved by this quote but I can say that it has kept me sane.  It has probably helped my children develop a much higher self-esteem.  I can’t imagine how scarred they would have been if I had actually said what I thought rather than using my go to quote of “Because I said so.”

Let’s be honest it could be much worse I could have chosen one of my mother’s other favorite lines such as “just wait until your father gets home”, or “your face will freeze that way.”  Really mom, dad never did anything when he came home and at six I thought it would be kind of cool if my face froze into one of those crazy faces I made.

 

Honor and Pride

I just experienced the most amazing moment of my life.  My son had the honor of giving the Valedictorian address today at his high school graduation.  You may think that seeing him stand at the podium and addressing his classmates as the number one ranked student in a class of 480 students would be the proudest moment of my life, but it wasn’t.   No the proudest moment of my life occurred after the ceremony.

As we were muddling through the crowd of graduates and proud parents we were approached by a young lady who asked if we were the parents of the boy who made the speech.  Proudly I replied that yes I was.  She continued to ask me if I would happen to have a copy of the speech that she may have.  I looked at her with a puzzled look but confirmed that yes I did have a copy.  The young lady teared up and introduced herself as the sister of the young man who my son mentioned in his speech.  The following is taken from his speech:

“In a graduation meeting when one of our classmates announced that he will be off to training to enlist in the marines the day after graduation, very few of us knew or saw who it was, in fact I still don’t know.  Our class of 2012 took that moment not think about whether or not you were someone in our class, on a sports team, or one of our friends, we took that moment to acknowledge what an honorable choice you were making and proudly gave you a round of applause.”

The young lady continued to explain that her mother was brought to tears and the family was truly touched by the recognition my son had given to their son and brother.  They had only a few hours left with him this evening to have dinner before putting him on a bus to leave for his training in the marines, after training he would be immediately deployed as an active marine.  Both my son and I were overwhelmed by the emotions of this young lady and assured her that our prayers where with her family and her brother.

Again we went back to mingling amongst the crowd and posed for several pictures and received the usual congratulations.  Again the young girl approached us.  This time she was accompanied by a fellow graduate.  She introduced her brother, the brave marine to my son.  The young man reached his hand out to my son and shook his hand as he thanked him for what he said in his speech.  His eyes were glistening with tears as he told my son how much it meant to him that he was acknowledged  in the valedictorian address.

I was overwhelmed with emotion as these two young men shook hands and my son assured him that he was doing a much more honorable thing than he had ever done.  The young marine told my son that his excellent grades and success in school where just as honorable.  These two young men had never met each other in the four years of high school.  They were never in the same class and never ran with the same group of friends.  Yet here they stood both admiring the other for their accomplishments and their future contribution to society.

This is the proudest moment in my life.  A young marine is heading off to serve his country with the words of my son tucked away in his pocket.  A family knows that their son’s sacrifice has been acknowledged and admired.  This was not a day about popularity or who had the highest GPA.  This was a day that proved that each and every young person who walked across that stage today to pick up their diploma has the potential to make a positive contribution to the world.

Fly Little Bird

All the clothes are neatly pressed and folded into a cute little package, gently set on the top of the dresser anxiously awaiting their debut.  The back pack is perched at the front door, overflowing with a rainbow of colorful crayons, safety scissors, bottles of glue and psychedelic Kleenex boxes.  The little boy doesn’t need an alarm to awaken him as he jumps out of bed and runs to his mommy’s bedside at the first light.  No worries the mommy was wide awake as her heart was heavy and her nerves were frazzled with the knowledge that her baby was starting his first day of school.

The clothes are strewn on the floor with barely a path to reach the bed.  Books lay open on the desk and on the floor as a reminder of the late night of last minute studying in an attempt to cram every last detail into the recesses of his brain.  The young man is stretched across the bed with the alarm buzzing after the third attempt at hitting the snooze button.  The mom gently nudges him to get up knowing that if he doesn’t get up now he’s going to be late.  Out of the corner of her eye she glimpses the neatly folded graduation gown on the dresser with the cap perched proudly on top, the tassel gently dangling over the side.  The mom’s heart is heavy and her nerves are raw as she realizes it is her babies last day of high school and a whole new world is waiting for him.

I have done my job.  My baby has grown, I have taught him all I could.  I have created a strong foundation for him to build on.  The life he chooses to build upon it is his.

Now go my little bird, it is your turn to fly. Soar high and proud.

Love Mom

*To view the slide show that goes with this post follow the link to Fly

I’ll Take Another

Coffee that is.  I’ll take another coffee.  I hate Monday mornings.  Especially when it is dark and dreary.

The dishwasher is looking at me wondering when I am going to empty it. The washing machine is getting impatient waiting for the first of many loads to get started.  My running shoes are sitting at the door in hopes of a brisk morning walk.  My text books are curious as to whether or not they will be cracked open today.

My familiar friends are waiting with anticipation to see which one I will choose to tackle first today.  You will have to wait a little longer my friends.  As for now…I’ll take another coffee instead.

Why does the thought of having another coffee instead of tackling the daily chores of a stay at home mom make me feel guilty.  I hate that I feel like I have to be “doing” something all the time.  I am not entitled to just sit and relax.  It is that whole stereotype of the stay at home mom eating bon-bons and watching Soap Opera’s that I am  fighting.

I’ve been doing this stay at home thing for almost eight-teen years, minus the last attempt to go back to work before “the move.”  It is just now that I have given myself permission to wear sweats, a pony tail and no make-up if I feel like it.  Up to this point it has been “proper attire”, full make-up and hair fully styled.

Why do stay-at-home mom’s feel the need to justify what we do with our time? (Or is it just me?)  It is an honorable job with little reward and no real recognition.  I need to stop apologizing for what I do and if I want to have another cup of coffee, so be it.  After all I can’t clock out at 4:00 and claim that my job is done for the day.

Doin’ The Happy Dance

Oh ya, I’m doing a happy dance!  Not a pretty sight but I don’t really care.

Just finished My Anatomy and Physiology class.  Medical Terminology.. done, Anatomy and Physiology.. done…Medical Coding here I come!

Okay so it wasn’t a super hard challenge considering I already have a degree in Nursing Science and taught Anatomy and Physiology for a couple semesters, but still, it is a lot different being on the other side of the exams.  Not to mention the pressure from the kids.  Oh ya, they just love to get back at me.  You know the saying “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”  Apparently I am the gander.  “Why did you get one wrong?  Didn’t you study?  An A is only good if you put your full effort into it”.  I have never spent more time eating my own words!

As a reward for my accomplishments I think a little shopping is in order as well as a slight detour from the diet.  What better way to celebrate than a new pair of shoes, an iced latte (with whipping cream), and a giant brownie.

Dance on Mamma, dance on!

Mommy Brag Time

Sorry, but I just have to brag, it’s what we mommies do.

Just got a text from my son who is a senior in high school.  He wanted to share with me that he was just asked to give the Valedictorian Address at his graduation.  The honor is given to the student who is ranked number one in the graduating class.  He has been ranked number one since his freshman year and has worked like a dog to keep the rank.  I am soooooo proud of him.

I can guarantee you this is going to be one mom who will need an extra-large box of Kleenex’s and waterproof mascara at graduation.

Oh my gosh I just realized I am blogging about my son’s graduation.  That is impossible, it can not be that I am really old enough and more importantly he is old enough to be graduating high school.  I think this is one of Oprah’s Ah Ha moments she talks about but I don’t think I like it.  Suddenly I don’t feel ready for him to grow up and go away.  I have spent the past year helping with the college applications, scholarship applications, getting his room in residence, it’s been all business and very hectic.  Until now I don’t think I actually processed what it meant…MY BABY IS ALL GROWN UP!  Maybe I better get the Kleenex’s now.

Congratulations son, you did it.  We never made it easy for you moving so often.  You had already been in four different school systems in three states and two countries before you finished elementary school.  We announced that yet another move was occurring for your senior year.  You showed your maturity and focus when we let you stay behind and finish your senior year without our guidance.  Not only did you do it, but you managed to stay at the top of your class.  You are an amazing young man and I am very proud to be your mom.

My Baby is All Grown Up

National Wishbone Day, May 6

May 6 is National Wishbone Day.  It is a day dedicated to increasing the awareness of a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or better known as brittle bone disease.  I would ask that you would take a minute to follow this link to read an article I have written about  National Wishbone Day and my affiliation to the condition.

Thank-you for your helping increase awareness for a very unique condition.

Crazy Tennis Mom writes about National Wishbone Day.

Learn From My Mistakes

It is always hard to know when to let them go…

…and when to let them fall.

 

 

We are human so we make mistakes.  That is just a fact of life, sometimes one of the more difficult facts.  In my art my mistakes sometimes turn out to be my best work, happy mistakes we like to call them.  In life I have occasionally had the same experience but on the whole my mistakes cause hurt, struggle and at times, feelings of shame and embarrassment.  If we are wise we learn from these mistakes and from them become a better, stronger individuals.

Knowing all of this I know I should allow my children to make their own mistakes, allow them to fall on their butt and pull themselves back up.  They will be stronger, wiser, and develop more character.  So why is it so hard?  Because I am a mother, and as such, it is my nature to protect them.  I know I can’t protect them from everything, I can’t hold their hand as they walk through life.  I need to believe that I have given them enough wisdom, insight, and values that they are capable of safely navigating their life.  When they make a mistake I need to believe that the foundation I have provided them with is enough to support them when they have faltered.

This being said, I will not allow my children to fail when I can prevent it simply for the experience of learning from their mistakes.  I did not struggle through situations simply to keep what I learned to myself.  I need to share what I learned from making mistakes to help my children from making the same ones.  If we do not learn from others mistakes we will never progress as a society. It would be wrong for me to allow my child to run into a busy street so they could learn that it is dangerous and they could get hurt.  So it is also wrong for me to allow my children to experiment with alcohol, drugs and sex just so they can learn that their effect can be destructive.  I am not so naive to believe that my teens will never touch a drop of alcohol and that they will all be virgins when they get married, but I sure as heck can make sure it is difficult for them to do it, and they will know how I feel about it.  I will not be the parent at the liquor store buying the beer or parent slipping condoms into their wallets.  I will be the parent who teaches them that there are laws about legal drinking ages, I will be the parent that informs them of the dangers of drinking and driving, I will be the parent who explains how life will change and opportunities lost if they become parents.

I will also be the parent that lets their children know that I understand they will screw up every now and then, and when they do, come to me and ask me for help.  Don’t turn one small mistake into a bigger one that can’t be undone.  How do I do this?  We talk, we listen, we set boundaries, have consequences and we don’t over react.  I admit my mistakes, acknowledge theirs.  Most of all, I am there for them when they make their mistake, loving them just the same.  I don’t clean up after them, that is their job, but I will hold their hand, wipe their tears and love them.

Remember we all make mistakes, that is how we learn.  But if you don’t share what you learned from your mistakes, then they weren’t worth making.  If we are to grow and become a better society, we need to learn from each other and stop making the same mistakes over and over again.  Be strong, be firm, be honest and be tough, and you can help your kids from making the same mistakes you made.  Most of all, be present in their lives!

Going Home

There's no place like home.

The numbers to lead me home

I’m sitting in my childhood home posting this morning.  I’m sitting on the same spot on the couch that I’ve sat since I can remember.  The coffee cup that sits on the table beside me is the same one that I have drunk out of for the last ten or so years.   Comfortable, that is how I would describe how I feel.  Coming home is like putting on your favorite sweater that fits just perfectly and wraps around you and keeps you warm.

I turned off the lights to head to bed last night and was surprised that I could still navigate the hallway to my old bedroom.   The furniture in the room is different from when I occupied it but the feeling the same.  (My son is currently occupying that furniture which originally was the proud possession of my grandparents.)  I pulled down the covers and slipped into the bed.  As I laid my head on the pillow, I recognized that familiar sensation as I sunk into the same pillow I have laid my head on so many times before.  I was overcome by how familiar everything felt and I truly felt like I was “home.”

I am so lucky that my parents still reside in the home I grew up in.  I have never had to give up that safe and comfortable place that holds all my childhood memories.  I am sad to say I haven’t given my children that same experience.  We have moved eight times from job transfers.  I worry that they will never have that place to return to that feels like home.  All I can hope for is that it is more about the people in the home then the place.

I suppose Dorthy said it best when she said “There’s no place like home.”

Thanks for stopping by again to hear the random ramblings of a middle-aged daughter.

Why Are People So Nasty?

Can't we all just try to be a little nicer?
(Don't ask about the antlers, it's a long story)

I just don’t understand why some people have to be so nasty.  I know when I was a kid my mom used to tell me they were just insecure or jealous.  I know I have found myself telling my children the same thing every now and then.  But really, why do they have to be so nasty?  Do they not think about anyone other than themselves?  Do they take even a second to think about how they are making someone else feel?  Selfish, and self-centered… that is what they are.

Reading blogs I will occasionally come across a comment someone makes that is just plain mean.  Is it really necessary?  Sure inspiring debate and conversation is great, often it will increase the number of comments on the blog, but does it have to be mean?  Just state your opinion without the nasty, condescending remarks.  The author put some part of themselves into that article or picture, can’t we respect that?

Is it the waitresses fault that your steak wasn’t cooked correctly?  You really don’t have to be rude, just kindly ask her if she can take it back and bring a new one.  Or the lady at the checkout, she didn’t take the price sticker off the dress and she certainly can’t be expected to know every item that is on sale in the entire store.  Cut her a break, she is doing the best she can, yelling at her or berating her isn’t going to get you through the check-out any faster.

Okay I will admit, I am rude to telemarketers.  I know I shouldn’t be because they are just doing their job trying to put food on their table for their family.  But why do you have to call me three times?  The first day I am nice and kindly say I am not interested, the second day I remind them they called me yesterday.  The third day I am rude!  Sorry to all telemarketers that have been at the other end of my lecture about doing your job properly, I didn’t mean to make your day go badly.

My father’s favorite advise was “think before you speak!”  It is probably the best advise anyone could ever give or get.  Think before you speak. Think about how your words will make the other person feel.  Just because you think it doesn’t mean you always have to say it.  Take a second and try to add a thank-you, good job, or have a nice day.   If you insist on being all about yourself than forget about how it makes the other person feel, you would be surprised at how good you will feel by being nice rather than miserable.

Just to be clear, I am not a writer or want to be writer.  I am just a middle-aged woman with rambling thoughts.  I know I have grammatical errors, typo’s and whatever spelling errors spell check misses, so you don’t need to leave me a note to correct them.  On the whole I have found the blogging world to be one of the nicest places around.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy hanging out here so much.

So to my fellow bloggers…Thanks for brightening my day with your beautiful photos, words and comments.  Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.  To the rest of the world that finds it necessary to be so darn nasty…just stop, we don’t need anymore ugliness in this world!

(Somehow I know I just invited a nasty person to leave a comment, oh well, I have tough skin)