Thursday, February 6, 2014

Overheard

Overheard while the boys were playing in the living room:

*smack*

Matthias: I'm sorry! I'm really sorry!
Jackson: Ow!
Matthias: I'm sorry!
Jackson: Ow, ow!
Matthias: Deep breath. Take a big, deep breath!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Right Now

Not every week is easy.
Sometimes, there are too many work deadlines,
Too many school activities,
Too many projects around the house,
Too many requests from beyond the walls of my little home.

Sometimes I don't know how I'll be an educator,
A wife,
An employee,
A church youth group leader,
A mom,
And still find a way to nurture those parts of myself that keep getting pushed aside in favor of everyone else.

Sometimes I don't know when I'll fold that last load of laundry,
Put the dishes in the dishwasher,
Battle the dust bunny that keeps mocking me from the corner,
Or vacuum the living room floor for the fourth time this week.

But right now, right now it just doesn't matter.
Right now, it's more important to rock the three-year-old who can't fall asleep.
Right now, it's talking about LEGO Star Wars with the eight-year-old whose imagination keeps drifting to another orbit.
Right now, it's letting the husband who's overwhelmed with his own workload know that he is very much loved and that I believe in his abilities.

Right now, filling my soul means seizing those moments that won't be here at any other time.
Right now, right now, the three-year-old needs someone to help him find dreamland.
Right now, it's fueling the eight-year-old with ideas for another intergalactic adventure.
Right now, it's being my husband's best friend.

Because this, this here and now, it won't be here tomorrow.
And I can't miss it.
I can be in the now.

The laundry,
The dishes,
The dust bunnies,
The vacuuming.

We're old foes.
We'll meet again.

But the people,
The moments,
The right now.

That won't be exactly the same tomorrow.
So, I'll stop and pay attention.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's like he doesn't trust me

Jackson: Mom, do you know when to pick me up from my art class?

Me: Yes.

Jackson: And you won't be last this time? Try not to be last this time.

Me: I won't be last this time.

Jackson: You don't have to be first. Just don't be last. Third. Just try for third.


(As luck would have it, I actually was the third parent to arrive.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Is that when we do this?

Me: I want everyone to brush their teeth.

Matthias: Awwww! Are we doing to church AGAIN?

And thus begins my review of our family's health and hygiene routines.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

You Can't Rush These Things

Me: Matthias, it's time for a nap.

Matthias, holding up his hands: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just SLOW down.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Here

I'm here. Still here. And so is this dear little blog that's suffered so much neglect in recent months. I've missed it, and yet, this has just been one of those years that hasn't been easy to talk about.

It's been quite a year for me: one that I'm not entirely sure how to process. Not exactly a bad year, but one that's just come with a lot of fight. There haven't been a lot of failures, but the successes haven't come easily and it's been...draining.

There was the usual mommy stuff, sure. Homeschooling a child is hard work, and I'm happy to do it for my kids because I feel strongly that it's what's best for their temperaments and individual needs. But, oh, does it come with nagging and constant monitoring and continual pressures and worries of whether I'm doing it "right" and giving them "enough." How on earth do you define "right" and "enough" anyway? Why are we always so caught up with that?

There was my work. It's good writing work, and I've learned so much about cars, of all things. I write for automotive dealers and help them educate consumers about their products. I like learning, and that's always my chief requirement when I accept writing assignments: I want to learn something (and get paid, but that's obvious). But really? I want to write things that make people laugh. I want to write children's books, but I haven't quite figured out how to rearrange my schedule to make time for that.

There was home. My house is never quite as clean as I want it to be. I go months sometimes without mopping. Closets never look up to Martha Stewart's standards. I get frustrated that I don't come with the same genius team of workers that she has. And blast Pintrest anyway for making people think that real life actually looks like that.

There was church. I was asked to serve as the president of my church's Young Women's organization, and it's been a hugely painful experience. (Let's just say my crowning achievement of my teenage years was entering my twenties.) This year, my church life has taught me an immense amount about forgiveness.

There was family planning. The husband and I very much want to add to the chaos Jackson and Matthias bring to our life, and yet? It's not that easy for us. Fertility. I'll never understand how so many teenagers can make babies on accident, and my husband and I have a hard time doing it on purpose.

The little things, really. It's the little things that have put up the biggest fights this year, coupled with some sporadic big things that really tried to trip me when the little things didn't.

Is it weird that my biggest achievement so far for 2013 seems to be that I'm still here? That I don't have a lot to show except for the fact that I've made it to the end of the year? Self-reflection is an interesting thing, and this year, I think my biggest win is that I didn't quit. I learned that I can put up with some pretty tough stuff, and that it's okay to not like everything you have to do sometimes. Not every step of every race has to be miraculous.

I learned that if all you do is make it to the finish line, smeared mascara, shoes untied, hair amiss, and all, you're alright. I'm tougher now than I was at the start of the race this year, and I'm looking forward to smiling and changing some strategies at the start of the next one.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In which a twenty-something makes me think about thinking

So, I made a mistake this week and saw what this whole Miley Cyrus and the VMAs business was about.

That's the sort of thing that happens when you do a little research into a friend's Facebook post. You stumble across weird things.

The truth? I thought her performance was absurd. "Alice in Wonderland" is nonsense, but this teddy bear-infused mess of Miley's wasn't even that good. It looked like a hodge-podge of strange nightmares-come-true. Add in the apparent trouble with her tongue and I was dumbfounded when the YouTube video I saw ended.

I'll admit, I didn't think about the poor example she was to young girls. Or that she might be teaching boys that this is how girls should act for them. I kept wondering, "Was she even thinking?" I don't believe she's just starving for attention, or in some personal crisis, or that her parents never reined her in. I believe she just wasn't thinking. I'm betting she had an impulsive idea and went with it.

Mostly, her tongue and fashion sense malfunctions made me realize I need to teach my kids to think, to remember that for all the self-confidence in the world, there come points when what someone thinks about you matters. Think about how you'd feel if the girl you're interested in has no trouble rubbing her bum all over another person. Think about whether there will be videos on the Web that you might not want your children or future boss to see some day. Think about whether the image you project is what you want others of any gender, any age, to emulate. Like it or not, people judge you, and you'll have to be able to stomach their decisions.

My advice to my two sons? Think. For Pete's sake, call all brain cells into action. Think about the type of person you want to become, watch for the examples that will get you there, and model after the successes. Think about the types of people you want to date or marry, and be that type of person yourself. Think about the type of employee or future employer you want to be, and be persistent on your way to building that kind of reputation for yourself. Think about the kinds of friends you need, and be that kind of friend. Be confident in who you are, of course. Defining yourself isn't up to anyone but you, but do put some thought into who you are.

And for the record, I love who you are. As you think and choose wisely for yourself, other people will love you for those qualities you've cultivated, too.

Love,
Mom