Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Trickle's Blinding Speed

They used to be here. Just little girls. Cheeks still round and 'growing up' nowhere near.

But now they are present. Their 'growing up' in full swing. Walking the same school hallways and singing in various choir groups. They used to be There, and now they are Here.

I know there was time in between. But as I look at the Then and the Now in quick succession, the In Between is blurry. I can only see the Little and the Big. It's that trickle again, and it's willful nature to move faster than I want it to.

Oh, these girls. I want to hold you here forever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Trickle

They trickle out the door in the morning. The oldest leaves before there is light in the sky. The youngest steps to the curb and waits anxiously for the bus 45 minutes later. The middle sits with me for a bit longer. She entertains me or stretches my patience. Usually it's a combination of both. 45 minutes pass, and she walks to the corner bus stop.

Every morning I watch them go. One by one they disappear. They travel to school where they live a life without me. They have friends and classes and conversations. They make choices. All on their own. Without me hovering to remind them, or even to demand that they make the right one.

On the surface, having all your children away at school is awesome. But at my soul-gripping, mother-loving core, it's hard. And also sad. Why? Because I worry. Will they remember who they are and guide their life accordingly? Will their self esteem get nicked again? Will they return to me safely? It goes on and on like this. Round and round it goes.

My trickle seems to be gaining speed. The oldest has only 4 more years until college. Even now, with all she is involved in, she is away more than she is planted here. I know that's normal, but when you look closely at that trickle, it can hurt your heart.

I've tried to find a way to slow it all down. The solution is elusive and slippery. Maybe it can't be caught. And maybe, there is nothing I can do to alter the trickle. Instead, I think I just may try to look at it more closely. To narrow my focus so that's all I see. Each. Individual. Child.

They trickled in to my life, slow and steady. They will eventually trickle away from home as well. But the path they leave behind them is mine to hold. So, for now I will watch the repetitious trickle. I will memorize it and catalog it's every joy. One by one. Every last bit.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Say Ahhh

Some parents teach their kids to throw a ball. Some parents even teach their kids to sew. Others take the time to teach their children to do actual chores around the house.

I'm the other kind of parent. The kind that lets her children eat bowlfuls of sprinkles and teaches them how to use your tongue to your advantage. We all have our priorities. Sugar is mine. It's kindof a sacred gift. Just sayin'.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Allergic

I'm allergic to two things: penicillin and dentists. I'm serious. You know that space on the medical history section of every form you fill out? The one where you list your allergies? Mine lists the word, 'dentist'.

(*attractive photo taken by myself while my temporary crown stopped oozing blood.)

Maybe I grind my teeth. Maybe. And supposedly that can do bad stuff to your teeth. Supposedly. And why does it always have to cost so much? Why?

Personally I think that if we have the technology available to make a tiny phone that attaches to your ear, then we for sure have the means of making dental chemicals taste better. I'm just sure of it. It totally warrants an eye roll when the dentist says, "but it's supposed to taste like strawberry." Oh, really? Well, strawberries just started tasting like vomit.

Why does that little drill have to sound like a chainsaw? If my dishwasher can be 'whisper quiet', then why can't the teeth sander? I guess that having a shot the size of Ohio in your gums isn't enough. The chainsaw is just added in for bonus effect.

I told my dentist before he started, "If you cause me any pain, you're watching my kids for a week." The thing is, he knows my kids, so he knows the implications of that statement. I think I saw a slight flash of fear in his eyes.

Today my jaw is so sore, I can't open my mouth all the way. I told Mr. Dentist that I'm in pain and that I'm packing my kid's bags tonight. How's that for an allergic reaction?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sure Sign

The bubbles begin after the winter hibernation.
Summer is just around the bend.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Would you think the universe was conspiring against you if your child had to come home because she threw up in class?


Well, what if it was the First. Day. Back. After. Spring. Life-Sucking. Break? What about then?

Still don't have an answer?

What if you got your child situated in front of the TV in a quarantine zone and then she looked up at you and said, "I was kindof faking."?

Got an answer now?

Oh, and the best part-- the school doesn't know she was pretend barfing "because I drank a ton of water, mom". So I still have to keep her home another day.

Kill me. Kill me now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 5- The End Of My Rope

Spending endless days with children who demand you entertain them can do something to your brain. It sucks the life right out of it. And then you can't think logically. Because, why else would you take everyone shopping? Why!?

In "theory" I thought that it would be easier to have my offspring in tow while picking out swimsuits and flip flops. Too bad theories are a stark contrast to reality.

And you know what else I've noticed these last few days? When your kids are home, you bleed money. It pours out of your veins like hot lava. A normal trip to the store grows exponentially when the children are with you. They beg, plead, moan that you have never, ever, ever in their whole life been willing to buy them something they've wanted with their whole heart. I've discovered the need to take long, steady breaths. It helps me not to shake them silly.

I'm counting today as the official end to Spring Break. For the love of all that's holy, please go back to school. Paaaahhh Leeeezzzzeeee!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 4- Go Green

Green has never looked so scrumptious.
Happy St. Patty's Day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

S.B.- Day 3

Today I tried something unusual. Well, it's unusual for me. I tried to stop Doing.

I don't do Calm. Nor am I familiar with Still. In my mind, I seem to equate the two with Lazy. But in reality, Calm and Still are far from it. I just can't get my brain on the same page as that obvious truth. I'm a list maker and a list doer. I tend to forget that there is a life sustaining force that can be found in Still. So today I tried to Be and not Do. For me, that's hard work. I have to physically force myself to stop and take inventory, and then Calm. Many of the things I needed to do, simply went undone. Instead, I sat. I sorted puzzle pieces with a teenager, I listened to a child's lengthy explanation without cutting her off mid-thought, I even sat outside long enough to enjoy the spring air. All Calm.

All my not-Doing makes me feel restless. My eyes wander to my list out of habit, but I try not to read what's written there. Doing Less and Being More is so much harder than it looks. But, maybe I can form a new habit. Shape the Calm and the Still and mold it around my never ending Doing. That just might be the perfect combination.

Until then, I shall try to let my soul find space to breathe. Just like her puzzle, piece by piece.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 2- Fried Goodness

Did you know that heaven smells like sugar in a deep fryer? Mmm hmm. And since that's the case, we found heaven at the Rodeo. This year we ate fried Oreos, M&Ms, cookie dough, Snickers and cheesecake. I can not overstate the deliciousness. I simply can't.

This baby devoured a fried Moon Pie. Yes, yes, yes, of course we ate lunch first. A corn dog. A fried one :)
I think that frying might be one of the best inventions of all time. Why isn't everything fried? Seriously. Think about it. Way more Americans would consume vegetables if they were fried. And topped with powdered sugar? That stinkin' food pyramid would totally rock!

Hey- what about daily vitamins? Fry 'em. Then I could dip them in a little marshmallow fluff to make a breakfast of champions. I think I'm on to something. Maybe I should start a campaign. Fry it and try it! I just might be a genius.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break- Day 1

Playing on an ipad and watching endless TV can be soooo exhausting.
Spring Break is such hard work.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Nest

This is her latest hairdo. She wears it just like this almost every day. She runs track early before school. Then, she piles all her sweaty strands in a bunch. To the side, of course. I've started begging her to put decorations in it. My first request was for fuzzy, little bees. Then I brought up the fact that we could put eggs in it for Easter. As of today, she has refused my pleadings.

If your hair is supposed to reflect your personality, what does this nest say about her? Maybe she subconsciously wants to be a bird so that she can fly away from this crazy house. Honestly, who would blame her?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All In A Day

This is Addie. She's hoarding the road tiles. You know, the ones that are used to separate car lanes? Ya, those. After being told she couldn't leave the driveway, she came home with them. I asked her (maybe with my yelling voice) to go put them back. Later I found them precisely lined up along my curb.

Then, Kellie stepped off the bus with this:

Don't you like how her arm is propped up by the sink? I can't imagine why. I questioned her on the reason for the arm graffiti. Her response? "Oh, I got bored in 7th period." I suggested that the next time she should use paper. I doubt she'll remember.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Never Ending Question

I never thought it would be this hard. Did you? This never ending side of mothering that tends to drain the life out of you. Did everyone else already know this, and somehow I missed that prep class?

Before kids, I had a basic idea. More of a notion, really. But it only included the physical stuff. The long nights, the continual making of meals, the mounds of laundry and constant bottle feeding. I never, ever, not even once considered the mental stamina I am forced to find. That's the hard part.

Difficult children are, well, difficult. In reality, all kids can be difficult. Some just take it to a whole new level. There are families out there that don't have children who stretch them until they snap. Some days, like today, I envy them.

I don't know why it has to be so hard. Why am I constantly feeling that I don't know what to try next, because my current course is always faltering? Maybe that's just the way of life. This mothering life. Maybe there is no middle ground where peace can be found. Maybe, just maybe, this part of my life is more about what I need to learn than what behaviors they need corrected.

The flip side of hard is love. It has to be. Because the stronger the battle often delivers the greatest rewards. So today I shall cling to love, and grip it with fierce determination. In the end, that's all that really matters. It softens the hard and rounds out it's edges. And that makes the hard parts of mothering worth all the effort.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Here We Go Again

Sport seasons tend to bleed together. Cross Country morphed into Basketball which oozed into Track. And you know what's crazy? They all require different shoes. I don't get it.

Today was 47 degrees, slight rain and a whole lot of wind. I was bundled in a coat and the runners wore shorts. These are the moments that I pray for her to switch to an indoor sport. Like knitting. I know I wouldn't worry about her nearly as much if she were knitting.

But then again, that requires new shoes as well. Slippers. I'm pretty sure she's going to stick with sports that make you sweat. I better start praying for better weather.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

8 of 40

Yes, I'm riding my 11 yr. old's Rip Rider.

I think I may have pulled something.

1 of 40, 2 of 40, 3 of 40, 4 of 40, 5 of 40, 6 of 40, 7 of 40

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hypothetically Funny

Do you like 'make believe'? You know, like in Mister Roger's? Well, I hope you do, because I've got an awesome pretend, made-up story. Here goes:

Once upon a time, there was a very "different" kind of family. They were special on so many levels. The special parents produced offspring that was really, really special.

Well, one day, Offspring #3 got invited to play at a friend's house. This was a new friend that had just moved into town. The special father parent warned the new friend's mother of all the potential dangers that lay ahead of her once she welcomed Offspring #3 into her home. New friend's mother thought to herself, "I've read the blog of this different family for years. How bad can it really be?" (a mistake she'll never make again)

Once in the car, Offspring #3 informed new friend's mother that she wasn't going to play at her house unless she went directly to Walgreens and bought her Cadbury eggs. Instead of giving in to this proposal, new friend's mother took them to McDonald's. During lunch, Offspring #3 threw french fries at her.

Hours later, Offspring #3 was returned to her special parents. New friend's mother had a nervous giggle as she reported that #3 had spanked her on the bottom at one point during the play date. Special parents stared in horror.

So, hypothetically speaking--if this story were actually a true story, would it be hypothetically funny or hypothetically embarrassing? I can't decide.