Okay, before every math teacher and science teacher in the world has a heart attack over the title, let me just say that some numbers do matter. Your numbers absolutely matter. The cost of a house or a car - those numbers matter. The numbers of your blood pressure matter, 220/100 is certainly not as good as 110/70!
Other numbers, like your age. . . that number doesn't matter. You are meant to make the most of every day here on earth. You are to do numerous good deeds throughout your life and not keep count of who appreciates it or even notices it. You are to be generous with gifts to those in need and not keep count of the thank you notes or words that you receive. Those numbers mean nothing. We do not know how long our lives are meant to be, but we should make the most of our days without counting them.
Another number that doesn't really matter is your weight. Who decided how much a pound actually is? Bet it was a guy. Men do not suffer over scales like women do. It is one of those things that men have over us. But think about it. Ages ago, some man decided that a pound would be equal to the weight of something like a specific rock. (By the way, my apology to science teachers, as I am making this up, but it sounds good to me). What if he had chosen something bigger to compare a pound to? I could weigh only 25 pounds under the right conditions! But really, is it the number that matters? Or is it more importantly, how you feel, how you look, your health and how you feel about how you look? Every person has an ideal weight. Mine is not the same as yours. Different people like people of a variety of sizes, whatever that is for each person. Be happy with you, not the number on the scale. Besides, in an obvious attempt to correct this problem, someone came up with kilograms which helps out a lot as each kilogram is 2.2 pounds. You just cut your weight in half without stepping on a scale!
Not long after someone came up with weight, someone came up with mass produced clothing that would require sizing to help us decide which item to select. Now, really? Take a look at the sizes offered. "0". How can you possibly be nothing, because that is what zero means. I spent years hating people who bragged about being a size 2. Then I had daughters who were a size 2. I guess it isn't right for me to hate them. We are also offered sizes in petite and women's. What does that mean? Is it just another ruse to make us feel better? Or does it just make us feel worse? Ladies we need to stop paying attention to these numbers!! They are worthless! Pay attention to clothing that flatters you and makes you feel beautiful. Do people greet you and pull the tag out of your shirt to see what size you wear? Of course not!
More importantly, we live in a society that has taught us that certain numbers like weight, measurements, clothing size make us good or bad people. We have to teach ourselves first and then our children that it is important to be healthy and comfortable with ourselves. No one can place numbers on how we look at ourselves. That comes from within. May God be with us all, in a very trying world. We need to focus on the person inside and what God wants us to be! Have a blessed week, and love yourself, and teach your children to love themselves.
My grandchildren have a way of bringing floods of memories back to me! As parents we became pretty good at "just rolling with it" when things happened. I specifically remember Doc coming home from work one day and sitting in his chair at the table to read the paper or something. A couple of kid's ran through the kitchen and he greeted them. Then, without missing a beat, he looked at me and said "That one isn't ours, is it?" Nope, it wasn't. Thank God he recognized that. It sure beats the idea that one of your own doesn't belong to you.
Just yesterday, I was reminded of our history with bunnies. It started when I made Bugs Bunny Halloween costumes for Mommy and Calvin when they were four and two. I conned them into napping so I could sew them. These were awesome if I do say so myself. They had heads that looked exactly like Bugs and feet to cover their shoes and carrots. While I benefitted from the extra naps and peacefulness while pregnant with Number 3, I also worked my backside off. As Halloween rolled around, Mommy was excited with the completed project. Calvin, not so much. We went to put the head on him and he lost it!! We have quite a few pictures of him screaming in his bunny suit. What do you do? Roll with it! I quickly made a new bunny head without a face!
The bunny suit resurfaced two years later when Mini Me had the opportunity to wear it. She looked absolutely adorable! Calvin decided that she could simply not wear it without learning how to hop proper like a bunny. We have video of him repeating the lesson at least a hundred times!!! Thank God she finally hopped after also repeatedly and calmly telling him no.
It resurfaced again in two more years. Calvin came home from school one day and informed me that they were doing a play in his class and he needed to take the bunny suit to school. I was thrilled! All that work was not done in vain! So, I packed up Bugs Bunny complete with two head version, feet and carrot and sent it to school with Calvin. There were five little ones by this time, so I honestly forgot that he had taken it to school until. . . . I got a call from his teacher telling me she was sending the suit home. Apparently, my son was wearing it daily once he got to school and no one knew why. Bless her heart the teacher listened as I explained my side of the story and laughed as she told me that there was no play. I guess the straw that broke the camel's back was when he tossed the carrot into the air and it landed on top of the classroom lights. Calvin had become a nuisance as a bunny! When he came home from school, we had a "discussion", and his answer to why all of it took place was so simple. . . . "because I wanted to." Who can argue with that? And so you just learn to roll with it.
I thought of him yesterday when "Max" walked through the kitchen in a full bunny suit. I looked up at her and must have had a curious look on my face, because as she went by she said, "What? It's from the Christmas Story. Mommy's friend Julie gave it to me." And she left the room. What do you say to that? Absolutely nothing. I shrugged my shoulders and finished making lunch like it was an everyday occurrence. I guess for me it is. But anyway, you just smile and roll with it.
I love the imagination and innocence of children. We can learn a lot from them. We watch them have temper tantrums and are appalled at their behavior, yet as adults we have adult temper tantrums when something goes haywire!. Kids can teach us that life is full of surprises, innocence and love and that as adults we should just learn to roll a little better with life. We should be better at taking things in stride and relying on our faith to get us through! Roll on and have a faithful and more peaceful week.
I am a little late with the post this week. There was a small tragedy at our house last weekend that needed to be handled. A murder took place followed by a memorial service for the departed.
Before you get all crazy, let me explain.... You all know that I babysit the Mini Me's children. I like to think that I am still pretty competent and reliable. My grandchildren, however, do their level best to prove me wrong. The children were playing with toys the other day, and I was in the room with them, busy with some paperwork. They seemed to be playing nicely, at least they were being relatively quiet. With the exception of Stitch, he has been very loud and animated when playing lately. He loves his Super Hero Action Figures. Apparently there was quite a battle between good and evil going on, and one of the Barbie's got in the middle of things. The next thing I knew, Max was screaming and showing me that "Courtney" (a renamed Barbie) had her head snapped off her body. This was definitely not a repairable injury. I have seen Doc work some true magic on the kids' toys over the years, but it wasn't going to happen this time! Anyway, Max was upset and Stitch was remorseful - sort of. He insisted that he didn't do it - Spiderman did it.
I tried to calmly explain that this one couldn't be glued or repaired. She suggested several methods of treatment, none of which I concurred with. So, in order to appease her some and calm her, I promised that we would have a proper funeral for "Courtney." It was suggested that we just throw her away (that came from Uncle Pook), but Max pointed out that you just can't say prayers over the garbage.
So, last Saturday we had a funeral at our house. Pook grudgingly dug the hole, although it wasn't quite the job he would like you to think it was - Barbie dolls are only 18 inches long. I was able to convince Max that we could wrap her doll in a beautiful piece of material which further decreased the size of the hole to be dug. The doll was considerably smaller than the box she had been placed in. Max selected a beautiful spot near the playground and the area where our old hounds were buried. Pook dug the hole - very grudgingly and five adults, Stitch (who was responsible for this scene) and Max stood around the hole while Max said a prayer and told us about her time with "Courtney". God I wish I had a picture of that scene! Periodically, one of us would start to giggle, the adults - not the kids! As the ceremony ended, Pook rolled his eyes at me and asked what was next. "First you make us bury the church lady's cat and now this!" That was promptly followed by Mini Me's observation that I had never gone to these lengths for any of my own children when they were small. That is true, but there is something special about grandchildren.
Truthfully, I cannot believe I orchestrated all of that. Better yet, I cannot believe that all those adults cooperated and/or gave in! Max has already moved on to other toys. The simplicity of children and their emotions can teach us all a great lesson. May you have a blessed week. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer with your children and grandchildren and remember how precious they are.
No one ever told me how much being a mom could hurt! Sure, there are all of the little things that go on as your children grow up. . . rolling over, crawling, first steps, going to kindergarten. I talked to moms who were so upset when their children started school. I did feel a little guilty, because all I could think was "Whew, just a few extra minutes of peace during the day!" Then came middle school, makeup for the girls, first dates, first dances, proms and high school graduation. I felt great through it all. I thoroughly enjoyed the changes in our relationships, the accomplishments, the achievements. I loved it all, until.....
It was time to move "Mommy" into college. It was exciting to help her decorate and fix her dorm room up, to listen to her get excited when she talked to her roommate about the things they wanted to do. Then the day finally came. Of course, our family moves as a unit, so moving day involved everyone who was available, which was pretty much everyone but "Calvin" He had football practice. Our entourage got "Mommy" moved in with as much chaos and commotion as we could muster. She had to get to a team meeting, which meant we had to leave. I had no idea how painful that would be. I knew then that life would never be the same.
Two years later, "Calvin" joined "Mommy" at the same school. I was sure that this departure would be much easier, I was experienced now and they would be together. "Calvin" had become a little more distanced from us during his final year of high school too. The entourage again made the trip and helped with the move ins. Leaving was not too tough, boys are so cavalier! But... on the way home, I sobbed for at least 45 of the 46 minute drive.
"Mini Me" was next in line. This one really was easy. We had battled so much during high school that she couldn't wait to get out and verbalized it regularly! For me, it actually became a relief. I actually had no intention of helping with this move but went at the last minute. Somewhere during her Freshmen year, we had a major turn in our relationship for the better. My tears were profuse when she moved away for one year as a new wife and mother. Talk about a broken heart!!!!!
By the time the "Blonde" left, the first three were well on their way. "Mommy" had graduated and was planning her wedding. "Calvin" had remained independent and he and "Superson" managed their own moves to and from school. "Mini Me" as always was independent. I took the "Blonde" to school alone. We did pretty good and she was going to have her older sister nearby. Of course, she had to run off to team meetings and practice, which wisely shortened the good-byes. I started sobbing as soon as I started the engine of the truck. I could barely speak when I called Doc to tell him she was moved in and that I was sure that my heart had broken. I went home to a pretty empty house. Five were gone and then there were two.
Three years after the "Blonde" left, "Pook" headed off to college. We had become particularly close over the years. He especially witnessed all the trials and tribulations of raising the first ones. We spent a lot of time together when he was in the car accident. Yet another entourage traveled along as we took him to school and football camp. When we left him, he was alone in his room. No roommate yet. He had never done anything like this before. I tried to hold it together until I left him. It was hard for both of us. We actually could not talk on the phone for a couple of weeks. I came home and sat in his empty room and cried.
And then there was one. The "Surprise" followed "Pook" to the same school three years later. We moved him in, went for dinner, dragged out the whole procedure. As I left him, I didn't care if I cried. Through tears, I finally realized that this young man had endured the same years that I did. One by one he watched each one leave. But now it was different, he was the last to go.
We took him back to school this weekend for the final time. My heart still breaks when I say goodbye, even though I never seem to go home to a completely empty house. We are full again with "Mini Me" and her family living with us and the "Blonde" living with us. The others all visit regularly so the house is always filled with commotion and chaos. And yet, as it has been every year for the past 15 years, when I get home, the house is empty! One person leaving changes it all.
This is the life we choose when we become parents. I don't think that you ever quite grasp it until it actually happens. But this is the time that God lets you know it will never be the same. That isn't to say it is bad. Just like raising children, it never gets easier it just gets different. When they leave it never gets easier, it is just different at home. May God bless you with love and strength and faith as you raise your children, hold their hands and finally watch them go.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!