There is an old saying "Time flies when you are having fun." I can't argue with it that, but I do think there is so much more to add to that statement. Time absolutely flies when you are having fun. All you have to do is look at your kids, or even remember back to your own childhood. Just when you are in the middle of having the best time of your life, it is time to go home. I can remember being devastated at the words "It's time to go now!" My granddaughters do not handle it any better. The shocked and painful looks on their faces when it is time for the fun to end, says it all.
But I have also noticed that time absolutely races by along with the years. I know this probably makes me a little weird, but I can always loved the first day of school after summer break. I would get so excited about getting my supplies ready, picking out what to wear, seeing my friends again. It seemed like the day would never come. The night before school seemed to last forever! And then poof! I had graduated from high school and then from college. I got my first job. I moved away from home. I met Doc and we were married.
I can remember panicking before the wedding when I realized that this was to be for the rest of my life! I was having trouble getting my head wrapped around heading down the aisle and even making it to the first anniversary! May I just interject something off topic here? I have said this numerous times, and believe me it has nothing to do with marrying Doc. I was madly in love with him the day we married and I still am. Time has flown, but not always because it was so much fun. Marriage takes a lot of work, cooperation, willingness to give in sometimes. We started out on a rocky road. The wedding itself was painful for me. I hate pictures and guess what, when you are the bride, you are in almost EVERY picture. It was awful!!! The honeymoon didn't start much better. We decided to drive to Cape Cod. No reservations, no plans, just two free spirits on the road with a map. Ahh, the map! My dad taught me to read a map when I was old enough to read. Doc would drive and have me read the map. I would tell him which way to turn and he would do the opposite because it "just felt like the ocean was in that direction." Remember these were the days before GPS and compasses in your car. I believe I threw the map at him. It was a little trying at the time, but we laugh about it now.
Then kids came along and the years started to speed up. "Mommy" was born and before I could blink she was off to school, followed in rapid succession by the next five. As hard as you try to stop time, it continues on and it seems to go faster and faster. Believe me, raising the kids is the hardest job I have ever done. It was filled with laughter, but also had its share of tears, anger, grounding, food disputes, boyfriend and girlfriend disputes! And now just as I turned around they are all adults. Only one left in college. Three are married. Two are engaged and two are hanging around, which I am VERY grateful for. I used to laugh when Calvin told me he would always hold my hand even when he grew up. I knew he wouldn't, but it was nice to hear. I used to tease back when "Pook" told me that he wasn't leaving, and that he and his wife would live with me. I would tell him not to threaten his mother, but he wasn't too far off. They are our neighbors! The Surprise still tells me he is moving back home after college to spend all day every day with me baking cookies. I don't think he realizes that I don't bake now and never really did. What makes him think I am going to start now?
My babies are getting married and having babies of their own. Five grandchildren and one on the way. Time flies. Sunday, Doc and I celebrated our 34th anniversary. There was a time when I would have been angry about not getting a gift or spoiled. This year, I was happy to soak up the blessings of the day, enjoy time with my husband and family. It has been a whirlwind of years. Lots of activity, certainly a tremendous amount of laughter and love, disappointments, tears, losses. It all blends together and makes me smile. It is life. Time certainly flies. Please treasure it!
Every once in a while I have a hard time thinking of something to write about. But then my family through its usual hilarity and fun, gives me just the right topic. I really do owe them a debt of gratitude for kindly tolerating my story telling about them.
A week ago, "Mommy" called to visit on the phone. Of course I didn't answer it, but "Mini Me" did and within minutes we were both in tears. It seems that "Mommy" and the girls had been at a Cross Country meet in some cold wet weather. "Mommy" coaches and the girls are often with her. Anyway, when they got home after several hours, they were all chilled and damp so "Mommy" decided that the three of them would get into a hot shower and clean up and warm up. Believe me, it is one of the most efficient ways to bathe small children. What could go wrong with that plan, right?
Not long into the shower, the smoke alarms in the house started going off. What to do?!!? Water is safe in a fire right? Leave the girls in the shower and check out what is on fire! Good Plan! "Mommy" quickly gets out of the shower and steps onto the tile floor. Did I say "steps"? Rather, she glided across the floor ungracefully and landed hard against the door frame! And she was naked.
She went down the steps and attempted to turn off that smoke detector with a nearby stick while on the steps. It did not turn off. And she was still naked.
She went back upstairs to one of the bedrooms. She dragged a vanity bench under the smoke alarm and tried to turn it off. No good! Thank God the blinds were down, because she was still naked. Next she ran into the next bedroom. Quickly surveying the room she noticed a large plastic bin in the room that would be perfect to stand on to reach that smoke alarm. So she got on top of it - Naked - and tried to turn off the alarm but it didn't shut off. Just before she started to get down, the lid to the plastic bin gave way and she crashed through the top. As it shattered it bruised her entire leg. While the blinds in that room were also closed, I think I may have been willing to pay to be a fly on the wall! Remember, she was still naked.
As she climbed out of the bin, she noticed that steam from the shower was all over the smoke alarm in the hallway outside the bathroom and then the revelation hit..... she had forgotten to turn the exhaust fan on in the bathroom, which she did immediately and lo and behold she was able to cancel the screams of the smoke alarm. Since she was still naked, she decided to get back in the shower. On her way there, she again skated across the bathroom tile, causing yet more damage to her naked body. The girls of course, were concerned about all the noise. As she explained some of what happened, her oldest admonished her for standing on the plastic box. Thanks!
By the time she called us, she was sitting on the couch with ice packs on various parts of her body which seems to defeat the purpose in the first place of warming up in the shower, but oh well. The moral to this story is of course, that there is always time to grab a towel. Be careful on Momsense Monday and every day!!!
About ten or eleven years ago, I had a period of time where I questioned my life and my value. I had gone to college for a nursing degree and worked as a nurse for about three years before giving birth to "Mommy". Doc and I decided that staying home with children was very important, and if we could swing it financially, I was going to become a stay at home mom. Back in the early 80's, women were really "in" to careers. What kind of an idiot at that time chose to give up their profession? I heard comments about wasting my education and was warned that I should plan to do a lot of PTA stuff and luncheons. And it was all said in a derogatory kind of way. But, we went ahead with our plan. In the process, we raised seven children, well six children and a teenager. And to this day, I am glad I was with them so much.
But....I have had my moments. The gang is ALL very intelligent, very talented if I do say so myself. At age 45+ I had been watching all of their accomplishments from the sidelines. Now I know I was an active participant in their lives, but like I said, I have had my moments..... Quite frankly, I was jealous and sick of watching all of their achievements, going to their banquets and award ceremonies, cutting out all of their newspaper articles, blah, blah, blah. I was tired of being the banner carrier.......and I wasn't.
Anyway, about ten or eleven years ago, I wanted to accomplish something great that was out of my comfort zone. I am not a runner. My husband was, my girls are, my boys can run 100 yards on a football field. I was always the kid who was doubled over after running half a block down the street. The only running I did was in my mind, when I would tell the kids that if they thought they could run from me after getting in trouble, they would find out just how fast and far I could go. Thank God they never called my bluff!
But, my girls taught me to run. At first it was mostly walking with maybe ten seconds of jogging. Eventually the jogging was longer than the walking. And so, genius that I am, I decided that my Great Accomplishment would be to run a marathon before I turned fifty. I trained for nine months, but it seemed like nine years. I ran my first marathon with "Mommmy" and we crossed the finish line together. I found out that the running part was easier than the mental part of the race. My goal was survival and finishing in five and a half hours because then I got a free pair of running shoes from the Marathon sponsors. (Some people will do anything for a free pair of shoes!)
Mission accomplished, right?! No. I am not that smart. A few years later, I signed up for another marathon. This time, it would be with "Mommy" and "Mini Me". "Mommy" and I trained. "Mini Me" was in college at the time and we would check in on her. She swore to me that she had been training. Race day arrived. It was 100+ degrees that day. In fact, the shut down the Chicago marathon when someone died from the heat. We ran. About half way through and in tears, "Mini Me" finally admitted that she had not trained at all. What?!!!! Being stubborn and loyal women, we decided that if we started together, we were finishing together. And we did. It took longer than six hours, but we made it.
Mission accomplished, right? No. I am no smarter. A group of us signed up to fly to Georgia and Fort Benning to run the Soldier's Marathon in honor of "Mommy's" sister in law. It was cold, it was hot, it was hilly. I believe I said a lot of bad words and I know that at about mile 21 there were a few tears. But somehow when you hit mile 25, you get a burst of energy and run to the finish. Let's not get excited about the word run, for me it is a slightly faster jog. But there was more energy!
Mission accomplished, right? Sort of. I decided that while I was done with marathons, I could do maybe a half marathon and start scaling back. So, a couple of years ago, I signed up for a half marathon with the Blonde. Why not? I hadn't run with her yet. Apparently I had gotten older, and apparently was under trained. I wasn't sure that I could finish and there was a lot of whining involved, but thanks to the Blonde we crossed the finish line together. I made everyone promise to shoot me or punch me in the face or something if I ever decided to do any of this again.
Mission accomplished, right? Yea, not so much. A few months ago, my nephew asked me to run a marathon with him and before I could stop myself from speaking, the word yes popped right out of my mouth. So, I trained all summer (the hottest summer I can remember in decades, by the way). Sometimes, I trained alone and sometimes with "Mini Me". I cannot train with the Blonde, because I can't even ride my bike fast enough to keep up with her when she runs. It would be my first race without "Mommy". But anyway, yesterday was the marathon. We finished in about six hours and I had the best time of my life! We talked non-stop for six hours. The very best part of each and every race, but especially this last one (Is it the last one?) was seeing the family at the finish line cheering us on.
I learned a lot in the ten years or so of my marathon career. Life is a marathon. We all get our moments, big and small. Sometimes they are recognizable and sometimes they are as simple as a small hand placed in yours. Sometimes it takes you years to recognize your moments. The blessing and richness of it all is in the people that you love and who love you!. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to my nephew for getting me to do this again, and to my "people" for loving me and supporting me in return. Happy Momsense Monday! Go live your marathon!
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Your kids might look up to Superman or Spiderman as their hero. There may be a teacher in their life who impacts them in positive ways. Maybe it will simply be a family friend. Maybe it will be someone that they have met who is dealing with a disability. It doesn't really matter who it is, what matters is what your child learns from them.
For me it is simple. My children are my heroes. I have walked with them as they have been hurt and struggled with relationships and friendships that are cruel. I have watched them handle the situations that arise from these relationships and smiled with pride as they grew stronger and kinder because of the things done to them. I have reprimanded them when they have behaved poorly as a friend or sibling and smiled as they corrected themselves and found the strength to say "I'm sorry."
They are my heroes as they have juggled school and athletics. They have managed to learn that school is most important, and athletics is secondary. They have won many honors and awards academically and athletically and have accepted them with great humility and gratitude. They have always given credit to the people and coaches who helped them achieve their goals.
They are my heroes in Christ. They have grown up in the church and even as teenagers and adults, have understood that the Christ and the Church are where they need to center their lives. That is uncommon in this world of selfishness, egos and "ME". I am amazed at the strength that they draw on every single day because of their faith.
I have walked with them through injuries, some more serious than others. I have seen their injuries impact and sometimes change their lives and interfere with their dreams. They are my heroes as they pick themselves up and move forward with their lives in different or completely new directions.
My children are my heroes. I have learned more from them, than they could possibly learn from me. They put on their "superman capes" and face a world that throws challenges at them in every imaginable way and they never lose sight of who and what they are. They never forget that they are part of a bigger picture and they lean on each other for strength when they find themselves facing their Kryptonite. Only true heroes can admit their weaknesses and draw on their faith and strength to face that kind of adversity.
My children are my heroes. Each one is unique and has their own superpower. I thank God every day for blessing me with them and for all that they have taught me and given to me. Count your blessings. On this Momsense Monday, my blessings start with the number seven, one number for each child.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!