Hard to believe, but 35 years ago today, our family began! I have to be honest with you, there were times that I wasn't sure we would ever get this far! But, here we are! Great day yesterday with a little more than half of the family home for dinner. As always, lots of laughs. "Dinner and a show" as The Ninja would say.
It is amazing to me the path that our life has taken and the paths that all of our children are on! "Mommy" is successful as a teacher, and a wonderful mother and wife. We laugh at all the things her kids get into and what reminds us of her. "Calvin" was able to join us with his new wife. We loved looking at wedding pictures and laughing at the craziness of the day! One particular picture shows the chaos that is us. The photographer managed to snap a picture of us getting organized to have our picture taken! Yikes! "Superson" missed the afternoon because they were all sick, but I always love remembering the events that brought him into our lives and have now also blessed us with his wife and son. "Mini Me" and I have grown close over the years after some challenging times. I watch her now as a mother and chuckle at the "payback". The "Blonde" is engaged and buying a house! "Pook" is always "Pook", that's all I can say about that! And we all miss "The Surprise" as he finishes his last year of college.
Most of the gang is planning to move or build in the not too distant future. I remember doing the same and how exciting it is. It is fun to see their personalities unfold in the homes that they live in or are planning for! Discussion went to painting and papering mistakes and renovation issues. I couldn't help but remember the house we moved into when there were only three. I had put new carpet in the master bedroom and was getting ready to paint and paper. Trying to do either of those jobs while wrangling even one child is a challenge. I have a personality that is tenacious at times. Once I start a project I have to finish it. Working on it a little at a time is VERY difficult for me. I have known to se tay up almost all night working on something, stitchery, painting, decorating for the holidays...Sometimes you can work around naps, but that is tough for me. Anyway, I decided to paint and paper the bedroom in spite of the kids.
I am sure you can guess who was the most challenging! "Mommy" of course, thought she was in charge and knew how to do everything. It took a while, but I finally convinced her that she would be most helpful babysitting her brother. What was I thinking?! that put a five year old in charge of a three year old! I was in the room, but still..... there were tons of interruptions as I had to get off the ladder or just stop what I was doing to help her! No, I take that back, I was actually helping "Calvin" who was under her complete control and clearly frustrated. Of course, in the middle of the confusion/chaos which is always us, "Mini Me" woke up from her nap and I left the other two in the room while I went to get her. I don't know where my head was! I swear, I was gone for less than two minutes. As I walked back into the room, "Mommy" was off by herself and "Calvin" had toddled over to the can of primer for the wallpaper. My world went into slow motion as I saw him sitting in front of the gallon can, and then lifting it up and pouring it all over himself and my new carpet!! My mouth opened to scream...and I did. There was no way, at that moment that even God could help me find love and laughter in this one. 30 years later, maybe, but not at that moment. Let me tell you, that stuff comes off a kid better than it comes off the carpet. I ended up with a permanent stain on my carpet and a scarred ego. Oh well, looking back.....no, it was still tragic!
Seriously, looking back over the last 35 years, I would not change a minute. The tough times have made us stronger, and the fun times have kept us young. 35 years ago, I married the love of my life and the journey has been, well a fantastic journey. God has blessed us with more than I ever thought life could offer. May you have a blessed life and fantastic memories too!
Most of the family was together last weekend. As usual, there was chaos throughout the house. The Jo-nado was chewing something, gum I think. It took me back to when the Surprise was four or five. I had gotten a new vehicle (or a small bus, depending on how you want to think of the size of the vehicles I had to drive for all of us to fit). I had lectured the kids several times on not eating in the new car. As we were picking up the gang from school, I smelled Doritos. It is an unmistakable smell. Then I heard a crunch! I immediately looked in the rearview mirror (which, by the way is a valued safety device for any mother or bus driver), and saw the Surprise make a chewing motion. In a very angry voice, I asked "Are you eating Doritos in my car?" Utilizing those eyes in the back of my head, I watched his face go white with fear, chewing stopped instantly and he shook his head no while uttering "Uh-uh". I was sure of what I had seen and smelled and heard, or was I? Then it happened again! And again I caught him in the rearview mirror. The bag was confiscated or surrendered, depending on your vantage point. Discipline and the fear of God (or mom)Jo-nado reminded me of that when she was asked if she was still chewing gum after we had already removed some from her clothing, and of course the answer was no. You just learn to roll with it.
Every once in a while I can get Pook to run a few errands with me and help out when I have all the kids. It is amazing that I can get him to come along as he seems to be terrified of these little critters who are three feet tall. This is a guy who went head to head with some pretty big football players. But anyway, he can still be bribed with food and that is a good thing for me.
So, we were out running these errands. Those of you working with car seats know how important they are, but you also know it is a giant PAIN to get kids in and out every time you make a stop. It is much easier to have someone else in the car who can sit in the car while you run into a store or the post office or bank. It also cuts your errand time by more than half!
To make a long story shorter (as my stories are never short), I offered to let Pook run in while I sat in the car, but he was content to play on his phone while I ran in and out of buildings. After errand number two, I could tell by the look on Pook's face that something had happened. You know, that shake of the head and a disgusted expression. It also begs the question, "What happened?" (You want to know, but you don't) Apparently, Stitch was doing something to annoy Pook and that really doesn't take much. Pook told him if he didn't stop immediately (whatever it was) he would be in big trouble. Didn't work. The behavior continued. So again, Pook said if you don't stop now, I will spank your behind. Very calmly Stitch looked at his uncle and said - "No you won't, Nana will."
Can't argue with that! I still got it, whatever "it" is. Seriously, don't be afraid to set limits and keep your children within them. In my experience, children who are given parameters for good behavior become better adults and citizens and employees and parents and friends....... Have a beautiful and blessed fall week. The colors are changing and God is showing us his glory.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!