Sunday, April 20, 2014

And I considered tossing these handsome fellas in their new Easter shirts right out the door. Without an XBOX to their name.

Husband and I are really like old people in middle aged bodies.  A  lot of cafeteria eating, a lot of TV watching, a lot of wishing for a nap.  

Not long ago we were out on a lunch date at the neighborhood cafeteria and I overheard this little man yelling into his phone to someone - guessing the wife.... They have beef stew, but I know you're not supposed to have beef stew.  And I totally had a vision of our future where one of us yells at the other about hip pain, forbidden foods and the like. 

But I sat there and ate my squash casserole and green beans to the soothing sounds of Wind Beneath My Wings played on the piano.  Followed by a medley of show tunes.  And my squash was delicious and the vinyl booth absolutely comforting.  

And it occurred to me that I've always been sort of an old soul.  An early to bed kind of gal even in high school and college.   And how that old soul spirit has crossed over to old style parenting.  

I'm not my kids' friend, but rather their mom.  I'm not a short order cook to please their fast food palates - but a set the table and serve a real meal kind of gal.  Not a let the boys do whatever the heck they want when they want - even when it would just make my life a whole lot easier.  And for almost 14 years, minus a melt down or two... I've stood pretty firm on all that and more. 

Till today.  Easter Sunday 2014.  When no one wanted to get out of bed to make it to church on time.  When no one could manage to sit up in the pew instead of treat it like a hammock.  And no one could smile or say nice things or just be, in general, a decent human being.  So I got mad on this super holy of days.  Because I had high expectations for us.  Maybe too high for them at this age. (Remembering the sharp fingernails my mom used to put into my own misbehaving arm in church as a kid)  ..... And I cried a bit of my mascara off after church - note the lack of eyelashes in the family pic by the cross.  I looked SO much better before.  And I think it made me puffy.  

And at that moment  I declared my independence and said To each his own and starting next Sunday y'all can just sit at home and watch your little souls descend straight to hell. Because I and I alone will continue to go to church and worship my savior, dammit.   Or something like that.

And so it took a level headed husband to calm the nerves and the spirit and keep me from tossing these handsome fellas in their new Easter shirts right out the door.  Without an XBOX to their name.  And he gave me an eye to eye kind of look, followed by a reminder talk that went something like this.... 

We're not done yet.  These boys are a work in progress and there's gonna be both good and bad along that road.  We've never let them decide or tell us what they will do.  And we can't start now. 

And he thanked me for all the moments that I have created tradition for our family.  And for all the so many times unseen and un-thanked jobs and touches around the home.  And for the time and attention given to the raising of these boys.  And a reminder that though the kids may not come right out and thank me for all the blood, sweat and tears..... that their thanks come in those small moments of surprise hugs and kisses.  Of laughter and play.  Of comfort in a home that they know they are always wanted and welcomed.  Of good reports from teachers and friends and those who observe them out of our sight.  Of years of good choices in the things that really matter - each a building block for those larger life altering decisions and choices that will certainly come as they get older.  

So I wiped the tears, packed up the picnic and we went for a day of together time on this kinda rainy Easter Sunday.  And we had fun.... and it turns out that kids of any age will hunt for eggs as long as they get cold hard cash out of the deal.  

And smash confetti eggs - or really anything for that matter - on a brother. 

And really all I want is a little sign on occasion that I'm doing a job that makes a difference.  That the job that I've done up till now has already made a difference.  And maybe, really,  the results are already in.  And I need to do better at looking with open eyes.  Eyes willing to see the small every day blessings that keep me going on to the next day.  

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  1. I realize I've been sitting here for almost an hour now, going through and reading many of your wonderful posts! I so enjoy your stories and so many remind me of our boys and daily trials, too. Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful thoughts and memories in such a beautiful & inspiring way! - Alesia

  2. such kind words.... and an hour of reading a blog is equal to a million years of time that could have been spent doing something else. My thanks to you for joining me here and for confirming that raising kids is a day to day adventure. I knew I wasn't the only one.


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