Bubble Gum

You’re never too old for bubble gum, I figure. Nor are you ever to old to talk like Yoda. Talking like him, I am…

Thunder rolls outside
The dog that annoyed me, even this morning
Curls at my feet, trembling
Seeking shelter with his people
It warms my heart, feeling him soft against my foot
I’d run around barefoot all day if I could
I love the feel of the world on my feet
Bubble gum snapping in my mouth
Can you teach me how Mom?
How old were you when you learned?
Did it take you a long time?
Questions and a few tears of frustration
Her brother and I try to demonstrate
Pull gum out of our mouths and put it back (eeewww!)
But I am 10 again, rolling along in the big yellow bus
I don’t know (or care) much about germs
I just want to win the Biggest Bubble game
It sticks to my chin and even my nose
I dab at it with the rest of the wad
Pop it all in my mouth again for another try
Helpful cousins and siblings jab at the bubble
With a finger (do you know where that’s been?)
Sprawled there with them, I am back there
Patiently, I demo again and again
Showing off my expertise here and there in the lesson
She gets a mirror, and it becomes easier
We’re sprawled on the couch, chewing
The dishes are piled by the sink, dirty & clean
Laundry sits wrinkled and unfolded
The computer’s hum beckons me to my to do list
Email dings on my iPhone, taunting me
There! Twin tiny bubbles! Finally, success!
We three beam with joy at our shared talent
And another everyday AWESOME fills my heart
You know what? I am worthy. I am good. I AM.

Little Hands

I just read a beautiful post about a beautiful boy: The Sauce from a blogger I hadn’t read before (but will be again! SO good! 🙂 ) It made me think of my youngest and his hands and how quickly he is growing up too.  He is going to hate me for sharing this photo, but maybe he won’t read this until he is older…

So tired that he fell asleep playing...

He is older now and doesn’t let me hug him or kiss him much; and definitely NOT in public. I was thrilled in Disney World when both of my children held my hand pretty much wherever we went. In particular, Lucas seemed to cling to my side a little – maybe a little overwhelmed by the crowds and my worrier-child was likely worried he would get lost. He doesn’t talk about it, no matter how much I urge him too. He’s a quiet one, my youngest…

I have always been fascinated with those hands. So very soft and always warm. I remember saying, “Can I just keep your hand in mine, forever?” and he would say, “Moooomm….”, drawn out in that exasperated voice that 10 year olds have when dealing with their hovering mothers.

When did he become 10? Big enough to be allowed on all those rides in Disney World and Universal. When did he become sure enough of himself to venture off into those waves at Typhoon Lagoon – alone. Begging me for goggles so that he could watch the wave underwater! Where did that little guy go that clung so tightly to my neck every time we went swimming. The one that I would assure over and over, “I’ve got you, I’ve got you”. And he would hug my neck tighter still, just in case I didn’t.

The third child, and my last. That hurts to think about even 10 years later. There are things I won’t miss; like no more potty-training (though he was the easiest by far) and unending childhood vomiting and colds that so many of my friends are going through with their younger ones. But so many things that I do miss; like holding those little hands and that baby smell. The funny little things they would say because they don’t quite have all the letters right in their words yet.

My youngest is a worrier, and I try to reassure him and tell him that he doesn’t have to worry so much. On our recent trip, he was worried about going on a plane (it didn’t help that he loves to watch Mayday on Discovery Channel! Kid! Couldn’t you watch something else!?) He was worried about me constantly in the Disney parks: if I stumbled or bumped into someone (farm girl trying to go through crowds = clumsy!), he’d say, “Are you OK Mom?” If he’d wandered a few steps away from us, he’d be looking around making sure we were there: afraid we’d ditch him no doubt (that’s a story for another day…)

It was such an unexpected gift to be able to hold those 10 year old hands so much. I soaked in their softness. The smooth hands of a young boy who plays for hours with Lego. He trims his own nails often now (and is more diligent than I ever was; third child, remember?). He still admires the wrinkles he gets when he’s been in the pool for a really long time (which he did as often as we’d let him). He examines each crevice and bump with the precision of a surgeon; fascinated by his own hands.

And when he is upset (not very often) he lifts those hands to pull his hat down low over his eyes, leaving them there to cover his face as much as possible so that no one can see him cry. Quietly becoming a turtle until the moment of anguish passes. He won’t let anyone in during those times. But afterward, he always comes to one of us, usually me, for a hug and sometimes to apologize if he’s been angry. Those hands will reach around then and let me in and I am grateful.

For now, I will cherish the precious moments where I can hold those little hands in mine, even when they are not so little anymore.

Let Them Love You

Wow! I just started reading Allison Nazarian’s “Love Your Mess” and I’m already inspired!! LOL!

I read a bit, then jumped in the shower and her words, “let the ones that love you, LOVE you!” struck me! How I’ve struggled with this! Unbelievable and soooo easy to do, yet hard at the same time!!

My husband:

Over the years, I’ve been so afraid that he wouldn’t love me for the way I am! I’ve tried to be perfect, I’ve tried to “force it”, yet the more I tried the further he pulled away. Finally, I realized that he was going to love me or not love me. I realized that I have ZERO control over what he feels about me! He would love me or not in his own way and his own time.

I just let go. I relaxed. I loved him with all my heart, regardless of what I thought might happen. I just loved. And suddenly, I realized just how much he loves me! How he wants to be with me – even though he knows me in the good and the bad – he just loves me! It has been a miraculous change in our relationship. I just am and he loves me still.

There are times when we take each other for granted and “forget” to spend quality time together. But, instead of harboring the resentment and anxiousness, we TALK. We let each other know how we feel, even when it might hurt the other. It is more important to communicate our feelings. And often, the hurt is simply a misunderstanding and we say we’re sorry and try again.

My children:

They are each such different little personalities. They are different people. I have learned to stop comparing them to each other and to other people’s kids. I don’t want other people’s kids. I want mine. And no matter how tightly I hold onto them, they must fly away. My biggest lesson to them is to love with all their hearts. Take a chance on love. Their hearts will break, but they MUST know that I will always love them, no matter what they say or do.

I have learned that they will not necessarily love me every day – some days, they may even hate me. But, my job is to be the constant in their lives. The one they can turn to when their hearts are breaking. They WILL (and have) break my heart. I must not give up on them. They will love me again, when they are ready. And they always do. I just have to let them.

My mom and dad:

This has been another tough lesson to learn. To Let them LOVE ME. To let them love me the way THEY love me; not the way I think they should love me. Theirs was a different life, a different path. They have had different experiences. We may not always agree on things. I may feel that they don’t understand; but nothing that they do or say is meant to hurt me – it is only done/said because they love me. In their way. Not mine – theirs. I just need to let it be.

They have been there for me, always. I forget that, a lot, it seems. I get too caught up in my own life and ideas that I forget to listen to theirs. They have always let me have my ideas. They have been there when I’ve fallen (which is often) and sometimes with an “I told you so”. But, they don’t mean any harm with that. They just want me to know that they care. I need to stop worrying about what they say/do and just take it for what it is: LOVE. Nothing more, nothing less.

My friends:

The friends I have now are special – they are REAL. No longer do I waste time trying to be “liked” by them. I don’t try to have what they have. I don’t try to be anyone else. I am me. The friends that I have now love me for ME. I have to let them love me in the ways that they do. Some, are around me all the time and I love that. Some, I don’t see so often, but when I do, we just pick up where we left off. I let them come to me in their own time, not on any sort of “schedule” or even when I think they should.

I don’t try to “fix them”. I am learning to just listen. They aren’t coming to me for a lecture or even a solution. They are just coming to me for a shoulder to lean on, a coffee talk, a fun outlet, a break. They just want to be with me. It is not my job to change them or to change their lives. I can give advice, but only when asked. I can listen and love them for who they are. And they will love me in their own ways. Some, will move on, and that’s ok. They maybe don’t need me anymore; I’m ok with that.

Why does it take us so long to figure out that we cannot control how others feel about us? Maybe it’s just me? 🙂

Have you found it hard to just let them love you? What do you do when you start worrying about not being loved? Have you changed? What steps did you take? Share your thoughts in the comments.

I Rocked Monday!

WOW! I had a really productive Monday!!

I ain’t braggin’ (LOL!) I just wanted to show you how the little things add up – the key is to just try something!

My Little Things:

  1. Brisk walk in the winter morning air
  2. Had a 35 minute stationary bike interval “spin” workout back at the gym – first time since Vegas!
  3. Got a ride home with Rach (Thanks Girl) and got to visit for a few minutes! That’s always a treat!
  4. Had freezer meal ready for supper – awesome!!
  5. Had text conversation with BFF
  6. Posted some good stuff on FB
  7. Cleared a path to my closet again (long, long, story – don’t ask!)
  8. Had supper at the KITCHEN table with all three of my kids – giggled and laughed (though they took apart their casserole…veggie “issues”..sigh….)
  9. Shawn fed the dogs & took out garbages and cleaned dishes out of his room (oh! there’s those glasses!)
  10. Rebecca did homework – I looked up French words for her on my iPhone with voice search – cool!!
  11. Cleaned the cupboard under the sink – including washing the garbage cans (big deal for me!)
  12. Lucas dried some dishes willingly!
  13. Cleaned the kids’ bathroom – including the tub that hubby got some sort of black marks from washing beer equipment – got them off! sigh……
  14. Discovered Google picture search and played with that with Shawn! LOL! very cool
  15. Chatted with my mom on the phone which resulted in a call to a cousin who needed computer help! Two phone calls in one night – I never “talk” on the phone!
  16. Got kids tucked in happily without a fuss
  17. Got two loads of laundry done and put away – including her “skinny jeans” that she needs for the “SnowFlake Dance on Thursday – oh dear……….11 going on 16…
  18. Did Core Blast workout from Phase 1 of Fit Marriage just for fun! (and lets face it, I’ve been lacking in the exercise department since Vegas!)
  19. Typed up this post! 🙂

It may not be anything miraculous or earth-shattering, but…it totally made my day to look back and count those little things that I DID today. Little moments with my kids and friends and family that I may just have missed if I didn’t pause to reflect on the day. Little chores that I did with a smile because I felt like doing them and enjoyed seeing things shining instead of resenting the mountain of housework that isn’t done.

So…my challenge to you my friends:

Tonight, make a list of ways that your day “ROCKED” – there’s gotta be some things – it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you “think” it is – did it make you smile? did it mean 1 thing off the list? did it make you think? did it make you thankful? Start a gratitude journal of those little things every day and see how much happier you slowly become.

A song for you…So Small – Carrie Underwood – one of my fav’s:

Growing Up

As usual, the Universe is working (you must get tired of me saying that!) After a long day yesterday and a grumpy post, I read the FB stream this morning and saw a note about joining a 30 Days of Creativity Challenge! Exactly what I needed! A boost to my creativity that always brings me happiness! What a great way to get going again!

So, here is my first day, September 1, a poem about my two youngest:

Growing Up

Tomorrow, another year of school
I steal a glance at the two
Heads bent together, concentrating
So close, they are, sometimes

I have a picture of those same faces
Side by side, deep in thought
Long before these school days
What became of those chubby cheeks?

Gnawing away on those “suckies”
One playing with his hair, so sleepy
His sister right by his side, best friends
Fresh from a bath, winding down the day

Now though, 4 long legs stretch out
Fresh and clean for the new school year
She brushes and combs her hair herself these days
And he doesn’t need me to turn on the shower

I blinked, you see, my eyes were shut tight
And suddenly, they grew, it seems, overnight
From soft, cherub cheeks to pre-teen angst
Wait my angels! Don’t leave me behind!

Smiles, a wave, and if I’m lucky, even a hug
And off they will go, somewhere that I can’t follow
But, despite my tears, my heart will swell with pride
I will remember, I will pray; that they are growing up.