A Book Shelf of Memories

I was going through my books yesterday, getting a lot together to donate.  My bookshelf has been overflowing for a long time! Being an avid reader is wonderful, but I really don’t need to keep every book that I read.

While going through books I came across the series that I had read to my youngest when he was little. “The Seekers”, it was about a family of bears, no Goldilocks! I paused in reflection of the precious nighttime hours that we spent cuddled on the bed together. Then I found a story that my oldest had written about pets when she was little. I came across old pictures of my children when they were little,  that had been tucked into books. I had to pause in what I was doing as I sat and remembered the yesterdays!

While continuing to go through my books today, I was still reflecting on memories of the past.  I thought of this song by ABBA, an amazing group. My daughter and I have listened to this song many times. The words touch my heart as I watch my children becoming adults right before my eyes! Cherish the moments, for they do slip through your fingers! Cherish the moments today, to place into your treasure chest of the memories of yesterdays!

 

 

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while

[Pre-Chorus]
The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl

[Chorus]
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind?
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

[Verse 2]
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she’s gone, there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny

[Pre-Chorus]
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go?
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did, but most we didn’t
And why, I just don’t know

[Chorus]
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what’s in her mind?
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time

[Bridge]
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers

[Interlude]

[Outro]
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile

Forever and Always!

My “baby” is a Senior, graduation day would have been this coming Friday, but ….  like graduations across the US, COVID-19 has prevented them from happening. COVID can’t keep this Mom from being sentimental though. So if you need a break from the pandemic craziness and want to take a walk on the sentimental side, enjoy this short video clip of a book that I read to my children countless times.

The memory of this book  came to me as I was thinking  of him graduating and remembering when I took him for Kindergarten registration. I felt so proud as he sat politely and answered the questions and showed what numbers and colors he knew. Then we got up and said goodbye and started walking out of the room when he turned around and looked at the 2 teachers at the registration table and said, “Just so you know… I am NOT going to kindergarten, I am staying home. Turned around and started walking away as I now was left with a touch of redness in my face. Oh how the years have have flown, he did go to kindergarten and has excelled in school and I couldn’t be more proud!

 

 

Words you Remember

I was folding wash today and saw one of my daughter’s shirts that made me laugh. It said on it, “Stay Positive. Just Chill!”  I laughed because earlier today I had repeated that last line to her, “Just Chill!”

I am not sure what all things my children will remember me telling them, but I know one thing I often tell them, and sometimes, even my husband, is to “just Chill!” or “take a Chill pill!” Perhaps I should ask them what other things I often say, could be enlightening. 🙂

I remember my Mom often saying, “Do the job right the first time and you won’t have to repeat it!”  Such as when we were teens and tried to do the household chores very quickly, which was when the “Haste makes waste’ quote came up as well.

My Dad often said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and don’t count your chickens before they hatch!”

What sayings do you remember hearing a lot while growing up or what ones have you often repeated to your children! Feel free to share in the comments below!

The Hands of the Clock

6018c14a06f3f3dee69b021940b314f4by Dmitri Annenkov

 

She walked into the room, pausing at the door, looking at the treasures on the shelf.  The worn teddy bear that her child had carried almost everywhere and cuddled with every night. Remembering how no one got any sleep, if that teddy couldn’t be found. The late night trip back to the supermarket to rescue it when it had accidentally been left behind.  The airplane that flew all over the world when her child was at play. Oh, the many adventures that they had.

There was the toy drum for when her child wanted to strike up the band and lead a parade. Through the house they would march, down the hall and back again. Singing a song, or two or three, and it didn’t matter if it was off key, it was sung loudly with glee! 

Wiping her eyes she let the memories roll down her cheeks. Then she spotted the books on the shelf and they brought a smile. Smiled at the memory of the many nights cuddled under a blanket and reading to her child, until her voice would crack. Remembering the thrill she had watching her child fall in love with books,  becoming so engrossed in them, losing all track of time.

She picked up the books and it was like she could hear her child’s voice. So clear it was, it seemed like it had just been yesterday when she heard the words, ” Mommy, please read me one more chapter. I don’t want to go to bed yet. Turn back the clock.”

“Mommy please, I’m still playing with my plane, just one more hour, turn back the clock.”

She spied the apple on the shelf and once again smiled through her tears as her child’s voice rang once more through her ears,  “Mommy, I’m hungry, I need just one more bedtime snack!”

Oh, the memories of yesterday, where did the time go! When did her children grow?

She wants Peter Pan to come and fly them all to Never-Never land. She wants to turn back the clock!

But as much as she wants to turn back the clock, she is excited too. Excited to see what the future holds. A new chapter is being written, and her heart smiles as she hears the ticking of the clock.

The ticking of more memories to be made and more moments to cherish, strike up the band, there still was a lot of marching left to do!

** As the days continue to draw closer to a “empty nest”  I was trying to think of a song that might fit this post. None came to mind, still a little too sleepy. 🙂  If one comes to yours, feel free to share. 🙂 **

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections

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My husband and I took a relaxing, lovely drive today after dropping our teens off at work.  We are entering the beginnings of a new season of life, within 2 years we could be empty nesters and it feels strange!  We reflected on the past and wondered as so many parents do, where did the time go? Our children are letting go, becoming more independent.

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It used to be that we needed to get a sitter for we just needed a night out from our dear little children that cried “Mommy” 200 plus times a day and begged Daddy to give them just one more piggy back ride or throw them in the air again!  Now its “Oh,  the kids have plans again,  this house is too quiet!”  The road of life just keeps twisting.

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We enjoyed chatting as we drove, taking in the scenery and planning what we wanted to do for the next half of our life. We will always be parents, but it really does take on a new meaning the more independent your children get. We passed a lake where to our joy a group of ducks and swans were out swimming.

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Life may be changing, but there is still so much beauty to be found in it!

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No matter what, you just keep swimming, embracing the beauty, appreciating and loving the wonderful memories of the past and ready to keep making more in the future.

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“Hush Little Baby….”

Laura Bailey from https://alltheshoesiwear.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/manic-mondays-3-way-prompt-5/  gave another writing challenge for the week. The word is “Hush”.  I saw the word and immediately something came to my mind. I dismissed it though for I wanted to write about something more pleasant. That resulted in no post yesterday. I realized this morning that there are times when you need to just go with the first thought that comes to your mind and not fight it.Thank you Laura for the challenge, even if this one may have been a little harder to write.

The following piece is fiction, but unfortunately for too many children this post hits too close to home! Please let the special children/teens in your life know that they can confide in you, and that you will believe them, even when what they have to say may be the hardest thing you ever had to hear!  You never know, you may be the one that some child really needs right now.

“Hush, Little Baby…”

 

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

Holly cradled her dolly in her arms as she softly sang.

“Sally Jane I love you so much, please don’t cry, maybe this time it will be okay.”

Holly sniffed and rubbed her little fist below her eye to wipe away her tears.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

“I’m sorry Sally, I don’t remember all the words, but hush now okay, we can’t let my Mommy hear.”

Holly choked back her sobs, “We don’t want to make Mommy cry, remember what Uncle Joe said, he said we would make Mommy sad. I love Mommy, I don’t want her to be sad.”

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word, Mama’s going to buy you a mockingbird.”

Again Holly wiped at the tears running down her face, ” I like games Sally, but not the kind of games that Uncle Joe plays, they make me feel strange. Maybe I’m just too young to understand his kind of fun.”

Holly silently rocked Sally Jane back and forth.

“I am scared Sally, are you ever scared? Uncle Joe’s eyes gleamed as he said that the games would get better. Last night I almost asked Mommy if she ever played Uncle Joe’s kind of games, but then I remembered another thing he had said. He told me to “Hush” said that its our little secret. So Sally now you are in on the secret too.”

Holly heard her Mommy’s voice calling from downstairs.

“Holly, are you ready to go?  Uncle john is here.”

Holly gave Sally Jane one more squeeze and then laid her on her bed. She put her finger to her lips and said, “Remember Sally, Hush!”

She wiped away her last tear as she walked out her bedroom door with her tummy feeling funny.

Her Mom gave her a big hug when she came down the stairs. “I hope you have a really fun day today with Uncle Joe. “

Holly hugged her tightly back, not wanting to let go.

“I love you sweetie, but you need to go now, Uncle Joe is waiting.”

Holly’s heart pounded and her hands got sweaty, she wanted so badly to tell her Mommy, but yet she really didn’t know what to say. She didn’t understand, why did she feel so strange?  Maybe it was just that something was wrong with her. Maybe Mommy would be mad at her if she said something.

She sighed while breathing in her Mommy’s sweet perfume, she always smelled so pretty.  Holly gave her one more tight squeeze and then she let go.

Smiling she looked up at her Mommy.

“I love you Mommy, your the best Mommy in the whole world!”  and with that Holly walked out the front  door.

Her  Mom waved goodbye as the car pulled out of the driveway. She then went into Holly’s room to put her clean clothes away. She spotted Sally Jane lying on her bed. She picked her up knowing how much Holly loved her dolly.

“Why Sally, your face is all wet! If I didn’t know better, I would say you were cry…” Holly’s Mom remembered Sally’s tight hug and the way she buried her face in her dress, not letting go. She looked at Sally again and Sally’s big emerald green eyes looked back at her. The sun streamed in the bedroom window, shining on the eyes and making them glisten. As Holly’s Mom looked at them it was almost like the eyes were looking back at her trying to say something.

What was she thinking, this was Sally Jane, just a doll!

She became lost in her thoughts, Holly had been acting kind of strange lately. Carrying Sally over to the rocking chair she sat down and started to sing Holly’s favorite lullaby.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word….”

 

 

The Sweetest Gift

What is a successful parent?  Is it being able to cook a gourmet dinner?  Having the ability to build an amazing tree house for your child?  Perhaps its about keeping the house spotless and organized.  Having a green thumb, making your landscaping look like it came out of a  Home and Garden magazine.

Is it about having a large bank account, so that your children always have plenty?  Maybe its about always taking your children to fun, exciting new places to visit.  Having your brain be like an encyclopedia so that you can always have the right answers to their questions.

Is it about always being able to fix their boo-boo’s?  To heal their heartaches with your magic touch.  Waving your magic wand like Cinderella’s fairy godmother and instantly having your child’s dreams come true?

Thankfully all those things are not what makes a successful parent, at least not in my mind.  If they were, I would be failing big time!

You don’t have to cook a gourmet dinner in order to enjoy wonderful conversation around the table. No tree house is required for backyard fun.  Playing “monster” where Daddy chases you,  playing tag,  hide and seek, laying on the grass and making animals out of the clouds requires no skilled construction.

Its not the beauty of your house inside and out that is the most important. Its the beauty of the warmth that people feel when entering your home.

It’s not about traveling the world with your children.  A walk in the woods , a visit to the lake nearby can create precious memories. Traveling the world with them by introducing them to books can be one of the best gifts that you can give.  With a love of reading they have a passport to going anywhere anytime.  Seeing your child lost in a book instead of on a computer is a wonderful feeling.

Enjoying conversations about the book with your child provides another opportunity for great interaction.  Conversations about topics that interest your child shows them that you care about their thoughts, that you care about them.

There is no magic formula to being the perfect parent.  It is impossible, and that’s not what it is all about!

There are times when there are no band-aids large enough for the hurts that our children experience.  There is no cream to put on to take away the stinging pain. At least no cream that comes in a tube.

Love is what your child needs.  Love can’t take away the heartache but it can help soothe the pain. The loving embrace, where all that is needed sometimes are tight hugs and no words. Or just the simple phrase, “I’m so sorry!”

The times when your child doesn’t need to hear words of advice, but just needs your gentle touch.  The touch that lets them know you would move mountains for them if that would take away their pain.  Your love can be a healing balm.

It may not be able to fix things but it can give them the strength to go on.  Give them the strength to climb the mountains that they have to climb.  For they have the knowledge that you are behind them cheering them on.

I really can’t think of a greater gift that my husband and I can give our children than for them to know that they are loved.

I can’t think of any sweeter gifts from my kids, than the words of love that they have spoken over the years.  From the first “wuv wu”  with sticky kisses to the “I love you Mommy!”  as they  would come in carrying dandelions that they picked for me.  To hearing from my  teen, ”  I love you Mom, thanks so much for loving me!”

 

 

The Final Time

via Daily Prompt: Final

This is the week for finals at school. The final stage of my oldest being in school is soon upon us. Next Fall will begin her last time of walking the halls of her school.She will be a Senior, where did the time go?

There are so many “lasts” in Parenting. Parenting never ends, no matter how old your children get, but there are the “lasts”.

The last time that you swing your child up into your arms, their last piggyback ride on your back. Then again, my 15 year old just tried to ride piggyback on my back recently. Suffice to say that it did not last long.

The last time you buckle your child into their car seat and the last time you hold their hand to cross the street. The last time that you are hunting frantically for  your child’s  pacifier or their favorite blankie.  The last time they crawl in your lap for a snuggle.

Some stages you think your children will never grow out of, but when you look back you realize how fast it went. When my daughter crosses the  stage to get her diploma I know there will be tears in my eyes! I will be so proud of her, for school wasn’t easy, but she stuck it out!

With that said, I really am starting to feel that all the parents of Senior’s should be handed a diploma as well on graduation day!

I want a diploma, for the long nights of staying up helping with homework. For the last minute run to the store to get things for that big  project. The project that your child knew about for a month, but told you about it the night before it was due! For running to the school with your child’s gym bag that they forgot. All those Parent and Teacher conferences you went to. The class parties you helped with. How could you not help when you saw how happy your  little child was that you were in their class. For the time when your child suddenly decided that  they couldn’t give you a kiss in front of their classmates! The mornings you dealt with tired, grumpy kids that were certain that they were coming down with some serious disease. They couldn’t possibly go to school! The times that you had to remind your child that they already had their appendix out.

Yes, the final year of school will be upon my child soon,  and there will be some “last” things that I will celebrate. Along with that, there are “lasts” that will  make me a little sad. I need to remember though that where there are “lasts” there can also be new beginnings!

Are you a parent of a Senior crossing the stage this May? As memories come flooding back and slide down your cheeks, think of something. Think of all the new beginnings they are going to be making. Yes, memories make us wistful, but we can smile about what is to come. We say goodbye to one stage of Parenthood and Hello to another! Who knows what awaits your child. Adventures for sure. Things to explore!

And if you are the parent of a graduate I will see what I can do about getting you a diploma 🙂 For now Pat yourself on the back, you survived! Amusement parks give out t-shirts that say how you survived  a scary roller coaster! Skip the diploma! I want a t-shirt that says, ” I survived having a teenager!”

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Smiles for Moms

b0bf15bcfd35fc09b2ca989e7dbef296We know its true, so we may as well wear a shirt that says it right? I was the “baby” of 4, so of course I was the favorite. 🙂 My darling children have these shirts and yes they take turns at being my favorite. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful Moms! I am so grateful for my Mom, who I know always has my back! I wouldn’t be who I am today without her guiding love and her prayers!

Motherhood is a TOUGH job, so I thought we all could use some smiles! But I can’t miss saying that I am very thankful to be a Mom to my amazing children! I love them unconditionally and they truly do make me smile every day! I think they have made every emotion there is cross my face, but today we will concentrate on the smiles, joy and laughter they provide! I dreamed of being a Mom ever since I was a little girl and taking care of my baby dolls. Little did I know how much the experience would transform my life and I am so thankful for the honor.

718eafa9d2ce5490e1b7f9719146a92f I am glad to say that I always turned off the beaters for my kids. 🙂

0eb4dba26346eac4a6619e55fdfa397d For you Mom’s out there with little ones, this is for you! I do remember these days. I also remember the carousel that was right in front of Kmart. It cost .25cents to ride. My children loved it! Always wanted a ride before we went in the store. The deal was if they were good, they would get a ride when we left the store! It really was too bad that the grocery store didn’t have a carousel. 🙂

bdce5688e3ecedc50da31966361b1227OH Yes! These really were true for me, what about you??

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Counting Down….

10, 9, 8…weeks to go! 8 weeks until my family and I stand strong, as we enter through courtroom doors. I am not counting the days, hours and minutes yet, but feeling that the time will come before I know it.

8 weeks to go until my heart is worn on my sleeve as I take the stand and testify. This is not Judge Judy’s court room, this is not about something small. I’m fighting for my daughter and her innocence that was stolen. I’m taking a stand for all the other children that are out there and hurting, that have no one to be their voice.

One out of every 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. My husband and I want to send out the message that this is horrible and needs stopped. Can we stop it? NO, but we can make it loud and clear that we won’t tolerate it! We can show up in court in 8 weeks to fight for justice and we will! We may have knocking knees and a racing heart, but we will be there. We will be there , because we love our children. We will fight for them no matter what.

In 90% of sexual abuse cases the child knows the perpetrator! Yes, that is staggering to think about, but the message really needs to be heard! We hear about stranger danger all the time, it is preached to our children at school. Our children do need to learn about being wise around strangers, that is true. But our children need to know that its not only bad touches from a stranger that is wrong!

No matter the relationship you have with an adult, if they give you bad touches, it is wrong! It doesn’t matter if it is a relative or close friends, the neighbor or your teacher. No matter who it is, it is never right!

Our children need to be taught to not be afraid to tell us.  Our children need to know that even if the perpetrator is someone that Mommy and Daddy really like that we still will believe them. Only between 4-6% of child sexual abuse cases are fabricated. This is not something children lie about. They are much more likely to stay secretive about it, because they are scared, ashamed, and the list goes on. A lot of times they are threatened not to tell.  They are much more likely to act out in different ways trying to get the message out to you without actually saying it. We as parents need to be tuned in to that. Tuned into our child’s behavior and noticing when it is different than normal. We still may not see the signs, we are not perfect, but we need to be aware.

Here are some signs that can be displayed most often in younger children:.

    • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
    • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
    • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing
    • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity, or withdrawal
    • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
    • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
    • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
    • Writes, draws, plays, or dreams of sexual or frightening images

 

  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty, or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language, and knowledge

Here are signs exhibited in adolescents and teens:

 

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

This is not saying that if your child exhibits any of these signs that sexual abuse is the reason! There can definitely be  other things going on. This is only to make you aware of signs of possible abuse. Please don’t put blinders on and think that it can never happen to your child. This is real life. We are far from living in a picture perfect world! We also cannot believe that we can always protect our children. Unfortunately we can’t, no matter how hard we try. It’s just a fact. An ugly one, but a real one!

These are all ugly facts that I talked about in this post. I would have much preferred writing a cheerier post, but this is my reality now. Yes I could keep this ugly fact hidden in the closet, but who would that help? I have been told to be real. For in being real maybe I can touch another hurting soul. Isn’t that what life should be about? Reaching out to others with a caring heart. Reaching out to others who may feel so alone by saying, “me too”. I feel your pain, your guilt, your fear, I am here.

8 weeks until our day in court comes. It was about a year and a half ago when I was told that I needed to “just walk away!” That I needed to just let go of the words that poured out of my daughter’s heart. In 8 weeks I will face the one who dared to say that to me. He will see that there is no way that a Mother Bear just walks away!