Lessons I Learned

This photo was from last year, but it goes with my theme. My children have graduated into young adulthood. Parenting takes on a little different role when that happens, but some lessons that I  leaned when they were little will always stay with me.

Expect the Unexpected : Like when  your toddler is admiring the rubber duckies in the big fountain in the middle of the medical clinic and they decide to take a closer look by jumping in!

Be prepared to be Humbled : When you tell your 7 year old you will join them in the backyard soon. Next thing you know your little one bursts in the door and is glaring at you talking on the phone and says, “Well I see what is more important!” 

Your children are watching when you aren’t even thinking you are teaching a lesson : They remember when you forgave their sibling for breaking your favorite mug. Bringing it up years later saying how “things are just things” and that you showed what was more important.

You reminisce more than you think : Apparently I had been talking a lot about the days when my children were little for  my 10 year old looked at me and said, “You really need to get yourself a 5 year old!”

Your children will imitate you when you least expect it : Like when you are having morning sickness with your 2nd child and your toddler joins you in the bathroom, leaning over her potty chair and growling!

Power of “I Love You!” : Hearing it from your older child makes your heart melt as much as when you heard it for the first time from your toddler.

What a Cedar Chest Holds : Baby clothes, Homemade cards and little drawings, mementos of special milestones in your childs life, but will  never be big enough to hold the deep emotions of feeling incredibly blessed, and to be honest, incredibly stressed at times, of watching your children grow!

Busted!

You know how memories can just suddenly pop in your head. That happened to me tonight and I thought, hey, I could make a post out of it. So take a trip down memory lane with me. It just may bring a chuckle! 

Parenting is hard, there is no question about that! The teen years especially! The years where they want to see what all they can pull over on Mom and Dad. It happens to all parents, where our teens do manage to pull the wool over our eyes, but then there are also the times where they get found out! 

It was several years ago now when I was at Walmart, standing in the Customer Service line to return an item. A lady called my name, and I turned around. I saw the parent of one of my daughter’s friend coming towards me. We greeted each other and she asked how my husband was doing. I said he was fine. Then this is the conversation that followed. 

Other Mom: “Is he out of the hospital now? What did the Dr. say?” 

Me: “The hospital?”

Other Mom: “Yes, your husband was in the hospital last weekend, right?” 

Me: “Umm…No.. he wasn’t. ” ( looking very confused!) 

Other Mom: “Well I thought that’s why my daughter spent the weekend at your place, to help your daughter not worry about him.” 

Me:  (Looking even more perplexed) “Your daughter wasn’t at my place this past weekend.” 

Other Mom: (looking like a deer in headlights) “Are you sure?” 

Me: ( figuring things out now and trying not to laugh at that question) “I am positive that your daughter was not at my house any time this past weekend!” 

By now the customer ahead of me and the one behind me were both hiding smiles as it was dawning on everyone what was going on. The Mom I had been talking too, just looked at me as her face started changing expressions, and our conversation came to a quick end, as she started walking very fast. I kind of felt sorry for her daughter. I also couldn’t wait to get home and ask my husband how his hospital visit went, when my daughter was in the room! 

So does this bring back memories of your childhood, and times you got caught? Or times you caught your children in the act? Like little toddlers, when they have chocolate smeared all over their face, and say “I didn’t have a cookie!” 

Friday’s Super Short Stories!

 

LA from https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.com/2020/11/13/13114/ posted a fun post of a list of songs that describe her moods throughout the day. What song/songs describe your feelings today? Mine would be lullabies. Read the next story, you will understand. 

When you think back of where you were 19 years ago today. How can my “baby” be 19 years old!

This quote isn’t original with me, but I have always liked it and it fits for parenting, and watching your children grow up. “The days are long, but the years are short!” 

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!”