hiddenblessing

Finding one small blessing each day.

The white blouse September 15, 2012

Filed under: Family,Parenting,Teenager — hiddenblessing @ 1:09 pm
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Yesterday, my son texted me while I was out running errands.  His text said the following:

“Can u pls bring me a white shirt by 100”

So I responded back:

“For you?  Does it have to be new?”

No response. I have no idea what the boy wants… is this for a project?  Is it for him to wear?  No clue. I happened to be at Walmart when he texted me, so I picked up a $5 white t-shirt and bought it along with everything else.  He really doesn’t own any white t-shirts because my boys instantaneously stain white shirts within seconds of putting them on.

I drove to his middle school, the requested white shirt in a Walmart bag on the seat next to me.  Baby L and I were just going to run it inside and drop it off with the school secretary.  I glanced down at the white bag and I wondered for a moment if it would embarrass him for me to be bringing him a new t-shirt in a Walmart bag.

And the reason why this occurred to me is because my brain instantly jumped to a memory of myself, in high school.  In the small town I grew up in, there was this certain store that was VERY, VERY not cool.  In my high school, like most middle and high schools, what you wore was very important. There comes a time that Rustlers just aren’t going to cut it anymore in the social strata that is teenage life.  Of course, we grow up and pay mortgages and pediatrician bills and insane electric bills and suddenly that little label on our jeans isn’t QUITE as important.  But to a 13, 16, 18 year old… it is of immense importance.

It was almost time for the TWIRP, or Sadie Hawkins dance at our high school.  This is the dance where the girl asks the guy, instead of the other way around.  It’s not as formal as Prom, or Homecoming, but it’s still a dressy event.  I was talking with my grandmother about what I was going to wear and she looked over at me.

“You know, I was out shopping at UNCOOL STORE NAME, and they had these white, cotton blouses that were really pretty on clearance.  I think that if we washed and ironed one very carefully, it would be beautiful.  You could wear a black skirt and pearls.  I think it would be really classy.”

I’m quite sure my eyes bugged out of my head in horror at the notion.  For starters, my God, does she have any idea of the social suicide I would be creating if I wore something from UNCOOL STORE??  And to a DANCE?! It’s bad enough if you got caught wearing something from there to, say, GYM CLASS.  I can’t even carry a backpack from that store!  BUT TO A DANCE?!  AND CLEARANCE?!?!  That part alone is enough to make me want to retract my invite to that boy.  Forget it.  I feel the flu coming on.

She smiled at me, in that beautifully knowing way that she had.

“Will you please just try it for me?  I’ll do all the work for you.  If you don’t like it, I’ll take you shopping and we can find something else.  But really, I think that you will be beautiful and no one will know where it’s from.”

And so, against my hormone-fueled-teenage-not-so-better judgment, I agreed.  She went to the pariah store and bought me this white cotton blouse. It had flowy sleeves, a large ruffle that lined the deep v-neck front, and tiny pearl buttons (she might have added those buttons).  She found me a long black skirt with a small slit on one side that fit my sixteen-year-old figure perfectly.  She washed and starched and ironed this appalling shirt and invited me over to look at it (I wasn’t allowed to see it until she had worked her magic).  I grudgingly agreed the shirt was pretty… I guess it might work.  As a backup plan, I guess we could just stay at the hotel room we had all rented to party at.  I could always accidentally spill something on it, say, in the first ten minutes of leaving the house.  If I had to.  Then we’d be forced to avoid the dance, and the throngs of label-conscious snooty teenagers who might call me out in public as a WEARER OF UNCOOL CLOTHES.

And the night of the dance came.  As usually seemed to happen on big nights, we had family in from out of state and we were all at my grandmother’s house.  I went upstairs to get ready.  I put on my black pantyhose, my black fitted skirt, and hot rolled my hair. I lipsticked and mascara’ed and put on my drop pearl earrings.  And then I put on the blouse and turned to the girl in the mirror.

I looked… well… beautiful.  I looked grown up, and classy, and elegant.  I looked everything my grandmother had said I would and more.  I felt positively perfect in this outfit.  I couldn’t have found anything better if I had tried.

She was a smart woman, my grandmother.  She knew that it wasn’t about the label or the price or the store it came from.  She knew, with enough love and care, that I’d be beautiful in anything, if I could find within myself the self esteem to pull it off.

And really, isn’t that true with most things in life?

I so very much miss that wonderful, beautiful, elegant woman.  She was everything I hope to be.

Have a fabulous weekend, my friends.

 

Ronan’s mama September 13, 2012

Ronan’s mama (Click this link)

Just an update regarding the post I had last weekend about Taylor Swift and Rockstar Ronan.  This wonderful mama makes my heart hurt.  But even more importantly, she inspires and astonishes me.

 

My top five September 11, 2012

Filed under: Family,Kindness,Parenting,Teenager,Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 10:32 pm
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I came across an article today that was titled Ten Things I Hate About Being A Dad. Ouch. I’m not sure I would ever want my children to have a list in hand of all the things I supposedly “hated” about being a parent. Talk about a guilt trip.

Now obviously, being a parent is not easy, by any means. It’s not even fun all the time. That includes me… there are nights, tonight happening to be one of them, that I am tired and grumpy and less than the mama I’d like to imagine myself. At one point, B and I were arguing like mad and at another, a saleslady in a store we were at was trying to bribe my children with candy because quite frankly, it was total mayhem and the line was ridiculous. But even so, I still love it. Even when it’s ugly and hard and infuriating and I’d really just like to hide away with a glass of wine and earplugs.

Now that my kids are in bed and my blood pressure has returned to a relatively normal level, I want to add my two cents about that Top Ten. Here are the top five things that I LOVE MOST about being a mom.

1. Walking through grocery stores with Baby L. I’m not talking about Walmart, mind you. We already know how that goes. But I’m talking the better moments… the ones where he insists on wearing his cowboy boots and Superman cape. The ones where he says “hi” to every man and woman over the age of sixty, and he wants to talk to every “friend” who is under three feet tall. Where the grandmas smile at me, and him, and I pray that I remember these moments and are not TOO jealous when I don’t have a small, fuzzy-headed baby whose legs pull up and his bottom sticks out when I pick him up. He doesn’t actually do that anymore, and I already miss it a little bit. Thank God he’s still tiny enough to let me kiss his squishy cheeks whenever I want to. But that pride I feel, that love that swallows me up, when I am out and about with a happy baby.

2. Holidays. There is so much magic in celebrating holidays with children. Now make no mistake, grown-up holidays are fun, too. I absolutely love long, leisurely dinners filled with wine and celebration with friends and family. But I love the magic that reflects in my children’s eyes even more. I love everything about it… the dyeing of Easter eggs, the messy carving of pumpkins. Mailing off lists to Santa and grinning at the explosion of wrapping paper that has engulfed my living room after presents have been opened. Making cookies that I know will be eaten almost as quickly as I can get them out of the oven. The shock and awe at the possible sighting of the sleigh in the sky and the way they squish their eyes closed to wish for sleep to come THAT VERY SECOND BECAUSE WHAT IF SANTA IS REALLY, REALLY CLOSE??? Reading “The Night Before Christmas.” I love the holidays.

3. Getting woken up in the night. Now bear with me here… I’m not saying that I love it for the sake of being woken up. But I love that my sleepy B still comes crawling into my bed and snuggles right up to me when he can’t sleep or has had a bad dream. I love the way his eyes are puffy and they roll back in happiness when I run my fingers through his hair. I love that he tells me more about his life in the middle of the night than any other time, and I love the way he yells random things in his sleep. I love that Baby L still sleeps with his butt in the air and cries out for me in the middle of the night because he wants his sippy cup refilled with water. I look at E and I already miss this. Every once in a great, great while he will watch a scary movie and come wake me up to talk to me about it. And I am absolutely ok with that…. it’s so rare now. I have to cherish the few times it does happen.

4. Activities. I think about all of the things that I can do without any concern for what anyone else thinks, purely because I have children with me. Disney movies? Absolutely. If I didn’t have the boys, I’m pretty sure I’d be a little self-conscious renting The Lorax. For that matter, I probably wouldn’t even know what The Lorax was. Think of all the movies I would have missed if I didn’t have them… Up. Shrek. Tangled. Rio. We go to the pool all the time, and even if I would rather NOT be wearing a swimsuit in public, when your boy begs you to go down the “toilet bowl” water slide with him… YOU DO IT. I can say with almost 100% certainty that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have kids. Going to carnivals. Pumpkin patches. Kite flying. Cheering like a crazy girl at the parade because it’s my children’s buddies out there marching and doing cartwheels in the street. Watching baseball and soccer games, sitting for hours at swim meets. Yes, we are busy. Too busy. But if I had a choice between being a mama and camping in 100 degree heat with a group of Boy Scouts, or being at home, alone, with an armful of books and a cup of tea, I would still choose to be a mama. I’ve got years to read and drink tea. I’ve got only a few to camp with Boy Scouts.

But number 5 has to take the cake. The number one thing I love most about being a mama is nearly impossible to put into words. It’s the way it makes me FEEL to know that these beautiful children are mine. That it is my responsibility, and duty, and the biggest blessing imaginable, to have been given these children to nurture. I love the sheer joy that caring for these sweet boys has brought me. I love the pride that fills up within me, and sometimes spills over and down my cheeks, and the gut-wrenching devotion they inspire in me. The raw, pure, fierce desire to protect and cherish and honor and love these human beings.

Goodnight, my friends. Sweet dreams.

 

Rockstar Ronan and beauty in the world September 7, 2012

One of the things I’ve talked about since this blog began is Rockstar Ronan, the beautiful little boy who died last year of neuroblastoma.  In fact, his mom’s blog is one of the things that got me onto WordPress in the first place.  I followed his journey daily, and then when he died, I cried along with the hundreds of other followers that have lived his story through his mama’s words.   I still check in on his mama’s blog occasionally, and I follow The Ronan Thompson Foundation on facebook.

This morning, I awoke to the most beautiful posting on facebook.  Tonight there is a special TV telethon airing that is dedicated to raising cancer awareness and funds for cancer research.  It is called Stand Up To Cancer and there are countless celebrities that will be performing during this telethon.  But… a huge lump wells up in my throat as I type this… Taylor Swift has written a new song, just for baby Ronan.  She titled it “Ronan” and she is singing it tonight on the telethon, for the first time ever.  For that sweet baby boy.  For his grieving mama. For his brothers that lost their sibling.  For all the hundreds of thousands of children who fight the disgusting monster in the night known as cancer.  For everyone.

You can find the article about the telethon and Taylor Swift here.

His mom said once that when this was all over, she was going to do something big.  Something HUGE.  Like get Pearl Jam in concert.  I’m summarizing here; it was something about Pearl Jam and I’m not taking the time to go scour the blog to find out specifically what she said.  It’s irrelevant.  The point is, MY GOD, look what she’s done.  Her beautiful baby boy is creating MAD AWARENESS.  His name will forever be known.  His story will forever bring awareness.

Thank you, Taylor Swift, and bless you, for being such an angel.

And Maya, if you’re reading this, Don’t Stop Believing.  

My heart is heavy, and full, with love today.  There is so much good in this world.

 

vegas lights September 4, 2012

Filed under: Inspiration,Signs,Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 7:11 pm
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I have talked at length in various posts about my thoughts on signs.  I truly believe the universe tries to send us little reminders and pointers for steps we need to take, or directions for which we need to go to get ourselves back on our own paths again. And sometimes, if we are particularly dense right then, the universe rolls its collective eyes and busts out a giant Vegas-style flashing sign that says “SERIOUSLY.  I MEANT IT THE FIRST TIME.  TURN HERE.”

That’s what happened to me the other night.  I have been in the midst of this career conundrum.  I am perfectly content where I’m at, and it’s a good job, for a good company.  I deeply miss where I used to be, though, because I felt significantly more valued and important in my previous position at my previous company.  It’s hard to lose that, even when you knew it was the price you were paying to change.  The benefit of moving to the new company was the best ever – I got to be home significantly more with Baby L.  Period.  That was the deciding factor, and I LEAPT at the opportunity.  I don’t regret it, and would choose, repeatedly, the same choice over and over and over again.

And yet.

I miss my old responsibility.  I miss the self-worth it brought, and the confidence I had in my own abilities.  I can feel my skill set fading away like rubbing acetone on a varnished table.  I am simply not challenged anymore, and while I can find things that temporarily allow me to feel alive again, for the majority of the time, I’m just… bored.  It’s like staring at a blank canvas all day – and your only job is to watch it.  You used to have the paints and brushes it took to color it, but you changed galleries and in this new shop, you’re not the artist any longer.  Your job is just to ensure its safety.  It already has a few talented artists, and they aren’t interested in adding any more displays.

So here I sit.  And I contemplate – just SHUT UP ALREADY and enjoy the fact that it’s good and easy and you get to be home with Baby L more.  Or find something new, that might be more challenging and you might be happier at, but will be full-time.  This option, which really isn’t an option at all, makes me feel like a failure.  Or option C, which would be to find a way to keep the current position but somehow either light a fire under it again, or find a way to  spend more time doing what I love.

Back to the Vegas-style signs, the other night I lay in bed, skimming through various WordPress posts, and I suddenly began to notice a theme to a significant number of the posts.  Posts like this:

http://primakarenrambles.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/passion-in-your-career/

http://becomeahuman.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/inspired/

It truly seemed that all the posts were pointing me towards the obvious: do what you love.  Post after post about making choices, taking risks, finding what truly makes you happy.  Do what honors who you are, because there is only one you, and only one lifetime to be you.

It made me smile because sometimes, I think I just need the universe to kick me in the behind and tell me to get moving.  Quit sitting around thinking about it, quit contemplating and what-if’ing and just do.   I can think and ponder and weigh all the pros and cons, but in the end, if I don’t actually do anything, all the thinking and pondering was just a giant waste of time.   I know the answer deep inside myself, and I’ve always known it.  I just have to trust that it won’t let me down, and that, my friends, can be the hardest part of all.

 

This Way to ADHD August 30, 2012

Filed under: Parenting — hiddenblessing @ 12:47 pm
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Child Putting on Shoes“>

Photo credit to Poppy Thomas-Hill, http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinkpoppyimages/

I was at a party the other night, with a roomful of people I didn’t know. I was listening to a woman talk about her new husband’s children and somehow the topic of ADHD came up.  She immediately began to very loudly express her views on ADHD, which were something like this:

“There is no such thing as ADHD or ADD. There’s not! It’s totally made up. It’s a concept made up by teachers who just don’t want to deal with kids. It’s just an easy way out for parents and teachers who just don’t want to deal! What they really need to do is just DO THEIR JOB and parent their kids and DEAL with these kids’ behaviors.”

I nearly choked on my drink as I turned to her, just waiting to hear what more insight this woman had to share.  My best friend and I made eye contact over the people in our small circle, and I just sadly shook my head.

One of my children has ADHD.  It is not, and I repeat this in the biggest possible letters ever, NOT from a lack of parenting, discipline or teaching.  My husband and I have “parented” him relentlessly.  My boy has been in time-out so many times in his short life that I’m surprised the carpet isn’t worn out on the stairs where we send him to sit.  We have tried charts and redirection and rewards and, yes, turning the other cheek.  We’ve counseled, talked, taken things away, grounded him… you name it, we’ve tried it.

ADHD is an ugly, snarling beast.  I wish it was something made up, because if it were, I promise you I would have found a way around it.  What nerve this woman had, to tell a roomful of people she didn’t know (or not very well, obviously) about how it was due to a lack of parenting.  She has no idea.

I promise you, she has never wiped tears away from her child’s face as he cries to her that he “just must be bad.”  She has never sat in a roomful of people  and watched as a teacher shook her child’s homework at her and spat his name out with frustration and intolerance.  She has never tried to explain to her child why it is that he has to take pills every morning, when no one else has to. She has never sat up late at night, worried about how to help her child be successful when he struggles to get through five minutes of homework, let alone eight hours at school.  Or interrupted a birthday party sleepover to bring meds, because she is afraid he will never get invited back again if he wakes up and doesn’t have his pills right away.

Or the worst – which is, totally lost her cool and yelled at her child for his inability to brush his teeth, put on his shoes and get his backpack on in the last fifteen minutes before they walk out the door for the day.  This is the one that happens the most frequently… and the one we struggle the very most with.

Just put your shoes on. Please!  No – don’t look at the TV.  Why is the TV even on?  I turned it off twice already!  I don’t care if the Annoying Orange is almost over.  It’s time to go.  Shoes. SHOES! … What are you doing NOW?  Put down the cat.  SHOES.  Just shoes!

This is the one that haunts me through my whole day.  Because he’s at school and I can’t pull him into my arms and apologize for yelling at him.  I can’t try to explain how mama just needs him to please remember to get his shoes on and his teeth brushed because it would make our mornings so much easier.  I can’t be sure that he’s not hurting and sad, because the last thing he remembers of his mom that morning was how angry she was. Again.

But here is what I know to be true. This beautiful child, this marvelous boy… this is my son.  He was given to ME for a reason.  There is a life lesson, something he and I are supposed to learn together, and this is why he is mine.  ADHD is a monster, for sure.  I hate the fears, tears and pain it has brought into my sweet child’s life.  But it’s a monster that for whatever reason, God chose to place in our path.  And slay it, we will.  One way or another.

For his sake, if I could choose to make it go away, I would.  Of course.  What mother wouldn’t?  I want what all mothers want for their children – for them to be happy, to love and be loved, to choose paths that honor the bright light that is them, and nothing else.  ADHD doesn’t change any of that, it just makes the road a bit more thorny than others.  There are a few more dips in the road.  But dips in the road only make your legs stronger, in the end.

But for me – for me alone, I wouldn’t choose any differently. I have learned so much on this journey.  For starters, it put me in my place.  It slapped me across the face and showed me that I’m not half the mom I thought I was.  And then it yanked me back onto my feet and told me to get working.  In the end, who knows?  Perhaps I will actually be a better mom for having trudged through this particular forest.  It taught me patience, and how to pick my battles.  It brought me friends – other moms who have the same fears and frustrations and breaking points.

It also is my real-life story of not judging until you’ve walked a mile in her shoes.  Miss Lady At The Party, I really do wish that what you said was true.  I wish it were true for every child who truly struggles with ADHD and other learning disabilities, because it would make it so much easier to fix.  And you know what?  I don’t know what your story is, and maybe you have a personal experience with a teacher that led you to form the belief you did.  But for me, and the other mamas out there who fight this with their sons and daughters, please don’t tell us it’s because of a lack of parenting or a lack of discipline.

My sweet child and I are walking through this snarly, bramble-filled path together.  And it is exactly because of parenting, that we will be just fine in the end.

 

A letter to my middle schooler August 21, 2012

Filed under: Parenting,Teenager — hiddenblessing @ 9:53 pm
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My sweet boy,

This letter has been keeping me up at night, begging me to write to you.  I wake up in the dark of the night, and all I can think about are all of the things I want to say to you as I watch you grow into the wonderful, strong young man that you are.  I am so proud of you.  I have always been insanely proud of you – you are so good inside.  You are filled with so many wonderful traits that sometimes all I can do is fall to my knees and thank God for giving me such an exquisite gift as he did, the day he gave me you.

Middle school is a weird time for kids.  You want so much to be cool and accepted, and fit in with the right kids.  To look right, act right, and not do anything embarrassing.  But inside, all of these things are coming up; exciting, nerve-wracking, drama-filled things.  Stressful things.  It’s exciting and fun and scary and depressing and quite honestly, a giant muddle of mixed-up craziness.  You are half child and half adult, and sometimes that makes you feel one way and sometimes it makes you feel another.  Sometimes, it’s both.  That’s ok.  Pick what feels right for that situation.  Soon enough, it will become easier and you will leave the little stuff behind.  But don’t let worrying about it weigh you down.  Sometimes you won’t know what to do.  Sometimes, you’ll just feel silly.  Other times, sad.  Sometimes you will feel giddy and emotional and sometimes, you will just feel stressed.

I want you to know, that 100%, forever and ever and ever, my darling boy, your stress is my stress.  I have your back.  Always.  I might freak out and lecture you (I’m working on getting better at this) but at the end of the day, no matter what, I am on your team.  The things that hurt you, hurt me.  The things that worry you, worry me.  You can come to me, day or night, and know that I am always willing to listen.  Tell me that it’s important, and I will put down the computer, or send home my friends, or cancel my date night with dad, or whatever I need to do  and we will sort through it.  Your problems are my problems, and together, sweetheart, we will work out anything.

As a little boy, my darling, you were always the sweetest child.  I have never met a child who had so much compassion and understanding of other human beings as you did.  You were polite, you were kind, you were loving, you were gentle, and you always, always, put other people ahead of yourself.

That is a beautiful trait.  One you should be proud of.  But don’t let it allow people to walk all over you either.  Save the people that you choose to give that kindness to, to be ones who are worth it.  You are going to meet a lot of people on your journeys to manhood.  A lot of them will not be worth your energy.  So if someone hurts you or belittles you, or doesn’t want to hang out with you, that’s ok.  They aren’t for you. You will find friends and people that are worth your love and your energy.  Go ahead and enjoy those that are fun to be around, when you are around them, and let them go when they go.

There is a poem out there about friends being there for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  I don’t think there is necessarily a way to know exactly which way they are there for you, except to say that when you look back, it will be obvious.  I’ve had four friends, so far, that are there for a lifetime: your dad, Aunt W, Super Nikki, and my friend, L, who you haven’t met.  I have had a lot that were there for a season… I had a best friend in grades 4 and 5, another for grades 6-10 and one in between, in grades 7 and 8.  Those short friendships were my “seasons”.  My “lifetimes” are easy: L was there my whole life, Aunt W from senior year on, and Darling Nikki since we moved here.  I am blessed, sweet boy.  But think of the hundreds of people I have known, who have come and gone, in all of those years.  I’ve had a LOT of friends who just happened to be exactly what I needed at that time in my life, but when that situation was done, we all moved on.  These are the “reasons” friendships. You are going to find this to be true as well.  So if you find someone that you feel deep inside is worthy of your friendship, offer it to them wholeheartedly.  But if, for whatever reason, they don’t return that friendship in kind, don’t worry… just move on.  Remember, a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Girls.  Oh, how I love and hate this topic.  As your mama, here’s what I want for you.  I want you to find a girl that thinks you are the handsomest, funniest, strongest, best guy that there ever was.  You will find her, someday.  But not in middle school.  And likely, not in high school.  Your dad and I were an extreme exception to the rule, believe me.  But until that day comes along, you are going to meet a ton of girls that you will fall for, and no matter how sweet, beautiful, kind, funny or loyal they are, will someday break your heart.  I am dreading that day, but it will happen.  You will break a few hearts, too.  You will leave some poor, sweet girl sobbing because she felt that she loved you, and knowing you like I do, sweetheart, this will be very hard on you.  But it’s just part of growing up.

Know this; these relationships are real.  That pounding in your heart, those sweaty hands and nervousness when you talk to her, that is all real.  And that crushing, blinding, heartbreak you will feel when those relationships end is real.  But as painful as it is, it will be over just as quickly and you will meet someone new.  You won’t believe me when you’re going through it, but it is true.  That will be true for the girls whose hearts you break too.  And even more importantly, all of those feelings you had for that girl who broke your heart will be nothing compared to when you grow up and find the one you are really meant to be with.  But… that is a topic for another letter when you are older.

My last topic that I really want to talk with you about… you are going to find yourself in situations where there are drugs and beer.  I am not even going to try to pretend that this isn’t true.  Please, please, please believe me when I say that you should not ever use drugs.  I can’t tell you how many people I have known – wonderful, kind, handsome, funny people who came from good families – who used drugs and completely destroyed their lives.  Drugs mess people up.  What starts as a fun party thing quickly turns into something that is out of their hands… the risks are just enormous, baby doll.  Young bodies, for starters, are not equipped to handle the poison that is going into their bodies.  I knew a kid who was huffing paint fumes, and died.  He was a nice kid.  His name was Adam.  I’ve known kids who smoked pot and drove, and killed a friend.  I’ve known countless kids who wound up in hospitals and I’ve known kids who’ve killed themselves because they got so depressed following drug use.  But mostly what I’ve seen, is people who just plain ruined their lives.  They never ended up going to college, they didn’t get good jobs, they had babies way too young that they couldn’t parent or afford, their skin and their teeth are ruined, and they feel hopeless… because they can’t get away from the drugs.  Think really, really hard about the choice you make if someone ever offers you drugs.  Even the “light” ones.  At the end of the day, you know what’s right and what’s wrong.

Alcohol… I know that there will be parties.  They had better be a damn long time from now!  But let’s get this out in the open now.  If you ever have a situation where you or a friend needs a ride because someone did have a beer, please call me.  We will come up with some sort of agreement, you and I, where if you trust me enough to call me and let me pick you guys up, you won’t be in trouble.  I would so much rather have you safe and have had a beer and me be a little disappointed in your choice to drink, than have you hurt or dead because you didn’t trust me.  But that’s all it would be – a little disappointed, because I was a teenager once, too, sweetheart.    

And here’s the biggest thing, my sweet baby boy, I trust you.  I trust that you have a good head on your shoulders, and at the end of the day that you will make the right decisions.  And if you don’t, if you mess up, that’s ok, too.  That’s how you learn.  And it’s my job to help you pick up those pieces that are the fallout of the wrong choice and maybe turn them another way to help you see how to fix it.  Mistakes are a part of life.  I still make mistakes, and I’m still trying to learn how to do it all right, the first time.

These years are going to be so much fun for you.  Live and love every single second of them.  Laugh when you want to, cry when things hurt but above all, enjoy RIGHT NOW.  Don’t worry about next year, or five years from now, or when you are an adult.  (Well, except for good grades.  Do that.  Swim hard.  Get a scholarship. 🙂 ) You will be grown up before you know it.  Before I know it!  And I want you to remember every single second of these years.  They are so much fun.

I love you, my boy.  There is nothing that you could ever, ever, ever do that would ever change that.  My love for you isn’t something that you will ever have to work for, earn, or deserve.   It just is.  Always has been.  And always, always will be.

 

The weather and my soul August 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 9:06 am

<a title="sunshine by TuguldurJ, on Flickr" href="sunshine

Photo by: Tuguldur J at http://www.flickr.com/photos/47890911@N04/”&gt;;

Today my blessing is the weather. I’d like to say it’s fall… but it’s only the middle of August and I know better. But it feels like fall, and it makes me feel joyous somewhere deep in my soul.

I swear the sunshine itself is different in the fall. It shines on the world around me like a filter in an Instagram photo. It transports me to somewhere peaceful and calm, and feels a little like childhood. I was sitting at taekwondo the other evening watching my boy and happened to glance through the large windows to the parking lot. Something about the early evening sunshine made me remember, in snatches of memory, thoughts that I had had as a child about what my life would be like as an adult. Those thoughts were nothing like the reality; I don’t even live in the same state that I expected I would; but I love that the very sunshine and cool weather could trigger those memories.

Fall makes me feel creative and inspired. I woke this morning, far too early, to sunshine pouring in my window. My husband pulled me close to him and asked if I saw the sunrise. He mumbled something about loving those windows and fell back to sleep. I, on the other hand, couldn’t. My brain started thinking about all of the things I could be doing, and after awhile, I gave up and came downstairs. I started the coffee, let the dog out and sat down to just enjoy the gorgeous quiet and sunshine in my dining room.

My thoughts kept wandering to all of the things I wanted to do in this gift of a day. I wanted to write to you, I wanted to paint, I wanted to bake pumpkin bars and create an elaborate dinner for tonight. I wanted to crochet and I wanted to clean… all of these things were inspired by the simple, wonderful quiet and coolness of the fall weather.

Enjoy your day, my friends. I think mine is going to be quite busy.

 

Dear Sugar August 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 12:31 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Right now, whatever you are doing, stop.

Go find and read Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed.

I haven’t even made it through the sample of the book and I am already filled with emotion. I have tried not to cry, I have laughed, I have thought endlessly about a few phrases and I have thought YES YES YES! to a few statements.

Truly, this is my blessing that I found today.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon one too, but I didn’t have a chance to write. Baseball practice and back-to-school stuff took over my day. In fact, all of this stuff took over my week. I am so thankful it is Thursday, and I am almost to the weekend.

Yesterday morning, my dear hubby and I had a ferocious argument that stemmed entirely from exhaustion. That’s really what it comes down to. He was mad at me because the Meet-The-Teacher night ended before I could get home from work, and I didn’t have time to run to the sporting goods store for slider pants. I didn’t even know what slider pants are (I do now), let alone running out at night with three kids for them. But he was upset because he doesn’t have time to do these things, and it makes him upset that I needed him to do this. He also is stressed about when and where baseball practice is because, honestly friends, our lives are stupidly complicated and our schedules are impossible. And three nights a week of baseball practice on top of one game a week, plus two other kids and two other sports, means that we are doomed.

He was just exhausted.

And so was I. Because while it’s true that I didn’t get off work in time for Meet-The-Teacher night, I’ve been busy making sure that the clothes, supplies, forms, meds, lunch tickets, registration papers and immunizations are all ready. I’ve figured out when and where the practice is, and it’s me who sat in 95 degree heat with a two year old to watch the practice for an hour and a half. And I’m tired, too. Hearing all the ways that he is feeling I’m not holding up my end of the bargain doesn’t help this, at all.

We should never talk to each other when we are this tired. Or we should talk more, I’m not really sure. But I just know that when I feel like that, all I really want to do is have him hold me hold him and say, slow down. We’re alright. This is just today. Tomorrow will be better.

I walked into the office yesterday feeling worn out and sad. The admin smiled as she always does and I thought… I wish people understood how I’m feeling today. I need someone to be kind today.

And then, I stumbled upon this later in the day. Divine intervention. If you have a minute, check it out. It put my miniscule argument into perspective. And it also reached out a gentle, comforting hand to me – a hand that said “me, too.”

Which really, if you think about it, is all any of us truly want. Someone who says “me, too.”

http://bravegirlsclub.com/archives/2151

Hugs to you today, my friend.

 

Music to my ears August 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiddenblessing @ 8:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve got tons of little blessings tonight.  Here is what I’m thankful for in my world today.

Music:  at this very moment, B is putting away the dinner dishes and singing at the top of his lungs some song comprised entirely of the imagination of a nine-year-old.  I have no idea what he’s saying.  I think he’s created his own language.  But it sure is a joyful, happy song to listen to.  Baby L did the same thing today, only he was singing about some of his favorite people in the world.  “Layla layla layla Layyyy LAAAA, jakob, leeleeleeleelee nikki, nikki, one two three!”  It made me laugh that he was rhyming.  What two year old rhymes?!

I also learned today that Baby L knows ‘how to dougie”.  Hahahahhah!  That, my friends, is some funny stuff.

But back to music…  at work today, I had a massive spreadsheet to decipher.  So today I logged into  Pandora and chose the Foo Fighters channel, and put in my headphones.  I’ve been listening to Pandora long enough to have clicked my fair share of likes and dislikes, so I’ve got it pretty well honed in on my music.  But today it was exceptionally good.  Music just does amazing things to me if I actually can relax enough to listen to some of the lyrics.  It can make me feel nostalgic, or young, or beautiful, or inspired… it all just depends on the song.   I came home completely in a different state of mind after listening to music all afternoon.

When I run, I LOVE putting on kick-a** music.  I mean that really.  Like P.O.D., Nickelback, Evanescence, AWOLNATION.  The music on my playlist makes me feel like I’m strong, healthy, young, and tough… and that hill up there?  No PROBLEM.  I got this.  My favorite playlist (ok, except for the awesome one E made me – see a prior post) is by far my running one.   Plus, I’m completely unaware of what a dork I probably look like running – I’m too busy singing in my head to the music.  Not singing out loud, I promise.

And now… it’s after eight, baby L is in bed, B is done singing and the house is quiet.  I have every window open in the house and every once in a while I can hear a car drive by in the late evening dusk.  This weather is gorgeous – I will sleep like a baby tonight if it stays cool like this.  I have the rest of the night to myself… to write and listen to music and just be inspired.

THIS is a beautiful night.