Tuesday, July 30, 2013

School, Where Art Thou?

How do I know it is time to send my kids back-to-school?

When I ask my husband to go get a bottle of wine and I make chocolate chip cookies.  That's when.

Turns out I'm getting no cooperation from either the calendar OR the wine OR the cookies. 

We've hit the dog days of summer.  Hot, humid, and frankly reason for traveling to other states that don't understand why air conditioning is essential to human life.  My kids are responding to the heat with "OHMYGOSHYOUARERUININGMYLIFEBYNOTLETTINGMEGOPLAYRIGHTTHISMINUTE" despite the fact that pigs have inquired about moving into their rooms, there is a funky smell coming from somewhere in the house and it is a moving target (can you say "time for a shower/deodorant"), and they have been playing ALL SUMMER LONG.

The wine (white, thanks for asking) was warm.  Not suitable for drinking when it was purchased at 8:15p.m. last night, yet surprisingly appealing as a breakfast drink this morning;  I am holding myself back from popping the cork as I type this at 10:15.

In lieu of the wine, I decided to have one of the cookies, praying that eating it after 9p.m. would not render it another pothole on the side of my thigh.  The cookies were mega-sized.  I baked five of them, one each for every member of the house.  Problem was, I have a greedy child who thought that extra cookie was baked for him, didn't ask if it was indeed for him, and who kept on claiming innocence in the face of a cop-style grilling due to obvious evidence to the contrary. 

At 10p.m. last night I pronounced bedtime as the only sane remedy for keeping my head from flying off my body.

In the midst of all this mayhem, I might have called my kid an "asshole" to his face.  He might have deserved it.  I might have had to ask for a giant can of forgiveness afterwards, too.

This morning, things haven't gotten much better.  I was told I didn't know how to navigate, was a horrible Mom for not letting a son change plans on a dime, and that I couldn't cook a decent breakfast.

But, the good news is that I have this all in perspective.

Some time ago I realized that God prepares us for every stage in life.  It seems that phases of our children's lives that aren't so fun for us (think terrible two's and three's, tween and teenage years) are followed by a reprieve, a time when we are separated (think school, spending more time with friends).  It is during that time that we miss that same kid who was driving us insane 24 hours ago.

Life is circular;  it starts each day with a sunrise and ends with a sunset.  That is good news.  God didn't give us just one day and one chance to get it right before smiting us.  In fact, he gives us several laps around the same track before He gently reminds us who is really in control.  So, if you feel like you've been on the same path, learning the same lesson, going around in circles, you probably have. 

It is somewhere in those moments where you seem to be beating your head against the wall that you realize that you really love your kids, you don't actually need wine or cookies to make it through the night, and that this is yet another phase that will pass.

The even better news is that a new day is waiting right around the corner, with events you couldn't orchestrate, that are fresh to your eyes, that God knows are coming and is just waiting for you to enjoy so He can enjoy you enjoying them.

So, with this mindset guiding me, I chalk up yesterday to one of "those" days.

And, as I face August head-on, I do so knowing that I WILL miss my kids when they go off to school.  I will be glad for them to be home in the afternoons and evenings.  And I will savor the time we have to spend together between now and then, even though some days the then seems like the distance between the Earth to the Sun.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for for every activity under the heavens...He has made everything beautiful in its time." ~Ecclesiastes 3:1; 11

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's THAT time...

This is a simple thank you to two people on my birthday.  When I eat cake on Friday, I will be remembering both of you!

Darlene:  Thanks for the gift of life.  Without you, none of this would have even been possible.  Since I know angels exist, I want to thank you for being one so many years ago when you decided my life was worth carrying into this world.  I am so glad I had the chance to meet you before you took your rightful place in Heaven. 

Mom:  Thank you for the gift of growing up as your daughter.  You made every birthday special.  I am sure you plan parties in Heaven for me every year.  I was blessed to call you Mom, even though the time we had together was much too short.

PS to you both:  I think I'm starting menopause.  It sucks.  Please tell God this isn't even remotely funny and I have a bone to pick with Him when I get there.

Hugs and Kisses
Your favorite 47-year-old daughter