Tuesday, October 13, 2015

McHappy Mom

Sunday after church one of Matthew's friends was coming over. This friend moved a year or so ago and doesn't go to Matthew's school anymore, so it's been a while since he's been over. He's a nice kid, and I was glad for the chance to see him again.
In the past his mom has always dropped him off, and I was expecting the same Sunday. So when a truck pulled into our driveway, and T got out and came into the house - but the truck remained, I was a bit surprised.
But, whatever.
I greeted T and asked what he and Matthew had planned for the afternoon. He told me they were going to go out for lunch.
I paused.
And started putting the pieces together.
Me: Oh, you're 16 now, aren't you?
T: Yes.
Is he driving now? Is that why the truck is still here?
Me: So, you've got your driver's license, huh?
T: (smiling) Yes.
Oh. So, you're going to be driving Matthew today. But he's my baby. And I don't know if you drive well. Me: (trying not to appear concerned) That's great. How long have you had it?
T: Two months.
Panic may have flown across my face, because he went on to tell me he's been driving since he was 14. Always supervised, of course!
But, before I could object Matthew joined us in the family room and the boys were off to get some lunch. I almost had to post something on Facebook about my baby going out for the first time with his driving-friend. Another last-first.
But I refrained. *ahem*

And when they returned, my momma-heart swelled with joy.
Not just because of their safe return.
I mean, I was happy for that. To be sure!
But in addition, Matthew said something that just blessed my heart.
He told me he'd gotten a 10-piece Chicken McNugget for lunch. And as he ate it he realized, "I'm so glad I have my mom. I wouldn't want to eat this stuff every day."

Awww, bless my work-my-fingers-to-the-bone-to-make-healthy-meals-heart. He's grateful for my cooking!

Now that's what I should have posted on Facebook!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Friday, October 09, 2015

This Week with Grandma

Grandma has good days and bad days.
But I am thankful that even on the bad days, we can find reasons to laugh.

It was at the end of one such bad day this week when I stood in the hallway with Brian.
I was lamenting for Grandma her woes.
The memory troubles.
The extreme fatigue.
The feelings of confusion.
And Brian chimed in, "Yeah. I feel the same way sometimes, and I'm only 43!"
I paused long enough to be polite before I responded, "Uh, dear, you're 44."

At that point, we both burst out laughing!


Thursday, October 08, 2015

Dear Non-Stay-At-Home-Parents

I nearly choked yesterday when I was reading a friend's post on Facebook. Her daughter is about 20 months old and she was lamenting the challenge of being a stay-at-home-mom.
That is NOT the part which almost made me gag.
In fact, it was some of the comments her other friends made (I think in an attempt to encourage her???) that raised my hackles. They were comments like these:

I'm envious of the parents (girls or guys) that are able to stay home and be there for every minute...[Describes circumstance which produced guilty feelings]...Now multiply that by hundreds of little things that happen on any given day and you have to realize how lucky you are to be there for it all even when it gets tough.
I would give anything to be a stay at home dad! It's super difficult being a full-time dad, having a full-time job and having three kids that are actively involved in sports/school/band etc. I have not even one hour to myself,… Ever... And I mean,… Ever.
OK. I get it. Honest. I do!
It is so, so challenging to work outside the home AND inside. (I'm speaking from my own experience here. Not sure the dad quoted above comes home from work and makes dinner, continues the work of maintaining a home, etc. But that was often a breaking point for me.)

The thing is, my experience as a stay-at-home-mom tells me the words these friends shared are NOT the things a mom in her place needs to hear.
Consider this:
*She knows she is fortunate to be able to stay home with her babies 24/7 (Trust me, she gets reminded of how "lucky" she is often.) but such knowledge can lead to guilt feelings - for wishing she had some time away. Because she doesn't feel like she ever gets an hour to herself, either.Yeah. While you're feeling guilty for missing things, she's feeling the same way for being tired of experiencing EVERYTHING.
*A stay-at-home-mom loses her patience with a child who just won't listen, or who can't express herself, or who is having trouble with potty-training. *Read that: wets his pants at least five times, daily.* And while she understands her child is just that - a child, she feels an overwhelming need to have a person respond to her on an adult level. *Read that: It makes for a really loooooong day when successful communication almost never takes place.* The result? More guilty feelings.
*Chances are, the stay-at-home-mom used to be a "working-woman." *Read that: She used to leave the house and get paid for the work she did.* She probably used to make significant contributions at work and feel appreciated by her co-workers. Unlike the work she does now - changing diapers, reading "Goodnight Moon" 20+ times a day, and being called "The Meanest Mom in the World" at least twice a week. Most likely, she thinks you're pretty lucky to get to go to work each day.

So, my non-stay-at-home-parent friend, may I ask a favor of you on behalf of the stay-at-home-parent-types? Although I am sure you are well-intentioned (You honestly think a look at your world is going to make her feel better about hers. I understand.) and although what you're saying is true (Being a working-parent is really hard! Again, I understand!), would you please refrain from telling stay-at-homers how lucky they are, and how much you wish you had it as easy as could be like them? Because from where they're sitting? It just doesn't appear the same.
The fact of the matter is - parenting is tough stuff no matter where we are, or what we're doing. Let us all leave the camp of you're-so-lucky-to-be-where-you-are and move on to I'm-having-a-hard-time-too-so-let's-help-each-other.



Wednesday, October 07, 2015

HE Knows

I always love going to church.
It is a delight to gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ to worship the LORD together, and to hear His Word preached for our edification and transformation. I just love being part of such a service.
But sometimes, God has a little something extra planned to make me cherish the experience even more.
Like HE did this past Sunday.

Our pastor was teaching about praying the scriptures and at the end of the service he gave us opportunity to put into practice the very thing he'd just been saying. We each had a list of topics about which we might want to pray, which were followed by a couple related scripture references. Since I had very recently decided to host a women's listening retreat and have much planning to do, the topic Guidance appealed to me and I "randomly" chose the second scripture reference listed. (If you know me, you know I don't believe anything is truly random.) I just love what happened next.
I opened my Bible, turned to John 10:27, and read,
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.
Did I mention that I'm hosing a listening retreat???
This verse is a perfect picture of what I pray will happen at the retreat.
*Women will come and listen to His voice.
*Women will be convinced that they are fully known by their loving Creator.
*Women will follow Him more closely as a result of the time they spend listening.

Friends, God gave me the agenda for the retreat in that one verse! And what blessed my heart even more than His attention to my prayer for guidance is the understanding that HE knows. HE knows what we need before we even know we have the need.
Before I sat in the pew last Sunday, before it entered my mind to host this retreat, before the leadership of my church decided to do this series on prayer, before anyone thought of creating a list of possible concerns and related Bible verses - God knew I was going to need to read John 10:27 as His guiding Word.
And HE made it happen.
Because HE knows.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Direct Communication 101

Brian (sprawled out on the bed): Would you like to be a dear?
Me (knowing what he meant to say): No. I'd rather continue on as a person.
Get it? I was answering the question, "Would you like to be a DEER?"
Honestly, I crack myself up!

Brian (trying not to roll his eyes at my feeble attempt at humor): OK. Would you like to be a nice person?
Me (with a mixture of mock-defensiveness and disdain): Uh, I'd like to think I already am.
Brian (speechless)
Me (completely satisfied, and moving in for the direct-communication-kill): Would you like to ask me to do you a favor?
Brian (sheepishly): Yeah. I need my phone. Will you get it for me?
Me: Sure. Where is it?

See what I mean? Direct communication is so much easier.
But not nearly as much fun. *wink*


Monday, October 05, 2015