Thursday, May 31, 2007

Soccer's Ultimate Defender


Soccer Mascot


Soccer Star


I've become "that mother"

Here is a memory from when I was the mother of ONE timid toddler at playland in the mall.

My timid toddler would watch with wide and wondering eyes as big kids stood on top of the trees and jumped off of the playhouse room. My timid toddler, I thought, was in danger of being smashed like a pancake by any one, if not all, of the rambuncous, over-bearing, poorly-supervised, too-big-for-playland-at the mall kids.

I remember, as the mother of that one timid toddler, shooting looks at the mothers of those too-big-for-playland kids. That kind of "what up, woman?" look .. mixed with a eyebrow hint of "watch your kid, lady."

I remember saying out loud and often, "watch out for the littler ones." I still say it today, to my own kids.

I remember, when I was the mother of that one timid toddler, those kids being damn big. Like, 10 years old size. Like, 3rd grade size. Clearly too big for playland, rigth? (So, this defends me here in a minute).

Anyway, now I am the mother of 3 not-so-timed, nobody-could-really-be-called-a-toddler kids. Last week, we were at playland at the mall. I parked with my latte on a comfy bench near the exit, (yes, as to smartly supervise any escape artists). See, mine don't escape .. . but I worry about the other little ones still -- that nobody is watching. Plus, it's my method and rhythm to choose a spot by the exit. This is true for weddings, church, airplanes and playland.

I'm drinking my coffee. I'm supervising. I see my big kids playing with other little kids. My big kids, by the way, are still small enough to BE at playland at the mall. I see my big kids initiate a game of tag. Lucky for me, I am base. Also lucky for me, I've consumed enough of my coffee that it won't slosh and spill when they coming ramming home shouting "I'm on base, I'm on base." Playland is fun. It's a good day at playland.

Something then happened. Perhaps I lost my focus. Perhaps I spied some dryer lint on my pants or a long unruly hair. Perhaps my cell phone rang. I honestly can't recall. But what I do recall, is catching out of the corner of my eye, Middle, in mid-air ... looking remarkably similar to flying squirrel -- arms and legs spread wide as she lept from the roof the house . .. and glommed onto the tree next to it. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls .. . it was a good, long, award-winning leap. Probaby 8 feet. With hangtime. In mid-air. And executed with the finest form I have ever seen.

But, the point is that I have become that mother. The collective mothering gasp of the onlookers at playland hung in mid-air, just like my daughter. Missing was the clapping and cheering (like when an olympic gymnast sticks her landing.) Instead, you guessed it, the looks began. All of the mothers of the one-timid toddlers were shooting looks. The "what up, woman?" look. The "crikey, who are you, mother of the year . . . supervise your kid -- stop picking lint off of your pants."

And, this week ... . . when Homestead was here, we loaded all of the chaos into only one large car , and went to Pump It Up. Been there, anyone? Heard of it? It's two giant rooms full of garhugic inflatatbles, like you would see at a carnival or fair. Bounce houses, as it were. We went to pop-in play time . . which is smart, y'all . . especially if you have little people (because kids under 2 and parents are FREE, one of my favorite words). So, Big, MIddle and Little are playing the Sweet Boy . . . . not wild, definately not out of control -- they are just "doing" the inflatables. Going through the obstacle course, falling down, getting up, having fun. Darling Girl is chewing on a shoe and watching the bright colors from a spot not too far from the bosom. But, soon, the giant slide called. And they did the slide. Again, and again, and again. Soon, Middle figured out how to jump at the top, executing a full twist prior to her inital land, then twist again on the rebound, and finally slide to the base. Listen, I was impressed. So much so, that I needed to see that again. I encouraged it. It was phenominal body awareness (and a damn cool trick.) Then, I see Little. He has discovered that if he scoots back at the top, he had time to execute a front flip/arial somersault before he slides. He's good at it. He does it with nice form and the smile on his face tells the whole story.

Point: a lady at Pump it up slid right over to me .... "Are those your kamikaze kids?" she asked. And I proundy responded, "YES, THEY ARE!"
Oh, the sadness is beginning to set in. Homestead left today . . . this morning, actually only a few minutes ago – sad, sad, sad. We've both learned from previous visits and departures that it sucks to be the stayer. Still, it is so nice to have a friend, you know . . . some other person on the planet that “gets it” – sees the need for snacks and predicts sippy cup usage . . . and help just loading all the kids . . .. someone who understands laundry and dishes . . . and who will sit and pull weeds and thin yarrow . . .without complaining and needing more, more, more. . . .

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This came home to me from Big's teacher. I like it so much . . .

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer weiners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's okay, honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses, and diapers in their purses.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And for all the mothers who DON'T.

This is for all the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and gave them a home.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer game instead of watching from the warmth of the cars.

And that when their kids asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in dispair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner. And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight Moon" twice a night for a year. And then read it "just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughers to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother whose head turns automatically when a little voice calls "mom?" in a crowd, even thought they know their own offspring ara at home, or even away at college.

This is for all the mothers who sent thier kids to school with stomachaches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later, asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothrs who bite their lips until they bleed when their 14 year old dyes their hair green.

For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings, and the mothers of those who did the shooting.

For the mothers of survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror, hugging their child who just came home safely.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children how to be peaceful, and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a butoon on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it in her heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the streeet, walking to school for the very first time?

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 am, only to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The panic, years later, that comes again at 2 am, when you just want to hear their key in the door and know that they are safe at home?

Or the need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a fire, car accident, or a child dying?

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so our thoughts are for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation . . . and mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers, stay at home mothers, and work-from-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money, mothers without.

It's for you, it's for us, all of us . . . hang in there. In the end, we do the best we can. Tell them every day that we love them.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mathmatical Minds

So, I'm becomming famous for a few forwarded emails. Here's another one I like:

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint: What Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been in situations where someone wantsyou to give over 100%.
How about achieving 101%?
What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might helpyou answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Is represented as:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+ 20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the love of God will take you
L- O- V- E- O-F -G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Demanding the Truth

My Middle is at THAT AGE. Some dread THAT AGE. And, in all honestly, THAT AGE is difficult for this momma, too. She's ready for school. She's bored with her path right now. She's freakishly smart. Smart to a fault. She's athletic. .. . actually, at this tender young age, my prediction is: She's going to be a kick-ass athlete of high caliber.

But, here is the thing about THAT AGE that most trips me up. She demands the truth. And, as mommies, we tend to shelter some things from the tender young ears of our children. Not only does she demand the truth, she strives to be right. The kind of right that makes a momma stop in the kitchen, lean on the counter, and count to 10 . . then right about the time you get to 15, start breathing deeply.

She holds all 5 of her pudgy little fingers in the air . . and asks anyone who will listen -- "how many fingers do I have up?" (Five, obviously, the answer.) -- She cackles, and hollers, "NO, there's four fingers and ONE thumb!!"

After dinner, I ask her to clear her dishes. She stares at me blankly and says, "Actually, this is a bowl."

She's eating, breathing, and living soccer right now. Balls in the house, gals. She carries her ball everywhere. She dribbles her ball everywhere. Her ball comes to the breakfast table. She's found that if she tips the ottoman over and shoves it up against the couch, it makes a dandy fine goal. She dribbles around the house shielding from imaginary players and hollers things like "TAKE IT TO THE NET, BABY!!"

She's by "Why?" asker. "Why do you need a haircut to make it grow better?" "Why are some clouds fluffy and some all stretched out?" "Why does this worm have this belt around it?" And she will ask, "technically speaking, mom, why is this snow instead of hail . . it's kind-of like a little pellet."

Okay, so anyhoo . . . . . point being, demanding the truth -- and striving to be right . . . because I see it as a characteristic that emerges so early and in such tender years. Any thoughts? Bad? Good? Where is that magical line where striving to be right dauntingly turns to beating a dead horse? And where is the time where demanding the truth -- (and the "truth shall set you free") is actually SAFE? Is it ever?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Woman-Speak

MOTH and I have always had a running joke about woman-speak vs. man-speak. What women mean when we say ____________. What men mean when they grunt and shift.

Anyhoo, funny forwarded email (imagine!!, TWO in one week) -- that's blog worthy. See below. Especially funny to me right now because of the unbearable pressures of life . . causing me to say these things with much more frequency than ever before. Ah, I've new perspective. Thank God for email.

Nine words women use...

1.) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
5.) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)
6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.
8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying *@!& YOU!
9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to #3.

Tee Hee, go ahead laugh it out!!