Thursday, January 20, 2011

Clover Lane excerpt

I  love this woman and I don't even know her! Her attitude towards parenting and "old-fashioned" parenting is exactly what I hope to give my children. Her take on parenting is pretty much exactly how my parents raised me and something that I couldn't clearly appreciate until I took a big step to be out on my own by joining the Navy. It took three days in boot camp for me to realize my folks did it right and for me to be thankful they raised me how they did. I bet you have TONS of examples of how a younger generation (including my own) can't stand on their own too feet without their hand being held, and it isn't the child's fault, it is the fault of our own. The learning process starts young and we have to work as parents to not be lazy in our own examples if we plan on teaching our children anything. From what I can remember.... you always get more satisfaction from doing "the things you don't want to do" than from taking the easier road out. 
Erma Bombeck said it best:
 "I loved you enough to ask about where you were going, with whom and what time you would get home
I loved you enough to insist that you buy a bike, that we could afford to give you, with your own money
I loved you enough to make you return a Milky-Way— with a bite out of it—to the drug store and to confess “I stole this
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that would have taken me 15 minutes
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, disgust and tears in my eyes
I loved you enough to admit I was wrong and ask for your forgiveness
I loved you enough to let you stumble, fall and hurt
But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when you hated me for it. That was the hardest part of all!"

Below I have included some of her post and please feel free to go HERE at Memories on Clover Lane to read the rest!

It is hard right now for so many different reasons, to not constantly rescue, coddle, and over-manage our children's lives.  To save them from strive and troubles, to interfere in and solve their problems, to make everything easier and better for them.  To give them what they want, because we can.  Or to give them what they need, because we can.

But that is a big fat unvalid excuse, so it doesn't fly with me.

I have been realizing more and more, that our job as parents change drastically over the years.  When we have babies and toddlers, we should be doing everything possible to make their world warm and comfortable, keep them well fed, and raise them in an environment that promotes their development. 

I think that our job gradually changes as they grow from children to pre-teens to teenagers, from making their life as easy and comfortable and "right" as possible, to making it as difficult as real life can be.

Difficult as in snow shoveling.
Difficult as in piano practicing (or any practicing) for one more hour than you really want to.
Difficult as in working hard for most if not all of their wants and certainly some of their needs.
Difficult as in you will have to tolerate the crabby teacher all year, I won't jump in and save you.
Difficult as in if you forgot your coat twice, looks like you might remember it only when you are cold enough.
Difficult as in "take the bus".
Difficult as in as hard as it is, I will let you make that mistake, forget that homework, or feel that pain.  I will stand back and watch you become frustrated, tired, sorry, or sad. and not rescue you.

As they grow older, I find I need to teach them survival skills...and not just the Boy Scout kind...the kind where you learn that life isn't about having all your needs met all the time.  That life is uncomfortable, and requires hard work.  That lots of time in your life will be spent "doing something you don't want to do"...and that it might be years and years before you see the rewards of that.  They might need to learn that searching out others who have the same philosophy will greatly aide their psyche, and just the opposite...they will have to resist the temptation of those who seem to be getting rewards for taking the easy way out, and trust us when we tell them that it almost never turns out good, even if it takes a lifetime of trust before they see it with their own eyes.

It's so much easier to make my child's life easier.  It really is, and more so as they grow older.  I can say yes so much easier than no, and not only feel happy because my child is happy, but avoid the fallout of insisting that they do something they don't want to do" produces.  But I am failing them terribly when I do this. It's a form of instant gratification and when I'm leading by example what an awful thing to teach.  I am not forming the most important qualities that will lead to their lifetime happiness, I'm only rewarding behavior that will lead to misery.  Their misery, and for me, misery also...regret that I can't have those teaching years back.

The greatest gift we can give our children is that which cannot be seen, but will play out gradually in the choices they make in their own lives...that which is embedded in their heart and mind and cultivated by us, their parents, over the years that we have influence.  That gift is the chance to build for themselves, by doing the stuff they don't want to do,  the strength of spirit, mind, and character, the strong confidence that cannot be magically created, but is earned by their own work,  that leads to success in life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Does anybody out there hate to fix lunch as much as I do? Ugh. I hate lunch. It seems like you just get the kitchen all cleaned up from breakfast and before ya know it a little person is telling you they're "starving". So, then you have to conjure something up for lunch, clean the lunch mess up, and four hours later start the process of dinner! I for one get SOOO tired of the same ole things for lunch. There are only so much PB&Js, mac-n-cheese, frozen burritos, grilled cheeses a mama can fix-smell-eat before she goes crazy!

What do my other mama's fix for lunch? I need some fresh ideas before I go to the store this weekend. I prefer non-processed items, I'm sick to death of those too. So if you have some scrumptious, healthy, easy-to-clean-up lunch ideas, lay them on me!!


Things About Me

1. I love this for breakfast

2. I fold all my children's clothes "the Navy way" ever since I completed my enlistment
(The boys share a dresser so I need everything to fit in nice square)
Yes. That is my reward for folding the clothes at the end of the table. Girl Scout cookies and milk...mmmm!

3. I can't stand loose hair in the bathroom or anywhere.

4. I have to have Cinnamon Bun coffee creamer in my morning coffee!


Samuel's idea of hiding while playing hide-n-seek 

I love that boy! :-) Something new and funny every day! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Deck Your Husband, uh err... I mean the Halls

This post is a throwback to November that I never posted. I figured everyone could get a good laugh out of it now. :-)

Tradition. Something that I may hold closer to my heart than others. There were high hopes of fond memories being built today; hopes of togetherness, hopes that my husband and children would be equally as excited as I to trim our tree. It didn't take long to realize that I, obviously, have much stronger feelings for this sort of thing than the rest. As I sort through all the Christmas ornaments, carefully packaged away with great diligence and great love, all the memories flood into my head of the exact day I chose certain ornaments. I think of the meaning behind childhood ornaments given to me by my grandparents or ones my parents chose for me so long ago. I tenderly remove the ornaments from bubble wrap, boxes, tissue paper, and I carefully examine each one. Some show cracks- evidence of the passing years, some are immaculate despite their age, some with fading colors, or others vibrant from a fresh year's purchase.

Each one is placed with purpose on individual branches. Some low- safe for curious wondering little fingers, others hung up high because of age, sentimental value, brilliance! Then you have those that don't take as much care with the visible memory in their hands. Popping open a box to send our 1st Christmas ornament flying through the room to take a shattering crash onto the coffee table. Crushed. I stood their feeling defeated like the father from "The Christmas Story" movie. You know what I'm talking about don't you? When Ralphie's mother goes to water her plant and purposefully broke the "major award"-although I know it wasn't on purpose, at that exact minute it sure felt like it.  When I could finally gain my composure, I look up at my husband to see an "oh well" look on his face. Not a care, no remorse, no longing for that important ornament to return to its pristine state of that big glass ball. Nothing. His nonchalant response was what drove the knife right to my heart.

No more then 10 minutes later did Samuel tell me he broke his sister's BRAND NEW ORNAMENT. Just kick me! Kick me while I'm down... go ahead do it! I felt like I got the ole 1-2 to the gut, an upper cut to the chops and BAM! Down for the count! Have you ever had that moment where that little fire deep within starts building, you can feel it build and you try to stop it  you let it build, because that is just the mood you've been heaved into? Still emotionally distraught from 10 minutes previous (but-choking- it-down-to-try-and-move-on-pleasantly-with-the-tree-experience) I lost it. Demanding for the boys to go to their room, I toss chuck the pieces of Jesse (the Toy Story Cowgirl) into the couch, stomp off to my bedroom, slam the door, and lay in my bed and bawl "have a moment". That's right, I'm not ashamed, I'm putting it all out there for ya.

It was done. The glow of Christmas tradition was snuffed out of the room. After I calmed myself down I came back out to the living room, turned on some very serene Christmas music (George Winston's December) and hung the rest of the ornaments all alone. Hopefully this isn't the year our Christmas tradition my four year old and two year old boys burn into their memory banks- "the year mommy flew off the Coo Coo's nest". Next year is sure to be more pleasant, but for now I'm going to sit in peace and recall past and present memories of decorating the Christmas tree. :o)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Renewed Promise

I promise to be better about blogging and posting more than, lets say...... 5x a year. :-) If nothing else I need to do this for me, because this is such a nice way to catalog what my children are doing and have done. How we change, how we grow, how we love.

A few words that have been exchanged that still ring clear in my head.

Joel and I were recounting the past and I lovingly told him: "See hun, I was the best thing in your life!" And he replies: "What are you talking about? You still are." I-love-that-man!!

Samuel, in trying to wake Joel up one morning said, "Daddy are you getting up yet? It's 16 o'clock!" Sam is trying to grasp the concept of time. He always asks what time it is and what the answer I give him means. :-)

Isaac is still obsessed with everything Buzz Lightyear, is quickly sprouting upward making all the evidence of his toddler chunky rolls disappear.... I miss those already. He still continues to want to be my snuggle bug and often tells me "I looooovvvee you!"

Caroline is independent as ever. Saying shoe - clear as day- night night, puhpur (slipper), buoy-boy (Bailey Boy), Guh Guh (Gus Gus), plssz (please), etc.

I'm juggling going to school, watching my friend's little girl, making my jewelry, and my new found love- knitting. The artisan/entrepreneur that has been buried inside me is slowly emerging... and I love that person! A new year to achieve growth, wish me luck!