Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Generation Gap

This is my profile picture--the one everyone sees if they look at my profile or when I comment on a blog. It took five months of having a blog before a fairly decent shot was taken. And isn't my blue-eyed baby sweet?This is my niece's profile picture. Let me just say that I LOVE this girl. She is funny and smart and sassy and wise well beyond her 17 years. I think everyone who knows her LOVES her. . . in all caps.

But, dearest girl, why did you put your bobble head as your profile picture?

This is where I want to point out a marked difference in generations. People my age and older try to have normal pictures on display for the world. Many have professional photos posted. Generally speaking, we are looking at the camera, we are smiling, we are looking up so our double chins aren't pronounced, we are wearing make-up.
But this younger group has all kinds of not-normal pictures posted. They make every face that we used to call silly-face posted for the world!

And I am not kidding when I say that some of them are just weird! My niece has this artsy business going that make her profile pictures fun to look at, but some of her friends look downright goofy. Flaring nostrils and sticking-out tongues are the norm.

This is also the generation who will wear sweat pants partly rolled up (or down) and carry a gold sequined purse. They spend hours fixing their hair to make it look like they just rolled out of bed.

I wish I had some of their gumption, but, here on the eve of my 32nd birthday, I suppose I should not try to look like them. I would look stupid.

I guess I'll stick to my normal poses. Maybe I should take up quilting, too. And join DAR. And start getting my hair done each week at a salon. And buy some of these:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back to Normal

My Fleet and I had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did, too. (His aunt gave him an MP3 player--he liked it.) We glutted ourselves on fudge and candy canes. Our house was clothed in the garish golds and glitters of Christmas decor.
Everyone gave and everyone got. Wishes were granted. We studied the story of the birth of our Savior and felt the Holy Spirit witness that it was real. There were days entirely filled with video games and snow forts and movies. We had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did, too.Today, we returned to normal life. We had school and covered math (what exactly is the real-life use for square roots?), reading, writing, and work. There were only minor, feeble complaints. Everyone was ready for routine.
Breaks are good, though. I heard, This is fun! more than once. But they are called breaks for a reason--I think the human spirit longs for growth and learning. Sometimes we may feel otherwise, but, really, no one wants to be lazy all of the time. Like the song says, When you get up, Get Up! It's healthy!

The New Year comes at a good time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Prove You are a Man

Let me apologize in advance for offending some of you by today's post. Sometimes there is only one way to say a thing.

My sister and I would call this a Penis Truck. It is related to Short Man's Syndrome--trying to compensate in conceit and sass for what they lack in height. The Penis Truck owner has a big and flashy truck to compensate for his small . . . well, you get the picture.

Then, there are Real Men. These are the guys who hold doors, change diapers and tires, kiss their grandmothers, provide for their families, dance with their wives and run for miles holding onto the seat of the newly training-wheel free bicycle. Real men are comfortable in their skin and can cross traditional barriers because they know who they are.

This kid is a Real Man. He is the only boy in his dance studio. Yes, he takes ballet and is a real crowd-pleaser. Not a lot of boys are willing to put themselves out there like that. Of course he's given crap, but he handles it with a cool, "You try it. It's harder than you think."

And he'll have his choice of lovely ballerinas . . . unlike the truck guy . . . who will be reving his engine thinking every chick will get all hot and bothered by his big . . . wheels.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Internal Battles

In literature, a poor person is respectable if they are clean. For example, an author may say, "The house was small and plain, but the rough-hewn floorboards were bleached white from continual scrubbing," or "Their clothes were worn, but each patched shirt was scoured and ironed stiff with starch," or "Though her kitchen cupboards were bare, she kept a tidy home with a fresh cloth spread neatly on the table." These examples are made up, but they could be real. I know, because it is precisely that kind of sentence that burrows a hole of guilt inside my soul. Poor you cannot help, but clean you can.

I am not clean.

I have a very dear friend (Her husband is a talented photographer and this is one of his photos. I couldn't find one with her face, but this is the woman) whom I sincerely admire. She is a Saint--that's with a capital S. There are many of her qualities that I would like to develop. Her hobby is cleaning. I know, I don't quite understand it either.

The other day, she mentioned that she had an all-day purge and scour of the house planned to prepare for Christmas. I usually go through my pod's toys to make room for Christmas gifts, but this was more. Ohh, I was inspired. A completely clean house and big bags to donate waiting at the door sounded so nice! I was going to do it, too.

Then, something happened. It snowed--a lot. And, there's this thing about snow; it melts. You kind of have to take snow when it happens because it may not be there tomorrow. If it doesn't melt, it may be too cold to play tomorrow.

Now I was in for it. Do I make my children stick with me during this Purge and Scour Event of the Year or do I let them play in the snow?

No. No options. We are cleaning today. Do not look out the window. We are cleaning. Try not to notice the fun the children across the street are having. We are cleaning. Ignore the voice telling you that childhood goes quickly and snowfall is unpredictable. WE ARE CLEANING!!!Oh, forget it. I can't be someone I'm not.

Of course, I'll keep trying to improve.

For now, however, I have to do what my gut tells me. We'll get the house clean sometime.

Childhood only lasts for so long. I'd hate to make them miss it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Return to Main Menu

We love Little House on the Prairie; the books and the old TV show. I want to be Caroline. She is good and kind and wise and thoughtful and gentle and knows how to make all kinds of stuff . Plus, isn't she pretty? Pa seems to get all the credit for that, resourcefulness, I mean, but Caroline is just as ingenuitive in her realm as Charles is in his. Notice her hands in the picture below. Those are hard-working hands. (This must have been taken after The Long Winter--they are so thin.)Anyway, Little House is one of the few shows the pods are allowed to watch on Sunday; we think it is that wholesome.
A few years ago, the NBC people decided it was time to give Little House back to the people and started selling the TV show on DVD. The show has been in syndication for YEARS and I think they copied someone's recorded VCR version to sell. The color is bland and washed out, the picture sometimes jumps around a bit and the sound is bad. The television has to be up really loud to hear the dialog.
Today's problem is that my children leave the television on when the show is playing the closing credits. When the DVD hops back to the menu after the credits, the theme music is as loud as most shows at that volume level. Then, they leave it running. Over and over and over I hear THIS! And over and over and over, again, on a constant replay. LOUD.
It is at that point that I usually just unplug the television. Do you have problems with menu music, or is it just me?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Worth It

**Please excuse the mess in the photos. The housekeeper has been calling in lazy a lot these days**

Since my children were able to stand, they have helped in the kitchen. I have a stool and a ladder on which they stand and help unwrap butter, dump in pre-measured ingredients and stir the pot. When they get a little older, they measure the ingredients, crack the eggs and scrape the sides of the bowls. Once they learn to read, they learn to read and follow a recipe and double (or more) a batch. In those years of standing by my side, they learn what golden brown looks like on the top of a cookie, what simmer means and why higher temperatures do not mean done faster. My oldest is just beginning to discover the nuances of seasonings and the fact that once you learn the do, ra, me's of cooking you can create all kinds of songs in the kitchen.

Doesn't this sound lovely? It's not.

I always have a stool and a ladder in the middle of my kitchen floor. I must have someone in front of me helping roll out dough or whisk the batter. Do you know how difficult it is for a four year old to get the whole cup of sugar in the bowl without dumping some on the floor? Learning to stir means splashes on the stove and drippings down the front of the cabinets. There are moments in cooking when one must work very fast. That is hard to do when you must go around people in a maze like pattern; repeatedly. Some things get burned, some things are spilled, sometimes I want to pull my hair out. Sometimes I have a tantrum and kick everyone out.

But then, one morning, I wake up to this:

My seven year old daughter can make pancakes--from scratch. She knows the recipe by heart. She know how to be careful of the heat of a griddle. She has the dexterity to flip.
My older pods can make a dozen meals and that does not just include sandwiches (though spreading peanut butter is much more difficult than you would expect). They are comfortable working with the stove.

There is still a lot of work to do: cleaning up after cooking is more than they can handle, their arms are not quite long enough to reach in the oven, and chopping with a knife is restricted unless I am there to supervise.

But, hey! I don't have to cook every meal anymore. I am earning my promotion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mystery Solved

The kids went to see Santa. I remembered my camera, there was room on my memory card, and I had just changed the batteries. The first picture I tried to take failed because the batteries were exhausted. How was that possible?

My seven year old had gotten a hold of my camera.

She took 99 pictures.

The last picture, taken with the timer, was worth all the other 98.

I've never done a video before and it took me 38 hours to make this one download onto my screaming fast, 2002 bottom-of-the-line laptop. I made some mistakes that were not evident until I loaded it onto my blog, but I'm not changing them now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Gift of Time

Everyone should have an Aunt Jenny. She is generous and thoughtful--two fabulous qualities in a close relative. One of the talents that she has improved upon is her ability to cook. She is a bit of a magician in the kitchen.

My dear mother is not (a magician in the kitchen,though she is generous and thoughtful). She just told me today that she did not know how to make pancakes until she was married. She has improved a great deal over the years, but cooking is not a strong suit.

Each year Aunt Jenny made kazillions of Christmas treats and since she knew our family would have no Christmas cookies if she didn't provide for us, she would bring a large platter to our door. We lived 80 minutes away, but we knew we could count on Aunt Jenny. Her platters were an assortment of cookies and candies and were a delight to the sugar-starved Mattoon children. She also brought them because it was a way to show her love for us.

After I married my sweetheart, we, too, began making Christmas treats. Over the years we have refined the list to include only the very, very best recipes. Nearly every item has nuts of some kind. . . because I love them. Some are old recipes of my husband's Great-Grandmother Sweet (perfect name, huh). We bake and dip and frost as a family because that is part of the gift. We wrap them up and bring them to our friends and neighbors.

Once, we dropped the cookies off and ran. We were talking to that person later and they said they didn't know who the treats were from so they tossed them! How is that possible? We haven't done anonymous since (though we do accept anonymous treats willingly--delightedly!). Instead, we bring the tray and carol at the door. I am all about keeping traditions alive. Our little choir is much better now that our children's voices are there to help.

We cannot afford to give gifts through the year, so this is our chance to show our friends how much we love them and are grateful for them. Thank you, Aunt Jenny, for the inspiration . . . and the chocolate turtles.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A New Worry for the Mother

The first time I sat with my husband's brothers for any length of time, I was a little freaked out. First, they are a very loud family and they don't take turns speaking. My people are a boisterous group, but I had never seen anything like this. Not only were they talking at most people's yelling volume, but they were talking like insane people. They were hollering back and forth about an article they had just read about the United States owning scores of all-white boxcars. So, I think, but don't dare say it out loud. They holler on, Inside, the walls are lined with shackles. Why would the United States government need boxcars with shackles? They don't even use them, they just sit in a rail yard. They are not for existing prisoners; they are for a large group of people that need immediate silencing.

The conversation went on to speculate about which group of people was targeted and why.

I just sat shriveling in a corner.

Then, one brother started, Yesterday I went out to the Palouse (an area with large tracks of farmland). There were these huge tanks placed strategically all over the area. I think they are tankers full of fuel. The Air Force is up to something, I'm sure of it. (We lived near an Air Force base). The other brothers joined in with full passion about why the United States Air Force would strategically place fuel tankers all around our city. There was a general insistence that we all get into the vans (there are a lot of us) to go see the mystery tanks.

I had never heard this kind of talk, so, I, convinced something was going terribly wrong, hurried into the car.

They were water tankers used for irrigation.

This was my first introduction to conspiracy theories and theorists. Now, after eleven years with the brothers, I don't believe anything they say concerning the end of the world. I ask one brother, who always has a new certainty of the identity of the Anti-Christ spoken of in the scriptures, Who is the Anti-Christ today? He usually has an answer for me. Once it was Prince Charles.

I have become very sceptical of any conversations that lean in a conspiratorial direction. There is no way the government is hiding alien cadavers in New Mexico. Despite this convincing footage, there are no haunted houses. I've never believed that the government has a system that traces key words in telephone conversations or e-mails. My husband's brothers are kooks.

Enter my son's blog. His first entry was some crazy I'm-a-nine-year-old-boy-and-I-have-a-blog diatribe. He had an image of a nuclear blast. He used words like bomb, blowing up, and the disturbing phrase: well at least it wasn't America. that time.

His site meter registered a visit from the United States Armed Forces.

No, I am not kidding.

I wonder who the shackles in the boxcar are for.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Inspire Not Require

When we first explored the idea of homeschooling our children, we found a book called The Thomas Jefferson Education. It is really more of a homeschooling philosophy than a curriculum. A main feature of the philosophy requires the parents to be mentors to the children. It teaches that a child will mimic what he sees, therefore, the hardest part of the curriculum is MY part--if I'm not doing a thing, there is little hope that my child will want to do it.

I have seen inspirational mentoring work dozens of times over the course of our homeschooling journey. The first time I recognized it was when we were trying to decide whether to home school. I sat down with a notebook and did a little journaling to help organized my thoughts and feelings about it. My son, then age five, watched me for a minute then went and got his own notebook. He sat next to me and made his own journal entry. It was all the convincing I needed. I knew this program could work if I did my part.

My (humble, lucky-if-I-get-any-comments) blog is nearly 100 posts old and my son has just started his own blog. Every nine year old should have a blog--it would entertain the masses. Already, his desire for better punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure is thrilling this don't-force-it Mothership.

I love seeing all of the steps of our children's educational journey.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Good Show

The city workers were cutting down a tree. They had hardhats. They had power tools. They had heavy equipment. They had a respectable turnout.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Looking On

This is how I arrange my nativity scene. Mary is kneeling at the feet of the Baby Jesus, Joseph is standing by, the secondary characters look on from the periphery and the animals are scattered here and there. It is set like a stage, no backs are to the audience and the taller people are in the back.

This, by the way, is the DO NOT TOUCH nativity. It is fraa-jee-lay. (Name that movie!)

This is the way my children arrange it. Jesus is in the middle, but every person, angel and animal are focused on Him. One of my pods does this every year. Each time I see it, I put the pieces back, yet the next time I look at it, the nativity is back, focused on Baby Jesus.

Yes, please notice the donkey's missing ear. The donkey ear is missing from every nativity scene in America. It is followed by the angel's wings. Like I said, this is the DO NOT TOUCH nativity.

We also have a PLEASE PLAY WITH ME nativity. It is a Little People's version with sweet faces and indestructible donkey ears. Here we see the children have placed all of the characters in their places. Even the sheep dog looks reverently on.My children teach me things every day. Do I do what looks good or do I do what is right? And in what direction am I looking?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reading Time = Loving Time

I have always read picture books to my children and love story time. We will gather a pile of books, sit together in a heap on the couch and read for as long as an hour. It gives us the chance to decompress, to quiet our thoughts, to still our bodies. The required closeness answers our need for physical touch, for intimacy with family. It is the definition of unity, all of us laughing at the same picture, counting kittens for the benefit of the one learning to count, kissing the illustration of the hurt child as we learn compassion, and smelling the flowers on the page to help our imaginations grow. Traditions have evolved such as the singing of the ABC's after each reading of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and certain accents have to be used for certain characters. My oldest pods have been reading independently for three years, but if they hear me reading aloud, they hurry in to take their assumed place in the pile-up. We practice patience as we read I'll Love You Forever, again. The boy kindly listens to Fancy Nancy because he knows that the next book is Nate the Great.

Nearly five years ago, I expanded our reading time. One night, as I tucked in my 5 and 3 year old, I cracked the spine of a treasure: Charlotte's Web. Ever since that night, I have been reading "chapter books" aloud at bedtime. We have read dozens of books together including The Little House on the Prairie, The Lion, he Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Island of the Blue Dolphin, and Where the Red Fern Grows. In Inkheart, author Cornelia Funke reminds us that books have great memories. Whenever we read one, we are taken back to the first time we read those pages.

My children are going to remember bits and pieces of even their earliest years of childhood. As a mother, I make a lot of mistakes. I hope that they'll remember the best parts of growing up. I don't know that there could be a better reminder of happy times than when they curl up with a book that we read together all those years before.

By the way, my younger set of pods are now 5 and 3 years old and we've just started Charlotte's Web.

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Than a Countdown

For nine years I have been celebrating the Christmas season as a mother. I'm kind of opinionated (you know that) and I don't have a neutral setting. I either love something or hate it; want to know more or couldn't care less; I am completely satisfied or I'm totally disgruntled. One of my personal life challenges is to just be okay with things. (That is also something I am learning from my very content husband.) But, I digress.

For years I have searched for an advent calendar that suits my passions. They are not available. There are religious ones, cutesy ones, disposable versions and quilted-pass-down-for-generations versions.

Some are stupid and some are beautiful.

Frankly, if I just wanted a count down to Christmas, I would make a paper chain.

Last year I decided to make my own calendar. It is one sheet of plain white copy paper. It is not pretty or cute or creative. I do hope it is, however, something that is handed down from generation to generation.

I am a big fan of Santa Claus. My tree is lit with plenty of sparkly lights. We shop and make gifts and candy and chocolate. We go caroling. Wassail simmers on the stove the whole season through and eggnog does not even make it to the fridge before it is emptied by my fleet. Still, I want my family to know about the birth of our Savior. I want them to feel the voice of the Spirit whisper the value the gift of His life. I want to make sure that we don't only think of him on Christmas Eve during the always smooth (*cough*) nativity reenactment.

My advent calendar is that part of Christmas. It is also a little bit of me. I searched the scriptures and found those most valuable bits of the celebration to share with my family. Time is taken to explain terms and nouns (swaddling clothes, myrrh). The moving words of the prophets are read aloud. We explore ideas (Does it matter that Jesus was born in Bethlehem?) and apply the scriptures to ourselves (What gift can you bring to Jesus?) And after a few minutes of discussion (my children are young, remember), we listen to or sing a Christmas carol that binds together that evening's message. It takes less than ten minutes and we have re-focused our reason for celebration.

Then, we remove the next magnetic number and eat the chocolate Santa head.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Choice, Part IV

Part I

Part II

Part III

Saturday Night Live ended and The Greatest Hits of the Seventies on Four CDs or Cassettes danced on the screen. The over-lip glossed hostess tried in vain to sell the compilation to the young couple. His sisters had gone to bed and they were left alone.

There they sat, absorbed in the feeling of together. They were in a new world. An hour before they were friends, now they were something more. She didn't want to move--didn't want to end this perfect feeling, but it was getting late and he still had to drive her home. She looked up at him and saw that he had already been looking down at her. And then, there it was; the first kiss.

She had a history of first kisses that were decidedly not this kiss. When she was 16, she played the lead role in a musical production. Despite pleas and panicking, her first kiss of all was on opening night, on the stage, in front of everyone. Having no romantic feelings for her co-star, all she could think was that it was slimy and awkward. As the cast cheered back-stage (everyone having known her misgivings about this being her first kiss), she wondered what attraction there was in kissing.

Her real first kiss was on her parents front porch with her brothers' eyes peering out the window. She was giggly; he was shaky. When he finally worked up the nerve to kiss her, the connecting of their lips was more like a slam or a collision than a soft-lens, symphony playing, gracefully executed show of passion.

But this kiss. Well. Now she understood why The Kiss was always right before the Happily, Ever After.

On Tuesday morning, she was dancing around the house as she helped her mother clean. Nothing could get her down; she was always singing. Her mother stopped everything and looked at her, You love him.

What? She cried, nonplussed. Nooo. I've only known him for a little over two weeks. He . . . he . . . I . . . I . . . you, don't . . .

Her mom raised her eyebrows and grinned. I've told you before: Mom's know everything.

This comment from her mother got her to thinking. Did she love him? Like, yes. Lust, obviously. But Love? All day she analysed love. Could she love someone she had barely met? Didn't people have to go through all kinds of experiences together before they could claim Love? Her parents loved each other. They had been married for 25 years. She thought about their relationship. No way. She couldn't love him. But, then, again, were there different levels of love? Her parents loved each other when they were married 25 years earlier. Could that constant longing for his companionship be love?

That night he came to her house and they wandered around her parent's park-like backyard. They held hands and visited quietly in the cooling September air. She found herself thinking, I could do this for the rest of my life.

They sat in a hammock and ceased talking. He had his arm around her, her head rested in her place. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the comfortable, warm feeling that filled her. Quietly, he said, Is it too early to say I love you?

Do you? she whispered back


Friday, November 28, 2008

Lick the Stamp--For Me

When it comes to the holidays, I am a strict traditionalist. Please do not inject butter into my turkey breast or cook the whole thing in a vat of oil. The stuffing can have some celery or waterchestnuts to add a little crunch, but don't add craisins, wild rice or green olives. Creativity in the kitchen is fun and fine the whole year--except holidays.

Another tradition to which I firmly cling, despite society changing all around, is the Christmas card. The format changes from year to year, but it is always printed on paper and sent in the mail, with a stamp. I enjoy sitting down to write the letter; it helps me to look back on the year and contemplate our blessings. As I fill out each address, by hand, I think of those favorite friends that I don't often (or ever) see.
Then there are the reply Christmas cards. I love, love to watch my friends' families grow and see the changes they make in their lives. I look forward to the mail each day and squeal with delight at the sight of a green or red or candycane envelope. The children in the pictures look like the friends I played with on the playground--now parents themselves. Then, after each letter is read, the cards and pictures are lovingly taped to the front door where I can enjoy the happy colors and thoughts of those whom I love.I know it is cheaper to send out e-cards. I know it takes a long time to address all of those envelopes and to get that perfect picture. But holding a card is akin to touching a dear friend--one you haven't seen for years or family you just saw at the Thanksgiving dinner.

I'll be getting those Christmas cards out soon and I'll still be serving cranberry sauce. . .with the imprint of the can forever in it's sides.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Welcome, Christmas

"CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE" Funny Jokes at JibJab

**Warning** Be careful about other content on JibJab--not all morally friendly . . .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who, Me?

My amazing parents have done foster care for nearly thirty years. They have taken in scores of children, almost exclusively developmentally delayed. We had Joey for eight years. Joey was about the same age as my younger brother. He had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which, being interpreted, is horrific behavior. He had real problems and did a lot of damage to our home and our bodies (biting was his favorite form of affection). Because of his severe disability, he made marvelous infractions. He enjoyed coming into our bedrooms at 5 o'clock in the morning and yelling, WAKE UP!!!! at the top of his lungs. Repeatedly. He once took a bite of ice cream--through the cardboard of the half-gallon container. In a fit he kicked a hole in the wall of his bedroom. That was bad, but others with not as good of an excuse have done the same. The bad part is that he relieved himself in that hole several times. Now, how does one go about cleaning that up?

Joey, however, did not do all of the breaking, sneaking and irritating things in our house.

He went to another home when I was about fourteen. After he left, I am somewhat ashamed to say, our dear mother discovered that her children were not as angelic as she had been lead (by us) to believe. You see, our scapegoat was gone. Sudden responsibility for can be startling.

Then again, my mom is one smart cookie. And there is that thing about eyes in the back of her head.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rearranging the Puzzle

My husband is a talented mimic. He has a knack for picking out those subtle details that set us apart from one another: the way you hold your mouth, your habitually tapping fingers, your uniquely bouncing eyebrows, etc. Not only can he imitate people physically, he finds phrases and themes that a person tends to frequent. It is endlessly entertaining to watch his performances and to recognize the clues he is giving.

My father-in-law is sick. It is not life-threatening, but it may turn out to be life changing. I love that man--he has always been good to me. He is getting older (69), but has always been spry and active so I never noticed his age. (There is one major exception. My husband recently stayed several days with his folks. Their age reveled itself when he witnessed them watching the Weather Channel . . .not checking the weather, but watching the forecast say the same thing, in different clothes, 24 hours a day.) When Dad's sickness fell upon him suddenly, his mortality also became suddenly real.

There is a silver lining to this cloud; my husband can imitate his father to a T. Of course it is not the same, but it is a reminder; a memory. After years mimicking, my husband is turning into his dad. And, now, our son has begun to travel down the impersonations road, too.

I got to wondering about genetic inheritance. My dark hair is from my dad, my smile came from my mother. Physical traits can be seen, in some circumstances, many generations back. But, there are other things that are inherited. I make egg noodles the same way my Great-great Grandmother Charlotte did (and she probably learned it from her mother). I bake my turkey in an oiled paper bag the way my Great Grandmother Helen taught my newly-wed mother.
Maybe I inherited my optimism, my inability to catch a ball, my love for Heavenly Father. Some people can naturally get to the bottom of a complicated matter, others see through a facade to understand another's need. While I believe we all come with our own personality(no parent of multiple children can question that), how much of our person is just a mix of who came before?

What did you inherit and what will you pass on?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Passing the Time

Sometimes being the Mothership is difficult. Sometimes, I wish I could get my house clean and have it stay that way for a few minutes. Sometimes, I wish I didn't have to drive a van. Sometimes, I wish I could just go to bed when I was tired. Sometimes, I wish I could eat my dessert without sharing one bite.

When telling a friend of a current child-rearing difficulty, he said, This, too, shall pass.

But, I don't want it to just pass. I want to be here--in the now.
If my house is always clean, that means we aren't playing together, reading together, dancing together. We are cleaning.If I have a zippy little car, that means I don't have girls, girls everywhere. No ribbons, no mothers-in-training, no childish laughter.

If I go to bed when I am tired, that means I am not kissing the tiniest toes and touching the softest skin and smelling the sweetest neck. There are no lullabies.

If I do not share every bite, then that means I do not have the reward of joy.

So, Pestering Wants, back off. I'm busy. You can wait because right now I am enjoying this: