Tag Archives: children

You love me! You really love me!


I obviously stole this title from Sally Field.  What I mean is you love me.  And, I love you.  Don’t we all appreciate each other more when we are our true, authentic selves?  This post on Swerve was a good one on “My Path to Me.”  I like how Scott Williams always says “Do YOU!”  And, Robin Meadows commented how this is a great lesson to teach our children. 

I credit Robin with the idea for this post.

How do we teach our children that they are fearfully and wonderfully made?  That God created each of them with different gifts?  That they should never feel the pressures to be like someone else? 

Because, when they are their true, authentic selves, they can change the world.

It’s a hard lesson to teach when we ourselves struggle in this area.  To be fashion forward, I need to wear what she’s wearing.  Maybe, if I had his job, I’d be happy.  If I could just be the mother she is or the father he is, then I’d get this parenting thing down.  Nothing wrong with receiving guidance from someone else.  We just can’t be that someone else.  Lord knows, I take all the parenting advice I can get!

I remember the first (and only) time I spoke at dad’s church.  I’ve listened to and been surrounded by some pretty spectacular ministers – all of whom have imparted to me.  But, they did not create me.  God did.  The day before I stood behind that pulpit, my dad told me to “remember, what comes from the heart, goes to the heart.”  In order to make this happen, I couldn’t be my dad, or any other speaker I had ever heard.  I had to be me.  I probably had some hits and misses here.   Some points were all me, others were probably someone else.  Maybe that’s why dad hasn’t asked me to speak again.  Hmmm.  Oh, sidebar.

I’ve also been in the process of discovering my own blogging voice.

Probably the best way to teach our children not to jump off a bridge just because their friends jumped is to model this behavior ourselves. 

Be who God created YOU to be.  And, just maybe our children will follow.

How do you teach your children to be themselves?

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Make sure you wear clean underwear!


Today is my mom’s thirty-ninth birthday.  In honor of her birthday and motherhood, I thought I’d share how parallel our universes run. 

You know those things your mom said to you that you swore you’d never say to your children?  I pretty much say them all….and I haven’t even hit the teen years yet.  Here are just a few:

In or out!

You will get in trouble, but you will get into more trouble if you lie about it.  (Kind of like the Driving Miss Daisy shenanigans I tried to pull.  Blast.)

You can wipe your own.  (Oh wait, is that not so common?)

No snacks.  We’re about to have dinner.

Did you flush?

You are not allowed to roll your eyes.  (Note:  My parents only saw me roll my eyes once.  Once.)

When I tell you something, do not respond with “I know.”  Just say, “Yes ma’am.”

The latter is my recent struggle with my 5 ½ year old who remarkably already knows how to golf, play guitar, and do calculus. 

Things my mother didn’t say – but an idea of what goes on in our sweet home:

Do not pee on the dog.

Do not pee in John Henry’s suitcase.

If you take off your clothes, leave on your underwear.

Anna, please stop telling strangers you have a surprise for them and following up by removing your shoe and saying “Stinky shoe!!!!” 

Your turn.  What did your mother say to you that you say to your little darlings?  Or, what things have you said to your children you thought you’d never have to say?

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Motherhood just got easier.


I was looking back through some old writings and found this one.  I recorded this a year ago today.  It was a good reminder to chill out – and more importantly, remember to be grateful. 

As written August 5, 2007:

I won’t argue that being a mother is one of the toughest jobs in the world.  My days are filled with settling disputes between brother and sister, kissing boo-boos, reading books (and making sure I’m in character when doing so), and meeting my children’s basic daily needs.  All the while, it is my responsibility to make sure they learn the importance of kindness, acceptance of others, and why God should be at the very core of who they are as human beings.  Tough at times?  Yes.  Time-consuming?  Of course.  Nonetheless, such responsibilities could be greater.

 

On a usual play day at our neighborhood mall playground, I saw another mom who looked a lot like me….not in a physical sense, but just your usual run of the mill thirty-something mom.  While I watched my children climb to the top of the big baseball and jump off like super-hero wannabes, this mom participated in the play with her special needs daughter.  I’m not certain of the exact challenges that this little girl faces daily, but I do know that she could not talk or walk on her on.  So, I watched as this mother would pick up her little girl and hold her while she went down the slide that my children can climb up on their own (and usually the wrong way).  She continued to bounce her daughter into the air so she could experience the laws of nature that my children can experience all by themselves.  This mother made sure that her daughter had the best day she could possibly have.  The toughest part of my day was chasing after my two-year old who ran out of the Subway in the food court while I was paying for our food. 

 

One day my children will grow up and be on their own.  They will come and visit me and call me on Mother’s Day.  I will enjoy the luxuries of travel and whatever it is you do when your children leave home.  This mother will be caring for her daughter for the rest of her days on earth.  These are the mothers who deserve the standing o’s and hand claps.  So, the next time I’m wiping up the milk that my little girl intentionally poured on the floor, I will remember, “This is easy.” 

 

Let me leave you with this excerpt from “If I Had My Child To Raise All Over Again” by Diane Loomans:

 

If I had my child to raise all over again,

I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.

I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.

I would do less correcting and more connecting.

I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.

I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.

I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I’d do more hugging and less tugging.

 

I hope I will remember that’s the easy stuff.

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Good lessons and reminders from a conversation with John Henry.

·         When you are talking with someone, make eye contact.  Hold it.

·         Ask the other person questions about his/her self.  For example, I asked John Henry, “What are some things that make you scared or nervous about starting Kindergarten?”

·         Listen when another person is talking. 

·         Sometimes, it’s necessary to forget about my “to-do” lists, e-mails that await my response, blogs to write, and just BE with my son.

·         When a conversation shifts gears from the first day of school to which dinosaurs ate meat, go with it. 

·         The seemingly meaningless conversations mean something – TIME.

·         Invest into other people’s lives.

·         Just because you’re a good-looking kid doesn’t mean you don’t have insecurities.  (I am obviously biased, but have you seen my son?  Those eyes?  That complexion?)

·         As human beings, we need pure, unadulterated physical touch with others.

·         Smile at other people.  You don’t know what kind of day they are having.  (John Henry is concerned that when he smiles to his new friends, they may not smile back.)

·         The only thing better than a hug and a kiss goodnight are two hugs and two kisses.

·         And finally, be glad that a snapping turtle doesn’t have a long neck else it might turn around and snap your hand while picking him up.  (And, that was John Henry’s final thought.)

And, then we said “I love you” and “Goodnight.”

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Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising.


By the time the clock strikes 6:00 in the evening, the daily grind with children is nearing its end.  The day is all downhill from there, right?  Not as long as those pretty little blonde haired wonders are still awake. 

At 6:00 PM EST on Wednesday, July 2, 2008, Anna opened the backyard gate only to let Brew (our four-legged pal) explore the wild blue yonder.  I looked like a not so secret agent in search of a star witness in a high profile case.  Oh, I exaggerate.  I just ran up and down the street yellin’ like a true Southerner, “Brew!  Herrreee Breewwwww!”  My children traveled ten feet behind me wiping tears from their eyes.  Because, being the good mama that I am, I told them, “Well, we’ve lost Brew now.  That’s why you don’t open the gate.” 

Or the window, as was the case the last time Brew hoped for a newfound freedom.

So, we recovered Brew and I consoled the children.  As soon as I caught my breath, I commenced to making dinner.  Little did I know that John Henry would use this time to brush up on his “Dial 911” skills.  My phone rings and the lady on the other end from 911 dispatch, or whatever they’re called, informs me that there was a hang up from my number.  Hmmmm.  I told her it must have been one of my children.

“We still have to send someone out to make sure it’s okay,” she explains.

Sure enough an officer shows up at my door, and John Henry runs up the stairs. 

After handing over my license for…..for what?  A record check?  To log me into the system as a potential criminal mama?  The officer realized the only threat to society was us taking up the time of our city’s finest.

There is no doubt that by now, I am on the C.I.A.’s radar.  From the T.S.A. personnel at the airport finding these items in John Henry’s pockets….

To Anna setting off the house alarm while I was taking a shower causing ADT to leave messages on my landline, my cell phone, and my husband’s cell phone.  ‘Cause I was in the shower!

To the events of yesterday evening.  I’m on the radar.  I’m sure of it.

It’s times like these that I see a new series airing called “Baby Borrowers”, and I think, where do I sign up?  I’m just funnin’.  No really, I am.  You know after talking about sweet family time with the children in yesterday’s post….Jesus loves you high and low talk,  that I would never consider letting anyone borrow my children.  Now, I might be open to one of you opening your home to my beautiful blessings.  So, if interested, please comment. 

Ain’t got but one scripture to tie into this one – “This, too, shall pass.” 1 Corinthians 10:12

Hallelujah, Amen & Selah.

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Step aside Simon and Garfunkel.


We initially assumed that John Henry was the only one with musical talent – or, at the very least, a passion for it.

Then, Anna impressed us not only with her song writing ability, but with her preference for the folk genre.

Stay tuned.  Next time, they are sure to do a remake of “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.”

I know.  What to do with all this talent?

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For a minute, I thought we were about to discuss the birds and the bees.


John Henry:
  “Hey, Mom.  I know how God made us.”

Me:  “You do?  How?”

John Henry:  “Well, first He glued a bunch of bones together, and made them into a skeleton.  Then, He put a costume on us.”

Me:  “Very good.”

Whew.

Okay.  I recognize that I accepted his interpretation of how life is created and even applauded him for it.  If you go back to the creation story in Genesis, John Henry is not too far off.  Right?  Maybe only a little. 

But it got me thinkin’.

When does the real sex talk happen?  I would imagine that we drop a little 411 here and there as our kids mature, so when we sit down for the big doozy, it’s not as shocking.  Kind of like when MacGyver unlocks our bedroom door and we explain to her that mommy and daddy are “talking” or “snuggling”.  This rests better on the ears of a three and five year old.  Of course, who knows what the pre-schoolers are talking about on the playground these days.   I’d like to think the only buzz is Buzz Lightyear.  For real.

Parenting.  This should be fun. 

Have you had “the talk” yet with your kiddos?  If so, how old were they when their little minds were enlightened? 

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Sweet Interruptions


So, I was in the kitchen the other day.  No, I wasn’t whipping up one of my incredibly famous meals from scratch.  My wonderfully pink Dell laptop rests on my kitchen counter, and I was all consumed.  I do understand that it’s cool to go Mac, but Dell and I have had a successful relationship for many years now.  He has been faithful and true – and my software works as it should on him.  To toss him aside for a trendier model just seems unkind.

So, I was in the kitchen. 

I hear John Henry calling from the family room, “Mom, would you come in here with me, so I know where you are?”

I saved my draft and met his request.

A couple of days later, it was pretty much the same scenario.

“Mom, would you come in here, so I can see you?”

“Yes, son.”   And, so I did.

I wonder how often God calls us to come be with Him, and we are too frenzied with other things.  I can assure you it happens all the time with yours truly.  Don’t get me wrong.  I dust off my Bible at times and read it the old-fashioned way.  I do, however, like the accessibility of reading the Bible online – on my wonderfully pink Dell, no less.  I’m always swift to pray for my family and others.  I usually serve when there is a need.

But, I often don’t take the time to slow down – take my eyes off of the consumptions of the day – and just be with Him.  No appealing.  Just a little girl enjoying time with her Father – and a Father enjoying His little girl.

I think our Heavenly Father call us often.  “Hey, Dusty, would you come in here with me, so I can see you?”

Gotta run.

“Coming John Henry!”

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The rewards of a college education.


My friend to Anna:  “Where is your daddy?”

Anna:  “He is flying er-planes.  He makes the money.”

Me:  “And, what do I do?”

Anna:  “Nuffing.”

Nice.

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Silver teeth and locusts.


I taught three and four year olds yesterday at church.  Anna, my new student, informed me, “You’re not a teacher, you are mom.”  I’m not sure how she’ll take it when she discovers that I actually once did teach young minds.  The day’s lesson was on John the Baptist and how he spent many a day in the desert, consumed his share of wild locusts, and talked to people about their sin.  Their edible craft consisted of a cracker, some peanut butter, a few pretzels and a few m&m’s.  It was pretty much craft heaven for the little sugar connoisseurs.  They were to assemble the “craft supplies” into a wild locust or as one kid pointed out, a “cricket”.

Before I let the kids devour their locust, I suddenly thought to ask them if any were allergic to peanuts.  I may as well had asked them to explain e=mc2.  However, one boy asked, loudly (either he thought I was hard of hearing or he had no volume control), “DOES IT HAVE SUGAR!?!?” 

“Yes.”  I explained.

“MY DENTIST SAYS I CAINT EAT SUGAR‘CUZ I GOT A SILVER TOOTH!”  He EXCLAIMED.

Hmmmm. 

And, when I later asked Anna what she learned at church that day, she was quick to tell me “about peanut butter and a cracker.”

I’m just so relieved that she is soaking up the Gospel.  And, I’m further relieved that the others are taking care of their silver teeth.

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