Posts Tagged ‘kids’

I live in the south.

It would be more common to have several tornados blow through my town than to be able to calculate snow fall in inches. Yet here I sit, another snow day.

This snow that came upon us last night was unexpected. It was wet. It was cold. It was dreary. It was sudden. We didn’t long for it the way we have for the other recent snows. We would have rather it stayed away. But, as with all things, we can’t keep the dreary, cold times away. We have to approach them just as we do the happy, content times. We have to accept that, these too, help us achieve a balance.

So, instead of rushing out to sled and make snowmen and play, we are all content with staying safe in the house. Not venturing out into the cold — but, being here, with each other. Safe. Warm. Happy.

I have often thought about unconditional acceptance.

There are many people in my life that I think have my full unconditional acceptance. For some reason, I was listing them in the shower the other morning. It made me think, maybe I dish out this supreme form of acceptance a little too quickly.

I definitely have unconditional acceptance for my kids. We have to don’t we? How many people in our lives can we say the same thing over and over to and when they still don’t do it we just let it pass or delve out a punishment — but we never quit loving them (yes, I am absolutely thinking about how messy my kids rooms are right now). After a few minutes, we carry on — we hug, we talk, we love.

What I was really thinking about (yes, in the shower — some people sing, I think) the other morning, was if it’s possible to have unconditional acceptance for friends. So, I made my list. Right off the top I came up with two names — two friends that are definitely in the say anything, do anything category. But then my list grew. I started to think about people who I hadn’t seen or talked to in years — people I went to high school with and college with — people I think could tell me just about anything and I would still call them friend. I would still sit down to chat. I would still want to be in their presence.

But, maybe I’m wrong on this one. Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to give out unconditional acceptance. Possibly when you give out unconditional acceptance you are expecting it in return — you are expecting to be able to say anything to that friend and them have the same response that you would have…and that’s not necessarily the case. But, whether perfect or not… it’s difficult to give. But I do. And I will.

So, back to an unexpected snow day.

Back to a cold, wet, dreary day that can only get better with friends and kids and hugs and perhaps a little Dr. Seuss.

Back to the unconditional acceptance (I know some of you will like this video!) of those you love — and who love you.

Back to another snow day, seriously.

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So, I was thinking about this superhero thing and how superhero’s are completely evolved into these…well, superheros. Superheros have this way of walking into your life and making it seem a little more bearable. And hopefully, they stay. Hopefully they don’t fly away to answer the next cry for help.

I recently read a post by my good friend, the brilliant Judy Clement Wall, about how sometimes we have to step into reality and focus on the things that physically bind us together (ok, so that may be my interpretation — not hers!). But, as usual with her writing, it made me think.

I thought about how much I love to spend time with my kids. We often do fun things together — like go to the lake, take trips to Disney, hold each other, hug, talk, laugh. I love for my kids to smile and be happy. Sometimes they’re not though — that’s just the way it goes in human nature. And when they’re not happy, I reach for that borrowed superhero cape and pretend for a moment that I can save the day, that I can rescue them, that I am their superhero.

By nature, kids want to be happy — it borders on selfish I would say. Not in a bad way, don’t get me wrong. But, they need to be happy because that’s what feels the best. It’s primal. It’s instinctive. So, as a mother who aspires to be a superhero, I try to shield them from anything other than the “happy”. But, sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Sometimes the “happy” seems so far away that attaining it is, quite simply, impossible to fathom — especially in the mind of a child. As a mother who aspires to be a superhero, that is the hardest part. To stay focused on an end result that you know will bring the “happy” to everyone — just maybe not soon enough for the child’s need for immediate gratification.

So, the quest continues. The quest to be a superhero is long and tedious. It changes everyday with each new cry for help, with each new need to make the “happy” stay as long as possible.

Superheros seem happy don’t they? At least the make-believe one’s always solve the crisis with a smile, a kind word — and then they leave. But, the real superheros — I think — stick around. They don’t need to fly off. Maybe they need someone to help them find the “happy” too. Maybe the real superheros, with a little help from their friends, can get past all the masked bad guys and find the “happy” — and then share it, especially with the kids.

Oh, to be a superhero.

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I am a routine follower.

I am task oriented.

I have always believed that the reward should come after the task.

Monday the sun came out after a couple of days of cold rainy weather. We had all been a little stir crazy from our inability to venture outside the house and given it was a long weekend, even school and work couldn’t save us from us.

I had worked on a variety of tasks around the house all weekend — cleaning out drawers and closets, laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming. When Monday finally came and the sun popped out, I still needed to wash some sheets and fold some clothes and clean some floors.

Something came over me though.

I stopped all my tasks.

I packed a picnic.

I decided to take my two youngest kids to the lake (my oldest is smart enough to have made plans with friends). This is very unusual for me. I have a bad habit of needing to get everything looking the right way — when you do that, sometimes you can miss out on life. And who really ever cares about the appearance? Isn’t it what’s real that everyone really cares about?

We loaded up the car and drove the two miles to a nice spot on the lake — two miles to a spot I had never taken the time to visit in the four years that I’ve lived in this house. It’s funny. I remember when we were looking for a lot to build a house on — this lot seemed ideal and one of the reasons was its close proximity to the lake…the lake I’ve never taken my kids to because something always needed to be done.

At the lake, we had a picnic, we saw some seagulls (yes, in Tennessee — I’m sure they have a different name but we went with seagulls), we (attempted to) feed some ducks, we found some snail shells, we skipped rocks, we watched the boats, we went on a hike, we laughed, we held hands.

After the lake, we drove to the bookstore and had hot cocoa and looked at some books (and toys) and bought a few things.

When we finally made it home, the dinner I had planned on making didn’t have time to cook so I changed my plans and no one cared. The laundry I didn’t have time to put away waited until the next day and no one cared. The floor that didn’t get vacuumed waited until the next day and no one cared.

The thing that gets remembered… the thing that becomes a memory, is the day at the lake.

We all have to just pause sometimes to see what really matters. Pause to make sure that we focus on the things that really are important. Pause to create the memories that will be the focus of tomorrow’s stories.

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