Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Mom

Dear Mom,
It's Thanksgiving again today. There is so much to be thankful for God has blessed us beyond measure. You should see the kids they are getting so big. Those teenage years are HARD! Let me apologize right now for that. I know I was a moody smart mouth kid and I would like to thank you for not tolerating any of it. There are so many things to tell you. C is having a better year in school, you would have loved seeing her in the school play. She did such a good job she even shocked her teacher because she was loud enough to be heard. She is also writing for the school newspaper. She loves to write just like her mom. Mo is having a good year too. She's the big kid on campus being the big 6Th grader and all. She is going to be in a Christmas program playing the piano and acting. You always said that one of them would play the piano, because they had such long fingers when they were born. She's only taken lessons for a little over a year and she does so well. Her dancing dream shifted now she wants to be a big time volleyball player as she discovered she loves the game. P is a ladies magnet! He has many friends in school but the girls seem to adore him. I'm a little nervous about that one. He is so kind and loving. Of course he is playing sports. You know his dad wouldn't have it any other way. I know if you were here he would amaze you. It seems we were scared to have a boy for nothing.

I'm missing you so much! It gets easier but the piece of my heart you took with you seems to ache more on the holidays. It's another Thanksgiving and you aren't here for me to tell you thank you. Thank you for loving me, thank you for raising me, thank you for loving me enough to fight with me. As I get older I realize I was lucky to have a mother who cared enough to fight with me. I would rather have had that than indifference. I appreciate the fact that you were smart enough to stand up to me and tell me when I was wrong or making a mistake. Oh and thank you for not letting me date till I was sixteen. I won't be letting my girls date till they are 30 but if by chance the right boy comes to call I may allow it if they are old enough to protect themselves and drive themselves home.

We are redecorating your room looks completely different. I got the hard wood floors I used to dream about. I love going in there and sock skating. It looks more like just another room now. It's easy to not have those last days flood my memories when I go in there now. We may stay here forever now. It's hard for others to understand why it was important to make the change, but I'm sure you understand. I wouldn't change a thing. I was blessed to be able to be there for you. While the pain of losing you will never quite diminish completely, God has saved me from the pit and I find it gets more bearable with the passing of time.

Happy Thanksgiving Mom! I love you and miss you.
Until we meet again,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sometimes God Has a Better Plan

I grew up an only child in a home that was far from happy. My mother tried to make a family with these ingredients: One woman with child, one man who hates kids, one stubborn smart mouth kid, mix, stir, and shake till chaos ensues. I dreamed of having an older brother to beat people up for me( because I was far from the popular kid in school) and a little sister so I could do her hair. I spent my entire childhood fighting. Fighting with mom, fighting with her mentally unstable husband, and fighting to get through school alive.

When I was a teenager I knew three things for certain; 1. I would never get married, 2. I would never have kids, and 3. I would move as far away as possible. If you went to school with me you would often hear me say things like "you know statistics say if your parents don't have kids you wont either." I was going to go college become a big time buyer for Bloomingdale's, live in the city and eat food I couldn't pronounce, and not only spend my free time shopping but spend my work time shopping for the world.

Sometimes I think about what could have or would have been had my life gone down that path. As a now married woman with three kids who didn't move but 10 miles from the house she grew up in, I would have had an exciting life, I would have had the best wardrobe money could buy and I would have died alone. I need only to look at my children's faces and hold the hand of my husband to know that God had a better plan for me.

I would have missed out on so much had I followed the path I wanted for myself. It's not all been a path of roses and chocolate. My oldest child was an emergency c-section, my middle child was speech delay and didn't speak for 4 year and often would resort to hitting or pulling her hair out to get her message across. After all that I was sure I was done. I sold everything and said I have all I can handle. God had a better plan and 5 years after my youngest daughter was born we had a bouncing bundle of joy in my son. I shudder to think what my life would have been without any of them. I cannot imagine a life where they don't exist. I have lost my grandmother, my mother, and two of my aunts, I have lost the only grandfather I ever knew. I as per my childhood see my father on birthdays, Christmas, and special occasions.

I have no brothers to sisters except three steps I rarely see and didn't get till I was 25. Would they drop everything and come if I were in need? I'm not so sure. I have read where friends are the family that you choose for yourself. I believe that is true but I also believe that God has a hand in sending them your way. In that respect my family is overflowing. Sometimes God has a better plan. I have a sister I picked her out myself, she lives an hour in a half away and we talk weekly. She will drop everything and come if I need her. I would do the same for her.

So you see, I didn't become the buyer for Bloomingdale's, I became the buyer for the family. I didn't get the big degree but I can kiss boo boos and have garage sales with the best of them. I didn't move to the big city but now I'm scared to drive on interstates so that worked out well too. I grew up, got married, had children, and although my beginnings were far from ideal, God had a better plan. All those things helped to form who I would become today and who I became was a happily married woman with a real family just like I always dreamed but never thought possible. God ALWAYS has a better plan than the one we have for ourselves.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What IF We Could All Do That?

My younger daughter is going to be in a Christmas Program. She decided that she would try out playing her piano. She went in confidently and played a one handed Deck the Halls. After waiting 2 hrs for an audition and after auditioning for approximately 2 seconds she came out smiling. I look at her and say "did you even get to play?" "yes" she says and "I did awesome!" I cannot imagine how "awesome" it could have been as it seemed she went in and walked out. Being the pessimist that I am I announce how proud I am that she tried and that I hope she won't be too disappointed if she doesn't make it. To which she informs me "I'm not worried I just wanted to try it, it doesn't matter either way but I'm telling you I did good." A week later we get an email informing us that they would love to have her.

It was her birthday and she didn't seem surprised at all. She was delighted of course but not at all surprised. After all she has been practicing and now has it down two handed. So here we are another two weeks later and she has her first rehearsal. I ask her how it went. She replies "I was great!" I couldn't be happier with her enthusiasm.

It does make me wonder how many things I would have attempted pass or fail if I would have had an ounce of her confidence and enthusiasm as a child. New things can be so intimidating that I have always been too afraid to fail or even afraid to succeed to be honest. We get so comfortable with the way things are or have always been that we fear what changes would come if we succeed. If we fail it only confirms our deepest fears.

That is what is so amazing about children. They are practically fearless! I think I fear more as I get older. I drive less than I used to, I still won't ride the mini coaster at Kings Island, and I still won't go out after dark if I can help it. Even though I tell my children "it's ok don't you remember what they said on The Big Comfy Couch? The dark is the same as the light except you can't see thru it." So you see it's not always what we can teach our children, sometimes it's what they can teach us!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say Goodbye to Baseball

Today is the day to say goodbye to baseball. Can you hear the shouts of "The Yankees are Coming, The Yankees are coming?" It's not that I don't like baseball, it's just that I don't enjoy watching a television that bounces between baseball, basketball, and football with the rapidity and speed of a tennis ball bouncing between courts. The one sport being over for the season really does make a difference. My husband actually sits with the remote in his hand so the minute there is a commercial break he can hit every channel showing a game and get all the scores before the break is over. Throw in the fact that the "World Series of Poker" is on and we are now down to nine players and we have a slide show going on the t.v. at 3 second intervals between pictures.

In all actuality the only sport I watch on television is football and that is just for the Super Bowl. The only reason I watch the Super Bowl is for the commercials. My idea of a sport is Shopping and I'll tell you why. Shopping is a contact sport. You know this if you have ever shopped on "black friday" and had to fight over the latest toys at Walmart at 5:00 a.m. Shopping is good for upper body strength. Case in point: my last shopping excursion I carried such heavy packages that at one point one of the bags broke in the middle of the mall. By the time I got my purchases to the car my arms felt like I'd been carrying 150 lbs of free weights thru a circus trying to avoid children while trying to get to the end without hurting anyone in the process. Shopping is a mental game. It takes focus to be able to keep track of what you've purchased and what you have left to buy. It also takes focus to keep track of where the best deals are. Shopping is good for the lower body as if you do it correctly you will be walking or standing for at least 10 hours with few breaks.

So you see when you play ball you have to wear the same outfit every time and all you potentially get for it is a trophy you have to share and a ring that you may never wear. When you shop you get to wear different things every time and you have many things (clothes, shoes and cute accessories) to show for it.

So goodbye baseball. Enjoy your few months off. Design some new uniforms maybe for next season. Get a pedicure you would be amazed at how good your feet will feel afterward. And take those poker players with you to the gym please. Those men sit there for hours at a time. Their bums are numb and they haven't stretched their legs in days. Their eyes are looking a little glassy too. I'm not sure they have seen sunlight for months. They need the fresh air and sunlight. Thank you for a great season.