Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
From this month's visiting teaching message: Margaret D. Nadauld, former Young Women general president: “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. … We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith”
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I also woke up to the sound of my neighbor's six kids getting ready for school in the morning rather loudly. Their mom struggles to raise them since the [younger children's] father is in jail for a probation violation. He comes home at the end of November. The mother had a baby in April while the baby's father was in jail. Now the baby is six months old and has never seen her dad.
We babysat this little sweetheart the other night. I held Lillie while Jake walked around with this little brown-eyed girl showing her various things around the house. She was terrified of him, though minute by minute, she stopped crying and stared into his eyes, at his scruffy beard, his big hairy arms. She sat with him in the rocker and fell asleep against his sprawling chest. Jake and I had tears in our eyes while the thoughts hit us all at once. This little bug of a baby, the youngest of six, was missing so much. Dads just do weird things, like walk around saying weird phrases in Spanish so loud it practically bursts your eardrums (or maybe that's just Jake). They tell crazy stories, feed babies ice cream, and many other crazy things that moms would never dream of. Her father has missed everything about his new baby daughter and will come home not knowing her at all. How unnecessary and sad for both of them! It really made me want to adopt a few babies. Give them what they deserve, a loving home with support and stability. Babies should know that things change, friends come and go, possessions are temporary, but parents are here to stay.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We are surrounded by water here in Florida. I've always had a spiritual relationship with water in all its forms. I think a tall glass of water is more delicious than chocolate cake. I love the rain, snow, rivers, lakes and fog. I even like chewing ice. When I am at the beach, I feel more in tune with my soul than any other time. It's peace and equality. It's earth, sky and ocean converging during which I am only a humble witness. This evening the ocean made music when it lapped my ankles and reminded me of how small I am compared to this huge moving mass of liquid. The world is big, it's wonderful. It lays itself out ahead of me like the galaxy above it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thanks everyone for the wonderful and heartfelt advice. I have healed a bit from Tuesday's incident but Grace is now on a 4-step program to earn the right to even GO to the store. That's right, Sarah's CRACKIN' DOWN. That experience has transformed me into Hardcore Mama. My own mother would be so proud.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I almost completely lost my mind yesterday at the North Lakeland Walmart what with all the screaming, pushing, yelling, tears and rage. My skin was crawling with confusion, steam came out my ears, tears threatened to spill down my cheeks and I hoped that someone would come in and save my life, right then.
Allow me to start at the beginning.
I hate Walmart, it's dirty and stinky, there are very interesting customers who shop there and their produce and meat are questionable. But they have great prices on trash bags, so sometimes I go. Some days I do not think ahead and I go with all three of my animals after my oldest one has had a long day at school and her blood sugar is low. I could feel my heart start beating faster the moment I parked. We walked through the doors and within the first two minutes, Grace had me agreeing to buy some strawberry milk as long as she "wouldn't complain about wanting anything else". I held her to that. Until she did actually complain, then I forgave her. I forgave her about ten more times still threatening that, "the next time, you really aren't going to get the strawberry milk". I realize my inconsistencies, but give me a break. My brain goes to scrambled eggs when I'm carrying a 3-month-old, pushing a cart and trying to plan dinner in my head while making sense of cheese labels.
Here we go, on to the present. At the check-out. She cries bitterly when I say no to the chapstick. Somehow, that's the last chance. Sorry pooch, that's the one. Mommy's invisible button. Strawberry milk gets set back onto the shelf. Not to be purchased this time. The world's orbit is reversed, and the consequences begin to spill out like water from a broken dam. I will spare you the details on this one, but trust me, it was horrible. She went completely out of control. Did I mention she freaked out? Shaking the cart that Lillie was IN, stomping her feet, going red in the face. I proceeded with checking out, trying to ignore her. Nasty woman in front of me suggested I, "take her to the bathroom and whoop 'er ass, I'll watch your other two. I would NEVER let mah kid embarrass me like that". Uhh... The old lady behind me kindly said, "I saw you being firm, that was good. Be firm, they'll thank you some...", and then I couldn't hear the rest because Grace was being so loud. She's five. But she looks like she's seven. Which makes the spectacle a huge spectacle.
I made it to the crosswalk before I broke into tears behind my sunglasses. The staggering thing was the amount of restraint I practice on a daily basis compared with the constraint that she offers me... which is absolutely zero. That's what really hurts. I left her standing outside the car while I loaded groceries and other two girls and sat in the car until I didn't feel like slapping her anymore. It only took about ten minutes.
I am patient. I feel like I am kind. I want to give her room to be herself, I don't like to micro-manage. I try to listen to what she says, let her make messes and put myself in her shoes when she is upset. I don't spank or hit her. I try to divert her when she is feeling down and creatively excite her. Does this really get me anywhere when I'm sobbing in the Walmart parking lot because my five-year-old made me embarrassingly angry and emotional? Should I have probably just left my groceries behind right when she started screaming at me? Should I start spanking her now? Is this completely my fault, that I let her get away with too much? I appreciate advice since I have no idea what I'm doing and need a serious makeover. Oh mama, somebody help me.
Monday, October 13, 2008
But when I look, really LOOK at this photo, I realize it's pricelessness. Grace is still wearing her school uniform shirt that she insisted on. Ruby is clinging to her "suitCASE" that she keeps all of her ponies in. There is writing and drawing and colors all over their little table, despite my constant command, "Only draw on the PAPER", and arrows that Grace drew pointing to the label on the box. There is her name spelled phonetically, which phase lasted only a few days, but is evidenced here! My instinct is to scrub that table clean one of these days. But I really have to halt and ask myself why I would ever do that? The erratic evidence they leave behind is something I will crave, though time will tell when exactly that will be!
Just another day in the life. All of us struggling to be people and to find ourselves.
Jake and I did some organizing last night and he came across journals I kept since I was a very young girl. He read through them starting at my tender age of 12, all the way until I was 22 and in love with him, married to him and pregnant with my Gracie. How in love we were! How much time we spent gazing into each other's eyes and swimming in togetherness! And to think where we are now, with all these years of experience and getting to know each other.
I just have to say: keep writing all of it down. On a blog, in a journal, whatever. It changed our lives last night reading how we felt about each other, never suspecting we would forget a little of that each day until we picked up a journal 7 years later to read my words as a young newlywed, and have it come flooding back to us like a rich surge. It sank deep into our souls to remember snowy nights, him walking me in from our little car, carrying my things, kissing my face, staying up half the night talking with me only to get up early for work and school. I am simply unable to describe how it made us feel. So keep writing all of it down. Those little things will change your life (again) someday!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Because my mom let me wear blush just for this special occasion.
Because you can just feel the honky tonk rising like steam.
Because the jacket is a men's large.
Because the car in the background was the same car I drove 8 years later when I got my license.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I reminded her to 'focus' and 'be steady' but that really didn't help since her feet are the size of life rafts. (Gracie, you get them from me and I sincerely apologize). So while I instructed her on how to steer her roller skates out of death's tight grip, her eyes darted up and away from me, into the dark, searching for her precious classmates that said they would come. All I saw were weary and confused parents, their brittle expressions ready to crumble if heaven forbid, their child fell down ONE MORE TIME. I felt the same way.
All I want to know is how she held it together falling on that little tail bone a thousand times? Because minutes before we left for the skating rink she was on the ground screaming for the world to end because of a tiny scrape on her knee. It's all about the audience.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Her friend earned a no uniform day... usually they're all dressed like Grace. Most beautiful face ever.
There are some things that are fantastic. Like the new Audi A4, cobb salad from Cheesecake Factory, grand pianos, a full body massage and a long night's rest. But better, by far, than any of those things is watching Grace skip away from my arms to dance by herself in the middle of the playground. My head almost exploded.