Before I had time to finish my coffee this morning, my thoughts were interrupted by the squeals of my son. “Look at the squirrels!” he shouted. “Hee, hee, they’re humping,” he shrieked with joy. Everyone at the table turned to watch the Wild Kingdom show on our deck. Hoping to avoid too many questions, I replied “Turn around and eat your breakfast. You need to get ready for school.”
After finishing his next bite of breakfast, my son blurted out “I hope they used a condom. I wouldn’t want the squirrel to get a STD.” Stunned that my 11-year-old would talk about safe sex, I sat quietly for a moment like a deer in the headlights of a car. “That’s my tax dollars at work in the school Health Class,” I thought to myself. Then, to end this very uncomfortable conversation, I responded “That’s good thinking, but I think they are trying to make babies. We will see baby squirrels in the yard soon.” He was so excited and exclaimed “I want a baby squirrel. They’re so cute!” Now distracted by thoughts of cute baby squirrels in his yard, he happily finished his breakfast. What are your signs of Spring?
At 8:50 PM on January 26, 2006 my son made his grand entrance, announcing his arrival with a loud scream and my life was forever changed. We celebrate this momentous occasion every year. While his 1st birthday was small because he was afraid of crowds, it was huge in my heart. To my delight, he covered his face with his first piece of cake, adding pictures to the family album. The next year he was in pre-school and we invited his friends to an activity center, so that they could fight over the toys and throw cake at each other. Because I couldn’t wait any longer to go to Disney World, we took him for his 4th birthday. Overwhelmed by thousands of people and the excitement, he had a melt down and yelled at me and my husband “You’re Fired!” Shocked, I exclaimed “This is not how I envisioned this moment.” Each year has been memorable and dear to me filled with joy and sometimes meltdowns. But, I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world. So, today I say Happy Birthday again to my son and I am very grateful that you are here.
My son came home upset the other day, because kids were making fun of him at school. When I tried to counsel him and help him figure out how to deal with the other kids, he exclaimed “Mommy they are just going to have to accept me as I am!” Then, he put his hands on his hips and stood proud and tall, declaring “They will just have to deal with it!” In that moment, I was so proud of him. It took me many years to learn to accept myself and stop listening to the bullies. At almost 11 years old, he is way ahead of me. What lessons did your children teach you this week?
While I am grateful every year for my son and husband, this Christmas I feel a little sad. My son will be 11 in January and does not have the same excitement for Christmas anymore. Instead of all of the fun toys with the noise, he wants video games and electronics. All of our old Christmas fun is now lame. But, I still want the noise and excitement. So, to get into my Christmas spirit this year, I have been going through my pictures from Christmas Past. Every time I look at his 1st Christmas, I can’t help but smile. He was a deer in the headlights staring at all of us trying to show him how to rip wrapping paper from his toys. The next year his favorite present was watching me get hit in the face by his Thomas the Train tent when I tried to assemble it. With Glee, he giggled and screamed, “Again, again!” So many great memories fill my heart this Holiday Season! What are your memories from Christmas Past?
When my son was a baby and toddler, we had precious moments everyday. He was so playful and full of life. However, as he became more stressed about the pressures at school and demands on him, the precious moments dwindled. And, they were replaced with fighting him to get up for school, because he stopped wanting to go, as well as fighting him to do his homework. Then, there was fighting to get his chores done. Parched for precious moments this evening, I began to corral him towards the stairs to ascend to his bed, when he turned to me grabbed my hands and began to dance the waltz. My first instinct was to become his drill sergeant and bark orders at him, but I looked down into his twinkling blue eyes and realized that this was one of those rare precious moments. So, I took his hands and twirled with him around the dining room, delighting in his laughter. His face became full of his elflike mirth that I have missed for the past couple of years. For a moment, he was totally free like he was as a toddler. When our dance was finished, he kissed me and was off to bed. What are your precious moments with your children?
My priceless treasures are not in a safe and are not insured. And, can never be replaced. They are wrapped and packed in boxes in the attic most of the year. We take them down into the living room in the beginning of December to unwrap and hang them on our tree, bringing a flood memories. Here’s the ornament from our first Christmas married, right next to my son’s first Christmas ornament. Then, there’s the musical instrument ornaments that I got for my husband on our first Christmas. They are his favorites and he begins to feel the Christmas spirit as he carefully places them on the tree. Next, I find the bundle of Disney characters that made my son squeal when we bought them. To my delight, he smiles with his memories as he places them on the tree. Before long we are all filled with happy Christmas memories that we will always treasure. What are your priceless treasures?
Filled with the Holiday Spirit this afternoon, we went on a quest for our Christmas tree. At the first detour for a holiday parade, we renewed our Holiday Spirit with a Christmas carol. When we reached the next detour for a holiday parade sending us even further from our destination, I began to think maybe today wasn’t a good day for our quest. Mentioning, “Maybe we should get the tree another day,” to my husband received a growl in response. He was now determined to complete the mission. We thought for sure at the third detour he would turn back. But, he only growled louder when we said, “Let’s go home.” Failure was not an option for my husband this afternoon. Finally reaching our destination, we were not feeling very jolly anymore. How do you keep your Holiday Spirit with all of the holiday activities sending you on detours?