Thursday, December 31, 2015

Word of the Year for 2016...

I've chosen my 2016 word of the year and it is Laughter. I have been lucky enough to have the past two nights full of laughter, the kind where you're wiping your eyes hoping there's no mascara running down your face. The type where your face literally hurts from smiling. The kind that comes from being with people who 'get you' and make you a better person just by being present in your life.

So, Laughter is the 2016 word. May we share it, hear it, see it, seek it out, feel it throughout the year and years to come.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Where I tell myself to shut the Hell up!

This weekend seemed like a wash to me. I had some sort of stomach bug and never seemed to feel 100%. I missed one the best Christmas parties with some great friends. I had dropped the kid off at my parents and should have had quite a good time with little responsibilities. I ended up staying home with Netflix and the dogs instead.
Then Sunday happened and I had committed to working the Angel Tree with my Sunday School class. I rushed to grab the kid and we went to the mall where I locked my keys in the car. Furious with myself, I called a locksmith after exhausting all other avenues and being angry at myself for not having a hidden key or having the garage door keypad fixed. So forty dollars lighter and later I was in the car rushing the kid to a birthday party at the trampoline place. I was so looking forward to being home for that hour and a half before picking kid up and dropping him off for youth group.

All weekend long I had an inner monologue of whining. Inner that sometimes went outer besides normally being a fairly optimistic person. I complained that my stomach hurt, I complained that my straighened hair was now wavy from standing in the rain while the lock was 'popped', I complained that I had to be a glorified taxi service, I complained that I committed to work the Angel Tree. I'll set that right there and let that last one sink in. The Salvation Army Angel Tree where kids are asking for socks and underwear and I am complaining about a 1.5 hour shift. What an ass.

That's when it dawned on me that I was complaining about an awful lot and not thanking for all the good things. I had gotten a message from a sweet friend that she wanted to bring me homemade cupcakes, I had a car to lock myself out of, I had the $40 to pay the locksmith, I have a beautiful child who has a rich life full of people who love him and want to be around him, I have a home with a keypadded garage to complain about, I have so very much to be thankful for and not a lot, if anything to complain about.

What I had been griping about were not huge by anyone's standards. They are called nuisances and are nothing to complain about. If anything, they are things to laugh about and move on. I locked my keys in my car, seriously? For someone with OCD I suppose if anything that's just a symptom to slow down and pay attention. Also time to slow down and realize that you're not perfect. It's also the perfect time to tell myself to shut the Hell up and get over yourself.

I have friends who are dealing with real issues such as sickness and loss. Issues that aren't going anywhere anytime soon. They would love for the worst part of their day to be one chauffeuring their child from place to place or locking their keys in their car.

So today is officially the day for me to shut the Hell up unless it is to say thank you or how can I help.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Elf and the Middle Schooler

That damned Elf on a Shelf is back. I thought that last year was my last to worry about moving the elf and planning escapades for him...but then I heard the excitement in the boy's voice a few days before Thanksgiving, "Jakey-Poo will be here in less than a week!" I admit that for a brief moment I thought about outing that impish elf right then and there so that I wouldn't have to deal with him for the next month.

I need to back up a bit and explain that I was one of  "those moms" with our elf. I had him doing adventurous things like parachute from the ceiling fan and make a snow angel in powdered sugar. I even took pictures of his adventures and for 2 years I had a Shutterfly books printed up with the pics and my editorialization of Jakey Poo's adventures. I wanted to keep the magic alive as long as I could, until I grew tired of it. I phoned it in the 3rd year, heck it wasn't even the same elf as I had lost the original and had to buy a replacement! Mom fail to the elf-extreme.

This year, this unexpected elf year, has been viewed by me as a pain in my ass...until last night. I dropped my child off at church and watched him get into the van to go to a youth Christmas party. It hit me then that my little man-child was just that, between childhood and manhood. I drove home to wait for pickup time and I sobbed all the way home. (Injecting here that I was a bit sleep-deprived.) My child, my only child, was growing up and I honestly am not sure where the time has gone.

Surely it was only last year when he was stretching his arms up to me saying, "Mommy, hold you." And now he is wearing deodorant and has feet bigger than my own. I cried over the knowledge that before I know it he will be asking to borrow the keys to the car and will be holed up in his room with thoughts that he will not be sharing with me. It's already started you know. Saturday I looked outside and he and his friend were laying on the trampoline talking. It was such a sweet scene to see those 2 talking about what ever it is 11 year olds talk about. I wouldn't know because when I asked what they were talking about the only answer I got was, "Nothing."

So Elf, you have my full attention for now. Surely next year you will have gone the way of Thomas the Train and Matchbox cars. This year I will hold onto this tradition and enjoy every moment of my child's in between time.