Mother’s Day Traction

I’ve been thinking about something I read recently, about how one of the most important things a child needs to feel in childhood is to be cherished. If I could only use one word to describe my own childhood that would be it, CHERISHED! So how lucky am I?!

Yet it is so true, I was the fourth and final child, but was made to feel like the cherry on top of the delicious ice cream sundae, the icing on the cake, I was the bonus, the special prize, they were all waiting for me to make life complete. It was as if I was the reason there were six ice cream sandwiches in the pack, then we could all get one, six candy bars in a pack, same reason, I just made everything make sense. That is how they made me feel. I was completely loved. My Mother used to stop me as she pushed me on the backyard swings, just as the swing would need another push, she’d grab the swing with me in it, put her arms around my waist and whisper in my ear, “you are the greatest, the sweetest, the most!” Then she would kiss my face and push me again.

As I have grown up and witnessed the sadness of how many people have never felt that kind of love and acceptance I have only grown to realize what an incredible gift I was given. And now as my Mom spends another Mother’s Day in heaven I am left to say thank you dear, sweet, kind lady, for all that you gave me everyday of my life!

I have great respect and admiration for Mothers because of the wonderful one I had, so I dedicate this blog to all of those that have lost their Mom. I understand your loss and sadness. The more we loved them, the more it hurts on a day like today.

Happy Mother’s Day, and cherish those children, it makes for happy and healthy adults.

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Green Grandma

My Grandma wasn’t Irish, but her birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day and every year she’d wear her dress covered in shamrocks and any green pin or necklace any grandchild would give her. My Mom would buy her green and white carnations and her giant cake would be covered in white and green icing. I’m thinking about all those birthday parties today and all the fun. It was a great way to celebrate a Grandma kind of Grandmother. Her birthday and Christmas were the few exceptions you’d ever see her without her apron, and not a half apron, a full apron. The kind you could easily get lost in when you got a hug. She was the kind of Grandma that had a candy drawer and made your favorites when you came to her house. She was a Grandma out of a book on “How to be a Grandma.” She had the most beautiful hands. When my Mom got a new piano as a gift one year she finally convinced my Grandma to play for us. Prior to that she’d only sit at the dining room table moving her lovely fingers to the imaginary keys. I grew up hearing stories of Grandma’s beloved father giving her a piano when she was nine years old, yet I had never seen or heard her play the piano until that moment and I would never again.

Thinking of you today Grandma, I miss you and all that you were, but as long as I’m alive you’re alive in me.
Happy Birthday!

Somebody lost a bet

I saw a homemade sign in someone’s front yard, situated on a corner lot, it said,”Doris is the Domino Champ.” It seems there must have been a bet and somebody that plays Dominos with Doris lived up to what was promised and placed the sign for anyone that passes to see. It made me smile.

Within minutes of being outside these days you see the signs of Autumn and with that comes Halloween decorations. I’m amazed how each year it seems the spooky is celebrated more and more and how much adults seem to participate as much as children. We go to great lengths to entertain ourselves, tease one another, celebrate the big and small. Maybe for some it makes the mundane pass more quickly, but I’m not sure why we want that. Sitting here in traction is mundane, it’s very ordinary for me now and my mind looks to be distracted. I’ll typically review the day or think about something I just read or evaluate how I think something I’m working on is going. Sometimes I have an agenda when I sit down here, I want to work thru something on my mind and sometime I want to be entertained. I’ll listen to music or watch something on the computer or type. There are so many grand productions in this world, you can’t watch an award show without thinking about all the hoopla that went into the airing of such a shindig. I like small things, I like thinking about Doris kicking butt in Dominos and everybody celebrating with her. I like planning a Halloween party for children but I’ll sit out the ‘who looks better as Michele Bachmann’ contest this year.

I also like thinking about the older gentleman in front of me in the bakery today, he gave great time and consideration to selecting two Danish pastries. He took his job seriously, he reviewed all his options, he was thoroughly enjoying what he was doing. He was living in the moment and it left me thinking some of us could use more practice.

Bubbles, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s monkey

I saw a little girl crossing the street today along with another girl about her age and two woman. The women were also both pushing strollers so it seems that the girls maybe big sisters. They crossed the street at a busy intersection filled with lunch time traffic. As they crossed the street they stretched out and moved along the cross walk in a line rather than as a group. The slow poke girl was at the end, taking her time and enjoying the moment, blowing bubbles as she pushed her sunglasses up on her face. She looked like she was about five years old and seemed oblivious to the congestion surrounding her. There she was, stopping every so often to gently blow more bubbles. It was the sweetest thing to witness, she definitely seemed to be walking to the beat of her own drum. Traction seems here to stay but it’s now Summertime, filled with happy children, bubbles blowing and good things right before your eyes if you look.

So simple, so easy

I was pushing my grocery cart yesterday toward the glass cases that hold the milk and a little girl, probably no more than seven or eight years old was in front of me and yells to her Mom, who was behind me, “Mom, how much milk should I get?” her Mom replies, “two” and the girl answers, “big ones or little ones” and Mom responds, “big.” The girl eagerly reaches in the case for the milk and I said, wow, I wish I had a great helper like you helping me out at the store. She looks up at me with the biggest smile on her face and as I reach for my milk she says, “thank you.”

Telling her you’re welcome I push my cart past her to the next aisle. I hear her run to her Mom and say, “Mom, this lady told me I was a great helper!” I could hear her Mom agree and send her on a mission for some cheese. I thought about how excited that child was to hear a compliment from some random lady at the grocery store, I hadn’t thought twice about saying it, she was an impressive helper, but her “thank you” was amazing. I haven’t heard many young children unprompted respond to a compliment with a thank you. Parenting a child is the hardest job on the planet, witnessing it first hand by making it look so simple, so easy, is delightful and impressive!

I have to finish up this traction gig today because my great twin nieces, who are three weeks old sent me an email asking me if I’d please come over and hang out with them while their Mom takes a shower. I tell ya, being a part of a child’s life at any age or stage is a privilege.

If Life gives you lemons……

We’ve all heard that saying, how to make the best of a bad situation, well today I heard a child trying to do just that. A Mom and her two daughters were shopping in the same aisle as I was and one of the girls asked their Mom what something was, the Mom responded, “That’s coal, it’s a lump of coal. It’s what Santa leaves for bad boys and girls, for kids that misbehave like you and your sister…. and, if you and your sister don’t start acting better you’re only getting coal for Christmas!” The child stood there quietly as if she was deeply contemplating what her Mother had just said and then she asked, “Mom, can you eat coal?”

I did my best to keep my laughter to myself because the Mom looked at me with a look of, “if you laugh, you’ll get coal too!” So I turned away from them and tried hard to remain quiet but just then the little girl walked over to me and said, “Hi.” I wanted to say, you are one awesome girl but I thought the Mom might hit me as she had just threatened to hit the other child, so I smiled and said hi back and left the aisle.

I started to think though about how we have all this stuff we tell children and this child basically said, hey, if coal is all I get then I’ll make do, I’ll make coal lemonade. So today sitting here strapped in I’m making traction lemonade and it’s not so bad.