Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Journal Entry

I have always been taught the importance of keeping a journal, and as I was growing up I tried hard to follow this counsel, writing in my journal weekly. Now that I am a mother, I feel lucky to jot down a page or two every six months! I have, however, tried very hard to keep a journal for my small children who are too young to write themselves. The other day I pulled out my almost nine-year-old's journal and flipped to a page I had written when she was only 3 1/2--the same age my other daughter is now. I couldn't help but smile as I read about this precocious little girl. Let me share the entry:

Hallee, you have been hilarious (you love to say that word) lately. You told me the other day, "Hurry, Mom. There's no time to waste!" Then at dinner you said, "I can't even stand it, this is so yummy."

Yesterday you were hiding behind the couch so Dad couldn't brush your teeth. After a few minutes you said you were hungry. I told you if you would be good about getting your teeth brushed, I would let you have something to eat first. You hopped right up and said, " Oh, I will, Mom. I wasn't hiding from Dad. I just went behind the couch to think about a few things--that's all." I just shook my head.

For some reason you have in in your head that I am going to have a baby girl soon, and you ask me about it all the time. Finally, I said, "Hallee, when we do have another baby it might not be a girl." You responded with a twinkle in your eyes, "Maybe it will be two girls!"

One more story: you were supposed to go to check out a pre-school last week for two days. The second day we were rushing out the door and you couldn't find your other flip-flop. You refused to wear any other shoes and chose to stay home instead. Later that day we went out to the van, and there was your missing flip-flop. You had dropped it getting out of the van the day before. You said, "Look, Mom. There's my other flip-flop. The van watched it for me so no one would take it." You were delighted. I just had to smile.

There's nothing like children to add spice to life! What kind of spice have they added to yours? Be sure to share--we all need more reasons to smile.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breakin the Rules

Have you ever felt as a mother you sure have a lot of rules? Some days I feel like I am constantly reminding my children of our household rules: clear your dish when you're finished eating, take care of your clothes after you shower, hang up your backpacks when you come home from school, no fighting, no rough-housing, no playing ball in the house; the list goes on and on. I remember growing up with similar rules and I couldn't help but think my mom needed to chill out a little.

Well, the other day I decided I needed to chill a little myself. I had had an especially rough week and was feeling quite unsuccessful as a mother, wife, author, neighbor, etc. My two older children had been given the ultimate punishment of having to spend the afternoon with each other, rather than their friends, because they had been quarreling a lot. I was in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner and listening to the two of them argue over how long they were going to spend on each activity, and I found myself cringing over a few of their ideas, namely, playing crab soccer in the living room and then tackle football. Pondering about how to change their minds without sounding like a nagging mother, a wonderful idea occurred to me, and all of a sudden I found myself leaving kitchen duty to play football with my kids--right in my living room. Then we lined up against the fireplace and played "Run, fishy, run" and worked up a sweat chasing each other across the room. My children were in shock (as was my husband), but it felt so good to just let go and be a kid again.

In short, we broke most of my "no rough housing" rules, but we had the best time ever! And I decided that sometimes, rules are made to be broken. It was the highlight of my kids' day--and mine. So, the next time you're having a less-than-perfect day, may I suggest throwing aside a few of your rules, letting go a little, and showing your kids you're not too old to have a little fun!