Time travel

freeimage-3060623-webDid you ever wish you could go back in time and live a day over.  Not to change that day but to savor it over and over again?

I have days like that.  I was thinking about the last time I went to visit my Grandma.  She was tired and had cancer.  She was a widow, living alone in her little house.  She was the sweetest lady.  I always remember how she had these soft cheeks and she always gave these tight lipped kisses when we left.

That day we sat and talked with her.  We looked at pictures she had in a little album.  She told us stories about the people in the pictures.  She offered us food like she always did.  She was ever the gracious host.

When I was growing up my Grandma was the wisest woman.  She told me to help my mother with the house work.  To never forget who I was.  To always be honest.  She was not a stranger to hard work.  She had worked hard her whole life.  When her first husband died she married my Grandpa.  They worked a farm together and finished raising their youngest children together.  They each knew that they missed their late spouses terribly, but they didn’t bring them up to each other.  They were fully in their marriage, no reservations.  They were married 25 years before Grandpa died.

One of the things I remember most about her was that she had this air of peace about her.

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Handling Plan B your own way

I met the nicest lady today.  She bought my washer and dryer actually.

Talk about someone who is handling plan b, this sweet woman is handling it wonderfully.  She had a knee surgery a couple of years ago and hasn’t been able to walk since.  She is getting a full knee replacement next month.

She has been through two nasty divorces.  She was accompanied by a man who is her friend.  They have been friends for 12 years.  His wife died shortly before that.  They travel together, camp together, play cards together, and look out for each other.  She said that people don’t believe them when they say it is totally platonic.  I watched her smile at him and him gently take her arm.  Watching them together I would say that there is a lot of love between them.

She said that when she needs things fixed, or someone to help her pick up a washer and dryer, he is there for her.

In the mean time she still has her space and he has his.

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Mean girls

Have you ever seen that movie “Mean Girls”?  You know the one where there is this popular clique at school, who loved torturing anyone who didn’t fit into their group.

Well, I have come to realize that it goes on way past high school.  Not that we deliberately set out to ridicule or hurt each other.  It’s that as people, especially as women, we judge each other based on our versions of perfection.

We tend to “should” on each other a lot.

Working moms think that stay at home moms should do more to help their family’s finances.

Stay at home moms think that working moms should be with their families instead of promoting their own careers.

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The joys of being a Grandma

Last week was my oldest grandson’s birthday.  He is 5.  It was also Dear Hubby’s birthday (same day).  So we celebrated with my daughter and her family. My daughter is an amazingly talented cake decorator.  Last year she made a submarine with an octopus on it.  This year she made a “Transformer’s” cake.  Both Trapper and Thatcher were thrilled with the cake.  Trapper because he loves Transformers and Thatcher because there were little balls of fondant that he could swipe off the cake when no one was looking.

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I have learned a lot about these two little boys in the last year.

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Reflections

life-reflectionThe year is coming to a close and like most people I have been reflecting on my life.

I read a post by a young mom talking about taking her son to the bus stop and how he grabbed her hand.  She realized that wasn’t going to happen forever and it was a special moment.  Then the self torturing voice in her head kicked in reminded her that she “should” be taking him to the bus every day, etc. etc.  The post goes on and it is excellent!  I will include a link at the bottom of this post.

This week I let one of my sons down.  The same son who used to come home from school excited to see my face.  The same son who I delight in listening to as he tells a story.  The same son who is a great dad and husband.  It wasn’t anything I could have done anything about, but it let him down all the same.

As I sat berating myself, my sweet husband sat down and reminded me of the things I have done right.

As a mom, as a parent, we want only the best for our children.  We would fight a cougar with our bare hands to defend them.  We struggle through being the disciplinarian, the nurturer, a bread winner, a listening ear, we want to be it all for them.

I’m not a young mom anymore.  I am old (ish).  I’m a grandma.  I’ve lived to eat my own words on many accounts.  I’m finding mercy for my own parents on many of the things I used to judge them for.

I recall vividly, telling a lady from church that my children were never going to… (I had a list).  She laughed at me and smiled in the way more experienced people do.  She said that I would see when I got there.  She was right.  My children are not molded to my choosing.  They are their own individuals.  They each have unique and often conflicting opinions about things.  They wonder how they could have come from the same family and be so different.  They are wonderful, talented, fascinating people.

Before I had children I had a thought that no matter what I did one or more of them may not like it.  If I was a working mom some of my children might not like that.  If I was a stay-at-home mom some of them might not like that.  If I home-schooled or if I sent them to public school.  If I made them do chores or expected them to do certain things.  If I was strict or if I was lenient.

The thing I hadn’t anticipated was the self-doubt.  I can beat myself up with the best of them!

I don’t think there is a parent out there that doesn’t go through some periods of self-doubt.  We wonder if we are going to scar our children for life if we send them off to school with their hair a mess, because we woke up late.  How much therapy is our weakness going to put them through?

We worry that other children will pick on them or judge them or lead them down the wrong path.

We worry.  We worry.  We worry.

Having them grow up doesn’t stop the worry we have for our children.  It doesn’t stop our love or our concern for them.  In fact we find that we have new people to love and feel concern for… like in-laws and grandchildren.  Our love grows and increases even more than we anticipated.

The oddest thing happens when our children set out on their own.  They find out that the way their family, our family, did things is not the way other people do them.  Suddenly the parenting we thought we had done well with, comes under the microscope.

Suddenly we may find that we are failures in our children’s eyes.  Suddenly we are renewed failures in our own eyes.

Here’s the thing though… the only person I know who wants us to believe that we are such failures that we can never be redeemed is Satan.  Every negative, hurtful, shameful thought that we have about ourselves is on his agenda.  If he can destroy us, if can destroy families, the very connection that holds us together as a society, he is happy.

The atonement is there to provide us with a way to be forgiven.  It is also there to help heal those we hurt.  Even if we didn’t mean to hurt them.

So I openly admit that I am an imperfect mom.  I am an imperfect person.  Sometimes I baffle myself.  I will keep Daring Young Mom’s words in mind as I do my best.  Here is a link to her blog.

May we all be awesome.

The dreaded…

Today I finally decided to give in and have a mammogram.  I know it’s not that big a deal, but I have heard such horror stories.  I’m 50 so I figured it was about time.  It really wasn’t as awful as I had heard.  I little squishing this way… a lot of squishing that way and voila your done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I called my hubby and told him that I was done.  He asked questions and I told him that they just took a few pictures and that was it.  There was a moment of silence on the phone then… “Wait a minute, you won’t let me take pictures of them, but the doctor gets them.  I see how it is!”

What do you do with a guy like this?  He makes me laugh!  Guess I’ll have to keep him.

(P.S.  My apologies to my mother-in-law if she reads this!  LOL!)

My how time flies!

Earlier this week I turned 50 years old!  Yes, it’s true.  I am officially old!  Ha ha!  When I was born John F Kennedy was president.  The world had never heard of or dreamed of the internet.  Black and white TVs were the norm, and not every home had one.  One time when my daughter was little I told her that when I was growing up I had a black and white TV, not color, and we didn’t even have VCRs.  She gasped with amazement then said, “You didn’t?  Then how did you watch your videos?”  Oh what a funny kid!  Now we have DVD and Blueray instead of VHS tapes.

In 1962, the year I was born, Nelson Madela was arrested by police.  The Beach Boys released “Surfin Safari”.  The house passed a bill requiring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.  Martin Luther King was jailed in Albany, Georgia.  Ringo Starr replaced Pete Best as drummer to the Beatles.  The Beverly Hillbillies premiered on TV.  The world’s population hit 3 billion.

A lot has changed in the last 50 years.

Sometimes you look at your life and you think, “If only I could go back, armed with the knowledge I have now.”  I think that we go through the steps we do for a specific reason.  We aren’t supposed to know everything.  How else would we learn?  How else would we have a need to rely on each other?  Would we marry the same people?  Would we have the same number of children?  Would we get an education or change the direction of our education?

The thing is even small degrees in course directions would result in HUGE differences in the end.    Pilots know that getting off course even a couple of degrees can result in missing their destination.

So if I had done things differently in my life I wouldn’t have arrived where I am.  I have been through things I would rather not have gone through.  Made choices I regret.  The thing is… I like where I am now.  I have the most amazing husband!  The most amazing children and grandchildren!  So I cannot linger on the past.  Only what it has taught me.

I have learned to be patient with those we love.  Patient with those we meet.  Enjoy life more and worry about things less.  Failure won’t kill us.  Success won’t last. Forgive people or you give them power over you. Most of all you have to be comfortable with the person in the mirror in order to be comfortable with life.

As you can see above, my sweet husband made my birthday cake.  He added black food color to the frosting!  So fun!  He made me breakfast and dinner for my birthday.  What a sweetheart!  He takes good care of me.

My youngest son called me for my birthday (amongst other people) and we had a good long talk.  He and his wife sang happy birthday to me.  He thanked me for the way I raised him.  He reminded me of the good I had done in the world.  The people I have helped.  He made me cry.

Sometimes, especially as women, we have a tendency to under estimate our own value.  It is nice to be reminded that we have done some good in the world.

I don’t think I’ll hang around another 50 years, but 30 or 35 sounds good.  It will be fun to see what else changes in the world.