Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Edited Prayer

As most of you know, my little Miss Eden went to kindergarten last week. Now, you know that I’m not a terribly emotional person since I spelled that out in detail last week. (Stupid cotton ball!) But something that you may not know about me is that I’m a worrier. Not a warrior like Xena the warrior princess—although how cool would that be?!—but as in ‘I can’t sleep at night because I’m thinking about what I would say if I had to call 911 to tell them someone’s in my house because I may or may not have heard a random noise downstairs’ worrier. Yeah, that happened last week. One of the joys of being me : )

Eden at about three weeks
Anywho, I was up and getting ready before taking Eden to her first day of school last week and I was praying the whole time. Toward the beginning of the morning somewhere around the shower/washing face stage the prayer went something like this:

“Dear God, please let all the kids like her. Please let her not be scared. Don’t let her be embarrassed ever, don’t let any kids make fun of her, don’t let her try too hard and feel silly. Please help her to learn quickly and not struggle with schoolwork. Please help her teacher to like her, please help her to understand all that’s going on, and please help her to be happy!”

With Papa on her first birthday
But somewhere around putting my makeup on and eating breakfast I got to thinking. Is that really what I want for my girl? Do I want all the kids to like her? Do I really want schoolwork to be easy for her? Is her happiness really what my ultimate goal should be? I mean, obviously I want my daughter to be happy, but should that be my top priority? Honestly, it was pretty heavy stuff for 7:00 in the morning.

At the rehearsal for my sister's wedding
I thought a bit and decided to edit my prayers for my little Eden. They started sounding more like this:

“Dear God, as hard as it is for me to fathom, I know that you love Eden even more than I do. But I know that you gave me this little girl to watch over and protect, so here is what I ask for her. Please help her to find one good friend that will stick by her side and take her through the hard times. Please give her just enough fear to require bravery. Please give her a (small!) taste of embarrassment, so she will be compassionate to others and defend them when she sees others picking on them. Help her to remember that sometimes she’s going to look silly. That life will be so much more enjoyable if she can find the humor in those situations rather than become bitter and angry. Please make her schoolwork challenging but not impossible so that she’ll appreciate the knowledge she works for. Please help her to respect and serve her teacher in a way that will honor you even if she feels like she’s not the favorite, because she will not always be everyone’s favorite. And lastly, please help my Eden to be content with all that you have given her and all that you have in store for her. Help her to write her story and be proud of it.”

Three years old!
Four years old at Nana & Papa's
As I dropped her off that morning these thoughts kept running through my head. My little Eden—my delight—off in the real world. Kindergarten isn’t the same as dropping her off at college and driving away, but the little lady she learns to be now is the woman I’ll be dropping off in thirteen or so years. And I’m looking forward to living this life with that sweet, strong and brave girl. My Eden.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why It's Not Okay to Pick Your Nose

I don't know this kid but I thought this picture was AWESOME
You know how there are things that you grow out of? Things like wetting the bed, picking your nose, sucking your thumb, and pooping your pants. And even though we may occasionally lapse back into these behaviors, (I drank too much water before bed/sometimes there’s no other way to get a flapper/what if I get scared at night/I should never have eaten that Cashew Chicken) for the most part we’ve abandoned them.

Even public figures get boogers!
Except for me. I’m not talking about any of the above-mentioned habits, although all but one of those parentheticals is taken from real-life. (Brutal honesty!) I’m talking about another behavior that I just haven’t kicked. Notice that I didn’t say that I can’t kick it, just that I haven’t. I could kick it if I wanted to. I could kick it like that girl who tears off her t-shirt at soccer games after she kicks a goal. But I don’t. And it’s not so much a bad habit—it’s a statement—a mindset really that I absolutely must get past.

Are you ready? Promise not to laugh? ‘Cause it’s actually a pretty big deal. If you don’t understand why, I’ll explain in a minute

The statement is this: I can if I want to. It’s a phrase that makes us cringe when it comes from children. It literally makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Not to mention the hair on my legs, which is strangely sensitive to stuff like that. (I’m just kidding; I don’t have any hair on my legs. Wink, wink)

So why is it such a problem for an adult to still be stuck in this mindset? Let me give you a few examples and you can figure it out from there.

‘It’s midnight. I’m totally exhausted and I should go to sleep instead of watching another ‘Monk’ episode. So what? I can if I want to!
‘I should get up and do the dishes instead of reading another blog post. So what? I can if I want to!’
Here’s the kicker and the one that’s causing the most problems for me: ‘I am full and I absolutely do NOT need dessert. So what? I can if I want to!’

Here I am just a couple of short years ago. Do you see a double chin? Me neither!!
As a result of all of these examples in addition to a few more like exercising, blogging, cleaning my house, doing projects on the house, doing projects with the girls…I am tired, my house is almost always a mess and I’m overweight. I’m not morbidly obese or anything, I’m just constantly uncomfortable. Always aware that people are noticing that I am wearing shirts that might be just a little too tight and that make my tummy sort of…roll over my jeans.

This is just a month ago. I am officially 'the fat sister' and I apparently did not watch enough Charlie's Angels. Yikes.
Here’s the deal: I don’t want this to be the way I go through life. I don’t want to teach this to my kids. And as much as I may preach against it in the years to come, if I continue on this way that will be the lesson they learn.

My solution?  Every time I hear that thought run through my head I’m going to do my darndest to smack it in the face, do some kind of Hulk Hogan/Rock move on it, and basically send it to sleep with the fishes. Maybe then my house won’t smell like old bananas and the treadmill won’t be so dusty. : ) Wish me luck! I’m off to find some cookies do the dishes! BAM!

Kid picking nose picture from here:
Hillary picking nose picture from here:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Squeezing Tears from a Stone

*First an update: Adaleine is doing so well with her burns! They are healing really well and no skin grafts! Yay! Just thought you'd like to know : )*

Well, it’s official. My babies are growing up. I almost cried last night, and I do not believe in tears. Let me tell you how it all went down.
Eden is starting kindergarten tomorrow. Last night was the open house for her and all the other kids at her school to go see their classrooms, locate their cubbies, and find where they’ll be sitting. Nope. It’s not what you’re thinking. I’m not at all emotional about that. You have to remember who you’re talking to here. I’m dead inside—remember??

So there we are, unloading all of her school supplies and such. When we find her cubby I see a small Ziploc baggie sitting there on the shelf. I take a quick look at it, see that it’s for parents, and shove it in my giant bag purse. We do our little exploration and then head into the gym for ice cream and socializing. As I sat at the table watching both of my daughters get ice cream sandwich all over their hands, I remembered the baggy. “I’ll just check that out now. Maybe there’re instructions in there for school or something.” That was my first mistake. I should never have even looked.

A Kleenex: harmless enough. A cotton ball: weird but no big deal. Tea—wait a second. Are these people suggesting I might be emotional? Don’t they know I’m dead inside? And then I read the dang note. In case you can’t make out what it says from the picture, here it is.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for entrusting your child to me. I promise to do my best everyday to be your child’s companion in learning. After you have wiped your tears, make yourself a nice warm cup of tea. Put your feet up and relax. Then hold the cotton ball in your hand. The softness will remind you of the gentle spirit of your child. (This is where the words started blurring for some completely unexplained reason) I will work alongside you this year to help your child grow not only academically but in their walk with Jesus.

It was the gentle spirit part that got me. My sweet little Eden is very sensitive. Bossy? Yes. Mean to her sister sometimes? Absolutely. But she can get her heart hurt by the other kids in her class. I saw glimpses of it a couple of times in preschool. Ouch. That’s the only thing I’m worried about—her getting her little sensitive heart stepped on. Those teachers better be watching : )

But back to last night. To add insult to injury Adaleine decided to grow up on me too. What I’m about to tell you may seem silly to you. I think it seemed silly to Mr. Bug. But here goes. Adaleine has decided to go by a nickname. I know, right?? She can’t just do that can she?! I think I’ve been in denial for a while because I’ve seen the signs. But it was too concrete last night to ignore.

We wandered into her preschool room and asked her teacher where her cubby would be when she starts school on Thursday. As we were looking at all the names, I started to feel a little uneasy because I couldn’t see an ‘Adaleine’ tag anywhere. Then I saw it. Ada. And she was so excited. My mind flashed back to her response to her teacher’s “What do you want to be called?” question.

My little Adaleine Grace is Ada now. I have to say this was the first determined act of individuality I have ever seen from this little girl. And it seems so…final. This will be what all her friends grow up calling her. From here on out it will just be her dumb old mom calling her Adaleine. This was actually harder on me than that stupid cotton ball stunt the teachers tried to pull. It’s like they had it in for me last night!

So to sum up: I have no problem with Eden starting kindergarten and getting older and being away from the house for the entire day. I am only worried about some of those other stinking kids making her sad. And I’m super excited for Adaleine to be in preschool. I’m just sad that she’s getting mature enough to decide she wants to go by a nickname. I realize it’s all unreasonable, but I’m a mom. I can be unreasonable if I want to.

*Note: When I ran spell check on this post it flagged ‘Ada’ and I had to add it to the dictionary. That was just rude*