Saturday, January 28, 2012

Confidence with a Capital C

The age of seven has to be one of the all time greatest years of one's life. I'm sure there are exceptions, in fact thinking back to my own childhood, mine wasn't so great. The particular seven yr. old that I've been observing is my youngest and she seems to be having a super year! It could be that I'm contrasting her disposition with her sister's who started what is widely known as the worst years of her life, middle school. There is actually a James Patterson best selling book, Middle School, the Worst years of my life! Is that really necessary! This gives me the unique opportunity to enjoy my seven year old that much more. I figure I have four more good years if I'm lucky.

Seven is a year of amazing confidence in oneself, especially in one's appearance. She recently took the scissors to her hair and cut a large chunk near the crown of her head resulting in a section that sticks up unless it's wet down. No matter, she wets it down as best she can in the morning, puts on her head band and actually gets a lift like that "As seen on TV hair volumizing product, "Bump It". She goes from drab to fabulous! It's all in the attitude,isn't it. Not one minute of regret have I seen. I wouldn't be surprised if she made it a new trend in her class.

She chooses her outfits based on how they make her feel, not on whether they make her look fat. She adores wearing dresses and floats around the house in them frequently. She absolutely does not compare herself with perfectly toned models in Athletica magazine. Those magazines are of the devil. Who looks like that in spandex!

Her independent reading has really taken off this year and she reads with the very same confidence, almost a little too much actually. She reads just like my phone auto correct and fills in any words with the first thing that pops into her mind. We were on our way in to purchase a wedding gift and on the way in read, "Bed, Bath and Behind"! or her Key passage in Bible Buddies for the week,  Ruth 4, The Kinsman Reminder!

She has the answer to all of my problems like  my having to go to the salon to get a manicure. She informed me that I don't have to go anymore. All I need is Salon Express, a nail art stamping kit she saw on TV one day! She is an expert on how to do most things. In her opinion, she is really good at tennis, swimming, or any other activity she participates in. Her enthusiasm alone takes her a long way!

Yes, I will enjoy my youngest today and can learn a thing of two from her.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Consider the Librarian

I confess that I have had a long time love/hate relationship with librarians. What kind of hate monger could hate a librarian you may ask? Hate is too strong a word really. We have spent too many years just rubbing each other the wrong way. I realize now that the traits that I have previously loathed in librarians, I really envy.Traits like never being in a rush and careful attention to detail are traits that I would love to possess. In all my years of checking out books, they have never once made a mistake! Of course I wouldn't know if they had. After all, they are merely doing their job when they report the fines that I must pay almost every time I visit. I am actually doing the community a great service with my fine paying by keeping the library in the black. You are welcome! Librarians by nature exude serenity and calmness, something I'm afraid I struggle to maintain. Have you ever seen a frazzled or hyper librarian? Nope, doesn't exist. The pace of the librarian is indeed a great reminder for me to slow down my usual frenzied pace. Maybe one day I will even tell them how much I admire and appreciate them, if I can find the time!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Me

On the eve of the day when my three youngest children return to school after Christmas break, I am a happy mom. Reflecting on the past 18 days of intense closeness, I am happy to say that I found them to be on the whole enjoyable. Last week in particular after the whirlwind of family gatherings, it was nice to settle into a more relaxed vacation mode. It takes a couple of days of transition when they are flying high from candy over-load at class parties and the anticipation of Santa’s arrival. I normally run a pretty tight ship so it’s fun to surprise them with special treats like, a sleep-over, a play date, a movie night, and ice cream before we buckle back down tomorrow for early morning reader’s club, math facts and homework. I loved hearing the conversations in the back seat, “Dude,” before every comment from my son’s friend. He must be the cool kid, because he actually came over wearing a herringbone fedora!  And, “You control it, don’t let it control you!” my daughter said to my son referring to his foot that somehow developed a mind of its own.  I enjoyed watching my son build interesting items of questionable usefulness with his carpenter’s kit like a name plate for our dog’s food dish. Although a very intelligent dog, as far as I know she can’t read nor can any visiting dogs. I enjoyed turning my middle-school aged daughter onto The Hunger Games even though the subject matter is about a lottery which calls for a fight to the death. She devoured it and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it.
I admit sometimes it blows my mind that I am still pouring Apple Jacks into bowls at this stage of my life. At least they are whole- grain this time around! And everything does not bring a smile to my face like when my youngest daughter cut a huge chunk of hair from the side of her head creating an odd side mullet, perfect for beautiful Christmas pictures. Or when my almost 9 yr. old son opted to urinate in the bush in our front yard instead of using a toilet just inside the house!  But the precious moment when my daughter came to put her head down on my lap yesterday during the Mario Bros Bible Buddies Kick-off and when I saw them happily playing their very loose version of the game of Life somehow softens those other ones. These moments are always unexpected and fleeting but they are heavenly and they are powerful reminders of why I’m here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Christmas Santa died

“Daddy, tell me the truth, is Santa for real?” That was the question that our youngest posed Christmas Eve. She was the first of our 5 children that actually asked directly for the truth. Up to this point, I had done my best with the elf on the shelf routine, but was honestly running out of new places to put him every single day! Ernie as we had named him had become lazy and not moved at all a couple of times! We had taken them to see Santa every year for the adorable picture although we focused more on the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season. But kids at school start to talk in second and third grade saying that it’s really your parents.  What’s a kid to believe? We decided that we needed to come clean on Christmas morning. But how? When? While eating breakfast after opening gifts, Eric asked if she remembered asking him a question last night. She now had no recollection; maybe just receiving gifts from Santa had something to do with it. No matter, Eric plowed ahead giving the history of St. Nicholas combined with the spirit of giving and fun ending with the horrible truth that Santa is indeed not real. Regret was written all over her face for asking and our son I could tell was devastated. I knew that he was the hold out true believer when he was agonizing over and whittling down his list before his visit to Santa. Later that day, he finally broke down in tears saying that he was mad at his sister for ruining Christmas by asking that question. She compassionately told him to “get over it!” At least he wasn’t blaming us for lying to them all these years! Really though, I was happy to see the two of them looking to us for the real story instead of believing what they heard at school. I pray that they will remember that truth is good. Sometimes the truth hurts, but they can count on us to tell them the truth.

Happy Children before the knowledge of Santa was made known to them